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Suggested Reads for March 2024

Did you know that every third Monday of the month at 11 a.m. that the Millstadt Library hosts a Book Club upstairs at the Millstadt Senior Center? We enjoy reading a wide variety of materials led by Library Director, Nichole. To go along with our discussion, we also have a list of recommended reads for the month. We try for these to be timely with the seasons and focus on newer books that you might have missed or have been popular at our library with our patrons. At the end of these lists, Nichole picks a book or two that she personally recommends.


We just reviewed In Light of All Darkness by Kim Cross and are reading The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman for our next meeting on Monday, April 15.


Without further ado, here are this month's picks!


Easter Basket Murder by Leslie Meier


Put on your springtime best and grab a basket, because Easter egg hunting is to dye for in this delightful new collection of Easter-themed capers set in coastal Maine and featuring fan-favorite sleuths from the long-running, bestselling cozy mystery series by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis, and Barbara Ross!


EASTER BASKET MURDER by LESLIE MEIER

Tinker’s Cove businesses are clashing over a new Easter Basket–themed promotion to boost in-store sales, with tensions boiling over the grand prize—a mysterious golden egg crafted by a reclusive Maine artist. When the one-of-a-kind art piece is stolen, it’s up to part-time reporter Lucy Stone to investigate three struggling entrepreneurs who stick out in the local scene. But a huge town scandal comes into focus when a harmless shopping spree turns deadly, leaving Lucy to stop a murderer from springing back into action . . .


DEATH BY EASTER EGG by LEE HOLLIS

As Bar Harbor’s annual egg hunt approaches, Island Food & Spirits columnist and restauranteur Hayley Powell is thrilled to introduce her grandson, Eli, to local springtime traditions. Turns out, keeping up with a rambunctious toddler isn’t always sunshine and rainbows—especially when a decadent peanut butter treat kills the Easter bunny himself during the festivities! Now, with a clear-as-cellophane case of murder on her hands, it’s up to Hayley to crack the clues and scramble deadly plans before it’s too late . . .


HOPPED ALONG by BARBARA ROSS

Julia Snowden’s Easter Sunday at Windsholme, a sprawling mansion tucked away on a remote Maine island, looks like it’s been borrowed from the pages of a lifestyle magazine. But when a dead body is discovered in the garden—then vanishes soon after without any explanation—an innocent hunt for eggs becomes a dangerous hunt for answers. With no clues beyond a copy of The Adventures of Peter Rabbit , Julia must find out if April Fool’s Day came early or if she’s caught in a killer’s twisted game . . .

336 pages, Hardcover | First published January 23, 2024


Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford


A thrilling tale of murder and mystery in a city where history has run a little differently—from the bestselling author of Golden Hill.


In a city that never was, in an America that never was, on a snowy night at the end of winter, two detectives find a body on the roof of a skyscraper.


It's 1922, and Americans are drinking in speakeasies, dancing to jazz, stepping quickly to the tempo of modern times. Beside the Mississippi, the ancient city of Cahokia lives on—a teeming industrial metropolis, containing every race and creed. Among them, peace holds. Just about. But that body on the roof is about to spark off a week that will spill the city's secrets, and bring it, against a soundtrack of wailing clarinets and gunfire, either to destruction or rebirth.The multiple-award-winning Francis Spufford returns, with a lovingly created, richly pleasure-giving, epically scaled tale set in the golden age of wicked entertainments.


496 pages, Hardcover | First published October 5, 2023


The Ghost Orchid by Jonathan Kellerman


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis confront a baffling, vicious double homicide that leads them to long-buried secrets worth killing for in the riveting thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling “master of suspense” (Los Angeles Times).LAPD homicide lieutenant Milo Sturgis sees it all the time: Reinvention’s a way of life in a city fueled by fantasy. But try as you might to erase the person you once were, there are those who will never forget the past . . . and who can still find you.


A pool boy enters a secluded Bel Air property and discovers two bodies floating in the bright blue water: Gio Aggiunta, the playboy heir to an Italian shoe empire, and a gorgeous, even wealthier neighbor named Meagin March. A married neighbor. An illicit affair stoking rage is a perfect motive. But a “double” in this neighborhood of gated estates isn’t something you see every day. The house is untouched. No forced entry, no forensic evidence. The case has “that feeling,” and when that happens, Milo turns to his friend, the brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware.


As Milo and Alex investigate both victims, they discover two troubled pasts. And as they dig deeper, Meagin March’s very identity begins to blur. Who was this glamorous but conflicted woman? Did her past catch up to her? Or did Gio’s family connections create a threat spanning two continents?Chasing down the answers leads Alex and Milo on an exploration of L.A.’s darkest side as they contend with one of the most shocking cases of their careers and learn that that some secrets are best left buried in the past.


304 pages, Hardcover | First published February 6, 2024


The Teacher by Freida McFadden


Lesson #1: Trust no one.


