September 2013 Archives

New Mystery Novels

Hey mystery fans, are you looking for something new? Take a look at some of the new mystery novels that have recently arrived at Greenwich Library. The list has an international flair and promises something for almost every mystery fan.

 Click for availability and more information Bad Blood: an Intercrime mystery , by Arne Dahl; translated from the Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles
When a Swedish literary critic is found tortured to death in a janitor's closet at Newark International Airport, the police realize that the murderer made off with the victim's ticket and boarded a flight to Stockholm. Swedish authorities are placed on high alert, but the killer manages to slip through the customs dragnet and vanishes into the night. With no clear motive in sight, Detectives Paul Hjelm and Kerstin Holm of Intercrime's A-Unit take over the investigation. They learn that the method of torture used was not only a highly specialized means of extracting information secretly developed during the Vietnam War--allowing the victim to whisper, but not to scream--but also that it was the modus operandi of an allegedly deceased homicidal maniac known only as the Kentucky Killer. As additional victims are discovered on the outskirts of Stockholm and the terror grows, the team finds itself coming up empty-handed. Hjelm and Holm fly to New York, hoping to discover both the killer's identity and the source of his interest in Sweden. What they quickly learn, searching through the past, is that bad blood always comes back around.

A few of Dahl's books were made into television series by the BBC. A DVD of those programs was recently issued in the UK.

Click for availability and more information Blood Orange, by Karen Keskinen
Santa Barbara private investigator Jaymie Zarlin has built her fledgling agency on finding missing people. Still struggling with the death of her troubled brother, who died in police custody, Jaymie is determined to help others in similar situations find their way home. Homicides are not in her repertoire. But when Lili Molina, a local teenager chosen for the coveted role of Daphne in the annual solstice parade, is murdered, Jaymie is urged to take on the case. Reluctant at first, she soon learns police are mishandling the investigation and can't refuse. In a town where some people are filthy rich and some are dirt poor, Jaymie finds herself slipping into the fault lines between privilege and race. Her investigation turns up an array of suspects, including con artists, spoiled rich kids, and an eccentric oil heiress. Jaymie must move fast to unravel a twisted conspiracy, before she becomes the next victim. 

Click for availability and more information A Cold and Lonely Place: a Troy Chance mystery , by Sara J. Henry
Freelance writer Troy Chance is snapping photos of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ice palace when the ice-cutting machine falls silent. Encased in the ice is the shadowy outline of a body--a man she knows. One of her roommates falls under suspicion, and the media descends. Troy's assigned to write an in-depth feature on the dead man, who, it turns out, was the privileged son of a wealthy Connecticut family who had been playing at a blue collar life in this Adirondack village. And the deeper Troy digs into his life and mysterious death, the murkier things become. After the victim's sister comes to town and a string of disturbing incidents unfold, it's clear someone doesn't want the investigation to continue, and Troy doesn't know who to trust. This is the sequel to Henry's earlier Troy Chance novel, Learning to Swim.

Click for availability and more information Detroit Shuffle: a Will Anderson mystery, by D.E. Johnson
Will Anderson and Elizabeth Hume get caught up in the political turmoil over women's suffrage in Detroit Shuffle, the fourth book in D. E. Johnson's critically acclaimed 1910s Detroit series Will Anderson inadvertently breaks up a key suffrage rally when he thwarts a gunman set on killing his lover, Elizabeth Hume. No one else saw the man, and Elizabeth believes he hallucinated the entire incident, a side effect of the radium "treatment" he received at Eloise Hospital. She asks him to sit on the sidelines while she and her companions try to get the women's suffrage amendment passed by Michigan voters. Instead, Will sets out to protect Elizabeth and prove his sanity. Will's nemesis, Sapphira Xanakis, contacts him with news of a conspiracy to defeat the amendment, led by Andrew Murphy, head of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. Against his better judgment, Will believes she is trying to help. The man she directs him to dies under suspicious circumstances. An old acquaintance of Will's, who is working for the MLBA, is shot and killed in front of him. Still, no one believes Will, including his former ally, Detective Riordan, who not only is unwilling to help, but seems to have secrets of his own. With new death threats against Elizabeth and the next rally only a few days away, Will has to unravel a complicated tapestry of blackmail, double-dealing, conspiracy, and murder--before the killer has his next chance to strike. Johnson's immaculate plotting and high-tension writing make for a spellbinding read set in early twentieth-century Detroit. 

