19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tracy

Quentins by Maeve Binchy, read by Tracy, on 03/08/2014

Maeve Binchy follows the enormous success of Scarlet Feather with a new book, Quentins, that delivers the hallmark storytelling that has kept her millions of fans happy for more than twenty years.

Is it possible to tell the story of a generation and a city through the history of a restaurant? Ella Brady thinks so. She wants to film a documentary about Quentins that will capture the spirit of Dublin from the 1970s to the present day. After all, the restaurant saw the people of a city become more confident in everything, from their lifestyles to the food that they chose to eat. And Quentins has a thousand stories to tell: tales of love, of betrayal, of revenge; of times when it looked ready for success and of times when it seemed as if it must close in failure.

In Maeve Binchy’s magical new book you will meet new friends and old. The twins from Scarlet FeatherSignora from Evening Class, and Ria from Tara Road all drop by, as do a host of new friends-Mon, the ever-cheerful Australian waitress, and Blouse Brennan, whose simplicity disguises a sharp mind and a heart of gold.

Quentins is presided over by the apparently unflappable Patrick and Brenda Brennan, whose efforts have made the place a legend in the life of Dubliners and visitors alike. But even the Brennans have a story, and a problem, that is hidden from the public gaze.

As Ella uncovers more and more of what has gone on at Quentins, she begins to question the wisdom of capturing it all in a documentary. Are there some stories that are too sacred to be told, some secrets that must be kept? By getting to know the people that pass through the doors of Quentins, Ella has finally gotten to know herself.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

House of Stone by Barbara Michaels, read by Tracy, on 03/05/2014

When young professor of English Karen Holloway happens on a privately printed volume of verse dating from the early nineteenth century, it’s all in a day’s work. But when a battered manuscript bearing the same mysterious attribution, “Ismene, ” turns up, Karen realizes that it is an important discovery that could be the making of her academic career. Karen immerses herself in a headlong search for the true identity of the unknown author, tracking the provenance of the manuscript to Virginia’s historic Tidewater region. She is not alone in her quest; academic rivals shadow her steps, trying to gain possession of the valuable manuscript, and the locals are more inquisitive about her activities than seems natural. Fortunately, Karen has the help of her eccentric and able mentor, Peggy, whose historical expertise proves to be invaluable. And, as she painstakingly deciphers the crabbed, charred pages, she begins to wonder whether she has the assistance of Ismene herself. Is the tale of Gothic horror that Ismene tells not a novel but a memoir, the very possession of which may jeopardize Karen’s life? Ismene’s legacy calls out from the past, from an eerie world fraught with terrifying impressions of fire and ice that will not die until the painful truths that inhabit houses of stone are revealed.

19. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Death of a Policeman by M.C. Beaton, read by Tracy, on 03/01/2014

Local police stations all over the Scottish Highlands are being threatened with closure. This presents the perfect opportunity for Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who would love nothing more than to get rid of Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. Blair suggests that Cyril Sessions, a keen young police officer, visit the town of Lochdubh to monitor exactly what Macbeth does every day. Macbeth hears about Blair’s plan and is prepared to insure that Cyril returns back to headquarters with a full report. But Cyril is soon found dead and Hamish quickly becomes the prime suspect in his murder.

26. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tracy

I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe, read by Tracy, on 02/20/2014

An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband, inspired by the letters of a remarkable female soldier who fought in the Civil War.

Rosetta doesn’t want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they’ll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she’s always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she’s told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.

With the army desperate for recruits, Rosetta has no trouble volunteering, although she faces an incredulous husband. She drills with the men, proves she can be as good a soldier as anyone, and deals with the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s while their marriage is tested by broken conventions, constant danger, and war, and she fears discovery of her secret even as they fight for their future, and for their lives. Inspired by more than 250 documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.

26. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson, read by Tracy, on 02/14/2014

In this outstanding first novel, Craig Johnson draws on his background in law enforcement and his deep attachment to the American West to produce a literary mystery of stunning authenticity, and full of memorable characters.

Walt Longmire, sheriff of Wyoming’s Absaroka County, knows he’s got trouble when Cody Pritchard is found dead. Two years earlier, Cody and three accomplices had been given suspended sentences for raping a Northern Cheyenne girl. Is someone seeking vengeance? Longmire faces one of the more volatile and challenging cases in his twenty-four years as sheriff and means to see that revenge, a dish that is best served cold, is never served at all.

26. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Horror, Tracy

Blockade Billy by Stephen King, read by Tracy, on 02/06/2014

Even the most die-hard baseball fans don’t know the true story of William “Blockade Billy” Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first–and only–player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game’s history.

Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse… and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.

Includes bonus story, “Morality.”

26. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Walker in Shadows by Barbara Michaels, read by Tracy, on 02/02/2014

The house next door to Pat Robbins—eerily identical to the home Pat shares with her college-aged son, Mark—has been empty for years, the darkness within seeming to warn all to stay away. Now new tenants are moving in: affable Josef Friedrichs and his lovely daughter, Kathy, who has stolen Mark’s heart on first glance. But something is not right—something old and secret lurking in the shadows that fresh paint and new furnishings cannot mask or exorcise. There is evil alive in the heart of the house next door—and it means to feed on the fears of two families . . . and drag Kathy Friedrichs with it into peril.

18. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Case of the Ice Cold Hands by Erle Stanley Gardner, read by Tracy, on 02/15/2014

Supposed You had Embezzeld Some Money –
and bet it on the nose on a long shot, at fifty to one. And the horse came in first. With your winnings you could easily replace the money you had embezzled and still have a big profit. But when you went to cash in your winning tickets, your employer was there with a cop to arrest you for embezzlement – and to take over your winnings. According to him, the money had always been his and the fact that you had made a lucky bet and intended to replace the money you had “borrowed” wouldn’t stop you from going to jail or him from collecting the profits. Would that be cause for murder?

18. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Do or Diner by Christine Wenger, read by Tracy, on 02/12/2014

When Trixie Matkowski agrees to take over her aunt’s diner, she pictures lakeside views and delicious comfort food in the small town where she spent summers as a child. But the sweet scene turns sour when someone puts murder on the menu…

Trixie is in need of a fresh start away from her cheating ex-husband, but she may be biting off more than she can chew when she moves to upstate New York to run her family’s famed Silver Bullet Diner. Not only is she caught off guard by the small town’s resident heartthrob, Deputy Ty Brisco, but her first health inspection turns into a nightmare…when the inspector keels over in his Blue Plate Special.

It seems someone made a deadly addition to an old family recipe, and Trixie is determined to find out whodunit. But between serving up orders and sniffing out clues, she’d better watch her back—or her next meal might be her last.

Includes recipes!

18. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Tracy

Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels, read by Tracy, on 02/09/2014

When an antique bridal quilt appears under mysterious circumstances at the vintage clothing shop where Rachel Grant works, she is fascinated. She has never been able to resist handmade textiles from the past, for she believes that through the ages, women wove protective magic into their fabrics in order to mark the important events of their lives: birth, marriage, and death.

But there is more than good in the quilt’s magic power. Day by day Rachel sees and feels the power growing, as she senses the quilt influencing her thoughts and actions. Much as Rachel’s logical mind longs to deny the supernatural, the aura of evil coming from the quilt is terrifyingly real, and it seems to carry a sinister legacy into the lives of the people Rachel loves.

18. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Execution by Dick Wolf, read by Tracy, on 02/06/2014

NYPD Detective Jeremy Fisk must make an uneasy ally – the disturbingly beautiful and assertive Mexican Intelligence Agency Detective Cecilia Garza. She recognizes the signature of assassin Chuparosa – a hummingbird carved on a corpse. After years of pursuit, she knows only that he is heading to Manhattan – with the rest of the world for UN Week.

Ten days after the Mexican presidential election, 23 bodies were found beheaded on the US border, each carved by Chuparosa. Near New York, Rockaway has a mass murder. There is more to this threat than meets the eye — and justice is not always blind.

18. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Tracy

Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani, read by Tracy, on 02/02/2014

BIG CHERRY HOLLER, the extraordinary sequel to BIG STONE GAP, takes us back to the mountain life that enchanted us in Adriana Trigiani’s best selling debut novel. It’s been eight years since the town pharmacist and long time spinster Ave Maria Mulligan married coal miner Jack MacChesney. With her new found belief in love and its possibilities, Ave Maria makes a life for herself and her growing family, hoping that her fearless leap into commitment will make happiness stay. What she didn’t count on was that fate, life, and the ghosts of the past would come to haunt her and, eventually, test the love she has for her husband. The mountain walls that have protected her all of her life can not spare Ave Maria the life lessons she must learn.

BIG CHERRY HOLLER is the story of a marriage, revealing the deep secrets, the power struggle, the betrayal and the unmet expectations that exist between husband and wife. It is the story of a community that must reinvent itself as it comes to grips with the decline of the coal mining industry. It is the story of an extended family, the people of Big Stone Gap, who are there for one another especially when times are toughincluding bookmobile librarian and sexpert Iva Lou Wade Makin, savvy businesswoman Pearl Grimes, crusty cashier Fleeta Mullins, and Rescue Squad captain Spec Broadwater, who faces the complications of his double life. Ave Maria’s best friend Theodore Tipton, now band director at the University of Tennessee, continues to be her chief counselor and conscience as he reaches the pinnacle of marching band success.

When Ave Maria takes her daughter to Italy for the summer, she meets a handsome stranger who offers her a life beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Ave Maria is forced to confront what is truly important: to her, to her marriage, and to her family. Brimming with humor, wisdom, honesty, and the drama and local color of mountain life from Virginia to Italy, BIG CHERRY HOLLER is a deeply felt, brilliantly evoked story of two lovers who have lost their way and their struggle to find one another again.

