Mystery

Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder & Confession in a Northern Michigan Town

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Mardi Link
I enjoyed an earlier book by this author and decided to give Isadore’s Secret a try. This was named a Michigan Notable Book this year (2010), and is a rather gripping account of the mysterious disappearance of a young nun in a northern Michigan town and the national controversy that followed when she turned up dead and buried in the basement of the church.

This true story was the basis for the Broadway play The Runner Stumbles and the 1979 film of the same name, starring Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan and Maureen Stapleton.  From the book…

..”Swinging planks of lantern light shine through the musty air and onto the dirt floor of the church basement. The oddly glowing rectangles syncopate over the damp ground and illuminate even the darkest, stooped-down corners of the space beyond. The only sound is the ragged breathing of two men, a young parish priest and a much older laborer. Aboveground these men belong completely to this place, in both body and soul. A glimpse of their faces anywhere in the sanctuary, the rectory, the school, the barn, or the gardens would be a welcome sight. But here below, these men of Isadore are interlopers. Only trespassers would sneak silently into the church's sloped underbelly without witness to carry out such a sinful and secret errand as this one. Despite their tools, and their lantern, and their resolve, neither is equipped for the task at hand or for what is to come….”

Diane, Administration

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The Botticelli Secret

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Marina Fiorato

This story is scrumptious.  The reader is taken on a journey through Florence, Pisa, Naples, Rome, and Venice during the 15th century by a beautiful, bawdy, prostitute.  It is historical fiction, political intrigue, romance, treachery, murder and Italia at it's finest.  It all revolves around the painting, La Primavera, The Spring, by Botticelli.  The artist has created a painting full of clues to be discovered and understood to unravel the truth of a conspiracy.  

 

Cindy A., Circulation

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The Secret History

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Donna Tartt

A new student at a small college in Vermont is drawn into an inner circle of five students in his Greek class.  Richard joins the group's life of privilege - spending long weekends at an old country house, boating and basking in an Indian summer.  At first he is unaware of the serious crime which the others have committed.  But as he is drawn into their confidence, they all realize that the only way to guard their terrible secret is to commit an even worse crime.



The suspense in this story will keep you turning the pages - I kept thinking this would make a great movie!



Catherine T., Reference

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No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series Book #1 (Audiobook)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Alexander McCall Smith

Mma "Precious" Ramotswe is a character I'd heard of, but never knew much about until a few summers ago when I checked out the audiobook of  first book in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.



What's really wonderful about this audiobook besides Alexander McCall Smith's sweet storytelling is narrator Lisette Lecat's voice. The South African-born Lecat navigates the Botswana landscape capturing the rhythms and lyrical sound of Mma Ramotswe's voice and the rich language of the country.



My son and I enjoyed listening to this CD during leisurely breakfasts a few years ago. With the summer heat and Lecat's voice it was like being on safari.



Cyndi L., Reference

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A Beautiful Place to Die (Audio Book on CD)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Malla Nunn

A great “who dun it” murder mystery set in South Africa 1953. The historical setting in a deeply divided society is what gives this story it’s twists and turns because the protocols differ for people of differing status mostly based on skin color or family lineage.  The main characters are well developed which sucks the reader in to see the story to its end.  Warning: it is quite violent.  The narrator, Saul Reichlin, is very good.



Kathleen Z., Library Director

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A Final Crossing: Murder on the S.S. Badger

Thursday, August 5, 2010
Richard L. Baldwin

Having crossed Lake Michigan a few times on the Badger, I had to read this book. When reclusive  MSU professor Peg Lott falls in love, she confesses to her wealthy dream man, Dr. Leonard Lowe,  that she's involved with other radical environmentalists in burning new luxury houses. But she knows her co-ecoterrorists won't just let her quit the Ring of Fire. She and Len hatch a plan for her to stage an attack on her in her Badger stateroom and then jump overboard, to be picked up by a secretly waiting fishing boat. The plan doesn't go off as anticipated, and things are further complicated by a real murder in her stateroom. Though the story lines are frequently a stretch, they were interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. The library has other titles featuring Michigan locales written by Richard L. Baldwin.



