What’s New

What's New

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        November 2017

 

 

 

 

New Non-Fiction

Bowden, Mark     Hué 1968: A turning point of the American war in Vietnam

The centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam was the capture of Hué, Vietnam’s intellectual and cultural capital, in January 1968 by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops.  American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front’s presence, ordering small companies of Marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hué was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave.

 

Jones, Howard      My Lai:  Vietnam, 1968, and the descent into darkness

On the early morning of March 16, 1968, American soldiers from three platoons of Charlie Company (1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division), entered a group of hamlets in South Vietnam, located near the Demilitarized Zone. The soldiers, many still teenagers who had been in the country for only three months, were on a “search and destroy” mission. Three hours later, more than five hundred unarmed villagers lay dead, killed in cold blood. Military authorities attempted to suppress the news of My Lai, until some who had been there spoke up about what they had seen. An exposé of the massacre and cover-up, followed by graphic photographs, incited international outrage.  My Lai polarized American sentiment; its effect on military morale and policy was profound and enduring. The Army implemented reforms and began enforcing adherence to the Hague and Geneva conventions.

 

Sartore, Joel     The Photo Ark:  One man’s quest to document the world’s animals

Starring 400 of more than 6,000 animals photographed by Sartore in his mission to capture every species on our planet, this gorgeous book of animal portraits reminds us that we are losing species at an alarming rate.  “Half of all the Earth’s species could go extinct by 2100,” writes the photographer.  He urges us to take action to protect the planet’s biodiversity.

 

Sharapova, Maria     Unstoppable:  My life so far

One of our fiercest female athletes, Sharapova rose nowhere to tennis stardom, and waged an unending battle to stay on top. In 2004, at 17, her stunning upset at Wimbledon against the two-time defending champion Serena Williams made her an overnight sensation and launched her onto the international stage. Born in a small Russian town, she at five years old played tennis on drab neighborhood courts with precocious concentration.  Convinced his daughter could be a star, her father risked everything to get them to the Florida tennis academies, arriving with only a few hundred dollars and knowing only a few words of English. From that beginning, Sharapova scraped together one of the most influential sports careers in history. In this autobiography she brings us inside her pivotal matches and illuminates the relationships that have shaped her―with coaches, best friends, boyfriends, and Yuri, her coach, manager, father and most dedicated fan, describing with honesty and affection their oft-scrutinized relationship. One thing is clear: the ambition to win that drove her from the public courts of Russia to the manicured lawns of Wimbledon has not diminished.

 

Coates, Ta-Nehisi     We Were Eight Years in Power:  An American tragedy

“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In these essays, the author explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the recent election.  But beyond presidential politics, this book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period, and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective.

 

Doughty, Caitlin     From Here to Eternity:  Traveling the world to find the good death

Fascinated by our pervasive fear of dead bodies, mortician Doughty set out to learn how other cultures care for the dead, discovering on her immersive global journey some compelling, powerful rituals almost entirely unknown in America. In rural Indonesia, she watches a man clean and dress his grandfather’s mummified body, which has resided in the family home for two years. In La Paz, she meets Bolivian natitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and in Tokyo she encounters the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones’ bones from cremation ashes. With boundless curiosity and gallows humor, she introduces deathcare innovators who are researching body composting and green burial, and examines how varied traditions, from Mexico’s Días de los Muertos to Zoroastrian sky burial, help us see our own death customs in a new light. She argues that our expensive, impersonal system of removal, embalming and entombment in concrete boxes fosters a corrosive fear of death that hinders our ability to cope and mourn. By comparing customs, she demonstrates that mourners everywhere respond best when they help care for the deceased, and have space to participate in the process.  Illustrated.

 

 

New Fiction

Le Carre, John     A Legacy of Spies

A staunch colleague and disciple of the master spy in the British Secret Service is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved the cream of English spydom, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.
Chamberlain, Diane     The Stolen Marriage

In 1944, a 23-year-old abruptly ends her engagement to the love of her life when she marries a mysterious stranger and moves to a small NC town which is struggling with racial tension and the hardships imposed by World War II. The new husband is a secretive man who often stays out all night, hides money from his new wife, and shows no interest in making love. But the townsfolk like the husband but see his wife as an outsider, treating her with suspicion and disdain, especially after one of the town’s prominent citizens dies in a terrible accident and she is blamed.  Feeling alone and adrift, she turns to the one person who seems to understand her, a local medium who gives her hope, but seems to know more than he’s letting on.

