Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Chevy Stevens’ latest novel Dark Roads is a dark and unsettling novel. It tells the stories of the missing and the dead, those left behind and those struggling to prove the truth.

Women have been going missing for years in British Columbia. The Cold Creek Highway runs almost five hundred miles through the wilderness in British Columbia. Locals pass warnings to women who decide to travel along the highway. Hitchhiking is strongly discouraged, but both motorists and hitchhikers alike have been disappearing for decades. No one has been brought to justice and women continue to live in fear.

Hailey McBride and her family have lived in Cold Creek for years. Her father instilled in her many truths: how to respect the wilderness, survive the land, and to, most importantly, never travel the highway alone. After he died, Hailey spiraled out of control. Stuck living with her aunt, her young cousin, and her aunt’s police officer husband, Hailey yearns for some normalcy. Her aunt’s husband wants to control Hailey. He keeps showing up wherever she is, issues vague threats, and gives off strong menacing vibes. Hailey starts traveling the highway alone to hangout with friends. Soon she becomes overwhelmed with everything and decides to vanish into the mountains with the help of her friend. Hailey hopes that the locals will believe she left town, but rumors start spreading that she was instead taken by the highway killer.

Flash forward a year – Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek. Her sister Amber, who was friends with Hailey, was found murdered in Cold Creek and Beth needs closure. Beth starts waitressing at the local diner, just like Amber had done. Beth needs answers, but as she begins digging, the truth she seeks puts her in incredible danger. If Beth isn’t careful, she could end up a victim of the highway killer too.

This book is available  in the following formats:

Best Sellers Club January Authors: Beverly Lewis and J.A. Jance

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction? You should join the Best Sellers Club. Choose any author, celebrity pick, and/or nonfiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from the Best Sellers Club! January’s authors are Beverly Lewis for fiction and J.A. Jance for mystery.

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Our January fiction author is Beverly Lewis. Lewis was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania – the heart of Amish country. She started writing short stories and poetry when she was nine. Before she became an author, Lewis worked as a schoolteacher and a musician. Her first book was published in 1993, a children’s chapter book. Her first adult fiction was the trilogy entitled The Heritage of Lancaster County. She specializes in tales of Plain country life. She has written over 80 books, many of them award-winning. Lewis is known for writing both inspirational and historical romance.

Lewis’s newest book is The Beginning, published in September 2021.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

Susie Mast’s Old Order life in Lancaster County’s Hickory Hollow has been shaped by events beyond her control, with the tragic deaths of her Dat and close-in-age brother casting a particularly long shadow. Now twenty-two, Susie remains unmarried despite her longtime affection for friend Obie Yoder. Believing Obie might never show romantic interest in her, Susie accepts Del Petersheim’s invitations–it is only after Obie leaves to take an apprenticeship that Susie realizes her mistake.

Unfortunately, Susie’s cares are soon multiplied due to her mother’s worsening health and her younger sister’s desire for answers about her adoption. Once again, Susie faces the possibility of loss. Will family secrets and missed opportunities dim Susie’s hopes for the future? Or is what seems like the end only the beginning?

This book is also available in the following format:

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Our January mystery author is J.A. Jance, a New York Times bestselling author. Jance is well-known for writing the J.P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and five connected thrillers about the Walker family. She has also written a poetry volume, as well as other collections she co-wrote with other writers. Jance started writing in 1982. Her first book, a slightly fictionalized story of a series of murders that happened in Tuscon in 1970, was never published. Soon after her agent told her she thought tat Jance was a better fiction wrter than non-fiction, and thus the first Detective Beaumont book, Until Proven Guilty, was born. She likes to say that her everything in your life is usable as a writer. Her books and life history certainly mirror that sentiment. Jance primarily writes mysteries.

Jance’s latest book is Nothing To Lose, book 25 in the J.P. Beaumont series. This book is set to be published on February 22, 2022.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher.

The newest thrilling Beaumont suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance, in which Beaumont is approached by a visitor from the past and finds himself drawn into a missing person’s case where danger is lurking and family secrets are exposed.

Years ago, when he was a homicide detective with the Seattle PD, J. P. Beaumont’s partner, Sue Danielson, was murdered. Volatile and angry, Danielson’s ex-husband came after her in her home and, with nowhere else to turn, Jared, Sue’s teenage son, frantically called Beau for help. As Beau rushed to the scene, he urged Jared to grab his younger brother and flee the house. In the end, Beaumont’s plea and Jared’s quick action saved the two boys from their father’s murderous rage.

