2015 Summer Reading Book Reviews; Adult Fiction

These are reviews for adult fiction books from this years summer reading program.

From A High Tower (Elemental Masters #10) by: Mercedes Lackey (Rating 5/5)

“From a High Tower is newest adventure in Mercedes Lackey’s Elemental Masters series, featuring a retelling of Rapunzel’s not-so-happily-ever-after ending.”

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by: Laurie Viera Rigler (Rating 4/5)

“After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up to find herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy? Not only is Courtney stuck inside another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. For her borrowed body knows how to speak without slaying the King’s English, dance without maiming her partner, and embroider as if possessed by actual domestic skill. But not even Courtney’s level of Austen mania has prepared her for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condom-less seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, a suitor who may turn out not to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.”

Finders Keepers by: Stephen King (Rating 5/5)

“‘Wake up, genius.’ So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel. Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.”

The Elfstones of Shannara (Shannara #2) by: Terry Brooks (Rating 5/5)

“In the far future, unbeknown to humankind, an apocalyptic war is brewing. Fearsome, vengeful Demons rage at the boundaries of the world, held at bay by a spell called the Forbidding. But now that barrier is dying. Evil is beginning to break through. And only the Chosen can banish the Demons back to their realm. Wil Ohmsford is a healer, not a fighter; a man of duty, not great deeds. But this epic battle seeks him out, for he holds the Elfstones: mysterious protective talismans passed down by his grandfather. Wil is recruited to act as guardian to the Elf girl Amberle, who must venture far to deliver a seed that will help the Forbidding to grow again. The fate of civilization rests upon her shoulders—and the completion of her mission rests upon Wil’s. Now, as the forces of darkness descend, Wil and Amberle embark on a perilous journey, placing their faith in each other to survive the bloodthirsty terrors that await.”

Out of the Rain by: Debbie Macomber (Rating 5/5)

“The old adage says Marry in haste, repent at leisure. Can you marry in haste and not repent at all? As far as Nash Davenport’s concerned, marriage isn’t shelter from the storm, it is the storm. He’s a divorce attorney, himself divorced, who believes no married couple can live up to their wedding vows. Savannah Charles, however, believes in the value—and the values—of marriage. She’s a wedding planner who finds herself saying yes when Nash unexpectedly proposes. Even though it’s strictly a business proposal… Can you marry at leisure—and wish you’d done it in haste? Abby Carpenter has been involved with predictable, practical Logan Fletcher for years. One day she meets the unpredictable, impractical—and very exciting—Tate Harding. Does an everyday guy like Logan have a chance against a handsome stranger like Tate?”

The Sword of Shannara (Shannara #1) by: Terry Brooks (Rating 5/5)

“Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the troubles that plagued the rest of the world. Then the giant, forbidding Allanon revaled that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was plotting to destory the world. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true heir of Shannara–Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all hope rested. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing the Skull Bearer after him….”

Yarn Over Murder (Knitting Mystery #12) by: Maggie Sefton

“Kelly and her knitting pals were checking out the wares at the annual Wool Market when news spread about the wildfires threatening the canyon ranches. With temperatures scorching, the alpacas belonging to Kelly’s good friend Jayleen are in danger. Working fast, Kelly and her pals hightail the herd to the nearby pasture owned by rancher Andrea Holt. But their rescue mission is interrupted by a screaming match where Connie, a longtime employee of House of Lambspun, accuses Andrea of stealing her husband. Days later, Andrea is found dead at her ranch—and suspicion immediately falls on Connie. Now Kelly and her friends must untangle this yarn before Connie ends up dangling by a thread…”

Under Fire by: Grant Blackwood

“On a routine intelligence gathering mission in Tehran, Jack Ryan, Jr., has lunch with his oldest friend, Seth Gregory, an engineer overseeing a transcontinental railway project. As they part, Seth gives Jack a key, along with a perplexing message. The next day Jack is summoned to an apartment where two men claim Seth has disappeared—gone to ground with funds for a vital intelligence operation.  Jack’s oldest friend has turned, they insist. They leave Jack with a warning:  If you hear from Seth Gregory, call us immediately. And do not get involved. But they don’t know Jack. He won’t abandon a friend in need. His pursuit of the truth will lead him across Iran, through the war-torn Caucasus, and finally deep into territory coveted by the increasingly aggressive Russian Federation. Along the way, Jack is joined by Seth’s primary agent, Ysabel, a enigmatic Iranian woman who seems to be his only clue to Seth’s whereabouts. Jack soon finds himself lost in a maze of intrigue, lies, and betrayal where no one is who they seem to be—not even Seth, who’s harboring a secret of his own that harkens back to the Cold War. A secret that is driving him to the brink of treachery.Racing against the clock, Jack must unravel the mystery: Who is friend and who is foe? Before it’s over, Jack Ryan, Jr., may have to choose between his loyalty to Seth and his loyalty to America.”

One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) (Rating 4/5)

“Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash–fast–but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family. Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water–wanted for murder. Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight–and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man.”

Due or Die (Library Lover’s Mystery #2) by” Jenn McKinlay (Rating 5/5)

“Answering tricky reference questions is excitement enough for library director Lindsey Norris. Until a murder is committed in her cozy hometown of Briar Creek, Connecticut, and the question of who did it must be answered before someone else is checked out–for good.”

Deception Point by: Dan Brown (Rating 5/5)

“When a new NASA satellite spots evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory…a victory that has profound implications for U.S. space policy and the impending presidential election. With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Milne Ice Shelf to verify the authenticity of the find. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery — a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy. But before Rachel can contact the President, she and Michael are attacked by a deadly team of assassins controlled by a mysterious power broker who will stop at nothing to hide the truth. Fleeing for their lives in an environment as desolate as it is lethal, their only hope for survival is to find out who is behind this masterful ploy. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.”

The Lost Key (A Brit in the FBI #2) by: Catherine Coulter

“After working with Special Agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich, Nicholas Drummond has joined the FBI. Now, he and partner Mike Caine are in an eleventh-hour race to stop a madman from finding a cache of lost World War I gold—and a weapon unlike anything the world has ever seen…”

Grand Avenue by: Joy Fielding (Rating 5/5)

“Looking back, it seemed like paradise: lives filled with the blessings of friendship, marriage, children, and career. For twenty years, four friends — Chris, Barbara, Susan, and Vicki — shared everything and faced the challenges of life and love head-on. Now, one sits alone to ponder the strange twists of fate and circumstance. Now, she must sift through the past to discover exactly what went wrong, how dreams turned to nightmares as friendships faded and lives were destroyed….”

Demise In Denim (Consignment Shop Mystery #5) by: Duffy Brown

“When Reagan Summerside turned the first floor of her old Victorian home into a consignment shop, she never imagined she’d be harboring a fugitive in her attic. But after a dead man is found in a bathtub and local lawyer Walker Boone is accused of doing the dirty deed, she suddenly has a new house guest. Having the lawyer who took her to the cleaners in her divorce settlement—and who has been getting under her skin ever since—in close proximity is enough to drive Reagan to distraction. For the sake of her sanity—and Walker’s freedom—they need to put their heads together to find out who is trying to get the lawyer out of the picture…”

Inferno (Robert Langdon #4) by: Dan Brown (Rating 5/5)

“Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno. “

The Matchmaker by: Elin Hilderbrand (Rating 4/5)

“48-year-old Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking. Some call her ability mystical, while others – like her husband, celebrated economist John Boxmiller Beech, and her daughter, Agnes, who is clearly engaged to the wrong man – call it meddlesome, but there’s no arguing with her results: With 42 happy couples to her credit and all of them still together, Dabney has never been wrong about romance. Never, that is, except in the case of herself and Clendenin Hughes, the green-eyed boy who took her heart with him long ago when he left the island to pursue his dream of becoming a journalist. Now, after spending 27 years on the other side of the world, Clen is back on Nantucket, and Dabney has never felt so confused, or so alive. But when tragedy threatens her own second chance, Dabney must face the choices she’s made and share painful secrets with her family. Determined to make use of her gift before it’s too late, she sets out to find perfect matches for those she loves most. The Matchmaker is a heartbreaking story about losing and finding love, even as you’re running out of time.”

Matilda’s Last Waltz by: Tamara McKinley (Rating 4/5)

“When tragedy strikes, Jenny craves a fresh start away from the memories of her past. So when she unexpectedly inherits a sheep station in the Australian Outback called Churinga, she welcomes the escape. But Churinga turns out to be a lonely place, where the weather is extreme and the neighbors hostile. As Jenny fights to take control of her new life, she discovers some surprising secrets about the station itself and its enigmatic previous owner–the mysterious Matilda–leading Jenny to wonder if inheriting the station has been a blessing or a curse.”

Shutter Island by: Dennis Lehane (Rating 5/5)

“The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solando is loose somewhere on this remote and barren island, despite having been kept in a locked cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane relentlessly bears down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades—with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal counter moves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. But then neither is Teddy Daniels.”

Icebound by: Dean Koontz (Rating 5/5)

“Conducting a strange and urgent experiment on the Arctic icefield, a team of scientists has planted sixty powerful explosive charges that will detonate at midnight. Before they can withdraw to the safety of their base camp, a shattering tidal wave breaks loose the ice on which they are working. Now they are hopelessly marooned on an iceberg during a violent winter storm. The bombs beneath them are buried irretrievably deep . . . and ticking. And they discover that one of them is an assassin with a mission of his own.”

Heartstopper by: Joy Fielding (Rating 5/5)

“Welcome to Torrance, Florida. Population: 4,160. As Sheriff John Weber would attest, the deadliest predators to date in his tiny hamlet were the alligators lurking in the nearby swamps. But that was before someone abducted and murdered a runaway teenage girl…and before the disappearance of popular and pretty Liana Martin. The pattern is chilling to Sandy Crosbie, the town’s new high school English teacher. With a marriage on the rocks, thanks to her husband’s online affairs, and a beautiful teenage daughter to protect, Sandy wishes she’d never come to the seemingly quiet town with shocking depths of scandal, sex, and brutality roiling beneath its surface. And as Sheriff Weber digs up more questions than answers in a dead-end investigation, one truth emerges: the prettiest ones are being targeted, the heartstoppers. And this killer intends to give them their due….”

A Mercy by: Toni Morrison

“In the 1680s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy. Jacob Vaark is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in “flesh,” he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Rejected by her mother, Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, and later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives.”