Doris, Reference

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Living With Your Kids is Murder

Thursday, August 5, 2010
Mike Befeler

The best thing is the rapport between the grandpa and the granddaughter.  The two make one. His mind is like "swiss cheese" and she makes up for it. The guy can't remember what happened the day before, so she tells him "Grandpa, read your notes!"  He has to write notes at night or by morning, he doesn't know what happened the day before! It must have to do with blood circulation ... This is the second of the Paul Jacobson Geezer - Lit Mystery.

Sharon D., Circulation

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When Evil Came to Good Hart

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Mardi Link
Seven year old Mardi Link was in the back seat of the family Ford, on her way to a relative's cottage, when WJR interrupted a ballgame to break news of the grisly discovery. Link is the author of the first nonfiction account of the murders. 'I guess I was struck by the fact that Susie and I were the same age,' Link says. 'I was always intrigued by the case. Who would kill an entire family? And why?' Police asked those same questions.

Link's look at the case is a great example of how a mystery, when well presented, can be even more compelling than one that's been solved. In digging through evidence, reading numerous newspaper accounts from that time, and talking to a score of Good Hart residents, Link explores more than just the Robison case. In presenting the facts, she asks questions about the nature of evil, and comments on loss of innocence in many ways, her own, the town's, the era's. Her descriptions vary from melodic and wistful to hard-hitting, a combination that keeps the pages turning fast.

For the Robisons, she writes, it was to be their first full summer in Good Hart, a result of business success: "It was a simple but enduring dream, shared by thousands of Michigan families, but one that for the Robisons this summer in 1968, lasted just eight days."

Diane, Administration

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Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery

Wednesday, July 14, 2010
John Feinstein

We listened to this on a looong drive across Utah.  My husband, who generally doesn’t care for audiobooks actually told our 4-year-old daughter, (normally Daddy’s darling), to be quiet because he was listening to the story!  And now she knows who Coach K, while our son says “ABD – anybody BUT Duke.”



Grade 6-10 - This action-packed mystery is set at the NCAA Final Four men's basketball tournament. Eighth-graders Steven Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are aspiring journalists and winners of the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association 14-and-under writing contest. Their prize is a trip, with press credentials and reporting responsibilities, to the Final Four in New Orleans. While exploring the Superdome, they overhear a blackmail threat leveled at Minnesota State University's star player. Threatened with a falsified transcript that would disqualify him and his team, Chip Graber is pressured to deliberately lose the final game against Duke. Stevie and Susan Carol become resourceful sleuths determined to save Chip and to expose the scandal. Throughout the story, famous basketball personalities make memorable guest appearances, including spirited sports analyst Tony Kornheiser and irrepressible commentator Dick Vitale. References to real players and coaches mingle, almost eerily, with the fictitious characters. Feinstein shares his extensive sports expertise, smoothly weaving into the tale a wealth of background information about NCAA regulations, tournament traditions, recruitment and eligibility issues, and gambling. Although the action on the court is vividly described, this story also breaks new ground for teens, focusing primarily on the influential role of media in promoting college basketball. Readers will enjoy the rivalry and chemistry between outspoken but insecure Stevie and savvy-beyond-her-years Susan Carol, and their spunky determination to get the scoop. Mystery fans will find enough suspense in this fast-paced narrative to keep them hooked.



Diane M., Administration

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The Convict's Sword (Audiobook on CD)

Monday, July 5, 2010
I. J. Parker

One of a series of mysteries featuring Sugawara Akitada as the main character set in 11th century Japan (Heian era before the Shoguns).  Akitada, Senior Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, has vowed to find out who framed his friend, Haseo, who was condemned to die in exile more than 5 years previous.  Haseo left his sword behind as a clue to his past.   Akitada also becomes involved in solving the mysterious murder of a blind street singer.  All the while a smallpox epidemic is threatening the city.  This is set in the city of Heian-kyo which is modern-day Kyoto.  Characters are well-developed and the setting and time is brought to life.



As far as I know this is the only title and format that we have for this series, but many of the titles are available through MELCat



Kathleen Z., Library Director

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