 

Keneally, Thomas      Crimes of the Father

Sent away from his native Australia to Canada due to his radical preaching against the Vietnam War and apartheid, a priest has made for himself a satisfying career as a psychologist and monk. When he returns to Australia to lecture on the future of celibacy and the Catholic Church, he is unwittingly pulled into the lives of two people—a young man, via his suicide note, and an ex-nun—both of whom claim to have been sexually abused by a prominent monsignor.  As a man of character and conscience, the priest decides he must confront each party involved and try to bring the matter to the attention of both the Church and the secular authorities. What follows will shake him to the core and call into question many of his own life choices.
Helprin, Mark      Paris in the Present Tense

A 74-year-old professor at the Sorbonne is a cellist, widower, veteran of the war in Algeria, and child of the Holocaust.  For decades he has sought to find a balance between his strong obligations to the past and the attractions and beauties of life and love in the present. But all at once he is confronted headlong by a series of challenges to his principles, livelihood, and home, forcing him to grapple with his complex past and find a way forward. He risks fraud to save his terminally ill infant grandson, matches wits with a renegade insurance investigator, is drawn into an act of savage violence, and falls deeply, excitingly in love with a young cellist who is a third his age. Against the backdrop of Paris and its unique power to shape a life, he forges a denouement that is staggering in its humanity and elegance.

 

Grisham, John     The Rooster Bar

Three friends enrolled as third-year law students have borrowed heavily to attend their second-rate school, whose graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs.  When they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady hedge-fund operator who also owns a bank specializing in student loans, the three know they have been caught up in a giant scam.  Outraged, they make a plan for escaping their crushing debt, exposing the bank and the scam, and maybe making a few bucks in the process.

 

Thien, Madeleine     Dogs at the Perimeter

One starless night, a girl’s childhood was swept away by the terrors of the Khmer Rouge. Exiled from Phnom Penh, she and her family were forced to live out in the open: cold, hungry, and under constant surveillance. Caught up in a political storm that brought starvation to millions, tore families apart, and changed the world forever, she eventually lost everyone she loved. Now, three decades later, her new life in Montreal is unraveling.

 

Hoffman, Alice     The Rules of Magic

Aware that her ancestor in the 1600s was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man, a woman in NYC at the cusp of the Sixties sets down rules for her children: no walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, should they fall in love. But when her children visit their aunt in the small Massachusetts town where her forbears were blamed for everything that went wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City, each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.
Brown, Dan     Origin

A Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology arrives at the Guggenheim to hear a 40-year-old billionaire and futurist describe an astonishing breakthrough which will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and the scientist’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever.

 

Penney, Stef     Under a Pole Star

A whaler’s daughter first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of twelve, fell in love with the cold and unforgiving terrain, and forged lifelong bonds with the Inuit people who have carved out an existence on its icy plains. Now she sets out to become a scientist and polar explorer, despite those who believe that a young woman has no place in such a harsh world, and in 1892, heads back to northern Greenland to lead a British expedition. When her path crosses that of a rival expedition, their entwined actions set in motion a chain of events whose tragic outcomes, both for his team of scientists and the indigenous people of Greenland, will reverberate for years to come.

 

Francesca, Hornak     Seven Days of Us

Is a week too long to spend in quarantine with your family?  For the first time in years, a family will be under one roof for the holidays, at their aging country estate. One daughter, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week, and so too should her family. For the next seven days, they are all in lock down, cut off from the rest of humanity — and even decent Wi-Fi — and forced into each other’s orbits. In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive.

 

DeMille, Nelson     The Cuban Affair

A U.S. Army combat veteran with five years as an Army infantry officer, two tours in Afghanistan, and many medals in his drawer, is now the captain of a 42-foot charter fishing boat and about to set sail on his most dangerous cruise.  In a bar in Key West, he awaits a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups, who wants to hire the captain for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba, for which he will pay two million dollars. The lawyer’s clients are a mysterious older Cuban exile and a beautiful Cuban-American woman whose grandfather hid $60 million before fleeing Castro’s revolution. With the “Cuban Thaw” underway between Havana and Washington, it’s only a matter of time before someone finds the stash.  The captain will walk away rich, or not at all.
Woods, Stuart     Quick & Dirty

When a crime brings a beautiful new client into the office of a former NYPD detective turned lawyer, he has no idea that his association with her will pull him into the mysterious and exclusive world of art. It’s a business where a rare find could make a career and a collection, and mistakes in judgment are costly. And under its genteel and high-minded veneer lurks an assortment of grifters and malfeasants eager to cash in on the game, who may believe that a valuable work of art is worth killing for.

 

McDermott, Alice     The Ninth Hour

On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant recently fired from his job and badgered by his pregnant wife opens the gas taps in his Brooklyn tenement.  In the aftermath of the ensuing fire, an aging nun appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child. Decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence. Yet his suicide, although never spoken of, reverberates through many lives and over the decades, testing the limits of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations.

