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Not every bookstore employs a graduate of the Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. Her retired librarian chops, though, may be more what you’re looking for as you seek refuge from Winslow Way. She’s also the pit crew boss of our Mystery Book and Readers’ Circle Book groups, coordinates our consignment program and will send you towards a pulse-pounding thriller if you let her.
Anita Diamant (The Red Tent) tells the story of a plucky young woman of immigrant parents who makes her way amidst the teeming multicultural North End of Boston in the early twentieth century. She becomes an astonishing role model for her granddaughter who asks her "How did you become the woman you are?" A wonderfully heartwarming and inspiring novel!
This stunningly written story of author Macdonald’s journey through grief and despair, guided by a recalcitrant, single-minded young goshawk, is an inspiration to us all. Mabel is not your typical bloodthirsty bird! I rooted for Mabel from start to finish!
Haruf’s tender and loving swan song reminds us that it is never too late for love, warmth and friendship... in spite of gossips and seemingly well-meaning relations.
This is the first volume of a mystery trilogy taking place in Belfast during The Troubles. The central character—a Catholic, college-educated Detective Inspector in the Royal Ulster Constabulary—is an enigma to his colleagues. His first big case is a highly political string of murders that rattles the Ulster mafia and challenges the prevailing religious and social morés of both Ian Paisley and the Pope. A compelling, provocative read!
Made into an excellent movie, this could be Lehane’s very best book. Set in the grittiest ‘hood of Boston’s South end, it’s a story of commitment, pride, love and brutality...with one of the best dog characters I’ve encountered in quite a while. This book is way too short!
This charming small town tale is part mystery and part coming of age. Margaret Creasy is missing and the residents of the cul de sac where she lived with her husband are gossiping! Everyone harbors secrets about Margaret, and young Grace and her friend Tilly are determined to solve the mystery. The real joys of this story are the conversations between Grace and Tilly as they eavesdrop on the furtive conversations of adults. If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, you will love this story of neighbors’ attempts to contrive little lies to conceal what happened one fateful day
Travel journalist Lo Blacklock has been given a plum assignment: a week on a luxury yacht. Her fellow passengers are journalists and the ship’s owner, a titled billionaire. As they sail the North Sea, Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. Her attempts to have the crew investigate are futile, and no one appears to be missing. As the week wears on, Lo finds herself trapped by someone desperate to cover up the crime! A classic set-up with a cleverly modern climax, and reminiscent of Agatha Christie, this spine-tingler will leave you nervously reading to the last page!
Based on the life of Caroline Ferriday, this debut novel follows three remarkable young women through the horrors of WWII. Caroline, a New York socialite, raises funds for orphaned French children. Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, gets sent to Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women. Herta Oberheuser is a young doctor who takes a job with the German government, only to find she must perform experimental surgery on women at Ravensbruck. Their stories of resilience and survival under unspeakable circumstances are haunting and heartbreaking. How their lives are woven together after the war is stunning!
This is an exceptional story of the long term impact of violence upon survivors, the mystery of memory, and the lengths people will go to uncover truth. In 1986, two tragedies struck Oklahoma City: the murder of six employees in a movie theater, and the disappearance of a teenager from a local carnival. Wyatt, a Las Vegas PI and the sole survivor of the movie slayings, returns to the city of his youth and is sucked back into the tragedy. Berney weaves a thoughtful and compelling tale full of questions, heartbreak and quirky humor. Wyatt is a guy you want to meet!
Former special ops pilot Maya sees her recently murdered husband on her nanny cam, playing with her two-year-old-daughter. Can she believe what she sees? Who can she tell? Her husband’s family is wealthy and unforthcoming. Only her pal from special ops seems to have her back as she investigates the truth, but the deeper she digs, the more she questions her relationship with the man she married. This well-crafted thriller is filled with twists and capped with a shocking climax! Another stand-alone page turner from the popular Harlan Coben.
This exquisite meditation on love, loss and the power of poetry takes place post-WWII in a seaside village in New South Wales. After Annikka Lachlan’s husband is killed in a railway accident, the village gives her the job of running the library, and she begins to blend her own love of reading with her neighbors’ requests for books. When Roy McKinnon, wounded by his war experience, struggles to return to his passion, poetry, Annikka borrows books from throughout Australia to encourage him. Both inspiring and heartbreaking, this is a must read by an astonishingly accomplished writer who deserves your time!
