Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week.
Format Note: Under each book title you’ll find a list of all the different formats that specific title is available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, CD Audiobooks, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (OverDrive & Libby apps) and Hoopla eBooks & Hoopla Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla App).
*More information on the three catalogs is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*
Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays. The next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Best Laid Plans by Gwn Florio
(Available Formats: Print Book)
Nora Best and her husband, Joe, planned to travel the country with a truck pulling an Airstream while she wrote a book about their adventures. At their going-away party she discovers Joe having sex with her best friend. Furious, Nora posts the video for all her guests to see, then pulls out with the trailer. She drives from Colorado to a Wyoming campground, where the hosts, Miranda and Brad, seem welcoming–until a screaming Miranda wakes her up saying Brad went out during the night, and he was probably eaten by a bear. The sheriff doesn’t believe that, and he suspects the newcomer, Nora. Despite her protests, she’s arrested. With her mug shot plastered all over the internet, Joe tracks her down. Now that she’s had a taste of freedom, Nora is unwilling to handle Joe’s issues. She has her own worries. What really happened to Brad? Who stole her Airstream when she wasn’t looking? Who is making Nora the patsy in an evil game?
VERDICT The first in a new series, told from the viewpoint of a woman over 50, on her own for the first time, introduces a complex story. Florio’s (“Lola Wick” series) suspenseful mystery will have readers rooting for amateur sleuth Nora.–Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN – Starred Library Journal Review
The Bounty by Evanovich, Janet & Steve Hamilton
(Available Formats: Print Book & CD Audiobook)
In the seventh Fox and O’Hare novel (after The Big Kahuna, 2019), FBI agent Kate O’Hare and partner Nick Fox engage in a series of breathtaking chases across Europe and Africa from Vatican City, where they pursue an intrepid thief who turns out to be Nick’s father. He has stolen a precious map fragment that, when combined with other pieces hidden in treacherous-to-reach places, will reveal the location of a cache of Nazi-looted gold. O’Hare and her team want to find the treasure to return it to its owners or donate it to a righteous cause, but they are up against enemies with decidedly other plans, one of whom is a seemingly unkillable giant who makes every interaction a brush with grisly death. The duo of Evanovich and Hamilton, each best-selling authors in their own right, start the action on page one and keep up the pace throughout. The dynamic, often-humorous storytelling won’t let readers out of its grip, and there’s a compelling romantic subplot, to boot. Fans of Evanovich won’t need any convincing here, but also offer this one to fans of The Da Vinci Code, as ancient symbols and academic sleuthing play a strong part in the unraveling of the mystery. – Booklist Review
Danger In Numbers by Heather Graham
(Available Formats: Print Book, CD audiobook & Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)
When a heart attack takes her Florida Department of Law Enforcement partner John Schultz out of commission, Special Agent Amy Larson joins forces with FBI Agent Hunter Forrest to solve the ritualistic murder of a young woman. All signs indicate an active cult deep in the heart of the Everglades and clues at the crime scene point to more murders to come. The locals claim to know nothing, but someone knows more than they’re saying. Is there a connection to one of the many local churches? What about the missing woman who’s been hiding from someone or something at the old motel? Hunter’s inside knowledge of how cults operate and Amy’s crime scene sketches give them a starting point, but the twisted mix of faith, greed, and corruption isn’t going to be easy to decode and stop. As the case intensifies, so does the attraction between Amy and Hunter. Fans of Allison Brennan’s romantic suspense will enjoy this hot new stand-alone from veteran author Graham (Dreaming Death, 2020). – Booklist Review
Every Waking Hour: A Mystery by Joanna Schaffhausen
(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout audiobook)
Schaffhausen’s excellent fourth novel featuring Ellery Hathaway, who as a teen was the sole survivor of a serial murderer/kidnapper, and Reed Markham, the FBI agent who rescued her (after 2020’s All the Best Lies), finds Ellery and Reed, now in a romantic relationship, enjoying a street fair with his seven-year-old daughter in the Boston Common. When 12-year-old Chloe Lockhart vanishes from the fair, Ellery, still on tryout as a Boston PD detective, latches onto the case, seeing parallels with her own history; her captain is thrilled that renowned profiler Reed can assist. A theory soon emerges that Chloe was escaping the strict surveillance of her wealthy parents, Martin and Teresa Lockhart. This is not Teresa’s first tragedy—20 years earlier her son from her first marriage was murdered when he was 12 years old, along with her housekeeper. Tight plotting and sophisticated surprises fuel the rich storytelling. Schaffhausen layers much emotion into each tension-filled twist as she deepens Ellery and Reed’s characters. Readers will eagerly await their further adventures. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. – Starred Publisher Weekly Review
