New Mystery at Fairmount

Looking for a new mystery title to read? This blog post is full of new mystery titles pulled right from the shelves at our Fairmount branch! If you want to read any of them, click the link or contact the library. All the descriptions are provided by the publisher.

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The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle by Timothy Miller

Sherlock Holmes has retired to the Sussex countryside . . . that is, until a most formidable puzzle is dropped upon his doorstep by a certain Colonel Pickering.

One Miss Eliza Doolittle, once nothing more than a cockney guttersnipe, has been transformed into a proper lady of London—perhaps even a duchess?—as if overnight. When Col. Pickering recovered from a bout of malaria, he was astounded at the woman before him. Is it possible this transformation is due to nothing more than elocution lessons and some splendid new hats? Or has Professor Henry Higgins surreptitiously traded one girl for another? And for God’s sake, why?

As the case unfolds, Holmes and Watson find themselves in ever stranger territory. Who are the four identical “Freddies” pursuing Miss Doolittle? What part do the respected Dr. Jekyll and his malevolent associate, Mr. Hyde, long thought dead, have to play in this caper? And who the devil is the devilish Baron von Stettin?

The Strange Case of Eliza Doolittle is an enthralling escapade starring some of Victorian literature’s most beloved characters—a historical mystery that will leave you delighted, perplexed, and positively bewildered.

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The Ruthless by David Putnam

Bruno Johnson, shaken to his core, but still a formidable force—an unrelenting focus on doing the right thing—unwilling to let anyone or anything stand in his way

Pushed to his emotional limit, Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Bruno Johnson struggles to hold his family together while immersed in his unrelenting career. His daughter, Olivia, is a teen mom to twin toddlers; her common-law husband, Derek Sams, is a thug; and one of their little boys has disappeared under his care.

The overwhelming intensity demanded of Bruno on this personal level is compounded by the brutal shotgun murder of a superior court judge and his wife, both friends of his. Bruno cannot ignore these violent crimes even though he’s supposedly off the law enforcement grid—undercover—working an illegal gun sting.

Tragedy strikes Bruno’s life on all fronts: family, friends, and professional—however, none of these colossal forces can match the unthinkable catastrophe that will forever dominate Bruno’s life.

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The Big Book of Espionage edited by Otto Penzler

Edgar Award-winning editor Otto Penzler is back with a new anthology that has gathered the intel on the world’s greatest secret agents, declassified in these pages for the first time.

State secrets. Double agents. Leaks. Otto Penzler brings you all this and more with his latest title in the Big Book series. No need to wait for the government to release redacted information, Otto is ready to declassify confidential matters.

Great stories from Lee Child and Charles McCarry are pulled from the shadows and into the light. So pull your fedora down, adjust your fake moustache, and get ready to settle in with some of the greats.

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Premeditated Mortar by Kate Carlisle

Contractor Shannon Hammer gets tangled up in murder at a spooky old asylum in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Kate Carlisle. . . .

Shannon Hammer is about to embark on one of the biggest projects of her career. Her best friend Jane Hennessey has purchased one wing of the Gables, formerly the old state insane asylum, located on a bucolic hillside two miles northeast of Lighthouse Cove. Jane plans to turn her section into a small luxury hotel complete with twenty ocean-view rooms, a spa, and a restaurant.

Shannon is raring to get started on the enormous project and is shocked when a group of unruly protesters shows up at the groundbreaking ceremony and wreaks havoc. She’s even more freaked-out when someone pushes her into a pit of bricks in a closed-off room of the asylum. Despite her close call, Shannon wants nothing more than to get back to work . . . until she finds a body not far from where she was pushed. Now Shannon is determined to get to the bottom of the goings-on at the Gables even if it kills her.

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To Fetch a Felon by Jennifer Hawkins

A tea shop owner and her beloved corgi attempt to collar a criminal in the first entry of a charming new cozy mystery series set in a quaint British village.

Emma Reed left London because she wanted to put her life in high finance behind her. Her dream is to open a small tea shop in an idyllic village in Cornwall, with its cobblestone streets and twisting byways. Emma plans to bake the recipes handed down to her from her beloved grandmother, and there’ll be plenty of space for her talking corgi, Oliver, to explore. Yes…talking. Emma has always been able to understand Oliver, even though no one else can, and she’s looking forward to plenty of quality time with her best canine buddy in the countryside.

But when Emma arrives in the village she discovers that the curmudgeonly owner of her new building, Victoria, hates dogs and refuses to sell the building because of Oliver. Although some might turn tail and run, Emma is determined to win Victoria over. Unfortunately, she never gets the chance. When Emma delivers some of her homemade scones as a peace offering, she finds Victoria dead from a cup of poisoned tea. Together, Emma and Oliver will need to unleash their detective skills to catch a killer.

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Seven Years of Darkness by You-Jeong Jeong

A chilling psychological thriller about how far some will go to maintain control–and exact revenge

When a young girl is found dead in Seryong Lake, a reservoir in a remote South Korean village, the police immediately begin their investigation. At the same time, three men–Yongje, the girl’s father, and two security guards at the nearby dam, each of whom has something to hide about the night of her death–find themselves in an elaborate game of cat and mouse as they race to uncover what happened to her, without revealing their own closely guarded secrets.

After a final showdown at the dam results in a mass tragedy, one of the guards is convicted of murder and sent to prison. For seven years, his son, Sowon, lives in the shadow of his father’s shocking and inexplicable crime; everywhere he goes, a seemingly concerted effort to reveal his identity as the reviled mass murderer’s son follows him. When he receives a package that promises to reveal at last what really happened at Seryong Lake, Sowon must confront a present danger he never knew existed.

Dark, disturbing, and full of twists and turns, Seven Years of Darkness is the riveting new novel from the internationally celebrated author of The Good Son.

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Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers by Tessa Arlen

Poppy Redfern is back on the case when two female fighter pilots take a fatal dive in an all-new Woman of World War II Mystery by Tessa Arlen.

