A new Danielle Steel, a Louis L'Amour collection, a different slant on Tara plus a new Oprah pick (see above for more on the last two titles) are just some of the books being purchased for those lazy, crazy days of summer. Three other new titles are also ringing up strongly on the cash registers—James Lee Burke's Bitterroot, Elizabeth Lowell's Moving Target and Richard Russo's Empire Falls.

For Burke, it is his first appearance on the national hardcover charts with a Billy Bob Holland title; his Dave Robicheaux books have made the list many times before. The author is in mid-tour, driving and signing in Minneapolis; Milwaukee; Chicago; NYC; Philadelphia; DC; Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; and Louisville and Lexington, Ky. Simon & Schuster reports getting phone calls from mystery booksellers so excited about the new Burke that they are looking for bookstores where Burke has signed copies so they can purchase signed stock for their own stores. First printing was 125,000.

Lowell boasts more than 23 million copies in print of her 50-plus books (that includes mysteries written with her husband under the name A.E. Maxwell). Morrow launched her latest romantic suspense, Moving Target, with a 166,000-copy first printing.

Russo has just completed a 16-city promotional tour for Empire Falls that included a stop at BEA, where he inscribed about 200 copies for bookseller fans. The success on the road and rave reviews are adding up to good sales. Knopf has gone back to press for a second printing of 5,000, making the in-print figure 87,000.

With reporting by Dick Donahue.