The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley
(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & downloadable audiobook)
Anne, the daughter of Pride and Prejudice’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh, takes center stage in Greeley’s latest (after The Clergyman’s Wife, 2019). Anne was a fussy baby, and the prescribed treatment–daily doses of laudanum–restricts her growth and leaves her in a constant dreamlike state. Her domineering mother defies all attempts to wean Anne from her “magic drops,” leaving her daughter sickly, placid, and addicted. Lady Catherine’s grand plan for Anne includes a marriage to her cousin Fitzwilliam Darcy, which would bring together their two grand estates. Anne’s only comfort is her governess, Miss Hall, who eventually inspires Anne to break free both from her laudanum addiction and from her toxic mother. Safely ensconced in the London home of her cousin, John Fitzwilliam, Anne befriends Eliza Amherst, a spirited young woman who introduces her to fashion, parties, and the writing of Mary Wollstonecraft. Their attachment grows into love, and Anne must decide whether to marry for security or to be true to herself. Greeley is faithful to the original story, while creating an imaginative and vivid inner life for the beleaguered Anne. This inventive novel will delight Pride and Prejudice fans, and win over readers who are skeptical of Austen reimaginings.—Booklist Review
A Matter of Life and Death: A Robin Lockwood Novel by Phillip Margolin
(Available Formats: )
Portland attorney Robin Lockwood takes on the defense of a homeless boxer who’s been framed but good for murder. Joe Lattimore has a bad feeling about allowing himself to be drafted into an illegal no-holds-barred fight, but the $300 he’s offered would settle his wife and baby daughter in a motel room for a few nights while he looks for work. Things go from bad to worse when he apparently kills the man he’s fighting and agrees to burgle a stranger’s home as his price for the recording of the fight. Inside, Joe finds the corpse of Elizabeth Carasco, the wealthy wife of Judge Anthony Carasco, whose life has changed in dramatic ways ever since he was picked up by escort Stacey Hayes. Joe swears he’s innocent, but the cops have his fingerprints inside the house and a pair of witnesses, one of them Judge Carasco, who saw a man who looks a lot like him fleeing the scene shortly after the murder. It’s an ideal case for Robin, who’s not only a dab hand in the courtroom, but a former mixed martial arts warrior who, in a rare dead end, expresses an interest in returning to the ring undercover in order to expose the culprits who arranged the illegal fights and a whole lot more felonies. Margolin keeps the story steadily absorbing, replacing whatever surprises you might have expected with new revelations of the plotters’ ever more violent and treacherous behavior that make you nod with appreciation. Everything purrs along until one character too many gets killed and Robin suddenly finds herself wrestling with a genuine whodunit. “I feel like I’m in a movie sequel,” the presiding judge observes, but there’s nothing wrong with that. – Kirkus Review
Murder in the East End: A Below Stairs Mystery by Jennifer Ashley
(Available Formats: )
Set in 1882, Ashley’s solid fourth Victorian mystery (after 2019’s Death in Kew Gardens) opens with criminal investigator Daniel McAdam introducing his foster brother, the Rev. Errol Fielding, to his sweetheart, Kat Holloway, a cook in service to Lady Cynthia Shires with a reputation as an amateur sleuth. Fielding serves on the board of London’s Foundling Hospital, from which a nurse, Nell Betts, and three children have vanished. Nell was too reliable to depart without warning, and though the institution’s director claims that the children were adopted, the addresses to which they were ostensibly sent do not exist. Kat gleans information from the hospital’s cook and one of its maids, while Lady Cynthia’s niece and Elgin Thanos, Daniel’s mathematician friend, use their social clout to probe its board and donors. The investigation takes a dangerous turn after Nell is found beaten to death. Though the puzzle’s resolution falls short of the intriguing setup, fans will appreciate new revelations about Daniel’s backstory and the nuanced depictions of period London. Readers will look forward to Kat and Daniel’s further adventures. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Bob Mecoy Literary. – Publishers Weekly Review
The Promise by Damon Galgut
(Available Formats: Print Book & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)
Three decades of South African sociopolitical history are woven into a saga of loss and missed opportunity that upends a dysfunctional Afrikaner family living outside Pretoria.
