New books at S.M. Dunlap Library: April 2013

Widow’s Tears by Susan Wittig Albert

After losing her husband, five children, housekeeper, and beautiful home in the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Rachel Blackwood rebuilt her home, and later died there, having been driven mad with grief. In present-day Texas, Claire, the grand niece of Rachel’s caretaker, has inherited the house and wants to turn it into a bed and breakfast. But she is concerned that it’s haunted, so she calls in her friend Ruby—who has the gift of extrasensory perception—to check it out. While Ruby is ghost-hunting, China Bayles walks into a storm of trouble in nearby Pecan Springs. A half hour before she is to make her nightly deposit, the Pecan Springs bank is robbed and a teller is shot and killed. Before she can discover the identity of the killers, China follows Ruby to the Blackwood house to discuss urgent business. As she is drawn into the mystery of the haunted house, China opens the door on some very real danger…

Code by Kathy Reichs

The Virals are put to the ultimate test when they find a geocache containing an ornate puzzle box. Shelton decodes the cipher inside, only to find more tantalizing clues left by “The Gamemaster.” A second, greater geocache is within reach—if the Virals are up to the challenge. But the hunt takes a dark turn when Tory locates the other box—a fake bomb, along with a sinister proposal from The Gamemaster. Now, the real game has begun: another bomb is out there—a real one—and the clock is ticking.

Daddy’s Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark

A dark secret from a family’s past that threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, when the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City, founded by their grandfather and famous for its fine reproductions of antiques, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling the buildings to the ground, including the museum where priceless antiques have been on permanent display for years. The ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery, and provoke a host of suspicions and questions. Was the explosion deliberately set? What was Kate—tall, gorgeous, blond, a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, and sister of a rising fashion designer—doing in the museum when it burst into flames? Why was Gus, a retired and disgruntled craftsman, with her at that time of night? What if someone isn’t who he claims to be? Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in the hospital badly injured and in a coma, so neither can tell what drew them there, or what the tragedy may have to do with the hunt for a young woman missing for many years, nor can they warn that somebody may be covering his tracks, willing to kill to save himself . . . Step by step, in a novel of dazzling suspense and excitement, Mary Higgins Clark once again demonstrates the mastery of her craft that has made her books international bestsellers for years. She presents the reader with a perplexing mystery, a puzzling question of identity, and a fascinating cast of characters—one of whom may just be a ruthless killer . . .

Death Of Yesterday by M.C. Beaton

When a local woman tells Sergeant Hamish Macbeth that she doesn’t remember what happened the previous evening, he doesn’t begin to worry. She had been out drinking, after all, and he’d prefer not to be bothered with such an arrogant and annoying woman. But when her body is discovered, Hamish is forced to investigate a crime that the only known witness—now dead—had forgotten.

Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline

When Dr. Mike Scanlon is called to serve as an army doctor in Afghanistan, he’s acutely aware of the dangers he’ll face and the hardships it will cause his wife Chloe and newborn baby. And deep inside, he doesn’t think of himself as a warrior, but a healer. However, in an ironic turn of events, as Mike operates on a wounded soldier in a war-torn country, Chloe dies at home in the suburbs, in an apparent household accident. Devastated, he returns home to bury her, only to discover that the life he left behind has fallen apart. His medical practice is in jeopardy, and he is a complete stranger to the only family he has left – his precious baby girl. Worse, he learns a shocking secret that sends him into a downward spiral. Ultimately, Mike realizes that the most important battle of his life faces him on the home front and he’ll have to put it all on the line to save what’s dearest to him – his family.

Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble by Ann B. Ross

With a crisp bite in the air, Miss Julia is enjoying a well-earned respite by her new fireplace. But autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling: James, Hazel Marie’s housekeeper, has had a nasty tumble down some stairs. How can Hazel Marie feed and take care of him—not to mention a husband and two babies—when she barely knows how to boil water? Miss Julia jumps in to help by convincing the ladies of Abbotsville to put on their aprons and give cooking lessons. With success so close she can taste it, Miss Julia isn’t thrilled when an unexpected visitor shows up. Brother Vern Puckett, Hazel Marie’s no-good uncle, started life on the wrong foot and stayed there. What could he possibly want from his frazzled niece this time? With a delightful helping of madcap antics, Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble is a perfect next course in this charming series.

Secrets From The Past by Barbara Taylor Bradford

At thirty, American photojournalist Serena Stone has already made a name for herself with her unique and dramatic coverage of wars in the Middle East, following in her famous father’s footsteps. But after his unexpected death in France, she ends her job at the renowned photo news agency, weary of years of danger. Leaving the front lines behind, Serena returns to New York where she starts work on a biography of her celebrated father. When Serena discovers that her former lover Zachary North is in trouble overseas, she’s forced to leave the safety of her new life, and head back to a place she was trying to escape…and her life will never be the same again. As she brings Zac back to health in Venice, she discovers a shocking secret in the archives of her late father’s work. It is a secret that will propel her back to war-torn Libya, risking her life looking for clues that she hopes will piece together the mystery surrounding her parents’ marriage and the part of their life together that she never knew.

Six Years by Harlan Coban

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.

