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ABOUT SCHMIDT Louis Begley (Fawcett, $12, first published in 1996) Begley’s cultivated, assured fourth novel about an aging lawyer’s self-deception after his wife’s death.

CROWS OVER A WHEATFIELD Paula Sharp (Pocket, $14, 1996) Riveting fiction about domestic violence and family-court law. Beautifully written — and often straight-out funny.

JANE AND THE MAN OF THE CLOTH Stephanie Barron (Bantam, $5.99, 1996) Surly landowner Mr. Sidmouth is blamed for two murders, and the intrepid Jane Austen — yes, that Jane Austen — starts sleuthing. Cheapens her good name.

I’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS! Art Buchwald (Fawcett, $12, 1996) An A-list storyteller’s memoir about Paris in the ’40s and ’50s. His incessant name-dropping would be exasperating if it weren’t so entertaining.

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