30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tracy

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks, 243 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/24/2014

Bertie Wooster (a young man about town) and his butler Jeeves (the very model of the modern manservant)—return in their first new novel in nearly forty years: Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks. 

P.G. Wodehouse documented the lives of the inimitable Jeeves and Wooster for nearly sixty years, from their first appearance in 1915 (“Extricating Young Gussie”) to his final completed novel (Aunts Arent Gentlemen) in 1974. These two were the finest creations of a novelist widely proclaimed to be the finest comic English writer by critics and fans alike. 

Now, forty years later, Bertie and Jeeves return in a hilarious affair of mix-ups and mishaps. With the approval of the Wodehouse estate, acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks brings these two back to life for their legion of fans. Bertie, nursing a bit of heartbreak over the recent engagement of one Georgina Meadowes to someone not named Wooster, agrees to “help” his old friend Peregrine “Woody” Beeching, whose own romance is foundering. That this means an outing to Dorset, away from an impending visit from Aunt Agatha, is merely an extra benefit. Almost immediately, things go awry and the simple plan quickly becomes complicated. Jeeves ends up impersonating one Lord Etringham, while Bertie pretends to be Jeeves’ manservant “Wilberforce,”—and this all happens under the same roof as the now affianced Ms. Meadowes. From there the plot becomes even more hilarious and convoluted, in a brilliantly conceived, seamlessly written comic work worthy of the master himself.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Tracy

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, 368 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/17/2014

Internationally best-selling crime writer Val McDermid has riveted millions of readers worldwide with her acutely suspenseful, psychologically complex, seamlessly plotted thrillers. In Northanger Abbey, she delivers her own, witty, updated take on Austen’s classic novel about a young woman whose visit to the stately home of a well-to-do acquaintance stirs her most macabre imaginings, with an extra frisson of suspense that only McDermid could provide.

Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbors and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. With a sunny personality, tickets every night and a few key wardrobe additions courtesy of Susie Allen, Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there’s the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels? A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tracy

The Secret of Raven Point by Jennifer Vanderbes , 304 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/10/2014

Juliet Dufresne is a hard-working and smart high-school girl who aspires to make a groundbreaking scientific discovery like her hero Marie Curie. Life in South Carolina with her father, stepmother, and her brother Tuck is safe and happy. But when war breaks out in Europe, Tuck volunteers and serves in Italy—until he goes missing. Juliet, already enrolled in nursing school, is overwhelmed by the loss of her brother, so she lies about her age and enlists to serve as a nurse in the army, hoping she might find him.

Shipped off to Italy at the age of seventeen and thrust into the bloody chaos of a field hospital, Juliet doles out medicine, assists in operations, and is absorbed into the whirlwind of warlife. Slowly she befriends her fellow nurses, her patients, the soldiers, and the doctor who is treating the little-understood condition of battle fatigue. Always seeking news of her brother, her journey is ultimately one of self-discovery.

Both a compelling coming-of-age tale and a moving wartime narrative told with verve and emotion, The Secret of Raven Point is Jennifer Vanderbes at her best.

30. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Cabinet of Curiosities by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, 640 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/03/2014

In an ancient tunnel underneath New York City a charnel house is discovered.
Inside are thirty-six bodies–all murdered and mutilated more than a century ago.
While FBI agent Pendergast investigates the old crimes, identical killings start to terrorize the city. 
The nightmare has begun.
Again.

17. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Tracy

The Ghost of the Mary Celeste by Valerie Martin, 306 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/16/2014

In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.

This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society. While on a voyage to Africa, a rather hard-up and unproven young writer named Arthur Conan Doyle hears of the Mary Celeste and decides to write an outlandish short story about what took place. This story causes quite a sensation back in the United States, particularly between sought-after Philadelphia spiritualist medium Violet Petra and a rational-minded journalist named Phoebe Grant, who is seeking to expose Petra as a fraud. Then there is the family of the Mary Celeste‘s captain, a family linked to the sea for generations and marked repeatedly by tragedy. Each member of this ensemble cast holds a critical piece to the puzzle of the Mary Celeste.

These three elements—a ship found sailing without a crew, a famous writer on the verge of enormous success, and the rise of an unorthodox and heretical religious fervor—converge in unexpected ways, in diaries, in letters, in safe harbors and rough seas. In a haunted, death-obsessed age, a ghost ship appearing in the mist is by turns a provocative mystery, an inspiration to creativity, and a tragic story of the disappearance of a family and of a bond between husband and wife that, for one moment, transcends the impenetrable barrier of death.

17. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

Bloody River Blues by Jeffery Deaver, 368 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/10/2014

Hollywood location scout John Pellam thought the scenic backwater town of Maddox, Missouri, would be the perfect site for an upcoming “Bonnie and Clyde”-style film. But after real bullets leave two people dead and one cop paralyzed, he’s more sought after than the Barrow Gang. Pellam had unwittingly wandered onto the crime scene just minutes before the brutal hits. Now the feds and local police want him to talk. Mob enforcers want him silenced. And a mysterious blonde just wants him. Trapped in a town full of sinister secrets and deadly deceptions, Pellam fears that death will imitate art, as the film shoot — and his life — race toward a breathtakingly bloody climax.

17. April 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Tracy

Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson, 400 pages, read by Tracy, on 04/03/2014

Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford wants to travel the world, pursue a career, and marry for love. But in 1914, the stifling restrictions of aristocratic British society and her mother’s rigid expectations forbid Lily from following her heart. When war breaks out, the spirited young woman seizes her chance for independence. Defying her parents, she moves to London and eventually becomes an ambulance driver in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps—an exciting and treacherous job that takes her close to the Western Front.

Assigned to a field hospital in France, Lily is reunited with Robert Fraser, her dear brother Edward’s best friend. The handsome Scottish surgeon has always encouraged Lily’s dreams. She doesn’t care that Robbie grew up in poverty—she yearns for their friendly affection to become something more. Lily is the most beautiful—and forbidden—woman Robbie has ever known. Fearful for her life, he’s determined to keep her safe, even if it means breaking her heart.

In a world divided by class, filled with uncertainty and death, can their hope for love survive. . . or will it become another casualty of this tragic war?

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

Put On By Cunning by Ruth Rendell, 288 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/29/2014

The eleventh book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.

Sir Manuel Camargue, Kingsmarkham’s very own celebrity flautist, dies tragically on a snowy night. His death is met with a ruling of misadventure and appears to be an open-and-shut-case. However Wexford, as the investigating officer, has a few niggling doubts.

Nineteen years later, Camargue’s entrancing daughter, Natalie, now a considerable heiress, suddenly reappears in Kingsmarkham. When her fiancé appeals to Wexford for help, believing that Natalie is using a false identity, the case of the Camargues is once more under investigation.

Events soon take a gruesome twist and the pressure is on for Wexford to discover Natalie’s true identity and to solve the mystery of the Camargue family, once and for all.

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson, 448 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/21/2014

Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn’t deal with electronic appliances-he fixes situations for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia’s daughter Vicky is threatened. Can Jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?

31. March 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Tracy

The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid, 400 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/17/2014

After summer rains uncover a corpse bearing tattoos like those of eighteenth-century seafarers, many residents of the English Lake District can’t help but wonder whether it’s the body of one of the town’s most legendary fugitives.

Scholar and native Lakelander Jane Gresham feels compelled to finally discover the truth about the myths and buried secrets rooted in her hometown. What she never expected was to find herself at the heart of a 200-year-old mystery that still has the power to put lives on the line. And with each new lead she pursues, death follows hard on her heels….

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

Some Lie and Some Die by Ruth Rendell, 181 pages, read by Tracy, on 03/15/2014

A mutilated body found at a rock festival.

In spite of dire predictions, the rock festival in Kingsmarkham seemed to be going off without a hitch, until the hideously disfigured body is discovered in a nearby quarry. And soon Wexford is investigating the links between a local girl gone bad and a charismatic singer who inspires an unwholesome devotion in his followers. Some Lie and Some Die is a devilishly absorbing novel, in which Wexford’s deductive powers come up against the aloof arrogance of pop stardom.

With her Inspector Wexford novels, Ruth Rendell, winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, has added layers of depth, realism and unease to the classic English mystery. For the canny, tireless, and unflappable policeman is an unblinking observer of human nature, whose study has taught him that under certain circumstances the most unlikely people are capable of the most appalling crimes.

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

Quentins by Maeve Binchy, 368 pages, 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, 384 pages, 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, 272 pages, 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, 304 pages, 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, 400 pages, 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, 132 pages, 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, 352 pages, 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, 179 pages, 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, 298 pages, 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!