Weekly Top Picks

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of July 17, 2017

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Once Upon a Spine

Kate Carlisle

Call Number: MYS CARLISLE

Brooklyn's oh-so-proper future in-laws are traveling from England to meet her, and if that's not enough to set her on edge, rumors abound that the charming Courtyard shops across the street may be replaced by high-rise apartments. Their trendy neighborhood will be ruined unless Brooklyn and her fiance, Derek Stone, can persuade the shopkeepers not to sell. 

But with a rare edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland causing bad blood at the Brothers Bookshop and a string of petty vandalism making everyone nervous, Brooklyn and Derek feel like they're attempting six impossible things before breakfast. Then the owner of the Rabbit Hole juice bar is felled by his own heavy shelves, and the local cobbler lies dead beside him. An accident . . . or something more sinister? Things get curiouser and curiouser when a second priceless copy of Alice is discovered. Will it stir up more trouble within the close-knit community? 

As the Brits descend, Brooklyn learns they're not so stuffy after all. Derek's dad is won over with chocolate cream pie, and his psychic mum would kill to help Brooklyn solve this murder--before another victim takes a tumble.

 


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At The Tables of Wolves

Kay Kenyon

Call Number: FIC KENYON

In 1936, there are paranormal abilities that have slowly seeped into the world, brought to the surface by the suffering of the Great War. The research to weaponize these abilities in England has lagged behind Germany, but now it's underway at an ultra-secret site called Monkton Hall.

Kim Tavistock, a woman with the talent of the spill --drawing out truths that people most wish to hide--is among the test subjects at the facility. When she wins the confidence of caseworker Owen Cherwell, she is recruited to a mission to expose the head of Monkton Hall--who is believed to be a German spy.

As she infiltrates the upper-crust circles of some of England's fascist sympathizers, she encounters dangerous opponents, including the charismatic Nazi officer Erich von Ritter, and discovers a plan to invade England. No one believes an invasion of the island nation is possible, not Whitehall, not even England's Secret Intelligence Service. Unfortunately, they are wrong, and only one woman, without connections or training, wielding her talent of the spill and her gift for espionage, can stop it.

 


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The Witches of New York

Ami McKay

Call Number: FIC MCKAY

New York in the spring of 1880 is a place alive with wonder and curiosity. Determined to learn the truth about the world, its residents enthusiastically engage in both scientific experimentation and spiritualist pursuits. Seances are the entertainment of choice in exclusive social circles, and many enterprising women--some possessed of true intuitive powers, and some gifted with the art of performance--find work as mediums.

Enter Adelaide Thom and Eleanor St. Clair. At their humble teashop, Tea and Sympathy, they provide a place for whispered confessions, secret cures, and spiritual assignations for a select society of ladies, who speak the right words and ask the right questions. But the profile of Tea and Sympathy is about to change with the fortuitous arrival of Beatrice Dunn.

When seventeen-year-old Beatrice leaves the safety of her village to answer an ad that reads "Respectable Lady Seeks Dependable Shop Girl. Those averse to magic need not apply," she has little inclination of what the job will demand of her. Beatrice doesn't know it yet, but she is no ordinary small-town girl; she has great spiritual gifts--ones that will serve as her greatest asset and also place her in grave danger. Under the tutelage of Adelaide and Eleanor, Beatrice comes to harness many of her powers, but not even they can prepare her for the evils lurking in the darkest corners of the city or the courage it will take to face them.

 

Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of July 10, 2017

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Live From Cairo

Ian Bassingthwaighte

Call Number: FIC BASSINGTHWAIGHTE

Cairo, 2011. President Mubarak has just been ousted from power. The oldest city in the world is reeling from political revolution, its consequent hopes and fears, its violence, triumphs, and defeats. But for the people actually living there, daily life has not slowed down but become wilder, more dangerous, and, occasionally, freeing.

Live from Cairo is the exuberant, dazzling story of these people: Dalia, a strong-willed Iraqi refugee who finds herself trapped in Egypt after her petition to resettle in America with her husband is denied. Charlie, her foolhardy attorney, whose frustration with the legal bureaucracy and complicated feelings for Dalia have led him to forge a not entirely legal plan to get her out. Aos, Charlie's fastidious translator and only friend, who spends his days trying to help people through the system and his nights in Tahrir Square protesting against it. And Hana, a young and disenchanted Iraqi-American resettlement officer; she is the worker assigned to Dalia's case, deciding whether to treat her plight as merely one more piece of paperwork, or as a full-blooded human crisis. As these individuals come together, a plot is formed to help Dalia. But soon laws are broken, friendships and marriages are tested, and lives are risked--all in an effort to protect one person from the dangerous sweep of an unjust world.