It is the late autumn of 1942. Our indomitable heroine Poppy Redfern is thoroughly immersed in her new job as a scriptwriter at the London Crown Film Unit, which produces short films featuring British civilians who perform acts of valor and heroism in wartime. After weeks of typing copy and sharpening pencils, Poppy is thrilled to receive her first solo script project: a fifteen-minute film about the Air Transport Auxiliary, known as Attagirls, a group of female civilians who have been trained to pilot planes from factories to military airfields all over Britain.

Poppy could not be more excited to spend time with these amazing ladies, but she never expects to see one of the best pilots die in what is being labeled an accident. When another Attagirl meets a similar fate, Poppy and her American fighter-pilot boyfriend, Griff, believe foul play may be at work. They soon realize that a murderer with a desire for revenge is dead set on grounding the Attagirls for good.

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Meet Isabel Puddles by M.V. Byrne

Veteran television writer M.V. Byrne debuts with the first Mitten State Mystery featuring Jill-of-all-trades Isabel Puddles, a widowed mother of two grown children who lives in the tiny hamlet along Lake Michigan where she grew up. The only thing she loves as much as her quirky hometown is reading a good murder mystery, but until she takes a side job styling hair at the local funeral home, she never thought she’d be living in one!

To the tourists and summer residents, Kentwater County is a picturesque community of small-town charm, fruitful farmland, and gorgeous freshwater beaches. To middle-aged widow Isabel Puddles, it’s where she enjoys breakfast every morning at a local cafe with her childhood best friend and spends her evenings cozying up with a good book and her devoted Jack Terrier, Jackpot. In between, Isabel makes ends meet through a variety of trades–preserving pickles, baking pies, working the counter at her cousin’s hardware shop, and occasionally helping “fix-up” the hair of corpses at the local funeral parlor.

When Isabel discovers a two-inch nail embedded in the skull of Earl Jonasson, it seems the octogenarian may not have died of a stroke. His son is quickly arrested when his alibi doesn’t check out. But Isabel has known Earl Jr. since they were kids and can’t believe he’d murder his own father, regardless of his financial difficulties. As gossip about Earl Sr.’s land and insurance policy money starts to spread around the county, Isabel finds herself conducting her own investigation to clear her friend’s name. But real detective work isn’t like Jessica Fletcher’s Murder She Wrote mysteries, and she’s meeting dangerous suspects who don’t like Isabel poking around in their business.

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The Opium Prince by Jasmine Aimaq

Jasmine Aimaq’s stunning debut explores Afghanistan on the eve of a violent revolution and the far-reaching consequences of a young Kochi girl’s tragic death.

Afghanistan, 1970s. Born to an American mother and a late Afghan war hero, Daniel Sajadi has spent his life navigating a complex identity. After years in Los Angeles, he is returning home to Kabul at the helm of a US foreign aid agency dedicated to eradicating the poppy fields that feed the world’s opiate addiction.

But on the drive out of Kabul for an anniversary trip with his wife, Daniel hits and kills a young Kochi girl named Telaya. He is let off with a small fine, not only because nomad tribes are all but ignored by the law, but because a stranger named Taj Maleki intercedes on his behalf. Wracked with guilt and visions of Telaya, Daniel quickly unravels, running from his crumbling marriage and escalating threats from Taj, who turns out to be a powerful opium khan.

This groundbreaking literary thriller reveals the invisible lines between criminal enterprises and fragile political regimes—and one man’s search for meaning as his country is pulled into chaos.

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Hot to Trot by M.C. Beaton

When Private Investigator Agatha Raisin learns that her friend and one-time lover Charles Fraith is to be married to a mysterious socialite, Miss Mary Brown-Field, she sees it as her duty to find out what she can about the woman. Coming up empty, Agatha—out of selfless concern for Charles, of course—does the only sensible thing she can think of: she crashes their wedding, which ends in a public altercation. Nursing a hangover the next morning, she gets a phone call from Charles, with even more disturbing news: Mary has been murdered.

Agatha takes on the case, and quickly becomes entrenched in the competitive equestrian world, in which Mary had been enmeshed—as well as the victim’s surprisingly violent past. Agatha finds no shortage of motives among a wide range of characters, from Mary’s old riding competitors, to enemies from her schoolgirl days, to her surly father, who threatens Agatha to mind her own business. Meanwhile, the police department has its money on another suspect: Agatha. Will she track down the criminal in time, or end up behind bars herself?

This book is also available in the following format:

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The Night of the Fire by Kjell Eriksson

Swedish police inspector Ann Lindell finally returns in internationally bestselling and award-winning Kjell Eriksson’s newest novel.

Police inspector Ann Lindell has left the Uppsala police and is living a quiet life, producing local cheese in a small town in Uppland. But life in the country is not as idyllic as it seems. On New Year’s Eve someone sets fire to the former village school which is now a home for asylum seekers, and three people are killed. Ann Lindell’s investigative instincts come back to life and soon she takes on the case. She is contacted by a person who has been involved in a previous investigation and who wants to warn her. His message is short and clear: Many will die. A few weeks later a bomb explodes in a suburb of Stockholm.

Kjell Eriksson wrote seven highly acclaimed novels about Ann Lindell, beginning with award-winner The Princess of Burundi, and now, after ten years, he returns to the Uppsala region and his sympathetic police inspector. The Night of the Fire is the first of two new volumes featuring Ann Lindell.

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Blind Vigil by Matt Coyle

A friend arrested for murder. A vicious killer lurking in the shadows. A world of darkness.

Blinded by a gunshot wound to the face while working as a private investigator nine months ago, Rick Cahill is now sure of only one thing: he has to start a new life and leave his old one behind.

He’s still trying to figure out what that life is when his onetime partner, Moira MacFarlane, asks for his help on a case she’s taken for Rick’s former best friend. The case is simple and Moira only needs Rick for one interview, but Rick is wary of waking sleeping demons.

