Mysterious Reads: Mysteries and Thrillers That Will Keep You Guessing

What makes a book impossible to put down? For fans of mystery and crime fiction, the answer is a good story, plenty of twists, and a mystery that keeps you on your toes. If you fall under this category, or if you’d like to find a book that keeps you guessing, here is a list of thriller and mystery books to appease your inner detective.

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Rainy Day Reads: April Showers Bring Book-Filled Hours

What makes a good rainy day read? For some, it’s the sort of beautiful, introspective novel that reflects the feeling of finding a comfy place to read and enjoying some alone time. For others, it’s a book that grabs your attention from the first line and refuses to let go until the very last page, engrossing you in its world and letting you forget the dreary weather.

With plenty of rain in the forecast, here are some great rainy day books to for all manner of readers.
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Looking for a Thriller?

Check out these new titles for something to get your heart racing this summer.

The DestroyersThe Destroyers by Christopher Bollen

Arriving on the Greek island of Patmos broke and humiliated, Ian Bledsoe is fleeing the emotional and financial fallout from his father’s death. His childhood friend Charlie–rich, exuberant, and basking in the success of his new venture on the island–could be his last hope.

At first Patmos appears to be a dream–long sun-soaked days on Charlie’s yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian’s past–and Charlie readily offers Ian the lifeline he so desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath, and it isn’t long before the dream begins to fragment. When Charlie suddenly vanishes, Ian finds himself caught up in deception after deception. As he grapples with the turmoil left in his friend’s wake, he is reminded of an imaginary game called Destroyers they played as children–a game, he now realizes, they may have never stopped playing.


Fierce KingdomFierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.

The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.


Final GirlsFinal Girls by Riley Sager

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to–a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.


Now, Quincy is doing well–maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiance, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep.


Magpie MurdersMagpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.

Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.


Big Fall Books

Summer is almost over, and autumn is approaching. Here are some books to get excited about as the temperature falls.


CommonwealthCommonwealth by Ann Patchett

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives.

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.



A Great ReckoningA Great Reckoning by Louise Penny

#1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth in her latest spellbinding novel.

When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, it at first seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes. Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. To an old friend and older adversary. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go. But must.


Here I Am by Jonathan Sanfran FoerHere I Am

A monumental new novel from the bestselling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a novelist who has fully come into his own as one of our most important writers.



Razor GirlRazor Girl by Carl Hiassan

When Lane Coolman’s car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield–the eponymous Razor Girl–and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page.



Today Will Be DifferentToday Will Be Different by Maria Semple

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

Today Will Be Different is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.




Born To RunBorn To Run by Bruce Springsteen

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.


Killing the Rising SunKilling the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan by Bill O’Reilly

Autumn 1944. World War II is nearly over in Europe but is escalating in the Pacific, where American soldiers face an opponent who will go to any length to avoid defeat. The Japanese army follows the samurai code of Bushido, stipulating that surrender is a form of dishonor. Killing the Rising Sun takes readers to the bloody tropical-island battlefields of Peleliu and Iwo Jima and to the embattled Philippines, where General Douglas MacArthur has made a triumphant return and is plotting a full-scale invasion of Japan.

New Mysteries in March

Take a look at these new mysteries, of all varieties, just arrived at Sewickley Public Library. Remember to click the titles of any book in this post to see them in our online catalog, where you may place a hold.


Death Comes to the VillageDEATH COMES TO THE VILLAGE, by Catherine Lloyd

Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion-but soon presents real danger…

Death Comes to the Village is the first in Catherine Lloyd’s “Kurland St. Mary Mysteries.” Be one of the first to get swept up into a new mystery series!

THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, by Mary Jane Behrends Clark

Aspiring actress and wedding-cake decorator Piper Donovan has barely arrived in New Orleans to perfect her pastry skills at the renowned French Quarter bakery Boulangerie Bertrand when a ghastly murder rocks the magical city. Though Piper has a full plate decorating cakes for upcoming wedding celebrations, she’s also landed an exciting but unnerving role in a movie being shot in the Big Easy. When the murderer strikes again, leaving macabre clues, she thinks she can unmask the killer. But Piper will have to conjure up some old black magic of her own if she hopes to live long enough to reveal the truth.

That Old Black Magic is the fourth in Clark’s “Wedding Cake Mysteries.” If this sounds interesting and you haven’t read the first three, check out To Have and To Kill.


