A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
“It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . .” This is how Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she fell in love with Red that day in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate togetherness: an indefinable, enviable kind of specialness. But they are also like all families, in that the stories they tell themselves reveal only part of the picture. Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house that has always been their anchor.Brimming with all the insight, humor, and generosity of spirit that are the hallmarks of Anne Tyler’s work, A Spool of Blue Thread tells a poignant yet unsentimental story in praise of family in all its emotional complexity. It is a novel to cherish.
The Patriot Threat by Steve Berry
The 16th Amendment to the Constitution is why Americans pay income taxes. But what if there were problems associated with that amendment? Secrets that call into question decades of tax collecting? In fact, there is a surprising truth to this hidden possibility. Cotton Malone, once a member of an elite intelligence division within the Justice Department known as the Magellan Billet, is now retired and owns an old bookshop in Denmark. But when his former-boss, Stephanie Nelle, asks him to track a rogue North Korean who may have acquired some top secret Treasury Department files—the kind that could bring the United States to its knees—Malone is vaulted into a harrowing twenty-four hour chase that begins on the canals in Venice and ends in the remote highlands of Croatia. With appearances by Franklin Roosevelt, Andrew Mellon, a curious painting that still hangs in the National Gallery of Art, and some eye-opening revelations from the $1 bill, this riveting, non-stop adventure is trademark Steve Berry—90% historical fact, 10% exciting speculation—a provocative thriller posing a dangerous question: What if the Federal income tax is illegal?
Endangered by C.J. Box
She was gone. Joe Pickett had good reason to dislike Dallas Cates, even if he was a rodeo champion, and now he has even more—Joe’s eighteen-year-old ward, April, has run off with him. And then comes even worse news: The body of a girl has been found in a ditch along the highway—alive, but just barely, the victim of blunt force trauma. It is April, and the doctors aren’t sure if she’ll recover. Cates denies having anything to do with it—says she ran away from him, too—and there’s evidence that points to another man. But Joe knows in his gut who’s responsible. What he doesn’t know is the kind of danger he’s about to encounter. Cates is bad enough, but Cates’s family is like none Joe has ever met before. Joe’s going to find out the truth, even if it kills him. But this time, it just might.
Murder At Hatfield House by Amanda Carmack
England is in tumult under the rule of Queen Mary and her Spanish husband. Confined to house arrest at Hatfield House, young Princess Elizabeth is the country’s greatest hope. Far from court intrigues, Elizabeth finds solace in simple things: the quiet countryside and peaceful recreation, including the melodies of her chief musician and his daughter, Kate Haywood. But Kate will prove herself most valuable when an envoy of the queen—sent to flush out heretics in the princess’s household—is found dead on the grounds of Hatfield. Acting as Elizabeth’s eyes and ears, Kate is sent out on the trail of a killer whose mission could destroy her family, friends—and the future of England.
Olympus Confidential by Robert Warren
When a band of super-powered humans stirs up trouble in New Olympia, Zeus knows just who to call. Wisecracking private investigator Plato Jones is used to cleaning up the gods’ messes. But this might be his most dangerous case yet, placing him deep behind enemy lines, in Tartarus Maximum Security Penitentiary. After infiltrating the enemy’s organization, Plato inches closer to the truth. But he learns a hard lesson along the way: to defeat a villain, he might have to become one himself. Olympus Confidential skillfully weaves humor and Greek mythology into a fast-paced fantasy adventure. Whether new or returning to the Plato Jones series, fans of thrillers, contemporary fantasy, and Greek mythology will have a tough time putting this one down.
Born To Be King: Prince Charles On Planet Windsor by Catherine Meyer
He is one of the world’s most fascinating and least understood figures: now sixty-six, Prince Charles has spent his entire life preparing to be king while insisting on being his own man. In this brilliant portrait, he emerges as a complex character driven by a painful past, a questing intellect, and a powerful impulse not only to reshape the monarchy but to use the long wait for the throne to work toward high ideals.
