Karen B.

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The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves By Alexandra Horowitz Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593298008
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Published: Viking - September 20th, 2022

I've been contemplating getting a puppy. This would not be my first puppy, or even my second, so I truly understand that a puppy is a big decision and needs to be carefully considered. Over the years, I have read many books about successful puppy training, but when this book came out of the box and I took a look at it, I thought it might be beneficial to understand what a dog’s first year is like from the perspective of the puppy.
Alexandra Horowitz is the author of Inside of a Dog, the classic book about dog behavior. Like many people, during the pandemic, she thought it might be nice to get a puppy. As it happens, this would be her first puppy. Previously, her family had always rescued older dogs. She reasoned that as an observer of animal behavior, this might be a great research project. After all, somebody should watch puppies for an entire year!
It wasn’t long before the appropriate rescue mom was found—Maize, surrendered (as we politely put it), when her owners found out she was pregnant. Ms. Horowitz would observe this litter from the moment of birth through the first full year with the reward of taking one of the puppies into her own home.
Wonderfully written (and in the audio version, narrated by the author), we learn what we can expect from puppies every week throughout their first year. In addition to Maize, Horowitz also observed a litter from Pinto, whose trading card described her as a human remains detector. Her pups are destined to be heroes, so their first year is more intense and more directed than companion dogs'.
Both anecdotally and scientifically, you come away from each week of the lives of all these puppies, learning why dogs behave as they do and how you can help them to live their best lives ever. If you are contemplating a puppy, this is a lovely book to go with all the puppy training manuals you will need.

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The Invincible Miss Cust: A Novel By Penny Haw Cover Image
ISBN: 9781728257709
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - October 4th, 2022

I like books about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. It usually turns out that they were pretty extraordinary all along.
Aleen Cust graduated as the first woman veterinary surgeon in the British Iles in 1897. She was recognized as the first female veterinary surgeon by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1922. During that 25-year gap, she worked as a veterinarian in Ireland, even serving in France during the First World War.
As a child, being a veterinarian was her dream. The trials that she had to go through from society and her family, show that she truly was invincible. The daughter of a Baronet, society expected her to become a lady, a wife, and a mother, in that order. The very thought of a woman putting her arm up a cow’s bum was enough to cause some to faint at the horror. Gentlewoman did not have careers. After the death of her father, her mother became a Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Victoria. The Queen was not a champion for progressive women. Fortunately, her guardian was more understanding and helped her to enroll at the New Veterinary College in Edinburgh. In order to avoid embarrassing her family, she enrolled under the name A. I. Custance.
In this historical novel, Haw takes us through Aleen’s long life and her struggles to be recognized by the RCVS, which included a couple of lawsuits. Aleen never cared about being the first woman veterinarian, she cared about animals. She was driven by a love and fascination with her patients. But having completed all the studying and interning that men do, it did seem patently unfair that she could not be certified to practice in the British Empire. When she did finally get it, they actually crossed out Mr. and handwrote Miss.
It is hard to be the first at things, but there is always someone out there who can and will do it. Aleen was another woman who lead the way for all of us.

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Fairy Tale By Stephen King Cover Image
ISBN: 9781668002179
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 6th, 2022

During the Pandemic of the last few years, Stephen King decided to write a story that would make him happy. I want to sincerely thank him for spreading the joy—not just to the millions of fans who will pick up anything he produces, but also for enticing millions more to read him for the first time.
Fairy Tale is a perfect example of why Stephen King’s book On Writing is probably the most assigned writing guide for English and Creative Writing classes in high school and college: he knows how to tell a story. When he is at his best (and this book qualifies as one of his best), reading Stephen King is like sitting next to a stranger on a bus or a train or a park bench and having him lean over and say, “I want to tell you something. I’ve been waiting years to tell someone.” You’re a little scared about what’s going to happen, but something about him makes you nod your head.
Charlie Reade has a story to tell about his past. He’s not trying to excuse himself for any bad things he’s done, nor humble brag about that time he saved someone’s life. It’s just that something happened to him during a span of several months in his young life that he needs to tell us about it. And he needs to be honest about himself and everyone else in the story, because otherwise, it’s just another fairy tale.

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American Demon: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America's Jack the Ripper By Daniel Stashower Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250041166
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Minotaur Books - September 6th, 2022

Although he does cover the arrest and trial of Al Capone, Stashower’s book gives an unvarnished look at Eliot Ness beyond his time in Chicago. The city of Cleveland hired Ness as their youngest-ever Director of Public Safety. He was tasked with ridding the city’s police and fire departments of graft and corruption.
During this same period, Cleveland was also dealing with a series of gruesome murders. Someone was killing and dismembering people and leaving the remains scattered over various parts of the city of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga River, and the shores of Lake Erie. Most of the victims appeared to be indigents, of whom, during the Great Depression, cities across the U.S. had large populations; thus making identification of the victims nearly impossible.
Ness’s work to end corruption and modernize the Cleveland police force coincided with the investigation into these murders. It was only natural that he would eventually joint the hunt for the killer as well.
This book deals not with just Eliot Ness and these murders, but also with a look at the first attempts at using modern profiling, forensic examination, fingerprint analysis, and lie detectors to solve a complex and horrifying crime.
For fans of true crime, this book is very well researched and written. It is also an honest look at a man who, through no intention of his own, became an American folk hero.

