By EW Staff
Updated June 29, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

THE CATSITTERS James Wolcott (HarperCollins, $25, on sale June 26) The critic with a dagger for a pen surprises with a seemingly mild-mannered first novel about an unconventional New York City romance.

A COLD CASE Philip Gourevitch (FS&G, $22, on sale July 3) In 1970, two New Yorkers were killed in cold blood, and one persistent detective determined to solve the case. The award-winning author reconstructs the crime and punishment.

BLUE DIARY Alice Hoffman (Putnam, $24.95, on sale July 23) The author of The River King and Practical Magic returns with a novel about a neighborhood golden boy who is arrested on suspicion of rape and murder.