Blood from a Stone: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon

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Another Tuesday Mystery Book Club choice.  When an illegal alien from Africa, who’s selling fake designer handbags, is killed execution-style in a crowded Venice market, the case creates personal crises for Leon’s endearing police Commissario Guido Brunetti as well as international ramifications.

Check out Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti mysteries series on dvd.

“One of the best of the international crime writers is Donna Leon, and her Commissario Guido Brunetti tales set in Venice are at the apex of continental thrillers.”

In this stunning novel, the 14th to feature the dogged, intuitive Venetian police detective Guido Brunetti (after 2004’s Doctored Evidence), Leon combines an engrossing, complex plot with an indictment of the corruption endemic to Italian society. The murder of an anonymous African street vendor, an inoffensive, possibly illegal Senegalese immigrant, explodes into a many-layered conundrum. – starred review, Publisher’s Weekly

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann

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This engaging work of nonfiction is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history that took place in 1920s Oklahoma, targeting the wealthy Osage community.   His previous book is The Lost City of Z: a Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon.

“A master of the detective form…Killers is something rather deep and not easily forgotten.”—Wall St. Journal

 “A marvel of detective-like research and narrative verve.”—Financial Times 

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A Separation by Katie Kitamura

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This is a mesmerizing examination of a marriage gone wrong.  They had agreed to separate but he makes her promise to tell no one quite yet.  Then he disappears and his mother convinces her to find him…somewhere in Greece…..I couldn’t relax until I knew the outcome!

“Accomplished… a coolly unsettling work.” —New York Times Book Review

“A spare and stunning portrait of a marital estrangement… [B]uilds into a hypnotic meditation on infidelity and the unknowability of one’s spouse. In precise and muted prose, the entire story unspools in the coolly observant mind of a young woman… A minutely observed novel of infidelity unsettles its characters and readers.” —Kirkus [starred review]

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The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

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The Big Library Read (BLR) @ OverDrive announces the winning title!  The Other Einstein will be available for unlimited access on the OverDrive-powered website between June 12-26, 2017. And, of course, you can pick up a copy at your library:

“Mileva “Mitza” Marić has always been a little different from other girls. Rather than thinking about marriage, she’s studying physics with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.”

“In her compelling novel… Benedict makes a strong case that the brilliant woman behind [Albert Einstein] was integral to his success, and creates a rich historical portrait in the process.” – Publishers Weekly

“Benedict’s debut novel carefully traces Mileva’s life-from studious schoolgirl to bereaved mother-with attention paid to the conflicts between personal goals and social conventions. An intriguing… re-imagining of one of the strongest intellectual partnerships of the 19th century.” – Kirkus

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Dead Wake: the Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

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It is a story that many of us think we know but may not.  Erik Larson tells a thrilling story, switching between hunter and hunted, while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster whose intimate details and true meaning have long been obscured by history.

“In his gripping new examination of the last days of what was then the fastest cruise ship in the world, Larson brings the past stringingly alive…He draws upon telegrams, war logs, love letters, and survivor depositions to provide the intriguing details, things I didn’t know I wanted to know…Thrilling, dramatic and powerful.”—NPR

“Larson has a gift for transforming historical re-creations into popular recreations, and Dead Wake is no exception…[He] provides first-rate suspense, a remarkable achievement given that we already know how this is going to turn out…The tension, in the reader’s easy chair, is unbearable…”—The Boston Globe

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The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne

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When Littlefield, Massachusetts, named one of the Twenty Best Places to Live in America, falls under the scrutiny of sociologist Dr. Clarice Watkins to study the elements of “good quality of life”, someone begins poisoning the town’s dogs. Are the poisonings in protest to an off-leash proposal for Baldwin Park—the subject of much town debate—or the sign of a far deeper disorder?

“Berne (Missing Lucile, 2010, etc.), who won the Orange Prize for her first novel, A Crime in the Neighborhood (1997), is a sure hand at the dinner parties, school concerts, teacup tempests, and true moments of suspense that make a suburban comedy of manners par excellence. It’s too bad about the dogs, but they died for a good cause.”—Kirkus (Starred Review)

“A look at suburban life that manages to be both scathing and sympathetic, Berne’s latest is a smart,amusing satire.”—Booklist

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Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

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A young man and woman fall in love in their unnamed home country before a civil war forces them to flee to the west. Hamid writes powerfully of their joys, tragedies, and experiences as refugees in a poetic style.

“It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future… At once terrifying and … oddly hopeful.” –Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review

“This is the best writing of Hamid’s career… Readers will find themselves going back and savoring each paragraph several times before moving on. He’s that good. … Breathtaking.” —NPR.org

“In spare, crystalline prose, Hamid conveys the experience of living in a city under siege with sharp, stabbing immediacy. He shows just how swiftly ordinary life — with all its banal rituals and routines — can morph into the defensive crouch of life in a war zone. … [and] how insidiously violence alters the calculus of daily life. … By mixing the real and the surreal, and using old fairy-tale magic, Hamid has created a fictional universe that captures the global perils percolating beneath today’s headlines.” ––Michiko Kakutani, New York Times 

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Some writer! : the story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet.

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In Some Writer!, the two-time Caldecott Honor winner Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White’s granddaughter. Pure scrapbook delight for the eyes and heart!

“Whether the name E. B. White is a new discover or a much-loved author, Some Writer! will captivate readers of all ages.”—Christian Science Monitor

“Sweet raises her collage skills to new heights while bringing her love and admiration for fellow Mainer E. B. White to the page for everyone to appreciate. Just as her astounding collages blend materials that might have been found in a barn in Maine, the text carefully blends her words with those of the beloved writer of children’s books… Sweet has written and drawn a fast-moving, thorough, deeply researched, and accessible biography.”—Horn Book, STARRED review

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The Dry by Jane Harper

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This is a #1 international bestseller.  I could not put this book down!  The author writes in beautiful, descriptive language and, at the same time, keeps socking the reader between the eyes with the revelations that unfold in this story of an investigation into a family murder in an outback country town in Australia – a town that seeps with anger, bitterness, violence, and oppressive heat.  I can’t believe this is a first novel.

“A stunner…It’s a small-town, big-secrets page-turner with a shocker of an ending….”–Booklist, starred review

“Devastating debut…a suspenseful tale of sound and fury as riveting as it is horrific.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A nail-biting thriller…A chilling story set under a blistering sun, this fine debut will keep readers on edge and awake long past bedtime.”–Kirkus, starred review

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A Pale Horse by Charles Todd

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Chosen by the Weston Tuesday Mystery Book Group!

The exemplary 10th Inspector Ian Rutledge historical whodunit offers tight plotting and rich characterization amid understated but convincing evocations of post–WWI England. Haunted by memories of battle, unable to find a safe haven after his discharge from a psychiatric hospital and the abrupt departure of his fiancée, shell-shocked veteran Rutledge has returned to his prewar life as a Scotland Yard inspector. This time out, the War Office wants him to locate a mysterious person of interest, connected with (and perhaps the same as) an unidentified corpse found at a Yorkshire abbey. Rutledge toils diligently to uncover personal secrets and shames that may have motivated someone to kill, and their connection to a long-ago romance between the suspected killer’s wife and the local inspector investigating the case.

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