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Dancing on the Grave of a Son of a Bitch: The Complete Motorcycle Betrayal Poems By Diane Wakoski, Elizabeth A. I. Powell (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Diane Wakoski, Elizabeth A. I. Powell (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781574232554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Black Sparrow Press - April 5th, 2022

Diane Wakoski is a “deep image” poet. I didn’t know what that meant when I first saw the term used in conjunction with her name; I had to look it up. It means a type of poetry that looks inward rather than outward. Deep image poets write about the self as represented by their emotions. It was most popular in the U. S. from the 1960s through the early 70s. And that just happens to be when most of these poems were written. The subtitle of this book is “The Complete Motorcycle Betrayal Poems.” So, the emotion she is plumbing here is love. Not the fairy-tale kind, but the kind that is sometimes accompanied by fear, despair, and even rage.
You know when you've been so angry at those you love the most that you could “just spit," as our elders used to say? Diane has put all that complicated emotion into these poems; not just the joyous parts, but the messy ones as well. The next time that you are furiously mad at your significant other, or your best friend, or the family member who’s known you since birth but doesn’t know you at all, take this book into the garage and read the title poem in a shouty voice. It’s beautiful and awful and exactly how we all feel at times. A deep image poet looks for their true self and lays it bare for all the world to see.

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Knitstrips: The World’s First Comic-Strip Knitting Book By Alice Ormsbee Beltran, Karen Kim Mar Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419740664
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams - March 15th, 2022

This book changes how you might think about knitting. There are no long lines of coded text or tiny grids filled with mysterious symbols requiring a glossary to decipher. Say goodbye to “k2tog” and “s1, k1, psso” and
It’s ok if you don’t know what those mean, there are plenty of knitters who don’t either.
This is a self-described comic-strip knitting book, expertly written to make your knitting more intuitive and less rigid. You don’t have to pick a pattern anymore, now you can pick a style and the panels will help you pick a yarn (any yarn) a color (whatever strikes your fancy) and a size (based on how you want it to look on you, not the model).
As you progress, helpful tips and suggestions appear to steer you on the right path. The projects range from simple to more complex, although you might not even notice how far your skills have progressed since you’re having so much fun.
I like this book for both beginners and advanced knitters. Beginners will learn to knit in a fun new way and advanced knitters will lose all their inhibitions about what they can or cannot do.


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Wild Prey: An Inspector Lu Fei Mystery (Inspector Lu Fei Series #2) By Brian Klingborg Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250779076
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Published: Minotaur Books - May 17th, 2022

This is the second novel in Klingborn’s mystery series featuring the Chinese detective, Inspector Lu Fei. We were introduced to Lu in Thief of Souls, when he was hunting a killer in the small town of Raven Valley, deep in the heart of China, thousands of miles from Beijing.
In Wild Prey, Lu is on the hunt for a trafficker in black market animal products that can be processed as medical remedies. This is an old practice in China, but the government is cracking down on it because of the coronavirus and international pressure.
But what intrigues Lu and gets him into trouble is a plea from 15-year-old Tan Meirong to find her missing sister, Tan Meixiang. She took a job in the largest city in the province to help support her family, but hasn’t texted her young sister in days. All Lu wants is to help a young girl. He has no idea it will lead him into a dangerous undercover mission to Myanmar and the compound of a ruthless and politically connected poacher. Not to mention, it doesn’t help that nearly everyone is lying to him.
Sometimes the second book in a series doesn’t meet expectations, but thankfully that is not the case here! Everything I enjoyed about the first book is still present - Lu’s intelligence, caring, and determination in the face of a giant bureaucracy, his quirky comrades in the police force, and his politically-connected superiors. Aside from a very intriguing mystery, just reading about the lives of ordinary people in a country with over 200 million surveillance cameras and a government that has a political officer in every community, is interesting all by itself. And there is no need to have read the first book, before reading this one. Both can be enjoyed independently of each other.

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Beach Wedding By Michael Ledwidge Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335425751
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Published: Hanover Square Press - February 15th, 2022

Terry Rourke and his family are going to spend a month in the Hamptons, on the fancy side of the county, not the part where he grew up in a split level ranch with his parents and four brothers. He’s there for his brother Tom’s wedding, who’s made a fortune on Wall Street. The palatial mansion he rented is not too far from the Glass House where Noah Sutton was murdered over a decade ago, an act that cost the Rourke family nearly everything they loved.
While his brother, Tom, sees his upcoming wedding as a way to show everyone in Suffolk county that the Rourke’s have prospered despite their expectations, Terry finds a way to reinvestigate Noah’s murder and redeem his family’s name. But not everyone wants to know the truth of that night, including the police and the county district attorney’s office. In fact, he’s not the only one poking into what’s behind all those gracious estates, the FBI is doing some investigating as well. And they are quite happy to let Terry do all the hard lifting on this one. All he has to do is figure out how to be present at all of the pre wedding plans his brother has arranged over the next month, interview everyone he can about what happened the night Noah died, and not let anyone find out what he’s up to. This is a great weekend read for in front of a cozy fireplace, with a bowl of snack mix and a cold beer or some Irish coffee.