Someone is Watching by: Joy Fielding (Rating 5/5)

“As a special investigator for a hotshot Miami law firm, Bailey Carpenter is smart, savvy, and fearless. When she’s assigned to spy on a deadbeat dad in the middle of the night, Bailey thinks nothing of the potential dangers, only that she needs to gather evidence. Then she is blindsided—attacked and nearly killed. Now the firm grip Bailey once had on her life is shaken. Her nightmares merge into her waking hours and she’s unable to venture beyond her front door without panicking. A veritable prisoner in her own home, Bailey is uncertain whom she can trust. But old habits die hard, and soon Bailey finds a new use for her idle binoculars: casually observing from her window neighboring buildings and other people’s lives. This seemingly harmless diversion becomes a guilty pleasure when Bailey fixates on the handsome guy across the street—until she realizes that he is also watching her. Suddenly she must confront the terrifying possibility that he may be the man who shattered her life. Though crippled by fear, Bailey knows she can’t ignore her suspicions and risk leaving a predator at large. With the police making no headway in solving her case, she’s determined to overcome her terror and reclaim the power she lost by unmasking her attacker and taking him down herself. But it’s a harrowing battle that threatens to wreck Bailey’s credibility, compromise an investigation, and maybe even claim her sanity.”

Embroidered Truths (Needlecraft Mystery #9) by: Monica Ferris

“After her friend Godwin has a nasty quarrel with his significant other, John, Betsy Devonshire finds herself with a roommate. But heartbreak turns to grief when Betsy and Godwin discover John dead in his home, and Godwin is arrested for the murder. Betsy sets out to prove him innocent, and finds that John had some dishonest dealings that made him a lot of money—and a lot of enemies. Now Betsy has to untangle a cat’s cradle of lies if she’s going to save Godwin…before the murderer decides to cut off all the loose ends for good.”

Canticle (Cleric Quintet #1) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“High in the Snowflake Mountains sits the Edificant Library, a place of scholarly study for priests, bards, and others. Now from the hidden vaults beneath the library a devastating curse is unleashed, and a young cleric must battle the terrifying creatures set loose by a malevolent, consuming essence that’s been released, before his own brethren turn against him. Cadderly must put his studies to the test and enter the catacombs far below to save his brothers and himself.”

R is For Ricochet (Kinsey Millhone #18) by: Sue Grafton (Rating 5/5)

“Reba Lafferty was a daughter of privilege, the only child of an adoring father. Nord Lafferty was already in his fifties when Reba was born, and he could deny her nothing. Over the years, he quietly settled her many scrapes with the law, but he wasn’t there for her when she was convicted of embezzlement and sent to the California Institution for Women. Now, at thirty-two, she is about to be paroled, having served twenty-two months of a four-year sentence. Nord Lafferty wants to be sure she stays straight, stays at home and away from the drugs, the booze, the gamblers.” “It seems a straightforward assignment for Kinsey: babysit Reba until she settles in, make sure she follows all the rules of her parole. Maybe all of a week’s work. Nothing untoward – the woman seems remorseful and friendly. And the money is good.” But life is never that simple, and Reba is out of prison less than twenty-four hours when one of her old crowd comes circling round.”

Strip Search by: William Bernhardt (Rating 5/5)

“Welcome to the world of Susan Pulaski, an unconventional and unusually subversive Las Vegas police behaviorist who’s already been canned once and has never been needed more. In the Sin City, someone is ritually murdering handpicked victims, each with dirty secrets in their past. The killer’s gimmick: Not only does he leave behind parts of the victims’ bodies, he also writes obscure mathematical formulas–in their blood. Pulaski doesn’t have a clue what the codes mean. But she knows someone who will. Darcy O’Bannon is a twenty-six-year-old whose autistic savant skills are perfect for unraveling such mysteries as how many rivets are in the Eiffel Tower and how many Elvis impersonators there will be in the year 2020. As it turns out, innocent Darcy can also think along the arcane lines of Vegas’s most savage serial killer, peering into a numerological mystery that stretches back hundreds of years.  With her own life one spark away from going off the rails, her department turned against her, and the lives of those she cares most about in jeopardy, Pulaski hunts for dangerous prey in the shadow of the Strip–with herself as the perfect bait. And the closer she gets, the more terrifying and intriguing the case becomes, for the person she’s tracking possesses truly ingenious powers–and a heart full of hate.”

1105 Yakima Street by: Debbie Macomber (Rating 5/5)

“Dear Reader, You’ve probably heard that my wife has left me. Rachel’s pregnant, and she says she can’t handle the stress in our household anymore. My thirteen-year-old daughter, Jolene, is jealous of her. Maybe it’s my fault. As a widower I spoiled her—Jolene was reading over my shoulder just now and says that’s not true. She claims Rachel ruined everything. But that’s not true. The real question is: How can I get my wife back? I don’t even know where she is. She’s not with Teri Polgar or any of her other friends from the salon. The other question is…when will Jolene grow up and stop acting like such a brat? Of course, I’m not the only one in town with problems. Linc Wyse’s father-in-law is trying to destroy his business. And you know Charlotte Rhodes? Seems she’s becoming forgetful, and the family’s worried about her and Ben. Lots of other stuff going on—but Rachel is better at keeping up with it than I am. If you have any idea where my wife is, give me a call. Please. Bruce Peyton”

The Race (Isaac Bell #4) by: Clive Cussler (Rating 4/5)

“On the ocean liner Mauretania, two European scientists with a groundbreaking new invention are rescued from abduction by the Van Dorn Detective Agency’s intrepid chief investigator, Isaac Bell. Unfortunately, they are not so lucky when the thugs attack a second time—and one of the scientists dies. What are the scientists holding that is so precious? Only something that will revolutionize business and world culture—and perhaps something more.  For war clouds are looming, and a ruthless espionage agent has spotted a priceless opportunity to give the German Empire an edge. It is up to Isaac Bell to figure out who he is, what he is up to, and stop him, but Bell may already be too late.”

Bride on the Loose (Manning Brides #3) by: Debbie Macomber (Rating 4/5)

“Jason Manning is content with his life as a bachelor, a slob and a sports fan. Then a precocious girl named Carrie Weston decides to play matchmaker, introducing him to her mother, Charlotte. To his relief, Charlotte is as averse to marriage as he is. But Jason’s feelings start to change once he gets to know his Bride on the Loose.”

Cutwork (Needlecraft Mystery #7) by: Monica Ferris

“After an artisan is murdered at the Excelsior, Minnesota, art fair, everyone is on pins and needles. It’s up to needlework shop owner Betsy Devonshire to figure out who had designs on the dead designer.”

Eight Days To Live by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“Eve Duncan and her adopted daughter, Jane Macguire, are pitted against the members of a secretive cult who have targeted Jane and have decided that she will be their ultimate sacrifice. In eight days they will come for her. In eight days, what Jane fears the most will become a reality. In eight days, she will die. It all begins with a painting that Jane, an artist, displays in her Parisian gallery. The painting is called “Guilt” and Jane has no idea how or why she painted the portrait of the chilling face. But the members of a cult that dates back to the time of Christ believe that Jane’s blasphemy means she must die. But first, she will lead them to an ancient treasure whose value is beyond price. This elusive treasure, and Jane’s death, are all that they need for their power to come to ultimate fruition. With Eve’s help, can Jane escape before the clock stops ticking?”

A New Hope (Thunder Point #8) by: Robyn Carr (Rating 5/5)

“After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she’s excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride’s brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment. But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.”

Left For Dead (Ali Reynolds #7) by: J.A. Jance

“When violence from the drug wars with the Mexican cartels crosses the border into Arizona, and an old friend is murdered, Ali Reynolds steps in to investigate in New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance’s fast-paced mystery. When Santa Cruz county deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, one of Ali Reynolds’s classmates from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, are both under suspicion. Ali owes Reyes a debt of gratitude for the help he gave her years earlier. When she’s summoned to his bedside at Mercy Medical Center in Tucson, it’s impossible for Ali to turn away. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ali finds her good friend, Sister Anselm, is there as well, working as a patient advocate on behalf of another seriously injured victim, an unidentified border crosser who was raped and savagely beaten.”

The Cinderella Murder by: Mary Higgins Clark (Rating 5/5)

“Television producer Laurie Moran is delighted when the pilot for her reality drama, Under Suspicion, is a success. Even more, the program—a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes by recreating them with those affected—is off to a fantastic start when it helps solve an infamous murder in the very first episode. Now Laurie has the ideal case to feature in the next episode of Under Suspicion: the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. Why was her car parked miles from her body? Had she ever shown up for the acting audition she was due to attend at the home of an up-and-coming director? Why does Susan’s boyfriend want to avoid questions about their relationship? Was her disappearance connected to a controversial church that was active on campus? Was she close to her computer science professor because of her technological brilliance, or something more? And why was Susan missing one of her shoes when her body was discovered? With the help of lawyer and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings, especially when the former suspects include Hollywood’s elite and tech billionaires. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen—but is Cinderella’s murderer ready for a close-up?”

Left for Dead (Alie Reynolds #7) by: J.A. Jance

“When Santa Cruz county deputy sheriff Jose Reyes, one of Ali Reynolds’s classmates from the Arizona Police Academy, is gunned down and left to die, he is at first assumed to be an innocent victim of the drug wars escalating across the border. But the crime scene investigation shows there’s much more to it than that, and soon he and his pregnant wife, Teresa, are both under suspicion. Ali owes Reyes a debt of gratitude for the help he gave her years earlier. When she’s summoned to his bedside at Mercy Medical Center in Tucson, it’s impossible for Ali to turn away. Upon arriving at the hospital, Ali finds her good friend, Sister Anselm, is there as well, working as a patient advocate on behalf of another seriously injured victim, an unidentified border crosser who was raped and savagely beaten. As more bodies begin to pile up, Ali becomes determined to seek justice, even when it becomes impossible to know where the danger is coming from.”

Safe From the Neighbors by: Steve Yarbrough

“In a small town in the Mississippi Delta, Luke May teaches local history to students too young to remember the turmoil of the civil rights era. Luke himself was just a child in 1962 when James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss provoked a bloody new battle in the old Civil War. But when a long-lost friend suddenly returns to town, bringing with her a reminder of the act of searing violence that ended her childhood, Luke begins to realize that his connection to the past runs deeper than he ever could have imagined”

Dead Ice (Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter #24) by: Laurell K. Hamilton (Rating 5/5)

“Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée. It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue. Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind. It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed . . .Anita Blake has the highest kill count of any vampire executioner in the country. She’s a U.S. Marshal who can raise zombies with the best of them. But ever since she and master vampire Jean-Claude went public with their engagement, all she is to anyone and everyone is Jean-Claude’s fiancée. It’s wreaking havoc with her reputation as a hard ass—to some extent. Luckily, in professional circles, she’s still the go-to expert for zombie issues. And right now, the FBI is having one hell of a zombie issue. Someone is producing zombie porn. Anita has seen her share of freaky undead fetishes, so this shouldn’t bother her. But the women being victimized aren’t just mindless, rotting corpses. Their souls are trapped behind their eyes, signaling voodoo of the blackest kind. It’s the sort of case that can leave a mark on a person. And Anita’s own soul may not survive unscathed . . .”

