I have long been a fan of author Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Her romance stories are written with style and grace, and most times love conquers all when the story comes to a happy ever after ending. She certainly surprised me with her latest book, Heroes are My Weakness. Even though the title hints at a romantic setting, this one has a much darker and serious feel to it. In some ways, the beginning had elements of classic gothic romances like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.
Last year Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith was published and received great reviews. Then it was revealed the Galbraith was really J. K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series. Rowling has shown that she can write mysteries as well as fantasy with the Cormoran Strike series under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. The next book in the series after Cuckoo’s Calling is Silkworm and was recently published. This is a traditional hard-boiled procedural mystery. London P.I.
If you like mysteries set in Wisconsin, tryDeath Stalks Door County by Patricia Skalka, the first in the Dave Cubiak series. Cubiak was a Chicago cop who became a park ranger at Peninsula State Park after his wife and daughter were killed in an accident. He is still grieving, feeling guilty, and drinking too much. This is a not a cozy mystery even though the author does a good job of describing the beauty and ambience of Door County.
Nantucket is known as an island of the privileged class, or so most of us think. It has its share of unique individuals, some with old money, some with new money, and some with no money at all. In Nantucket Sawbuck, author Steven Axelrod reveals scandal and intrigue behind the scenes in one of America’s most exclusive resort towns - all because of the murder of an evil tycoon named Preston Lomax.
Lake of Tears is Mary Logue’s latest mystery set in Pepin County and featuring the character Claire Watkins. This is a good choice for people who like to read books with a Wisconsin connection, and people who like police procedural mysteries. The story is set in autumn as the local people are doing an annual ritual of constructing a Viking boat and setting it on fire. Claire is a deputy sheriff, and her daughter Meg will be going to college soon.
Here is a mystery with a winter setting to pull you through a winter slump. The title of this mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming comes from the hymn “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and the descriptions of the snow and cold add to the atmosphere of the story. Clare Fergusson is the new priest at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in the small town of Millers Kill, NY who finds an abandoned infant at the church at the beginning of December. The baby boy has a note saying that his name is Cody and that he should go to Mr. and Mrs.
Shopping for readers this holiday season? The BookCellar at the Fond du Lac Public Library – the city’s only used book store – sells used books, movies, music and magazines for all ages at deep discounts. Most hardcover books are $1, paperbacks and kids’ books are 50 cents.
In December, two special sales offer even-better deals:
It is hard to believe the month of July is almost over. Much of my summer has been spent reading light, romantic and fun books, but to be good at reader's advisory you have to be willing to read out of your "comfort zone" once in a while. Tell Me by Lisa Jackson is about as opposite of light, romantic and fun as you can get. Both thrilling and terrifying, Jackson's latest takes you on a suspenseful ride filled with both venomous snakes and creepy characters. Reading this one made me want to sleep with the lights on!
Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum series book, Takedown Twenty, is due to be published in November. While you wait, try Sophie Littlefield’s Stella Hardesty series. Stella is a middle-aged woman in Missouri who runs a sewing shop and is a vigilante on the side. She was abused by her now deceased husband and is an advocate for other abused women. She has romantic entanglements with Sheriff “Goat” Jones. Although the comedy is darker than in the Evanovich books, there are plenty of quirky characters and humorous situations in Littlefield’s fast-paced series.