Ultimately, he goes against his gut and takes the case which quickly turns deadly. Rick’s old compulsion of finding the truth no matter the cost—the same compulsion that cost him his eyesight and almost his life—battles against his desire to escape his past.

The stakes are raised when Rick’s friend is implicated in murder and needs his help. Can he help the friend he no longer trusts while questioning his own lessened capabilities? His life depends on the answer as a shadowy killer lurks in the darkness.

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Her Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan

When two young boys discover human bones buried beneath a tree in a trailer park, Detective Josie Quinn races to join her team at the scene. She used to play in those woods as a child, happier outside and away from her abusive mother, Belinda Rose.

Josie’s past crashes into her present when a rare dental condition confirms the bones belong to a teenage foster-child who was murdered thirty years ago. A girl named Belinda Rose…

Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but, with an undeniable connection between her mother and the dead girl, does she dare try to track her down?

Just as Josie gets closer to uncovering a secret that will shatter her world forever, another body is uncovered. It’s suddenly clear that someone very close to Josie will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried forever.

As she battles the demons from her past, can Josie stop this killer before another precious life is taken?

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Deception by Gaslight by Kate Belli

Glittering Gilded-Age New York holds its lavish charms–and a litany of deadly sins–as intrepid reporter Genevieve Stewart uncovers a trail of corruption and murder.

As a chill sets in on New York City in the winter of 1888, a jewel thief dubbed the “Robin Hood of the Lower East Side” has been stealing from the city’s wealthiest and giving to the poor. Genevieve Stewart–a young woman whose family is part of Mrs. Astor’s famed 400 but who has forged a life of her own as a reporter–decides to chase the story, but gets more than she bargained for: a murder victim sprawled in a dark alley in the dangerous Five Points neighborhood.

A handsome neighborhood tough comes to her rescue–but when she encounters the same man at a glamorous ball a few nights later, she realizes he’s society scion Daniel McCaffrey. Could this be her Robin Hood? When two more murders rock the Knickerbocker world, it becomes apparent that something much more sinister is afoot than a few stolen diamond necklaces. Genevieve is determined to prove that Daniel is Robin Hood–but she’s loath to believe he is a killer as well. From the glittering lights of Fifth Avenue to the sordid back alleys of Five Points, the truth is just one murder away.

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The Well of Ice by Andrea Carter

December in Glendara, Inishowen, and solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe is working flat out before the holidays. But on a trip to Dublin to visit her parents, she runs into Luke Kirby – the man who killed her sister – freshly released from jail. On the surface he appears remorseful, conciliatory even, but his comment as she walks away makes her realise he is as foul as ever.

Back in Glendara, there is chaos. The Oak pub has burned down and Carole Kearney, the Oak’s barmaid, has gone missing. And then, while walking the dog up Sliabh Sneacht, Ben and her partner, Sergeant Tom Molloy, make a gruesome discovery: a body lying face down in the snow.

Who is behind this vicious attack on Glendara and its residents? Ben tries to find answers, but is she the one in danger?

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15 Minutes of Flame by Christin Brecher

As Stella Wright’s Nantucket candle store thrives, her knack for solving mysteries burns equally bright–especially when a Halloween haunted house uncovers evidence of a centuries-old murder…

When Stella’s friend inherits a creaky, abandoned home in Nantucket, she knows it’s the perfect setting for the town’s annual Halloween fundraiser. A deserted, boarded-up building on the property–once used as a candle-making shop–adds to the creepy ambiance. But as Stella explores the shack’s dilapidated walls, she discovers a terrible secret: the skeleton of a Quaker woman, wrapped in blood-soaked clothing and hidden deep within a stone hearth…

While police investigate, Stella wastes no time asking for help from friends with long ties to Nantucket’s intricate history. The key to the murder may lie within a scorching 18th century love triangle that pit two best friends against one another over a dubious man. But before the case is solved, another life will be claimed–leaving Stella to wonder who in Nantucket is friend, and who is foe.

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Eddie’s Boy by Thomas Perry

Michael Shaeffer is a retired American businessman, living peacefully in England with his aristocratic wife. But her annual summer party brings strangers to their house, and with them, an attempt on Michael’s life. He is immediately thrust into action, luring his lethal pursuers to Australia before venturing into the lion’s den–the States–to figure out why the mafia is after him again, and how to stop them. Eddie’s Boy jumps between Michael’s current predicament and the past, between the skillset he now ruthlessly and successfully employs and the training that made him what he is. We glimpse the days before he became the Butcher’s Boy, the highly skilled hit man who pulled a slaughter job on some double-crossing clients and started a mob war, to his childhood spent apprenticed to Eddie, a seasoned hired assassin. And we watch him pit two prominent mafia families against each other to eliminate his enemies one by one.

He’s meticulous in his approach, using an old contact turned adversary in the Organized Crime Division of the Justice Department for information, without ever allowing her to get too close to his trail. But will he be able to escape this new wave of young contract killers, or will the years finally catch up to him?

Perry’s Edgar Award-winning Butcher’s Boy returns in full force in this exhilarating new installment to the beloved series.

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Online Reading Challenge – March Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Challenge Readers!

How did your reading go this month? I hope you found something that grabbed your interest!

I read Dana Stabenow’s The Singing of the Dead, one of the Kate Shugak mysteries set in Alaska. It took me a bit to get into the book and in fact, I thought I might not be able to finish it. I was confused by the large cast of characters (it probably didn’t help that I didn’t start with the first book in the series!) and at first I wasn’t sure about Kate herself. But I stuck with it and pretty soon I got caught up in the story and came to really like Kate (and Mutt).