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

No Mans Nightingale by Ruth Rendell, read by Tracy, on 01/24/2014

A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovers her body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, detective inspector Mike Burden, Wexford, intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators.

A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussein was a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Moreover, she was of mixed race and working to modernize the church. Could racism or sexism have played a factor in her murder?

As Wexford searches the Vicar’s house, he sees a book on her bedside table. Inside the book is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error in removing a piece of valuable evidence from the scene without telling anybody. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Hussein. Is there more to her than meets the eye?

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Dead Irish by John Lescroart, read by Tracy, on 01/17/2014

In his new life as a bartender at the Little Shamrock, Dismas Hardy is just hoping for a little peace. He’s left both the police force and his law career behind. Unfortunately it’s not as easy to leave behind the memory of a shattering personal loss-but for the time being, he can always take the edge off with a stiff drink and round of darts. But when the news of Eddie Cochran’s death reaches him, Hardy is propelled back into all the things he was trying to escape. Now he must untangle a web of old secrets and raw passions, for the sake of Eddie’s pregnant widow Frannie-and for the others whose lives may still be at risk.

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Classics, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle, read by Tracy, on 01/17/2014

We owe The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902) to Arthur Conan Doyle’s good friend Fletcher “Bobbles” Robinson, who took him to visit some scary English moors and prehistoric ruins, and told him marvelous local legends about escaped prisoners and a 17th-century aristocrat who fell afoul of the family dog. Doyle transmogrified the legend: generations ago, a hound of hell tore out the throat of devilish Hugo Baskerville on the moonlit moor. Poor, accursed Baskerville Hall now has another mysterious death: that of Sir Charles Baskerville. Could the culprit somehow be mixed up with secretive servant Barrymore, history-obsessed Dr. Frankland, butterfly-chasing Stapleton, or Selden, the Notting Hill murderer at large? Someone’s been signaling with candles from the mansion’s windows. Nor can supernatural forces be ruled out. Can Dr. Watson–left alone by Sherlock Holmes to sleuth in fear for much of the novel–save the next Baskerville, Sir Henry, from the hound’s fangs?

Many Holmes fans prefer Doyle’s complete short stories, but their clockwork logic doesn’t match the author’s boast about this novel: it’s “a real Creeper!” What distinguishes this particular Hound is its fulfillment of Doyle’s great debt to Edgar Allan Poe–it’s full of ancient woe, low moans, a Grimpen Mire that sucks ponies to Dostoyevskian deaths, and locals digging up Neolithic skulls without next-of-kins’ consent. “The longer one stays here the more does the spirit of the moor sink into one’s soul,” Watson realizes. “Rank reeds and lush, slimy water-plants sent an odour of decay … while a false step plunged us more than once thigh-deep into the dark, quivering mire, which shook for yards in soft undulations around our feet … it was as if some malignant hand was tugging us down into those obscene depths.” Read on–but, reader, watch your step!

03. February 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Classics, Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction, Tracy

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Tracy, on 01/10/2014

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Classics, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tracy

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, read by Tracy, on 01/18/2014

A horse is a horse of course unless of course the horse is Black Beauty. Animal-loving children have been devoted to Black Beauty throughout this century, and no doubt will continue through the next.
Although Anna Sewell’s classic paints a clear picture of turn-of-the-century London, its message is universal and timeless: animals will serve humans well if they are treated with consideration and kindness.
Black Beauty tells the story of the horse’s own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse.
Throughout, Sewell rails – in a gentle, 19th-century way – against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty’s fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

From Doon with Death by Ruth Rendell, read by Tracy, on 01/14/2014

There is nothing extraordinary about Margaret Parsons, a timid housewife in the quiet town of Kingsmarkham, a woman devoted to her garden, her kitchen, her husband. Except that Margaret Parsons is dead… Who would kill someone with nothing to hide? Inspector Wexford, the formidable chief of police, is baffled – until he discovers Margaret’s dark secret: a trove of rare books, each volume inscribed by a passionate lover identified only as Doon… the case builds with relentless momentum to a shocking finale as clever as it is unexpected.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Tracy

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts, read by Tracy, on 01/12/2014

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.

Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits. Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package. Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive.

21. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Bookseller by Mark Pryor, read by Tracy, on 01/09/2014

Max—an elderly Paris bookstall owner—is abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks on helplessly, powerless to do anything to stop the kidnapper. Marston launches a search, enlisting the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green. Their investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter. Is his disappearance somehow tied to his grim history, or even to the mysterious old books he sold?

On the streets of Paris, tensions are rising as rival drug gangs engage in violent turf wars. Before long, other booksellers start to disappear, their bodies found floating in the Seine. Though the police are not interested in his opinion, Marston is convinced the hostilities have something to do with the murders of these bouquinistes.

Then he himself becomes a target of the unknown assassins.

With Tom by his side, Marston finally puts the pieces of the puzzle together, connecting the past with the present and leading the two men, quite literally, to the enemy’s lair.

Just as the killer intended.