Have you commented on our Online Book Club yet? One comment enters you into the drawing to win a library-themed coffee mug.
Each Tuesday (except last week, when we took the week off for the holiday) we’re posting a new entry in our Online Book Club to share with you what you’re reading. Join in with the conversation! We’re focusing on a specific genre each week. Leave us a comment about what you’re reading or what you think about the genre, and you could win one of these super-cute coffee mugs. We’ll pick a winner each week from the comments below.
If you’re a reader, don’t miss out on winning one of the great prizes at the end of the summer: we’re giving away a Kindle (courtesy of the family of the late Mrs. Bernice B. Franklin, a library trustee and long-time library supporter) to one lucky book reviewer, and the library system is also giving away an iPad (courtesy of the generous folks at Cobb EMC). All you have to do to enter to win the drawings is write a review. Get started today!*
Today we’re reading books in the Mystery Genre, and today’s post is brought to us by Maria, a youth services librarian at the East Cobb Library. Maria has written several posts on teen-related issues – check them out here. Thanks for sharing your books with us, Maria!
Genre: Mystery Fiction
What is Historical Fiction? Mystery Fiction involves a detective, professional or amateur, who solves a mystery or crime.
What do you like about this genre? I just love getting lost in the suspense and anticipation of trying to figure out “who done it.”
In the Genre:
What was your favorite book when you were young? One summer when I was about 9 I started reading Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and the Three Investigators series. I have been hooked ever since.
What was the most recent book you enjoyed? Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived-and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her. The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details-proof they hope may free Ben-Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members-including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started-on the run from a killer.
Name one of your favorite books. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson. A triumphant new novel from award-winner Kate Atkinson: a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate. Case One: Olivia Land, youngest and most beloved of the Land girls, goes missing in the night and is never seen again. Thirty years later, two of her surviving sisters unearth a shocking clue to Olivia’s disappearance among the clutter of their childhood home. . . Case Two: Theo delights in his daughter Laura’s wit, effortless beauty, and selfless love. But her first day as an associate in his law firm is also the day when Theo’s world turns upside down. . . Case Three: Michelle looks around one day and finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making. A very needy baby and a very demanding husband make her every waking moment a reminder that somewhere, somehow, shed made a grave mistake and would spend the rest of her life paying for it–until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape. As Private Detective Jackson Brodie investigates all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge. Inextricably caught up in his clients grief, joy, and desire, Jackson finds their unshakable need for resolution very much like his own. Kate Atkinson’s celebrated talent makes for a novel that positively sparkles with surprise, comedy, tragedy, and constant, page-turning delight.
Some other mysteries I have read and enjoyed:
Defending Jacob by William Landay. Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. When a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. As the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own– between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan C. Bradley. Eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, must exonerate her father of murder. Armed with more than enough knowledge to tie two distant deaths together and examine new suspects, she begins a search that will lead her all the way to the King of England himself.
In the Woods by Tana French. As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox-his partner and closest friend-find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past. Richly atmospheric, stunning in its complexity, and utterly convincing and surprising to the end, In the Woods is sure to enthrall fans of Mystic River and The Lovely Bones.
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor’s dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.
Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M.C. Beaton. When Mrs. Agatha Raisin decides to retire early to the English Cotswolds, she envisions herself enjoying all that country life has to offer: garden parties, tea at the vicarage, and a cozy home far from the noise and smell of London. Life in the village of Carsley is not as Agatha anticipated, however. Much to her surprise, she doesn’t attract much interest among the villagers. No one comes to call; there are no invitations to tennis or tea. A miserable Agatha is forced to acknowledge that she is but another newcomer to the well-established Carsley society. Agatha didn’t succeed in business by being a shrinking violet, though, so she shakes off her doubts and resolves to make her mark on the village: She will enter Carsley’s Great Quiche Competition and win! The fact that Agatha has never baked so much as a potato in her life doesn’t stop her; she submits a delectable store-bought quiche as her own. Having dusted off her mantlepiece to accommodate her silver cup, Agatha is stunned to see the award go to another entry. Her surprise turns to horror, however, when the contest judge drops dead – from poison the police trace to Agatha’s “homemade” spinach pie. Agatha is now the talk of the town – though not exactly in the manner she had hoped. In an effort to clear her name, she turns amateur sleuth – as Beaton introduces a witty and well-crafted new mystery series peopled with quirky characters and all endearingly eccentric sleuth.