 

Cussler, Clive     The Romanov Ransom

When a modern-day kidnapping captures the attention of a husband-and-wife treasure-hunting team, the couple soon learn that the long-lost riches of the Romanov fortune may be back in play, held in trust by the descendants of a Nazi guerrilla faction whose mission is to establish the Fourth Reich, and soon. As the treasure hunters follow the trail across Europe, Northern Africa, and South America, they know that this quest is their chance to make someone answer for unspeakable crimes, and to prevent them from happening again.

 

Johansen, Iris     Mind Game

Scotland holds a treasure that a woman has been hunting for years. But as she scours the Highlands in search of it, she’s plagued by dreams of a girl in danger, dreams she can’t ignore no matter how hard she tries. Who is this girl, and what is she trying to say? And will she figure it out before it’s too late — for her and the mysterious young woman?  Things are further complicated when a man comes back into her life. Their history is volatile, and she finds herself pulled unexpectedly into his world as she fights to save him.

 

 

 

Follett, Ken     Column of Fire

In 1558, the ancient stones of a cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. One couple wants nothing more than to marry, but the lovers are of opposing sides religions.  Discouraged, the man finds work with Queen Elizabeth, who sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between the couple seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents. The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise, against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else — no matter what the cost.
Archer, Jeffrey     Tell Tale

In this story collection written with his keen eye for time and place, the author offers insight into the people he has met, the stories he has come across and the countries he has visited during the past ten years.

 

King, Stephen and Owen King     Sleeping Beauties

In an imagined future, in a small Appalachian own whose primary employer is a women’s prison, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent. And while they sleep they go to another place, a better place, where harmony prevails and conflict is rare. One such woman is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is she a medical anomaly, or a demon who must be slain? Abandoned, left to their increasingly primal urges, the men divide into warring factions, some wanting to kill this unique woman, some to save her. Others exploit the chaos to wreak their own vengeance on new enemies. All turn to violence in a suddenly all-male world.
Egan, Jennifer     Manhattan Beach

In Brooklyn during the Great Depression, a 12-year-old accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her family. She observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between the stranger and her dad. Years later her father has disappeared, and the country is at war.  At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, she becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing America’s warships. When one night she chances to meet the man she visited with her father before he vanished, she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, and the reasons he might have been murdered.

 

Coben, Harlan     Don’t Let Go

In suburban New Jersey, a detective hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother and girlfriend were found dead on the railroad tracks, and the girl the detective considered the love of his life broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, he has been searching for the real reason behind his brother’s death, and for the one that got away, whose fingerprints unexpectedly turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer. The detective embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about his brother and girlfriend, whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than he ever dared imagine.

 

Evans, Richard Paul     The Mistletoe Secret
Thinking no one is reading, a blogger writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness, living from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if even one single person cared about her.  One man does care. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, nursing his own broken heart, dealing with trust issues, and finding himself falling for this vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues she has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in a small town in Utah. He makes his way there determined to find the mysterious blogger, but instead, he finds a woman waitressing in a diner, who encourages him in his search while serving him pie and sympathy.
Coulter, Catherine     Enigma

A pair of FBI agents work with NY special forces is racing against the clock to catch an international criminal and solve the enigma of the man called John Doe. They come up against a scientist who wants to live forever and is using John Doe to help him take his experiments to the next level. Meanwhile, a violent criminal has escaped through a daring rescue, the event tied in somehow to the murder of the girlfriend of the president’s Chief of Staff’s only son. Lots to do.

 

Allende, Isabel     In the Midst of Winter

Amid the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, a lonely university professor in his 60s hits the car of a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a serious turn when she comes to his house seeking help.

 

Hanks, Tom     Uncommon Type: Some stories

Yes, that Tom Hanks.  This collection of 17 intelligent and heartwarming stories includes the tales of a gentle Eastern European immigrant who arrives in NYC after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country’s civil war, of a man who loves to bowl who rolls so many perfect games  that he winds up ESPN’s newest celebrity, which may result in the ruination of the thing he loves, and of an eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant who venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down-and-out motel, romance, and a bit of real life.

 

Doyle, Roddy     Smile

A man in a new apartment, alone for the first time in years, visits the local pub every evening for a pint. One evening a stranger interrupts who seems to know his name and remember him from secondary school. The loner dislikes him on sight, dislikes, too, the memories that he stirs up of the five years when they were taught by the Christian Brothers. He prompts other memories—of his beautiful wife who became a celebrity, and of his own small claim to fame as the man who would say the unsayable on the radio. But it’s the memories of school, and of one particular brother, that he cannot control and which eventually threaten to destroy his sanity.