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A Thousand Steps By T. Jefferson Parker Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250793539
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Published: Forge Books - January 11th, 2022

In this thriller, Parker deftly recreates 1968, Laguna Beach, California; a time in our history when kids could wander on bikes with no supervision and only a tentative command to be “home before the streetlights come on.” The news moved at a slower pace; people read the paper or watched it over dinner; the population in Southern California was more transient; and people came and went, the young in particular. What does “missing” even mean when Timothy Leary is urging everyone to turn on, tune in, and drop out?
At sixteen, Matt Anthony is taking it all in—the hippies, the drugs, the cops, the surfers, the communes. His parents are divorced, and he’s not absolutely sure where his dad is living, maybe in Texas. His mom is still young and pretty enough to enjoy it all, but she is on a slow slide into drugs and alcohol. His brother, Kyle, is fighting in Viet Nam, and all Matt has are his letters home that hint at fear and death. Meanwhile, his sister, Jasmine is a bright spot in his life: pretty, popular and sensible, but he hasn’t seen her for a few days. That wouldn’t worry him so much, but the police just found a dead girl from the neighborhood on the beach. And another girl disappeared weeks ago.
The police just think drugs and free love are the reasons she's missing, but Matt knows Jazz would never leave this way. He knows everyone in town and begins to ask them about his sister, trying to trace her last moves, but the undercurrents in Laguna Beach are threatening to pull him down. The drug dealers want him to carry a message, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love want him to join, and the cops want him to snitch. Matt just wants to find his sister, but you can’t please everyone.

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The Unforgettable Logan Foster #1 By Shawn Peters Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063047679
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Published: HarperCollins - January 18th, 2022

Logan Foster lives in an orphanage, although he isn’t sure he’s an orphan. He was found abandoned as a baby in a jetway at Los Angeles airport. All he knows is that he was wearing a onesie that claimed he was the “World’s Best Big Brother," so he’s sure he has family somewhere.
In Peters' debut, the first of two, Logan is explaining to his unknown younger sibling his life so far. Not because he might forget anything, Logan has an eidetic memory, and he doesn’t forget anything. He also has a few other quirks, such as not liking to be touched, reciting lists of facts when he’s nervous, and being brutally honest when asked a direct question. This might explain why he’s been fostered six times but always winds up back at the orphanage.
So, when Gil and Margie ask him to come stay with them, he happily agrees, and expects it to be only temporarily. But Gil and Margie aren’t what they seem. Things are going pretty well until all the earthquakes, and once they start, his foster parents keep having to leave him at home alone. Naturally, he explores his new home and now has questions. Why is all the food new and unopened? Why are all of Gil’s clothes dusty and unworn? Why does Margie cry silver tears? There’s really only one logical explanation, given all the salient facts, and Logan does love facts. His foster parents are superheroes. And they need to save the world.
Logan sets out to prove his theory and that’s when the fun begins. This charming story reminds us that you don’t have to be a superhero to help save the world, sometimes you just need to be yourself.

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Pony By R. J. Palacio Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553508116
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021

This wonderful book is enthralling, from the very first page to the very last. Although it resides in the children’s section, I’m not convinced that it belongs there. It is really a story for all ages, with writing so good that I feel the author must have anguished over every sentence. Each chapter is headed by both a quote and a photograph from the time just before the Civil War that sweetly presages the words that follow.
In this story of a boy searching for his father, you will encounter characters both brave and foolish, some filled with joy and kindness and others filled only with greed and self importance.
Pony can be classified as historical fiction with elements of mysticism, but that description hardly does it justice. Silas’s journey, accompanied by his friend Mittenwool, U. S. Marshall Farmer, and Pony, is a tale that will stay with you long after you have finished reading it.
A short book, it is easily read in a day. Read it when you are happy, read it when you are melancholy, read it with your children. But you should get two copies—one as gift, the other you will want for yourself.

Billy Summers By Stephen King Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982173616
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Published: Scribner - August 3rd, 2021

Master storyteller Stephen King, whose “restless imagination is a power that cannot be contained” (The New York Times Book Review), presents an unforgettable and relentless #1 New York Times bestseller about a good guy in a bad job.

Chances are, if you’re a target of Billy Summers, two immutable truths apply: You’ll never even know what hit you,

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London's Number One Dog-Walking Agency: A Memoir By Kate MacDougall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063059788
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Published: William Morrow - July 6th, 2021

Kate MacDougall’s memoir is bright, funny, and endearing. After losing her job at Sotheby’s in London (possibly involving a broken antiquity), Kate decides to open a dog-walking service in London. After all, she’s always loved dogs.

More than just a story about dogs, this is the story of a young woman’s transition from clueless twentyish youth to adulthood; moving from love to marriage to parenthood to a mortgage. Her life unfolds through the stories she tells of all the dogs she has walked and their owners.

Each chapter begins with a particular dog, giving name, age, location, and the total number of dogs walked. We meet not just the dogs, but their owners as well as the people Kate hires to walk them as her business grows. The dogs are wonderful characters throughout, but owners and walkers are always the sticking point. From the owner of a Chocolate Labrador who insists that his dog must Never Get Wet (no puddles, no ponds in the park and absolutely NO MUD) to a walker who kidnaps the four legged client while the owners are on vacation (the neighbor next door was an inadequate dog sitter), Kate moves from naivety to assurance in both business and life.

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Chasing the Boogeyman: A Novel By Richard Chizmar Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982175160
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Published: Gallery Books - August 17th, 2021

Richard Chizman was living with his parents in Edgewood, Maryland during the summer of 1988. He was starting a horror and suspense magazine called Cemetary Dance and preparing for his wedding and move to Baltimore so his wife could finish her schooling at Johns Hopkins. Even as he was preparing to move in, this small town was experiencing a strange and disturbing crime spree, including the sister of an old school friend had been abducted and murdered. This event and subsequent ones become the focus of his summer and the subject of this true crime novel.
Most of what is in the above paragraph is true and really did happen in Richard Chizman’s summer of ’88. If you are inclined to read true crime books, this is a very good one. His writing has the same compelling narrative of Ann Rule, Eric Larson, or Vincent Bugliosi. However, it goes in the fiction section, because he takes some liberties with the facts. In fact, he does make some things up, but don’t let that stop you. If you like a gritty crime novel or gritty true crime, this is the perfect read to give you a chill during a hot summer month.

