Hi everyone, here are our recommended titles for the week, five digital titles available through OverDrive and five print titles available through StarCat.

And this week, just for fun, I’m going to recommend the first book in a few, mostly historical fiction series – so you can binge read away!

DIGITAL SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Dissolution by C. J. Sansom (Format: eBook):

Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series, Book 1

From the bestselling author of Winter in Madrid and Dominion comes the exciting and elegantly written first novel in the Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery series

Dissolution is an utterly riveting portrayal of Tudor England. The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s feared vicar general, summons fellow reformer Matthew Shardlake to lead the inquiry. Shardlake and his young protégé uncover evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason, and when two other murders are revealed, they must move quickly to prevent the killer from striking again.

A “remarkable debut” (P. D. James), Dissolution introduces a thrilling historical series that is not to be missed by fans of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

 

A Duty to the Dead written by Charles Todd and read by Rosalyn Landor (Format: Downloadable Audiobook):

Bess Crawford Mystery Series Book 1

Dedicated to helping the many wounded during the Great War, Bess Crawford receives a desperate request from a dying lieutenant while serving as a nurse aboard a hospital ship. “Tell my brother Jonathan that I lied,” the young man says. “I did it for Mother’s sake. But it has to be set right.”

Back home in England, Bess receives an unexpected response from the dead soldier’s family, for neither Jonathan Graham‚ his mother‚ nor his younger brother admit to understanding what the message means.

But the Grahams are harboring a grim secret, and Bess must, somehow, get to the bottom of it. It is her sacred duty to the dead, no matter how painful, or dangerous, that obligation might be.

 

A Morbid Taste for Bones by Elis Peters (Format: eBook):

Brother Cadfael Mysteries Series Book 1

In the first installment of an iconic historical mystery series, a medieval monk seeks a saint’s remains for Shrewsbury Abbey—but finds a murderous sinner instead.

A Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey in western England, Brother Cadfael spends much of his time tending the herbs and vegetables in the garden—but now there’s a more pressing matter. Cadfael is to serve as translator for a group of monks heading to the town of Gwytherin in Wales. The team’s goal is to collect the holy remains of Saint Winifred, which Prior Robert hopes will boost the abbey’s reputation, as well as his own. But when the monks arrive in Gwytherin, the town is divided over the request.

When the leading opponent to disturbing the grave is found shot dead with a mysterious arrow, some believe Saint Winifred herself delivered the deadly blow. Brother Cadfael knows an earthly hand did the deed, but his plan to root out a murderer may dig up more than he can handle.

Before CSI and Law & Order, there was Brother Cadfael, “wily veteran of the Crusades” (Los Angeles Times). His knowledge of herbalism, picked up in the Holy Land, and his skillful observance of human nature are blessings in dire situations, and earned Ellis Peters a Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award. A Morbid Taste for Bones kicks off a long-running and much-loved series that went on to be adapted for stage, radio, and television.

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 by Winston Graham (Format: eBook):

As Seen on Masterpiece on PBS®: Book 1 of the beloved Poldark series

In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth―believing Ross to be dead―is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew.

Thus begins the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston Graham is a story you will never forget.

What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris (Format: eBook):

Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Series Book 1

“The combined elements of historical fiction, romance, and mystery in this fog-enshrouded London puzzler will appeal to fans of Anne Perry.”—Booklist

It’s 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III’s England. Then the body of a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man: Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars.

Now a fugitive running for his life, Sebastian calls upon his skill as an officer during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence. In the process, he accumulates a band of unlikely allies, including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn, who broke Sebastian’s heart years ago. In Sebastian’s world of intrigue and espionage, nothing is as it seems, yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy, as well as to Sebastian’s own salvation….

 

PRINT BOOK SUGGESTIONS OF THE WEEK:

Assegai by Wilbur Smith:

The Courtney Series, The Assegai Trilogy Book 1

For King and Country. No matter the cost. With the backing of his uncle, General Penrod Ballantyne, young Leon Courtney joins the King’s Rifles of Nairobi. When he becomes discouraged by the dishonesty of army life, his uncle recruits him for a special mission – spying on the Germans in East Africa, whom the General suspects are preparing for the Kaiser’s war. Posing as a professional game hunter Leon is tasked with gathering information on one is his clients, a wealthy industrialist Otto Von Meerbach. Leon finds himself falling for von Meerbach’s beautiful mistress but never forgets that his real mission is to destroy the enemy. But how easy will he find his task when his true enemy is closer to home than Leon ever expected?