Patterson, James     Haunted

An idyllic country town in the Maine woods is haunted by an epidemic which is emptying its streets and preying on its youth. Turns out the seemingly perfect community has a deadly vice.  When local cops uncover a grisly crime scene buried deep in the woods, a NY detective on vacation in Maine finds himself partnering with a haunted, hardscrabble, and forgotten girl with a traumatic history to search for the ghostlike perpetrator behind the violence.

 

Michaels, Fern     Holly and Ivy

An airline heiress facing thoughts of yet another holiday season alone is still submerged in grief eight years after a plane crash claimed the lives of her husband and two children. When an eleven-year-old knocks on her door, lost and frightened after making a forbidden visit to her singing teacher, the woman’s self-imposed exile is shattered. The child has an extraordinary voice, and wants nothing more than to perform in an upcoming Christmas musical, but her father doesn’t allow music in their home, refusing to give a good reason why, just as he refuses to talk about her mother. Unaware of his tragic past, the woman is drawn to the warmth she senses beneath his gruff exterior. And as Christmas nears, their shared concern for the girl begins to draw the widow back into the world again.

 

Flynn, Vince     Enemy of the State

In this novel, set after 9/11, the U.S. makes one of the most secretive and dangerous deals in its history. The evidence against the powerful Saudis who coordinated the attack will be buried, in return for which King Faisal will keep the oil flowing and deal with the conspirators in his midst. When the king’s own nephew is discovered funding ISIS, the president suspects that the Saudis never intended to live up to their agreement. He decides that the royalty needs to be sent a message and that a certain CIA agent is just the man to deliver it. The catch? America can’t be seen moving against an ally, so the agent will be completely on his own.

 

Macomber, Debbie     Merry and Bright

Besides taking care of her family, a busy woman is baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Social events are the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, her well-meaning mom and brother have created an online dating profile for her—minus her photo—and the matches start rolling in. Soon she is chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person she expects, or desires.

 

 

 

Sandford, John     Deep Freeze

An agent with the Minnesota investigative forces knows a town in that state a little too well. A few years back, he investigated the corrupt—and as it turned out, homicidal—local school board, and now the town’s back in the spot light with more alarming news: a woman has been found dead, frozen in a block of ice. There’s a possibility that the discovery might be connected to a high school class of twenty years earlier who have a mid-winter reunion coming up, and so, wrapping his coat a little more tightly, he begins to dig into twenty years’ worth of traumas, feuds, and bad blood.

 

New Mysteries

Coleman, Reed     Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet

On the morning of the wedding of his loyal police protégé, the police chief in a coastal Massachusetts town learns that a gala 75th birthday party is to be held for a Dylan-like folk singer who has spent the last forty years in seclusion after the mysterious disappearance of the master recording tape of his magnum opus. That same morning, an elderly woman dies while her house is being ransacked, the crime connected to the reclusive musician and his missing tape. The chief’s investigation is hampered by hostile politicians and a growing trail of blood and bodies, forcing him to solicit the help of a local mobster and of a certain Boston area PI named Spenser.

 

McKibben, Bill     Radio Free Vermont

A native Vermonter has watched his beloved state slowly transform from a small, neighborly, farm-based culture to one that values big-box stores and big-name cheap beer.  Now in his 70s, facing the end of his career on local talk radio, he goes into hiding, having been branded a terrorist after his subversive stunt at a Walmart goes wild.  He and his friends spread their message of resistance through his podcast Radio Free Vermont and through acts in defense of the environment.  Are they headed for a new utopia, or jail?

 

Rademacher, Cay     Murderous Mistral

An officer of the law a bit too effective in his anti-corruption investigations has been banished from Paris to a small village in Provence, now living alone in an empty 200-year-old hotel.  He is teamed with a disgraced lieutenant who drinks too much but knows the local politics.  As they investigate the killing of a local man shot and burned in the dump, a second murder is uncovered, catapulting them into dangerous territory where their actions could destroy their careers.

 

Perry, Anne    An Echo of Murder

In Victorian London, a commander with the Thames River Police has yet to see a more gruesome crime scene: a Hungarian warehouse owner lies in the middle of his blood-sodden office, pierced through the chest with a bayonet and eerily surrounded by seventeen candles, their wicks dipped in blood. He turns to London’s Hungarian community in search of clues but finds his inquiries stymied by its wary citizens and a language he doesn’t speak. Only with the help of a local pharmacist acting as translator can he hope to penetrate this tightly knit enclave, even as more of its members fall victim to identical brutal murders generating ever greater fear and anger among the Hungarian émigrés, and increased resistance to the police.  He will race time and the rising tide of terror all around him to stop the killer.