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Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II By Daniel James Brown Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525557401
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - May 11th, 2021

Let’s face it. This book covers a shameful part of 20th century American history—the relocation of Japanese Americans to concentration camps during the Second World War. And it is difficult to read in parts. However it is also the story of triumph, hope, love, bravery, heroism, determination, faith—all of the things that the United States was founded on.
Facing the Mountain moves back and forth between life in the so-called "relocation camps" and the battles of Europe, covering the actions of the 3rd Battalion, an all American-Japanese fighting force which fought in Italy and France, and the fear of their families back home, living behind barbed wire with armed guard towers.
When first formed, the men of the 442nd Regiment were all volunteers from Hawaii and the relocation camps around the country. They were native Americans, born of parents who came from Japan in the late 19th and early 20th century. Motivated, like many across the U. S., they joined the army out of love of country and duty, not to mention the additional need to show that they were “good Americans," just like everyone else. Later, many were drafted from the camps—and think about the irony of that.
As he did with Boys in the Boat, Brown uses his impressive writing skills to tell a wonderful story of ordinary people grappling with horrific circumstances beyond their immediate control. Both uplifting and disheartening at the same time, this is the nonfiction book we should all read this summer.

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The Ninth Metal (The Comet Cycle #1) By Benjamin Percy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328544865
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 1st, 2021

A year after a comet passes closely by the Earth, the planet rotates into the debris left by its passing. Not only is it a light show, it’s also a meteor shower with chunks landing all across the world. One of the biggest lands in northeastern Minnesota and everything changes. This is a new substance never seen before, with wide ranging applications for energy and building materials. Almost overnight the small mining town of Northfall becomes a magnet for every prospector, driller, government official, and scam artist out there. They all want a part of this new miracle substance. Originally iron ore and lumber were the town’s support, but this new metal is changing everything and everyone.

Powdered, it is an addictive substance and new cult has been built around it. Some think it is the end times, some think it’s the next evolution of man. Most people are just trying to get rich quick. There are many secrets in Northfall, and return of the son of the owner of the original iron ore mine brings many of them back to the surface. What really happened on the night the sky fell?

Part science fiction, part horror story, this is a great read for fans of Blake Crouch or Stephen King.

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Project Hail Mary: A Novel By Andy Weir Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593135204
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Published: Ballantine Books - May 4th, 2021

Imagine that one morning as you slowly awaken from sleep and look around, you don’t know where you are. In fact, you don’t know WHO you are. Then, as you begin to explore your surroundings, you realize you’re on a spaceship. There is only one thing you can deduce: this can’t be good.
In Andy Weir’s new novel, scientists around the world confirm that the sun is losing energy. Not because of entropy or any internal conditions, but because its life is being siphoned off by a mysterious particle stream originating from further out in the galaxy. If something isn’t done soon, within a generation or so, Earth will be driven into the next ice age. The world must come together for a last ditch effort to survive, hence: Project Hail Mary. If it doesn’t work, we’re done, really, really done.
For fans of Andy Weir’s first book, The Martian, this novel has the "I can do this" spirit and the constant problem solving on the fly that put that book in our Staff Picks section. But, I think this book is better written, better plotted, and the characters are better. If you liked The Martian, read this book. If you liked the movie Apollo 13, you’ll like this book. If you declare that you don’t read Science Fiction, you’ll still like this book. Project Hail Mary isn’t about some far distant future technologically-evolved Earth or some dystopian world where all the economies have fallen apart. The technology is built on what we already have. I would tell you more about it, but that would spoil all the fun.

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Laundry Love: Finding Joy in a Common Chore By Patric Richardson, Karin B. Miller Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250235190
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - March 30th, 2021

With the help of this little book, I’m coming out of the hamper!
I like doing laundry. I like my washing machine, I like my dryer, I like my clothesline outside. I leave my ironing board up all summer long. So, it was with some dismay that I discovered that I’ve been doing it all wrong. However, Mr. Richardson’s first chapter, entitled “Don’t Let Your Clothes Tell You What to Do,” was an eye opener. We absolutely let our clothes boss us around—“dry clean only,” anyone? Think about it. Dry cleaning is a modern invention. Wool and cashmere have been around for centuries. Certainly in the nineteenth century someone was washing cashmere sweaters without the benefit of modern techniques. But relax, you won’t need a washing board or a stone to slap your clothes on. Your modern washing machine will work quite well. However, don’t think this book is only about your fancy clothes; you’ll also learn how to make those faded jeans look newer and feel even better.
Laundry Love walks you step by step through changing your laundry habits in ways that will save time and money and help those clothes you love the best last so much longer. After all, that fluff you clean out of the lint trap in your dryer after every load, is your clothes slowly disintegrating. I’m absolutely going to change some things about how I do my laundry, starting with how I sort it.