Kate Shugak, a private investigator in Alaska, is hired to act as security for one of the candidates running for state senate who has received threatening notes. Kate is a Native and knows and understands the people, their concerns and how they live in such a unique and isolated part of the world. As she tags along with the candidate on the political trail, she sees little evidence of any threats, but she does discover a lot of corruption and betrayal within the campaign itself. When first one and then another person connected to the candidate is shot and killed, Kate joins forces with police detective Jim Chopin to find the killer.

Parts of the novel are set in the earliest days of the state, when the gold rush brought people of all kinds to the territory including “ladies of the evening”. I enjoyed this look at  the rough-and-tumble history and the guts and determination required to survive. I thought the ties between the sins of the past and the present-day murders were a little shaky, but I tend to read mysteries for the characters and the setting which, in this case, did not disappoint!

Now it’s your turn – what did you read this month?

Best Sellers Club March Authors

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! March’s authors are. Have you read either of these authors?

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Our March fiction pick is Lee Child. Lee Child is the pen name for James Dover Grant. Lee Child is best known for his Jack Reacher novel series and also writes thriller novels.

His latest book is The Sentinelpublished in October 2020. This title is book 25 in the Jack Reacher series. Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

As always, Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there. One morning he ends up in a town near Pleasantville, Tennessee.

But there’s nothing pleasant about the place.

In broad daylight Reacher spots a hapless soul walking into an ambush. “It was four against one” . . . so Reacher intervenes, with his own trademark brand of conflict resolution.

The man he saves is Rusty Rutherford, an unassuming IT manager, recently fired after a cyberattack locked up the town’s data, records, information . . . and secrets. Rutherford wants to stay put, look innocent, and clear his name.

Reacher is intrigued. There’s more to the story. The bad guys who jumped Rutherford are part of something serious and deadly, involving a conspiracy, a cover-up, and murder—all centered on a mousy little guy in a coffee-stained shirt who has no idea what he’s up against.

Rule one: if you don’t know the trouble you’re in, keep Reacher by your side.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our March mystery pick is Jonathan Kellerman. Kellerman is a New York Times bestselling author of more than forty crime novels. He is best known for his Alex Delaware series. Kellerman has also co-authored book with his wife, Faye Kellerman, who is also an author. In addition to writing with his wife, he has also co-authored books with his son, Jesse Kellerman. In addition to his adult crime novels, Kellerman has written two children’s books and nonfiction titles as well.

Kellerman’s latest book is Serpentine , published in February 2021. This is Book 36 in the Alex Delaware series. The following description is provided by the publisher:

LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a master detective. He has a near-perfect solve rate and he’s written his own rule book. Some of those successes–the toughest ones–have involved his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But Milo doesn’t call Alex in unless cases are “different.”

This murder warrants an immediate call. Milo’s independence has been compromised as never before, as the department pressures him to cater to the demands of a mogul: a hard-to-fathom, megarich young woman who is obsessed with reopening the coldest of cases–the decades-old death of the mother she never knew.

The facts describe a likely loser: a mysterious woman found with a bullet in her head in a torched Cadillac that has overturned on infamously treacherous Mulholland Drive. No physical evidence, no witnesses, no apparent motive. And a slew of detectives have already worked the case and failed. But as Delaware and Sturgis begin digging, the mist begins to lift. Too many coincidences. Facts turn out to be anything but. And as they soon discover, very real threats lurking in the present.

This book is also available in the following formats:

New Mystery Titles at Eastern

Let’s talk about new mystery titles! Below you will find a list of new mystery titles available at our Eastern Avenue Branch.  All descriptions have been provided by the publishers.

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A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison

Alexandra Daniels hasn’t set foot in the quiet seaside town of Bellamy Bay, North Carolina in over twenty years. Ever since her mother’s tragic death, her father has mysteriously forbidden her from visiting her aunt and cousins. But on a whim, Alex accepts an invitation to visit her estranged relatives and to help them in their family business: an herbal apothecary known for its remarkably potent teas, salves, and folk remedies.

Bellamy Bay doesn’t look like trouble, but this is a town that harbors dark secrets. Alex discovers that her own family is at the center of salacious town gossip, and that they are rumored to be magical healers descended from mermaids. She brushes this off as nonsense until a local is poisoned and her aunt Lidia is arrested for the crime. Alex is certain Lidia is being framed, and she resolves to find out why.

Alex’s investigation unearths stories that some have gone to desperate lengths to conceal: forbidden affairs, family rivalries, and the truth about Alex’s own ancestry. And when the case turns deadly, Alex learns that not only are these secrets worth hiding, but they may even be worth killing for.

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Murder in the East End by Jennifer Ashley

A new upstairs, downstairs Victorian murder mystery in the Kat Holloway series from the New York Times bestselling author of Death in Kew Gardens.

When young cook Kat Holloway learns that the children of London’s Foundling Hospital are mysteriously disappearing and one of their nurses has been murdered, she can’t turn away. She enlists the help of her charming and enigmatic confidant Daniel McAdam, who has ties to Scotland Yard, and Errol Fielding, a disreputable man from Daniel’s troubled past, to bring the killer to justice. Their investigation takes them from the grandeur of Mayfair to the slums of the East End, during which Kat learns more about Daniel and his circumstances than she ever could have imagined.

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Howloween Murder by Laurien Berenson

As the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, counts down to a spooky celebration on October 31st, a horrifying murder leaves Melanie Travis pawing for clues in a hair-raising game of trick-or-treat . . .

With just a few days left before Halloween, everyone at Howard Academy is anticipating the guaranteed sugar high they’ll experience from gorging on Harriet Bloom’s famous marshmallow puffs. The private school’s annual costume party revolves around the headmaster’s assistant and her seemingly supernatural batches of gooey goodies. So, it’s a shock when Harriet’s elderly neighbor is suddenly found dead with the beloved dessert in his hand. In a snap, police start questioning whether Harriet modified her top-secret recipe to include a hefty dose of lethal poison . . .

