Sue A.

Mozart's Last Aria

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Matt Rees
Mozart's Last Aria

Sue A., Reference is reading...Mozart's last aria

Reservations

Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Gwen Florio
Reservations

Lola Wicks is a journalist – currently for a small publication in Magpie, Montana, but formerly with a major outlet with international credentials embedded in Afghanistan. She likes it in Magpie where she lives with her Native American husband Charlie and their daughter Margaret near the Blackfeet Reservation. So Charlie practically has to drag her into the car to get her to take a vacation to visit his brother’s family on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. Just before their arrival, a bombing occurs near a billboard that sang the praises of a controversial coal mine on reservation land that resulted in the death of a tribal elder. Another bombing, this time of a coal company truck, has everyone thinking that it’s eco-terrorism. Lola can’t resist a little investigating on her own – initially as a distraction from her somewhat unfriendly in-laws. But soon she can’t escape the feeling that they are somehow involved and that she and her own family are in danger.

I‘d give this book four stars. The author really captures the geography, conditions, and culture of life on the reservation so if you like to choose books based on a sense of place this has it in spades. The story seems timely with similar issues facing the use of native lands in the news these days, and the mystery is fast-paced right up to the devastating conclusion.

I didn’t realize that this was the fourth book in a series when I picked it up – I’m usually pretty careful to start a series at the beginning. I didn’t suffer from not knowing the backstory though, and I will definitely be going back to read the others. Check our catalog.

Sue A., Reference

Less Than a Treason

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Dana Stabenow
Less Than a Treason

Kate is alive!

If you are a fan of the Kate Shugak series, you’ll remember that her fate was uncertain at the cliff hanger end of the previous novel. And then we had to wait four years for this latest book to tie up all of the loose ends. In the opening pages we find out that Kate did indeed survive, but then she immediately disappears with no apparent word to Jim, the Aunties, or most anyone. Eventually Kate reappears when a group of orienteers trek past the remote Alaskan cabin that belonged to Old Sam where she has been staying for months to heal. Events ensue that cause Kate to return to civilization to solve yet another crime. But is she ready to face Jim – and what happened to Mutt? You’ll have to read Less Than a Treason to find out.

There is some thought that this may be the last entry in the Kate Shugak series. I certainly hope not, because unlike many long running series that lose their spark, Dana Stabenow continues to write about a place and people that continue to surprise and intrigue. Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

In This Grave Hour

Friday, April 21, 2017
Jacqueline Winspear
In This Grave Hour

It is September 3, 1939, Great Britain has declared war against Germany, and Maisie Dobbs has reopened her private investigations office with her partners and friends Billie and Sandra. As everyone in London is preparing for the imminent conflict, Maisie receives a visit from the mysterious Belgium Embassy official and secret agent Francesca Thomas asking her to look into the murder of a man who was a Belgian refugee during the First World War.  Dr. Thomas suspects that there is more to the story than the police have come up with and hopes that Maisie can dig deeper and find out what really may have happened.  While the investigation gets underway, Maisie must also deal with an issue regarding children that have been evacuated from London to the countryside, some of whom are being lodged at Chelstone Manor and the Dower House – particularly concerning a young girl who has refused to speak. In their usual fashion, Maisie, Billie and Sandra get to the bottom of things, come to terms with their own pasts, and get ready to face their uncertain futures.

If you are a fan of the series, you’ll be glad to find Maisie back in London with all of the family and friends you’ve come to know and love.

Check the catalog.

Sue A., 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

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

Lilac Girls

Thursday, September 8, 2016
Martha Hall Kelly
Lilac Girls

The story centers around the lives of three very different women, from different countries – the United States, Poland, and Germany – whose lives are irrevocably changed by World War II.

Caroline Farriday is a socialite working in New York’s French Consulate when Hitler’s army invades Poland. Kasia Kuzmerick is a Polish teenager drawn into the resistance underground as a courier when her hometown is occupied by the Nazis. Herta Oberhauser, newly graduated from medical school in Germany, longs for a career as a surgeon that will improve her difficult financial situation.

These three lives are set on a collision course when Kasia is sent to Ravensbruck, the notorious concentration camp for women - the camp where Herta has taken a position that will lead her far from the respected doctor she hoped to be.

From New York to Paris, Poland, and Germany, the struggles of Caroline, Kasia, and Herta to survive the chaos of the world around them are in some cases redemptive, but always heartbreaking. Inspired by the real life Caroline Farriday, Marth Hall Kelly has written a touching debut novel.

Check the catalog.

 

Sue A., Reference

Girl Waits With Gun

Saturday, July 9, 2016
Amy Stewart
Girl Waits With Gun

A novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.

On a summer day in 1914, Constance Kopp and her sisters set out in their horse and buggy from their farm in New Jersey to a nearby town where they are suddenly run down by a speeding motorcar. Thankfully, they sustain only minor injuries. But when they try to collect damages from the powerful and nasty silk factory owner who was driving the car, the dispute turns ugly and the sisters are harassed and attacked in their home by the man and his gang of goons. Constance goes to the sheriff to enlist his help and protection in bringing the man to justice. What seems a rather routine story comes to wonderful life in the depictions of the three Kopp sisters who are as different as night and day, and in the revelation of the family secret that had sent them all into hiding on the family farm fifteen years ago. Constance finds the strength to confront it all – and establish a new role for herself -  in an unexpected way.

If you like historical settings, strong female characters, and great writing you will enjoy Girl Waits With Gun. This looks to be the first book in a new series, with the second book due out in the fall. It will definitely be on my ‘to read’ list!

Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

Hollow Man

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Mark Pryor
Hollow Man

“Dominic is a prosecutor, a musician, and an Englishman living in Texas. He is also a psychopath.” And he is having a really bad day. He gets a call from England that his parents have died and the estate is in debt, he is demoted at work, and he is accused of stealing another musician’s song. So timing is everything when he is presented with the opportunity to commit a robbery that should be easy to pull off. He enlists his computer geek roommate and a down-and-out former cop to help him out. But of course, the plan goes all wrong and two people are accidently killed. His partners naturally begin to freak out – but as a prosecutor, Dominic knows what evidence the detectives will be looking for, what behaviors they will expect from the suspects, and as a psychopath – Dominic knows how to lie.

I enjoyed this book right down to the twisty little end, slightly reminiscent of Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train. Englishman Mark Pryor lives in Austin, Texas and is also the author of the excellent Hugo Marsten mysteries -  about a Texan living in Paris. Check the catalog.

Sue A., Reference

The Book of Lost and Found

Thursday, March 17, 2016
Lucy Foley
The Book of Lost and Found

Kate Darling is grieving the loss of her beloved mother June, a world class ballerina, who was killed in a recent plane crash when she receives startling information from her grandmother Evie. She had always known that her mother was adopted but June had always believed that her birth mother had never tried to find her. As Evie herself nears death, she gives Kate a letter and an artist’s drawing of a woman that bears an amazing resemblance to June. Kate is compelled to embark on a journey to discover the identity of the woman she believes to be her grandmother; a journey that travels through time as well as place, as she is led from London, to Corsica, to Paris and New York to find the answers to family secrets and love, both lost and found. Even though slow at times, I enjoyed this debut novel by author Foley and look forward to more from her in the future.

Check the catalog for this book.

Sue A., Reference

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