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The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine By Janice P. Nimura Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393635546
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 19th, 2021

I remember reading a child’s biography of Elizabeth Blackwell when I was about ten years old.  I thought she was extraordinary.  But you don’t hear much about her in women’s history. Most people don’t know that she was the first woman to earn a medical degree from an established medical college in the United States, or Canada, or Great Britain, or France, or Germany. This book will change that.
But a child’s book leaves a great deal out. Elizabeth is not a charismatic person.  Her sister Emily is much more charming, but even she is very strong and uncompromising when it comes to the education of women.  Even as a young girl, Elizabeth always felt that she was destined for more than marriage and motherhood. She specifically looked for a career that she could have that would show other women that they had choices about their lives. She chose the hardest one she could think of, becoming a doctor. And once she succeeded, she encouraged Emily to follow her.
This is not just the story of two extraordinary women, it is also a look at medicine in the mid-nineteenth century, before the discovery of germs, hygiene, or anesthesia.  Compared to our modern life, medicine was a brutal experience for both the patient and the doctor. Elizabeth’s hopes of being a surgeon are dashed when she loses an eye from a form of conjunctivitis caused by treating a pregnant woman with gonorrhea.  It is left to her sister, Emily, to become a very gifted surgeon.
Eventually Elizabeth and Emily open a school of medicine for women in New York City, because they feel that all of the other schools for women doctors that cropped up after Elizabeth’s success weren’t good enough. They both recognized that to be taken seriously as medical practitioners, women needed to be trained as rigorously as men.  These two sisters never compromised on their convictions for women’s education, even when it meant that they became marginalized by others, including women’s history. 

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Black, White, and The Grey: The Story of an Unexpected Friendship and a Beloved Restaurant By Mashama Bailey, John O. Morisano Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984856203
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lorena Jones Books - January 12th, 2021

This is the story of a man, a woman, a restaurant, a tragedy, and race. When John Morisano bought an abandoned Greyhound bus station in Savanna, Georgia and decided to open a restaurant, he had no idea what he was getting into. Having a passion for eating at fine establishments does not a restauranteur make, as his design consultants continually informed him. He needed an executive chef, but he also wanted someone who would fit into the culture of Savanna, a city that is more than 50% African American. Some white dude wasn’t going to be that, so he specifically set out to find a Black female chef. He was sure that one existed. Mashama Bailey was confused by John; of course such a person existed, in restaurants all over the country.
This book is written in both John and Mashama’s voices, not blended together, each writing and responding to the other. It opens with a beloved staff member hit by a car and the surrounding facts of that act are perceived differently by John and Mashama because of their race and their view of society. It’s extraordinary how honest they are with each other in this book; it must have been painful as they collaborated. But they worked hard to make a successful business partnership and it led to a friendship that has withstood all their differences and continued to grow stronger. Each chapter ends with a recipe, because family and food will always bring us together.

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Our Wild Tails: The Adventures of Henry & Baloo By Cynthia Bennett Cover Image
ISBN: 9781423654056
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Published: Gibbs Smith - September 29th, 2020

This book is appropriately subtitled, "The Adventures of Henry & Baloo." Henry is a rescue dog, who bears a striking resemblance to a former member of the McLean and Eakin staff, and Baloo is a rescue cat, who has a bit of Siamese in him. Ms. Bennet and her partner enjoy the outdoor life and decided that Henry and Baloo would go where they go. This book is full of photos of gorgeous scenery enhanced by the addition of two fur friends. The text is just enough to give you the story and the photos do the rest. Not too much reading, both animals rescued, a good start for someone who can’t handle animals in jeopardy.

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Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog By Dave Barry Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501161162
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 3rd, 2020

How hard could it be to read this book? Dave Barry is a humorist, it’ll be funny, right? And it is funny, and charming. Dave reminds us of all the things dogs do so much better than people. They live in the moment, they love unconditionally, they forgive instantly, and they don’t judge. In this book, the Barrys adopt an older dog rather than a puppy. Old dogs have the wisdom of the ages in their eyes and they watch the world differently than the young. It is from these observations that the book is written using Dave’s signature, self-deprecating touch. Lucy reminds us to stop taking everything so seriously, even when terrible things happen.

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Poppy in the Wild : A Lost Dog, Fifteen Hundred Acres of Wilderness, and the Dogged Determination that Brought Her Home By Teresa J. Rhyne Cover Image
ISBN: 9781643135427
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pegasus Books - October 6th, 2020

I’m going to give away the ending here, because this book was the hardest for me to read. Poppy gets rescued. Just remember that—Poppy gets rescued. Teresa Rhine loves beagles; she is a “beagle person” (you know who you are). After losing her beagle, Daphne, to cancer, she decides to adopt another rescue beagle (Daphne used to be a lab dog if you know what I mean.) In this case, she chooses to adopt a dog rescued from the Chinese meat trade. Apparently it’s a thing there. In this case she chooses a lemon beagle named Pink by the rescue organization, but whom she calls Pink Poppy and then just Poppy. She plans only to foster her until she finds her forever home. Luckily, her assistant at her law office seems the perfect choice; Teresa would still be able to see Poppy on a regular basis. But on a trial overnight visit at the assistant’s home, something bad happens: Poppy gets lost. And that’s what this book is about: how do you find a lost dog, not just one who has taken off about the neighborhood, but a traumatized dog who has not fully learned to trust humans? It’s also about the community of dog lovers who are willing to go to unprecedented lengths to find a little lost dog in the wilderness. Poppy has a GPS collar that is of great help, but she’s nervous around people, and she won’t just come to you. The book chronicles not just the rescue operation, but, thanks to the GPS collar, Poppy’s adventures as well. And there is a happy ending - Poppy gets rescued.

The Hollow Ones By Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538761755
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - February 23rd, 2021

A horrific crime that defies explanation, a rookie FBI agent in uncharted territory, and an extraordinary hero for the ages: an investigation spirals out of control in this heart-pounding thriller.