The Grief of Others by: Leah Hager Cohen (Rating 5/5)

“The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage, their family, have always been intact, that the loss of a child had no lasting impact. Yet in the aftermath, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future. The couple’s children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely—perhaps courageously—idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others—to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.”

Wicked Charms (Lizzy and Diesel #3) by: Janet Evanovich (Rating 5/5)

“Murdered and mummified nearly a century ago, notorious bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle discovered and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice—the very item reluctant treasure seeker Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine. Greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. People who have dedicated their entire lives to finding it are willing to commit murder or make a deal with the devil just to hold the fortune in their hands. One of those people may even be Wulf, Diesel’s deceptively charming and enigmatic cousin. Wulf desires the Stone of Avarice. He also desires Lizzy. It’s hard to say how far he’s willing to go to gain either one.”

The Wedding Promise (Angel Island #2) by: Thomas Kincaid (Rating 4/5)

“The inn is open for business, and owner Liza Martin has booked her first event—a wedding—even though renovations aren’t completed. This brings more of attractive handyman Daniel Merritt into her life, but as Liza starts falling for him, she learns that Daniel is a man with secrets. Liza doesn’t have time to dwell on her love life with all the wedding preparations taking place. She wants to make the event perfect, but the growing tension between the couple worries her. On the day of the wedding a storm rolls in—and the groom disappears. Everything is going wrong, and Liza needs a miracle. But, if you have faith and love, Angel Island is the sort of place where miracles can happen…”

In Plain Sight (Sisterhood #25) by: Fern Michaels (Rating 5/5)

“For years Myra Rutledge and Annie de Silva, founding members of the Sisterhood, have funded an underground network run by former Supreme Court Justice Pearl Barnes to help women escape abusive relationships. When two of Pearl’s clients fail to report for their weekly check-in, the Sisterhood and their allies begin a search for French model Amalie Laurent and her one-time maid, Rosalee Muno. Amalie’s estranged husband, Lincoln Moss, is a distant cousin of the President of the United States and one of his closest advisers. Moss’s power is matched by the violent streak he hides from the world, and he beat Amalie viciously until she finally escaped with her maid’s help. Moss is accustomed to doing exactly what he wants without fear of consequence. But Moss has never faced an adversary like the Sisterhood…”

The Liar by: Nora Roberts

“Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions. The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed. Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning …”

A Summer Secret (Mysteries of Middlefield #1) by: Kathleen Fuller (Rating 4/5)

“With a twin brother and five younger brothers, Mary Beth Mullet’s house is in constant chaos. Her parents don’t seem to mind the noise, but she needs a break from all the pestering and babysitting. It’s the summer before eighth grade, and Mary Beth plans to escape to her secret place as much as possible. The old barn in the neighboring field is dangerous, and her parents have forbidden her to go there, but she escapes to it as often as she can. Mary Beth soon discovers she is not alone in the barn. Someone is living there; someone who needs help. Can Mary Beth help the stranger without losing her secret place? And what if the barn is as dangerous as her parents say it is?”

Hanging By A Thread (Needlecraft Mystery #6) by: Monica Ferris

“Betsy is still new enough to Excelsior, Minnesota, to not know a scandal when she causes one. So, when she hires Foster Johns to fix her roof, the resulting uproar has her needled. The whole town has pinned a five-year-old unsolved double murder on him. Betsy believes Johns when he says he isn’t guilty. But she’ll have to use every stitch of her sleuthing skills to tie up all the loose ends that will prove his innocence once and for all.”

Close Knit Killer (Knitting Mystery #1) by: Maggie Sefton (Rating 3/5)

“Years ago Jared Rizzoli operated a Ponzi scheme that defrauded countless Fort Connor residents—including Barbara, one of the shop’s knitters. Jared went to jail for his crime, but after being released for good behavior, he’s back to ruin more lives. When Jared is found dead in his car outside of Lambspun, Barbara becomes a prime suspect, much to the shock of the knitting community. Kelly and her friends now need to sort through a long list of fleeced suspects to pin the crime on the true killer…”

The Nemesis (FBI Thriller #19) by: Catherine Coulter

“When Special Agent Lacey Sherlock foils a terrorist attack at JFK airport, she thinks her job is done and turns the reins over to the New York FBI. But stopping the grenade-carrying crazy was only the beginning. Another plot unfolds nearly simultaneously with a bomb at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The terrorist at JFK refuses to speak to anyone but Sherlock. She heads back with counterterrorist Special Agent Cal McLain to try to get him to talk.  Meanwhile, Savich—with the help of Agent Griffin Hammersmith—has his hands full trying to track an elusive murderer who looks like a Hollywood Dracula. When Dracula’s attempts to kill Savich collide with Sherlock’s terrorist case, very strange things happen. Who is really behind the bombing attack at St. Patrick’s? How does Savich’s mysterious killer fit into Sherlock’s terrorism investigation? Savich and Sherlock race against the clock, as more lives are in danger with every passing minute.”

In MiLady’s Chamber (John Pickett Mystery #1) by: Sheri Cobb South (Rating 4/5)

“Lady Fieldhurst chose the wrong time to finally agree to a lover, as they discovered her husband stabbed to death in her boudoir. John Pickett, Bow Street Runner, questions whether her ladyship is guilty of the murder, and his superiors question his impartiality, given his interest in her. But there is the presumptive heir, near bankruptcy, and the disappearing butler, and the nocturnal visitor and …”

Crewel Yule (Needlecraft Mystery #8) by: Monica Ferris

“Part-time sleuth and full-time owner of the needlework shop Crewel World, Betsy Devonshire prepares for a chilling holiday season filled with mistletoe–and murder.”

The Novel Habits of Happiness (Isabel Dalhousie #10) by: Alexander McCall Smith

“Through a mutual acquaintance, Isabel is introduced to a six-year-old boy who has been experiencing vivid recollections of a past life, which include a perfect description of an island off the coast of Scotland and a house on the island where he claims to have lived. When the boy’s mother asks Isabel to investigate, Isabel naturally feels inclined to help, and so she, her husband, Jamie, and their son, Charlie, set off for the island. To their great surprise, they actually locate the house that the boy described, which leads to more complicated questions, as Isabel’s desire to find rational explanations comes up against the uncanny mystery unfolding before her. It’s an extraordinarily delicate situation that will require all of her skills, as both sleuth and philosopher, to solve. Back home, as she begins to prepare the next issue of the Review of Applied Ethics, Isabel confronts a threat to her professional well-being in the form of two visiting academics—Lettuce and Dove—who she fears will be a destabilizing influence on her cozy perch in enlightened Edinburgh. But no matter the trials she faces, Isabel is blissfully content in her personal life, which is centered on her young son and devoted husband. Readers will be filled with happiness as they once again spend time with their beloved heroine and the people she holds dear.”

No Book But the World by: Leah Hager Cohen (Rating 5/5)

“At the edge of a woods, on the grounds of a defunct “free school,” Ava and her brother, Fred, share a dreamy and seemingly idyllic childhood—a world defined largely by their imaginations, a celebration of curiosity and the natural environment, and each other’s presence. Their parents, progressive educators, believe passionately that children develop best without formal instruction or societal constraint. Everyone is aware of Fred’s oddness—the word “autism” is whispered—but his parents’ fierce disapproval of labels keeps him free of clinical evaluation, diagnosis, or intervention, and constantly at Ava’s side. Decades later, Fred is arrested for a shocking crime, and Ava is frantic to piece together the story of what actually happened. A boy is dead. Fred is held in a county jail. But could he really have done what he’s accused of? By now their parents are long gone, and the siblings have fallen out of touch, which causes Ava considerable guilt. Who is left to reach Fred? To explain him and his innocence to the world? Convinced that she alone can ensure he is regarded with sympathy, Ava tells their enthralling story.”

Naked Greed (Stone Barrington #34) by: Stuart Woods (Rating 5/5)

“Stone Barrington isn’t one to turn away in the face of danger, so when he witnesses a tricky situation underway, he jumps in to lend a hand.  He never expected, though, that this favor would lead to a mutually beneficial business deal with a prominent gentleman who requires the ever-discreet services of Woodman & Weld. But in the ruthless corporate world no good deed goes unpunished, and Stone soon finds himself the target of a ragtag group of criminal toughs who don’t appreciate his interference in their dealings.  From the isolated landscape of Maine to the white sand beaches of Key West, the trail of deception, theft, and murder will lead to a perilous confrontation.”

Private Vegas (Private #9) by: James Patterson (Rating 5/5)

“Las Vegas is a city of contradictions: seedy and glamorous, secretive and wild, Vegas attracts people of all kinds–especially those with a secret to hide, or a life to leave behind. It’s the perfect location for Lester Olsen’s lucrative business. He gets to treat gorgeous, young women to five-star restaurants, splashy shows, and limo rides–and then he teaches them how to kill. Private Jack Morgan spends most of his time in Los Angeles, where his top investigation firm has its headquarters. But a hunt for two criminals leads him to the city of sin–and to a murder ring that is more seductively threatening than anything he’s witnessed before”

Pride Mates (Shifters Unbound #1) by: Jennifer Ashley (Rating 5/5)

“Like most Shifters, Liam Morrissey has learned that trusting humans leads to no good. But when beautiful attorney Kim Fraser enters Shiftertown alone in order to prove her client’s innocence, Liam’s alpha nature leaves him no choice but to offer his protection.”

Night of the Hunter (Legend of Drizzt #28) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“The saga continues as dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden returns to Gauntlgrym with old friends by his side once again, as they seek to rescue Bruenor’s loyal shield dwarf-turned-vampire. But not only do Drizzt and his allies face a perilous journey through the Underdark and the dangers of the undead that lie within, but they must cross through a colony of drow, who would like nothing better than to see Drizzt Do’Urden dead.”

Silent To the Bone by: E.L. Konisburg (Rating 2/5)

“Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn’t have hurt Branwell’s baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened. Connor is the only one who might be able to break through Branwell’s wall of silence. But how can he prove Branwell didn’t commit the unspeakable act of which he’s accused — when Branwell can’t speak for himself?”

