Pillow Stalk by Diane Vallere

pillow stalkIf you’re a fan of Mad Men, you’ll appreciate this Mad for Mod series. The hero is Madison Night, an interior decorator, who models herself after Doris Day. One subplot revolves around a local  theatre that is gearing up for a Doris Day festival.

Pillow Stalk by Diane Vallere appeals to  those who may have an interest in mid-century design, a unique Dallas neighborhood (the M streets), and, to a lessor extent, an actual mystery.

Madison  and her circle of acquantances (swimming, decorating, and film) are well-drawn and their various interactions serve to flesh out the philosophy and aesthetic of fifties and sixties clothes and furniture. The appeal of the colors, textures, and fabrics of this era are made tangible and specific when she discovers a great bedroom set, pillows, crockery or formica table. Part of her business model is to dress the part – always outfitted in color-coordinated outfits and high heels.

A good companion would be The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum. The heroine of this novel adopts the clothing, attitude and lifestyle of Doris Day in order to improve her romantic prospects.

 

Upcoming Books – March

Here are some of the new releases from popular authors that are coming out in March. Reserve your favorites today!

deadly virtuebreaking pointsweet tea revengesix yearsguardian

 

 

 

Jo Bannister – Deadly Virtues

C. J. Box – Breaking Point

Laura Childs – Sweet Tea Revenge

Harlan Coben – Six Years

Clive Cussler – The Striker

Beverly Lewis – The Guardian

accursedboyfriendicecutters daughterwhen jesus weptnight moves

 

 

 

Joyce Carol Oates – The Accursed

Thomas Perry – The Boyfriend

Tracie Peterson – The Icecutter’s Daughter

Bodie Thoene – When Jesus Wept

Randy Wayne White – Night Moves

For more new titles, be sure to check out Upcoming Releases on the Davenport Public Library webpage!

Upcoming Books – February

Here are some of the new releases from popular authors that are coming out in January. Reserve your favorites today!

hit me

power tripred velvet cupcake murdertouch and godeadly stakesLawrence Block – Hit Me

Jackie Collins – The Power Trip

Joanne Fluke – Red Velvet Cupcake Murder

Lisa Gardner – Touch & Go

J.A. Jance – Deadly Stakes

guilt

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Jonathan Kellerman – Guilt: an Alex Delaware Novel

James Patterson – Alex Cross, Run

Jodi Picoult – The Storyteller

J.D. Robb – Calculated in Death

Dana Stabenow – Bad Blood

For more new titles, be sure to check out Upcoming Releases on the Davenport Public Library webpage!

Upcoming Books – October

Here are some of the new releases from popular authors that are coming out in October. Reserve your favorites today!

 

 

 

Jennifer Chiaverini – The Giving Quilt

Patricia Cornwell – Bone Bed

Nelson DeMille – The Panther

Louise Erdrich – The Round House

Richard Paul Evans – A Winter Dream

W. Michael Gear – People of the Black Sun

John Grisham – The Racketeer

Carolyn Hart – What the Cat Saw

Mark Helprin – In Sunlight and in Shadow

 

 

 

Susan Isaacs – The Goldberg Variations

Iris Johansen – Sleep No More

Karen Kingsbury – The Bridge

Debbie Macomber – Angels at the Table

James Patterson – NYPD Red

John Sandford – Mad River

Alexander McCall Smith – The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Danielle Steel – The Sins of the Mother

Tom Wolfe – Back to Blood

For more new titles, be sure to check out Upcoming Releases on the Davenport Public Library webpage!

 

Camilla Lackberg – A Swedish Mystery

Camilla was 29 when she published her first novel, The Ice Princess, in 2003. Three years later, her prize-winning books were topping the Swedish bestseller lists. She based her books in her own hometown of Fjallacka Sweden. The Main characters are Patrik and Erica. Patrik is a policeman and Erica is a writer. Her books are a wonderful blend of suspense, mystery and romance. She has become the top selling writer in Sweden. She has written 7 books in her mystery series, but only 2 have been published in the U.S.

Ice Princesss ( 2009) After she returns to her hometown to learn that her friend, Alex, was found in an ice-cold bath with her wrists slashed, biographer Erica Falck researches her friend’s past in hopes of writing a book and joins forces with Detective Patrik Hedstrom, who has his own suspicions about the case.

Preacher (2011) The discovery of two murder victims who were killed twenty years earlier is complicated by the body of a third, recent victim at the same location, a case that compels detective Patrik Hedstrom to investigate a feuding clan of misfits, religious fanatics, and criminals.

Best Books, Part 2

More best books from our Blogging Librarians! Michelle and Lexie kind of cheated since they each picked two titles; however, they’re both so good at picking books we don’t mind a bit.

Michelle starts with a mystery. “Louise Penny’s quirky, yet endearing characters make A Trick of the Light one of my favorite mysteries of the year. Penny’s clever writing style combined with her main character, the legendary Inspector Armand Gamache, make for a superb mystery book (and the latest release in the series)”. Read more in her blog post from earlier this year.