Rachel Swart has just died of cancer. Her husband, Manie, and three children, Anton, Astrid, and Amor, are all walloped by different incarnations of grief. Only Amor, the youngest daughter, cares about her mother’s dying wish—that Salome, the Swarts’ domestic servant, receive full ownership of the house where she lives with her family, though under apartheid law, Black people are not legally allowed to own property in White areas. Nobody else pays any mind: Amor is 13 years old at the start and functionally voiceless in her family. The promise is buried along with Rachel, only to be unearthed years later when subsequent family deaths force the Swarts to recollide for the rituals of mourning. Galgut moves fluidly among accounts of every single major and minor character, his prose unbroken by quotation marks or italics, as though narrated from the perspective of a ghost who briefly possesses every person. The language is peppered with regional geography, terminology, and slang, with sentences ranging from clipped (“One day, she says aloud. One day I’ll. But the thought breaks off midway…”) to lyrical (“There’s a snory sound of bees, jacaranda blossoms pop absurdly underfoot”) to metafictional (“No need to dwell on how she washes away her tears”). Galgut’s multifarious writing style is bold and unusual, providing an initial barrier to entry yet achieving an intuitive logic over time. “How did it become so complicated?” Amor wonders at one point. “Home used to mean only one Thing, not a blizzard of things at war.”
Galgut extends his extraordinary corpus with a rich story of family, history, and grief.
–Starred Kirkus Reviews
The Queen’s Weapons by Anne Bishop
(Available Formats: Print Book)
Born to serve and protect, Warlord Princes are sworn to their Queen. Daemonar Yaslana has always been bossy and protective, but he has reached an age where his behavior walks a fine line, and an emotional attack on his sister by a young Queen results in Daemonar beginning a new set of lessons under Witch, the Queen that many think of as old myth. When a curse is revealed to be rising in Kaleer, Daemonar along with his uncle and father, the High Lord and Demon Prince, respectively, must use his skills to uproot the stain before it sets too far. For Warlord Princes are their Queen’s weapons, and they will destroy any enemy–even if it wears a beloved face. Bishop (Wild Country) leans into references and characters from past books to build a century-spanning saga, tying together pieces of plot and creating new stakes that could break hearts and power. VERDICT The latest “Black Jewels” novel (after The Queen’s Bargain) continues to deliver dark fantasy with lush worldbuilding, strong characters, and high-stakes action.–Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton – Starred Library Journal Review
Your Inner Hedgehog by Alexander McCall Smith
(Available Formats: Print Book)
In the latest entertaining and hilarious Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld novel, our hopelessly out-of-touch hero is forced to confront uppity librarians, the rector of the university, and a possible hostile takeover, all while trying to remain studiously above it all. An Anchor Original.
Professor Dr. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and his colleagues at the University of Regensburg’s Institute of Romance Philology pride themselves on their unwavering commitment to intellectual excellence. They know it is their job to protect a certain civilized approach to the scholarly arts. So when a new deputy librarian, Dr. Hilda Schreiber-Ziegler, threatens to drag them all down a path of progressive inclusivity, they are determined to stop her in the name of scholarship—even if that requires von Igelfeld to make the noble sacrifice of running for director of the Institute. Alas, politics is never easy, and in order to put his best foot forward, von Igelfeld will be required to take up a visiting fellowship at Oxford and cultivate the attentions of a rather effusive young American scholar. Still, von Igelfeld has always heeded the clarion call of duty, especially when it comes with a larger office. – Publisher Overview
Have a great week!
*Information on the Three Catalogs*
Digital Catalog: https://stls.overdrive.com/
The Digital Catalog, a catalog containing eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, Digital Magazines and a handful of streaming videos, has two companion apps, Libby & OverDrive. Libby is the app for newer devices and the OverDrive app should be used for older devices and Amazon tablets.
All card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can check out items from the Digital Catalog.
Hoopla Catalog: https://www.hoopladigital.com/
The Hoopla Catalog features instant checkouts of eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, albums, movies and TV series. Patron check out limit is 6 items per month.
Hoopla is a Southeast Steuben County Library service available to all Southeast Steuben County Library card holders.
The Hoopla App is available for Android or Apple devices and most smart TVs & media streaming players.
StarCat: The catalog of physical/traditional library materials: https://starcat.stls.org
Card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can access StarCat to search for and request materials available at libraries through out the Southern Tier Library System.
The StarCat app is called Bookmyne and is available for Apple and Android devices.
Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.
Have questions or want to request a book?
Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.
Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.