"Nothing makes me happier than finding that little-known or first-time author who really deserves to make it, and selling a boatload of their books -well, that and putting just the right books into each customer's hands.."   jill

The French Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399586934
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - February 20th, 2018

Ten years ago, a group of British college friends spent a relaxing week away at a French Farmhouse.  Relaxing, that is, until the very last night when tensions ran high, relationships were broken, and Severine, the mademoiselle next door, went missing.

Now Severine's body has been found in the well behind the farmhouse and the friends are all re-questioned.

This book is a study in relationships.  It has interesting characters who will stay with the reader.  But the novel never has the surprise at the end that I was hoping would leave me with an "Aha!" moment.  It wasn't a bad ending, just an uneventful one in a debut novel that I'd otherwise looked forward to getting home and reading.

Are You Sleeping: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501157684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - March 6th, 2018

Josie's boyfriend returns from working abroad, and she's overjoyed because he's the love of her life. But while he was gone, Josie gets news that will force her to explain all the lies she's told Caleb over the years. And she's not sure how she can do that. Lies such as she does have a sister - an identical twin, in fact. And her last name is actually Buhrman. And the blockbuster podcast digging up the facts of an old murder is all about her father's death.

Poppy Parnell has set off a media firestorm with her "Reconsidered" podcast about the sensational murder of a beloved college professor Chuck Buhrman. And Josie's estranged sister is reaching out in desperation and their little family's closely held privacy is blasted away by their new found notoriety.

Are You Sleeping is a good, complex story with interesting characters acting in predictable messed up ways when the past comes roaring back into their lives in the most public way possible. Two thumbs up.


Staff Pick Logo
Sometimes I Lie: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250144843
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - March 13th, 2018

Wow! This book has the unreliable narrator to end all unreliable narrators - a woman in a coma who is dreaming? remembering? reconstructing? the past as she delivers it.

The story alternates between an 11 year-old girl's diary which recounts an unhappy and unstable childhood, and the voice of a grown-up Amber, who lies comatose in the hospital, narrating her chilling adult tale.

Reading this novel was like peering into a kaleidoscope - at first you see a downward spiral of dysfunction, but just as your eyes adjust to that trajectory, along comes a twist from an entirely other direction and your whole perspective shifts. 

Feeney takes us on this dizzying journey right up to the very last page in a thriller that is a marvel of misdirection and a masterwork of plotting.

There could be no better title for this book than Sometimes I Lie.  I can't wait to introduce it to my thriller lovers!

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (An Auntie Poldi Adventure #1) Cover Image
By Mario Giordano, John Brownjohn (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781328863577
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Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 6th, 2018

Auntie Poldi is a tenacious, larger-than-life sixty something who moves from Bavaria to Sicily and immediately immerses herself in a local murder investigation - in part because the unfortunate victim did odd jobs for her, and in part because Poldi's greatest joy, besides a good drink or two, is a well-turned-out-policeman.

This is a charming novel narrated by Poldi's seemingly hapless nephew, who periodically visits her in Italy to work on his great novel (that never seems to get anywhere).

Reviewers call this novel 'enchanting' and 'a masterly treat,' and Poldi's formidable wisdom is a surefire winner.

A Portrait of Emily Price Cover Image
ISBN: 9780718077914
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Thomas Nelson - November 1st, 2016

Emily Price is a fix-it girl, happily employed as an art restorer. 

When Emily is sent to Atlanta, she keeps busy putting broken things back together and keeping all of the pieces of herself in perfect order, too, because she's sure that's the way to a happy ending. Thinking like this pulled her and her sister, Amy, through an unhappy childhood into a pretty productive adulthood, after all. 

And then she meets Ben and her world is literally turned upside down when she finds herself uncharacteristically impulsively married and whisked off to live in Italy amidst a tightly knit family with a lot of unhappy secrets. Emily doesn't feel welcome, much less able to fix everyone and everything around her, and so she begins to doubt who she really is and if happily-ever-after can be hers after all.

Ever since Katherine Reay's first novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, which was a Saturn bestseller for many months, she has been a go-to author for many readers in Gaylord. And they won't be disappointed in this one. 

An Unwanted Guest Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525557623
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - August 7th, 2018

Lapena has written a very different thriller from her previous two bestsellers, The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House, but I may like An Unwanted Guest best of all. 

Only a half-dozen rooms are occupied in the historic inn nestled deep in the woods when a vicious ice storm knocks the power out and completely isolates the guests.

And that is too bad, because one by one they begin to die...

A bit reminiscent of Agatha Christie locked room mystery, An Unwanted Guest is a great read for a warm summer night when you are nowhere near an isolated inn in the woods!

Windigo Moon: A Novel of Native America Cover Image
ISBN: 9781943075362
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blank Slate Press - September 5th, 2017

We've sold a lot of copies of Windigo Moon, mostly, I suspect, because of the history to be gleaned about the Native Americans who were living right here in Northern Michigan in the 1500s. 

Downes has done a great amount of research in order to tell his tale of Ashagi, a beautiful Ojibwe girl who was kidnapped in a Dakota raid, and her life with Misko, her rescuer, with a faithful picture of the customs and beliefs of the native Americans. The novel has some tension in the form of Nika, a rival for Ashagi's heart along the many seasons of their lives- moving often for better hunting, to escape raiding tribes, and to try to outrun the diseases that were so ruinous to the tribes.

This is an absorbing, entertaining novel with a good bit of information thrown in.  It satisfies on many levels.

Exit Strategy (A Nick Mason Novel #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399574405
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 10th, 2018

Nick Mason's second adventure is an action packed, shoot 'em up thrill ride! 

Hamilton's character, Nick Mason - made a deal with the devil - and the devil's name is Darius Cole. Cole had Mason freed from a twenty year prison sentence, but in return, whenever the phone rings, Mason has to do Cole's bidding - which has been in the form of killing Cole's enemies so far. Cole holds the lives of Nick's ex-wife and daughter over his head to keep Nick in line. In return, Nick is free, lives a life of luxury, and has finally realized what trading one's soul to the devil can mean. 

And, now, the devil is plotting to get out of prison himself. Cole has set Nick to kill anyone who might testify against him at a retrial, and the closer Cole gets to returning to Chicago, the more complicated the plot gets and the more Nick is determined to break free. 

But of course, if it was that easy, our friend Steve Hamilton wouldn't have much of a bestselling series on his hands, would he?