New mystery

   

The Desert Flowers Detective Agency is at it again. This time Tanya Cook, pretending to be a home health care aide, is fleecing her clients. Detective Poppy Harmon poses as a weakened elderly widow needing assistance and hires Tanya as her aide. It is a trap. Tanya and her two partners are arrested. Someone does not want Poppy to testify in court and attempts to kill her. Sadly, her neighbor is killed when the woman borrows Poppy’s car, and it goes over a cliff. Poppy’s new air conditioner unit explodes after a phony technician supposedly repairs it. Most people assume Poppy died in that explosion

Poppy masquerades as Matt Flowers’ advisor, his elderly Aunt Bea, when he appears on a reality show titled “My Dream Man”. Matt and Poppy fear that Jesse, the bachelorette on the show, is the stalker’s next target.

These quick cozy mysteries are fun to read.

Desert Flowers Mystery series

Poppy Harmon Investigates – 2018

Poppy Harmon and the Hung Jury – 2019

Poppy Harmon and the Pillow Talk Killer – 2021

Poppy Harmon and the Backstabbing Bachelor – 2022

~Emma



  
   

It’s Fall!

Welcome, Autumn Equinox! As we enter chillier fall days, visit pumpkin patches, and begin to don our cozy sweaters, let’s remember we are also entering spooky season!  

On this day in 1692, the last witches were hanged in the Salem Witch Trials. Seven women and one man were hanged on September 22, 1692, totaling about twenty lives taken. After this set of executions, public opinion began to shift and witch trials subsided. Over 250 years later, Massachusetts formally apologized for the events in the late 1600s. Now Salem has plenty of witchy attractions, to educate and entertain visitors, from the official courthouse documents at the Peabody Essex Museum to the witch wax models at the Salem Wax Museum. 

Embrace your inner witch and get the most out of spooky season with these titles: 

In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women are Still on Trial by Mona Chollet 

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill 

The Salem Witch Trials: A Primary Source History of the Witchcraft Trials in Salem, Massachusetts by Jenny MacBain 

The Crucible by Arthur Miller 

A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts by J.W. Ocker 

The Path of the Witch: Rituals & Practices for Discovering Which Witch You Are by Lidia Pradas 

-Linnea

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here we have some new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week! 

Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer – In this highly anticipated follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Less: A Novel, Arthur Less, after the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis, sets out on a literary adventure across the U.S. during which he must finally face his personal demons.

Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout – Former married couple now lifelong friends, New Yorkers Lucy Barton and William, as a panicked world goes into lockdown, hunker down in a little house in Maine on the edge of the sea where they are faced with fear, struggles and isolation as well as hope, peace and possibilities.

The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman – While Elizabeth is presented with a deadly mission—kill or be killed—the Thursday Murder Club and their unlikely new friends, including TV stars, money launderers and ex-KGB colonels, investigate two murders, 10 years apart, and must catch the culprit and save Elizabeth before the murderer strikes again.

A Truth to Lie For by Anne Perry – Britain’s MI6 sends Elena Standish on a dangerous mission to smuggle a breakthrough weapon in germ warfare out of Germany before the developers can tell Hitler it exists in the fourth novel of the series following A Darker Reality.

Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks – After his own musical career was tragically roadblocked, Colby Mills meets and falls for a graduate of a prestigious college music program looking to become a star in Nashville, in the new novel from the best-selling author of The Wish.

Drunk on Love by Jasmine Guillory – Accidentally and unknowingly having a one-night stand with her new employee the night before his first day, stressed out Napa Valley winery owner Margot Nobel tries to keep things purely professional, but fails miserably.

Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson – Bringing his cosmic perspective to civilization on Earth, an astrophysicist discusses the scientific palette that sees and paints the world differently, sharing insights on resolving global conflict to reminders of how precious it is to be alive in a universe stimulating a deeper sense of unity for us all.

Suspect by Scott Turow – Investigating the high-profile case of police chief Lucia Gomez, who is accused of soliciting sex for promotions to higher ranks, P.I. Clarice “Pinky” Granum must unravel the dark secrets of the people closest to Gomez, drawing her into the deepest recesses of the city’s criminal networks.

~Semanur

Fall into New Fiction

Mika in Real Life
by Emiko Jean

Mika Suzuki is 35, single, and broke, living in her best friend’s house and has just lost her most recent job. She is floored when she receives a phone call from Penny, the daughter she gave up for adoption 16 years previously when Mika was a college freshman. The two begin to talk regularly and truly start to bond. Mika is overjoyed to get this chance to connect with her birth daughter, but when Penny decides she wants to visit Mika in Portland, Oregon, Mika panics.

Mika, ashamed of her life, has lead Penny to believe that she owns her own home, is a successful art gallery owner, and has a long-term boyfriend. To prevent a catastrophe, Mika’s friends decide to help her construct her fabricated dream-life for Penny’s visit —one that quickly falls apart when Penny discovers Mika hasn’t been honest.

As Mika wrestles with how to repair their new relationship, she must confront issues from her past, including her family’s immigration from Japan when she was young, her relationship with her impossible-to-please mother, and the circumstances of Penny’s birth. Mika also needs to decide what to do about her budding feelings for Thomas, Penny’s adopted, widowed father. As Mika spends more time with Penny and Thomas and begins to work on herself, she wonders if she will ever feel she deserves good things.

Mika in Real Life by Emiko Jean is a smart, endearing, and sometimes funny novel about relationships between mothers and daughters, the power of good friendships, and learning to love oneself. Mika is a flawed and realistic character that you’ll root for from the first page. Pick up Mika in Real Life and prepare to be surprised by this tender and sincere story.

-Carol

New Fiction

In November 2016 three momentous things happened. Donald Trump was elected president; the Chicago Cubs won the World Series; and Bud Sullivan died. Bud and Rose Sullivan were owners of JP Sullivan’s, a restaurant and bar in Oak Park, Illinois for decades. Three generations lived and breathed the restaurant. After Bud dies, the extended family is particularly concerned for Rose as she enters assisted living. Without Bud, the restaurant is floundering. Teddy would love to take control, but no one seems to listen to him. After Rose’s death it is suggested that the grandchildren invest their inheritance to update Sullivan’s. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be interest in that. Gretchen, Jane, and Teddy have other plans for their money and not everyone agrees.

I was curious about the title of the book and was unfamiliar with the phrase. A bittersweet story full of family drama.

marrying the ketchup

~Emma

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which will last until October 15. On September 15, Mexico celebrates their independence from Spain, with most Central American countries celebrating on September 16, and Chile celebrating on September 18. It is a time for the United States to acknowledge and commemorate the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans. The influence of Central America is everywhere in the United States, from food to culture to language.  

Interested in cooking? Try these Mexican cookbooks: 

Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen by Esteban Castillo 

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in México by Ricky Martínez 

Plant Powered Mexican: Fast, Fresh Recipes from a Mexican-American Kitchen by Kate Ramos  

Planning your next vacation? Explore Central America and beyond: 

Lonely Planet’s Best of Central America 

Fodor’s Essential Chile

Footprint: Belize, Guatemala & Southern Mexico

Love history? There’s plenty to learn: 

Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration by Alfredo Corchado 

Diego Rivera by Pete Hamill 

Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernández-Armesto 

El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson

And of course, there are plenty of authors with rich bibliographies to further expand our appreciation: 

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Violeta by Isabel Allende 

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez 

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 

-Linnea

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

There are many exciting new book releases coming and you don’t want to miss it…

Blowback by James Patterson & Brendan Dubois – Two CIA agents find their loyalties divided between chain of command and the Constitution when their former Director, now the President of the United States, asks them to carry out a clandestine power grab with deadly consequences.

Lessons by Ian McEwan – With his life constantly in flux as he lives through many historic upheavals, Roland Baines, haunted by lost opportunities, searches for comfort through music, literature, friends, sex, politics and love, struggling against global events beyond his control that have shaped his existence and memories.

The Net Beneath Us by Carol Dunbar – A timely story of one woman persevering in the natural world. In the wake of her husband’s logging accident, Elsa, while caring for their two small children in an unfinished house in the woods of rural Wisconsin, forges her own relationship with the land and learns to accept help from the people and places she least expects.

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams – An aspiring lifestyle influencer saddled with a terrible and wayward boyfriend, 30-year-old Dimple Pennington has never felt so alone in her life until a dramatic event brings her half siblings crashing back into her life, forcing them all to reconnect with the absent father they never really knew.

Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv – Raising fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress, the author draws on deep, original reporting as well as unpublished journals and memoirs to write about people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are.

What If? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe – Filled with crazy science, endless curiosity and the author’s signature stick-figure comics, this practical guide for impractical ideas consults the latest research to concisely answer reader’s questions, demonstrating you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.

Act of Oblivion by Robert Harris – Follows General Edward Whalley’s and his son-in law Colonel William Goffe’s flight to America in 1660 after their involvement in the beheading of King Charles I in the new novel from the best-selling author of Fatherland.

Mosquito Bowl, The: A Game of Life and Death in World War II by Buzz Bissinger – This extraordinary, never-before-told story of WWII follows two U.S. Marine Corps regiments, comprised of some of the greatest football talent, as they played each other in a football game in the dirt and coral of Guadalcanal known as “The Mosquito Bowl” before they faced the darkest and deadliest days at Okinawa.