Melanie knows her tenured colleague would never intentionally serve cyanide-laced puffs to a defenseless old man. But as explosive neighborhood gossip reveals a potential culprit, it also brings her closer to sealing her own doom. Because on an evening ruled by masked revelers, bizarre getups, and hidden identities, Halloween might just be the perfect opportunity for a cold-hearted killer to get away with murder once again—this time sending a nosy, unsuspecting sleuth to an early grave!

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Guilt at the Garage by Simon Brett

Carole Seddon’s trusty Renault is one of her most treasured possessions. So when it is vandalised, there’s only one person she will entrust with its repair: Bill Shefford has been servicing the vehicles of the good citizens of Fethering for many years. But how could something like this happen in Fethering of all places? Then the note is shoved under Carole’s kitchen door: Watch out. The car window was just the start. It would appear that she has been deliberately targeted. But by whom . and why? Matters take an even more disturbing turn when a body is discovered at Shefford’s Garage, crushed to death by a falling gearbox. It would appear to be a tragic accident. Carole and her neighbour Jude are not so sure. And the more they start to ask questions, the more evidence they uncover of decidedly foul play.

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The Outcast Girls by Alys Clare

Private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham get more than they bargain for when they take on a case in a girls’ boarding school, in the latest World’s End Bureau Victorian mystery.

London, 1881. Lily Raynor, owner of the World’s End Investigation Bureau, is growing increasingly worried. Work is drying up, finances are tight and she cannot find enough for her sole employee, Felix Wilbraham, to do. So when schoolteacher Georgiana Long arrives, with a worrying tale of runaway pupils, it seems like the answer to her prayers. The case is an interesting one, and what could be less perilous than a trip to a girls’ boarding school, out in the Fens?

Disguised as the new Assistant Matron, Lily joins the Shardlowes School staff, while Felix – suppressing his worries about his cool, calm employer – remains behind. But there are undercurrents at Shardlowes, and the shadowy, powerful men who fund the school’s less fortunate pupils loom larger as Felix’s own investigations unfold. Felix can’t shake off his fear that Lily is in danger – and soon, his premonitions come frighteningly true . . .

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One Last Lie by Paul Doiron

A sudden disappearance reveals a startling connection to a 15-year-old cold case in the new thriller from bestselling Edgar Award finalist Paul Doiron.

“Never trust a man without secrets.” These are the last words retired game warden Charley Stevens speaks to his surrogate son, Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch, before the old man vanishes without explanation into a thousand miles of forest along the Canadian border. Mike suspects his friend’s sudden disappearance has to do with an antique badge found at a flea market — a badge that belonged to a warden who was presumed dead fifteen years ago but whose body was never recovered. On a mission to find Charley before he meets a similarly dark fate, Mike must reopen a cold case that powerful people, including his fellow wardens — one of whom might be a killer — will do anything to keep closed.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Young Blood by Tricia Fields

Dr Oscar LeBlanc is close to a medical breakthrough to cure dementia and other degenerative diseases . . . but in order to succeed he needs to illegally obtain plasma from prepubescent children. He believes the ends justify the means and two young girls are abducted. The disappearance of the girls causes a lockdown of the area and, when one of the girl’s parents prove uncooperative with the police, former homicide cop turned radio presenter Maggie Wise offers to help. Maggie quickly forms a connection with the family just as the girls are recovered. LeBlanc is quickly suspected, but after he is questioned he’s found dead from an apparent suicide. However, the circumstances are suspicious and Maggie finds herself conflicted when the family become the prime suspects.

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Bryant & May: Oranges and Lemons by Christopher Fowler

When a prominent politician is crushed by a fruit van making a delivery, the singular team of Arthur Bryant and John May overcome insurmountable odds to reunite the PCU and solve the case in the brainy new mystery from acclaimed author Christopher Fowler.

On a spring morning in London’s Strand, the Speaker of the House of Commons is accidentally killed by a van unloading oranges and lemons for the annual St. Clement Danes festival. It’s an absurd way to die, but the government is more interested in investigating the Speaker’s state of mind just prior to his accident.

The task is given to the Peculiar Crimes Unit–the only problem being that the unit no longer exists. Its Chief, Raymond Land, is tending his daffodils on the Isle of Wight and senior detectives Arthur Bryant and John May are out of commission; May is undergoing surgery for a bullet wound and Bryant has been missing for a month. What’s more, the old unit in King’s Cross is being turned into a vegetarian tapas bar.

Against impossible odds, the team is reassembled and once again what should have been a simple case becomes a lunatic farrago involving arson, suicide, magicians, academics and a race to catch a killer with a master plan involving London churches. Joining their team this time is Sidney, a young woman with no previous experience, plenty of attitude–and a surprising secret.

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Funeral for a Friend by Brian Freeman

You’re safe, Stride. I found the body at the Deeps. I buried him.

Jonathan Stride’s best friend, Steve Garske, makes a shocking deathbed confession: he protected Stride by covering up a murder. Hours later, the police dig up Steve’s yard and find a body with a bullet hole in its skull.

Stride is pretty sure he knows who it is. Seven years ago, an out-of-town reporter disappeared while investigating anonymous allegations of rape against a prominent politician. Back then, the police believed that the reporter drowned at a dangerous swimming hole called the Deeps but the discovery of the body changes everything. Now Stride’s partner, Maggie Bei, is forced to ask Stride an uncomfortable question: Did you kill him?

Stride is obviously hiding things. He was the last person to see the reporter alive. And he admits lying to Maggie about that meeting, but won’t tell her why. With suspicion in the murder pointing at him, Stride finds himself off the case and on leave from the Duluth Police.

His only ally in clearing his name is his wife, Serena, who retraces the reporter’s investigation into the explosive allegations. The clues all point to a hot Duluth summer years earlier that everyone in town would prefer to forget.

Someone was willing to kill rather than let those long-ago secrets come out, and the suspect with the strongest motive is Stride.