Now, almost twenty years later, Jared reappears in Beau’s life seeking his help once again—his younger brother Chris is missing. Still haunted by the events of that tragic night, Beau doesn’t hesitate to take on the case. Following a lead all the way to the wilds of wintertime Alaska, he encounters a tangled web of family secrets in which a killer with nothing to lose is waiting to take another life.

This book is also available in the following format:

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

‘She felt quite light-headed. Low blood sugar, maybe, or perhaps it was the dizzying effect of watching her horizons, narrowed for so long, expanding once again.’

Paula Hawkins’ latest thriller A Slow Fire Burning is a book that messes with your mind, but in a good way. Hawkins has written a book that talks about how far someone is willing to go to find peace (or revenge).

Someone has been killed. A young man was found gruesomely murdered in his London houseboat. When the authorities start investigating, questions begin to mount surrounding three women who knew him and the others living in his periphery.

Laura is a troubled young woman who was the last person seen both with the victim and in his home. Their one-night stand was fraught with violence, something that Laura admits to the police when questioned. Laura was in a devastating car accident when she was young that left her hot-tempered, rash, and dangerous. Others judge her, something that has left Laura living as a loner.

Miriam knows all too well about how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the person who lives in the houseboat next to the dead man, Miriam has a unique insight into his life, plus she’s nosy. She also knows that just because she saw Laura leaving the houseboat covered in blood, that doesn’t mean she killed him. Miriam has been taken advantage of one too many times, so she will do whatever it takes to clear Laura of any wrongdoing.

Carla’s nephew was just brutally murdered. Her sister died in an accident eight weeks earlier. So much tragedy in such a short amount of time has left her completely stricken and at a loss. Carla no longer trusts anyone and views those around her as damaged creatures. All she wants is peace. Or does she?

Others circulate behind the scenes: Carla’s husband Theo and the women who lives next door to the deceased man’s mother. Everyone in this story is filled with resentment. While their reasons may be varied, they all desire to right the wrongs perpetrated against them. Their journeys to revenge will lead them to peace or destruction, risks they are all willing to take.

This book is also available in the following formats:

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

I’m not a spooky book person: hauntings, ghosts, unexplained mysteries keep me up all night. I decided to be brave and try The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James, even though the reviews I read described mysterious happenings throughout the book. It was worth it (and the many positive reviews didn’t let me down)!

The Sun Down Motel tells the story of secrets. A rundown roadside motel in Fell, New York has been the scene of many unexplained happenings. What’s even more chilling is that the city of Fell has a high number of young girls who have mysteriously disappeared without a trace. One of these missing girls is Viv Delaney.

Viv moved to Fell in 1982. She is desperate to move to New york City, but in order to help pay for it, she finds herself working as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel. She was only supposed to be passing through Fell – not staying to work. The more she works at the motel, the more Viv realizes that something isn’t quite right there. Something haunting and scary has taken over the Sun Down Motel. What’s even scarier: they are determined to get Viv’s attention no matter what.

Flash forward to Fell in 2017. Carly Kirk has been consumed by the story of her Aunt Viv, who disappeared under mysterious circumstances while working the night shift at the Sun Down. Viv disappeared before Carly was even born, yet her disappearance has cast a shadow over her life. Determined to finally find some answers, Carly decides to move to Fell and visit the motel where her aunt spent her last known moments. Once she steps foot at the Sun Down Motel, Carly quickly realizes that nothing has changed since 1982. The more she investigates what happened to her aunt, the more Carly realizes that both the town of Fell and the Sun Down Motel are ripe with secrets. Soon Carly finds herself wrapped up in the same haunting and scary mysteries that consumed her aunt back in 1982. Carly needs answers though and will stop at nothing to find out what really happened to Viv all those years ago.

This book is also available in the following formats:

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

Paula McLain has written an intense historical thriller detailing the life of a seasoned detective haunted by cases from her past. While in the past McLain has written historical fiction that takes place further in the past, this title is still set in the past, albeit the 1970s to the 1990s. This book is also sprinkled with true events, but it is a decided shift from her other novels.

