In this sprawling novel, set during France’s Second Empire, an American orphan transforms herself from circus performer to courtesan to opera sensation. Along the way, Alexander Chee’s lush prose transports the reader into the midst of Napoleon III’s court, revealing the hard work—and heartbreak—behind the opulence. Readers with an interest in French history or opera will delight in Chee’s thoroughly-researched characters and settings, and in cameos by real historical figures such as George Sand and Cora Pearl. Those with a taste for intrigue will devour the twists and turns of the plot as princes, empresses, courtesans, and musicians scheme for power, love, and revenge.
Queen of the Night, by Alexander Chee
The Drunken Botanist
In The Drunken Botanist author Amy Stewart points out our alcoholic cocktails over ice with a dash of, splash of, and a sprig of, are time honored drinks. Supplying a little history, horticulture, and agricultural advice, Stewart guides us through various plants and how we create alcohol. Every great drink starts with a plant so sit down, read a chapter or two, and have fun experimenting with the elixir of life, the aqua vitae!
City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong
What would you be willing to do to walk away from your current life—just disappear? Casey Duncan, a homicide detective, killed a man when she was in college and was never caught. Her best friend, Diana, is entangled in an abusive relationship with her ex-husband. Both need to disappear. Fortunately, there’s a secret town just for people like them but they have to apply and be accepted to live there first; and, there are strings attached. Residents of Rockton must give up their cell phones, internet, and computers, and can’t send or receive mail. Plus, there’s no way to get in or out without the town council’s approval. Casey’s application normally would be rejected but the town needs a homicide detective—badly—to solve its first homicide. Casey and Diana are accepted and brought to Rockton, where they discover things are not always as they seem. Strap yourself in for a crime novel thrill ride!