Your Next Breath by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“Catherine Ling is one of the CIA’s most prized operatives. Raised on the streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. Luke was kidnapped at age two, and now, nine years later, he has astonishingly been returned to her. Catherine vows never to fail him again. Now, just as she is building a relationship with Luke, it seems that someone from Catherine’s past is playing a deadly game with her, and using those she cares about as pawns. Three are dead already: the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was out on the street, a CIA agent with whom she worked closely, and the informant who helped her free Luke. Someone is picking off the people Catherine cares about one by one, with the circle narrowing closer and closer to those she loves the most. Catherine has made many enemies throughout her life, and she has no choice but to weed through her past to find out who is targeting her now, and then go after the vicious killer herself.”

After the Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by: Linda Castillo (Rating 5/5)

“When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones–and notifying the family. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident and Kate finds herself plunged into a thirty year old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged. Meanwhile, turmoil of an emotional and personal nature strikes at the very heart of Kate’s budding relationship with state agent John Tomasetti. A reality that strains their fragile new love to the breaking point and threatens the refuge they’ve built for themselves–and their future. Under siege from an unknown assailant–and her own personal demons–Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own.”

Skylight Confessions by: Alice Hoffman (Rating 5/5)

“Cool, practical, and deliberate, John is dreamy Arlyn’s polar opposite. Yet the two are drawn powerfully together even when it is clear they are bound to bring each other grief. Their difficult marriage leads them and their children to a house made of glass in the Connecticut countryside, to the avenues of Manhattan, and to the blue waters of Long Island Sound. Glass breaks, love hurts, and families make their own rules. Ultimately, it falls to their grandson, Will, to solve the emotional puzzle of his family and of his own identity.”

Close Your Eyes (Kendra Michaels #1) by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“Blind for the first twenty years of her life, Kendra Michaels honed her other senses to almost superhuman perfection–and unintentionally became a secret weapon for the FBI. Her uncanny ability to pick up the most subtle audio, olfactory, and tactile cues in the world around her made her a law-enforcement legend. Today, her expertise is called for once again. When Kendra is approached by a dubious source about a serial murder investigation, her instincts tell her to steer clear. This time, however, the case is personal: The next name to turn up on the killer’s hit list is Kendra’s own ex-lover, an FBI agent who disappeared without a trace. Now it’s up to Kendra to pick up the trail–or close her eyes again…forever.”

Final Target (Wind Dancer #4) by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“Melissa Riley arrives at her sister’s isolated Virginia country home to find herself plunged into a deadly drama. There the renowned Dr. Jessica Riley is attempting to draw the daughter of the President of the United States out of a severe catatonic trauma. The last thing young Cassie Andreas saw was an organized team ruthlessly murder her nanny and the Secret Service agents sworn to protect her. But to free Cassie, Melissa and Jessica must trust a mysterious, charismatic man. Michael Travis made his fortune in the international underworld. He risked everything to save Cassie during that terrible night of bloodshed. And he has entered into a secret bargain with the President. But is his show of concern all a treacherous charade? Melissa and Jessica have no choice but to accept Travis as their ally—and to follow a dangerous plan that will lead them into the world of a killer who’ll destroy anyone standing between him and the…Final Target.”

Truth or Die by: James Patterson (Rating 5/5)

“After a serious professional stumble, attorney Trevor Mann may have finally hit his stride. He’s found happiness with his girlfriend Claire Parker, a beautiful, ambitious journalist always on the hunt for a scoop. But when Claire’s newest story leads to a violent confrontation, Trevor’s newly peaceful life is shattered as he tries to find out why. Chasing Claire’s leads, Trevor unearths evidence of a shocking secret that—if it actually exists—every government and terrorist organization around the world would do anything to possess. Suddenly it’s up to Trevor, along with a teenage genius who gives new meaning to the phrase “too smart for his own good,” to make sure that secret doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. But Trevor is about to discover that good and evil can look a lot alike, and nothing is ever black and white: not even the truth.”

To Love and Cherish (Bride Veil Island #2) by: Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller (Rating 3/5)

“When Melinda overhears a plot to assassinate the president, is her preoccupied beau the one to turn to or has her heart misjudged him?”

A Stitch In Time (Needlecraft Mystery #3) by: Monica Ferris

“When a damaged tapestry is discovered in a small-town church closet, needleworkers join to stitch together the clues which lead to a crafty crime.”

An Honest Love (Hearts of Middlefield #2) by: Kathleen Fuller (Rating 3/5)

“Anna was once betrayed by someone she loved deeply. In an attempt to never be hurt again, she and her mother relocated to Middlefield, Ohio. It was the ideal place for Anna’s broken heart to mend. In Middlefield, Anna withdrew from risk, placing all her attention on managing the new gift shop she and her mom bought. When Lukas introduces himself, Anna can’t resist her attraction to him. Though she finds herself falling in love, she’s hiding a piece of her past in fear that their future will be destroyed if she tells him the truth. But love can’t be built on lies and the past comes rushing back to Anna in an irreversible way. Now Lukas must decide how he will react to Anna’s betrayal. As they cling to their belief in an honest love, they realize it’s a path they must walk together even as it leads to unexpected places.”

To Have and Hold (Bride Veil Island #1) by: Tracie Peterson & Judith Miller (Rating 3/5)

“When Audrey Cunningham’s father proposes that they move to Bridal Veil Island, where he grew up, she agrees, thinking this will help keep him sober and close to God. But they arrive to find wealthy investors buying up land to build a grand resort on the secluded island–and they want the Cunninghams’ acreage. Contractor Marshall Graham can’t imagine why the former drinking buddy of his deceased father would beckon him to Bridal Veil Island. And when Boyd Cunningham asks him to watch over Audrey, Marshall is even more confused. He has no desire to be saddled with caring for this fiery young woman who is openly hostile toward him. But when Audrey seems to be falling for another man–one who has two little girls Audrey adores–Marshall realizes she holds more of his heart than he realized. Which man will Audrey choose? And can she hold on to her ancestral property in the face of overwhelming odds?”

Three Dirty Women and the Garden of Death by: Julie Wray Herman

“Greg Whittier was well on his way to becoming fertilizer when Amilou, his long-suffering almost ex-wife, found him. She, Korine and Janey, partners in Three Dirty Women Landscaping, Inc., were busy digging – and slinging a little mud of their own – in the garden of Greg’s old flame, Susannah Graham.Of course, Amilou is in big trouble. The dead man was her husband and she’s the prime suspect. And when it turns out that Greg’s love affair with Susannah was heating up again, things look even worse. But Amilou and her friends know Greg’s philandering past earned him the spite of more than a few women in town. A killer’s out there, ready to be found – by three women willing to dig deep, and get dirty….”

 

Demise in Denim (Consignment Shop Mystery #5) by: Duffy Brown (Rating 4/5)

“When Reagan Summerside turned the first floor of her old Victorian home into a consignment shop, she never imagined she’d be harboring a fugitive in her attic. But after a dead man is found in a bathtub and local lawyer Walker Boone is accused of doing the dirty deed, she suddenly has a new houseguest. Having the lawyer who took her to the cleaners in her divorce settlement—and who has been getting under her skin ever since—in close proximity is enough to drive Reagan to distraction. For the sake of her sanity—and Walker’s freedom—they need to put their heads together to find out who is trying to get the lawyer out of the picture…”

The Mitford Snowmen by: Jan Karon (Rating 5/5)

“It’s Christmastime in Mitford, and everyone’s favorite characters are filled with holiday spirit. In The Mitford Snowmen, a swirling snowfall brings them to Main Street for a snowman-building contest complete with doughnuts, hot chocolate, and contagious good cheer. A charming small trim size and enchanting four-color illustrations make this the perfect way to visit Mitford—and gather a heart full of Christmas joy.

Nurse Matilda by: Christianna Brand (Rating 4/5)

“Mr. and Mrs. Brown were forever having trouble with their numerous and incredibly naughty children . . . until the day Nurse Matilda entered their lives.
First published nearly fifty years ago, Nurse Matilda and its two companion books-Nurse Matilda Goes to Town and Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital-have charmed readers ever since. Now the inspiration for the major motion picture Nanny McPhee”

The Big Kitty (Sunny and Shadow Mystery #1) by: Clair Donally

“Sunny Coolidge left her New York City newspaper job to go back to Maine and take care of her ailing father. But there’s not much excitement—or interesting work—in Kittery Harbor. So when Ada Spruance, the town’s elderly cat lady, asks for help finding her supposedly-winning lottery ticket, Sunny agrees. But when she arrives at Ada’s, with a stray tomcat named Shadow tagging along, they discover the poor woman dead at the bottom of her stairs. Was it an accident—or did Ada’s death have to do with that missing lottery ticket, which turns out to be worth six million dollars?”

Sour Apples (Orchard Mystery #6) by: Sheila Connolly

“Apple orchard owner Meg Corey is finally feeling settled into her new life in Granford–she’s made friends, and her relationship with Seth Chapin is heating up–when her old Boston coworker Lauren Converse comes barreling into town, running the Congressional campaign for a former hometown football hero. But Meg doesn’t have time to worry about why Seth seems reluctant to back Lauren’s campaign when her neighbor, local dairy farmer Joyce Truesdell, is found dead from an apparent kick to the head from one of her cows. When an autopsy shows that the fatal blow actually came from a weapon, Meg is even more troubled. Popular opinion points to Joyce’s husband as the culprit, but Meg can’t help wondering if someone wanted the outspoken dairy farmer out of the way–but why? She’ll have to find out who had a beef with the victim, before she’s the next one to get creamed…”

Vengeance of the Iron Dwarf (Legend of Drizzt #30) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“In the evolving world of the Forgotten Realms setting, the Sundering has given way to months of cloud-cloaked darkness, and war rages under that oppressive sky. The orcs have broken a hard-fought treaty that’s held, however tentatively, for a hundred years, and the time to settle old scores has devolved into an all-out brawl for control of the ancient realms of the North.”

Rise of the King (Legend of Drizzt #29) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“In the second book of the Companions Codex, the latest series in saga of dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, R.A. Salvatore picks up with the fan-favorite storyline of dwarf king Bruenor Battlehammer and his bloody feud with the orc kingdom of Many Arrows.”