 

Another Kingdom by Andrew Klavan:

Another Kingdom Series Book 1

(And no, your eyes do not deceive you! This is a work of fantasy and not historical fiction — but it is good!)

“What was this place? Was I crazy? Or was I crazy before, back in L.A.? Was my real life some sort of dream? Was this hell reality?”

Austin Lively is a struggling, disillusioned screenwriter whose life is suddenly changed forever when he opens a door and is unwittingly transported to a fantastical medieval realm. Austin finds himself wielding a bloody dagger while standing over a very beautiful and very dead woman. Bewildered and confused, he is seized by castle guards and thrown in a dungeon. Just when he begins to fear the worst he is suddenly transported back to reality in LA.

Did that really just happened? Has he gone insane? Was it all a dream? Did he have a brain tumor? Desperate for answers, sets out to find them and discovers that the mystery can only be unlocked by a strange piece of fiction that holds the truth about the magical kingdom. But he isn’t the only person searching for the missing manuscript, and his rivals will stop at nothing to get it first. To complicate matters more, Austin soon discovers that he has no control over when he passes between worlds, and finds himself out of trust for even the simple things, like walking through doorways.

Stuck between dual realities –charged for a murder he doesn’t recall in one and running from a maniacal billionaire who’s determined to kill him in another– Austin’s monotonous life has become an epic adventure of magic, murder, and political intrigue in both the New Republic of Galiana and the streets of Los Angeles California.

March Violets by Phillip Kerr

Bernie Gunther Series Book 1

When private investigator Bernie Gunther agrees to track down some stolen jewels, his search takes him down the dangerous streets of pre-World War 2 Berlin and into the path of the most influential players in Nazi Germany…

Wisecracking cop turned private investigator Bernie Gunther specializes in missing persons, and as the Third Reich’s power has grown, Bernie has become a very busy man. But as he takes on cases involving millionaire industrialists, stolen diamonds, and Hitler’s most powerful cronies, Bernie finds himself mired in the brutality and corruption of a country on the brink of war.

Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, March Violets is noir writing at its blackest and best.

One House Over by Mary Monroe

Neighbors Series Book 1

New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe returns to the 1930s era of her acclaimed novel The Upper Room with a dazzling portrait of two very different couples whose friendship and fast times are no match for shattering betrayal . . .

A solid marriage, a thriving business, and the esteem of their close-knit Alabama community—Joyce and Odell Watson have every reason to count their blessings. Their marriage has given well-off Joyce a chance at the family she’s always wanted—and granted Odell a once-in-a-lifetime shot to escape grinding poverty. But all that respectability and status comes at a cost. Just once, Joyce and Odell want to break loose and taste life’s wild side, without consequences . . .

When their new neighbors turn out to be high-steppin’ bootleggers Milton and Yvonne Hamilton, the Watsons plunge headlong into good times and fast living. For Joyce, Yvonne is someone she can show off to—and look down on. And Odell won’t introduce crude, unsophisticated Milton to his friends—but is happy to let Milton ply him with free booze.

As much as the Watsons want to get along with their new neighbors, the gradual revelations of Yvonne and Milton’s seedy past make them think twice about how much time they spend together. But the Hamiltons won’t be dismissed so easily. The Watsons soon find them invading every area of their lives and discovering their long-held secrets. Now, the Watsons must tread carefully to keep the Hamiltons from destroying their perfect world.

 

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel:

Book 1 in the Wolf Hall series

In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.

Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.

Have a great week!

Linda, SSCL

Online Catalog Links:

StarCat

The catalog of physical materials, i.e. print books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, etc.

The Digital Catalog (OverDrive)

The catalog of e-books, downloadable audiobooks and a handful of streaming videos.

Freegal Music Service

This music service is free to library card holders and offers the option to download, and keep, three free songs per week and to stream three hours of commercial-free music each day:

RBDigital

*Magazines are available for free and on demand! You can check out magazines and read them on your computer or download the RBDigital app from your app store and read them on your mobile devices.

ABOUT LIBRARY APPS:

You can access digital library content on PCs, Macs and mobile devices. For mobile devices simply download the OverDrive, Freegal or RB Digital app from your app store to get started. If you have questions call the library at 607-936-3713 and one of our tech coaches will be happy to assist you.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

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