Two regulars and one first-timer land among the top 10 hardcover fiction titles this week.
In the #2 spot is Catherine Coulter, with her latest contemporary FBI thriller, Blindside. Coulter's first novel, The Autumn Countess, was published 25 years ago. A Regency romance, it reflected the author's M.A. degree in 19th-century European history. After writing some 45 romances, most of them national bestsellers, she successfully turned to the thriller category; Blindside is her eighth. Putnam launched the new book with a 13-city reading and media tour and a first printing of 315,400 copies. She also appeared on CBS Early Show Weekend.
Elizabeth George's 12th international bestseller, A Place of Hiding, lands in the #6 spot. A starred PW review of the book called her "one of today's finest mystery writers." Bantam reports that it has already gone back to press three times, bringing the in-print total to about 150,000 copies. The publisher notes that this has been a big summer for George. In addition to the new novel and the release of her short story collection, I, Richard, in Bantam trade paper, four of her novels are being adapted by the BBC; these will air on PBS's Mystery! series at the end of August through early September. All four—Well-Schooled in Murder, Payment in Blood, For the Sake of Elena and Missing Joseph—are available in special tie-in Bantam mass markets. George will do bookstore events in L.A., San Francisco and Seattle.
The newcomer to these national charts is Mark Haddon, whose debut literary novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, has thus far enjoyed rave reviews, including a starred one in PW ("a unique and compelling literary voice"). The book's appearance on the bestseller radar screen can be partly attributed to the fact that it was the July Today book club selection (author Dave Barry made the pick). Rights for this book have been sold in 25 countries, and film rights were optioned by Brad Gray and Brad Pitt—their first acquisition for Warner Bros. Doubleday reports a total of 115,000 copies in print after nine printings.