Radiant Angel (John Corey #7) by: Nelson Demille (Rating 4/5)

“After a showdown with the notorious Yemeni terrorist known as The Panther, John Corey has left the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and returned home to New York City, taking a job with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Although Corey’s new assignment with the DSG-surveilling Russian diplomats working at the U.N. Mission-is thought to be “a quiet end,” he is more than happy to be out from under the thumb of the FBI and free from the bureaucracy of office life. But Corey realizes something the U.S. government doesn’t: The all-too-real threat of a newly resurgent Russia. When Vasily Petrov, a colonel in the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service posing as a diplomat with the Russian U.N. Mission, mysteriously disappears from a Russian oligarch’s party in Southampton, it’s up to Corey to track him down. What are the Russians up to and why? Is there a possible nuclear threat, a so-called radiant angel? Will Corey find Petrov and put a stop to whatever he has planned before it’s too late? Or will Corey finally be outrun and outsmarted, with America facing the prospect of a crippling attack unlike anything it’s ever seen before?”

The Companions (Legend of Drizzt #27) by: R. A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“This latest installment R.A. Salvatore’s beloved fantasy saga, The Companions moves Salvatore’s signature hero Drizzt into a new era of the Forgotten Realms. As Drizzt’s fate hangs in the balance, he reflects on the lives of the trusted allies who stood by his side throughout his early life–the friends now known as the Companions of the Hall. Meanwhile, the first stirrings of the Sundering begin.

Charon’s Claw (Legend of Drizzt #24) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“Drizzt draws his swords once more to aid his friends. His lover, Dahlia Sin’felle, can speak of nothing but the moment she will face the Netherese lord Herzgo Alegni once again. Drizzt has already followed a trail of vengeance beside Dahlia. Can he justify one more battle to settle a grudge he does not understand? Artemis Entreri too seeks vengeance. He offers to aid Dahlia in her mission to destroy Alegni. But Charon’s Claw, Alegni’s sentient sword, dominates Entreri’s movements—if not his mind. And then there’s the way Entreri looks at Dahlia. Can Drizzt trust his old foe?”

In the Company of Others (Father Tim #2) by: Jan Karon (Rating 5/5)

“In this second installment in the series, Father Tim and Cynthia arrive in the west of Ireland, intent on researching his Kavanagh ancestry from the comfort of a charming fishing lodge. The charm, however, is broken entirely when Cynthia startles a burglar and sprains her already-injured ankle. Then a cherished and valuable painting is stolen from the lodge owners, and Cynthia’s pain pales in comparison to the wound at the center of this bitterly estranged Irish family.”

Esther’s Gift by: Jan Karon (Rating 4/5)

“Esther Bolick is filled with the holiday spirit as she prepares to bake the annual batch of her famous-and utterly scrumptious-orange marmalade cakes. Right after Christmas Eve service at Lord’s Chapel, she and Gene will deliver a two-layer marmalade to each of seven friends and neighbors, all of them favorite Mitford characters. Then Gene calculates what it costs to bake this legendary cake, and Esther is stunned. Is it worth it to spend so much money on people who haven’t always measured up to her expectations? The answer is clear. She’ll cut her list back-way back. This decision makes perfect sense until the lyrics of a Christmas carol steal into her heart, and help remind her what a gift really means.”

Pandora’s Daughter by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“For as long as she can remember, successful young physician Megan Blair has tried to silence the voices in her head–voices that bring her to the edge of madness and terror. Megan possesses psychic powers that have been dormant for years, hidden deep in the past she’s tried so desperately to forget. But now everything has come to a boiling point–someone is trying to kill her, and others are trying to use her, including the deadly and seductive Neal Grady. Shocking secrets about her life and her mother’s death bombard her as she fights to take control of her heritage and save herself and everything she believes in. Grady holds the key to understanding her future, a future in which Megan’s life will never be the same.”

Quicksand (Eve Duncan #8) by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“This one sentence, spoken by a madman in an anonymous phone call, is all it takes to drag Eve Duncan right back to that horrifying day years ago when her only daughter vanished without a trace. Since that day, her life has become an obsession to find Bonnie’s remains and put the pain of her death to rest. However, one man wants nothing more than to prevent that from happening. He is every woman’s waking nightmare: a brilliant, ruthless killer whose hunting ground stretches from coast to coast. But taunting Eve Duncan might be his first and last mistake….”

Deadlock by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“Emily Hudson is an archeologist who travels the world in search of priceless artifacts from war-torn countries and other hot spots. Her best friend and partner, Joel Levy, is always at her side–until one day, her entire crew is massacred and Joel and Emily are held captive. Victims of one of the most ruthless and evil human beings on earth. For two weeks they try to survive, until Emily is the unwitting instrument in Joel’s demise. John Garrett has worked for the CIA, MI6, and whoever else needed his services. Now, the CIA comes calling with a desperate mission for him: save Emily Hudson. But their may be more to this job than they let him know. And soon, his connection to Emily has him questioning everything he thought to be true. Emily has vengeance on her mind. Will Garrett aid her in getting revenge? Can Emily help him get to the truth behind a bigger conspiracy? Or will they both die trying…With lightning-fast pacing, plot twists and shocking betrayals, Iris Johansen is at the top of her game in this latest thriller.”

The Perfect Witness by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“She was the perfect witness–until they found her.
When Teresa Casali was young, she discovered that she could read people’s memories. But this strange gift became a curse when her mob boss father used Teresa to gain the upper hand in his world of corruption and violence. Exposed by her own family to the darkest impulses of mankind, Teresa finds herself defenseless and alone…until, from seemingly out of nowhere, she meets the mysterious Andre Mandak. Armed with a chilling set of skills, Mandak can protect Teresa and kill her pursuers. But can she trust him? Now she’s the perfect target–and there’s nowhere left to hide…With Mandak’s help, Teresa learns to control her power before it consumes her. It is his promise to get her into Witness Protection that convinces Teresa to assume a new identity: she becomes Allie Girard and tries to forget Teresa Casali ever existed. For years “Allie” lives a normal life with a new family…until the day her cover is blown and the truth spreads like wildfire. Now she will have to use her finely-honed gift to end the threat that began with her family’s betrayal. Nothing can stop her from revealing the truth…even if it kills her.”

Christmas with Tucker by: Greg Kincaid (Rating 5/5)

“It is the winter of 1962, and Kansas is hit with one of the worst blizzards in its history. It is during this cruel season that twelve-year-old George is called upon to endure more than even most grown men could withstand—the death of his father and the upkeep of the family farm that is his legacy. When his mother and sisters leave for Minnesota, George has only his grandparents and the companionship of Tucker, an Irish setter, to help him persevere through these most difficult challenges. Can he find the strength to walk the road that leads to healing, finding his true self and ultimately becoming a man? A coming-of-age story for readers of all ages, Christmas with Tucker is a classic Christmas story about a young man’s love for his dog, his family, and his farm.”

Exit Wounds (Johanna Brady #11) by: J.A. Jance (Rating 4/5)

“The intense desert heat has brought horror to a small corner of the Southwest. A body lies lifeless in an airless trailer, surrounded by seventeen others. It is a crime unspeakable in its conception and execution—a nightmare strangely connected to a grisly slaughter in a neighboring state, where the corpses of two women are found tied up, naked, and gruesomely posed on a rancher’s land. A day that started out hot has already turned blistering for Joanna Brady, the sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona, for terror has moved into her small town to stay. And the nightmare will not end until she uncovers the roots of a monstrous obsession buried somewhere in the most frightening dark shadows of the past.”

Suffer Little Children (Sister Fidelma #2) by: Peter Tremayne (Rating 4/5)

“In A.D. 644, the Venerable Dacan, a respected scholar of the Celtic Church, is murdered while on a visit to the Abbey of Ros Ailithir in the Irish Kingdom of Muman.  Dacan, unfortunately, was the close confidant of the hot-headed young king of the neighboring kingdom of Fearna, who is using Dacan’s murder as an excuse to provoke war. Sister Fidelma, an advocate of the Brehon courts, is summoned by the dying King of Muman to solve the brutal killing and also to prevent the incipient war between the two kingdoms.  But, at the remote abbey, Fidelma soon discovers that there are far more sinister forces than mere political intrigue at work behind the mystery of Dacan’s death.  She must quickly unravel a most complicated mystery if she is to prevent the coming war–and preserve her own life as well.”

Double Down (Men of the Sister hood #4) by: Fern Michaels (Rating 5/5)

“After years of standing by their women, the Sisterhood’s significant others have also become loyal friends. And now Jack Emery, Nikki’s husband, has enlisted Ted, Joe, Jay, Bert, Dennis, and Abner to form a top-secret organization known as BOLO Consultants. Jack has two missions in mind. The first: offering some behind-the-scenes help to Nikki’s law firm as they take on the all-powerful Andover Pharmaceuticals. Andover’s anti-leukemia drug causes terrible side effects in young patients, but a class-action suit seems doomed to fail. BOLO Consultants have a prescription to cure that. Meanwhile, Virginia’s lieutenant governor has a sideline as a slum landlord, and his impoverished tenants are suffering. Tyler Sandford believes his status puts him above the law. But when the Sisterhood and their allies decide to get involved, no one is beyond the reach of true justice…”

Every Fifteen Minutes by: Lisa Scottoline (Rating 5/5)

“Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric’s entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can’t turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a “person of interest” himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric’s life?

Beach Town by: Mary K. Andrews (Rating 5/5)

“As a movie location scout, picture-perfect is the name of the game. But her last project literally went up in flames, and her career is on the verge of flaming out. Greer has been given one more chance, if she can find the perfect undiscovered beach hideaway for a big-budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town called Cypress Key. There’s one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino-which will be perfect for the film’s explosive climax. There’s just one problem. Eben Thibadeaux, the town mayor, completely objects to Greer’s plan. A lifelong resident of Cypress Key, Eben wants the town to be revitalized, not commercialized. After a toxic paper plant closed, the bay has only recently been reborn, and Eb has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. But Greer has a way of making things happen, regardless of obstacles. And Greer and Eb are way too attracted to each other for either of them to see reason.”

Death Wears a Beauty Mask by: Mary Higgins Clark (Rating 5/5)

“From Clark’s first-ever published story (1956’s “Stowaway”), to classic tales featuring Alvirah and Willy, My Gal Sunday and many more, Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories gives readers the chance to revisit the short story highlights. The jewel of this collection is the novella showcasing the dazzling and dangerous world of high fashion in 1970s New York City.”

Double Fudge Brownie Murder (Hannah Swensen #18) by: Joanne Fluke (Rating 5/5)

“Life in tiny Lake Eden, Minnesota, is usually pleasantly uneventful. Lately, though, it seems everyone has more than their fair share of drama–especially the Swensen family. With so much on her plate, Hannah Swensen can hardly find the time to think about her bakery–let alone the town’s most recent murder…Hannah is nervous about the upcoming trial for her involvement in a tragic accident. She’s eager to clear her name once and for all, but her troubles only double when she finds the judge bludgeoned to death with his own gavel–and Hannah is the number one suspect. Now on trial in the court of public opinion, she sets out in search of the culprit and discovers that the judge made more than a few enemies during his career. With time running out, Hannah will have to whip up her most clever recipe yet to find a killer more elusive than the perfect brownie.”

