P IS FOR PERIL
By Sue Grafton, Putnam, $26.95

Grafton’s hard-boiled heroine, Kinsey Millhone, is back on the case again, this time investigating the disappearance of a prominent physician. Her investigation leads her into a cold, austere setting as she probes the particulars of Medicare fraud and encounters a host of suspicious characters in this entertaining summer read.

FRENCH LESSONS
By Peter Mayle, Knopf, $24

Armed with knife, fork, and corkscrew, Mayle leaves his beloved Provence to get a true taste of France. And who better to take us on a culinary tour of the country? Among other adventures, Mayle goes in search of the ultimate chicken in Bourg-en-Bresse, the chicken capital of the world, and tries to get to the bottom of the mysterious Michelin restaurant-evaluation process.

CARRY ME ACROSS THE WATER
By Ethan Canin, Random House, $23.95

A poignant and complex novel by the author of Emperor of the Air, this book tells the story of aging August Kleinman as he reflects upon his life, from a World War II experience for which he must make amends, to his estrangement from his children. A rather unlikable character from the start, August may not be admirable as he journeys through the complexities
of life, but at least he becomes understandable.