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Solving the Mystery …of the Mystery Genre! July 2, 2015

Posted by stacey in Book List, Genre Book Discussion, Mystery.
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Did you find something to read in which a crime was committed? And after the crime occurred, did you witness an amateur or professional detective find the bad guy -or gal? Then you read a mystery book, just like us! If you want to know what we read and enjoyed, then check out these books:

Chris: Sharp Shooter by Nadia Gordon introduces Sunny McCoskey, an independent chef/owner of the organic Wildside café who can’t help but start doing a little investing of her own when one of her Napa Valley customers, Jack Beroni, is found dead. Jack was the heir apparent to the Beroni Vineyard and someone wanted him dead. Was it one of the two Campaglia brothers who worked the estate and named to inherit it? His longtime girlfriend who he wouldn’t marry? His long-ago high school girlfriend with whom he was having an affair? A competing vineyard owner of which there are plenty? Or one of his many, many enemies? Won’t say. Will add there are two sharp shooters present in the book—one, the actual murderer, and then there’s the glassy-winged sharpshooter, an insect that threatens to destroy every organic vineyard in Napa Valley if the estate owners don’t approve using a toxic chemical to kill it.

Maureen: In local author D.M. Pulley’s debut novel The Dead Key, we meet young architect Iris on her first “real” assignment for her firm to survey and sketch the floors of the old, long abandoned First Bank of Cleveland building. As Iris works, she begins to find clues to mysterious things that went on at the bank before its sudden closure in the middle of the night in 1978. Flashbacks in the book simultaneously reveal the story of 17-year old Beatrice, who has moved in with her aunt to pursue a new life on her own in Cleveland. It turns out being a banking secretary can get you into some pretty interesting predicaments at First Bank of Cleveland and Beatrice is determined to uncover the truth of what is going on with missing safe deposit boxes as well as right some wrongs. Fun mentions of local neighborhoods and landmarks add to the story. Pulley is currently working on her second novel.

That’s right -we had another double read! Here’s another take on the same book:

Ann: The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley is a mystery reaching across two decades in a grand old bank in Cleveland. In 1978 the First Bank of Cleveland mysteriously closed, locking out customers and employees. Twenty years later, in 1998 a young engineer, Iris, stumbles upon documents, keys, and safe deposit boxes left as they were decades before. As Iris gets sidetracked from her surveying work in the bank, we also learn the backstory of Beatrice, a clerical worker at the bank in 1978. She discovered many irregularities at the bank at the time and has left clues behind that Iris has discovered. Iris is determined to figure out the mystery of the keys and safe deposit boxes, even if it means she is putting herself in danger. The author, who lives in Cleveland and is a structural engineer, won the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 for this mystery.

Beth: The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinty is set during the Troubles of Northern Ireland. This entertaining, gritty novel focuses on Detective Sean Duffy who is assigned to be the lead investigator in a string of murders in the small village of Carrickfergus outside of Belfast. The murders seem to be independent of the territorial conflicts, but are things ever really what they seem?

Steve: The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler, is the granddaddy of hardboiled mysteries. It was written in 1939, and features main character Philip Marlowe, a Private Investigator, hired by a rich, ailing father to investigate a blackmail scheme involving his wild daughter. It’s set in gritty 1930’s Hollywood, and that and the old school dialogue are worth the read alone, with the twisting plot being the icing on the cake.

Emma: In The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain, when Laure is mugged, she ends up in the hospital in a coma. Bookseller Laurent finds her expensive handbag on top of a trash can minus the wallet and cell phone. He is determined to find the owner and uses items from the bag including a red notebook, a dry-cleaning ticket, and a book signed by Patrick Modiano to assist in the search. While Laure is still in the hospital, Laurent ends up at her apartment posing as a friend and offers to take care of the cat. Laure’s co-worker had been feeding the cat. When Laure wakes up and hears about the mystery man from her co-worker, she decides to track him down. Lighthearted, fun, and a little creepy.

Carol: In The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell, Adrian Wolf thinks he’s a lucky man to have such great relationships with his two ex-wives and five children. In fact, they appear get on so well, they all vacation along with his latest wife, Maya, and himself. All is not what it seems, however, and after Maya is killed in an apparent accident, Adrian sets out to find who might have wanted to force her out of their “blissful” extended family. This psychological mystery grabbed me from its first page.

Lauren: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths is the first mystery in a series of books featuring Ruth Galloway. Ruth is an archaeologist who gets caught up in a murder investigation as an expert witness for the police and the detective on the case. In the salt marshes of Norfolk near Ruth’s home, human bones have been discovered and Ruth is called in to determine if they are those of either of two missing girls or remnants of an ancient burial site. The bones turn out to be ancient, but Ruth is quickly drawn into the into the hunt for the recently disappeared Scarlet Henderson and for young Lucy Downey who has been missing for ten years.

Megan: Lock In by Jon Scalzi is a thrilling science fiction mystery. In the near future a virus sweeps through the world population. For a small percentage the result of the disease is a condition known as lock in. They are fully awake and aware, but unable to move their bodies. With 1.7 million Americans affected, new medical technologies emerge, including systems that allow the locked in to use the bodies of the healthy. Things get really tricky when an Integrator (a healthy person hosting a lock in) is found at the scene of a murder. Who is the guilty party-the person who’s body committed the crime or the person who was using the body?

Dori: Judith Flanders’ debut mystery A Murder of Magpies stars Samantha Clair, a London book editor who works all the time and has no time for nonsense. She’s busily editing two books: the first is written by her reliable women’s fiction author but is not up to par – how will she tell her author how horrible it is? The other is a gossipy look at impropriety in the fashion industry by her friend Kit – will she be able to publish it without legal implications? When Kit goes missing and a courier delivering his manuscript is murdered, Inspector Field comes calling and they join forces to try to find Kit and why someone does not want his book published. Funny, with a myriad of characters and a plot that gets a little too convoluted.

Stacey: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella isn’t a straightforward, typical kind of mystery. Readers slowly get to know Audrey and her family in the present but very little is said about the criminal incident that took place before the book begins. Whatever it was -it happened at school and it was very, very bad. Aimed at the teen audience, this book will appeal to anyone looking for an unique and suspenseful mystery.

Next time, we’ll be talking about …Beach Reads! A beach read can be any thing that you’d like to take to the beach (as long as you don’t get the Library’s copy all sandy and wet) or you might like to read on the porch during a lazy summer afternoon! -You can think of this category as a big ol’ freebie!- A pretty sweet deal for a pretty sweet time of year!

Enjoy!
Stacey

RRPL Adult Summer Reading Week 4 Prize Basket June 30, 2015

Posted by Beth in Summer Reading.
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Week 4 coffee lovers

This week’s Adult Summer Reading prize basket features all types of goodies for coffee lovers!   Here are some of the goodies inside of this basket:

-1 pound of Erie Island Coffee
-Erie Island Coffee travel mug
-Coffee mug
-Ghiradelli Mocha Squares
– Starbucks Viva Instant Latte packets
March of the Penguins documentary
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rules of Civility: A Novel by Amor Towles
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

You pick the books, we provide the prizes!   To participate in our Adult Summer Reading Program, sign up here.  As you finish books, log them here.

Rain, Rain, Go Away June 30, 2015

Posted by Beth in Uncategorized.
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Has it rained enough for you this month?  Here in Cleveland we are just about an inch short of recorded setting rain fall for the month of June.  I had the opportunity to drive across the state over the weekend and it sure seems like there is excessive water everywhere.  One good thing about the rain?  Plenty of time to read!

Stay dry and enjoy this down time!

Happy reading!

—Beth

Latest Additions June 29, 2015

Posted by Beth in Fiction.
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Where is your favorite place to read?  I love reading in my solarium.  I can sit back and relax with a great book as the sunshine pours over me.  This weekend I also had the opportunity to read next to Grand Lake at St. Marys State Park.  With the exception of the endless hum of motorboats, and excessive bugs, it was pretty pleasant.

Are you looking for your next book to curl up with in your favorite reading spot?  Check out some of this week’s latest additions to the Reading Room.

miss mayhem
Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins
Place a hold

mondays lie
Monday’s Lie by Jamie Mason
Place a hold

daylight
The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor
Place a hold

diver's clothes
Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida
Place a hold

string wife
The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell
Place a hold

I hope one of these will suit your tastes and find its way to your favorite reading spot.

Happy reading!
—Beth

RRPL Adult Summer Reading Week 3 Prize Basket June 22, 2015

Posted by Beth in Summer Reading.
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Today we are diving into our third week of Summer Reading!  If you haven’t signed up for our Adult Summer Reading Program yet, now is the time!  Click here to sign up and submit book entries for our weekly gift basket raffle. This week our gift basket has the theme of Family Fun Staycation.

staycation week 3

The gift basket includes:

  • 4 Tickets to a Cleveland Gladiators Game
  • Fixings for ice cream sundaes
  • A Mitchell’s Gift Card
  • A frisbee
  • Family Challenge board game
  • Guides to destinations in Northeast Ohio
  • Ohio Road Trips by Neil Zurcher
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Happy (summer) reading!
—Beth

The Perks of Ohio Libraries June 22, 2015

Posted by Beth in Uncategorized.
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We’ve got it good here in Ohio.  The more immersed I become in the library world, the more I realize how little the citizens of Ohio realize just how good we have it when it comes to our libraries.  Did you know as a resident of Ohio you can get a library card at ANY Ohio public library?  It’s true.

I’m so used to the accessibility of Ohio libraries that I didn’t really think about how libraries work in other states. Some of my cousins moved out west and when they were back in Cleveland for a visit last year one of the ongoing topics of conversation was how much they missed the libraries in Ohio.  Not only are the collections of Ohio libraries above and beyond those of their small municipal libraries in Utah, but they are also restricted to only using their local library.

I urge all residents of Ohio to start using your libraries.  Yes, that means any public library you are within range of!  Heck, even if you’re just passing through a city or town, stop in and sign up for a library card.  Just about all Ohio libraries have digital collections that are easily accessed with just your library card number.  I personally collect library cards from around the state.  I’ve found this beneficial when I’m trying to get my hands on an ebook or digital audiobook that is in high demand.  I can see what libraries own it, and request it from any system I have a card for.  Then voila! The title is usually downloaded to my OverDrive bookshelf within a few minutes, even if it was unavailable from my local library.

What does it take for residents of Ohio to sign up for library cards at Ohio public libraries?  Generally, a government issued photo ID, and two other forms of proof of address.  Pieces of mail like utilities bills will work just fine. I keep a few pieces of mail buried in my wallet just in case the opportunity to acquire a new library card presents itself.

If you live in Ohio  now is the time to start exploring the public libraries in your area and the awesome collections and programs that they offer!

—Beth

Latest Additions June 22, 2015

Posted by Beth in Fiction.
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Hooray!  Our Reading Room is back to normal and we’ve been busy filling it up with recently added titles.  Are you looking for some books to take to the beach with you, or perhaps something to cuddle up with on a rainy afternoon?  Here are some of the recently added items to our reading room:

little life
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
Place a hold

girl underwater
Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
Place a hold

Gun street girl
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
Place a hold

how to be both
How to be both by Ali Smith
Place a hold

in the unlikely event

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
Place a hold

Happy Reading!
—Beth

Latest Additions June 15, 2015

Posted by Beth in Fiction, Summer Reading.
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Our Summer Reading Programs are underway and off to a great start!  We already have our first prize basket winner and are ready to start collecting book entries for this upcoming week’s prize basket!  This week our prize basket features the theme of dinner!

Summer Reading basket 2

The basket includes:

-An Italian cookbook
-Spaghetti
-Spaghetti sauce
-Pesto Sauce
-A gift card to Mitchell’s
-A Place to Call Home by Amy Schisler
-Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory

Are you looking for a few suggestions of books to read so you can add more entries into our weekly gift basket raffle?

Check out these latest additions to our Reading Room:

dead key
The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley
Place a hold

edge of dreams
The Edge of Dreams by Rhys Bowen
Place a hold

precious one
The Precious One BY Marisa De los Santos
Place a hold

Happy reading!
—Beth

It’s Ladies Day! -in Women’s Fiction June 9, 2015

Posted by stacey in Book List, Genre Book Discussion, Women's Fiction.
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We recently spent some time thinking about the lives of women and focusing on their relationships with family, friends, and loves -or- we talked about Women’s Fiction! Either way you think about it?It’s true! I think it was a pretty successful discussion with positive responses all around, why not see what you think of what we read?

Maureen: The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister is an absorbing historical debut that takes readers into the world of traveling magic shows in America around 1900. The main character, known as the Amazing Arden, has just been apprehended after a dead man is discovered beneath the stage of her show. The story unfolds backwards as Arden tells her life story to the deputy that catches her and explains how she came to be one of the only female illusionists of her time. Her life is full of heartbreak, love, suspense, and the thrill of performing. Will it turn out that Arden is the perpetrator of the murder? Just who is the mysterious man found dead beneath the stage? A compelling historical novel with a very strong female character that perseveres in the face of many obstacles and learns what she is really made of in the process.

Megan: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters is the story of Olivia Mead, a headstrong teen living in Oregon in 1900. While Olivia is drawn to the suffragist movement and dreams of going to college, her father wants his daughter to be a docile wife and mother. He attempts to silence her by hiring a stage illusionist to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. The experiment has unexpected results. While Olivia is no longer able to speak her mind, she is able to see people’s true natures. The horrifying visions lead her back to the mysterious mesmerist and boost her resolve to fight for women’s rights. A captivating historical fiction with a hint of romance and a touch of the supernatural.

Beth: God Help the Child by Toni Morrison is a beautifully written story about a resilient female character who overcomes her past and finds the courage to take on her future. The story delves into some of the most sensitive, often disturbing, issues we face as a culture, including racism, pedophilia, and rape, all of which play some role in the main character’s life, shaping her into a strong female icon.