Eve has a good life. She wakes up each day, kisses her husband Nate, and heads off to teach math at the local high school. All is as it should be. Except…Last year, Caseham High was rocked by a scandal involving a student-teacher affair, with one student, Addie, at its center. But Eve knows there is far more to these ugly rumors than meets the eye.Addie can’t be trusted. She lies. She hurts people. She destroys lives. At least, that’s what everyone says.


But nobody knows the real Addie. Nobody knows the secrets that could destroy her. And Addie will do anything to keep it quiet…


400 pages, Paperback | First published February 6, 2024


 Life: My Story Through History: Pope Francis's Inspiring Biography Through History by Pope Francis


For the first time, Pope Francis tells the story of his life as he looks back on the momentous world events that have changed history—from his earliest years during the outbreak of World War II in 1939 to the turmoil of today. An extraordinary personal and historical journey, Life is the story of a man and a world in dramatic change. Pope Francis recalls his life through memories and observations of the most significant occurrences of the past eight decades, from the Holocaust to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Videla’s coup in Argentina to the moon landing in 1969, and even the 1986 World Cup in which Maradona scored the unforgettable “hand of God” goal.


Here are the frank assessments and intimate insights of a pastor reflecting on the Nazi extermination of the Jews, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 2001 terrorist attack on America and the collapse of the Twin Towers, the great economic recession of 2008, the Covid-19 pandemic, the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI, and the subsequent conclave that elected him Pontiff. The “pope callejero” recounts these world-changing moments with the candor and compassion that distinguishes him, and offers important messages on major crises confronting us now, including social inequalities, climate change, international war, atomic weapons, racial discrimination, and the battles over social and cultural issues.


304 pages, Paperback | First published January 1, 2024


A Lady's Guide to Marvels and Misadventure by Angela Bell 


Miss Clara Marie Stanton's family may be eccentric, but they certainly aren't insane.


London, England, 1860When Clara's ex-fiancé begins to spread rumors that her family suffers from hereditary insanity, it's all she can do to protect them from his desperate schemes, society's prejudice, and a lifetime in an asylum. Then Clara's Grandfather Drosselmeyer brings on an apprentice with a mechanical leg, and all pretense of normalcy takes wing.


Theodore Kingsley, a shame-chased vagabond haunted by the war, wants a fresh start far from Kingsley Court and the disappointed father who declared him dead. Upon returning to England, Theodore meets clockmaker Drosselmeyer, who hires him as an apprentice, much to Clara's dismay. When Drosselmeyer spontaneously disappears in his secret flying owl machine, he leaves behind a note for Clara, beseeching her to make her dreams of adventure a reality by joining him on a merry scavenger hunt across Europe. Together, Clara and Theodore set off to follow Drosselmeyer's trail of clues, but they will have to stay one step ahead of a villain who wants the flying machine for himself--at any cost.


379 pages, Kindle Edition | First published February 1, 2024



NICHOLE'S RECOMMENDATIONS

I picked up the new book by T. Kingfisher, What Feasts at Night, not knowing that it was the sequel to What Moves the Dead. I found myself so much in love with the sequel, (which reading out of order did not ruin the experience either) that I ordered the first in the series from another library and found it just as enjoyable.


The books are horror and stay true to those themes, but the main character, Alex Easton and the rest of ka companions in the book are riotously hilarious with a quick and sharp wit. The books are considered novellas, so at only around 150 pages or so, they can be read within a few hours - or an evening depending on how invested in the story you get!


I thoroughly enjoyed these novels and am starting another book by T. Kingfisher to see if I have found another author to follow. If you read these, let me know what your thoughts are!


What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher


From the award-winning author of The Twisted Ones comes a gripping and atmospheric retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's classic "The Fall of the House of Usher."When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruravia.What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.


165 pages, Hardcover | First published July 12, 2022

 

What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher 


The follow-up to T. Kingfisher’s bestselling gothic novella, What Moves the Dead .Retired soldier Alex Easton returns in a horrifying new adventure.After their terrifying ordeal at the Usher manor, Alex Easton feels as if they just survived another war. All they crave is rest, routine, and sunshine, but instead, as a favor to Angus and Miss Potter, they find themself heading to their family hunting lodge, deep in the cold, damp forests of their home country, Gallacia.


In theory, one can find relaxation in even the coldest and dampest of Gallacian autumns, but when Easton arrives, they find the caretaker dead, the lodge in disarray, and the grounds troubled by a strange, uncanny silence. The villagers whisper that a breath-stealing monster from folklore has taken up residence in Easton’s home. Easton knows better than to put too much stock in local superstitions, but they can tell that something is not quite right in their home. . . or in their dreams.


151 pages, Hardcover | First published February 13, 2024


*all descriptions of the novels and the book covers are from GoodReads.com

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