A vibrant portrait of a city in all its teeming chaos and glory, Live from Cairo is an exhilarating, electrifying debut, and a stunning testament to the unconquerable desire of people to rise above tragedy to seek love, friendship, humor, and joy.

 


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Some Kind of Hero

Suzanne Brockmann

Call Number: FIC BROCKMANN

Former Navy SEAL Peter "Grunge" Greene's lonely but comfortable life is upended when his longtime ex-girlfriend unexpectedly dies in a car crash, leaving him sole custody of their 15-year-old daughter, Maddie. They move to San Diego to start a new life together, but Maddie quickly falls in with the wrong crowd and soon goes completely AWOL. New to town with no one to turn to, Peter is frantic to track down his daughter and accepts help from his beautiful and surprisingly resourceful neighbor, Shayla Whitman. A romance writer and single stay-at-home mom, Shayla deeply empathizes with Peter's predicament, and a bond quickly grows between them over their shared experiences as parents but blossoms into much more. As things heat up between Peter and Shayla, it's a race against time for Peter and the Troubleshooters team to find Maddie before she makes a mistake she'll forever regret.

 


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Tornado Weather

Deborah E. Kennedy

Call Number: FIC KENNEDY

Five-year-old Daisy Gonzalez's father is always waiting for her at the bus stop. But today, he isn't, and Daisy disappears. 
When Daisy goes missing, nearly everyone in town suspects or knows something different about what happened. And they also know a lot about each other. The immigrants who work in the dairy farm know their employers' secrets. The hairdresser knows everything except what's happening in her own backyard. And the roadkill collector knows love and heartbreak more than anyone would ever expect. They are all connected, in ways small and profound, open and secret.


By turns unsettling, dark, and wry, Kennedy's powerful voice brings the town's rich fabric to life. Tornado Weather is an affecting portrait of a complex and flawed cast of characters striving to find fulfillment in their lives - and Kennedy brilliantly shows that there is nothing average about an average life.

 

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of July 3, 2017

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The Weight of Lies

Emily Carpenter

Call Number: FIC CARPENTER

Reformed party girl Meg Ashley leads a life of privilege, thanks to a bestselling horror novel her mother wrote decades ago. But Meg knows that the glow of their very public life hides a darker reality of lies, manipulation, and the heartbreak of her own solitary childhood. Desperate to break free of her mother, Meg accepts a proposal to write a scandalous, tell-all memoir.

Digging into the past--and her mother's cult classic--draws Meg to Bonny Island, Georgia, and an unusual woman said to be the inspiration for the book. At first island life seems idyllic, but as Meg starts to ask tough questions, disturbing revelations come to light...including some about her mother.

Soon Meg's search leads her to question the facts of a decades-old murder. She's warned to leave it alone, but as the lies pile up, Meg knows she's getting close to finding a murderer. When her own life is threatened, Meg realizes the darkness found in her mother's book is nothing compared to the chilling truth that lurks off the page.

 

 


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Berlin Red

Sam Eastland

Call Number: FIC EASTLAND

The Inspector Pekkala series has shone a light on the dark intricacies of twentieth-century Russia, from the overthrow of the czars through, in this seventh and final installment, Stalin's schemes to thwart Hitler in the final days of WWII. Pekkala is the light-bringer here. He was once a secret agent of the Romanovs, sentenced to brutal exile in a Siberian labor camp after their overthrow. (One of the most wrenching parts of this book is Eastland's re-creation of the cold and isolation that nearly shattered Pekkala during his nine years in the gulag.) As series readers know, Stalin rescued Pekkala on the condition that he serve as Stalin's Special Investigator. This last catch-your-breath spy thriller, set in 1945, centers on the Germans' attempt to perfect a system for guiding their V-2 rockets to chosen targets. British radio operators have intercepted messages that could derail the plan, and Stalin wants Pekkala to get the Brits' most valuable agent out of Berlin. Clockwork precision in plotting, vivid history, and a romantic backstory make this compulsive reading.--Fletcher, Connie booklist

 


