The One And Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
This 2012 story was recently awarded the Newberry Medal as best children’s book of the year. Ivan is based on a true story…a small circus inside a mall featuring a baby elephant, dogs, parrots and a silverback gorilla name Ivan. Ivan was captured in the wild as a baby and hasn’t seen one of his own kind in thirty years, hence the one and only Ivan. He and the other animals bond together to help and encourage each other, making a most unusual family. This sweet and charming tale isn’t just for kids; it’s a wonderful story for anyone and it will stay with you always.
Bad Blood by Dana Stabenow
One hundred years of bad blood between the villages of Kushtaka and Kuskulana come to a boil when the body of a young Kushtaka ne’er-do-well is found wedged in a fish wheel. Sergeant Jim Chopin’s prime suspect is a Kuskulana man who is already in trouble in both villages for falling in love across the river. But when the suspect disappears, members of both tribes refuse to speak to Jim. When a second murder that looks suspiciously like payback occurs, Jim has no choice but to call in Kate Shugak for help. This time, though, her Park relationships may not be enough to sort out the truth hidden in the tales of tragedy and revenge.
Calculated In Death by J.D. Robb
On Manhattan’s Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better. A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone’s hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta’s murder was the work of a killer who’s trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence. But when someone steals the files out of Marta’s office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke’s world of big business to figure out who’s cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer’s violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . . .
Deadly Stakes by J.A. Jance
Police academy-trained former reporter Ali Reynolds is contacted to investigate the grisly murder of a gold-digging divorcee on behalf of a woman accused of the crime. Lynn Martinson is dating the dead woman’s ex-husband, and she and her boyfriend Chip Ralston have been charged. Ali is simultaneously drawn to the case of A.J. Sanders, a frightened teen with secrets of his own. He’s the first to find the body in the Camp Verde desert when he goes to retrieve a mysterious buried box hidden by his absent father—a box that turns out to be filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in poker chips.
When the body of an ex-con is discovered near the first crime scene, Ali struggles to determine if A.J. and Lynn’s cases are related. Though her friends in the police department grow increasingly irritated by her involvement with the cases, Ali must stop a deadly killer from claiming another victim…before she herself is lost in this game of deadly stakes.
Holy Smoke: A Jerusalem Mystery by Frederick Ramsay
The year is 29 C. E. and Jerusalem chafes under the Roman Empire’s continued presence and oppressive rule. But in spite of that unpleasant fact of life, life goes on—but not for everyone. People die, some because it is their time, others by misadventure. One death in particular brings the City’s daily routine to a halt. A badly scorched body is found behind the veil of The Holy of Holies—the Temple’s inner sanctum, the most sacred space on earth for the Jews. No one except the High Priest may enter this place and he only once a year on the Day of Atonement. This is no casual violation and the authorities are in an uproar. Gamaliel, the Rabban of the Sanhedrin, the ranking rabbi in all of Judea, finds himself drawn into solving this delicate mystery while dark agents with unholy interests, plot to seize control of much of the trade in certain highly profitable imports from the east and west. Loukas, the physician, plays “Watson” to Gamaliel’s “Sherlock” as the tangled web of intrigue and murder is slowly unraveled, but not before more bodies, both literal and figurative pop up. All the while Yeshua, the radical rabbi from the Galilee, continues to annoy the High Priest and Holy Smoke, from the sacrifices rise from the Temple.
After Rome: A Novel Of Celtic Britain by Morgan Llewellyn
After more than four hundred years of Roman rule, the island its conquerors called Britannia was abandoned—left to its own devices as the Roman empire contracted in a futile effort to defend itself from the barbarian hordes encroaching upon its heart. As Britannia falls into anarchy and the city of Viroconium is left undefended, two cousins who remained behind when the imperial forces withdrew pursue very different courses in the ensuing struggle to unite the disparate tribes and factions throughout the land.
Passionate, adventurous Dinas recruits followers and dreams of kingship. Thoughtful Cadogan saves a group of citizens when Saxons invade and burn Viroconium, then becomes the reluctant founder and leader of a new community that rises in the wilderness. The two cousins could not be more different, but their parallel stories encapsulate the era of a new civilization struggling to be born.
Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson
Top plastic surgeon Elijah Creem is renowned for his skills in the operating room, and for his wild, no-expense-spared “industry parties,” bringing in underage exotic dancers and models for nights of drugs, champagne, and uninhibited sex. That is, until Detective Alex Cross busts one of Creem’s lavish soirees and ruins his fun. Now Creem is willing to do anything to avoid going to jail. But Alex doesn’t have time to dwell on that case. A beautiful woman has been found murdered in her car, a lock of her hair viciously ripped off. Then a second woman is found hanging from a sixth-floor window with a brutal scar slashed across her stomach. When a third mutilated body is discovered, rumors of three serial killers on the loose send Washington D.C. into an all-out frenzy. Alex is under so much pressure to solve these three grim cases that he hasn’t noticed that someone else investigating him-someone so obsessed and so twisted that they’ll do anything-ANYTHING- to get the vengeance they require. Alex Cross, Run is James Patterson’s most unrelenting story yet-a white-hot, sensational thrill ride with the most extreme and gripping characters Patterson has ever brought to life.