Breaking Point by C.J. Box

It was always good to see Butch Roberson, Joe thought—a hardworking, upright local business owner whose daughter was friends with his own. Little did he know that when he talked to Butch that day in the forest, the man was about to disappear. He was heading into the mountains to scout elk, he said, but instead he was running. Two EPA employees had just been murdered, and all signs pointed to him as the killer. As the manhunt organized itself, Joe heard more of the story—about the tract of land Butch and his wife had bought to build their retirement home on, until the EPA declared it a wetland. About the penalties they charged him when he balked, new ones piling up every day, until the family was torn apart . . . and finally, it seems, the man just cracked. It was an awful story. But was it the whole story? The more Joe looks into it, the more he begins to wonder—and the more he finds himself in the middle of a war he never expected and never wanted.Powerful forces want Roberson not just caught but dead—and the same goes for anyone who stands in their way. Every man reaches his breaking point. Joe Pickett may just have reached his.

Starting Now by Debbie Macomber

In Seattle, workaholic attorney Libby Morgan is shocked when she loses her position as expected to be main partner, but is not concerned as she expects law firms to come running to her. Instead she remains unemployed and bored. To pass time, Libby daily visits A Good Yarn knitting store on Blossom Street where she picks up the hobby of knitting that she used to enjoy doing alongside her late mom when she was a kid. Libby becomes friends with the shopkeeper Lydia Goetz, the owner’s teen daughter Casey, the latter’s BFF Ava and other knitters. However, troubled Ava touches Libby’s heart who tries to help her, leading to the unemployed attorney meeting Dr. Phillip Stone. However, when opportunity to return to her partnership path occurs, Libby must choose between her satisfying low-keyed life of friends and love or the lonely glide to legal top gun.
The return to Blossom Street (see Summer on Blossom Street and A Turn In The Road) is an engaging visit for long time readers as old friends play secondary roles while newcomers take the lead. Although the entertaining storyline follows the stitches as expected, fans will enjoy the mixing of friends and knitting with many kinds of loving relationships

Taking Eve by Iris Johansen

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan’s mission is to bring closure to the families whose loved ones have vanished. She knows their anguish—her own beloved daughter, Bonnie, was taken from her when Bonnie was just seven years old. It is only recently that this mystery was resolved and Eve could begin her journey to peace. Now, Jim Doane wants the same kind of answers that Eve always longed for. His twenty-five-year old son may or may not be dead and he has only burned skull fragments as possible evidence. But he cannot go to the police for answers without risking his own secrets and dark past, so instead he chooses a bold step to find the truth—a truth that takes Eve down a twisted path of madness and evil and into the darkest heart of her own history. Doane needs Eve Duncan’s skills and he’ll do anything to get them….Even if it means taking Eve.

Tapestry of Fortune by Elizabeth Berg

Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move—all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction. She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef’s kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home’s owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter; Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss; and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being “the one who got away,” Dennis has never been far from Cece’s thoughts.
In this beautifully written novel, leaving home brings revelations, reunions, and unexpected turns that affirm the inner truths of women’s lives.

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore—and its secrets. But to Eli Landon, it’s home…A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of—but never arrested for—the murder of his soon-to-be-ex wife. He finds sanctuary at Bluff House, even though his beloved grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a nasty fall. Abra Walsh is always there, though. Whiskey Beach’s resident housekeeper, yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist, Abra is a woman of many talents—including helping Eli take control of his life and clear his name. But as they become entangled in each other, they find themselves caught in a net that stretches back for centuries—one that has ensnared a man intent on reaping the rewards of destroying Eli Landon once and for all…

The 12 Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig. So it’s a miracle when I contrive to land a position as hostess to a posh holiday party in Tiddleton. The village is like something out of A Christmas Carol! But no sooner have I arrived than a neighborhood nuisance, a fellow named Freddie falls out of a tree, dead…. Dickensian, indeed. Freddie’s merely a stocking stuffer. On my second day in town, another so-called accident turns up another mincemeat pie—and yet another on my third. The village is buzzing that a recent prison break could have something to do with it… that, or a long-standing witch’s curse. I’m not so sure. But after Darcy shows up beneath the mistletoe, anything could be possible in this wicked wonderland.

Librarian’s Corner

I’ve always held that it’s a good thing for adults to read a book of juvenile fiction from time to time.

I’ve just finished reading The Mark of Athena, the latest in Rick Riordan’s wildly successful series. Lots of action, good characters, and several cool plot lines tied neatly together in the end…and a great cliffhanger of a finish which we’ll have to wait until this fall to read.

This Riordan guy has done more to introduce kids to Greek and Roman mythology, since the D’Aulaire’s wrote their book back in the 1950s. I’ve even got some of our kids to read Robert Fagles translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey, which, if you haven’t looked at classical lit since college, are brilliant books, done in sparkling American English. The two books are where most of the stories of the Greek myths come from, and Fagles retelling is as compelling and adventuresome as a Clive Cussler novel. Classical mythology is ever present, lurking in odd corners or right out in the open. Trojan Horse virus anyone?

Anyway. You can’t miss with Riordan if you’re looking for smart young adult reading…even if you’re a grown up!