When the Stars Go Dark digs into the life of missing persons detective Anna Hart. After a tragic event rocks her life, Anna is desperate for an escape. She heads to Mendocino, California to grieve and process what has happened. Mendocino is the closest town Anna has to home. Having grown up in the foster care system, Mendocino was the place where she found two of her most supportive foster parents. When she arrives, she expects comfort, safety, and most importantly solitude, but instead Anna finds that her work has followed her. A local girl has gone missing, leaving Anna feeling like she has to help.

This new missing persons case reminds Anna of her childhood when a local girl in her community went missing and was later found murdered. That case is still unsolved and has left the community changed. Anna volunteers her services to help with the new missing girl case. The more she works, the more the past and present interfere with each other. During her career as a missing persons detective, Anna focused on how victims come into contact with violent predators. Her knowledge of that process comes in handy as she begins searching for the missing girl. Her search slowly becomes an obsession. Anna will do anything to find this girl and to not let the past repeat itself, but soon realizes that she needs the help of others if she wants to solve this case and bring the girl home.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

In November every year, I try to read as many mysteries as I can. This November, I decided to focus on cozy mysteries partly because Checked In: A Davenport Library Podcast, hosted by three DPL librarians, will be talking about cozy mysteries, amongst other things, in our November episode. (You should check it out to hear myself and two other librarians talk about all things library). Cozy mysteries are considered the gentle reads of the mystery genre. They generally avoid graphic violence, sexual content, and profanity, but feature instead unlikely detectives. Right up my alley!

On my quest to read more cozy mysteries, I discovered Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. This book is the first in a brand new series called Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery. (The second title Homicide and Halo-Halo is set to come out in February 2022.)This culturally diverse title is full of sharp humor and delicious food. The author even includes a list of recipes at the end of the novel. The end of this book clearly sets you up for a sequel. You even get to read a snippet of the next book in the series.

Lila Macapagal has moved back home. This was not what she wanted to do, but after a nasty breakup and not having completed college, Lila doesn’t really have any other options. Now living back home with her grandmother and aunt, Lila must figure out ways to help save her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant. In addition to that huge task, Lila is also dealing with her big group of matchmaking aunties/godmothers who want her to settle down and be happy. They love her, but that love is tinged with judgment.

Lil’s ex-boyfriend also keeps popping up in her life too. He is a food critic that has been targeting all the local restaurants for the last couple years and is destroying businesses through his reviews. He has become increasingly nasty and has set his sights on Tita Rosie’s restaurant. While eating one day at the restaurant, he drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila. The aftermath of that has drastic consequences for the family. The local police treat Lila like she is their only suspect, their landlord wants to use the death as an excuse to kick the family out of the restaurant, and Lila’s best friend has started acting weird. Refusing to let her family be persecuted for something that they didn’t do, Lila decides to start investigating herself with the help of her family and friends. What she discovers is more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Best Sellers Club November Authors: Catherine Coulter and Patricia Cornwell

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction? You should join the Best Sellers Club. Choose any author, celebrity pick, and/or nonfiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from the Best Sellers Club! November’s authors are Catherine Coulter for fiction and Patricia Cornwell for mystery.

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Our November fiction author is Catherine Coulter. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and two cats. She is an avid football fan and loves to travel, hike, and read. Coulter is a New York Times bestselling author of more than 86 novels. She writes both historical romance and suspense thrillers. She began her career writing historical romances. Coulter is well-known for her highly successful FBI Suspense Thriller series, which has sold over 4 million copies and has spent nine weeks on the New York Times list. Coutler is frequently known as one of the pillars of the thriller genre. She also started the Brit in the FBI series in 2013 with JT Ellison.

Coulter’s newest book is Vortex, published in August of 2021. Vortex is book 25 in her FBI Thriller series.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

In the latest installment in Catherine Coulter’s #1 New York Times bestselling FBI Thriller series, agents Sherlock and Savich find themselves dealing with powerful pieces of the past that could have dire consequences in the present.

Seven years ago, Mia Briscoe was at a frat party with her best friend Serena when a fire broke out. Everyone was accounted for except Serena. She was never heard from or seen again. Now Mia is an investigative journalist covering the political scene in New York City, but she hasn’t given up trying to find out what happened to her friend that night. When an old photo taken at the frat party gives her clues, Mia realizes she knows just where to look. She enlists FBI agent Sherlock’s help to uncover a sinister string of events going all the way back to that disastrous party. But some very powerful—and very dangerous—people will do anything to keep the past buried.