Wicked Business (Lizzy & Diesel #2) by: Janet Evanovich (Rating 5/5)

“When Harvard University English professor and dyed-in-the-wool romantic Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered and thrown off his fourth-floor balcony, Lizzy and Diesel take up his twenty-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Following clues contained in a cryptic nineteenth-century book of sonnets, Lizzy and Diesel tear through Boston catacombs, government buildings, and multimillion-dollar residences, leaving a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances, and spontaneous seduction.”

Distant Hours by: Kristin Hannah (Rating 5/5)

“Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young, raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look picture perfect. But after the girls leave home, Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job, Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country. Then tragedy turns Elizabeth’s world upside down. In the aftermath, she questions everything about her life—her choices, her marriage, even her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that shocks her husband, friends, and daughters, she lets go of the woman she has become—and reaches out for the woman she wants to be.”

The Wishsong of Shannara (Shannara #3) by: Terry Brooks (Rating 5/5)

“Humankind has survived into the distant future—and yet it faces another ancient threat, this time from a sentient book that was brought to life by Demon magic. Once thought to be lost forever, the book has merely been biding its time. And now it has sent forth its monstrous followers to destroy the realm of mortals. To penetrate this dark army and strike down evil, a new generation of heroes must rise. The call goes out to the children of Wil Ohmsford, wielder of the Elfstones, who have inherited his flair for magic. Although Brin Ohmsford and her younger brother, Jair, have not yet harnessed their powers toward a higher purpose, Brin’s abilities may hold the key to victory. Jair, too, will have a crucial part to play, though neither realizes it. But for now, Brin must leave her brother behind, joining a pair of mighty warriors on a dangerous trek deep into enemy territory, where she finds that magic is an unpredictable weapon . . . and a terrifying burden.”

The Ocean Between Us by: Susan Wiggs (Rating 3/5)

“After years of following her navy officer husband on assignment around the world with their three children, Grace Bennett realizes that she’s left something behind—herself. Steve Bennett can’t understand the unraveling of his wife’s heart. He wants to set things right, but when a secret from his past is revealed just as he’s sent out to sea, their already-strained relationship is pushed to the edge. Now, with plenty of space to ponder the true distance between them, Grace begins to reinvent herself. Just as her new self is coming to terms with her family life, the unthinkable happens. A disaster aboard Steve’s ship shatters Grace’s world and all she can do is gather her children around and wait for news to come, good or bad. A navy wife’s worst nightmare collides with the cold truth that life’s biggest chances can slip away while you’re busy looking for guarantees.”

Speaking In Bones (Temperance Brennan #18) by: Kathy Reichs (Rating 5/5)

“Hazel “Lucky” Strike—a strident amateur detective who mines the Internet for cold cases—comes to Brennan with a tape recording of an unknown girl being held prisoner and terrorized. Strike is convinced the voice is that of eighteen-year-old Cora Teague, who went missing more than three years earlier. Strike is also certain that the teenager’s remains are gathering dust in Temperance Brennan’s lab. Brennan has doubts about working with a self-styled web sleuth. But when the evidence seems to add up, Brennan’s next stop is the treacherous backwoods where the chilling recording (and maybe Cora Teague’s bones) were discovered. Her forensic field trip only turns up more disturbing questions—along with gruesome proof of more untimely deaths. While local legends of eerie nocturnal phenomena and sinister satanic cults abound, it’s a zealous and secretive religious sect that has Brennan spooked and struggling to separate the saints from the sinners. But there’s nothing, including fire and brimstone, that can distract her from digging up the truth and taking down a killer—even as Brennan finds herself in a place where angels fear to tread, devils demand their due, and she may be damned no matter what.”

The Priest (Sons of Encouragement #1) by: Francine Rivers (Rating 4/5)

“The Priest is the first book in a new companion series to A Lineage of Grace. Each novella peers into the life of one of five biblical men (such as Aaron, Jonathan, Silas) who stood behind the great heroes of faith. In The Priest you’ll meet Moses’ brother Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. How will Aaron support Moses while he struggles with being satisfied with God’s plan for his own life? Be inspired by how this seemingly secondary character plays a key role in supporting his leader and impacting the faith for eternity.”

This Rock by: Robert Morgan

“Muir and Moody Powell are as different as Jacob and Esau. Muir is an innocent, shy young man with big dreams and not the slightest idea of what to do about them. Moody, the older, wilder brother, takes to moonshine and gambling and turns his anger on his brother. Through it all, their mother, Ginny, tries to steer them right, while dealing with her own losses: her husband, her youth, and the fiery sense of God that had once ordered her world. When Muir discovers his purpose in life, the consequences are far-reaching and irrevocable: a community threatens to tear itself apart and his family is forever changed.”

Love by Design by: Nora Roberts (Rating 4/5)

“Somehow her own fictional brooding hero had turned up in person right under her own roof, and now all romance writer Jackie MacNamara had to do was convince stubborn Nathan Powell that happily-ever-after began at home—and in her arms.…She was the sexiest thing in a hard hat that architect Cody Johnson had ever seen, but structural engineer Abra Wilson also had a will as strong as a steel girder—and just about as flexible. But Cody had plans for Abra that not even this spirited beauty could resist”

The Last Threshold (Legend of Drizzt #26) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“Tangled up in his companion Dahlia’s dark secrets, the ties that once held her close to Drizzt threaten to tear as her bonds to his former foe, Artemis Entreri, continue to grow. Meanwhile, in the caverns of Gauntlgrym, the drow Tiago Baenre enlists the help of Bregan D’aerthe in his quest to destroy Drizzt. While making promises they may not keep, the agents of the elite drow mercenary group hide plans of their own. Determined to stand for what’s right in the Realms once again, Drizzt forges a new road north—toward Icewind Dale. Will his new companions follow? Can he fight the darkness alone? Either way, he knows now where he’s headed—back to the only place that’s ever felt like home. “

Charley’s Web by: Joy Fielding (Rating 4/5)

“Charley Webb is a beautiful single mother who writes a successful and controversial column for the Palm Beach Post. She’s spent years building an emotional wall against scathing critics, snooty neighbors, and her disapproving family. But when she receives a letter from Jill Rohmer, a young woman serving time on death row for the murders of three small children, her boundaries slowly begin to fade. Jill wants Charley to write her biography so that she can share the many hidden truths about the case that failed to surface during her trial. Seeing this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Charley begins her jour-ney into the mind of this deeply troubled woman. Her path takes a twisted turn, however, when the anonymous letters she’s recently received from an angry reader evolve into threats, targeting her son and daughter. As Charley races against time to save her family, she begins to understand the value of her seemingly intru-sive neighbors, friends, and relatives. As she discovers, this network of flawed but loving people might just be her only hope of getting out alive.”

Puppet by: Joy Fieldings (Rating 5/5)

“Living a no-strings-attached life in glamorous Palm Beach, beautiful, steely-nerved criminal attorney Amanda Travis knows exactly what she likes: spinning classes, the color black, and one-night stands. Here’s what she dislikes: the color pink, nicknames…and memories. Which is why she has shut the door on two ex-husbands, her estranged mother, and her hometown of Toronto. Then comes the news that will shatter Amanda’s untouchable world: her mother, who has always held a strange power over everyone she encounters, has shot and killed a complete stranger. Forced to return to Toronto, Amanda must confront her demons and unravel the truth behind her mother’s violent act — while the taunting, teasing name from her past dances in her head…Puppet…telling her that someone else is orchestrating her fate.”

At the Water’s Edge by: Sara Gruen (Rating 5/5)

“After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind. The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected. As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.”

Wicked Appetite (Lizzy and Diesel #1) by: Janet Evanovich (Rating 5/5)

“Lizzy Tucker has inherited a historic house in Marblehead, Massachusetts, taken a new job as pastry chef for Dazzle’s Bakery in Salem, and set her sights on a comfortable future. The comfortable future and any hope for normalcy evaporates when dark haired, dark hearted Gerewulf Grimoire and his nemesis, a blond beach bum named Diesel, enter Dazzle’s and change Lizzy’s life forever. Grimoire has set his sights on the Stones of SALIGIA, rumored to have found their way to Salem. These seven stones, each representing one of the seven deadly sins, can bestow frightening powers upon its owner. Powers that would be dangerous in Grimoire’s hands…Diesel is a man with a mission: To stop Grimoire at all costs. In order to do so he’ll need to convince the baker she alone has the ability to keep Grimoire from the stones. Once Lizzy and Diesel become a team, Diesel will have to guard Lizzy’s body…day and night.”

Animal Farm by: George Orwell (Rating 5/5)

“Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message.”

Malice at the Palace (Royal Spyness #9) by: Rhys Bowen

“While my beau Darcy is off on a mysterious mission, I am once again caught between my high birth and empty purse. I am therefore relieved to receive a new assignment from the Queen—especially one that includes lodging. The King’s youngest son, George, is to wed Princess Marina of Greece, and I shall be her companion at the supposedly haunted Kensington Palace. My duties are simple: help Marina acclimate to English life, show her the best of London and, above all, dispel any rumors about George’s libertine history. Perhaps that last bit isn’t so simple. George is known for his many affairs with women as well as men—including the great songwriter Noel Coward. But things truly get complicated when I search the Palace for a supposed ghost only to encounter an actual dead person: a society beauty said to have been one of Prince George’s mistresses. Nothing spoils a royal wedding more than murder, and the Queen wants the whole matter hushed. But as the investigation unfolds—and Darcy, as always, turns up in the most unlikely of places—the investigation brings us precariously close to the prince himself.”

At the King’s Command (Tudor Rose #1) by: Susan Wiggs

“Frustrated by his own failures at matrimony, King Henry VIII punishes an insolent nobleman by commanding him to marry the vagabond woman caught stealing his horse. Stephen de Lacey is a cold and bitter widower, long accustomed to the sovereign’s capricious and malicious whims. He regards his new bride as utterly inconvenient…though undeniably fetching. But Juliana Romanov is no ordinary thief—she is a Russian princess forced into hiding by the traitorous cabal who slaughtered her family. One day she hopes to return to Muscovy to seek vengeance.”