Click for availability and more information The Fainting Room, by Sarah Pemberton Strong
Ray Shepard is a wealthy architect who has mystified his friends by marrying Evelyn, a woman who works at a nail salon. Evelyn, in turn, hides a secret past about her former life in the circus, her ex-husband's mysterious death, and the colorful tattoos she carefully conceals under her clothes. When Evelyn starts to cave under the pressure of living in Ray's rarified world, she suggests they take in Ingrid, a sixteen-year-old girl with blue hair, a pet iguana, and no place to stay for the summer. As Evelyn and Ray both make her their confidante, drawing her into the heart of what threatens their marriage, Ingrid increasingly adopts the noir alter ego of "Detective Slade"in order to solve the mysteries that engulf all three characters. Miss Strong is the Poetry editor at The New Haven Review

Click for availability and more information The Fort, by Aric Davis
With the boys' new fort finally finished, everything that summer was going great. And then the killer showed up. During the summer of 1987, from their tree house fort in the woods, neighborhood boys Tim, Scott, and Luke spot a man holding a gun to missing sixteen year old Molly Peterson's back. The problem is, nobody believes their story, not even the police. As search efforts to find Molly dwindle, the boys know that she, and the man with the gun, are nearby -- and that they must now find and save Molly themselves. A growing sense of honor and urgency forces the boys to take action -- to find Molly, to protect themselves, and to stand guard for the last long days of summer. 

Click for availability and more information The Lineup, by Liad Shoham; translated from the Hebrew by Sara Kitai
Liad Shoham, the #1 bestselling author in Israel, makes his American debut with Lineup--a superbly plotted, uncompromising crime thriller. A brutal rape in a quiet Tel Aviv neighborhood has the police baffled. There are no witnesses, suspects, or clues, until the victim's father steps in and finds overwhelming evidence pointing to Ziv Nevo. Veteran detective Eli Nahum questions Nevo, but can't get anything out of him. That's because Nevo has a secret. He works for the mafia, and telling the truth about why he was near the crime scene could get him killed. Lineup focuses on these two men, detective and suspect, as they both end up betraying what they value most, fighting for their lives, and struggling make amends for their mistakes. 

Click for availability and more information Mystery Writers of America presents the Mystery Box , edited by Brad Meltzer
The latest installment of original stories presented by Mystery Writers of America features quite a few heavy hitters this time around. With this anthology, bestselling author Brad Meltzer introduces twenty-one original stories from today's most prominent mystery writers. In Laura Lippman's "Waco 1982," a young reporter stuck with a seemingly mundane assignment on lost-and-found boxes unwittingly discovers a dark crime. In Joseph Finder's "Heirloom," a scheming neighbor frightens the new couple on the block with an unnerving tale of buried treasure. In R.L. Stine's "High Stakes," a man on his honeymoon gets drawn into a bizarre bet involving a coffin--a bet he may pay for with his life. 

Click for availability and more information The Never List , by Koethi Zan
For years, best friends Sarah and Jennifer kept what they called the "Never List": a list of actions to be avoided, for safety's sake, at all costs. But one night, against their best instincts, they accept a cab ride with grave, everlasting consequences. For the next three years, they are held captive with two other girls in a dungeon-like cellar by a connoisseur of sadism. Ten years later, at thirty-one, Sarah is still struggling to resume a normal life, living as a virtual recluse under a new name, unable to come to grips with the fact that Jennifer didn't make it out of that cellar. Now, her abductor is up for parole and Sarah can no longer ignore the twisted letters he sends from jail. Finally, Sarah decides to confront her phobias and the other survivors?who hold their own deep grudges against her. When she goes on a cross-country chase that takes her into the perverse world of BDSM, secret cults, and the arcane study of torture, she begins unraveling a mystery more horrifying than even she could have imagined. A review in the London Guardian calls it a "genuinely disturbing thriller." 

Click for availability and more information The Steel Spring: a Peter Jensen mystery, by Per Wahlöö; translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death
Chief Inspector Jensen is a policeman in an unnamed European country where the government has criminalized being drunk, where newspapers are designed for reassurance, and where the city centers have been demolished to devote more space to gleaming new highways. Recovering in a hospital room abroad after a liver transplant, Jensen receives a note instructing him to return home immediately, but when he reaches the airport he discovers that all flights home have been cancelled and all communication from within his homeland has ceased. One of the last messages sent requested urgent medical help from abroad. But what has happened? Has an epidemic taken hold? And why has the government fled the capital? To penetrate the silence and mystery that has fallen over the country and its people, Jensen returns only to discover the unthinkable. First published in 1970, Wahloo's books are coming back into the spotlight due partly to the increased interest in Scandinavian mystery novelists. Before his death in 1975, Wahloo co-authored the Martin Beck mystery series with his wife Maj Sjowall.

New Children's Books

Below is a list of new and recommended children's books, straight for our esteemed children's librarians. Happy reading!

Picture Books

Click for availability and more information Bully, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
A little bull has been pushed away by a bigger animal. Feeling hurt and angry, he is mean to all the other animals until realizing he has become a big bully with no friends. The rich color of the illustrations and simple text make this a picture book that can be used to teach the youngest of children about bullying, mean words and how to treat friends.