 

Wolf, Kevin     The Homeplace

The first in four generations of his family to move away from a certain corner of Colorado, a man found that leaving saved the best of him and hid the worst. But now he has come home: his friends are right there waiting for him, and so are his enemies. Then the murder of a boy, a high school basketball star, rocks the small town. When another death is discovered―one that also shares unsettling connections to the newly-returned Coloradoan, law enforcement’s attention turns towards him, causing him to wonder just what he came home to.

 

Beaton, M.C.     The Witches’ Tree

In the Cotswolds, a new vicar and his wife driving slowly home in a dense fog from a dinner party strain to see the road ahead, then suddenly brake, screeching to a halt. Aglow in the headlights, a body hangs from a gnarled tree at the edge of town, the victim an elderly spinster.  A female investigator seems to unearth more questions than answers, and when two more murders follow the first, she fears for her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn’t make her feel any better.

 

Winslow, Don     The Force

The highly-decorated detective in charge of NYPD’s special task force is sitting in a jail cell, stripped of gun and badge and accused of being a dirty cop. For 18 years, he led a full-frontal assault on gangs, drugs and guns in Manhattan without regard to protocols, procedures or even the law. What only a few knew is that he was dirty: he and his partners stole millions of dollars in drugs and cash in the wake of the biggest heroin bust in the city’s history. Now he is being squeezed by the Feds, and he must walk the thin line between betraying his brothers and partners, the Job, his family, and the woman he loves, trying to survive, body and soul, while the city teeters on the brink of a racial conflagration that could destroy them all.

 

Lanh, Andrew     Child of My Winter

The son of an unknown American GI and a Vietnamese mother is despised, but he is lucky enough eventually to be sent to the U.S., where he ends up in Hartford teaching criminology at a local college and building his p.i. business.  When someone on campus is murdered after reaching out to a bullied Vietnamese scholarship student, the student becomes prime suspect.  Teaming with a state police officer, the professor/p.i. begins an investigation that will take them into the past, where the scars of the Vietnam War haven’t healed in the divided immigrant community.  In memory of Parker Carey.

 

Brown, Rita Mae     Crazy Like a Fox

A woman on the board of the Museum of Hounds and Hunting learns that a venerable hunting horn has been stolen from the collection, the only clue, on a left-behind cell phone, is what seems to be a selfie of a man who has been dead for decades.  She will, with the help of her hounds, follow the scent of a killer and unearth a long-buried truth.

 

Schmidt, Sarah     See What I Have Done

In this psychological thriller, four people alternate first-person narration, sharing their perspectives on the brutal axe murders of her parents in 1892 by Lizzie Borden of Fall River, MA.  Lizzie, her sister, their maid, and a mysterious stranger reveal a family that’s gone several steps beyond dysfunctional, all steeped in hatred strong enough to lead to the vicious assault.  So Lizzie may not have been the only viable suspect.

 

Francis, Felix     Pulse

A smartly dressed man has been found unconscious at the local racecourse and is rushed to the hospital, where he subsequently dies. With no form of identification on him, and no one claiming the body, the staff can’t begin to guess who he is. The doctor on duty is intrigued by the nameless dead man, and starts asking questions. But someone who doesn’t want the questions answered has gone to any lengths to prevent it, including an attempted murder. Will the doctor be following the victim into an early grave?

 

Brady, A.F.     The Blind

A psychologist working at a Manhattan psychiatric institution is assigned a difficult patient, a man mentally ill after considerable time in prison who refuses to answer all questions. For stress relief from this impossible case and from the pressure her boyfriend exerts on her to move in with him, the psychologist takes daily excursions to the local bar. Eventually her life starts to unravel, and no amount of extra makeup will hide the truth. She will be driven to take risks that could backfire in the worst possible way.

 

Gable, Steve     The Bloody Black Flag

After a fight in a Boston tavern, two men escape by joining the crew of a pirate ship headed to Jamaica in 1722.  When someone spreads rumors to the superstitious shipmates that the new sailor’s grandmother and mother were hanged as witches in Salem, the sailor turns up dead.  The other, now serving as ship’s carpenter, suspects murder, and determines to stay alive until he can find justice for his dead friend.

 

Robb, J.D.     Secrets in Death

A chic Manhattan nightspot is not the kind of place a police lieutenant would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening, when a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, professional gossip, is mortally wounded.  She was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally―with a knife to the brachial artery.

 

May, Peter     Cast Iron

An expat forensic expert attempting to solve the last of seven notorious murders documented in a Parisian journalist’s book on cold cases must unravel the murder of a 20-year-old woman whose bones, long submerged in a lake, have become exposed in a drought.  At the time of her disappearance, no one was convinced it was murder, but the bleached bones now sticking out of the mud are proof.  The investigator will unexpectedly open a Pandora’s box that not only raises old ghosts but also endangers his entire family.