Oath of Loyalty by Vince Flynn & Kyle Mills – When the president’s power-hungry security adviser betrays him by leaking the true identity of his partner, Claudia Gold, Mitch Rapp, racing to neutralize the enemies conspiring against her, is faced with the seemingly impossible task of finding and stopping a killer whose business model is based on double-blind secrecy.

~Semanur

A Book You’ll Love-Love

Were you among the 6.9 million people who watched Serena Williams play her probable-last tennis match at the U.S. Open last week? If so, you helped break a record. It was the largest audience of any tennis match in ESPN’s 43-year history! And, while this year’s action wrapped up at Arthur Ashe Stadium yesterday, fear not, you can still get your tennis on. Just pick up this winner of book, Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Carrie Soto is a tennis legend who rises to fame in the 1980s under the coaching of her father Javier. She is fierce and unrelenting, and her determination to win and unapologetic style of play have earned her the nickname, “the Battle Axe” and made her unlikable to most of her competitors and plenty of fans. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world, having shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. Now, it is 1994 and at age 37, Carrie has been retired from tennis for six years. When she learns that seasoned-player Nicki Chan is attempting to break her record, Carrie decides to come out from retirement to defend her status. Will she be able to reclaim her place in tennis history against the odds?

Carrie Soto Is Back is more than just a book about a fictional tennis player. This novel explores the ups and downs that accompany celebrity and the double standard that exists between how men and women are treated in the world of sports. It is also a story of personal growth that features a beautiful father/daughter relationship, a slow-building romance, and a complex protagonist who struggles with how she presents herself and is seen. Readers of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones and the Six and Malibu Rising will recognize some cross-over characters in Carrie’s story, finishing the author’s “quartet” on women and fame. Carrie Soto is Back, like those others, can be read independently, but why not deep dive into all of these smart and compelling novels that put women front and center?

-Carol

New Historical Fiction

The Manhattan Girls: A Novel of Dorothy Parker and her Friends

It is the Jazz Age in New York City when Dorothy Parker and three other prominent professionals form a bridge club. Jane Grant is the first woman reporter at the New York Times. She is determined to launch a new magazine she calls The New Yorker. Winifred Lenihan is a beautiful and talented Broadway star. Peggy Leach is a magazine assistant at Conde Nast by day and a brilliant novelist by night. These four women form a firm friendship and part of their friendship includes keeping Dottie safe from herself. She attempts suicide twice.

Name-dropping and drama are important parts of this novel. Wild drinking parties despite Prohibition and infidelity also play a main role in this fast-paced book.

~Emma

“Live long and prosper!”

Fifty six years ago, Star Trek made its television debut on NBC. Featuring William Shatner, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Leonard Nimoy, and a host of other formidable actors, the original show has spawned numerous iterations, including spin-off television series, films, magazines, exhibitions, and books. Love of Star Trek spans generations, creating communities with each new release. Even if you’re not a “Trekkie”, there’s no getting around the fact that Star Trek has had quite the impact on popular culture.  

I’ve compiled a few books that are sure to interest any Trekkie, and hopefully reach the non-Trekkies too! 

The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack 

Interested in the newer generations of Star Trek but not sure how to get started? Try this prequel novel about Star Trek: Picard, from 2020. You’ll be introduced to Picard and a new cast of characters, bringing your Star Trek knowledge up to par.  

Leonard: My Fifty-year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner  

William Shatner expounds upon his professional and personal relationship with Leonard Nimoy in this biography, published about a year after Nimoy’s death.  

Live Long and …: What I Learned Along the Way by William Shatner 

Shatner also wrote an autobiography that goes beyond just his experiences as Captain Kirk. From motorcycle trips to stage productions to grappling with the uncertainty of life, Shatner explores it all in reflections full of humor and vulnerability. 

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei 

George Takei is well-known for his acting roles in Star Trek and as a fierce LGBTQ+ activist. Born to Japanese-American parents, their family was forcibly imprisoned in a Japanese interment camp during World War II. This graphic novel memoir depicts Takei’s experiences in the camp, as a young child trying to make the most of the situation and grappling with horrific atrocities. A must-read for anyone, Trekkie or otherwise. 

Phasers on Stun!: How the Making (and Remaking) of Star Trek Changed the World by Ryan Britt 

Whether you’ve been with Star Trek since the beginning or you’ve never seen a single episode, Ryan Britt’s in-depth look into the Star Trek phenomenon will provide insight into this illustrious franchise.  

The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay That Became The Classic Star Trek Episode by Scott Tipton 

One of the most beloved episodes of Star Trek, with the original script by Harlan Ellison, adapted into a graphic novel. Fans will love being able to see how the script changed into what is seen on screen. 

-Linnea