CIA Operative Olivia Hildebrandt is a team leader on a mission in Iran to exfiltrate a betrayed undercover operative. She’s nearly killed by an exploding grenade and saved by a team member. After leaving Walter Reed Hospital, not only has that team member disappeared but two men come to her house to kill her. Savich believes their attack on Olivia is a direct result of the compromised mission in Iran. What intelligence was at stake? Who betrayed them? Savich quickly finds he is now a target himself and unseen enemies will stop at nothing, including murder.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our November mystery author is Patricia Cornwell. She is a New Tork Times bestselling author who has sold over 100 million books in thirty-six languages in over 120 countries. Cornwell’s first novel was Postmortem, the first forensic thriller. Cornwell is most well known for her Kay Scarpetta series. These novels focus on medical examiner Kay Scarpetts as well as her tech-savvy niece Lucy and her fellow investigator Pete Marino. She has also begun two other series based on Win Garano, a Boston detective, and Andy Brazil, a Charlotte reporter. In addition to her adult ficiton, Cornwell has also written  multiple nonficiton titles, including one about Jack the Ripper and two cookbooks. She has also written a children’s book and a biography of Ruth Graham. Cornwell currently lives in Boston, but was born in Miami and grew up in North Carolina.

Cornwell’s latest book is Autopsy, which is to be published on November 30, 2021. Autopsy is book 25 in the Kay Scarpetta series.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher.

Scarpetta is back! In this twenty-fifth in the electrifying, landmark #1 bestselling thriller series chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta hunts an ingenious killer who has mastered cutting-edge science for the most nefarious ends.

Forensic pathologist Kay Scarpetta has returned to Virginia as the chief medical examiner. Finding herself the new girl in town once again after being away for many years, she’s inherited an overbearing secretary and a legacy of neglect and possible corruption.

She and her husband Benton Wesley, now a forensic psychologist with the U.S. Secret Service, have relocated to Old Town Alexandria where she’s headquartered five miles from the Pentagon in a post-pandemic world that’s been torn by civil and political unrest. Just weeks on the job, she’s called to a scene by railroad tracks where a woman’s body has been shockingly displayed, her throat cut down to the spine, and as Scarpetta begins to follow the trail, it leads unnervingly close to her own historic neighborhood.

At the same time, a catastrophe occurs in a top secret private laboratory in outer space, and at least two scientists aboard are found dead. Appointed to the highly classified Doomsday Commission that specializes in sensitive national security cases, Scarpetta is summoned to the White House Situation Room and tasked with finding out what happened. But even as she works the first crime scene in space remotely, an apparent serial killer strikes again. And this time, Scarpetta could be in greater danger than ever before.

In this latest novel in her groundbreaking Kay Scarpetta series, Patricia Cornwell captivates readers with the shocking twists, high-wire tension, and forensic detail that she is famous for, proving once again why she’s the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Careful What You Wish For by Hallie Ephron

Hallie Ephron is known for writing mystery and suspense novels. Her newest novel Careful What You Wish For is her latest offering.

Emily Harlow is a professional organizer. She loves to help people declutter their lives which is a bit ironic because Emily’s own life is a complete mess. Her husband is a hoarder. He has filled their basement, attic, and garage with all of the treasures that he has found at different yard and estate sales. Emily and her husband have an understanding though that she will not touch his finds. This marriage compromise is slowly making Emily’s life more stressful as his belongings spread throughout more of the house.

Desperate to get back to some sort of normalcy, Emily is relieved when she has two new clients sign up. One is an elderly widow finally ready to clear out her house of any reminder of her husband. Said husband also left behind a storage unit that the wife had no idea existed. Emily’s other new client is a young wife who wants to get rid of all of her belongings that have been sitting in the garage ever since she moved in with her husband. You see, her husband didn’t allow any of her belongings into the house. At all.