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Unsub 

Meg Gardiner

Call Number: FIC GARDINER

"A riveting psychological thriller inspired by the never-caught Zodiac Killer, about a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier. Caitlin Hendrix has been a Narcotics detective for six months when the killer at the heart of all her childhood nightmares reemerges: the Prophet. An UNSUB--what the FBI calls an unknown subject--the Prophet terrorized the Bay Area in the 1990s and nearly destroyed her father, the lead investigator on the case. The Prophet's cryptic messages and mind games drove Detective Mack Hendrix to the brink of madness, and Mack's failure to solve the series of ritualized murders--eleven seemingly unconnected victims left with the ancient sign for Mercury etched into their flesh--was the final nail in the coffin for a once promising career. Twenty years later, two bodies are found bearing the haunting signature of the Prophet. Caitlin Hendrix has never escaped the shadow of her father's failure to protect their city. But now the ruthless madman is killing again and has set his sights on her, threatening to undermine the fragile barrier she rigidly maintains for her own protection, between relentless pursuit and dangerous obsession. Determined to decipher his twisted messages and stop the carnage, Caitlin ignores her father's warnings as she draws closer to the killer with each new gruesome murder. Is it a copycat, or can this really be the same Prophet who haunted her childhood? Will Caitlin avoid repeating her father's mistakes and redeem her family name, or will chasing the Prophet drag her and everyone she loves into the depths of the abyss?"--

 

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of June 26, 2017

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The Weight of Ink

Rachel Kadish

Call Number: FIC KADISH

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history. As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents' scribe, the elusive "Aleph." Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

 

 


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The Seven Rules of Elvira

Frances Maynard

Call Number: FIC MAYNARD

Elvira Carr believes in rules. She also strongly believes in crisp schedules, clear guidelines, and taking people at face value.Not that the twenty-seven-year-old sees many people. After several unfortunate incidents, her overbearing mother keeps her at home.

But when her mother has a stroke, Elvira is suddenly on her own. To help her navigate a world that is often puzzling, she draws up seven ironclad rules. Armed with these, a notebook full of questions, and guidance from a helpful neighbor, she takes charge of herself ? and realizes that something isn't quite right about the life she thought she knew.

She'll need all the courage, perseverance and curious charm she can muster to unravel the mystery of what happened to her family and to manager her own life, her way.

 


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If We Were Villians

M.L. Rio

Call Number: FIC RIO

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail - for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he's released, he's greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

Ten years ago: as one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ing#65533;nue, extra. But when the plays spill dangerously over into life, one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

Intelligent, thrilling, and richly detailed, If We Were Villains is a captivating story of the enduring power and passion of words.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of June 19, 2017

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The Lost Letter

Jillian Cantor 

Call Number: FIC CANTOR

Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.

Los Angeles, 1989. Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad's collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.

 

 


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Flashmob

Christopher Farnsworth

Call Number: FIC FARNSWORTH

As a fixer for America's one percent, John Smith cleans up the messes of those rich enough to afford him. But he's no ordinary gun for hire. Smith is a man of rare gifts, including the ability to read minds. Arriving at the wedding of Kira Sadeghi, a reality television celebrity he recently saved from kidnappers, Smith witnesses a group of gunmen open fire, hitting the bride and others. Though he's unarmed, Smith cripples one of the killers and is able to pry one word from his mind: "Downvote."

Eager to learn more, Smith hacks into the brain of an FBI agent investigating the attack to discover the Bureau has been investigating a nefarious new threat called "Downvote," an encrypted site on the "dark net" that lists the names of celebrities and offers a hefty bounty for anyone who can kill them--unleashing an anonymous and deadly flashmob with a keystroke.

Finding a mastermind on the internet is like trying to catch air--unless you're John Smith. Motivated by money and revenge, he traces a series of electronic signatures to a reclusive billionaire living at sea, accompanied by a scary-smart female bodyguard who becomes Smith's partner in his quest. The hunt for their prey will lead from Hong Kong to Reykjavik to a luxury gambling resort deep in the Laotian jungle. Yet always this criminal mastermind remains one step ahead.

The only way Downvote's creator can stop Smith is to kill him . . . because while this diabolical genius can run, there's no hiding from a man who can read minds.


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Blood Magick

Nora Roberts

Call Number: FIC ROBERTS

"County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O'Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop. Branna's strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family. But there's a missing link in the chain of her life: love... She had it once with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Branna and Fin's relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear"--Back cover.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of June 12, 2017

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Perennials

Mandy Berman

Call Number: FIC BERMAN

Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin used to treasure their summers together as campers at Camp Marigold. Now, reunited as counselors after their first year of college, their relationship is more complicated. Rebellious Rachel, a street-smart city kid raised by a single mother, has been losing patience with her best friend's insecurities; Fiona, the middle child of a not-so-perfect suburban family, envies Rachel's popularity with their campers and fellow counselors. For the first time, the two friends start keeping secrets from each other. Through them, as well as from the perspectives of their fellow counselors, their campers, and their mothers, we witness the tensions of the turbulent summer build to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their pasts--and the adults they're becoming.

