Louisiana saves the library

From Andrea Kalinowski

Author: Emily Cogburn

Title: Louisiana saves the library

Louisiana saves the library by Emily Beck Cogburn was a funny,lighthearted read in the middle of the heavy seas of nonfiction in which I am currently immersed, one nonfiction thread leading to another until this title crossed my path. The protagonist, Louisiana Richardson, a newly single mother with two children, was a library professor until the University reassessed its fiscal responsibilities. Dear readers, Louisiana got axed from her position, and found herself in Alligator Bayou Parish trying to reinvigorate a dying library as well as balance her personal life. Louisiana faces an uphill battle against the library director and one of the board members, Mrs.Gunderson. Both are opposed to the continuation and/or expansion of the library for entirely different reasons. Pick up this lively novel and find out how Louisiana manages to save both the library and her personal life.

 

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Librarian review: Death in Brittany

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Jean-Luc Bannalec

Title: Death in Brittany

This is the first in a planned series featuring Commissaire Dupin,a Parisian police officer now assigned to the picturesque sea-side resort of Port-Aven on the Brittany coast. This idyllic setting is soon shattered as the ninety-one year old legendary owner of the Central Hotel is found brutally murdered. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of suspects—family, friends and employees. Food, local history, geography, wine, and culture play an important role in the unfolding of the story. It is very evident that the author intimately knows and loves this region. This is not a straight forward whodunit. Instead there are several twists and red herrings to keep you guessing. As for me, I enjoyed the curmudgeon Commissaire Dupin as much as I enjoy Inspector Gamache from Louise Penny’s police procedural series.

 

Reykjavik Nights

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Arnaldur Indridason

Title: Reykjavik Nights

This is a prequel to Indridason’s Detective Erlendur mystery series, focusing on his early years as a rookie cop in Reykjavik. Always curious and determined to find answers, he spends his off hours digging into unsolved crimes. One of these involves the drowning of a homeless man he had befriended. As he digs deeper into the presumed drowning, he realizes it may be linked to the mysterious disappearance of a woman that very weekend. This is a police procedural evoking a 1970’s Iceland. If you like Nordic Noir and haven’t tried the Erlendur series, this is a good place to start.

Eva’s Eye

From Eileen Effrat

Author: Karin Fossum

Title: Eva’s Eye

This is Norwegian Fossum’s first Inspector Konrad Sejer mystery published in 1995,but only now translated into English. When a dead man’s body is found floating in a river, Sejer is immediately drawn to an unsolved murder of a local prostitute at the same time the dead man went missing. Are the two cases related? Sejer does not believe in coincidences. As he begins to unravel the fragmented clues surrounding both murders, Eva Magnus,a struggling artist,soon becomes a person of special interest. This is Nordic noir at its best, a psychological study of how lies can quickly unravel.

Tatiana : an Arkady Renko novel

Name: Eileen Effrat

Author: Martin Cruz Smith

Title: Tatiana : an Arkady Renko novel

What he/she said about the book: Arakady Renko, Senior Investigator for Very Important Cases in Moscow, is still on the job after 30 years. Politically and socially,things have not changed much. Putin’s “New Russia” is just as corrupt as Renko’s first police investigation at Gorky Park in 1981. This is the 8th novel in the series and Renko is just as cynical and persistent as always. A Russian investigative reporter reputedly jumps from a window,a crime boss is gunned down,and a Swiss translator on business in Kaliningrad is murdered; all three within days. The key to these seemingly unrelated events is a notebook left behind by the translator. As the action shifts between Moscow and Kaliningrad,Smith vividly portrays daily life in Russia. This latest book in the series does not disappoint.

Librarian Recommended: The Swedish Girl

From Eileen Effrat

Author:  Alex Gray

Title:  The Swedish Girl

The tenth installment in the Detective Superintendent Lorimer series does not disappoint. A Swedish student is brutally murdered in a shared apartment and one of the male flat mates is accused and held without bail. Convinced that the guy is innocent, Kristy Wilson, another of the flat mates, sets out to convince Lorimer to re-evaluate the evidence and untangle a complex web of relationships surrounding the murdered girl. Gray’s mysteries, set in Glasgow, Scotland, gives readers  a genuine feel for the city and its inhabitants. If you enjoy Ian Rankin’s mysteries set in Edinburgh, why not give Glasgow a try?

The silent sister

From  Andrea  Kalinowski

Author:  Diane  Chamberlain

Title:  The silent sister

“I know that the lies in our family hurt all of us, especially Danny and myself. Growing up in a household where something is terribly wrong, you feel the weight of that mysterious something even though it’s unspoken. It eats at you. Confuses you. It leaves you wondering if your view of the world will ever make sense.” The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain was an unexpected surprise hit with me. It was recommended to me by my sister-in-law. She could not stop reading the book and neither could I.

A young woman returns to her father’s house to clean out his home and to settle his estate. She thinks her only relative is her brother, who is perceived, by her and others, as being mentally ill. In the cleaning process, secrets of her sister’s suicide are unearthed and shed new light on the family dynamics. Lisa was seventeen when she committed “suicide” and it was this “suicide” which changed the family’s dynamic from a cohesive functioning family unit to a dysfunctional mishmash. Danny harbors his own resentments about Lisa’s familial role and the transformation that is wrought by her “suicide.” The discovery of newspaper articles detailing the real story behind the “suicide” set Riley off in search of the real story. The full scope of the deception forces Riley and Danny into a new and uncertain familial future. Our choices today really do have a ripple effect even though we may not perceive them clearly at the moment of decision. The Silent Sister was an excellent, suspenseful read. I give it four stars.