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Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca

Grace Humiston was a New York lawyer and detective who became the first woman U.S.

Remembering Carrie Fisher & George Michael

We lost two amazing entertainers over the holiday break - Carrie Fisher, best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, and George Michael, an ‘80s and ‘90s pop music icon. As we remember how these two enriched our shared popular culture, I personally think of Fisher as a strong woman who lent a sense of humor and grace to her battles with addiction and mental illness. And she wasn’t just a quick-witted actress and celebrity - she was also a hilarious writer, authoring both memoirs and fiction. Pictured above are Fisher and her beloved service dog, Gary.

RIP William Trevor

Irish writer William Trevor died this earlier this week at the age of 88. Trevor explored his characters—and their often unfortunate fates—with great compassion, limning the contours of human loneliness and sadness. Many of his short stories and novels are set in his native Ireland, some contemporary and some historical. Others are set in England, where he lived for most of his adult life.

The Astronaut Wives Club by Lily Koppel

I enjoyed listening to the women’s perspective of the Space Race and early days of NASA. This is the entertaining story of the wives of the heroes of the Mercury missions through the Apollo moon walks. These mostly military wives were transformed overnight into American celebrities. Pressured to conform to an ideal of “perfect American housewife,” these very human women had to deal with stresses of intense media attention - two families even went so far as to build their dream homes with no front windows.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Downton Abbey fans will enjoy visiting (or revisiting) this classic Agatha Christie murder mystery. Written one year after the current season of Downton takes place, in 1926, this book is set in a small English village with all the usual characters of British mystery fiction – the sly butler, the gossip, the housemaids, and the upper crust young people being forced into an arranged marriage. The story is narrated by the local Dr. Sheppard, a neighbor of Hercule Poirot’s, and a friend of the murder victim.

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg

Having trouble staying awake? Start reading this book and forget about sleeping until you’ve finished it. This outrageously high octane thriller features a pair of rival European criminal gangs engaged in a murderous competition for market domination, a gang of disturbingly corrupt Swedish cops, and an innocent but complicit nurse (and her completely innocent teenage son) who gets caught in the middle. Check Our Catalog—and buckle your seat belt!

Henning Mankell, 1948-2015

The literary world is a little emptier today after the death of renowned Swedish author Mankell, a master of Nordic noir and creator of the character Kurt Wallander, the morose and self-doubting police inspector investigating crimes in a changing Sweden. Mankell also wrote non-Wallander novels, plays, children’s books and screenplays. If you haven’t read any of his work and enjoy literary crime fiction that digs much deeper than your average ephemeral thriller, start with the first Wallander novel, Faceless Killers, and see if you get hooked.

Robert Stone (1937-2015)

Adventurer, war correspondent and award-winning novelist Robert Stone died on Saturday. His second novel, Dog Soldiers, won a National Book Award and was adapted into the movie "Who'll Stop the Rain" in 1978. Other significant works include A Flag for Sunrise, Outerbridge Reach, and Damascus Gate. Never read one of his books? Try borrowing one from the library and see what makes his work worth reading! Check Our Catalog

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

No one writes dystopian science fiction quite like Octavia Butler. Captivating and terrifyingly real, Parable of the Sower tells the tale of young Lauren Olamina, an empath who feels and experiences the pain of others around her. Forced to flee her home in Southern California, Lauren finds an America where anarchy and violence have completely taken over as a result of unattended environmental and economic crises.

Crafty Bastards: Beer in New England from the Mayflower to Modern Day by Lauren Clark

Local journalist and beer brewer Lauren Clark has delivered a well researched and witty book about the history of beer and the explosive emergence of craft beer brewing in the New England area. Starting with the Pilgrims first landing in Plymouth, Lauren explores the rich history and vital importance that beer had on the first settlers of America. With scarce resources, the early settlers of our nation had to get creative, using corn, spruce tree branches, pumpkins (actual pumpkins, not our modern nutmeg laced “pumpkin” beers), and molasses, as ingredients.

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