Joanne Fluke has never shaken up her storylines or characters much – at least until the last couple of books in her Hannah Swensen mystery series. It took twenty books for Hannah to finally make a decision and get married, and not long after that for her new husband Ross to go missing, which he has in this book. When his assistant P.K. – who was driving Ross’s car and using his office at KCOW-TV drops dead after eating some chocolates delivered to the office, Hannah can’t help but try to solve the case. Was the poisoned treat actually intended for Ross? Why did Ross take off, leaving only his car keys and a whole lot of money in Hannah’s name? She’ll have to solve the murder to answer those questions. I have a bit of a quibble with this book, because if my new husband went missing, I’d have a hard time going out with friends, throwing dinner parties, and carrying on with work. Hannah (oddly) does all those things. But this story was pretty fun on the whole.
Daisy Jones and the Six rose to become one of the hottest bands of the Seventies, only to unceremoniously disband one night in Chicago, leaving a cadre of disappointed fans. Their story was unknown - until now. This novel is cleverly written as a series of interviews, so that every character's perspective emerges at the same time, and it evokes all that we find magical about music of that era. You'll feel like the head writer of Rolling Stone magazine interviewing Fleetwood Mac - or maybe even like the seventh member of The Six.
This imported British edition was supposed to go on our cozy mystery display, but I couldn’t quite let go of it. G.K. Chesterton wrote his Father Brown series in the years between Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of Mysteries, and I’ve long intended to read them. And so I’m sorry not sorry that I scooped this off the display. At 797 pages, I’ll admit that I haven’t finished, but I’ve read enough of these short stories to know that they are absolutely delightful. While Father Brown is truly the star of the book, he rarely makes an appearance until the end of the puzzle, with the perfect solution culled from his unexpected and unlikely knowledge of evil in the world. He has the eyes of Sherlock Holmes and the mild-mannered attitude of Miss Marple, and you can be sure that I’ll be spending a great deal of my snow days with Father Brown.
I love Martha Stewart. Her wit is dry, her homes are gorgeous, and her entertaining is impeccable. (I love her most with Snoop, but that’s a different review.) So of course I had to take a look at her newest book, The Martha Manual. It’s subtitled How To Do (Almost) Everything, and she’s not wrong, because this will guide you from organization to pet care and everything in between, including cleaning, laundering, enjoying, and celebrating. It’s comprehensive, and while it’s a terrific reference book, it’s also lovely to look at. Of course. It’s a good thing.
Every day we are faced with a barrage of timing questions: when should we eat, sleep, exercise, have a meeting. Or the bigger questions: when should we get serious about a large project, a job change, a relationship (a spoiler - it's after all education and between the ages of about 25 and 35). Daniel Pink tells us, and even better, backs up his reasoning with dozens of studies and scientific research. He upends many popular ideas and advocates naps, and lunch as the most important meal of the day. I found the book absolutely fascinating, and couldn't stop sharing tidbits of information with anyone who would listen.
It's the dead of winter in Cedar County, Michigan, and Sheriff Ray Elkins is facing not only impassable roads and school closings, but now a string of arson - and a murder. He's going to have to dig deep into the past to solve this one, and he's going to have to dig deep into himself to decide how he feels about his girlfriend's job offer in California. This is Stander's tenth novel in his Ray Elkins series, and he'll be here on Saturday, February 23rd between 11:30am and 1:30pm to sign them for his many fans. We hope you can join us!
I preordered this novel last August, so it was a long wait. And completely worth it. A dual-time narrative set in post-war London and present-day Toronto, this is the lovely story of two best friends embroidering Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown and a granddaughter searching for her Nan’s past through a set of inherited embroideries. This work of fiction was well researched, and I enjoyed that Robson wrote of several real people to add realism and substance to her story. The history and symbolism of “The gown of the century” were fascinating, and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel of friendship, hardship, and hope.
This delightful cozy mystery just released in paperback, and features the real-life Mitford family solving an actual unsolved cold case - with the twist of added fictional characters and the fun of a well thought out and feasible solution. Florence Nightingale Shore was found murdered on a train, and Nancy Mitford and the family's new nanny Louisa are determined to find out why... It's a classic British upstairs-downstairs story. If you enjoyed Downton Abbey, this is for you.
I've written several reviews for Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series, but this one not only kept me up all night - twice - but almost made me late for work as I raced to finish it. What a page turner! Armand is not only trying to solve the murder of Constance Ouellet, the last of the world-famous quintuplets, but to hold his homicide department together while he investigates unimaginable corruption at the highest levels of Quebec's government. Penny writes with a gorgeous sense of place, and she shakes up the personal lives of even her main characters - to the point that reading the series out of order would lead to confusion. This book was definitely a favorite, as a long-running thread finally came to an explosive head. Wow!
This was on my in-store wish list, and since I didn't actually receive it on Christmas day, I thought I'd better gift myself. (In a side note, oddly, I hardly every receive books for Christmas anymore. I think it's a job hazard) But I love this one. It's done in two-page spreads, by President Obama's former chief photographer, and is a contrast in the personalities of two very different men. The current president's Tweets, quotes, and pictures are on one side, and President Obama's is on the other, along with a caption - admittedly, often a snarky one - by Pete Souza. This book is, of course, not for everyone, but it makes me smile every time.
I love this book about Business Pig, the pig with a resume, bookkeeping skills, and a plan. Jasper is different than the other animals, and can't seem to get adopted, no matter how many flow charts he presents. That is, until the day he meets a girl with above average skills just like his, and they agree on a contract. This sweet and funny picture book with whimsical illustrations is featured in our holiday catalog and makes a wonderful gift to an aspiring Master or Mistress of the Universe.