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The Eagle Huntress: The True Story of the Girl Who Soared Beyond Expectations By Liz Welch (With), Aisholpan Nurgaiv Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316522618
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 12th, 2020

Although written for younger readers, this little book is a great read at any age.  It seems extraordinary that in the 21st century, the nomadic lifestyle can still survive, but it not only does, it coexists quite well in the Mongolia of Aisholpan Nurgaiv.  Born into a family of storied eagle hunters, Aisholpan decides to follow in her ancestors footsteps, even though no girl has ever done so.  With singular determination and the support of her family, Aisholpan does what no girl ever has—wins the Golden Eagle Festival in Olgii, Mongolia.  Narrated in her own voice, every girl will want to be as fierce and strong as she is. Best for 7 and up, or younger as a read-aloud.

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The Finders: A Mystery (Mace Reid K-9 Mystery #1) By Jeffrey B. Burton Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250244536
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Published: Minotaur Books - June 30th, 2020

This is a book for dog lovers, mystery readers and those who like a little otherworldliness in their lives.  In the first of a new mystery series, Jeffrey Burton introduces us to Mason Reid. Mace (as his friends know him) is a dog trainer on the outskirts of Chicago. He’s kind of the local ‘dog whisperer’. On the side, though, he trains cadaver dogs. He just lost a beloved dog and his marriage is over. He’s mourning the dog more than the wife. On a bit of a whim he adopts a rescue dog who he nicknames Vira. She has a rather muddled past, although Mace knows that she nearly came to death before her rescue.
As he begins to train her as a cadaver dog, she exhibits an uncanny ability to find the deceased, really uncanny. Before you know it, they are asked by the Chicago PD to help with the search for a missing woman. It turns out she is not the first one to go missing. Mace and Vira are on the trail of a serial killer.

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Race the Sands: A Novel By Sarah Beth Durst Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062888617
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Voyager - April 21st, 2020

In Ms. Durst’s land of Becar what you are in this life will follow you into the next. She deftly mixes reincarnation and predestination to create a fantasy where monsters truly exist and if you are not careful, they will kill you. Tamra knows this better than anyone; she used to be a rider. Early in her life she learned to control the monsters through force of will and mind. These beasts are born from the death of evil. Those souls who have no redeeming qualities are destined to die and be reborn as earthly demons; hideous to view, they only exist to kill and maim whatever comes near them. But they sure can run. Monster races have become the national sport of Becar. Tamra never quite made it to the top. But she has a unique way of using these beasts. With that in mind, she becomes a trainer for a wealthy patron. All she need is the right rider and she can give her daughter a better life. Raia might just be that rider, if her wealthy family doesn’t find her first and force her a marriage to enhance the family fortune. What neither of them know is that their chosen demon did not come into the world in the usual way.
This year’s Becaran Races are about to change everything for Tamra, for Raia, and for the desert kingdom of Becar.

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The Resisters: A novel By Gish Jen Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780525657217
Published: Knopf - February 4th, 2020

I’m never speaking to Siri again. In this novel of a possible near future, all of the useful digital helpers have come together and are now not-so-fondly known as “Aunt Nettie,” and she is a constant presence in your home and life, 24/7. Always watching, recording, and reporting, she is forever asking if you would like to have her adjust the heat, or clean that spot on the rug, and wouldn’t you like to go to the mall and eat some “mall food?"
America has been separated into two castes: "the netted," and "the surplus" or "the unretrainables." The netted live on dry land, go to college, get jobs, and are productive.  The surplus live on swamp land or in flotillas of pontoon boats, now that there is water almost everywhere. Their only job is to consume, everything they need has been provided, except for freedom and a purpose and mobility.
But some resist and that’s where baseball comes in. This is an America of haves and have-nots. Ms. Jen’s book could have been dark and full of despair, yet it’s not.  It is full of hope and beauty and wonderful characters who just want a better life. Gwen, our protagonist, possesses an extraordinary throwing arm. So her parents, a former college professor and a still practicing lawyer, form an underground baseball league. And that small act begins to change everything.

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Mrs. Mohr Goes Missing (A Zofia Turbotynska Mystery) By Maryla Szymiczkowa Cover Image
ISBN: 9780358161462
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperVia - March 17th, 2020

Originally published in Poland, this is a delightful mystery, perfect to while away the weekend. This young matron will take you away from the winter doldrums with a look into Poland's history, filled with quirky characters and plenty of atmosphere.
Zofia Turbotynska is a social climber. She lives in Cracow at the turn of the last century. Austria, Hungary has just annexed from Poland (nothing new to the Poles, apparently they get annexed all the time). Cracow is full of Princesses and Countesses and titles galore. Zofia doesn’t have one. But her husband is a full professor at the university, so she is fully qualified by marriage to hang out in the highest social strata. She just can’t figure out how to get there. But she will. She just knows it. With no children, she is able to devote herself to charity work. Sooner or later she is bound to sit next to this princess or that countess on some charity committee. Despite her frivolous ambitions, Zofia is smart and funny and shrewd. When one of the paying residents of the city’s retirement home goes missing, she can’t help but ask questions. It turns out she’s very good at figuring things out. Before you know it, she is Cracow’s most famous amateur detective. Now, everyone knows who she is.