Piper Prescott, a transplanted Yankee living in the South, has got her sass back. Recently divorced, Piper decides to pursue a dream she’s secretly harbored: owning her own business, Spice it Up!, a spice shop in her adopted hometown, Brandywine Creek, Georgia. But Piper’s grand opening goes awry when the local chef who’s agreed to do a cooking demo is found stabbed. Not only did Piper find the body, she handled the murder weapon and doesn’t have a witness to her alibi, making the case look like a slam dunk to brand new police Chief Wyatt McBride. Desperate to uncover the truth-and prove her innocence-Piper enlists the help of her outspoken BFF Reba Mae Johnson to help track down the real culprit.

Rosemary and Crime is also the first in a new mystery series by Gail Oust.

NANTUCKET SAWBUCK, by Steven Axelrod

When Nantucket homeowner Preston Lomax is killed in his McMansion, everyone on the island could be a suspect. Chief of Police Henry Kennis, a newcomer from California, finds himself investigating with help from the State Police. Together they solve the case–or so it appears.

The Blood PromiseTHE BLOOD PROMISE, by Mark Pryor

In post-Revolution Paris, an old man signs a letter in blood, then hides it in a secret compartment in a sailor’s chest. A messenger arrives to transport the chest and its hidden contents, but then the plague strikes and an untimely death changes history. Two hundred years later, Hugo Marston is safeguarding an unpredictable but popular senator who is in Paris negotiating a France/U.S. dispute. The talks, held at a country chateau, collapse when the senator accuses someone of breaking into his room. Theft becomes the least of Hugo’s concerns when someone discovers a sailor’s chest and the secrets hidden within, and decides that the power and money they promise are worth killing for. But when the darkness of history is unleashed, even the most ruthless and cunning are powerless to control it.

This is Mark Pryor’s third Hugo Marston mystery. If you like this description but want to start from the beginning, check out The Bookseller.


The Maxwell brothers are living together in Oakland while Leo, chafing in his role as junior attorney in his former sister-in-law’s small criminal defense firm, is on the lookout for the big case that will make his reputation. He thinks he’s found that when a mysterious woman nearly runs him down, then appears at his office to hire him to defend her brother on a murder charge. One problem: Leo hasn’t actually met the client when he sets out to investigate what seems like a hot tip on a burgeoning scandal in the Oakland Police Department. Leo takes a series of photographs that seem to blow the lid on deep-set corruption in the Department, however when he brings these pictures to the attention of the District Attorney’s office, he quickly learns that all is not as it seems, beginning with Leo’s client and the alluring woman who hired him.

This is Lachlan Smith’s followup to the beginning of his Leo Maxwell mystery series after his debut, Bear is Broken.

HUNTING SHADOWS, by Charles Todd

Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a pair of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again in August 1920. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection-and yet, when he finds it, it isn’t as simple as he’d expected.

Hunting Shadows is the 16th Ian Rutledge mystery, by Charles Todd. A list of all sixteen in order can be found here on Goodreads. If you want to start at the beginning, check out A Test of Wills.

NPR Book Concierge 2013

The folks over at NPR Books usually write a variety of end-of-year ‘Best Of’ lists to highlight the outstanding literary offerings of the past year. However due to the number of lists ballooning from 13 in 2008 to 20 in 2012, they decided to try a different format.

And so, NPR’s Book Concierge was born! It’s billed as ‘Our Guide to 2013’s Great Reads,’ and I encourage you to go check it out. The site allows you to choose what you’d like to read along the left-hand side (in categories such as ‘Eye Opening’ or ‘ It’s All Geek To Me’) and displays a collage of books recommended by NPR Staff that fit you chosen category or genre.

Of course, not all of the books will be available at Sewickley Public Library, but if one grabs your attention, it never hurts to give us a call or stop in to ask a librarian whether it can be requested from another library in Allegheny County.

Here are a few from the site you may not have heard a lot of buzz about that can be found at Sewickley Public Library, to get you started:


LexiconLEXICON by Max BarryBooklist Review *Starred Review* – Words have power to persuade, to coerce, even to kill. And so they have since the days when wordsmiths were called sorcerers. Streetwise teenager Emily knows nothing of this until she is recruited to join a clandestine international organization that seems bent on taking over the world through the power of language—the reason, perhaps, that its members call themselves poets. In the meantime, a young man, Wil, is kidnapped from an airport by two mysterious men determined to unlock a secret buried deep in his brain. Yes, Wil and Emily will be brought together in due course, but in the meantime, there is a great deal, some of it abstruse, about language in this fast-paced, cerebral thriller that borders on speculative fiction, but none of it slows the nonstop action that takes readers from Washington, D.C., to a small town in the Australian desert, a town whose 3,300 residents have all died mysteriously and violently. Could the cause have been the power of words at work? The poets sometimes seem a bit too omnipotent, and the book’s chronology is occasionally a bit confusing, but otherwise this is an absolutely first-rate, suspenseful thriller with convincing characters who invite readers’ empathy and keep them turning pages until the satisfying conclusion.–Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

Night FilmNIGHT FILM by Marisha PesslBooklist Review *Starred Review* – When the daughter of a notorious film director is found dead in New York, an apparent suicide, investigative reporter Scott McGrath throws himself back into a story that almost ended his career. But now McGrath has his Rosebud, and like Jedediah Leland in Citizen Kane, who hoped to make sense of media mogul Charles Foster Kane by understanding his last word, so the reporter sets out to determine how Ashley Cordova died and, in so doing, penetrate the heart of darkness that engulfs her reclusive father, Stanislas. Like Pessl’s first novel, the acclaimed Special Topics in Calamity Physics (2006), this one expands from a seemingly straightforward mystery into a multifaceted, densely byzantine exploration of much larger issues, in this case, the nature of truth and illusion as reflected by the elusive Cordova, whose transcend-the-genre horror films are cult favorites and about whom rumors of black magic and child abuse continue to swirl. His daughter, piano prodigy Ashley (her notes weren’t played; they were poured from a Grecian urn ), is almost as mysterious as her father, her life and death equally clouded in secrecy and colored with possibly supernatural shadings. Into this mazelike world of dead ends and false leads, McGrath ventures with his two, much younger helpers, Nora and Hopper, brilliantly portrayed Holmesian irregulars who may finally understand more about Ashley than their mentor, whose linear approach to fact finding might miss the point entirely. Pessl’s first novel, while undeniably impressive, possessed some of the overindulgence one might expect from a talented and precocious young writer. All evidence of that is gone here; the book is every bit as complex as Calamity Physics, but the writing is always under control, and the characters never fail to draw us further into the maelstrom of the story.–Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist


Lawrence in ArabiaLAWRENCE IN ARABIA: WAR, DECEIT, IMPERIAL FOLLY AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN MIDDLE EAST by Scott AndersonBooklist Review *Starred Review* – To historians, the real T. E. Lawrence is as fascinating as the cinematic version in Lawrence of Arabia is to movie fans. The many reasons interlock and tighten author Anderson’s narrative, yielding a work that can absorb scholarly and popular interest like. Start with Lawrence’s WWI memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922). A rare-book collectible, it inspired many of the scenes in David Lean’s film and is also subject to cross-referencing interpretations of Lawrence’s veracity. For lyrical though Lawrence could be about Arab leaders and desert landscapes, he could also be enigmatically opaque about the truth of his role in events. Accordingly, Anderson embeds Lawrence and Seven Pillars in the wider context of the Arab revolt against Turkey, and that context is the British, French, German, and American diplomacy and espionage intended to influence the postwar disposition of the territories of the Ottoman Empire. Lawrence was Britain’s agent in this game, and the other powers’ agents, although none enjoy his historical celebrity, assume prominence in Anderson’s presentation. Its thorough research clothed in smoothly written prose, Anderson’s history strikes a perfect balance between scope and detail about a remarkable and mysterious character.–Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2010 Booklist

To the End of JuneTO THE END OF JUNE: THE INTIMATE LIFE OF AMERICAN FOSTER CARE by Cris BeamBooklist Review *Starred Review* – Whenever newspaper headlines scream about the abuse of foster children, the public is outraged, child protection agencies radically change their policies, and poor children go on living in a hodgepodge of foster care and suffering myriad unintended consequences, according to Beam, whose background includes a fractured childhood and experience as a foster mother. Here she offers a very intimate look at a system little known to most people. Beam spent five years talking to foster children, parents and foster parents, and social workers, mostly in New York. Her profiles include Bruce and Allyson, with three children of their own, taking in as many as five foster children, and Steve and Erin, fostering a child they want to adopt, whose mother signed away her rights on a napkin. Beam also writes about teens who’ve been bounced from home to home, some longing for adoption, others sabotaging their chances out of fear, many hoping for promised aging-out bonuses. Beam offers historical background and keen analysis of the social, political, racial, and economic factors that drive foster-care policies, noting the recent swing from massive removals to support for keeping families together. A very moving, powerful look at a system charged with caring for nearly half a million children across the U.S.–Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist


Best Books of 2013: NPR(

Booklist Online: Book Reviews from the American Library Association (

It’s Cold Outside…Warm up with these Books!

To see if the item is available, click on the title.
eBook Titles are RED, eAudio Book Titles are Green

1225 Christmas Tree Lane By Debbie Macomber – Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. Her small Christmas-tree farm is prospering, her daughters and her dogs are happy and well, and her new relationship with local vet Ted Reynolds is showing plenty of romantic promise. But someone left a basket filled with puppies on her doorstep, that’s complication number one. Number two is that her daughters have invited their dad, Beth’s ex-husband, Kent, to Cedar Cove for Christmas.

An Amish Christmas: A Novel By Cynthia Keller – Celebrating life’s simplest but most essential values, packed with laughter and tears, this is a story of forgiveness and the power of love. You will never forget the special moment in time that is An Amish Christmas.

Anne Perry’s Silent Nights: Two Victorian Christmas Mysteries by Anne Perry – Here are two holiday mysteries set in remote, snow-covered regions of Victorian Britain–where the nights are indeed silent but all is not calm, and where some will sleep in eternal peace.

A Cedar Cove Christmas by Debbie Macomber – Mother-to-be Mary Jo Wyse arrives in Cedar Cove on Christmas Eve, searching for her baby’s father. David Rhodes had said he’d be in town. But he isn’t. Which leaves Mary Jo stranded, pregnant and alone. And there’s no room at the local inn…

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods – After years apart, Mick and Megan O’Brien are finally ready to make it official…again. Most of their grown children couldn’t be happier about their rekindled love and impending marriage this holiday season. Only Connor is a holdout. Driven to become a divorce attorney after what he views as his mother’s abandonment of their family, Connor’s not about to give his blessing to this reunion romance.

The Christmas Box By Richard Paul Evans – Richard, a busy and preoccupied father, discovers a Christmas box full of love letters from an old woman to her dead daughter and, with the help of an angel, begins to learn the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas Brides by Linda Lael Miller – Lizzie McKettrick is homebound with a Christmas Eve surprise for her family—Whitley Carson. He might seem too interested in the McKettrick money, but she’s certain Whitley cares for her. But fate has a surprise for Lizzie—Morgan Shane. When their train is stranded by an avalanche the handsome doctor takes charge with Lizzie by his side. With faith, hard work and some unexpected help, it might be a joyous McKettrick family Christmas after all.

A Christmas Grace by Anne Perry – With Christmas just around the corner, Thomas Pitt’s sister-in-law, Emily Radley, is suddenly called from London to be with her dying aunt. Leaving her husband and two children behind, she makes the long journey to her aunt’s home in Connemara, an all-but-forgotten town on the coast of Western Ireland. Emily soon discovers that a tragic legacy is haunting the once close-knit community.

Christmas Letters By Debbie Macomber – When Catherine O’Connor, who writes Christmas letters for other people, meets Dr. Wynn Jeffries, a child psychologist, at the French cafe on Blossom Street, their opposing viewpoints on raising children ruins Catherine’s Christmas cheer.

The Christmas List By Richard Paul Evans – A successful but heartless businessman sees his own obituary in the newspaper after a case of mistaken identity, setting in motion a series of events that profoundly changes the lives of several people who have suffered due to his ruthless business practices.

A Christmas Carol: in prose being a ghost story of Christmas by Charles Dickens – Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly businessman, learns the true meaning of Christmas after he is visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present, and future.

The Christmas Pearl By Dorothea Benton Frank – The matriarch of a family of belligerent idiots, Theodora finds her efforts at bringing them together for a South Carolina Christmas reunion have gone badly awry, until a very special someone uses Gullah magic and common sense to bring about a miracle.

Christmas, Present By Jacquelyn Mitchard – When Eliot and Laura Banner learn that Laura has a terminal condition, they gather their children and family around themselves during the holiday season to convey her blessings to them for the future and remember their shared history.

The Christmas Quilt: an Elm Creek Quilts Novel By Jennifer Chiaverini – While decorating Elm Creek Manor on Christmas Eve, Sarah McClure discovers an incomplete Christmas quilt and sets out to uncover its history with the help of Sylvia Bergstrom Compson, who reveals why the quilt had never been finished.

The Christmas Sweater By Glenn Beck – A holiday tale relates the story of a thirteen-year-old boy whose final gift from his mother, a sweater, is scorned in favor of more expensive gifts before a tragic car accident ends the mother’s life.

The Christmas Thief By Mary Higgins Clark – Lottery winner-turned-amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan joins with private detective Regan Reilly to track down the ninety-foot tree, destined for display in Rockefeller Center, that vanished en route to the city.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci – On a train ride to Los Angeles, cash-strapped journalist Tom Langdon encounters a ridiculous cast of characters, unexpected romance, and an avalanche that changes everyone’s Christmas plans.

The Christmas Wedding By James Patterson – Relates the story of Gaby Summerhill, a widow planning a holiday wedding to a groom whose identity remains a surprise to her four children.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – What appears as a typical Midwestern family is anything but as preparations are made for an ideal family holiday. Alfred, the father is losing his fight to control Parkinson’s disease and dementia. His wife, Enid is no longer in control of her household and feels her choices slipping away. Their three grown children are struggling with their own lives. But for this Christmas, Enid is determined to bring them together for the perfect family holiday.

Dashing Through the Snow By Mary Higgins Clark – In Branscombe, N.H., novelist Nora Regan Reilly and her PI daughter, Regan Reilly, and their close friends Alvirah and Will Meehan, track down a missing employee of Conklin’s Market who is connected with a $160 million lottery and the winnings.

Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year-round for Christmas, Hannukah, and Winter Solstice By Melanie Falick with Betty Christiansen – For many people, the best part of the winter holidays is the anticipation: planning the perfect gifts, decorating the house, looking forward to seeing family and friends. Holidays can be particularly special for knitters, whose preparations often start months in advance and involve their own creations.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas By Agatha Christie – The cerebral Belgian detective uses impeccable logic to locate the murderer of a millionaire in the dreary English Midlands.

Holidays on Ice By David Sedaris – An anthology of humorous Christmas tales and essays features excerpts from the author’s “Barrel Fever” and “Naked,” as well as “The Santaland Diaries,” “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family,” and a new tale of holiday mayhem.

Joan Nathan’s Jewish Holiday Cookbook by Joan Nathan – Jewish holidays are defined by food. Yet Jewish cooking is always changing, encompassing the flavors of the world, embracing local culinary traditions of every place in which Jews have lived and adapting them to Jewish observance. This collection, the culmination of Joan Nathan’s decades of gathering Jewish recipes from around the world, is a tour through the Jewish holidays as told in food.

Kwanzaa: a Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture By Maulana Karenga – Written by the creator of the holiday, this book presents the continental African and African-American origins of the celebration, a chapter on each of the Seven Principles, explanations of the meaning of related symbols, suggested activities, and a wrap-up section in which Karenga answers frequently asked questions.

Lakeshore Christmas By Susan Wiggs – Prim librarian Maureen Davenport lives for Christmas–and there’s nothing more magical than Christmas on Willow Lake. Finally getting her chance to direct Avalon’s annual holiday pageant, she’s determined to make it truly spectacular.

Lost December By Richard Paul Evans – Presents a story inspired by the biblical tale of the prodigal son in which Luke, a recent MBA graduate, refuses to take over the family business and instead cashes out his trust funds to pursue a life of wanton pleasure.

The Mitford Snowmen: A Christmas Story By Jan Karon – The inhabitants of the small town of Mitford join together at Christmastime for a fun-filled snowman-building contest, complete with hot chocolate, doughnuts, and the joy of the holiday season.

O, Ghostly Night by Tennant Redbank – This 32-page early reader re-tells part of the Walt Disney Studio feature film, A Christmas Carol, the timeless tale of an old miser who must face Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come.

The Perfect Christmas By Debbie Macomber – Thirty-three-year-old Cassie wants a husband and kids, and she turns to Simon Dodson, a professional matchmaker for help. Dodson assigns her three tasks to complete, and despite a number of comical mishaps, Cassie completes them all. Her Christmas match turns out to be a wonderful surprise.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg – A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus.

Promise Me By Richard Paul Evans – Beth Cardall’s life was falling apart: her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was suffering from an unidentifiable illness; her marriage transformed from a seemingly happy and loving relationship to one full of betrayal and pain; her job was increasingly at risk; and she had lost her ability to trust, to hope, or to believe in herself. Then, on Christmas day, Beth encountered Matthew.

A Redbird Christmas By Fannie Flagg – In a tiny and remote Alabama town, an unexpected, unusual, and life-transforming event that occurs on one Christmas morning changes a family and a town forever, in a heartwarming holiday novel by the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

Santa Cruise: a Holiday Mystery at Sea By Mary Higgins Clark – Embarking on a mystery seminar cruise during the holiday season, amateur sleuth Alvirah, private detective Regan, and their family members find their voyage overshadowed by a ghost spotting, the disappearance of a fan, and an unexpected storm.

Shakespeare’s Christmas By Charlaine Harris – While attending her sister’s wedding the cleaning lady and karate expert, Lily Bard of Arkansas, investigates an unsolved kidnapping which occurred eight years earlier. It seems both the child and the kidnapper are in town.

Skipping Christmas By John Grisham – Luther and Nora Krank have decided to set sail on a Caribbean cruise on December 25th and skip Christmas. They are about to discover that their decision brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they imagined.

The Stupidest Angel: a Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror By Christopher Moore – A humorous tale of what happens when a none-too-clever angel overhears a little boy, who, having witnessed Santa taking a shovel to the head, prays for Santa to return from the dead.

The Thanksgiving Visitor; One Christmas; & A Christmas Memory By Truman Capote – Three stories describe a boy’s relationship with his elderly cousin and alcoholic father and the indelible holiday memories they provided him.

White Christmas Pie By Wanda E. Brunstetter – In this bittersweet holiday romance set in Amish country, Will Henderson, a young man tortured by his past, meets Karen Yoder, a young woman looking for answers as they both become involved with a desperate father searching for his son.

Wishin’ and Hopin: A Christmas Story By Wally Lamb – It’s 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he’ll never forget.


To see even more Holiday Books, Click Here.

New Mysteries-September 2011

Back of Beyond
C.J. Box
Where do you go when there’s no turning back? Cody Hoyt is about to find out.

A Bad Day for Scandal
Sophie Littlefield
A small-town mystery with a “funny and endearing heroine — with just a hint of Dirty Harry thrown in.”

Bad Intentions
Karin Fossum
Inspector Konrad Sejer must face down his own memories and fears as he investigates the deaths of two troubled young men.

A Bali conspiracy most foul : Inspector Singh investigates
Shamini Flint
Inspector Singh is sent to Bali to help with the investigation of a skull fragment of man who was killed before a bomb went off.

Betrayal of Trust
J.A. Jance
Seattle investigator J.P. Beaumont uncovers a dark conspiracy that reaches deep into the halls of state government.

Bill Pronzini
The Nameless Detective has a job that seems simple enough: find David Virden’s ex-wife and deliver some papers to her. Of course, it really isn’t simple enough.

Close Your Eyes
Amanda Eyre Ward
For most of her life, Lauren Mahdian has been certain of two things: that her mother is dead, and that her father is a murderer.
The Craigslist Murders
Brenda Cullerton
When interior decorator, Charlotte Wolfe, discovers that New York trophy wives are selling off possessions from their husbands’ first wives, her rage provokes her to bite the well-manicured hands that feed her.

A Death in Summer
Benjamin Black
One of Dublin’s most powerful men meets a violent end and Detective Inspector Hackett calls in his old friend Quirke to help in unraveling a dark web of intrigue.

The Durham Deception
Philip Gooden
Newlyweds Tom and Helen Ansell are drawn into the world of Victorian spiritualism and stage magic when they embark on a double mission to the cathedral city of Durham.

Escape Artist
Ed Ifkovic
Edna Ferber and Harry Houdini are involved in solving the mystery of a young woman who disappears from a high school in 1904 Appleton, Wisconsin. Good reviews.

Flash and Bones
Kathy Reichs
After a body is found near the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a NASCAR crew member shares a devastating story with forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan.

Fly Me to the Morgue
Robert J. Randisi
The Rat Pack, as in Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, are in on a mystery, along with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice
Chris Ewan
Charlie Howard, part-time crime writer and part-time thief, retreats to Venice, vowing to give up a life of crime to write mysteries, full–time.
Kathleen George
Nominated for an Edgar Award for her last novel, the Pittsburgh author returns with another police procedural featuring Detective Colleen Greer. Great reviews.