Carol: In The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos, Taisy has been estranged from her father Wilson, ever since he left their family to start a new one when she was a high school senior. Sixteen years later, she can’t seem to say ‘no’ when the unabashedly conceited Wilson asks her to write her memoir. The by-product of Wilson’s second marriage is his spoiled and beloved teenage daughter, the precocious Willow. Willow adores their father, but is less than thrilled when Taisy moves into the pool house to begin her research. Worse still is that Willow, who’s been homeschooled all her life, has been enrolled in public school. Desperate for some help with navigating through unchartered waters, Willow might just find that she’s glad Taisy is there after all. This novel about sisterhood, family, love and second chances is a quick read with a happy ending that would make for great beach reading.

Emma: In The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee, Portia has a magical way with food. Just like her grandmother, she knows exactly what to cook/bake to help people. Portia and her two sisters inherited a dilapidated brownstone in Manhattan. Her sisters quickly sold their apartments to wealthy widow Gabriel Kane who renovates the apartments and lives there with his two teenage daughters. Newly divorced Portia decides to leave Texas and move into her portion of the brownstone, the garden apartment. Gabriel’s daughters initially latch on to Portia because she’s a good cook, but eventually Portia becomes close with the girls and their father. Her goal is to open a Texas style restaurant like her grandmother’s “Glass Kitchen” in Manhattan. A mixture of families, romance, family secrets, and tasty recipes.

Steve: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is a splendid book about author Juliet Ashton and her group of unexpected pen pals from Guernsey, who share their stories of life under Nazi occupation during World War II. Juliet ultimately meets her new circle of friends in person and her life undergoes major changes. Although this is a fictional account told in the form of letters, you would swear that these are real people.

Ann: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain is the latest in a long string of the author’s books featuring strong women struggling with relationships and with life. Riley MacPherson returns home to New Bern, North Carolina after her father dies. As she sorts through the house and talks to people who knew her dad, she finds she not only didn’t know him as well as she thought, but unearths layer upon layer of family secrets and questions. There is a startling revelation about her sister. Riley finds her life spiraling almost out of control as she realizes that the family members she thought she knew had hidden so much from her. The story and the characters pull you in and keep you reading late into the night.

Dori: Ani FaNelli is a woman that seems to have it all – she’s clawed her way to a successful career in New York City and is about to marry a handsome, wealthy man. She’s also shallow, mean and deeply unhappy. She’s crafted a persona to hide a traumatic adolescence that involved a news making violent event at her prestigious high school. When she agrees to be interviewed for a documentary about the event, her past unravels and flashbacks reveal the painful truth, but what will Ani do with it? Entrancing the reader from the first page, Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll is a twisty, dark, surprising debut novel.

Lauren: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen features two women facing the ups and downs of family, relationships, and the wounds of the past. Generations ago, Willa’s family was the height of Southern society in their small North Carolina town before being struck by financial ruin. During their heyday they built the Blue Ridge Madam, the town’s grandest mansion, which was subsequently sold and fell into disrepair. Paxton Osgood, Willa’s former classmate and still the quintessential “little Miss Perfect” is the President of the local women’s club and her family has purchased the Madam and Paxton is overseeing it’s restoration in time for the gala of the year. When a body is uncovered during renovations a decades-old mystery is brought to light and the two women are drawn together in delving into their pasts to uncover the truth.

Stacey: Lawyer for the Dog by Lee Robinson had a little romance, a super sweet dog named Sherman, and a powerful main character Sally Barnard. Sally is caring for her mother, who has advanced Alzheimer’s, while managing her own law practice and dealing with a little bit of relationship baggage from the past, which seems unavoidable as Sally’s in her fifties. This would be a good choice for a little light reading on the porch in summertime.

Next time we’re going to be sharing -mysteries! This is one genre I’m pretty sure no one here has any reluctance to read a mystery book and as a bonus feature -they’re really easy to define: a crime has been committed and someone tries to figure out who dunnit! -wa-lah!

Enjoy!

— Stacey

Latest Additions June 8, 2015

Posted by Beth in Fiction, Summer Reading.
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Happy Summer Reading, Rocky River!

Sign up for adult Summer Reading in person or at http://www.rrpl.org.

The first prize basket for the Adult Summer Reading program includes:

  • Sugar scrub
  • Bath salt
  • Face masks
  • Body wash
  • Personal care set
  • Chocolate truffles
  • The Notebook (movie)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
  • Full Throttle by Julie Ann Walker

    spa basket week 1

Looking for some books to read so that you can get some entries in to win our basket?  Check out some of our latest additions to the Reading Room.

string diaries
String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones
Place a hold

before i go
Before I Go by Colleen Oakley
Place a hold

Church of marvels
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
Place a hold

orhan's inher
Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
Place a hold

bookseller
Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
Place a hold

If none of these latest additions strike your fancy, stop by our reference desk for custom suggestions!

Happy reading!

—Beth

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