January 23, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST

Gone Fishin’ Walter Mosley (Pocket Star, $6.50, first published in 1997) Prequel to the Easy Rawlins series reveals formative life experience of Mosley’s appealing Southern detective.

The Beach Alex Garland (Riverhead, $13, 1997) Voyeuristic, vaguely Lord of the Flies-ish first novel about a close-knit group of twentysomethings imploding on a Thai island.

”M” Is for Malice Sue Grafton (Fawcett Crest, $7.99, 1996) This 13th mystery in Grafton’s alphabet series centers on a wealthy family’s long-lost hippie brother; PI Kinsey Millhone displays her usual spunky aplomb.

A Regular Guy Mona Simpson (Vintage, $13, 1996) Out-of-wedlock daughter Jane must learn to relate to her emotionally distant businessman dad.

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