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Marlo By Christopher Browne, Christopher Browne (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062441133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 21st, 2017

This book is a couple of years old, but I loved it the moment it came out of the box. Marlo is a dog, and he’s filthy!  His owner says he needs a bath. Marlo doesn’t really care for baths. But, he has Ducky. Which is a good thing, because you never know what can happen in a bathtub.
Water can be scary; there are all sorts of things in the sea, and a little dog might get in some trouble. But Ducky is always there. Sometimes you have to look pretty hard for him.  Embedded within this book is a hidden object—Ducky. You need to find him in every picture,
because he keeps Marlo safe and helps him get back home. And that’s a wonderful message for anyone.  Everything you need is always right there.

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A Stone Sat Still By Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781452173184
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - August 27th, 2019

With simple text and beautiful illustrations, a stone becomes so much more than just an inanimate object. It can be anything to the world around it, and it is permanence in that ever changing world. To the lion, it is a throne, to the grasshopper it is a stage, to the wolf it is a
smell. It is there for all time, an island in a stormy sea, buried under the sands of time. What an important message for a child, that some things will always be there for you. There is always a place where you can be whatever you want or you can just be.

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Spencer's New Pet By Jessie Sima, Jessie Sima (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jessie Sima, Jessie Sima (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534418776
Availability: Special Order
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 27th, 2019

This book has no text, just wonderful pictures, and it mimics a movie in its pacing. That means the reader and listener have to take active roles in the book; I like that. With each illustration, you get to see the adventures of Spencer and his pe,t and you can embellish them to your
heart’s content. As with a movie, it builds towards a climactic event, and you can feel the suspense growing. But—there’s a twist. Like any good thriller, whether a movie or a book, you didn’t see THAT coming!  This book is perfect for reading aloud with a child. I suggest drawing it out as long as possible.

The Hidden Things By Jamie Mason Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982172220
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pocket Books - July 27th, 2021

Inspired by the real-life unsolved theft of a 17th-century painting, this is a “smart and hugely entertainingly thriller, with so many sharp twists and hairpin turns that you’ll need to hold on for dear life” (Lou Berney, author of November Road) from the acclaimed author of Three Graves Full.

Twenty-eight seconds.


The Cruel Stars: A Novel (The Cruel Stars Trilogy #1) By John Birmingham Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399593338
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Del Rey - January 28th, 2020

In this epic sci-fi adventure for fans of The Expanse and Battlestar Galactica, five intrepid heroes must unite to save civilization after a long-dormant enemy awakens and strikes a devastating blow

The Most Fun We Ever Had By Claire Lombardo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525564232
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - April 6th, 2021

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • “A gripping and poignant ode to a messy, loving family in all its glory.” —Madeline Miller, bestselling author of Circe

The Gone Dead: A Novel By Chanelle Benz Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062490735
Availability: Special Order
Published: Ecco - March 24th, 2020


An electrifying first novel from "a riveting new voice in American fiction" (George Saunders): A young woman returns to her childhood home in the American South and uncovers secrets about her father's life and death

Shoot for the Moon: The Space Race and the Extraordinary Voyage of Apollo 11 By James Donovan Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316341813
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - March 24th, 2020

Learn why NASA astronaut Mike Collins calls this extraordinary space race story "the best book on Apollo": this inspiring and intimate ode to ingenuity celebrates one of the most daring feats in human history.

The Ravenmaster: My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London By Christopher Skaife Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250234933
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - October 8th, 2019

The first behind-the-scenes account of life with the legendary ravens at the world’s eeriest monument

The ravens at the Tower of London are of mighty importance: rumor has it that if a raven from the Tower should ever leave, the city will fall.

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Chain of Command By Frank Chadwick Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781481482974
Published: Baen - October 3rd, 2017

Lieutenant Sam Bitka, a Navy Reserve Officer, is called back to active duty to serve aboard a deep space destroyer, the USS Puebla.  He is serving as the ship's tactical officer and just wants to serve his time and get back to the real world.  The Puebla is sent to the planet K'tok when tensions escalate between humans and Varoki colonists on the planet, which is rich in resources that both species need.  The USS Puebla is part of a squadron of ships transported through space by the carrier USS Hornet.  When the Varoki suddenly attack the squadron, the USS Hornet is badly damaged and the captain of the Puebla is killed.  The Hornet retreats for repairs, leaving the squadron effectively abandoned and the only defense for the humans on K'tok.  And it appears that the Varoki are sending an entire battlegroup to the area.  Sam is forced to take command of the Puebla when the ship's executive officer, who would normally take over at the death of the captain, crumbles under the pressure of attack and declares himself unfit for duty.  Fortunately, as it turns out, Sam is pretty good at tactics.

Valiant Dust: Breaker of Empires, Book 1 By Richard Baker Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250303851
Published: Tor Science Fiction - August 28th, 2018

In a stylish, smart, new military science fiction series, Richard Baker begins the adventures of Sikander North in an era of great interstellar colonial powers. Valiant Dust combines the intrigues of interstellar colonial diplomacy with explosive military action.

“New and extraordinary . . . Go read this!”—David Weber

The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Perveen Mistry Novel #1) By Sujata Massey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616959760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - November 20th, 2018

1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay's only female lawyer, is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. The author of the Agatha and Macavity Award–winning Rei Shimura novels brings us an atmospheric new historical mystery with a captivating heroine.

The Mansion: A Novel By Ezekiel Boone Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501165511
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - September 24th, 2019

In this “classic haunted house tale meets Black Mirror” (Book Riot), a family moves into a home equipped with the world’s most intelligent, cutting-edge, and intuitive computer ever—but a buried secret leads to terrifying and catastrophic consequences.

