The Westing Game

The Westing Game.Puffin Modern ClassicThe Westing Game

By Ellen Raskin

Review by Kate Boyle

Perfect for anyone with an interest in reading a classic, a Newbery Winner, and a frequently challenged book! Young readers looking for an introduction to mystery novels need look no further than The Westing Game. Additionally, seasoned mystery lovers will also delight in this complex tale. The novel revolves around the last will and testament of a wealthy man named Samuel W. Westing. Sixteen people attend the reading and learn they could become millionaires if they can win a game created by Mr. Westing. Paired off and given differing sets of clues, the potential heirs hunt to find the solution to a game they don’t really understand. No one knows why Mr. Westing would choose these people as his heirs; a group that includes a possible murderer! Continue reading

Sister

SisterSister

By Rosamund Lupton

Review by Gretchen Chamberlin

This debut novel by British author, Rosamund Lupton, is a mystery which builds incrementally, relentlessly and brilliantly to its well plotted and harrowing conclusion!

At the opening of the book, I was slightly disoriented as Lupton plunges the reader headlong into the story. But, in short order, you come to understand that Bee’s younger sister, Tess, has gone missing and is later found dead. Was it a suicide as the police surmise, or was it a murder? Bee flies from New York to London and tries to uncover what happened. Continue reading

A Great Reckoning

A Great ReckoningA Great Reckoning

By Louise Penny

Review by Kathy Caputo (our Book Your Summer grand prize winner!)

This book is the twelfth in a series of mystery novels by a Canadian author in which the protagonist is the wise and gentle Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of a Canadian Police Agency.  He is known for his intelligence, his kindness and for his ability to see the goodness in flawed characters, often having his associates question his judgment.

The main setting is a tiny idyllic fictional village near Montreal in which several of the local residents are regular characters in the series.  Characters include a gifted artist, a retired psychologist turned book store proprietor, an eccentric aging poet and a gay couple who operate a bed and breakfast inn and a cozy bistro that functions like a community center.   Descriptions of rich French food served in the bistro add to the warm and inviting atmosphere of the community, especially when there is snow pelting the windows.  Part of the story takes place at the police academy and elsewhere. Continue reading

Woman of God

Woman of God

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

Review By Angie Andre

Commuting can be a long and tiresome experience but listening to audio books makes the long drive more enjoyable.  I have always enjoyed James Patterson so I happily checked out Woman of God with the expectation that it would be an entertaining listen. It ended up being much, much more. Continue reading

A Curious Beginning

A Curious BeginningA Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

Review by Michele Bolay

Are you like me? Have you been missing the Amelia Peabody mysteries by the late, great Elizabeth Peters? Well, Raybourn’s newest mystery may just help fill that Peabody-shaped hole in your heart. Whip-smart, opinionated, forward-thinking, fearless heroine? Check. Irascible, worldly, talented, clever, sexy hero? Check. Victorian-era mystery enhanced by travel, adventure, science, danger, humor, and romantic tension? Check.

When Veronica Speedwell’s final living relative dies (or so she thinks), she doesn’t waste time or opportunity and sets out to travel the world pursuing her favorite hobby (collecting and classifying rare butterflies) and her second favorite hobby (no-strings-attached romantic dalliances). After someone ransacks her home, Veronica has a chance encounter — or is it? — with a mysterious but kindly baron, derailing her plans.

The meeting sets in motion a string of events. This sees Veronica thrown together with Stoker, a reclusive but intriguing scientist. Stoker is suspected when the baron is found murdered. He and Veronica must go on the run and join forces to clear his name and to solve the mysteries of her past.

A Perilous Undertaking, the second installment in the series,  set to be published next year. I can’t wait!

Check availability on A Curious Beginning

About the reviewer: A few years ago, Michele was lucky enough to attend a panel lecture with Deanna Raybourn and meet her. She is not only every bit as gorgeous as her author photo, she is also incredibly smart and funny. If you get the chance to hear her speak, take it!

Michele loves mysteries but, paradoxically, hates puzzles. Go figure.

Pretty Girls

Pretty GirlsPretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Review by Angie Andre

“When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what happened to you would be worse than never knowing.”

There are three sisters; Claire, Lydia, and Julia. Twenty years ago, 19 year old Julia went missing. Not knowing what happened to her destroys her family. The two surviving sisters, Claire and Lydia, have been estranged for most of the past 20 years, but come together for the fight of their lives. Continue reading

Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

Case HistoriesReview by: Michele Bolay

I am a HUGE fan of Atkinson’s first three novels (especially Behind the Scenes at the Museum), so why it taken me so long to read this book? It suffered the fate of many books that I buy or am given as gifts: it got buried underneath the library books and book-group books that had to be read by a deadline and ended up in the “vacation pile” (books in pb format to be taken on vacation and left behind for others to read).

Anyway, it was fantastic and I can’t wait to read the sequels. So many writers get tagged as “quirky”, but Atkinson truly is, in the best way. She finds humor in (often violent) tragedy, beauty and pathos in the most ordinary people and events. I love the way she writes. Her plotting is such that you want to rush through to get to the next chapter, but her prose is such that you want to slow down and savor every word.

Check availability on Case Histories

Check availability on television adaptation Case Histories

About the reviewer: Michele Bolay has worked in the children’s department since the 90s.  She organizes several programs like Framed! and can be found running the summer volunteer program.

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Mr. PerfectReview by Alison Gleichman

Jaine Bright and her 3 female coworkers get together after work for dinner.  While complaining about the men or lack of men in their lives, they compose a somewhat risqué list of the attributes they would wish for in the perfect man.  This list is meant for their eyes only but one member shares it with another coworker and it soon spreads like wild fire.  Some people take exception to this list.  One becomes downright homicidal.

Jaines’ next door neighbor is Sam Donovan.  She at first believes him to be a criminal but it turns out that he is actually a homicide detective.  This comes in handy when things with the list start to get dicey.  The other minor characters are Jaines family.  The siblings act exactly how siblings should.

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