 

Mayor, Archer     Trace

While the head of the Vermont Bureau of Investigation is on leave caring for his ailing mother, three cases land on his desk at the same time, to be given to other investigators.  One is a murder case, the victim a young woman and roommate of the daughter of the local medical examiner.  What put a hit man on the trail of this seemingly innocent young woman? The second is a famous cold case, a double murder where a state trooper and a motorist were killed in an exchange of gunfire. But when the investigator learns that the motorist’s fingerprints were planted on the gun he’s supposed to have fired, he no longer can say who really killed the state trooper. The third case starts with a child’s discovery of three teeth on a railroad track, leading the police eventually to possible sabotage against critical military equipment.

 

Griffiths, Elly     The Chalk Pit

A string of murders and disappearances deep within the old abandoned chalk-mining tunnels of Norwich, England stumps a frumpy, middle-aged forensic archaeologist who notices that the bones are almost translucent, a sign they were boiled soon after death. Once more, she finds herself at the helm of a murder investigation.  As she and the local DCI investigate the tunnels, they hear rumors of secret societies, cannibalism, and ritual killings. When a dead body is found with a map that appears to be of the chalk-tunnel underground, they realize their quest to find the killer has only just begun — and that there may be many more bodies underfoot.

 

 

Thomas, Sherry     A Conspiracy in Belgravia

A female iteration of Sherlock Holmes (assisted by Mrs. Watson) is not prepared for the new client who arrives at her Baker Street office.  The wife of her friend and benefactor wants the detective to find her first love, who has failed to show up at their annual rendezvous. Matters of loyalty and discretion aside, the case becomes even more personal as the missing man is none other than the detective’s illegitimate half-brother.  In the meantime, an unidentified body surfaces where least expected. Her investigative prowess is challenged as never before: can she find her brother in time—or will he, too, end up as a nameless corpse somewhere in the belly of London?

 

Thomas, Wendall     Lost Luggage

A travel agent in Brooklyn who yearns for adventure gets her chance when she wins a trip to Tasmania at a travel agents’ convention in Atlantic City, where she found herself after the shock of discovering her elderly neighbor, the owner of a pet shop, dead.  No trip could turn out to be more disastrous, with lost luggage, two elderly clients in an African jail, and herself hip-deep in the world of international animal smuggling – and she’s become top suspect in her neighbor’s murder.

 

Bruen, Ken     The Ghosts of Galway

Following a failed suicide attempt, a down-on-his-luck Irishman/former policeman now working as a security guard is offered by his boss a large sum of money to find a heretical book rumored to be in the possession of a priest hiding in Galway after fleeing the Vatican. An old flame also becomes entangled in the hunt for the book. As time goes on, darkness surrounds him and threatens to overwhelm him.

 

Connelly, Michael     Two Kinds of Truth

A detective exiled from the LAPD now working cold cases for the San Fernando Police is called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery.  Clues will lead them to the dangerous big-business world of prescription drug abuse, and he will have to go undercover into the shadowy world or organized crime and pill mills.

 

Lagercrantz, David     The Girl Who Takes an Eye

A brilliant young hacker, obstinate outsider and volatile seeker of justice for herself and others, has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally, fully explain her to herself. Now, seeing a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of the editor of a muckraking, investigative journal, and will let nothing stop her—not the Islamists she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality, not the prison gang leader who passes a death sentence on her, not the deadly reach of her long-lost twin sister, and not the people who will do anything to keep buried a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry.

 

Coffin, Bruce     Beneath the Depths

When the body of a prominent Portland attorney turns up in the bottom of Casco Bay, following his loss of a multimillion dollar civil trial, a detective knows it’s no accidental drowning. The victim had a dark side, and the detective believes the key to solving his murder lies in uncovering those secrets someone wanted buried along with him. He will have to take on the attorney’s former employer, a powerhouse law firm. Delving further only serves to lengthen the list of suspects—unleashing a perfect storm of corruption, betrayal, and murder.

 

Steward, Amy     Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confession

A deputy sheriff in 1916 Hackensack is furious when young women are jailed in her territory on charges of incorrigibility or immorality.  The deputy sheriff often exceeds her authority in investigating and defending these women when no one else will. But it’s her sister who puts her beliefs to the test and forces her to reckon with her own ideas of how a young woman should and shouldn’t behave.

