Through the Grinder

Friday, September 29, 2017
Cleo Coyle
Through the Grinder

In honor of National Coffee Day, I'm posting a recent blog on Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle.  I recently went to Costa Rica and decided a cozy mystery about coffee seemed like the perfect reading material.  I started Ms. Coyle's Coffeehouse Mystery series with book 1, On What Grounds which I personally owned. (The library does not currently have a copy but it can be requested through MeL).  It was fairly well done and I decided to continue on with Through the Grinder which is in the HCDL collection.  The second book continues with the story of Clare Cosi who has recently moved back to New York City to manage the Village Blend Coffee Shop in SoHo.  When her nineteen-year old daughter decides to try some dating sites, Clare, who is divorced, decides she will register too in order to screen some of the applicants.  Clare meets a number of people associated with the sites and finds that many of them have some quirky traits.  Clare makes a personal romantic connection with one special man and is dismayed when he is identified as a prominent suspect in the deaths of several women. The deaths have been ruled suicides but seem suspicious. She is determined to prove that he isn't a heartless killer and enlists the help of her ex-husband to track down potential suspects.  The ending comes together at a frantic pace as they race to find their daughter who seems to be directly in the killer's sights.  Ms. Coyle does an admirable job in casting red herrings and providing multiple suspects.

There are many coffee tips sprinkled throughout the book and some tasty sounding recipes included at the end.  I certainly found myself craving coffee!  Ms. Coyle's series continues with Latte Trouble which is available at HCDL on audiobook. Check our catalog

Dana A., Admin

Death of a Ghost

Friday, September 1, 2017
M. C. Beaton

I love a good cozy mystery, and one of my favorite cozy little towns I keep coming back to is M.C. Beaton’s charming village of Lochdubh, nestled in the Scottish Highlands.  It’s the home of police sergeant Hamish Macbeth, the wiliest crime-solver in that remote part of Scotland.  Hamish used to be the town’s only police officer, until he was saddled with tall, clumsy Constable Charlie Carter.  In Death of a Ghost, Hamish is called to investigate ghostly noises heard at night coming from Castle Drim, a run-down ruin of a place recently purchased by newcomer, Handy Ebrington.  Hamish thinks the local troublemakers are trying to spook Handy.  Out to prove his point Hamish and Charlie spend the night at the castle in an attempt to witness the spooky goings on for themselves.  Sure enough, at midnight the haunting begins, but when Hamish and Charlie run to investigate they don’t find a ghost. Instead Charlie, true to his clumsy nature, falls through the old floor and lands in the cellar where he discovers a dead body.  While waiting for backup to retrieve the body, Charlie and Hamish, who are starving after a long cold night of ghost-hunting, pop into a local shop to eat some bacon baps.  However, when they return to the castle they discover that the body has mysteriously vanished.  Clearly something spooky is going on and Hamish and Charlie must get to the bottom of it before the ghostly killer can strike again!  Check our catalog.

Death of a Ghost is the thirty-third installment in M.C. Beaton’s very popular Hamish Macbeth mystery series. 

Darci, Reference

N or M? A Tommy and Tuppence Mystery

Friday, August 4, 2017
Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie never disapoints!  Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, former "Bright Young Things" in the roaring 20's" offer their services to His Majesty's Government at the beginning of the war, but are turned down because they are middle-aged, and "past it."

Then, almost incidentally, they are asked to find a traitor, believed to be living at a rural guesthouse on the south coast - ever-so close to Germany.. But the place is full of harmless eccentrics: elderly ladies, retired military men, a hypochondriac and his colorless wife, a young mother, and a German refugee - who just happens to be a research chemist and the love interest of the landlady's teenage daughter..

Christie excells at red herrings, but her characters are so very enjoyable.  Tommy always believes Tuppence is capable and never "the little woman,"  even if others see her as "only able to knit and wait."

Diane, Administration

Check our catalog for this and many more Agatha Christie titles

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Off the Grid

Tuesday, March 14, 2017
C. J. Box
Off the Grid by C.J. Box

I enjoyed this book like all the other C.J. Box books I have read.  They read quick and have a fast paced plot.  I enjoyed how the author allowed the reader to get to know Nate Romanowski more in this book.  The book starts with Nate being off the grid, healing from wounds and trying deal with past crimes.  He is found by a small team of elite special operators who offer to wipe his criminal record clean for his help in dealing with a domestic terror cell in Wyoming's Red Desert.  Joe Pickett also ends up in the Red Desert on a special operation given to him by Wyoming's governor.  I would recommend this book.

Check our Catalog for this book.

Jeremy, Administration

A Curious Beginning

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Deanna Raybourn
A Curious Beginning

I simply loved this historical mystery set in Victorian England right at the time of the Queen's golden jubilee. It is a well-paced, engaging story with snappy dialogue and great main characters: the intrepid, intelligent adventuress Veronica Speedwell and the intriguing, ill-tempered recluse Stoker. Murder, intrigue, and mystery abound in this tale of mysterious origins, thwarted abductions, and secrets which could bring the British Empire to its knees and the world to war. A quick, fun read and great start to a series!

Check our catalog for this book.


