fiction

The Martian : a novel by Andy Weir

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Engineer-botanist Mark Watney is presumed dead and left by his crew mates on Mars as a dust storm forces them to abort their mission. Logbook style narratives describe Watney's efforts to extend his life until the next scheduled mission arrives in 4 years.  Watney exemplifies the “never say die” attitude we associate with heroes but he is facing tough odds while trying to stay alive on Mars.  Part astronaut primer and deep space survival guide, The Martian is an interesting sci-fi yarn!

2015 Historical Christmas Mysteries

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Mystery and historical novel fans, get in the Christmas spirit with these new books:

The Fruitcake Murders, Ace Collins: A detective in 1946 Chicago must find out who is killing people with twenty-year-old fruitcake tins while dodging a persistent (and annoying) reporter.

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue, Victoria Thompson: When a friend’s daughter is found with her murdered husband in her arms, Frank Malloy and Sarah Brandt become an innocent woman’s only hope in turn-of-the-century New York.

Away in a Manger, Rhys Bowen: Molly Murphy Sullivan investigates the disappearance of a young girl’s mother in 1905 New York.

Two Bronze Pennies, Tom Harper: DI Tom Harper must use unorthodox methods to track down the killer of a man found dead in Leeds, England’s Jewish district.

The Hanged Man, P.N. Elrod: On Christmas Eve in 1879, a London psychic reader called to the scene of a suicide discovers it’s actually a magic-influenced murder.

The Humbug Murders, L.J. Oliver: When Ebenezer Scrooge is framed for the death of Fezziwig, his former boss, he’ll need the help of the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Pickwick, and other Dickens characters—including the author himself—to clear his name.

"The Dinner" by Herman Koch

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It begins with dinner at a high-end restaurant in Amsterdam. Two brothers, Paul and Serge, and their wives meet to discuss their teenage sons. It is quickly apparent this is no ordinary discussion.  What have the cousins done? What is to be done about it? Slowly the tension builds and the reader becomes anxious as the story unfolds. The ending is a stunner!

The Bullet, by Mary Louise Kelly

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When a routine MRI reveals a bullet lodged in Georgetown professor Caroline Cashion’s neck, she’s shocked. The discovery soon leads to other revelations: that she was adopted, and that her birth parents were murdered in front of her—by a killer who was never caught. As the bullet in her neck drifts closer to her spine, Caroline searches for answers in Atlanta, drawing the attention of her parents’ murderer. Soon, she’ll have to make a choice: run for her life, or risk everything to confront the killer.

A suspenseful, expertly-crafted novel of family, secrets, and revenge, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Lee Child, and Harlan Coben.

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English by Natasha Solomons

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Mr. Rosenblum is a Jewish refugee who fled to England from Germany before the outbreak of WWII.  He longs to be accepted as a true Englishman.  As a profitable businessman, he buys the correct Savile Row suit, a Jaguar, and shops at Fortnum & Mason.  But his Jewish background prevents his membership into a golf club, for him the ultimate sign of an English gentleman.  In desperation he decides to build his own golf course which proves to be a greater endeavor than anticipated.  The character is exasperating at times, but heartwarming overall, especially when you learn the author is writing about her grandfather.

Woman of the Dead, by Bernhard Aichner

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The photographer. The priest. The cook. The huntsman. The clown. They killed her husband. Now they’ll face her vengeance.

Undertaker Brunhilde Blum has a near-perfect life: a satisfying job with great coworkers, two adorable daughters, and a husband who loves her deeply. When a hit-and-run accident shatters her perfect world, despair threatens to drown her—until she discovers that the “accident” that took her husband’s life was actually murder. Now, she’ll chase down any lead and go to any length to find the men responsible for her husband’s death—unless they find her first.

Chilling and taut, this translated thriller from German bestseller Bernhard Aichner will appeal to fans of Jeffry Lindsey’s Dexter series.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are coming!

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The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were first awarded in 1980, with the idea of honoring literary excellence and celebrating the community of readers in Los Angeles. Now in its 36th year, the Prizes have expanded from four categories to ten. According to the LA Times, the book prizes “remind us of the power of books to move and enlighten us, to connect us to the best that we as human beings have to offer, to illuminate us through the written word.” The winners in all ten categories will be announced during the LA Times Festival of Books on April 9th. Reserve one of the fiction nominees now, or see all the nominees at http://events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/book-prizes/

The Expats

Vita's picture

Kate Moore and her husband decide to accept a job offer in Luxemburg.   While her husband begins his new job and Kate spends more time with her children she must learn how to adjust to the daily life in a new country.  Kate begins to notice her husband’s suspicious behavior and also becomes suspicious of another American couple they have befriended.   As she begins to investigate she becomes nervous they are connected to her past.   Mystery lovers will enjoy this novel which keeps them guessing until the very end.

American Craftsmen, Tom Doyle

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American Craftsmen is what would happen if Harry Potter grew up and joined Seal Team Six. Magic workers have operated in America since its founding, sworn to protect and defend the United States as part of secret military units. Army Captain Dale Morton is one of these elite soldier-magicians—until a Persian sorcerer curses him to madness. Now, convinced that an evil from his family’s past has corrupted the highest echelons of military magic, he must hunt down the traitors that placed him in harm’s way—while protecting the innocent woman he loves and avoiding a fellow Craftsman with a family axe to grind. Fast-paced and engrossing, American Craftsmen will appeal to readers of military thrillers and urban fantasy alike.

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