After the initial meetings, Emily discovers that both of her new clients are hiding something. The mess Emily finds herself in has the power to destroy her life. She must get creative in order to find her way out or she may lose her marriage, her job, or even her life.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Spooky Season Graphic Novels

There are so many ways to celebrate the fall season. Apple picking, hayrack rides, corn mazes, and so much more! One of my favorite past times during the fall season is to curl up and read a good horror book.  Whether it’s zombies, ghosts, monsters, or witches I want to read it all! Graphic novels are a great way to get your spooky fix this fall. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Harrow County by Cullen Bunn is full of monsters, ghosts, and drama. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Plagued by a witch of unfathomable powers, the folk of Harrow County capture and burn her, but not before she furiously screams her revenge. Eighteen years later, we find farm girl Emmy coming of age, gifted with unnatural talents. When a spirit warns her of her impending doom at the hands of the town, she hurries off into the haunted forest, running for her life while trying to uncover her own twisted history.

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Mary Shelley, Monster Hunter by Adam Glass takes everything you think you know about Frankenstein and flips it upside down. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

For nearly two centuries, scholars have wondered how on earth Mary Shelley, a nineteen-year-old girl, was able to conjure one of the most frightening and enduring horror stories of all time: Frankenstein.

But with the recent discovery of Mary Shelley’s secret memoir, the truth is finally revealed: Mary Shelley didn’t just write Frankenstein, she lived it. Traveling back to that historic Geneva winter of 1816, Mary, her fiancé Percy, sisters Claire and Fanny, and the celebrated poet Lord Byron find themselves guests of the eerie Frankenstein Estate. The macabre and frightening events that follow lead Mary to both a gruesome and shocking discovery. Their mysterious host is not at all what they expected, and their intentions will change the course of Mary’s life forever.

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Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge takes us to a sleepy New England town where supernatural forces lurk in the woods. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Following a night of sex, drugs and witchcraft in the woods, Eve Coffin wakes up naked, covered in blood and unable to remember how she got there. One friend is missing, one is in a mental ward–and one knows that Eve is responsible. Years later, Eve returns to Coffin Hill, only to discover the darkness that she unleashed ten years ago in the woods was never contained. It continues to seep through the town, cursing the soul of this sleepy Massachusetts hollow, spilling secrets and enacting its revenge. Set against the haunted backdrop of New England, Coffin Hill explores what people will do for power and retribution.

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Outcast by Robert Kirkman provides us with our paranormal fix in this coming of age horror. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

Kyle Barnes has not had an easy life. What appears as insanity in his family is something much darker and infinitely deeper. It originates in the bowels of hell and manifests as demonic possession. Unfortunately, it seems to be somewhat contagious, and Kyle, at least so far, is immune. A dedicated man of God, Reverend Anderson, who wrestles with his own black dreads and shadowy history, has recognized this uniqueness in Kyle and courageously endeavors to nurture this gift and stand by him. Is Kyle some sort of anomaly with the ability to salvage human souls, or just an orphaned and crazy outcast?

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Wytches by Scott Snyder dives into the realm of witchcraft and folklore in this anxiety ridden thrill ride. Here is the description provided by the publisher:

After witnessing a grisly supernatural murder, Sailor Rook, along with her father and mother, move to a small town, hoping for a fresh start. But the twisted horrors hidden in the woods have traveled with the family, and they must now uncover one another’s dark secrets to stay alive.

 

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q. Sutanto has written a deliciously entertaining story that covers a wide variety of topics in her latest book Dial A for Aunties. Combining comedy, drama, murder, and culture, Dial A for Aunties tells the story of a Chinese-Indonesian family stuck in a humorous, yet deadly, situation.

Meddelin Chan loves her family. They may drive her slightly crazy, but they are always there for her. Her mother and three meddling aunts never hesitate to come whenever Meddy calls, which is something that she both loves and doesn’t fully appreciate. This loyalty comes in handy when Meddy suddenly finds herself with a dead body. Her aunties and mother quickly come to her aid to help her with this disastrous situation.

This couldn’t come at a more desperate time for the family though as it is the weekend of the biggest wedding job their family has ever had. Truly a family business, one aunt handles the cake, another is the singer, another the makeup and hair, her mother the flowers, and Meddy herself as the wedding photographer. Together they are responsible for an incredibly expensive and over-the-top billionaire’s wedding that is taking place at a brand new island resort on the California coast. Just as Meddy and her family think they have found a solution, something goes awry, leaving them scrambling to divert major disaster.

To make matters worse, Meddy’s greatest love, and her biggest heartbreak, shows up in the middle of this complete disaster. Can Meddy hide the body, divert the police’s attention, pull off this career-making wedding, AND get her ex back? With the help of her aunties, Meddy may be able to get everything she ever wanted.

This book is also available in the following formats: