In Farleigh Field, by Rhys Bowen

Find in catalogI enjoyed this story very much. I don’t usually have trouble putting a book down, but did with this one. A British aristocratic family with 5 daughters is at the center of the mystery. It opens with a failed parachutist dying on their estate. Family chums, now grown work for separate departments of British intelligence during WWII. As the story unfolds, no one knows who can be trusted or why the possible spy parachutist was sent to that part of England.


The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett

Find in catalogI enjoyed reading the Maltese Falcon which the library gave to patrons for free! I was in a remote area and the power went out so I was reading it by candle light. I had seen the movie years ago and that night while reading, I heard the voices of the actors of the movie while I read. I left the book at the retreat and the next person to read the book was my aunt who had not read an entire book for years. She enjoyed the story line and savored reading it. Maybe she will get back into reading books! We both are grateful to our library for generously providing this book to us.

The Black House, by Peter May

Find in catalogThe Black House is the first book in the Isles of Lewis trilogy. Edinburgh detective Fin MacLeod is called back to his native island in the Outer Hebrides to investigate a murder that has similarities to a case he was working on the mainland. Fin reconnects with the people he left behind many years ago, drawing closer to the murderer, as well as events that almost destroyed his life. The writing is incredible, making the Isle of Lewis come alive. This book won’t be forgotten easily.

A Death in the Family, by Michael Stanley

Find in catalogThe father of Assistant Superintendent David ‘Kubu’ Bengu, the smartest detective in the Botswana police, is found stabbed to death in the street. Who would murder a frail old man in the early stage of Alzheimer’s disease? Kubu is forbidden to work on the case because of his connection to the victim. The detective is assigned to work on another case that is connected to mining contracts, government corruption, China’s growing influence in Botswana, and eventually, the death of Kubu’s father. This is the fifth story in the series and one of the attractions is learning about traditional and modern Botswana.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz

Find in catalogDavid Lagercrantz continues Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy after his death. Characters Michael Blomkvist and Lizbeth Salander are back in a mystery involving the U.S. National Security Agency. There is a lot of international intrigue, computer hacking, and violence, but somehow the story falls flat. Lizbeth Salander was one one of the most interesting heroines to be created in a long time, but she has lost her spark in this book. Stick with the trilogy and pass on the pale imitations.

Charlie’s Bones

Find in catalogWhile installing a swimming pool, widow Lizbet Lange is shocked to find the skeleton of a hippie buried in her yard. Shortly thereafter, the ghost of said skeleton appears to Lizbet and asks for her help in solving his murder. The cops are suspicious of Lizbet and find it odd that she seems to have insider information about a murder that occurred when she was just a child. Lots of fun twists and turns!

The New Adventures of Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer:Vol.2 The Little Death by Mickey Spillane

Find in catalogThis is a fun audio recording that features Stacy Keach as Mike Hammer. Other actors round out the cast, and sound effects are added just like in classic radio programs. This is classic Hammer with roof top chases, a damsel in distress, and appearances by his faithful friend “Betsy.”

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Find in catalogOne early morning a Mercedes Benz charges into a line of people waiting to interview at a job fair; backs up and charges again. Eight people are killed, 15 are wounded, and the driver escapes. A couple of months later a depressed, retired policeman receives a letter from the killer. The policeman begins an investigation of his own, with the help of a few offbeat friends. Very well written and suspenseful.

Leaving Time by Jodie Picoult

Find in catalogI would recommend this book on a couple of strong points: first, Picoult has done a lot of research (even including a bibliography at the end of her book) about elephants and their habits of mourning their dead, “child”-rearing, and history of interactions with humans. She includes both a fictional elephant sanctuary and a real one in Tennessee in her plot. Secondly, Picoult is always great with surprise twists and elements, and this book is no exception. She has chosen to include a psychic and some spirit guides as main characters who are welcomed into the search for a missing person, the mother of Jenna–left at 3 years old–and Jenna is hiring the psychic to find out if her mother is dead or alive. Three voices narrate the tale alternating between chapters: Jenna, her mother, and the psychic.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Her Fearful SymmetryThis is the second novel by the author of The Time Traveler’s Wife and, like in that book, the plot depends on supernatural occurrences. Twin sisters inherit an apartment near Highgate Cemetery in London from the twin sister of their mother, with the stipulation that they must live in it for one year and their mother may not enter. I was interested in these characters and enjoyed the writing up until the appearance of the first ghost. The writing continued to be good and I enjoyed the various inhabitants of the London apartment building that was the center of life for the deceased aunt (ghost) and, increasingly, of the twins. I did find the plot a little complicated with spirits and people, and a little thin as well, but it was worth the read for the novelty and for the characters.

Reviewed by Sue D.