Brandi T., Reference

The Blight Way: A Sheriff Bo Tully Mystery

Friday, January 27, 2017
Patrick F. McManus
The Blight Way: A Sheriff Bo Tully Mystery

Bo Tully is the sheriff of Blight County, Idaho, a family tradition that goes way back. The sometime unorthodox methods of the family business are know as The Blight Way, and everyone in the county knows Bo. The 6 books in this series will introduce you to all the quirky local town folks as well as the fine upstanding ones. On the 75th birthday of his father, "Pap", a dead body turns up on a local ranch. Bo decides a murder investigation would be the perfect present! Patrick McManus is an American humor writer who writes primarily about the outdoors.  Check our catalog

Sue A., Reference

The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
W. Bruce Cameron
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man

This book caught my eye because it is set in the Michigan’s upper peninsula.  It’s humorous, has an interesting protagonist and is a good mystery!  Ruddy McCann is an ex-con repo man who gets drawn into solving a murder.

One night Ruddy has a dream that he is being chased through the woods and murdered.  When he wakes up the next day, he has a voice in his head of the actual victim of the murder he dreamed about.  This voice in his head will not let Ruddy rest until the murder is solved!

I really enjoyed getting to know Ruddy and his friends and acquaintances.  If you like this one, Bruce Cameron has written a sequel called “Repo Madness”.  Check our catalog

Peggy G., Circulation

The Woman in Cabin 10

Monday, October 31, 2016
Ruth Ware
The Woman in Cabin 10

I’m a sucker for a great mystery and this one reeled me right in from the start with that great spray-speckled portal on the front cover overlooking the North Sea and those enigmatic words: The Woman in Cabin 10. Brilliant!

This is the story of Lo Blacklock, an anxiety-riddled, alcohol-loving thirty-something Brit who works as a journalist for a travel magazine. She’s just landed the assignment of a lifetime: a week-long Scandinavian cruise on the maiden voyage of the Aurora, an über-luxurious mini cruise ship that caters to the wealthy.  It’s her chance to rise to the next level and Lo heads aboard ready to work. There are only ten cabins on the Aurora, and the guest list for this first run is very selective. Lo finds herself mingling with other notable travel journalists, including ex-boyfriend Ben, the ladder-climbing Tina, hot Lars, power couple Cole and Chloe, obese food critic Archer, and the suave billionaire Richard Lord Bullmer, owner of the Aurora, and his wife Anne Bullmer, the ailing Norwegian heiress. As Lo mingles her way through the crowd, heartily indulging in the exotic cuisine and expensive wine, she searches for the woman she met earlier from cabin 10, the cabin next to hers. The woman isn’t there and Lo brushes it off…until she’s awoken in the middle of the night by a woman’s scream. Next she hears a splash and, when she races out to her balcony, she thinks she can see someone sinking in the cold, dark water. She’s certain she’s witnessed a murder! After fighting a panic attack, she immediately reports the incident to the ship’s security guard, only to find him looking at her strangely. She answers his many questions: Yes, she’d been drinking! Yes, she’s on antidepressants! Yes, she heard a woman scream! Yes, she’s freaking out! Yet it’s only when she’s told that no one was ever in cabin 10 that the real terror takes hold. Lo has six days to prove she’s not crazy and find the identity of the woman in cabin 10.

Sound exciting? To be honest I thought this was going to be a much better read than it was. The main character complains too much to be likable and, unfortunately, the twisty-turny mystery was anticlimactic and far-fetched. Part of the problem for me was that once our heroine figured out what was going on, she never bothered to confront the bad guy. And then I feel obligated to mention the one glaring issue I had with this book, which is the fact that no one on this little cruise ship had cell service, or an internet connection, or a way to contact shore. At the very least every ship at sea these days has a satellite phone. Unfortunately the entire plot of this book relied on the fact that this one didn’t. That being said, if you’re able to overlook these little flaws then you just might enjoy The Woman in Cabin 10.

For a great premise, and the fact that this is a New York Times bestseller (quite a feat in itself!), I give this book three out of five stars.

Check our catalog for this book.


Darci H., Reference

Pall in the Family

Friday, October 28, 2016
Dawn Eastman
Pall in the Family

I’m always excited to find a new cozy mystery series and this one takes place in MICHIGAN!! Clyde, a female police officer in Ann Arbor, is originally from Crystal Haven on the west coast of Michigan. When something goes terribly wrong in Ann Arbor, she comes home to family--a family full of psychics and tarot readers. Clyde denies she has any talent in that arena but when a psychic is killed, can she deny it anymore? A fast paced book with some great secondary characters.

Check our catalog for this book.


Jeanne S., Youth Services


Manitou Canyon

Thursday, October 27, 2016
William Kent Krueger
Manitou Canyon

This is the 15th book in a series that is a "can’t miss" for me. When a man goes missing without a trace while on a fishing trip in the vast wilderness of  Minnesota’s Boundary Waters,  his grandchildren ask Cork O’Connor to continue the search after local law enforcement agencies give up. Despite the fact that his daughter Jenny is to be married in a few short days Cork feels compelled to help. Putting aside the sense of foreboding that November always brings he packs up his canoe and his gear and heads out to the lake where the man was last seen. When days go by without a word, Cork’s worried family heads out on a search of their own. What they find, is an empty campsite – and a lot of blood.  With an early winter storm approaching, Cork’s loved ones struggle to piece together the only clues they have to the mysterious disappearances, uncover the plot that could endanger an entire community, and save both men before it's too late.

Lee Child calls this series “One of today's automatic buy-today-read-tonight series...thoughtful but suspenseful, fast but lasting, contemporary but strangely timeless.”  Krueger delivers with the Northwoods  setting  and the interplay of the Ojibwe culture, and then wraps it all up in great stories filled with suspense and rooted in humanity.
Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference


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