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Auntie Poldi and the Handsome Antonio by Mario Giordano

All the beloved, irascible Auntie Poldi wanted from her Sicilian retirement was time to enjoy the sunshine, a free-flowing supply of wine, and a sultry romance with Chief Inspector Vito Montana. But then her idyll is rudely disrupted by the last person she wants to see on her doorstep: John Owenya, detective inspector with the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs, who is also her estranged lying cheat of a husband.

Not only is John’s sudden reappearance putting a kink in Poldi’s dreamy love affair with Montana, but his presence also comes with a plea for help—and unwanted clashes with the Mafia.

Where is John’s half-brother? What is the ten-million-dollar “it” that John’s brother was last seen with, which has both the Sicilian and theTanzanian mobs in a frenzy? With only a postcard that has a phone number and a name, “Handsome Antonio,” on the back, Auntie Poldi hops begrudgingly (albeit with a great deal of gumption and panache) back into the saddle (in this case, an immaculate red Maserati Cabrio from the eighties with cream leather upholstery). The faster she finds Handsome Antonio, the sooner she can get John Owenya out of her hair and her love life. But the people Poldi discovers along the way may very well knock her immaculate wig askew.

This book is also available in the following format:

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Ghost Ups Her Game by Carolyn Hart 

After a busy morning dispatching emissaries from Heaven’s Department of Good Intentions to those in need, Bailey Ruth Raeburn is feeling flush with success. So when an urgent call for help comes through from her old hometown, she can’t resist taking on the mission herself. After all, what could go wrong? With the shouted warning of her boss, Wiggins – “Irregular! Problematic!” – ringing in her ears, she arrives to face a shocking scene: Professor Iris Gallagher leaning over the corpse of her colleague Matt Lambert, the murder weapon clutched in her hand. Bailey Ruth is only sent to help the innocent, but things are looking very black for Iris. With Wiggins breathing down her neck, and her old friend Police Chief Sam Cobb casting doubt on her every theory, Bailey Ruth must uncover the truth – or this could be the last trip to earth she’s ever allowed to make.

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The Orphan’s Guilt by Archer Mayor

In Archer Mayor’s intriguing new Vermont-based mystery, The Orphan’s Guilt, a straightforward traffic stop snowballs into a homicide investigation after Joe Gunther and his fellow investigators peel back layer upon layer of history and personal heartbreak to learn a decades-old hidden truth.

John Rust is arrested for drunk driving by a Vermont state trooper. Looking to find mitigating circumstances, John’s lawyer hires private eye Sally Kravitz to look into the recent death of John’s younger brother, purportedly from a childhood brain injury years earlier. But what was the nature of that injury, and might its mechanism point more to murder than to natural causes? That debate brings in Joe Gunther and his team.

Gunther’s efforts quickly uncover an ancient tale of avarice, betrayal, and vengeance that swirled around the Rust boys growing up. Their parents and the people they consorted with–forgotten, relentless, but now jolted to action by this simple set of circumstances–emerge with a destructive passion. All while the presumably innocent John Rust mysteriously vanishes with no explanation.

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Still Life  by Val McDermid

From internationally bestselling author Val McDermid comes a propulsive new Karen Pirie thriller that delves into a historic missing persons case, fake identities, and art forgery.

When a lobster fisherman discovers a dead body in Scotland’s Firth of Forth, Karen is called into investigate. She quickly discovers that the case will require untangling a complicated web—including a historic disappearance, art forgery, and secret identities—that seems to orbit around a painting copyist who can mimic anyone from Holbein to Hockney. Meanwhile, a traffic crash leads to the discovery of a skeleton in a suburban garage. Needless to say, Karen has her plate full. Meanwhile, the man responsible for the death of the love of her life is being released from prison, reopening old wounds just as she was getting back on her feet.

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Death on the Green  by Catie Murphy

As an American in Dublin, limo driver Megan Malone will need the luck of the Irish to avoid a head-on collision–with a killer . . .

Life has been non-stop excitement for American Army veteran Megan Malone ever since she moved to Ireland and became a driver for Dublin’s Leprechaun Limousine Service. She’s solved a murder and adopted two lovable Jack Russell puppies. Currently, she’s driving world-class champion golfer Martin Walsh, and he’s invited her to join him while he plays in a tournament at a prestigious Irish locale. Unfortunately, there’s a surprise waiting for her on the course–a body floating in a water hazard.

Everyone loved golfer Lou MacDonald, yet he clearly teed off someone enough to be murdered. Martin seems to be the only one with a motive. However, he also has an alibi: Megan and hundreds of his fans were watching him play. Now, with a clubhouse at an ancient castle full of secrets and a dashing Irish detective by her side, Megan must hurry to uncover the links to the truth before the real killer takes a swing at someone else . .

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Thicker Than Blood by Mike Omer

From Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author Mike Omer comes the chilling conclusion to Zoe Bentley’s decades-long nightmare.

A murderer who drinks his victim’s blood? FBI profiler Zoe Bentley and Agent Tatum Gray thought they’d seen it all, but this young woman’s barbaric murder is especially hard to stomach.

They didn’t expect to work this case. But vampirism aside, the murderer’s MO is identical to that of Rod Glover—the serial killer who’s been pursuing Zoe since childhood. Forensics reveals the murder to be his work, but not his alone; desperate to fulfill his sick purpose, he has taken on an equally depraved partner.

Zoe’s own frustration grows after another woman turns up dead and drained—and another goes missing. Time is running out: Zoe knows her own death will be the climax of Glover’s sinister play, which has been unfolding for twenty years. To stop Glover and his vile partner, she’ll need to plunge deep into their motives; but this means drawing ever closer to becoming another casualty of a dark, dark thirst.

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Read or Alive by Nora Page

Two wrongful accusations has librarian Cleo Watkins and her loved ones booked for trouble.

