×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 877
JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 887
JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 889
JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 883

Posts tagged 'Mystery'

The Trust by Ronald Balson

 

The Trust by Ronald Balson

An urgent phone call for Liam Taggert from his cousin Annie in Ireland begins the novel, the latest from the Chicago attorney who authored Once We Were Brothers, Saving Sophie, and Karolina’s Twins.

Annie tells Liam his Uncle Fergus has died. The funeral is in Ireland in three days, and Annie says Liam must be there, even though he’s been estranged from his Irish family for 16 years, after they discovered that he was a CIA spy.  Stranger still is that when the will is read in Ireland, Liam is named the executor and trustee, chosen over Fergus’s children and longtime love Deirdre. Furthermore, the trust specifies that if there is any suspicion about Fergus’s cause of death (a fatal gunshot to the head does sound suspicious), none of Fergus’s assets (and they are considerable) can be distributed to any of the heirs until the cause of death is resolved and the people responsible for it have been identified and brought to justice.  The Taggart family does have its political enemies, though who would kill Uncle Fergus? And why would Uncle Fergus write such instructions into his will – did he know he was at risk for murder?

Suspense  Nancy Picks  Mystery  Fiction  Family

12/05/17
 

The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

DonohuePuppets“Never enter a toyshop after moonlight.” Such is the advice of the main character in The Motion of Puppets. Having read and enjoyed this strange and fascinating book, I will heed that advice from now on!

Main character Kay Harper, a gymnast, has the opportunity of a lifetime – a gig as an acrobat with the Cirque in Quebec for the summer – what fun! Her lovely newlywed husband, Theo, a translator of French to English, is with her, and he often walks Kay safely home after her show gets out late at night. But when Kay walks home alone, she usually stops to gaze into the puppet-filled window of a toy shop. Puppets of all kinds--marionettes, stick puppets, finger puppets, old, new, and remade--fascinate her. One in particular, a little puppet man who’s under a dome of glass, holds particular interest, and she wishes he could come alive and talk to her.

One night, after a circus performance, and a night out with the cast, Kay disappears. She fails to return to the apartment she and Theo share, and she fails to report to work the next day.  Where could this young wife have gone? Theo thinks it has something to do with her fascination with the puppets – but how could that be? When the puppets disappear and the toy shop closes, he is convinced there is cause and effect – but how can he find the puppets, and presumably, his wife Kay.

Be prepared to suspend belief as you read this well-written book, and allow yourself to join Theo as he searches for his lost wife.  There are elements of fantasy in this book, which reminded me very much of fairy tales I read as a child. I don’t normally read anything remotely resembling fantasy, but have to say that I enjoyed this book very much, and am still thinking about it. I’ll never think of puppets the same way again, and nor will you after reading The Motion of Puppets

Nancy Picks  Mystery  Magical Realism  Horror  Fantasy

11/11/16
 

Every Man a Menace by Patrick Hoffman

HoffmanEveryManQuestion: How does the designer drug MDMA (also known as Ecstasy or Molly) get from its naturally occurring state in Southeast Asian trees to getting snorted up noses in Miami clubs? Answer: Very, very carefully, and through many pairs of grubby (and often blood-stained) hands. Patrick Hoffman explores this supply chain in the pulpy, noir-tinged Every Man a Menace.

An ex-con returns to San Francisco to keep an eye on an erratic dealer, as a favor for his still-incarcerated boss. A Filipina grandmother ponders a power play. In Miami, an Israeli club owner grows depressed with the high-flying lifestyle of a drug-trafficking middleman—until he meets a beautiful and mysterious woman. They, along with a whole slew of unsavory characters are all involved in orchestrating a multi-million dollar shipment of Molly. With this much at stake, things are bound to get ugly.


Patrick Hoffman examines the intricacies of large-scale drug trafficking in a highly thorough manner (before writing he worked both as a public defender and a private investigator, so I suspect he really knows his stuff). The operation works out well, for a while. But when people start making mistakes (honest or otherwise) things take gruesome turns. The best part of this book is the way that that Hoffman captures the quiet desperation of his subjects. Sure there are a handful of “made” men (and one “made” woman), but most of the characters are low-level hoods in way over their heads. People's options narrow, until bad decisions are the only ones left to make. They think they're smart enough to pull off moves they have no business pulling off. They’re ready to leave the trade and go on the straight and narrow—just after this one last shipment, this one last score, this one last hit. On streets this mean, don't expect any happy endings.

- Jake

book

Thriller  Mystery Thriller  Mystery  Jake Picks  Crime

10/12/16
 

Emma Donoghue's The Wonder

DonoghueI predict that this book, with a mid-September publication date, is going to be a huge success for both individual readers and for book clubs.

Set in rural Ireland in the 1850’s, this work of historic fiction is based on dozens of so-called “fasting girls” who seemed to live without eating.

Eleven-year-old Anna McDonnell appears to be alive and well after four months of not eating. She takes only a few sips of water each day, no food; surely she must be a living miracle! A miracle girl in their midst would be a miracle for this small, poor parish. Visitors arrive from around the world to pray with Anna, touch the hem of her garment, and leave a coin or two in the alms box bolted to her family cabin.

Eager to prove to naysayers that Anna indeed is a miracle, her physician, Dr. McBrearty, and the community hires two nurses to bear witness, in round the clock shifts, for two weeks. One is a Catholic nun, the other, Mrs. Lib Wright, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale. Mrs. Wright’s suspicions about the miracle child fly in the face of those who wish to profit from Anna. Lib questions everything, and everyone, determined to come to the truth. Secrets in Anna’s family, and a building sense of suspense kept me turning the pages, drawing me through the book in a very short two days.