A Touch Of Stardust by Kate Alcott
When Julie Crawford leaves Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Hollywood, she never imagines she’ll cross paths with Carole Lombard, the dazzling actress from Julie’s provincial Midwestern hometown. The young woman has dreams of becoming a screenwriter, but the only job Julie’s able to find is one in the studio publicity office of the notoriously demanding producer David O. Selznick, who is busy burning through directors, writers, and money as he films Gone with the Wind. Although tensions run high on the set, Julie finds she can step onto the back lot, take in the smell of smoky gunpowder and the soft rustle of hoop skirts, and feel the magical world of Gone with the Wind come to life. Julie’s access to real-life magic comes when Carole Lombard hires her as an assistant and invites her into the glamorous world Carole shares with Clark Gable, who is about to move into movie history as the dashing Rhett Butler. Carole Lombard, happily profane and uninhibited, makes no secret of her relationship with Gable, which poses something of a problem for the studio because Gable is technically still married—and the last thing the film needs is more negative publicity. Julie is there to fend off the overly curious reporters, hoping to prevent details about the affair from slipping out. But she can barely keep up with her blond employer, let alone control what comes out of Carole’s mouth, and—as their friendship grows—Julie soon finds she doesn’t want to. Carole, both wise and funny, becomes Julie’s model for breaking free of the past. In the ever-widening scope of this story, Julie is given a front-row seat to not one but two of the greatest love affairs of all time: the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Scarlett and Rhett, and offscreen, the deepening love between Carole and Clark. Yet beneath the shiny façade, things in Hollywood are never quite what they seem, and Julie must learn to balance her career aspirations and her own budding romance with the outsized personalities and overheated drama on set. Vivid, romantic, and filled with Old Hollywood details, A Touch of Stardust will entrance, surprise, and delight.
The Stranger by Harlan Coban
The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world. Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life. Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will ruin their lives
Mrs Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini
The New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival imagines the inner life of Julia Grant, beloved as a Civil War general’s wife and the First Lady, yet who grappled with a profound and complex relationship with the slave who was her namesake—until she forged a proud identity of her own.
In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom’s abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress’s closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia’s eyes to the world. And what a world it was, marked by gathering clouds of war. The Grants vowed never to be separated, but as Ulysses rose through the ranks—becoming general in chief of the Union Army—so did the stakes of their pact. During the war, Julia would travel, often in the company of Jule and the four Grant children, facing unreliable transportation and certain danger to be at her husband’s side. Yet Julia and Jule saw two different wars. While Julia spoke out for women—Union and Confederate—she continued to hold Jule as a slave behind Union lines. Upon the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, Jule claimed her freedom and rose to prominence as a businesswoman in her own right, taking the honorary title Madame. The two women’s paths continued to cross throughout the Grants’ White House years in Washington, DC, and later in New York City, the site of Grant’s Tomb. Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is the first novel to chronicle this singular relationship, bound by sight and shadow.
The Assassin by Clive Cussler
As Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell strives to land a government contract to investigate John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil monopoly, the case takes a deadly turn. A sniper begins murdering opponents of Standard Oil, and soon the assassin—shooting with extraordinary accuracy at seemingly impossible long range—kills Bell’s best witness, a brave and likable man. Then the shooter detonates a terrible explosion that sets the victim’s independent refinery ablaze. Bell summons his best detectives to scour the site of the crime for evidence. Who is the assassin and for whom did he kill? But the murders—shootings, poisonings, staged accidents—have just begun as Bell tracks his phantom-like criminal adversary from the “oil fever” regions of Kansas and Texas to Washington, D.C., to the tycoons’ enclave of New York, to Russia’s war-torn Baku oil fields on the Caspian Sea, and back to America for a final, desperate confrontation. And this one will be the most explosive of all.
Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner
Iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel—the ambitious, gifted laundrywoman’s daughter who revolutionized fashion, built an international empire, and become one of the most influential and controversial figures of the twentieth century. Born into rural poverty, Gabrielle Chanel and her siblings are sent to orphanage after their mother’s death. The sisters nurture Gabrielle’s exceptional sewing skills, a talent that will propel the willful young woman into a life far removed from the drudgery of her childhood. Transforming herself into Coco—a seamstress and sometime torch singer—the petite brunette burns with ambition, an incandescence that draws a wealthy gentleman who will become the love of her life. She immerses herself in his world of money and luxury, discovering a freedom that sparks her creativity. But it is only when her lover takes her to Paris that Coco discovers her destiny. Rejecting the frilly, corseted silhouette of the past, her sleek, minimalist styles reflect the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920s modern woman. As Coco’s reputation spreads, her couturier business explodes, taking her into rarefied society circles and bohemian salons. But her fame and fortune cannot save her from heartbreak as the years pass. And when Paris falls to the Nazis, Coco is forced to make choices that will haunt her. An enthralling novel of an extraordinary woman who created the life she desired, Mademoiselle Chanel explores the inner world of a woman of staggering ambition whose strength, passion and artistic vision would become her trademark.