 

Cleeves, Ann     The Seagull

A visit to her local prison brings a British DI face to face with an old enemy, a former detective superintendent, now incarcerated.  He was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper.  Although she played a key part in his downfall, he now promises her information about the disappearance of a notorious deal maker who disappeared in the mid-nineties, if she in turn will look out for his daughter and grandchildren. He tells her that the criminal she seeks is dead, his body buried on a nearby island.  But when a search team investigates, they find not one skeleton, but two.  In memory of Parker Carey.

 

McKennan, Greta     Uniformly Dead

A seamstress sleuth slips back in time when she expands her business beyond stitching wedding gowns to sewing costumes for a band of Civil War re-enactors setting up camp in her home town. But soon the small-town peace starts coming apart at the seams as an antique doll is stolen from a Civil War exhibit and a cranky colonel is found impaled on his own bayonet. When the seamstress’s brother is suspected of the theft and a bridal client’s fiancé is accused of the murder, she feels she must untangle the clues to prove their innocence.

 

 

New SciFi

Klein, Tal M.     The Punch Escrow

In 2147, advancements in nanotechnology can control aging, genetically engineered mosquitos feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution, and teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation offered by the world’s most powerful corporation. A man who spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human is trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage.  He’s an everyday guy, until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.  He will have to find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

 

 

New in Large Print

Marzano-Lesnevich, Alexandria     The Fact of a Body: A murder and a memoir

As the author begins a summer job at a Louisiana law firm, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment a convicted murderer’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes, she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeply into the case, sensing that something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. By examining the details of this case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of the crime.

 

Murphy, Devin     The Boat Runner

A young Dutch man coming of age during the perilousness of World War II enjoys a sheltered life of prosperity and quiet contentment. Many of the residents in their small Dutch town have some connection to the family lightbulb factory, and the locals hold the parents in high esteem. Conflict with Germany still seems unthinkable, even as the boy’s father naively sends his sons to a Hitler Youth Camp in an effort to secure German business for the factory. When war breaks out, their world is thrown into chaos. Over the course of four years, through the forests of France, the stormy beaches of England, and deep within the secret missions of the German Navy, the young man will confront the moral dilemma that will change his life—and his life’s mission—forever.

 

 

 

New Audiobooks

Lee, Min Jin     Pachinko

In the early 1900s, the adored teen-aged daughter of a crippled fisherman falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant, and that her lover is married, she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Basu, Diksha     The Windfall

A young woman who has been pining for her close male friend buys a lottery ticket on a lark for his eighteenth birthday. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. But as they negotiate the ripple effects of his newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them, and soon, the money starts to feel more like a curse than a windfall.
Sandberg, Sheryl     Option B: Facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy

After the sudden death of her husband, the author experienced such a vast emptiness that she felt certain that she and her children would never feel joy again.  But her psychologist friend at Wharton enumerated for her the concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences, including death and illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war.

 

Wingate, Lisa     Before We Were Yours

Memphis, 1939.  A twelve-year-old and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat, until their father rushes their mother off to the hospital one stormy night.  The child is left in charge, but strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the five siblings are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents.  But the dark truth is that the Home is a front for the selling of kidnapped children to wealthy families all over the country.  Years later, a successful federal prosecutor with a handsome fiancé and a lavish wedding on the horizon returns home to help her father weather a health crisis.  A chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions about the past and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption. Based on an actual child-selling scandal run from a Memphis-based adoption agency.

 

Hilderbrand, Elin     The Identicals

Identical twin sisters couldn’t look more alike, or be more different in their lives and habits. One is laid-back, easygoing, uninterested in what people think, and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything fashionable. She’s inherited her father’s rundown house on Martha’s Vineyard, but she can’t hold down a job, and her latest romantic disaster has the entire island talking. The other is dignified, refined, a connoisseur of fine wine with the impeccable taste of her mother, an iconic fashion designer. She’s also inherited her mother’s questionable parenting skills –her teenage daughter is in full rebellion mode. After more than a decade apart, the twins switch islands–and lives–to save what’s left of their splintered family. Before the last beach picnic of the season, there will be enough old resentments, new loves, and cases of mistaken identity to make this the most talked-about summer that Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket have experienced in ages.

 

 

New Films

Maudie          Based on a true story. When a recluse in 1930s Nova Scotia advertises for a housekeeper, he is stunned to find on his doorstep a tiny, fragile, bright-eyed young woman, hunched over, with crippled hands, insisting that he hire her. She takes the job, wanting to be independent, to live away from her protective family, and also yearning passionately to create art. Unexpectedly, the farmer finds himself falling in love, but makes a huge effort to protect himself from being hurt. Maudie’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man continues as she surprisingly rises to fame as a folk painter, her studio her small kitchen, her gallery a chair in the front yard.