Nancy's Picks  Mystery  Irish Fiction  Historical Fiction

08/22/16
 

Iain Pears' Arcadia

PearsWriters Theatre is performing Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia through May 1. Stoppard’s 1993 play and Pears’ 2015 novel of the same name show many similarities. Characters move between worlds and time. Mystery and fantasy and poetry abound. Mathematics and scientific discoveries dominate the discussion and the action. Both works are multi-stranded stories that move well beyond Webster’s definition of arcadia as “a region or scene of simple pleasure and quiet.” Both the play and the novel are varied and thoughtful treats for the mind, told with wisdom and humor.

Pears’ Arcadia does not follow a linear structure. The book features three worlds, with some characters inhabiting more than one. It is a delightful romp through the woods in a pastoral world, a fascinating foray into a world of scientific advances and social disarray, an everyday story set in Oxford in the 1960’s. The novel moves beyond the expected boundaries of time and place; what is past, present, or future in any world is not clear.

The role of the Storyteller is central to the novel, as is Henry Lytten, a 1960s Oxford don, who writes fiction and invents a story about a place called Anterwold. In another part of the book, Anterwold exists as a real place. Oral history, the Story, and the scholars who interpret it are at the core of that world.  Of the other major characters, Angela Meerson is a psychomathematician who invents a machine that has the power to change worlds (parallel worlds and/or time travel), and Rosie Wilson is a young girl who is a key player in more than one world and time period.

Time Travel  Mystery  Historical Fiction  Gail's Picks  Fantasy  British Literature

04/13/16
 

The Lightkeepers by Abby Geni

GeniMiranda’s life focus is nature photography.  She is pleased to spend a one-year residency on the Farallon Islands, a remote, rocky archipelago off the California coast.  The few human inhabitants are scientists, studying the wildlife through the seasons.  The year is formed by studies of the life cycles and habitats of shark, whale, seal, and bird. 

Geni’s skill as a writer makes nature, setting, elements, and animals come alive on the page. The beauty of this harsh place is realized through her descriptions.  “I will never forget the first moments of my arrival….Long ago, this place had been called the Islands of the Dead.  Now I could see why….The other islets were bare, bald, and broken….The shores were streaked with seaweed, the peaks fragmented and craggy.  The islands were arranged by height, like wedding guests in a snapshot.”  Geni writes of the setting in detail, with a naturalist’s interest and with a photographer’s eye. 

The other focus of the novel is the lives of the seven people isolated on the island; they share work, meals, and leisure time in a small cabin.  Miranda is the victim of an assault soon after she arrives, and her assailant is found dead shortly after that.  There is little boundary between the natural and the human worlds.  Loss and violence are constant themes in both, and add to the aura of mystery in the novel. 

Geni writes a multi-faceted and brilliantly revealed story through Miranda’s voice and vision. The reader sees through the lens of her camera, reads the unmailed letters she writes to her mother who died when Miranda was 14, and reflects on her internal thoughts and fears. 

Thriller  Suspense  Mystery  Gail's Picks  Environmental Fiction  Contemporary

03/11/16
 

The Dogs of Littlefield by Suzanne Berne

Berne2Berne is an American writer known for her adept portrayals of family life. Like authors Carol Shields, Edith Pearlman, and Anne Tyler, Berne is a miniaturist, expertly focusing on the private lives of her characters.

In her 2013 novel The Dogs of Littlefield, Berne writes of a fictional Boston suburb whose inhabitants are upper middle class and educated. In the book, The Wall Street Journal names Littlefield as one of the “Twenty Best Places to Live in America.”  The town is home to 1,146 psychotherapists, 679 psychiatrists, 3 pizza parlors, 6 dog groomers, fine schools, and leafy streets.

However, like all of Berne’s books’ settings, darkness lurks in Littlefield. An off-leash proposal for dogs sets neighbor against neighbor. Then, mysteriously, several dogs are poisoned. Who amongst the residents is perpetrating these heinous acts?

Much of the plot focuses on Margaret Downing, a sympathetic wife and mother whose husband, Bill, no longer loves her. From the outside, her life seems picture perfect, but in truth, she suffers from acute anxiety, her teen daughter is snarky, and her dog is out of control. The dog, in fact, is a metaphor for the state of Margaret’s life. Other characters include George, a novelist (of sorts); Hedy, a widow whose radio talk shows provide day-long company; and Dr. Clarice Watkins, a sociologist who is secretly studying the effects of “good quality of life.”

Sara's Picks  Neighbor Relationships  Mystery  Contemporary

02/24/16
 

Excerpts is the library newsletter and comes out every three months. It is mailed to every Glencoe resident. Copies of the newsletter are available online (below) and at the library. Please be sure to check the library calendar for program updates.

2020 Issues

March 2020

June 2020

2019 Issues

December 2019

September 2019

June 2019

March 2019

2018 Issues

December 2018

September 2018

March 2018

June 2018

2017 Issues

December 2017

March 2017

June 2017

September 2017

2016 Issues

December 2016

September 2016

March 2016

June 2016

2015 Issues

December 2015
September 2015
June 2015

March 2015

2014 Issues
December 2014
September 2014
June 2014
March 2014

2013 Issues
December 2013
September 2013
June 2013
March 2013

2012 Issues
December 2012
September 2012
June 2012
March 2012

2011 Issues
December 2011
September 2011
June 2011
March 2011

2010 Issues
December 2010
September 2010
June 2010
March 2010

2009 Issues
December 2009
September 2009
June 2009
March 2009

2008 Issues
December 2008