It’s springtime and septuagenarian librarian Cleo Watkins is celebrating new blooms and old books. To her delight, the Georgia Antiquarian Book Society has brought its annual fair to Catalpa Springs in honor of Cleo’s gentleman friend, respected antiquarian bookseller and restorer, Henry Lafayette. But trouble rolls in with the fair when a flirtatious book scout makes the rounds, charming ladies of a certain age out of prized books.

Among the conned is Cleo’s cousin, Dot, who relinquished a signed first edition of Gone With the Wind. With no proof the scout took it, Dot is at a loss. And when he’s found dead the very next morning, without Dot’s first edition or other valuable books reported missing in his belongings, Dot’s freedom is on the line. Cleo is flummoxed in discovering too that the scout’s body is found behind Henry’s shop, and the murder weapon identified to be Henry’s bookbinding hammer.

Although books are at the heart of the crimes, Cleo feels dizzyingly out of her depths. Someone is setting up the people she holds dearest and with the authorities on the wrong trail, Cleo has no choice but to catalog the evidence herself. Along with the help of her trusty bookmobile cat Rhett Butler, it will be up to Cleo to book the real killer for good.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Karen McManus has done it again; the author of best-selling One of Us is Lying has another addictive showstopper with The Cousins, released in 2020. This standalone book tells the saga of an estranged wealthy family and their dark secrets, through the eyes of the youngest generation. Cousins Jonah, Aubrey, and Milly don’t really know each other, and they’ve never met their wealthy and mysterious grandmother Mildred, because she disowned their parents long before they were born, for reasons unknown. Now, she’s invited the three teens to spend the summer living and working at her resort as a chance to get to know them better – or so she says. Their parents insist they go, eager for a chance to get back in their mother’s good graces. However, once they arrive, the cousins quickly discover nothing is as it seems, as their family’s many secrets start to come to light.

As before, McManus’ characters sparkle as realistic, well-rounded individuals, and the plot is mostly relatable, though shot through with drama and glamour. Aubrey is an athlete reeling from a family betrayal, Milly is chasing a glamorous life but struggling for her mother’s approval, and Jonah is angry about his plans for summer science camp being derailed…among other things. Despite their vastly different personalities, they forge a strong bond as they team up against the summer’s mysteries and dangers. What I really liked was the interspersed chapters set in 1996 and told from Milly’s mother Allison’s perspective; these chapters tell of the events leading up to the disowning of Mildred’s children, make Allison and her brothers real and relatable, and help the main plot build to its climax in an unexpected way. It’s unclear from the ending if a sequel will be forthcoming, but personally, I wouldn’t be opposed.

If you’re looking for a thoroughly modern YA mystery with an Agatha Christie vibe, or if you’ve loved McManus’ other mysteries, or both, I definitely recommend you try reading The Cousins.

Best Seller Club January Authors – Nicholas Sparks and John Sandford

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 Nicholas Sparks for fiction and John Sandford for mystery. Have you read either of these authors?

Our fiction pick for January is Nicholas Sparks. So far, Sparks has published 21 novels and one non-fiction memoir that he co-wrote with his brother. His books have been published in more than 50 languages and have sold more than 105 million copies worldwide. His first novel, The Notebook, was written in six months when Sparks was 28 and he followed that up with more. You may already be familiar with the film adaptations of many of Nicholas Sparks novels, all of which he has served as a producer on.

Nicholas Sparks’ newest book is The ReturnThis title was released on September 29, 2020. Curious what The Return is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, NC. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while gearing up for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . and yet, from their very first encounter, his connection with Natalie Masterson can’t be ignored. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road from his grandfather’s cabin. Claiming to be 19, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. When he discovers she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues — until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our mystery author for January is John Sandford, the pseudonym for John Roswell Camp. He has written over 40 novels and has also published two non-fiction books as well. In addition to those novels, Camp co-wrote a science fiction book called Saturn Run and three young adult novels with Michele Cook in the Singular Menace series. All of his books have made it onto the New York Times best-seller lists.  Camp is also an Iowa native! He was born in Cedar Rapids.

John Sandford’s newest book is Ocean PreyThis book will be released on April 13, 2021. Curious what Ocean Prey is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

An off-duty Coast Guardsman is fishing with his family when he calls in some suspicious behavior from a nearby boat. It’s a snazzy craft, slick and outfitted with extra horsepower, and is zipping along until it slows to pick up a surfaced diver . . . a diver who was apparently alone, without his own boat, in the middle of the ocean. None of it makes sense unless there’s something hinky going on, and his hunch is proved right when all three Guardsmen who come out to investigate are shot and killed.

They’re federal officers killed on the job, which means the case is the FBI’s turf. When the FBI’s investigation stalls out, they call in Lucas Davenport. And when his case turns lethal, Davenport will need to bring in every asset he can claim, including a detective with a fundamentally criminal mind: Virgil Flowers.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

“The Beauty of the House is immeasurable; its Kindness infinite.”

Any Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell fans out there? If so, I am happy to share that Susanna Clarke has recently published a new book called Piranesi. While this title doesn’t have any direct ties to Clarke’s first novel, it does share magical and fantastical elements in a world you won’t want to leave. Let’s jump right in!

This novel follows the journal entries of Piranesi, one of two humans living in “the House.” This setting is described as an endless labyrinth of halls, corridors, and vestibules filled with statues, an entombed ocean, and various types of wildlife, such as the majestic albatross. Piranesi lives to explore this world, documenting his travels by mapping its contents and cataloging all of the statues he finds, all while utilizing the House’s resources in order to survive.

In this world is only one other human besides Piranesi, aptly called “the Other.” They initially work together in an attempt to find and unleash the “Great and Secret Knowledge,” or the God-like powers the Other believes are harnessed in the House. Over time, Piranesi begins to fall away from this quest, as he doesn’t view the House as merely a means to an end, but still assists the Other with anything he requests of him. As the story progresses, however, Piranesi comes to question the world as he knows it upon discovering journals in his own handwriting he can’t remember writing and the existence of another person in the House. This story then blurs the lines between magic and reality, identity and purpose, as Piranesi endeavors to solve the mysterious and mind-bending plot he finds himself in the middle of.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the dream-like escapism this story provides and reveled in Clarke’s suspenseful writing style that leaves you guessing until the end. While Piranesi is a very innocent protagonist, he also proves to be unreliable as the story unfolds, which lends an additional interesting twist to the story. I did find myself wanting more, though, as this book is a mere 245 pages in comparison to the 1,000+ pages of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (I even missed having footnotes!).