Steadfast Heart (Brides of Seattle #1) by: Tracie Peterson (Rating 3/5)

“Despite her spoiled upbringing, twenty-year-old Lenore Fulcher isn’t pretentious. She simply believes a marriage should be built on true love. Her father, however, thinks she’s wasted enough time searching for the perfect husband. He wants to marry her off to one of his business partners–who is seventeen years her senior–an idea that is out of the question for Lenore. Kolbein Booth, a young lawyer from Chicago, arrives in Seattle looking for his headstrong sister, who he believes may have answered an advertisement for mail-order brides. Sick with worry, he storms into the Madison Bridal School, demanding to see his sister, only to learn she isn’t there. But Lenore Fulcher is, and something about her captures his attention.  Is this the man Lenore has been searching for? She may not have long to find out.”

Silent Partner (Alex Delaware #4) by: Jonathan Kellerman (Rating 5/5)

“At a party for a controversial Los Angeles sex therapist, Alex Delaware encounters a face from his own past—Sharon Ransom, an exquisite, alluring lover who left him abruptly more than a decade earlier. Sharon now hints that she desperately needs help, but Alex evades her. The next day she is dead, an apparent suicide. Driven by guilt and sadness, Alex plunges into the maze of Sharon’s life—a journey that will take him through the pleasure palaces of California’s ultrarich, into the alleyways of the mind, where childhood terrors still hold sway.”

The Pirate King (Legend of Drizzt #21) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“Captain Deudermont has sailed to the pirate city of Luskan on a mission–a mission to once and for all defeat the true power behind the corrupt city: a wicked lich and his cabal of evil wizards from the Host Tower of the Arcane. But the Host Tower has some tricks up its sleeve, as do the pirate captains who would like to see both sides fail.”

At the Queen’s Summons (Tudor Rose #3) by: Susan Wiggs (Rating 3/5)

“Feisty orphan Pippa de Lacey lives by wit and skill as a London street performer. But when her sharp tongue gets her into serious trouble, she throws herself upon the mercy of Irish chieftain Aidan O’Donoghue. Pippa provides a welcome diversion for Aidan as he awaits an audience with the queen, who holds his people’s fate in her hands. Amused at first, he becomes obsessed with the audacious waif who claims his patronage. Rash and impetuous, their unlikely alliance reverberates with desire and the tantalizing promise of a life each has always wanted—but never dreamed of attaining.”

The Maiden’s Hand (Tudor Rose #2) by: Susan Wiggs (Rating 3/5)

“Roguishly handsome Oliver de Lacey has always lived lustily: wine, weapons and women are his bywords. Even salvation from the noose by a shadowy society provides no epiphany to mend his debauched ways. Mistress Lark’s sole passion is her secret work with a group of Protestant dissidents thwarting the queen’s executions. She needs no other excitement—until Oliver de Lacey drops through the hangman’s door and into her life. As their fates become inextricably bound together in a struggle against royal persecution, both Oliver and Lark discover a love worth saving…even dying for.”

The Orc King (Legend of Drizzt #20) by: R.A. Salvatore

“An uneasy peace between the dwarves of Mithral Hall and the orcs of the newly established Kingdom of Many-Arrows can’t last long. The orc tribes united under Obould begin to fight each other, and Bruenor is determined to finish the war that nearly killed him and almost destroyed everything he’s worked to build. But it will take more than swords and axes to bring a lasting peace to the Spine of the World. Powerful individuals on both sides may have to change the way they see each other. They may have to start to talk. And it won’t be easy.”

The Last Original Wife by: Dorthea Benton Frank (Rating 4/5)

“Leslie Anne Greene Carter is The Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley’s wildly successful Atlanta social set. But if losing her friends to tanned and toned young Barbie brides isn’t painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Les’s world and push her to the edge. She’s had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he’s doing her a favor by keeping her around. She’s going to take some time for herself—in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown. And she’s going to reclaim the carefree girl who spent lazy summers with her first love on Sullivans Island. Daring to listen to her inner voice, she will realize what she wants . . . and find the life of which she’s always dreamed.”

Neverwinter (Legend of Drizzt #24) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“With the last of his trusted companions having fallen, Drizzt is alone–and free–for the first time in almost a hundred years. Guilt mingles with relief, leaving Drizzt uniquely vulnerable to the persuasions of his newest companion–Dahlia, a darkly alluring elf and the only other member of their party to survive the cataclysm at Mount Hotenow. But traveling with Dahlia is challenging in more ways than one. As the two companions seek revenge on the one responsible for leveling Neverwinter–and nearly Luskan as well–Drizzt finds his usual moral certainty swept away by her unconventional views. Forced to see the dark deeds that the common man may be driven to by circumstance, Drizzt begins to find himself on the wrong side of the law in an effort to protect those the law has failed. Making new enemies, as his old enemies acquire deadly allies, Drizzt and Dahlia quickly find themselves embroiled in battle–a state he’s coming to enjoy a little too much.”

Gauntlgrym (Legend of Drizzt #23) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“Drizzt joins Bruenor on his quest for the fabled dwarven kingdom of Gauntlgrym: ruins said to be rich with ancient treasure and arcane lore. But before they even get close, another drow and dwarf pair stumbles across it first: Jarlaxle and Athrogate.  In their search for treasure and magic, Jarlaxle and Athrogate inadvertently set into motion a catastrophe that could spell disaster for the unsuspecting people of the city of Neverwinter—a catastrophe big enough to lure even the mercenary Jarlaxle into risking his own coin and skin to stop it. Unfortunately, the more they uncover about the secret of Gauntlgrym, the more it looks like they can’t stop it on their own. They’ll need help, and from the last people they ever thought to fight alongside again: Drizzt and Bruenor.”

The Melody Lingers On by: Mary Higgins Clark

“As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon, mother to five-year-old Katie, is accustomed to visiting opulent homes around the tri-state area. A born optimist, Lane finds the glimpse into these gilded worlds fascinating, and loves the reward of exceeding the expectations of their often-demanding owners. When she is called to assist in redecorating a modest townhouse in Bergen County, she knows the job is unusual. Then she learns the home belongs to the wife of a notorious and disgraced financier named Parker Bennett. Parker Bennett has been missing for two years. He dropped out of sight just before it was discovered that the $5 billion dollars in the fund he had been managing had vanished. Bennett had gone out on his sailboat in the Caribbean. Was it suicide or had he staged his disappearance? The scandal around his name has not died down. His clients and the federal government all want to trace the money and find Bennett if he is still alive. Lane is surprised to find herself moved by Mrs. Bennett’s calm dignity and apparently sincere belief in her husband’s innocence. Gradually, Lane finds herself drawn to Eric, the Bennetts’ son, who is similarly determined to prove that his father is not guilty. Lane doesn’t know that the closer she gets to the Bennetts, the more she puts her life―and her daughter’s life―in jeopardy.”

The Ghost King (Legend of Drizzt #22) by: R.A. Salvatore (Rating 5/5)

“When the Spellplague ravages Faerûn, Drizzt and his companions are caught in the chaos. Seeking out the help of the priest Cadderly–the hero of the recently reissued series The Cleric Quintet–Drizzt finds himself facing his most powerful and elusive foe, the twisted Crenshinibon, the demonic crystal shard he believed had been destroyed years ago.”

To Kill A Mockingbird by: Herpee Lee (Rating 5/5)

“Set in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the Depression, To Kill a Mockingbird follows three years in the life of 8-year-old Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and their father, Atticus–three years punctuated by the arrest and eventual trial of a young black man accused of raping a white woman. Though her story explores big themes, Harper Lee chooses to tell it through the eyes of a child. The result is a tough and tender novel of race, class, justice, and the pain of growing up. Like the slow-moving occupants of her fictional town, Lee takes her time getting to the heart of her tale; we first meet the Finches the summer before Scout’s first year at school. She, her brother, and Dill Harris, a boy who spends the summers with his aunt in Maycomb, while away the hours reenacting scenes from Dracula and plotting ways to get a peek at the town bogeyman, Boo Radley. At first the circumstances surrounding the alleged rape of Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a drunk and violent white farmer, barely penetrate the children’s consciousness. Then Atticus is called on to defend the accused, Tom Robinson, and soon Scout and Jem find themselves caught up in events beyond their understanding. During the trial, the town exhibits its ugly side, but Lee offers plenty of counterbalance as well–in the struggle of an elderly woman to overcome her morphine habit before she dies; in the heroism of Atticus Finch, standing up for what he knows is right; and finally in Scout’s hard-won understanding that most people are essentially kind ‘when you really see them.'”

Pet Semetary by: Stephen King (Rating 3/5)

“When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son—and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly car. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth—more terrifying than death itself—and hideously more powerful. The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.”

Carrie by: Stephen King (Rating 4/5)

“Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be a normal and go to her senior prom. But another act–of ferocious cruelty–turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.”

The Collector by: Nora Roberts (Rating 5/5)

“When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one…Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen; where what you possess is who you are; and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession”

Fatal Error (Alison Reynolds #6) by: J.A. Jance (Rating 5/5)

“Ali Reynolds begins the summer thinking her most difficult challenge will be surviving a six-week-long course as the lone forty-something female at the Arizona Police Academy—not to mention taking over the 6 a.m. shift at her family’s restaurant while her parents enjoy a long overdue Caribbean cruise. However, when Brenda Riley, a colleague from Ali’s old news broadcasting days in California, shows up in town with an alcohol problem and an unlikely story about a missing fiancé, Ali reluctantly agrees to help. The man posing as Brenda’s fiancé is revealed to be Richard Lowensdale, a cyber-sociopath who has left a trail of broken hearts in his virtual wake. When he is viciously murdered, the women he once victimized are considered suspects. The police soon focus their investigation on Brenda, who is already known to have broken into Richard’s home and computer before vanishing without a trace. Attempting to clear her friend’s name, Ali is quickly drawn into a web of online intrigue that may lead to a real-world fatal error.”

Southern Comfort by: Fern Michaels (Rating 5/5)

“Atlanta homicide detective Patrick “Tick” Kelly turned his back on the world the day his wife and children were murdered. Holed up in a beach shack on Mango Key, Florida, he drowned his grief in Jack Daniels. Now sober and a bestselling author, Tick would gladly stay a recluse forever if his brother Pete didn’t keep trying to drag him back to the land of the living. After years of sacrificing her personal life in favor of her DEA job, special agent Kate Rush resigned and moved back to her native Miami. But the unofficial assignment that has just come her way is too intriguing to pass up. She and a fellow ex-agent are relocated to Mango Key to keep an eye on an imposing, mysterious fortress believed to be at the center of a human trafficking ring. At first, the Kelly brothers are suspected of involvement, but Kate is sure Tick poses no danger–except for the slow-burning gaze that makes her breath catch and her heart race.”