 

 


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Trophy Son

Douglas Brunt

Call Number: FIC BRUNT

Private lessons. Professional coaches. Specialized camps for sports, math, music, and other fields. Today's children are pushed to achieve excellence--or else. But at what cost? New York Times bestselling author Douglas Brunt's third novel, Trophy Son, tells the story of a tennis prodigy, from young childhood to the finals of the US Open, Wimbledon, and other tournaments around the world.

Growing up in the wealthy suburbs of Philadelphia, Anton Stratis is groomed to be one thing only: the #1 tennis player in the world. Trained relentlessly by his obsessive father, a former athlete who plans every minute of his son's life, Anton both aspires to greatness and resents its all-consuming demands. Lonely and isolated--removed from school and socialization to focus on tennis--Anton explodes from nowhere onto the professional scene and soon becomes one of the top-ranked players in the world, with a coach, a trainer, and an entourage.

But as Anton struggles to find a balance between stardom and family, he begins to make compromises--first with himself, then with his health, and finally with the rules of tennis, a mix that will threaten to destroy everything he has worked for.

 


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The Bourne Initiative

Eric Van Lustbader

Call Number: FIC LUSTBADER

General Boris Karpov, head of the feared Russian FSB, is dead. But Karpov has reached out from the grave with an unstoppable cyber operation he conceived before his murder, aimed at the heart of the United States--a way to steal the president's nuclear launch codes. Who has taken over the operation? Karpov trusted only one man: Jason Bourne. But can Bourne be working against his own country? The U.S. Government is convinced of his treason, and is doing everything in its power to kill him. Flushed from cover and gravely wounded, Bourne's only hope is to join forces with his bitterest enemy: a powerful Somali terrorist named Keyre, and his prot_g_e, the Angelmaker. If he hopes to survive, Bourne has no choice but unravel the mystery of Karpov's last legacy--a weaponized code that may bring about the unthinkable: a violent end to America.

 


Adult Fiction - Best Picks of the Week

Week of June 5, 2017

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The Reminders

Val Emmich

Call Number: FIC EMMICH

What happens when a girl who can't forget befriends a man who's desperate to remember? 
Grief-stricken over his partner Sydney's death, Gavin sets fire to every reminder in the couple's home before fleeing Los Angeles for New Jersey, where he hopes to find peace with the family of an old friend. Instead, he finds Joan.

Joan, the family's ten-year-old daughter, was born Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, or HSAM: the rare ability to recall every day of her life in cinematic detail. Joan has never met Gavin until now, but she did know his partner, and waiting inside her uncanny mind are startlingly vivid memories to prove it.

Gavin strikes a deal with Joan: in return for sharing her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help her win a songwriting contest she's convinced will make her unforgettable. The unlikely duo set off on their quest until Joan reveals unexpected details about Sydney's final months, forcing Gavin to question not only the purity of his past with Sydney but the course of his own immediate future.

Told in the alternating voices of these two irresistible characters, The Reminders is a hilarious and tender exploration of loss, memory, friendship, and renewal.

 

 

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Deadman Walking

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Call Number: FIC KENYON

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane--an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn--an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn's behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity's last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

But things are never so simple. And one of Bane's biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn't just a vessel, she's also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged and who in turn wronged him during a centuries long war between their two races--a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and almost extinct race against Bane and his cause, and watches humanity fall, or she puts faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity--let's hope Bane can sway her favor.

 


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The Language of Solitude

Jan-Philipp Sendker

Call Number: FIC SENDKER

Brooding expat and journalist Paul Leibovitz is beginning to imagine a new life for himself in Hong Kong, one in which the grief over a recent family tragedy doesn't consume him and his love for Christine Wu brings him great joy. When Christine gets an unexpected and emotionally-charged letter from her estranged brother, Paul journeys with her to a remote village outside of Shanghai, where a mysterious illness is affecting the locals.

Paul discovers a powerful chemical conglomerate is polluting a nearby lake, and Chinese officials are doing nothing to stop it. The victims demand justice, but taking legal action could prove even more dangerous than the strange disease itself. Government intimidation and political corruption threaten to suppress even the most passionate and audacious environmental activists. If Paul doesn't walk away, he could pull the woman he loves reluctantly back into a world she escaped from decades ago--putting their relationship and their lives at risk.

 


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