Ramblin’ Rose

Janet Evanovich, who writes the long-running and bestselling Stephanie Plum mysteries, introduces a new heroine and has the #6 book in the country with The Recovery Agent. “In this rollicking series launch,” our review said, “Gabriela Rose, a globe-trotting insurance fraud investigator who occasionally takes jobs recovering items for private clients, searches for the long-lost treasure of her pirate ancestor, Blackbeard, at the behest of her grandmother.” Gabriela’s exploits take her through the Caribbean and Central and South America and see her teaming up with her ex-husband to tangle with a crazed cult leader. “She’s my Indiana Jones,” Evanovich told PW in a prepub interview. “I probably enjoyed writing this one more than any other.”

Baby Talk

2020’s Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky, returns to our picture book list at #9 after getting a boost from an unlikely source: the book was among a handful of children’s titles that Sen. Ted Cruz cited during his questioning of judge Ketanji Brown Jackson at her Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Antiracist Baby sold nearly 11K print copies this week—52 times as many copies as the week before. Kendi has a pair of books due out in June: the adult title How to Raise an Antiracist (see our starred review), and the picture book Goodnight Racism, illustrated by Cbabi Bayoc.

Movie Watch

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the #1 book in the country. It’s not the novel’s first time in the top slot, but it’s a first for the trade paperback edition, which went on sale a year ago. Sales spiked after the trailer for the forthcoming big-screen adaptation dropped March 22; tie-in editions pub June 28, and the movie opens July 15.


French Braid
Anne Tyler
#6 Hardcover Fiction
Our review praised the author’s “focus on character development” in this “dry and well-crafted look at a family that inexplicably comes apart over several decades.” Of note: a coda with one character during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Against All Odds
Alex Kershaw
#12 Hardcover Nonfiction
“Kershaw follows up The First Wave with another gripping chronicle of WWII, this time focusing on the U.S. Army’s 3rd Division,” according to our review. The author “describes his subjects’ heroic acts with earthy exuberance and lucidly explains military strategy. WWII buffs will be enthralled.”