A fiction book is Michelle’s second pick. “Katie Lee’s debut work of fiction, Groundswell was a favorite beach read in 2011. Groundswell follows a main character who becomes caught up in the glitz and glamour of stardom only then to discover what is important in life after a traumatic event”. Michelle’s blog post about this book is here.

Lexie says go big or go home with George R. R. Martin’s series A Song of Ice and Fire. “An epic fantasy series set in a land where seasons can last for decades. The series is filled with political intrigue, plenty of shocking plot twists, romance, and engaging characters who don’t fit into a traditional mold of good or evil. This complex world that Martin created has become an absolute obsession for me; the fifth book was just released in July and I’m already eagerly anticipating the next installment”. Read more from Lexie about it in her earlier blog post.

Her second pick is Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. “31-year-old “carer” Kathy looks back on her youth, which was spent in an isolated English boarding school with her two best friends and plenty of secrets. This book is haunting and incredibly thought-provoking. I couldn’t put it down once I started, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it once I finished”. Lexie blogged about it here.

Book Watch : Stop, You’re Killing Me!

Looking for a good mystery?  We’ve got you covered!

Besides having one of the best website names ever, Stop, You’re Killing Me! is the best place to go if you’re a fan of mystery, crime, suspense, thriller and spy novels. Indexing the works of over 3.500 authors, you’ll find lists of books set in specific locations, during historical time periods, by diversity (for instance, Native Americans or Gypsies or Disabled detectives), by job title (such as wedding planners or pet sitters) and genres (vampires anyone?) New titles are listed each month, including new Large Print and new Audio Books. And there are extensive lists of mystery book award nominees and winners.

This site is fairly minimal – no fancy graphics or distracting ads. Titles are linked to amazon.com for further information (and where you can find a picture of the book cover), but this is mostly a presentation of lists, brief descriptions and links. It’s up to you to uncover your next favorite mystery – and with these tools, it should be an open and shut case!

Sherlock, Season One

Sherlock Holmes comes to the 21st century in the new BBC series Sherlock. Consulted reluctantly by the police, Holmes is brilliant, sarcastic and socially awkward. Watson, a military doctor that has just returned from Afghanistan after being wounded, is not the bumbling fool so often portrayed in film but is an equal partner in the detective work and also serves as a moral compass for Holmes.

The familiar framework remains, just tweaked in places for the modern setting. Thus, the deerstalker becomes a scarf, Watson keeps a blog rather than a journal, London atmosphere comes from a skyline that includes the Millenium Wheel and the Gherkin building rather than foggy, cobblestone streets and Holmes finds his informants among the homeless rather than street children. What doesn’t change, however, is the brilliant Holmes – socially misfit, actively disliked by many, hyper intelligent.

As you would expect from the BBC, the production values are excellent. Filming on location in London lends authentic atmosphere; the writing is sharp and witty with many homages to the Arthur Conan Doyle originals; and the acting is outstanding. The only negative? There are only three episodes. However, the series proved to be so popular in England that they are currently filming three more episodes – watch for them on PBS in the fall.

Whether you’re new to Sherlock Holmes, or longtime fan you’re sure to enjoy this fun new series.

Best Books, Part 4

Here’s the final installment of personal Best Books from our Blogging Librarians.

Amber loved The Agency: A Spy in the House and The Agency: The Body at the Tower by YS Lee : “This YA mystery series follows Mary Quinn on her path from the gutters and gallows to a member of the secret detective organization of Victorian ladies called the Agency. I could not pull myself away from these books full of smart, determined females, little bits of saucy romance, and lots of fascinating tidbits about the Victorians!”

Ann’s favorite for 2010 was City of Thieves by David Benioff : “In the midst of the worst possible circumstances, the true character of people is revealed, good and bad. Despite horrific images (starvation, torture, war), what I remember most about this book is the light – friendship, loyalty, laughter, finding something to celebrate even when the world seems to be ending. It’s a testament to the best of the human spirit.” Ann blogged about it here.

There you have it – an eclectic, wide-ranging variety of the Best Books of 2010. Now it’s your turn – what was your favorite book that you read this year and why?

Best Books, Part 2

More personal Best Books from our Blogging Librarians!

Lexie loved Graceling by Kristin Cashore : “This is a fantasy novel about a world where some people are gifted with a “grace”, an extreme skill. It tells the story of Katsa, a girl who has been graced with killing, and her unlikely friendship with a young prince. When the two discover a disturbing secret about a nearby ruler, they must work together to bring peace to their land. It has action, drama, romance and an interesting and well-developed new world.”

Michelle’s favorites were some of the hottest books of the year : “My favorite book(s) that I read this year are actually two books that have to be read together, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by the late Stieg Larsson. The second and final installment of the Millennium Trilogy are a tour de force that pack a powerful punch of intrigue, scandal, corruption and mystery in present day Sweden. The first tow films with English subtitle are now available at the library with the final film’s release in the United States coming in January. There is even an English version that will be released sometime near the end of the next year!”  Michelle blogged more about “Fire” here and about “Hornet’s Nest” here.