In 1943, Meridian Wallace leaves her ornithological studies to marry her physics professor and head for Los Alamos and the atomic bomb project. Trapped in a government town with other highly educated wives of scientists, she struggles to keep her passion for birds alive by studying desert crows. Her friendships are
meditation on ambition, love, identity and sacrifice at a time when women were beginning to dream of lives beyond housekeeping, this is a stunning debut, with wonderful characters and a story I didn’t want to end!
Mary Browning, eighty-seven, has spent much of her life hiding her past, haunted by fading memories of family and an exceptional career as a daring pilot in World War II. When fifteen-year-old Elyse joins Mary’s octogenarian writing group at the local library, she ignites Mary’s desire to tell her story. Elyse has problems of her own, but when Mary hires her to record her story, they form a friendship that leads them to discover the joys of second chances and the unique powers of forgiveness. This will be a great book group read, especially for those who enjoyed The Boston Girl or Circling the Sun!
This smart and very funny lark through the halls of Oxford is a charming debut by a promising new writer! Samantha Whipple, a fictional descendent of the sisters Bronte, has come to Old College at Oxford to research her progenitors and solve a puzzle left by her enigmatic father. With the help of the Brontes’ curator and her very charming don, Samantha plumbs the depths of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, et al and uncovers a remarkable legacy. English majors take note! This is a literary mystery wrapped in a gothic scavenger hunt, enfolded in a romantic comedy! What a hoot!
In this fictional meditation on marriage, a smart, witty, ambitious couple falls madly, blissfully in love and lunges toward marriage, financial strain, a colicky baby, career stalls, parental boredom, and terror that their marriage won’t last. What may seem like another “marriage on the rocks” novel is anything but! Written in an intense narrative style, the story rushes through the events that endanger marriage, and teases us into thinking that divorce is just a paragraph away. But there is something special about this couple that we only learn by persevering to the final page. What a refreshing read! Do it in one sitting!
McLain’s (The Paris Wife) biographical novel of legendary aviatrix Beryl Markham reaches back to her youth in colonial Kenya, where she is raised by her father and the tribe of Kipsigis who live on his estate. The young Kip boys teach her to hunt as they prepare for tribal leadership, and she later achieves renown as a horse trainer. As a teenager, she marries a man who loses interest in her, gets involved in a love triangle with author Karen Blixen, and becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. Markham’s amazing life, coupled with McClain’s exceptional storytelling talents, make this a must read!
Perry Rathbone was Director of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts from 1955 to 1972 when his meteoric career ended in scandal over the purchase of a small Raphael portrait of a young girl that turned out to be a fake. It rocked the art and antiquities industry as well as the city of Boston, where Rathbone was legendary. Written by Rathbone's daughter, this is both a biography and a fascinating mystery. If you loved The Art Forger and still wonder about the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum heist, you will love this bio-intrigue!
In this sequel to the acclaimed Ghostman, Jack and Angela are together again after six years, this time in Macau. They stumble across a yacht filled with a few dead bodies, a bag of uncut sapphires and a huge stash of cash. By playing their cards right, they can fence the sapphires, pocket the cash and never have to work again. Still, Jack manages to get them cornered by a pack of professional killers and caught up in a plot to flood the global economy with counterfeit cash. Hobbs constructs his story with the same meticulous detail, building to a heart-pounding ending that will thrill the fans of his exceptional debut thriller.
An antique map found in a bistro wall is at the heart of this exceptional addition of Penny's Gamache series. Gamache uses the map as a project for a group of cadets at the Surite Academy. When one of the lecturers is murdered with a copy of the map in his rooms, Gamache himself becomes a suspect. Old tensions between Gamache and his former police colleages compound the questionable circumstances surrounding the death of a man everyone seems to have hated. Once again Penny weaves a wonderful story of compassion and ultimate forgiveness amidst the quirky characters of Three Pines!
This debut novel is not to be missed! Josephine Bell, a house slave in Virginia in 1852, is a talented artist whose work had been attributed to her owner, LuAnne Bell. In the present, Lina Sparrow, a newly minted New York attorney, is tapped to work on a class action suit to recover trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of slaves. After viewing Josephine’s paintings, she sets out to find a descendant. Told in alternating chapters, the lives of Josephine and Lina weave increasingly complex tales of art, history, love and mystery. Exceptionally well-written, this book asks penetrating questions about righting past injustices and carving paths toward truth. ~ Susan Braun, leader of the Eagle Harbor Reader’s Circle & the Mystery Book Group