The Hypnotist
Lars Kepler
In the frigid climate of Tumba, Sweden, a gruesome triple homicide attracts the interest of Detective Inspector Joona Linna. Scandinavian crime is hot.

Infernal Angels 
Loren D. Estleman
P.I. Amos Walker knows where to find people who fence hot merchandise, but when he stumbles onto a dead body, he thinks that something more than stolen merchandise is involved.

Long Gone
Alafair Burke
Working at an art gallery, Alice Humphrey arrives at work one morning and finds the whole place stripped bare and the man who had hired her, dead on the floor.

Monument to Murder
Margaret Truman
Times are tough in Savannah for former cop and current PI Robert Brixton, so when he takes on a twenty-year-old murder case, he figures he’s got nothing to lose.

The Nightmare Thief
Meg Gardiner
Forensic psychologist Jo Beckett finds herself involved in a “ultimate urban reality” game that turns into a deadly nightmare.

No Rest for the Dead
Twenty-six name-brand mystery authors hand off a great mystery chapter by chapter.

Shut Your Eyes Tight
John Verdon
As NYPD’s top homicide investigator, Dave Gurney was never comfortable with the label the press gave him: super detective. He just always knew that there was always a trace left behind by a murderer. But what if one day there wasn’t?

The Silent Girl
Tess Gerritsen
“Every crime scene tells a story. Some keep you awake at night. Others haunt your dreams.” For homicide cop Jane Rizzoli a murder in Boston’s Chinatown will do both.

Turn of Mind
Alice LaPlante M LAP
Dr. Jennifer White is entering the beginning stages of dementia when her life-long friend, Amanda, is murdered.

Watch Me Die
Erica Spindler
Before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Mira Gallier had it all: work she loved and an idyllic marriage. What comes afterward is a worse nightmare than a hurricane.

White Heat
M.J. McGrath
Half Inuit and half outsider, Edie Kiglatuk is a hunting guide on the brutal, yet beautiful island of Ellesmere. While leading two men on an expedition, one man is shot and killed. An accident, or murder?

The Woodcutter
Reginald Hill
Outstanding reviews accompany this mystery by a noted master of the genre.

New Mysteries – Summer 2010

The Black Cat

Martha Grimes


Blood Vines

Erica Spindler


The Bohemian Girl

Kenneth Cameron



Karin Slaughter


The Broken Blue Line

Connie Dial


Buy Back

Brian M. Wiprud



Parnell Hall


The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

Tarquin Hall


City of Veils

Zoë Ferraris


Cook the Books

Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant


A Curtain Falls

Stefanie Pintoff


The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

Susan Wittig Albert


Death Watch

Jim Kelly


Devil Amongst the Lawyers

Sharyn McCrumb


Faithful Place

Tana French


False Mermaid

Erin Hart


Freeze Frame

Peter May


The Glass Rainbow

James Lee Burke


The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas

Chris Ewan



Faye Kellerman


Ice Cold

Tess Gerritsen


In Harm’s Way

Ridley Pearson



Ace Atkins


The Last Lie

Stephen White


The Liar’s Lullaby

Meg Gardiner


Mist Over the Water

Alys Clare


A Murder of Crows

P.F. Chisholm


The Ninth Step

Gabriel Cohen


Random Violence

Jassy Mackenzie


Silencing Sam

Julie Kramer


Spider Bones

Kathy Reichs


The Third Rail

Michael Harvey


Tom Wasp and the Newgate Knocker

Amy Myers


The Unquiet Bones: The First Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon

Melvin R. Starr


Wanting Sheila Dead

Jane Haddam


New Mystery Books – May 2010

Among Thieves David Hosp, M HOS – In the early hours of March 18, 1990, two men entered Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, tied up the guards, and escaped with 500 million dollars’ worth of paintings.  Based on a true story.



Apple Turnover Murder Joanne Fluke, M FLU – It’s June in Lake Eden, and for Hannah Swensen, that means bridal showers galore, a massive fundraising event and a killer who never learned that charity begins at home.



Death at the Alma Mater G.M. Malliet, M MAL – Detective St. Just is called in when the glamorous—and despised—Lexy Laurant is found strangled on the grounds of St. Michael’s College, Cambridge during a fundraising weekend.