 

Islander          Along the coast of Maine, where fishing families have lived and worked the sea for generations, birthright is akin to law and fishing territories are inherited.  One man continues his family’s legacy of harvesting lobsters, but after causing a tragic accident at sea, he loses everything.  After serving five years in prison he returns, determined to win back the way of life he fought so hard to protect.  Only now he is an outcast, his ex-wife wants nothing to do with him, and fishermen see him as a harbinger of bad luck.  Only an old, weathered and gruff fisherman offers him a chance to become an Islander again.  In memory of Parker Carey.

 

Park Bench          In this unconventional comedy/romance, two opposites share their inner lives through the books they read. When a neurotic librarian-to-be is assigned to a struggling undergrad in American lit, they do not get along. But when the discussion turns from classics to confessions, they reveal secrets that could change their lives forever. Once they’ve exposed their deepest feelings, they’re forced to make an important choice about their future.

 

The Vietnam War:  A film by Ken Burns          Intended to generate an honest conversation among Americans which is long overdue, this 10-part documentary features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.  The series brings the war and the chaotic epoch it encompassed viscerally to life with rarely-seen, digitally remastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations and more than 100 iconic musical recordings of the era.  In memory of Chris Kennedy.

 

Secondhand Lions          During a hot Central Texas summer in the early 1960s, a 14-year-old is dumped by his man-crazy mother on his great-uncles’ farm with no advance notice. The old uncles (Robert Duvall and Michael Caine) are eccentric and gruff, very anti-social, rumored to have been bank-robbers or mafia men in their younger days and to have hidden away millions of dollars somewhere on the farm. Little by little, at the boy’s prompting, their real story spins out, envisioned by the boy as a tale set in a long-ago, mysterious place where men rode stallions and fought with swords, where one uncle’s love for a beautiful princess caused him to be chased by treacherous sheiks. Through their tales and behavior, the uncles teach the boy the most important life lessons.

 

Deep Water          At a popular surfing community in Australia, the brutal murder of a young gay man initiates a police investigation that caps off nearly three decades of dead-end police work on similar crimes. A newly assigned female officer quickly sees a personal connection between the new killing and a series of unsolved murders of gay men from the late 1980s, a revelation that will put her in conflict with her commanding officer and which places everyone linked to the case in mortal danger. Layers of past corruption will be uncovered, even as the body county continues to mount.

 

The Wavy Gravy Movie:  Saint Misbehavin’          This unforgettable trip through the amazing life and times of poet, clown and activist Wavy Gravy takes us from poetry readings in Greenwich Village to an epic bus trip from England to Nepal by way of Afghanistan, from keeping the peace at Woodstock to his present-day mission raising funds for sight-saving operations in the Third World while co-directing a circus and performing arts camp. One individual can make a difference.

 

The Lovers on the Bridge            Juliette Binoche plays a disaffected painter losing her eyesight who bonds with a street person performing for booze money while loitering on the Pont Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, closed for repairs and now a haven for the homeless.

 

Doctor Blake Mysteries: Series 3          Things have changed for a doctor who serves the local police force in an Australian town. The police chief, his friend, has been fired, and a fierce, narrow-minded replacement threatens to end the doctor’s assignment. But that’s the least of his troubles – he has uncovered a dark story behind his beloved mother’s death. The wonderfully maverick doctor is pushed to his limits as he continues to uncover the truth behind a range of intriguing murders in 1950s rural Australia.  In memory of Parker Carey.

 

Cooking at World’s End          From the sourcing of local ingredients to the training of a next generation of cooks, this film chronicles the formation and evolution of a collective of chefs based in the Spanish province of Galicia, who in 2003 first banded together to promote the local cuisine.  Drawing upon the rich culinary resources of their homeland, the chefs, with eight Michelin starts among them, create dishes that celebrate the local products and traditional cooking known and loved by generations of Galicians.

 

The Hero          Sam Elliott stars as a former Western icon fearlessly reckoning with his life, his image, and most importantly his heart, after a surprise diagnosis.  He has a golden voice, but his best performances are decades behind him, and he spends his days reliving old glories and smoking too much weed with his former co-star-turned-dealer.  When a surprise cancer diagnosis brings his priorities into sharp focus, he strikes up an exciting, contentious relationship with a stand-up comedienne and attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter, all the while searching for one final role with which to cement his legacy.

 

Land of Mine          As World War II comes to an end, a group of young German POs is captured by the Danish army and forced to de-fuse and remove two million land mines from the Danish coast. With little to no training, the boys soon discover that the war is far from over.  Inspired by true events, this is the untold story of the young men who faced overwhelming odds in a post-war world.

 

Book and film descriptions are excerpted from dust jackets,

publisher info, and book and film reviews.