Click for availability and more information The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt; pictures by Oliver Jeffers
This is a great picture book to read aloud to grades K-2. When Duncan opens his box of crayons, he finds nothing but letters from the crayons, who are fed up from the art work. The complaints are very funny and include orange and yellow fighting over who is the true color of the sun, and a very exhausted blue crayon who needs a break from coloring the sky and water.

Click for availability and more information Good Night Sleep Tight, by Mem Fox; illustrated by Judy Horacek
Babysitter Skinny Doug shares nursery rhymes with Bonnie and Ben at bedtime. The children love the rhymes and ask to hear more, and each time Doug replies "I'll tell you another I heard from my mother." A fun story to share and read aloud with toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school children that includes "It's Raining, It's Pouring", "Star Light, Star Bright" and other classic rhymes. 

Click for availability and more information A Pirate's Guide to Recess, by James Preller; illustrated by Greg Ruth
A crew of "pirates" are ready for adventure on the school playground, but are they ready to face the challenges of another pirate crew? Share this school story with students as they set sail on their adventures of a new school year. 

Chapter Books

Click for availability and more information Al Capone Does my Homework, by Gennifer Choldenko
This final installment in the life of Moose Flanagan, a boy who lives on Alcatraz Island during the 1930s, brings Choldenko's trilogy to a satisfying conclusion (The first in the series is Al Capone Does My Shirts). The story opens with good news: Moose's father, Cam, has been promoted to associate warden of the island's infamous prison. But the new job makes Cam a target, and the family feels the backlash immediately when a suspicious fire breaks out at their apartment while Moose and his developmentally disabled sister, Natalie, are home alone. A malicious neighbor suggests Natalie started the blaze, inciting problems with the special boarding school Natalie attends. Meanwhile, money is changing hands in odd ways around the island, and inmate No. 85 (Capone) sends Moose another cryptic note, written on Moose's homework ("Luckily, he wrote in pencil"), which helps Moose and his affable gang sort the good guys from the bad. Choldenko continues to infuse the Alcatraz community with warmth and originality (the kids play "rock, newspapers, shiv"). Despite being "the roughest hard-time prison in America," by the end of this winning series, it's also a place Moose comes to proudly call home. Ages 10-up. Publishers Weekly 

Click for availability and more information Doll Bones, by Holly Black
Zach plays with dolls. Never mind that they're action figures, heroes in a wild, improvisational saga he acts out with friends Poppy and Alice. Never mind that he's a solid student and rising basketball star. Zach is 12, and his father has decided this must stop. While Zach's at school, the dolls go to the dump, and Zach is left with only rage. He quits the game, but Alice and Poppy haul him out for one more quest: a bus trip to lay to rest the Queen, a bone china doll that Poppy swears is made from the bones of a murdered girl. Another crazy quest from Poppy's fertile brain? Or could this ghost story be real? The wonderfully eerie doll, the realism of the kids' improbable logic, and the ache underlying every character's actions create as much a state of existential anxiety as narrative tension. Black captures the adolescent sense that things are about to explode before they get explained. And it's a darn good adventure, too. Ages 10-14. 

Click for availability and more information The Hypnotists, by Gordon Korman
The fast-paced first volume in Korman's Hypnotists series introduces some historical conspiracies worthy of Dan Brown. In Korman's world, famous events from the Hindenburg disaster to the Lewis and Clark expedition were influenced by hypnotists, people with a genetic gift that allows them to control others' minds. Twelve-year-old Jackson "Jax" Opus is starting to notice that people sometimes do what he says without thinking about it, and that he has strange visions when this happens. After a run-in with a stage hypnotist, he is recruited to the Sentia Institute, run by Dr. Elias Mako, friend to politicians and movie stars alike. Jax starts training his natural skills, but an encounter with another hypnotist, former con artist Axel Braintree, persuades him that there's more to both his own family history and to Sentia. Korman (the Swindle series) delivers an entertaining mix of intense action and goofy fun; he isn't afraid to raise the stakes when necessary, and he makes the moral murkiness of mind control apparent to characters and readers alike. The ending wraps up some loose ends, but leaves plenty for future books. Ages 8-12. Publishers Weekly 


Click for availability and more information Breakfast on Mars and 37 other Delectable Essays, edited by Rebecca Stern & Brad Wolfe
Essay writing often poses a challenge for students. This is a collection of "imaginative, rule-breaking, and untraditional essays" by leading writers and favorite authors, including Scott Westerfeld and Wendy Mass. Teachers, parents and middle school students will find a great selection of writing examples of persuasive, narrative, and literary essays. 

Click for availability and more information How to Read Literature like a Professor: for kids, by Thomas C. Foster
Foster provides an amusing explanation of literary devices such as symbols, metaphor, characterization, setting, plot and other key techniques. By using examples from classic and popular children's books, students will gain an understanding of common themes in literature. Grades 5 and up

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