The Leaning Pile of Books is a feature where I talk about books I got over the last week – old or new, bought or received for review consideration. Since I hope you will find new books you’re interested in reading in these posts, I try to be as informative as possible. If I can find them, links to excerpts, author’s websites, and places where you can find more information on the book are included.

Oh happy week! It’s a short work week, and the first book on this list of books received this week is one that seems like a good long weekend read to me. I’m glad my husband managed to save it from the rain!

For reviews, I’m working on a review of The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord (a great book!) now that the Zenn Scarlett review is up. I will probably write about some of my favorite books I’ve read during the first half of this year as well.

On to the books!

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastards #3) by Scott Lynch

There was much rejoicing about reading this one since I loved the first two books! I’m planning to start reading it as soon as I finish the book I’m reading now.

The Republic of Thieves, which follows The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, will be released in hardcover/ebook in October. Excerpts from the first two books in the series and a preview from the upcoming third book can be found on the author’s website.

The plot description below does contain SPOILERS for the end of Red Seas Under Red Skies.



Having pulled off the greatest heist of their career, Locke and his trusted partner in thievery, Jean, have escaped with a tidy fortune. But Locke’s body is paying the price. Poisoned by an enemy from his past, he is slowly dying. And no physiker or alchemist can help him. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmagi offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him – or finish him off once and for all.

Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body – though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring – and the Bondsmagi’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past . . . Sabetha. The love of his life. His equal in skill and wit. And now his greatest rival.

Locke was smitten with Sabetha from his first glimpse of her as a young fellow-orphan and thief-in-training. But after a tumultuous courtship, Sabetha broke away. Now they will reunite in yet another clash of wills. For faced with his one and only match in both love and trickery, Locke must choose whether to fight Sabetha – or to woo her. It is a decision on which both their lives may depend.

The Executioner's Heart by George Mann

The Executioner’s Heart (Newbury & Hobbes #4) by George Mann

This fourth book in a steampunk mystery series about Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes will be released in hardcover/ebook on July 9. It’s supposed to be a stand alone book, but the previous books are The Affinity Bridge, The Osiris Ritual, and The Immortality Engine. An excerpt from The Executioner’s Heart can be read on, and some short stories related to the series can be read on the author’s website.

I’ve heard pretty good things about this series, and it sounds like fun!


A serial killer is loose on the streets of London, murdering apparently random members of the gentry with violent abandon. The corpses are each found with their chest cavities cracked open and their hearts removed. Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, suspects an occult significance to the crimes and brings Newbury and Veronica in to investigate.

Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter

Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter

This stand alone sequel to Infernal Devices will be released in hardcover/trade paperback/ebook in October.


In 1986 K. W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk,” applying it to his first Victorian-era science fiction alternate-history adventure. At last he has returned with Fiendish Schemes, a tale of George Dower, son of the inventor of Infernal Devices, who has been in new self-imposed exile…accumulating debts.

The world Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London, a mad whirl of civilization filled with gadgets and gears in the least expected places. After accepting congratulations for his late father’s grandest invention—a walking, steam-powered lighthouse—Dower is enticed by the prospect of financial gain into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess.

If he can locate and make his father’s Vox Universalis work as it was intended, his future, he is promised, is assured. But his efforts are confounded by the strange Vicar Stonebrake, who promises him aid, but is more interested in converting sentient whales to Christianity—and making money—than in helping George. Drugged, arrested, and interrogated by men, women, and the steam-powered Prime Minister, Dower is trapped in a maelstrom of secrets, corruption, and schemes that threaten to drown him in the chaos of this mad new world.

Before the Fall by Francis Knight

Before the Fall (Rojan Dizon #2) by Francis Knight

Before the Fall is the sequel to Knight’s debut, Fade to Black, which was just released earlier this year. It will be released in trade paperback/ebook on June 18. The third book in the trilogy, Last to Rise, is scheduled for release in November. An excerpt from Before the Fall can be read on the publisher’s website.

An excerpt from Fade to Black is also available on the publisher’s website, and my review of this book is here.


Rojan Dizon just wants to keep his head down. But his worst nightmare is around the corner.

With the destruction of their power source, his city is in crisis: riots are breaking out, mages are being murdered, and the city is divided. But Rojan’s hunt for the killers will make him responsible for all-out anarchy. Either that, or an all-out war.

And there’s nothing Rojan hates more than being responsible.

The fantastic follow-up to FADE TO BLACK!

Blood of the Lamb by Sam Cabot

Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets by Sam Cabot (Carlos Dews and S. J. Rozan)

Blood of the Lamb will be released in hardcover/ebook/audiobook on August 6. A short excerpt is available on the publisher’s website.


The Historian meets The Da Vinci Code in this exhilarating supernatural thriller set in Rome. Rival groups are searching for a document that holds a secret that could shatter the Catholic Church.

While in Rome, American Jesuit priest Thomas Kelly is called upon to reclaim a centuries-old document stolen from the Vatican. An enigmatic letter leads him to the work of a 19th century poet, where Thomas discovers cryptic messages that might lead to the missing manuscript. His search is unexpectedly entwined with that of Italian art historian Livia Pietro, who tells him that destructive forces are threatening to expose the document’s contents. As they’re relentlessly chased through the heart of Rome by mysterious men who quickly demonstrate they would cross any line to obtain the document for themselves, it becomes clear to Livia and Thomas that the pages hold a deep, devastating, long-buried truth. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: she and her People are vampires. But all this pales in light of the Secret that Thomas and Livia discover together—a revelation more stunning than either could have imagined.

Sam Cabot is a pseudonym for:

S.J. Rozan is the author of many critically acclaimed novels and short stories which have won crime fiction’s greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero awards. Born and raised in the Bronx, Rozan now lives in lower Manhattan.

Carlos Dews is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at John Cabot University where he directs the Institute for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. He lives in Rome, Italy.