Primal Bonds (Shifters Unbound #2) by: Jennifer Ashley (Rating 5/5)

“When a female Shifter comes to town seeking refuge, Feline Shifter Sean Morrissey claims the new arrival and finds a beautiful woman who looks him straight in the eye without fear, stirring the mating frenzy within him. To relocate to a new Shiftertown, half-Fae, half-Shifter Andrea Gray must accept a new mate. But Andrea’s intense attraction to Sean is something she never expected-a perilous complication for a woman with a troubled past.”

Misery by: Stephen King (Rating 5/5)

“Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house. Now Annie wants Paul to write his greatest work—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an ax. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty.”

The Naked Eye by: Iris Johansen (Rating 5/5)

“Kendra Michaels was instrumental in bringing serial killer Eric Colby to justice. And yet, despite his apparent execution at San Quentin, Kendra is convinced that Colby is still alive. The problem is that she can’t prove it. Even her razor-sharp powers of observation-developed to an amazing capacity during the twenty years she spent blind and now in constant demand by law enforcement agencies-have gotten her nowhere.

But then a reporter who very publicly humiliated Kendra is murdered. Visiting the crime scene in search of anything that might link the brutal homicide to Colby, Kendra instead finds evidence that points to her. Finally Colby’s master plan becomes clear to her: he is framing Kendra for murder.

Suspicions mount and Kendra is thrust into deadly pursuit to clear her name and catch the killer no one believes exists anymore. A killer who is always nearby, watching, waiting to make his next move, even as everyone believes him to be dead. A killer whose trail of destruction is invisible to the naked eye, despite the carnage he leaves in his wake. It will take everything Kendra has to find and stop Colby-and save her own life one more time.”

Daddy’s Gone A Hunting by: Mary Higgins Clark (Rating 3/5)

“What was Kate Connelly—a tall, glamorous CPA—doing in her family’s antique furniture museum when it exploded into flames in the middle of the night? Why was Gus, a disgruntled retired employee, with her? Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in a coma, unable to explain the tragedy’s mysterious link to a decades-old missing persons case. Nor to warn her sister what could happen next. In a novel of dazzling suspense and excitement, Mary Higgins Clark once again demonstrates the mastery of her craft that has made her books international bestsellers for years. She presents the reader with a perplexing mystery, a puzzling question of identity, and a fascinating cast of characters—one of whom may just be a ruthless killer.”

Breaking Creed (Ryder Creed #1) by: Alex Kava (Rating 5/5)

“Ryder Creed and his dogs have been making national headlines. They’ve intercepted several major drug stashes smuggled through Atlanta’s airport. But their newfound celebrity has also garnered some unwanted attention. When Creed and one of his dogs are called in to search a commercial fishing vessel off the coast of Pensacola Beach, they discover a secret compartment. But the Colombian cartel’s latest shipment isn’t drugs. It’s human… Meanwhile, FBI agent Maggie O’Dell is investigating a series of murders she suspects to be the work of a brutal assassin. By the time she uncovers a hit list with Creed’s name on it, it might be too late to help him. For someone is already on the way.”

The Girls of August by: Anne Rivers Siddons (Rating 2/5)

“Every August, four women would gather together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each year. The ritual began in their twenties when their husbands were in medical school, and became a mainstay of every summer thereafter. The only criteria was oceanfront and isolation, their only desire was to strengthen far-flung friendships. They called themselves the Girls of August. But when one of the women dies tragically, the group slowly drifts apart and their vacations together are brought to a halt. Years later, a new marriage reunites them and they come together once again on a remote barrier island off the South Carolina coast. There, far from civilization, the women make startling discoveries that change them in ways they never expected.”

77 Shadow Street by: Dean Koontz

“Welcome to the Pendleton. Built as a tycoon’s dream home in the 1880s and converted to luxury condominiums not quite a century later, the Gilded Age palace at the summit of Shadow Hill is a sanctuary for its fortunate residents. Scant traces remain of the episodes of madness, suicide, mass murder—and whispers of things far worse—that have scarred its grandeur almost from the beginning. But now inexplicable shadows caper across walls, security cameras relay impossible images, phantom voices mutter in strange tongues, not-quite-human figures lurk in the basement, elevators plunge into unknown depths. With each passing hour a terrifying certainty grows: Whatever drove the Pendleton’s past occupants to their unspeakable fates is at work again. And as nightmare visions become real, as a deadly tide begins to engulf them, the people at 77 Shadow Street will find the key to humanity’s future . . . if they can survive to use it.”

Thai Die (Needlecraft Mystery #12) by: Monica Ferris

“Back from a trip to Thailand, Doris Valentine is eager to show Betsy, owner of the Crewel World needlework shop, her souvenirs. Later when the souvenirs are stolen from Doris?s apartment, Betsy thinks there is something more to some of this exotic embroidery than meets the eye.”

14th Deadly Sin (Women’s Muder Club #14) by: James Patterson

“With a beautiful baby daughter and a devoted husband, Detective Lindsay Boxer can safely say that her life has never been better. In fact (for a change), things seem to be going well for all the members of the Women’s Murder Club as they gather to celebrate San Francisco Medical Examiner Claire Washburn’s birthday. But the party is cut short when Lindsay is called to a gruesome crime scene, where a woman has been murdered in broad daylight.  As Lindsay investigates, shocking video footage of another crime surfaces. A video so horrific that it shakes the city to its core. Their faces obscured by masks, the cold blooded criminals on the tape could be anyone—and now all of Lindsay’s co-workers are suspects. As a rash of violence sweeps through San Francisco, and public fear and anger grows, Lindsay and her friends must risk their lives in the name of justice-before it’s too late.”

Poisonwood Bible by: Barbara Kingsolver (Rating 4/5)

“The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to Scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.”

Purl Up and Die (Knitting Mystery #13) by: Maggie Sefton (Rating 3/5)

“Kelly Flynn’s summer in Fort Connor, Colorado, is off to a great start with romantic celebrations with her boyfriend, Steve, and enjoyable—albeit challenging—knitting classes taught by her friend Barb at the House of Lambspun. But while Barb’s advanced stitches are giving Kelly the slip, a more deadly problem soon has her friend coming apart at the seams. A young woman has accused Barb’s son, Tommy—a young doctor doing his residency—of assaulting her. The yarns spun by the local rumor mill are bad enough, but when the young woman is found dead in her ransacked apartment, Tommy becomes the number one suspect. The police are ready to close the case, but Kelly is convinced that there are a few more likely suspects. Now she has to knit together the clues herself to uncover a killer who doesn’t seem to drop a stitch…”

A Summer Affair by: Elin Hildenbrand (Rating 4/5)

“Claire Danner Crispin, mother of four young children and nationally renowned glassblower, bites off more than she can chew when she agrees to co-chair the Nantucket’s Children Summer Gala. Claire is asked to chair the benefit, in part, because she is the former high school sweetheart of rock star Max West. Max agrees to play the gala and it looks like smooth sailing for Claire-until she promises a “museum-quality” piece of glass for the auction, offers her best friend the catering job, goes nose-to-nose with her Manhattan socialite co-chair, and begins a “good-hearted” affair with the charity’s Executive Director, Lockhart Dixon.”

Second Honeymoon by: James Patterson (Rating 4/5)

“A walk down the aisle, a resort hotel, a drink on the beach…for these unlucky couples, the honeymoon’s over. A newlywed couple steps into the sauna in their deluxe honeymoon suite–and never steps out again. When another couple is killed while boarding their honeymoon flight to Rome, it becomes clear that someone is targeting honeymooners, and it’s anyone’s guess which happy couple is next on the list. FBI Agent John O’Hara is deep into solving the case, while Special Agent Sarah Brubaker is hunting another ingenious serial killer, whose victims all have one chilling thing in common. As wedding hysteria rises to a frightening new level, John and Sarah work ever more closely together in a frantic attempt to decipher the logic behind two rampages.”

Fatal Tide by: Iris Johansen (Rating 4/5)

“Marine researcher Melis Nemid is treading dangerous water—and she’s about to be dragged under. Melis knows something that has already caused one oceanographer to disappear from the face of the earth . . . and that’s only part of a past torn by violence and betrayal. She thought she had put that past behind her when she arrived at her Caribbean island home to research dolphin behavior. But Melis’s peace—and her life—are about to be shattered by a savage killer who is cutting a path of destruction and death that leads directly to her. Only one person can save her—a man who claims to be a fellow oceanographer. But what this enigmatic stranger really wants, Melis may not discover until it’s too late. Because whoever is after her knows her fears intimately. And soon Melis will be forced to relive them all over again. Except for the final nightmare—the one she cannot possibly survive.”

Wild Cat (Shifters Unbound #3) by: Jennifer Ashley (Rating 5/5)

“Heartbroken from the death of her mate three years ago, Shifter Cassidy Warden is tracking down his mysterious killer-one who could bring danger to all Shifters. But Detective Diego Escobar rekindles the flames of her mating desire. And once the fires begin, nothing and no one can put them out…”

Wish You Were Here (Emily Maxwell #1) by: Stewart O’Nan (Rating 4/5)

“A year after the death of her husband, Henry, Emily Maxwell gathers her family by Lake Chautauqua in western New York for what will be a last vacation at their summer cottage. Joining is her sister-in-law, who silently mourns the sale of the lake house, and a long-lost love. Emily’s firebrand daughter, a recovering alcoholic recently separated from her husband, brings her children from Detroit. Emily’s son, who has quit his job and mortgaged his future to pursue his art, comes accompanied by his children and his wife, who is secretly heartened to be visiting the house for the last time. Memories of past summers resurface, old rivalries flare up, and love is rekindled and born anew, resulting in a timeless novel drawn, as the best writing often is, from the ebbs and flow of daily life.”

Two for the Dough (Stephenie Plum #2) by: Janet Evanovich (Rating 4/5)

“Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is still learning the ropes at her cousin Vinnie’s bail bond office, so when she sets out on the trail of Kenny Mancuso–a suspiciously wealthy, working class Trenton boy who has just shot his best friend–the stakes are higher than ever. That Mancuso is distantly related to vice cop Joe Morelli–who is trying to beat Stephanie to the punch–only makes the hunt more thrilling….Taking pointers from her bounty hunter pal, Ranger, and using her pistol-packing Granda Mazur as a decoy, Stephanie is soon closing in on her mark. But Morelli and his libido are worthy foes. And a more sinister kind of enemy has made his first move…and his next move might be Stephanie’s last.”