The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery AdamsMiracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.
When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.
Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.
Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .
Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott1920: Flying in the face of convention, legendary American adventuress Beryl Helliwell never fails to surprise and shock. The last thing her adoring public would expect is that she craves some peace and quiet. The humdrum hamlet of Walmsley Parva in the English countryside seems just the ticket. And, honestly, until America comes to its senses and repeals Prohibition, Beryl has no intention of returning stateside and subjecting herself to bathtub gin.
For over three decades, Edwina Davenport has lived comfortably in Walmsley Parva, but the post–World War I bust has left her in dire financial straits and forced her to advertise for a lodger. When her long-lost school chum Beryl arrives on her doorstep—actually crashes into it in her red motorcar—Edwina welcomes her old friend as her new roommate.
But her idyllic hometown has a hidden sinister side, and when the two friends are drawn in, they decide to set up shop as private inquiry agents, helping Edwina to make ends meet and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure. Now this odd couple will need to put their heads together to catch a killer—before this sleepy English village becomes their final resting place . . .
Beau Death by Peter LoveseyBath, England: A wrecking crew is demolishing a row of townhouses in order to build a grocery store when they uncover a skeleton in one of the attics. The dead man is wearing authentic 1760s garb and on the floor next to it is a white tricorn hat—the ostentatious signature accessory of Beau Nash, one of Bath’s most famous historical men-about-town, a fashion icon and incurable rake who, some say, ended up in a pauper’s grave. Or did the Beau actually end up in a townhouse attic? The Beau Nash Society will be all in a tizzy when the truth is revealed to them.
Chief Inspector Peter Diamond, who has been assigned to identify the remains, begins to fantasize about turning Nash scholarship on its ear. But one of his constables is stubbornly insisting the corpse can’t be Nash’s—the non-believer threatens to spoil Diamond’s favorite theory, especially when he offers some pretty irrefutable evidence. Is Diamond on a historical goose chase? Should he actually be investigating a much more modern murder?
A Murder for the Books
by Victoria Gilbert
Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.
Dancer-turned-teacher and choreographer Richard Muir inherited the farmhouse next door from his great-uncle, Paul Dassin. But town folklore claims the house’s original owner was poisoned by his wife, who was an outsider. It quickly became water under the bridge, until she vanished after her sensational 1925 murder trial. Determined to clear the name of the woman his great-uncle loved, Richard implores Amy to help him investigate the case. Amy is skeptical until their research raises questions about the culpability of the town’s leading families... including her own.
When inexplicable murders plunge the quiet town into chaos, Amy and Richard must crack open the books to reveal a cruel conspiracy and lay a turbulent past to rest in A Murder for the Books, the first installment of Victoria Gilbert’s Blue Ridge Library mysteries.
2017 Books You Might Have Missed
Prussian Blue: A Bernie Gunther novel by Philip KerrWhen his cover is blown, former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer Bernie Gunther must re-enter a cat-and-mouse game that continues to shadow his life a decade after Germany’s defeat in World War 2...
The French Riviera, 1956: Bernie’s old and dangerous adversary Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice—and he’s not on holiday. Mielke is calling in a debt and wants Bernie to travel to London to poison a female agent they’ve both had dealings with. But Bernie isn't keen on assassinating anyone. In an attempt to dodge his Stasi handler—former Kripo comrade Friedrich Korsch—Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night and hiding by day, he has plenty of time to recall the last case he and Korsch worked together...
Obersalzberg, Germany, 1939: A low-level bureaucrat has been found dead at Hitler’s mountaintop retreat in Bavaria. Bernie and Korsch have one week to find the killer before the leader of the Third Reich arrives to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. Bernie knows it would mean disaster if Hitler discovers a shocking murder has been committed on the terrace of his own home. But Obersalzberg is also home to an elite Nazi community, meaning an even bigger disaster for Bernie if his investigation takes aim at one of the party’s higher-ups...
1939 and 1956: two different eras about to converge in an explosion Bernie Gunther will never forget.
Take Out by Margaret MaronNYPD Detective Sigrid Harald is still reeling from the untimely death of her lover, acclaimed painter Oscar Nauman, when she is called to investigate the poisoning of two homeless men in the West Village. As she examines the mysterious deaths, Sigrid uncovers a grim neighborhood scandal surrounding two influential women: one a haughty mafia widow, the other a retired opera prima donna, both with dark secrets they've kept under wraps for decades. Was the poison really meant for the homeless men, or were they merely unintended victims as the decades-long feud between the two women comes to a head?
And still, Sigrid can't stop wondering what brought her late lover so urgently across the country to the winding mountain road that took his life--until she meets a man who may hold the answers she seeks . . . .
How the Finch Stole Christmas!
by Donna Andrews
Meg's husband has decided to escalate his one-man show of Dickens' A Christmas Carol into a full-scale production with a large cast including their sons Jamie and Josh as Tiny Tim and young Scrooge and Meg helping as stage manager.
The show must go on, even if the famous―though slightly over-the-hill―actor who's come to town to play the starring role of Scrooge has brought a sleigh-load of baggage and enemies with him. And why is Caerphilly suddenly overrun with a surplus of beautiful caged finches?
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