I would also recommend taking a look at the name “Piranesi” before or while you are reading this book. It is named for Giovanni Battista Piranesi, an 18th century Italian artist who is well known for his prints of dizzying and fantastic imaginary prisons. Interestingly enough, Piranesi always considered himself to be an architect, which absolutely shows when viewing the architecture he brought to life in his etchings. Viewing his work definitely helped me visualize and wrap my head around the extraordinary world Clarke creates in this story.

All in all, if you are looking for a quick read in which you are immersed in a surreal labyrinth of beauty, fantasy, and discovery, I would highly recommend this title!

This book is also available in the following formats:

Overdrive eBook

 

Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman

Figuring out who you are as a person is a never-ending process, one that changes as you age. While most people have a solid base of who they are, others seem to flit from job to job, friend to friend, place to place. What would you do if you lost the very essence of yourself? Catherine Steadman discusses this topic in her newest book Mr Nobody.

A man is found on a British beach with no identification and unable to speak. He is drifting in and out of consciousness, has no identifying characteristics, and seems to have appeared out of nowhere. Public interest in this mystery man immediately peaks with everyone wanting to know who he is. To give him a name, the press dubs him ‘Mr. Nobody’. Taken to a hospital and run through an initial battery of tests, hospital staff and medical experts try to figure out a course of treatment to bring Mr. Nobody’s life back to him.

Considered one of the experts in her field, neuropsychiatrist Dr. Emma Lewis has spent her career waiting for a case like Mr. Nobody’s. Called in to assess the patient, Emma is initially thrilled because this case has the power to make her name known. As soon as she realizes where she has to go, Emma freezes. She left that small town tucked deep inside English countryside fourteen years ago. Emma hasn’t been back since. She has worked hard to hide all traces of her past in those past fourteen years. Going back will dredge up all those painful memories and will put her family in danger again. Something is calling her back though and Emma can’t resist the pull of Mr. Nobody’s case.

As soon as she shows up back in town, Emma realizes that all her efforts to conceal her past were pointless. This small town hasn’t changed much and the people that were there fourteen years ago are still there. Pushing through those bad memories, Emma starts working with her team to create a treatment plan to help Mr. Nobody. The more time Emma spends with him, the more she realizes that he knows more about her and other hospital staff than she should. The fact that he knows about what happened to her fourteen years ago instantly send up alarm bells since no one should know about that. Mr. Nobody must be hiding something.

This book is also available in the following formats:

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

Reading is such an extraordinary way to escape reality, and distancing ourselves from the anxieties and uncertainties in our lives is so important for our health and well-being. One hidden gem I have recently reread (for the third time!) and would highly recommend is The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This book journeys back-and-forth in time, place, and perspective, and features the voices of several young women who are bound by a century-old mystery.

Beginning in 1913 in Cornwall, England, this novel revolves around a young girl who is placed on a ship to Australia and arrives with nothing but a suitcase: not even a name. Twenty-one years later, this young girl called Nell discovers a secret that upends her entire world, leading her to question her identity and embark on a journey to discover who she really is.

The story then follows the narrative of Cassandra, Nell’s granddaughter, who inherits an estate in Cornwall upon her grandmother’s death. Not only was Cassandra unaware of the existence of this estate, she also never knew Nell had visited Cornwall, let alone planned to live there. Upon receiving this inheritance, Cassandra picks up the loose threads Nell left behind to unravel the mystery of her grandmother’s life, learning a lot about herself along the way. While Nell and Cassandra are the two focal characters in this story, readers also experience the journey of several other lives that are inextricably intertwined with theirs.

Filled with secrets and revelations that will keep you guessing until the very end, this novel features a mysterious, winding storyline; beautiful, elegant language; and intricate, relatable character development. On top of that, there is a dark book of fairy tales and a secret garden (I can never resist a secret garden!). Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking to be whisked away to a forgotten garden in Cornwall or immersed in a multi-generational story brimming with family secrets, mystery, and discovery. This book is also available as an eBook:

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D Jackson is a haunting story of one teenage girl’s struggle to get someone to believe her that her best friend is missing.

Claudia always believed that she and her best friend Monday Charles told each other everything. They are inseparable soul sisters who may not be related, but who spend a lot of time in each other’s company. Having spent years together, Monday and Claudia even made up their own language. Without Monday, Claudia would not have had any friends and school would have been even more difficult for her. Monday helps her so much with tests and bullies; the two always stick up for each other. They are incredibly close.

Every summer, Claudia spends the summer with her grandma, leaving Monday behind. They stay in touch by sending letters back and forth. The summer before 8th grade was no different with Claudia leaving and hoping to hear from Monday. However Monday never sent her any letters. Coming back from her visit, Claudia immediately tries to call Monday, but no one answers. Her mom tells her not to worry because Monday will show up to school. She doesn’t.

No one seems to care or even notice that Monday is missing except for Claudia. Monday doesn’t show up to school for weeks and Claudia is worried. She knows something is wrong. Not able to get any adult to help her look for Monday, Claudia starts digging into Monday’s disappearance herself. Monday’s mom isn’t giving her a straight answer and Monday’s older sister April isn’t helping either. As Claudia keeps looking for her best friend, she discovers that no one can remember when they last saw Monday. The lack of concern or call to arms to search for Monday has Claudia sick to her stomach and worried. How could no one have noticed that Monday was gone? Where did she go? What happened to her? Why does no one care?

This book is also available in the following formats: