Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny

All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny catalog link

Fans of Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache know that he is one in a million – kind, thoughtful, and the best detective in the Sûreté du Québec. Over time, Gamache and Penny have attracted more and more fans to the series, and now her 16th novel featuring Gamache, All the Devils are Here, is a #1 New York Times Bestseller. In this new novel, Inspector Gamache travels to Paris, where he must find the person who attacked his wealthy and elderly godfather.

However, along with the surging popularity of the series comes a very long holds list at the library, so your friendly librarians are here again with similar detective series that might remind you of Chief Inspector Gamache. 

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find All the Devils are Here on Overdrive here

Cover Her Face by P. D. James catalog link

Cover Her Face by P. D. James – first novel in the Adam Dalgliesh mystery series

When a sly and sensuous young woman who had used her body and her brains to climb the social ladder is murdered by someone who had clearly decided that the wages of sin should be death, it falls to Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find out who the killer is. 

Cover Her Face Overdrive link

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon catalog link

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon – first novel in the Guido Brunetti mystery series

When renowned opera conductor Helmut Wellauer is found dead in his dressing room, the victim of cyanide poisoning, Guido Brunetti, the Vice Commissario of the Venice Police, must sift through several suspects. 

Death at La Fenice Overdrive link

Death at La Fenice Hoopla link

Murder at the Mendel by Gail Bowen catalog link

Murder at the Mendel by Gail Bowen – second novel in the Joanne Kilbourn mystery series (also known as Love and Murder)

Sally Love’s exhibition at the Mendel Gallery includes a mural depicting the private parts of her past lovers, and when protestors appear in droves, two dead bodies are found, and Sally’s childhood friend, Joanne Kilbourn, must investigate the crimes. 

Murder at the Mendel Overdrive link

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd catalog link

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd – first novel in the Ian Rutledge mystery series

Ian Rutledge returns to his career at Scotland Yard after fighting in the war, still suffering from shell shock. His next case, with a war-ravaged ex-soldier as the witness, could spell disaster for him. 

A Test of Wills Overdrive link

A Test of Wills Hoopla link

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George catalog link

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George –  first novel in the Thomas Lynley mystery series

Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is getting a final chance for a promotion. Because of her abrasive personality, she’s been unable to work with any of the detectives at Scotland Yard. Assigned to work with Inspector Thomas Lynley, whom she despises because of his privileged upbringing, the two head to Yorkshire to investigate the murder of a man by his daughter. She was found sitting by her decapitated father and would only say “I did it. And I’m not sorry”, and she has refused to say another word. The townspeople believe she is innocent, and Lynley and Havers learn to work together as they solve the case.

A Great Deliverance Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Join us next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand catalog link

Just because the weather’s cooling down and turning to autumn doesn’t mean that we can’t still read beach reads! We know that a lot of you are still on the holds list for 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, so we thought we’d recommend some similar authors and titles for you while you wait. 

Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the beach read, as her books are always set on the island of Nantucket, and her newest novel is no different. 28 Summers presents a tale inspired by the film, Same Time Next Year, that follows a man’s discovery of his mother’s long-term relationship with the husband of a Presidential frontrunner. 

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find 28 Summers on Overdrive here

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs catalog link

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

Accompanying her aging father on a trip to his native France, a widowed photographer is led by his memories of World War II to unexpected revelations about their family’s history at the same time she bonds with a handsome American historian. 

Map of the Heart Overdrive link

Map of the Heart Hoopla link

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky catalog link

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Two childhood friends reunite at a summer retreat, each harboring a horrible secret that would test the bounds of their longtime relationship if revealed. 

Sweet Salt Air Overdrive link



Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer catalog link

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

Spending her days at the library and her nights stargazing and contemplating a new relationship, Darcy is unexpectedly drawn into the summertime dramas of three families including those of her recently married ex, a situation that compels Darcy to consider what she truly wants. 

Secrets in Summer Overdrive link

Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank catalog link

Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

Reconnecting on one of Charleston’s most beautiful barrier islands, a pair of former sweethearts rediscover their feelings for one another while their jealous spouses pursue an unexpected attraction of their own over more than 20 years also marked by financial catastrophes, family tragedies and devastating heartbreaks. 

Same Beach, Next Year Overdrive link

Same Beach, Next Year Hoopla link

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin catalog link

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin  

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six-year-old television producer living her dream in New York City. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door…only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had locked away forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s meticulously constructed world will be shaken to its core, resurrecting memories of a passionate young love affair that threatens everything that has come to define her. 

Where We Belong Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist. 

Join us next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club! 

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List by Lucy Foley catalog link

It’s that time: another installment of the ‘Virtual Book Club: Really Long Holds List’ edition! This week we’re looking at books to read while you wait for The Guest List by Lucy Foley, which looks to be shaping up to be the new hot thriller for fall, as it is both a New York Times Bestseller and a pick for Reese Witherspoon’s book club.

A locked room mystery set on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, The Guest List is generating lots of buzz. An expertly planned celebrity wedding between a rising television star and an ambitious magazine publisher is thrown into turmoil by petty jealousies, a college drinking game, the bride’s ruined dress and an untimely murder. Sounds good, right? But of course, the holds list is long, so we’ve brought you readalikes to keep you busy while you wait.

Click any of the book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find The Guest List on Overdrive here.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware catalog link

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Reluctantly accepting an old friend’s invitation to spend a weekend on the English countryside, reclusive writer Leonora awakens in a hospital badly injured, unable to recall what happened and confronting a growing certainty that someone involved has died.

In a Dark, Dark Wood Overdrive link


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie catalog link

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Ten houseguests, trapped on an isolated island, are the prey of a diabolical killer. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion: Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine–When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale?

And Then There Were None Overdrive link

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz catalog link

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

“From New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz comes Magpie Murders, a brilliant and strikingly original reimagining of the classic whodunit (a la Agatha Christie) with a contemporary mystery wrapped around it”–.

Magpie Murders Overdrive link


The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda catalog link

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

When her longtime best friend is found murdered, a woman combs through her idyllic Maine tourist community to uncover local secrets and clear her name of suspicion.

The Last House Guest Overdrive link


Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris catalog link

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

The friends of a seemingly perfect socialite couple begin to see cracks in the facade when they realize that the husband and wife are never apart and that there are bars on one of their upstairs windows.

Behind Closed Doors Overdrive link


All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Join us every Sunday for new editions of the virtual book club!

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

If you’re like a lot of us, when you heard that Christina Baker Kline, author of bestselling historical novel The Orphan Train, was coming out with a new novel, you hopped on that holds list for The Exiles immediately. But now it’s going to be a long, long wait for your book! Not to worry, your friendly librarians are here to help. Below we’ve got five similar books that should help tide you over until your copy comes in.  

If you don’t know what The Exiles is about, no problem! In this gorgeous novel, Christina Baker Kline brilliantly recreates the beginnings of a new society in a beautiful and challenging land, telling the story of Australia from a fresh perspective, through the experiences of Evangeline, Hazel, and Mathinna.

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find The Exiles on Overdrive here

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg

A novel spanning decades, generations and America in the 1940s and today, centers around five women who worked in a Phillips 66 gas station during the WWII years. 

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion Overdrive link




Love and Ruin by Paula McClain

Love and Ruin by Paula McClain

The author of The Paris Wife returns to her fan-favorite subject, Ernest Hemingway, in a tale set on the eve of World War II that is inspired by his passionate, stormy marriage to a fiercely independent, ambitious young Martha Gellhorn, who would become one of the 20th century’s leading war correspondents.

Love and Ruin Overdrive link


Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough

Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough weaves a sweeping story of two sets of twins–all trained as nurses but each with her own ambitions–stepping into womanhood in 1920s and ’30s Australia. Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. Yet these vivacious young women each have their own dreams for themselves. They are famous throughout New South Wales for their beauty, wit, and ambition, but as they step into womanhood, they are not enthusiastic about the limited prospects life holds for them. Together they decide to enroll in a training program for nurses–a new option for women of their time who have previously been largely limited to the role of wives, and preferably mothers. 

Bittersweet Overdrive link

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue

A novel set in 1918 Dublin offers a three-day look at a maternity ward during the height of the Great Flu pandemic. 

The Pull of the Stars Overdrive link




Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate 

A tale inspired by firsthand accounts about the notoriously corrupt Tennessee Children’s Home Society follows the efforts of a Baltimore assistant D.A. to uncover her parents’ fateful secrets in the wake of a political attack and a chance encounter with a stranger. 

Before We Were Yours Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist. 

Join us next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club! 

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

If you follow publishing news, then you know that the #1 New York Times bestselling Own Voices novel The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett has been generating a ton of buzz in the literary world. But that also means that the holds list for it at the library is long … very long. So while you wait for your prized copy of the book, we thought we’d put together a list of similar titles for you to read!

If you’ve never heard of The Vanishing Half, no problem! The book stars Black twin sisters: one who lives as a Black woman in the town where they grew up, and the other who passes as white, with a white husband who has no idea she is Black. Both have children, and who knows what will happen when their lives intersect. This is a timely novel and deserves all of the praise it’s been getting, but it may be difficult to get your hands on it at the library any time soon.

Click any of the readalike book covers below to be taken to our catalog, where you can request a copy of the book with your library card number and PIN. We’ve also included links to our e-media services Overdrive and Hoopla where available. You can find The Vanishing Half on Overdrive here. We guarantee that any of the books below will come in faster!

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

In a near-future South where an increasing number of people with dark skin endure cosmetic procedures to pass as white, a father embarks on an obsessive quest to protect his son, who bears a dark, spreading birthmark.

We Cast a Shadow Overdrive link


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters, unknown to each other, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana and experience profoundly different lives and legacies throughout subsequent generations marked by wealth, slavery, war, coal mining, the Great Migration and the realities of 20th-century Harlem.

Homegoing Overdrive link


The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy 

Learning after a half-century of family life that their house on Detroit’s East Side is worth only a fraction of its mortgage, the members of the Turner family gather to reckon with their pasts and decide the house’s fate.

The Turner House Hoopla link

The Turner House Overdrive link

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Explores the legacy of racial disparity in the South through the story of three generations of an African American family in New Orleans.

A Kind of Freedom Hoopla link

A Kind of Freedom Overdrive link

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

In 1980s Atlanta, James Witherspoon is living a double life. He has two families, a public one and a secret one. When the daughters from each family become friends, James’ secrets are revealed and lives are changed forever.

Silver Sparrow Hoopla link

Silver Sparrow Overdrive link

All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Join us next week for another installment of the Virtual Book Club!

Virtual Book Club – #OwnVoices Alternatives to American Dirt

While the book American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins has had its share of success – debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list, selected for Oprah’s book club – it has also had a quite large (and justified) share of controversy. It is a novel about the experiences of a Mexican migrant, written by a white American woman, praised by many review sites for being an ‘authentic’ novel about the border crisis.

What this novel actually does is steal the spotlight from books written by Latinx and Mexican authors. For more information on the controversy, click here. In light of this, as our patrons are starting to come back to the library and may want to read Cummins’ book, we thought we’d share some excellent alternatives that are written by members of the Latinx community.

For all of the books below, click on the cover to be taken to our catalog, where you can place the book on hold with your library card number and PIN. Links to our ebook services have been included where available.

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

An award-winning poet chronicles his experiences of growing up undocumented in the United States, describing how his family and his attempt to establish an adult life were heartbreakingly complicated by racist policies. 

Overdrive link



Where We Come From by Oscar Casares

Where We Come From by Oscar Cásares 

Moving to his godmother’s volatile Texas border town after his mother’s sudden death, a 12-year-old Mexican-American boy discovers a young illegal immigrant taking shelter in his godmother’s home before their shared desire for independence puts all of them at risk. 



Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras 

Follows a sheltered girl and a teen maid, who forge an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both amid the violence of 1990s Columbia. 

Overdrive link



Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine  

A debut story collection about female relationships and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands features Latina protagonists of indigenous descent who cautiously navigate the violence and changes in a Denver, Colorado community. 

Overdrive link



With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Navigating the challenges of finishing high school while caring for a daughter, talented cook Emoni Santiago struggles with a lack of time and money that complicate her dream of working in a professional kitchen. 

Overdrive link


All plot summaries courtesy of Novelist.

Join us next Sunday for the next installment of the virtual book club!

Virtual Book Club – Readalikes for Where the Crawdads Sing

Still trying to get a copy of 2018’s smash hit novel Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens? Us too! Don’t know what Crawdads is about? We’ve got you there too: viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a tragedy, a beautiful hermit who has survived for years in a marsh becomes targeted by unthinkable forces. This book has topped the New York Times Bestseller list for over 30 weeks and was also selected for Reese Witherspoon’s book club.

While you wait, try one of the novels below! They are recommended by our librarians as being similar in feel to Crawdads. Click any book cover for a link to our library catalog, where you can put the book on hold with your library card number and PIN. And we know they’ll probably come in faster than Crawdads! Links to our ebook services have been included where available. 

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Her world upended by the death of a beloved artist uncle who was the only person who understood her, fourteen-year-old June is mailed a teapot by her uncle’s grieving friend, with whom June forges a poignant relationship. 

Overdrive link





My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Enduring an isolated existence after the death of her mother, 14-year-old Turtle roams the rocky shores and tide pools of the California coast and refutes every outside attempt to engage her before an unexpected friendship with a newcomer helps her realize the vulnerabilities of her life with her charismatic father.

Overdrive link


Let's No One Get Hurt by Jon Pineda

Let’s No One Get Hurt by Jon Pineda

A teenage girl squatting in an abandoned boathouse with her disgraced college professor father in the swamps of the American South begins an unbalanced relationship with the rich, bratty son of a developer who has bought the property. 





A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

Jess Hall, growing up deep in the heart of an unassuming mountain town that believes in protecting its own, is plunged into an adulthood for which he is not prepared when his autistic older brother, Stump, sneaks a look at something he isn’t supposed to, which has catastrophic repercussions. 

Overdrive link



Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen

Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen

Coming of age in a dwindling 1960s farming community in eastern Pennsylvania, Mimi struggles with profound family secrets and the pain of falling in love with the wrong person against a backdrop of dynamic historical periods.

Overdrive link





All book summaries courtesy of Novelist. Check back next Sunday for our next ‘Readalikes’ installment of the Virtual Book Club!

Virtual Book Club – Difficult Topics – Opioid Crisis

With everything going on in the world, it is easy to forget that Ohio is still in the middle of the opioid epidemic. Ohio is considered “ground zero” in the ongoing crisis, so for this week’s virtual book club, we thought we’d spotlight books to start the conversation, as well as local organizations that need your help and further information and reading from various authorities on the matter. 

Click on any of the book covers below to be taken to the library’s catalog, where you can place a hold on any of the books with your library card number and PIN. Links to our ebook service Overdrive have been included where available. 

Books to start the conversation:

Title: This is Ohio : the overdose crisis and the front lines of a new America
Author: Shuler, Jack
Note: This Is Ohio will be released on Sept. 8, 2020.

Local organizations: 

St. Vincent Charity Rosary Hall 

Salvation Army Harbor Light

Hitchcock Center for Women

Stella Maris 

Community Assessment and Treatment Services 

More information: 

Ohio State University Extension has an extensive page of resources on the opiate epidemic in Ohio. You can also find facts on statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse here. Lastly, Ohio Guidestone, an addiction treatment center, has an article with sobering facts on the opioid crisis in Ohio.

Stay tuned next Sunday for our next virtual book club post! 

Virtual Book Club – Native American Voices

For this week’s virtual book club, we’re looking at books written by indigenous peoples. What better time than now, especially with the controversy around changing the name of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Though the First Nations peoples who lived in Ohio were largely forced out of the state by settlers, it is estimated that 0.3% of Ohio’s population is American Indian – around 350,000 people, or the total population of Toledo. Find more information here, from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Below we’ve got books to start the discussion, local organizations that need your support, and some more information about the Native American mascot debate. Click on any title to be taken to our catalog, where you can put a hold on the book to be picked up at the Library. Hoopla links are included in the captions where available, and as always, books from Hoopla are ready whenever you are with your library card number and PIN. 

Books to start the discussion 

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer
The Only Good Indians: a Novel by Stephen Graham Jones

Local organizations to support: 

Lake Erie Native American Council

Cleveland American Indian Movement

North American Indian Cultural Center

Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance

Lake Erie Professional Chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society

More information:  

For more information on the psychosocial effects of Native American mascots, see this scientific journal article from Race Ethnicity and Education, here. The American Psychological Association has also recommended the retirement of these mascots, which you can find here. Lastly, find here an opinion column on Native American mascots published last week on Cleveland.com.

Check back next week for another installment of our virtual book club on difficult topics!

Virtual Book Club – Difficult Topics – Incarceration

This week in social justice topics, we’re looking at mass incarceration, reentry, and recidivism. While people of all races are incarcerated, African Americans are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of whites, so many of the books below deal specifically with the Black experience (for more information, see the NAACP’s Crimincal Justice Fact Sheet). To see our past virtual book club post on racism, click here. These two virtual book club posts go hand in hand.

Below we’ve got books to start the discussion, local organizations that need your aid, and further recommended reading. To check out any of the books below, have your library card number and PIN ready, and click on one of the book covers to be taken to Hoopla, one of our ebook services. From there, you can check out your book at any time, with no holds lists and no waiting! 

Books to start the discussion: 

Local organizations to support: 

North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center

Aspire Greater Cleveland

Cleveland Eastside Ex-Offender Coalition

Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry

Oriana House

Further resources: 

The question of mass incarceration is a complicated one. For some quick facts and figures on reentry and recidivism, check out The Challenges of Prisoner Reentry: Facts and Figures from the Urban Institute, a fact sheet on Barriers to Successful Re-entry of Formerly Incarcerated People, and a former incarcerated person’s personal account of reentry from the ACLU.

Check back next Sunday for our next difficult topic in social justice!