Guilt by Jonathan Kellerman
A series of horrifying events occur in quick succession in the same upscale L.A. neighborhood. A backyard renovation unearths an infant’s body, buried sixty years ago. And soon thereafter in a nearby park, another disturbingly bizarre discovery is made not far from the body of a young woman shot in the head. Helping LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis to link these eerie incidents is brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware. But even the good doctor’s vast experience with matters both clinical and criminal might not be enough to cut down to the bone of this chilling case—and draw out the disturbing truth.
Backtracking six decades into the past stirs up tales of a beautiful nurse with a mystery lover, a handsome, wealthy doctor who seems too good to be true, and a hospital with a notorious reputation—all of them long gone, along with any records of a newborn, and destined for anonymity. But the specter of fame rears its head when the case unexpectedly twists in the direction of the highest echelons of celebrity privilege. Entering this sheltered world, Alex little imagines the macabre layer just below the surface—a decadent quagmire of unholy rituals and grisly sacrifice. Before their work is done, Alex and Milo must confront a fanatically deranged mind of such monstrous cunning that even the most depraved madman would shudder.
Wise Men by Stuart Nadler
Almost overnight, Arthur Wise has become one of the wealthiest and most powerful attorneys in America. His first big purchase is a simple beach house in a place called Bluepoint, a town on the far edge of the flexed arm of Cape Cod. It’s in Bluepoint, during the summer of 1952, that Arthur’s teenage son, Hilly, makes friends with Lem Dawson, a black man whose job it is to take care of the house but whose responsibilities quickly grow. When Hilly finds himself falling for Lem’s niece, Savannah, his affection for her collides with his father’s dark secrets. The results shatter his family, and hers. Years later, haunted by his memories of that summer, Hilly sets out to find Savannah, in an attempt to right the wrongs he helped set in motion. But can his guilt, and his good intentions, overcome the forces of history, family, and identity?
Red Velvet Cupcake Murders by Jonanne Fluke
It’s a hot summer evening in Lake Eden, Minnesota – and the Grand Opening of the refurbished Albion Hotel. Hannah Swensen’s famous Red Velvet cupcakes are being served in the new Red Velvet lounge. The party starts off with a bang with the arrival of Doctor Bev, who left town in shame after she two-timed her fiance. But the gossip comes to a screeching halt when another partygoer takes a dive off the hotel’s rooftop garden. As the police investigate, the only one who isn’t preoccupied with the case is Doctor Bev. She’s too busy trying to stir things up with her old flame Norman, who’s reunited with Hannah. Just as Hannah’s patience with Bev runs thin, her rival is found dead at the bottom of Miller’s Pond. To everyone’s shock, Hannah is now the target of a murder investigation – and she’s feeling the heat in a way she never has before…
Until The End Of Time by Danielle Steel
Bill, a dedicated young lawyer working at his family’s prestigious New York firm, leaves everything he trained for to follow his dream and become a minister in rural Wyoming. Jenny, his wife, is a stylist whose heart and soul are invested in fashion. She leaves the milieu and life she loves to join him. The certainty they share is that their destinies are linked forever. Fast forward thirty-eight years. Robert is a hardworking independent book publisher in Manhattan who has given up all personal life to build his struggling business. He is looking for one big hit novel to publish. Lillibet is a young Amish woman, living as though in the seventeenth century, caring for her widowed father and three young brothers on their family farm. In secret at night, by candlelight, she has written the novel that burns within her, and gets it into Robert’s hands, wrapped in her hand-stitched apron. He falls in love first with the book, and then with the woman he has never met, living in the sequestered world of the Amish—a world without telephones, computers, electricity, modern conveniences, or cars. Although Lillibet faces banishment from her family and community, she embraces the opportunity to publish her novel, and is irresistibly drawn to the man who has heard her voice. Destiny is at work here. Fate draws her from her horse-and-buggy life toward his, and the publication of her novel. In the hands of master storyteller Danielle Steel, these two remarkable relationships come together in unexpected and surprising ways, as lovers are lost, and find each other again. If it is true that real love lasts forever and lovers cannot lose each other, then Until the End of Time will not only comfort and fascinate us, as destiny does her dance, but it will give us hope as well. Love and fate are powerful, irresistible forces, as Steel proves to us here, in a book about courage, change, risk, and hope . . . and love that never dies.
White Smoke by Andrew Greeley, S.J.
Yesterday Pope Benedict became a civilian, kicking off a massive gathering of Cardinals from all over the world to choose a new Pope. Greeley, who is my favorite author of Christian fiction, takes the reader down in the middle of the process of picking the new leader of the Catholic Church in this 1997 novel. Lots of semi disguised figures here, including a cameo of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, but more important is the pageantry, history…and intrigue, that goes into choosing a new Pope, always signaled by the presence of white smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.