Diary of a Confessions Queen Kathy Carmichael, M CAR – Seven years ago, Amy Crosby’s husband disappeared.  She presumes he’s dead, but when she begins legal proceedings to have him declared deceased, things take a chaotic turn.



The Double Comfort Safari Club Alexander McCall Smith, M MCCA – A wonderful new installment in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series.  Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are traveling to a safari camp to carry out a delicate mission.



Drink the Tea Thomas Kaufman, M KAU – Street-kid Willis Gidney grows up to become a private investigator on the gritty streets of Washington, D.C.   Unfortunately, while investigating a missing person, he is accused of murder.



Eye of the Red Tsar Sam Eastland, M EAS – A decade after the assassinations of the Romanov family, former secret agent Pekkala is now Prisoner 4745-P and banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity.



The God of the Hive Laurie R. King, M KIN – Shocking events force Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes to separate and go on the run, wanted by the police and pursued across the Continent by a ruthless enemy.



Haunt Me Still Jennifer Lee Carrell, M CAR – The author of Interred with Their Bones returns with a tale of an ancient web of murder that surrounds Shakespeare’s Macbeth,



Hazard Gardiner Harris, M HAR – Inspector Will Harris is sent to investigate a mining accident and told to clear things up quickly.  But Will senses something suspicious, and decides to follow through, whatever the cost.



Holly Blues Susan Wittig Albert, M ALB – Ex-lawyer and herbalist Chian Bayles finds that an unwelcome holiday guest creates a very thorny situation for her and her husband.



If the Dead Rise Not Philip Kerr, M KER – International corruption and dangerous double-dealing involve Bernie Gunther as he is caught in the tense atmosphere surrounding the German 1936 Olympics.



The Inheritance Simon Tolkien, M TOL – When a famed Oxford historian is found dead in his study one night, all the evidence points to his son, Stephen.



Known to Eviln Walter Mosley, M MOS – Leonid McGill knows something suspicious is going on as soon as the phone rings.  Alphone Rinaldo, New York’s ultimate fixer has a problem, and he is not someone that a private investigator can say no to.



Laughed ‘Til He Died Carolyn Hart, M HAR – Intrigue and foul play are no strangers to the  South Carolina sea island of Broward’s Rock.  Mystery bookstore owner Annie Darling and her husband Max are plunged into a web of danger and deceit.



A Murderous Procession Ariana Franklin, M FRA – The fourth installment of the Mistress of the Art of Death series finds Adelia Aguilar traveling with the King Henry II’s ten-year-old daughter to Palermo, Sicily for her wedding.



Naked Moon Domenic Stansberry, M STA – Before Dante Mancuso became a San Francisco private investigator, he worked for a secret corporate security firm.  When Dante left, it was not on good terms, buthis past is not quite over.



Off Track Clare Curzon, M CUR – Superintendent Mike Yeadings is confronted with the aftermath of a vicious and mistaken attack.  During his investigation, grim secrets of national importance begin to emerge.



Question of Belief Donna Leon, M LEO – The 19th Guido Brunetti mystery finds the stellar commissario longing for a vacation in the mountains, but forced to bake in the Venetian heat as a violent crime puts his vacation plans on hold.



Requiem In Vienna J. Sydney Jones, M JON – After a singer is killed during rehearsals at Vienna’s Court Opera, the evidence suggests something even more sinister: someone may be trying to murder the famous composer, Gustav Mahler.



The Shadow of Your Smile Mary Higgins Clark, M CLA – As the last of her line, Olivia Morrow knows that she faces a momentous choice: expose a long-held family secret, or it take it with her to the grave.



The Spellmans Strike Again Lisa Lutz, M LUT – The latest in the zany world of the Spellmans.  Former wild child Isabel has finally agreed to take over the family business.



The Spies of Sobeck P.C. Doherty, M DOH – It’s 1477 B.C. and treacherous forces are on the rise in Egypt.  Queen Hatusu’s Chief Judge Amerotke must confront murder and treason.



This Body of Death Elizabeth George, M GEO – On compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed in an isolated London cemetery.



The Tulip Virus Daniëlle Hermans, M HER – A fast-paced mystery that revolves around real-life events surrounding the economic collapse of the tulip bubble in 17th century Holland.  Much later, in 2007, a murder seems to mirror an earlier one centuries before.



The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag Alan Bradley, M BRA – Flavia de Luce who was featured in The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie returns to untangle two deaths — separated by time, but linked by the unlikeliest of threads.