After two years of living on cheap beer and little else in a bitterly cold tiny cabin ou

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Once a Liar By A. F. Brady Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778369974
Availability: Special Order
Published: Park Row - January 29th, 2019

A. F. Brady’s psychological thriller invites the reader to root for a terrible person.  Her anti-protagonist is everything that people can’t stand.  Yet, somewhere in there is a chance at redemption and the possibility of a new beginning.  The book moves from the present to the past giving us the chance to understand what makes the man.
Peter Caine is a liar.  He’s also a sociopath and a liar.  He is a high paid defense attorney who will work to get his clients off any way he can and a liar.  He doesn’t appear to have any redeeming qualities whatsoever, because he’s a liar.  The only place where he is brutally honest is as the narrator of his own story.  In A. F. Brady’s newest novel, he admits to everything.  Yes, he fabricated his entire past, including his name in order to get into Northwestern and Cornell Law School.  He believes he attached himself to the most powerful defense attorney he could find to further his own career.  Then he married the man’s daughter, mostly to cement his place in the firm.  He fathered a son because it was expected and made him look the complete family man.  He has affairs purely for the sexual gratification they give him.  However, he is not guilty of murder.  But, for obvious reasons, most people think he is and the evidence is piling up against him.  Yet, he did not kill his mistress.  The question is whether he can convince anyone of his innocence, because, after all, he’s a liar.

The Fallen Architect: A Novel By Charles Belfoure Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492678991
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - July 2nd, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Architect!

Charles Belfoure's next novel is a puzzling historical thriller about a man who must dig through the rubble of his past to construct a future worth living, grounded by Belfoure's experiences as a professional architect.

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Frederica (The Georgette Heyer Signature Collection) By Georgette Heyer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492677642
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca - September 4th, 2018

Although originally published in 1965, the years have done nothing to diminish the charm of Georgette Heyer’s writing.  Her Regency novels are more comedy than romance; in the vernacular of the time, they are a mad romp through the high society of 19th century England.  All of her Regency novels, as well as her mysteries are being reprinted and nothing makes me happier than to see her back on a bookstore shelf.
Frederica Merriville is the de facto guardian of her younger sister, Charis and her two youngest brothers, Jessamy and Felix.  Although the Merrivilles are a fine old family, they have fallen on financial hard times.  Everything that is left of the estate will go to the oldest son, Harry, who is more than happy to leave the rest of the family in Frederica’s care.  Thankfully, she has a good head on her shoulders and knows just what to do.  She will find a well-to-do husband for Charis.  It shouldn’t be too hard, because Charis is gorgeous.  Frederica knows that if she can just give her a season in London, Charis will contract a brilliant marriage and Frederica will be able to settle down in a small cottage and finish raising the two younger boys.  All she has to do is convince the Marquis of Alverstoke, a very distant family connection, to sponsor Charis into the London social scene.  Fortunately, the Marquis is bored and mad at his sister.  On a whim, he agrees to help Frederica and her family.  Well, little does he know what he’s getting himself into.  Suffice it to say that Frederica and her family are definitely not boring.

Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense By Julia Heaberlin Cover Image
ISBN: 9780804178044
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - May 7th, 2019

A Texas map marked with three red dots like drops of blood. A serial killer who claims to have dementia. A mysterious young woman who wants answers. What could go wrong?

FINALIST FOR THE ITW THRILLER AWARD • “Fast and furious . . . You’ll never see what’s coming.”—The Washington Post


King of Ashes: Book One of The Firemane Saga (Firemane Saga, The #1) By Raymond E. Feist Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061468469
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Voyager - January 29th, 2019

The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.

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The Lord of Opium (The House of the Scorpion) By Nancy Farmer Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781442482555
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - September 9th, 2014

As the teenage ruler of his own country, Matt must cope with clones and cartels in this “electric blend of horrors and beauty” (Publishers Weekly), the riveting sequel to the modern classic House of the Scorpion, winner of the National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and a Printz Honor.

Matt has always been nothing but a clone—grown from a strip of old El

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The Yard (Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #1) By Alex Grecian Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425261279
Availability: Special Order
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 2nd, 2013

It's 1889 and Jack the Ripper's horrifying murders appear to be over. No is really sure though, since the Metropolitan Police failed to capture him. As a result, Scotland Yard has formed "The Murder Squad." These twelve detectives are expected to solve not just all the murders within London, but also all serious crimes such as assault, armed robbery, and rape. Thousands of these crimes occur in the city every month. The squad faces contempt from every corner. The uniformed police rarely cooperate with them, the press makes jokes about them, and their commander doesn't even notice that one of them hasn't shown up to work for months.

The newest member of the squad, Detective Inspector Walter Day, has no idea why he has been assigned the squad.  Imagine his surprise when he learns that he was personally chosen to join his comrades by Inspector Adrian March, the man who led the hunt for the Ripper and who was forced to leave Scotland Yard in shame when he failed to solve that case.  Day is about to find out if he has what it takes to be a detective. 

One of the members of the Murder Squad has himself been murdered and gruesomely trussed up in a trunk. Walter Day is assigned the case, since he was not personally acquainted with the victim. He receives help from unexpected people around him, including Dr. Bernard Kingsley, the Yard's pathologist who is pioneering the science of forensics.

Although this is his first written novel, (he is the author of the graphic novel series, Proof) Mr. Grecian captures the feel of Victorian London very well. His characters are genuine and engaging.   Hopefully, Detective Inspector Day, Dr. Kingsley, Constable Hammersmith, and all the others will be back again.