book recommendations

It’s a Mystery

The Postscript Murders

Readers of Elly Griffiths’ The Stranger Diaries will be thrilled to learn that she has written another standalone mystery, The Postscript Murders. When 90-year-old Peggy Smith is found dead in her Shoreham-by-Sea apartment, no one suspects foul play. However, when her caregiver Natalka Kolisnyk cleans out the apartment and finds a business card that reads, “Mrs. M. Smith – Murder Consultant,” and shelves of murder mysteries with acknowledgments to Peggy Smith, she begins to wonder how this elderly woman actually died. Read more about It’s a Mystery

Back to School

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Raina and Gerda Olsen were born in Norway in the 1870s. As small children, they immigrated to Nebraska with their parents when their father was given 160 acres of land by the United States Government. In their mid-teens, both girls become schoolteachers in one-room schoolhouses. Raina is a gifted teacher while Gerda struggles to emulate her older sister. She feels like she lives in Raina’s shadow. Each sister boards with a farm family, which for Gerda is also a struggle. On January 12, 1888, after weeks of horribly cold weather, the morning breaks to an uptick in temperature. Read more about Back to School

Packed with Laughs

Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis

In her fabulous new book, Southern Lady Code, Helen Ellis writes with a staccato humor about thank you notes, her mother’s quirky and completely pragmatic etiquette lessons, the secrets behind her long and happy marriage and how she went home one evening in a Burberry trench coat that wasn’t hers. These are just a few of the subjects of her 23 sparkling essays. She has lived in Manhattan for decades, but her Alabama accent is unmistakable. Read more about Packed with Laughs

Mystery for Memorial Day

Snow, John Banville

John Banville is an Irish writer and journalist. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2005, for his novel, The Sea. In the United States, he may best be known for his popular Quirke mysteries written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. Some reviewers took offense to the pen name. It was an open secret. The readers knew, but did not care. In, Snow, Banville has written a murder mystery using his given name. It is set on a County Wexford country estate in 1957. The body is found in the library. The deceased is a priest. The detective inspector is St. John Strafford. Read more about Mystery for Memorial Day

Landmark Literature

Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Readers who like themes will love the novels of Fiona Davis. Her stories are set in landmark New York buildings. They include: Chelsea Girls (Hotel Chelsea); The Masterpiece (Grand Central Terminal); The Address (Dakota Apartments); The Dollhouse (Barbizon Hotel for Women); and her latest The Lions of Fifth Avenue (Fifth Avenue Branch of the New York Public Library). Lions opens in 1913, with Laura Lyons hurrying into the library, where she lives in an apartment with her husband, Jack, and their two children. Read more about Landmark Literature

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