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Cynthia's Recommendations

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The Conjure-Man Dies: A Harlem Mystery (Detective Club Crime Classics) Cover Image
By Rudolph Fisher, Stanley Ellin (Introduction by)
$15.99
ISBN: 9780008216474
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Collins Crime Club - January 7th, 2021

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live during the Harlem Renaissance? With this book you can do that. Originally published in 1930 and the first African American crime novel, you won’t be reading someone’s imagined Harlem but the real thing. This is a twisted knot of a mystery with fully fleshed characters who will let you peek behind history’s curtain and love every minute.


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The Center of Everything Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781640092341
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Counterpoint LLC - January 12th, 2021

Family is messy and as Polly tries to recover from a head injury, her memories get messy. This novel takes us through Polly’s fractured recollections of her past generations and how they ultimately teach her to live with loss and work to build a future generation that will bring joy and love for themselves and others Humans damage each other but nature can heal and family will hold the center.


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A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel Cover Image
By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Amanda Hopkinson (Translated by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984820150
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Ballantine Books - January 21st, 2020

A beautifully written, intimate journey of one couple travel from the Spanish Civil War through immigration to Chile and dislocation to Argentina. The fractures of war, of marriage and of country resonate as we watch Roser and Victor find love with each other and with their homeland, wherever it may be.  A timely parable exploring loyalty and a true joy
to read! 


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The Readers' Room Cover Image
By Antoine Laurain, Emily Boyce (Translator), Jane Aitken (Translator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781910477977
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Gallic Books - September 29th, 2020

This is a true gem of a mystery tale. In the publishing world of Paris, we meet Violaine Lepage who oversees the submission section.  An ultimately, prize worthy novel shows up for consideration and this story’s familiarity opens up a mystery inside Violane’s soul that must be solved.  It is a gift when little surprises like this show up. Open it and enjoy.


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Shuggie Bain: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802148506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Grove Press - October 13th, 2020

This is a view into a very unsavory part of Scotland’s near history in the towns that sit beside closed mining pits where no one has a job and no one has a purpose. Young Shuggie Bain is left with the responsibility of keeping his mother going as she battles alcoholism and they both battle grinding poverty. Agnes Bain is beautiful and that is a currency that can be spent to feed both their needs and her addictions. It can also work against her as she cannot skim through the world unseen, nor does she want to be invisible. Every day brings challenges Shuggie must face. Shuggie believes that if he just loves her enough, she will be happy and their life will magically transform into something safe. You will cheer for their successes and you will want to console them as they encounter new obstacles. You will not forget them.


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The Last Trial Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781538748138
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Grand Central Publishing - May 12th, 2020

I’m glad that Scott Turow quit practicing law and became a legal thriller writer because he has given me hours and hours of entertainment through his exceedingly well written books.  The latest is The Last Trial. Alejandro “Sandy” Stern is in his 80’s and has taken on a murder and fraud case for a close friend.  The fact that the defendant is a dear friend who may have saved his life plus the fact that it is most likely Sandy’s last case help ratchet up the stakes.  This novel is amazingly relevant to what is happening in the news now due to the alleged fraud being associated with a vaccine trial. Keep in mind that novels released in May 2020, as this was, are finished by the author at least a year before. Turow had no idea that America would be getting an education on vaccine trials and all that entails.  Pacing is where Turow’s mastery shines. Pacing is paramount in thriller novels. The author must keep us engaged and move us forward to the climax.  This is a legal thriller so there are potential dead spots where the action is in a courtroom but he pulls us forward even when we wonder how he is going to make FDA regulations interesting.  The beginning of this novel is heart-stopping and he races us through to the climax leaving us feeling very satisfied.


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Mr. Flood's Last Resort: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781501180644
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Washington Square Press - March 12th, 2019

In the mood for a ghost story? A mystery? The story of a hoarder that may have treasure in the midst of his trash? This is the book for you. This novel is all those things but more. Jess Kidd imbues her characters with so much personality that they explode off the page. This is a delightful story that has an enormous amount of heart and a host of underdogs that call for us to cheer them on. 


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The River: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525563532
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Vintage - March 3rd, 2020

Heller’s background as an adventure writer shows in this thriller in which the landscape is a main character. A simple story of that canoe trip would have been enjoyable but when Heller ratcheted the action up with two college kids trying to rescue a badly injured woman while navigating a wild river, a fast-moving wildfire and the woman’s attacker on their heels, I held on for the wild ride and I’m glad I did.


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The Bird King Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802148292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Grove Press - February 18th, 2020

The Bird King is set at the end of Muslim rule in Granada with a magical mapmaker, a concubine with the heart of a queen, an evil Spanish nun and a terrifying, charismatic Jinn. This tale of transformation reads like a fairy tale with a morality plays’ take on how power is defined and used for destruction or as a redemptive flame for freedom. Each beautifully written character strives for righteousness and to be their truest self.


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This Poison Will Remain (A Commissaire Adamsberg Mystery #7) Cover Image
By Fred Vargas, Sian Reynolds (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780143133667
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Penguin Books - August 20th, 2019

Vargas may be the best mystery writer you’ve never heard of. Her Commissaire Adamsberg is stationed in the 15th Arr. of Paris but is often in far flung areas of France. His means of detection are non-traditional; His staffare delightful misfits with a talent for finding murderers. Vargas is equally non-traditional, as seen in this tale which features a series of murders caused by the bite of brown recluse spiders.


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The Turn of the Key Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9781501188770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - August 6th, 2019

An isolated house in Scotland that is part top of the line Smart Home and part Gothic mansion features strongly in this creepy mystery. A nanny with something to hide starts work in a mansion where nothing can be hidden. Why do the nannies keep leaving?  What’s behind the locked door? Can technology keep us safe? Ware keeps us on the edge of our seat as she spins this Gothic yarn with a contemporary twist. 


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Virgil Wander Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802147127
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Grove Press - August 20th, 2019

After a nearly fatal accident, Virgil is no longer himself. He still lives on the shore of Lake Superior and operates the movie theater but there is a disconnect from the man that he was. Enger invites us to this downtrodden town and brings its citizens to life with soaring and evocative language that reminds us we have the capacity to surprise even ourselves.


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The Woman in the Woods: A Thriller (Charlie Parker  #16) Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781501171932
Availability: NOT on our shelves - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - May 14th, 2019

Connolly is a very rare thing, a literary genre writer. His writing and characters are as compelling as the mystery of what happened to the woman found buried in the woods. The Woman in the Woods is a stellar supernatural story that follows a network of people designed to help women fleeing danger. Who is the ancient being that is stalking them and the book of fairy tales she left behind?


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The Death of Mrs. Westaway Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781501156250
Availability: On Our Shelves Now. Click on the title to see details.
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - April 30th, 2019

Ware continues to hone her craft as she introduces us to Hal, a tarot card reader on the Brighton pier. Hal receives a letter that leads her into what she believes will be a harmless fraud against the upper class but quickly builds into a mystery that goes to the core of who Hal really is and why her mother seems to have lied about nearly everything. Reminiscent of the country-house mysteries of the golden age.


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