Cold Betrayal by C.J. Jance
Ali Reynolds’s longtime friend and Taser-carrying nun, Sister Anselm, rushes to the bedside of a young pregnant woman hospitalized for severe injuries after she was hit by a car on a deserted Arizona highway. The girl had been running away from The Family, a polygamous cult with no patience for those who try to leave its ranks. Something about her strikes a chord in Sister Anselm, reminding her of a case she worked years before when another young girl wasn’t so lucky. Meanwhile, married life agrees with Ali. But any hopes that she and her husband, B. Simpson, will finally slow down and relax now that they’ve tied the knot are dashed when Ali’s new daughter-in-law approaches her, desperate for help. The girl’s grandmother, Betsy, is in danger: she’s been receiving anonymous threats, and someone even broke into her home and turned on the gas burners in the middle of the night. But the local police think the elderly woman’s just not as sharp as she used to be. While Ali struggles to find a way to protect Betsy before it’s too late, Sister Anselm needs her help as well, and the two race the clock to uncover the secrets that The Family has hidden for so long—before someone comes back to bury them forever.
Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan
Dead men may tell no tales, but they can screw up your life with a few phone calls. Grace’s abusive ex-brother-in-law, Anthony Ortega, needs her help—at least that’s what he said on the messages he left before his sudden death. Grace is inclined to let the matter rest in peace, but when her sister is named a suspect, Grace decides to get to the bottom of the cryptic calls. Her only lead is Ortega’s fiancée, who believes that he had arranged to surprise her with the purchase of a Frisian gelding named Heart. The horse was being stabled at the R-n-R Ranch—but was taken in the middle of the night. Now, with her sister in trouble and a missing horse on her hands, Grace hopes the information harnessed from her psychic skills will be enough to rein in the killer…
Festive In Death by J.A. Jance
Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who were loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash. Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.
The Dog Who Saved Me by Susan Wilson
Boston police officer Cooper Harrison never thought he’d go back to his hometown, Harmony Farms. But when his faithful K-9 partner Argos is killed in the line of duty, Cooper, caught in a spiral of trauma and grief, has nowhere else to turn. Jobless and on the verge of divorce, he accepts a offer for the position of dog officer in Harmony Farms, leaving the life he spent twenty years building behind. And so he finds himself back where he started. Where his father was once known as the town drunk and his brother outgrew juvenile delinquency to become a drug dealer. Where he grew up as ‘one of those’ Harrisons. Cooper does his job with deliberate detachment, refusing to get emotionally invested in another dog the way he had with Argos—until he finds himself rescuing a wounded and gun-shy yellow lab gone feral. Cooper never thought he’d find himself going back in order to move forward, and yet Harmony Farms is the one place where Cooper must learn to forgive and, only then, heal. All with the help of a yellow dog.
The Case Of The Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford
Jordan Stratford imagines an alternate 1826, where Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a secret detective agency!
Lady Ada Byron, age eleven, is a genius. Isolated, awkward and a bit rude—but a genius. Mary Godwin, age fourteen, is a romantic. Adventurous, astute, and kind, Mary is to become Ada’s first true friend. And together, the girls conspire to form the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency—a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals. Their first case involves a stolen heirloom, a false confession, and an array of fishy suspects. But it’s no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary.
Mystery fans will love this tween girl riff on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. History buffs will be delighted to see all the real figures who play a role in this story and appreciate the extensive backmatter that helps separate truth from fiction. Parents and educators hoping to promote the STEM fields for girls will be thrilled to have a series where two girls use math, science, and creative analytical thinking to solve crimes. But most especially—emerging readers will love this series filled with humor, action, intrigue and wonderful artwork from Kelly Murphy.