Private Investigators

James Goodenough, whose family had originally settled in Connecticut from England brings his family to Ohio to carve out a new life for them in the Black Swamp in 1838. As swamp fever gradually picks off their children and they wrestle daily with survival. This course will see their family engulfed in tragedy and fifteen years later we pick up with their youngest son, Robert who has been running west since the trying to escape his memories of what happened, taking solace in a very different kind of tree--the redwoods and sequoias of California. But Robert's past catches up with him and he's forced to confront what he's running from and work out for himself that you can't run for ever. .

Amory Ames is looking forward to a tranquil period of reconnecting with reformed playboy husband Milo after an unexpected reconciliation following the murderous events at the Brightwell Hotel. However, she is drawn into another investigation when Serena Barrington asks her to look into the disappearance of valuable jewelry snatched at a dinner party. Amory agrees to help lay a trap to catch the culprit at a lavish masked ball hosted by the notorious Viscount Dunmore. But when one of the illustrious party guests is murdered, she is pulled back into the world of detection. Rumors swirl about Milo and a French film star. Once again, Amory and Milo must work together to solve a mystery set in the heart of 1930s society London.

It's early 1938, and Maisie Dobbs is back in England. On a fine yet chilly morning, as she walks towards Fitzroy Square--a place of many memories--she is intercepted by Brian Huntley and Robert MacFarlane of the Secret Service. The German government has agreed to release a British subject from prison, but only if he is handed over to a family member. Because the man's wife is bedridden and his daughter has been killed in an accident, the Secret Service wants Maisie--who bears a striking resemblance to the daughter--to retrieve the man from Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich.

Sara Walker's DIETLAND is not for the faint hearted.  It's a challenging read, thought provoking.  Box office tickets to Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton" are sold out through January 2017; if you can't see the play, then read about the infamous Hamilton/Burr conflict. Fans of GRANTCHESTER, recently shown on local PBS Masterpiece Mystery, will want to read the James Runcie story collections featuring Canon Sidney Chambers and Inspector Geordie Keating. 

Dietland by Sarai Walker

"A fresh and provocative debut novel about a reclusive young woman saving up for weight loss surgery when she gets drawn into a shadowy feminist guerilla group called "Jennifer"--equal parts Bridget Jones's Diary and Fight Club"--.

When auctioneer Wren Morgan begins cataloging the contents of the Campbell mansion, she's unprepared to find something that can't be appraised--a dead man. After the body turns out to be a criminal with ties to a recent jewel heist, Wren comes face-to-face with Death Bogart. A private eye and part-time bounty hunter, Death is searching for the stolen jewels needed to convict a murderer. Death finds a friend and willing ally in Wren, but they aren't the only ones searching for treasure. Two ruthless men are also on the hunt, and they will do anything to eliminate the competition. To survive, Death and Wren must solve two mysteries spanning a century and a half and outwit a pair of cold-blooded killers. Praise: "Ross' thoroughly entertaining debut combines smart details about the auction business with two engaging mysteries and a uniformly appealing cast. Fans of small-town cozies, especially those by Denise Swanson, will love this, as will mystery readers who double as thrift-store aficionados and followers of auction reality shows.

Also available in: video

1955. Canon Sidney Chambers, loveable priest and part-time detective, is back. Accompanied by his faithful Labrador, Dickens, and the increasingly exasperated Inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney is called to investigate the unexpected fall of a Cambridge don from the roof of King's College Chapel; a case of arson at a glamour photographer's studio and the poisoning of Zafar Ali, Grantchester's finest spin bowler. Alongside his sleuthing, Sidney has other problems. Can he decide between his dear friend, the glamorous socialite Amanda Kendall and Hildegard Staunton, the beguiling German widow? To make up his mind Sidney takes a trip abroad, only to find himself trapped in a web of international espionage just as the Berlin Wall is going up. .

I spy.  This month the focus is on espionage, real and fictional.

From the bestselling author of Istanbul Passage--called a "fast-moving thinking man's thriller" by The Wall Street Journal--comes a sweeping, atmospheric novel of postwar East Berlin, a city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation. Berlin 1948. Almost four years after the war's end, the city is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. In the West, a defiant, blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies; in the East, the heady early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the murky compromises of the Cold War. Espionage, like the black market, is a fact of life. Even culture has become a battleground, with German intellectuals being lured back from exile to add credibility to the competing sectors. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. But almost from the start things go fatally wrong. A kidnapping misfires, an East German agent is killed, and Alex finds himself a wanted man. Worse, he discovers his real assignment--to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved. Changing sides in Berlin is as easy as crossing a sector border. But where do we draw the lines of our moral boundaries? Betrayal? Survival? Murder? Filled with intrigue, and the moral ambiguity of conflicted loyalties, Joseph Kanon's new novel is a compelling thriller and a love story that brings a shadowy period of history vividly to life.

"Being a Berlin cop in 1942 was a little like putting down mousetraps in a cage full of tigers. The war is over. Bernie Gunther, our sardonic former Berlin homicide detective and unwilling SS officer, is now living on the French Riviera. It is 1956 and Bernie is the go-to guy at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, the man you turn to for touring tips or if you need a fourth for bridge. As it happens, a local writer needs just that, someone to fill the fourth seat in a regular game that is the usual evening diversion at the Villa Mauresque. Not just any writer. Perhaps the richest and most famous living writer in the world: W. Somerset Maugham. And it turns out it is not just a bridge partner that he needs; it's some professional advice. Maugham is being blackmailed--perhaps because of his unorthodox lifestyle. Or perhaps because of something in his past, because once upon a time, Maugham worked for the British secret service, and the people now blackmailing him are spies."--.

After a case in India, Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes are on their way to California. They plan to break up the long voyage with a sojourn in southern Japan. Aboard the ship, intrigue stirs almost immediately. Holmes recognizes the famous clubman the Earl of Darley, whom he suspects of being an occasional blackmailer. And then there's the young Japanese woman who befriends Russell and quotes haiku. She agrees to tutor the couple in Japanese language and customs, but Russell can't shake the feeling that Haruki Sato is not who she claims to be. Once in Japan, Russell's suspicions are confirmed in a most surprising way..

What We're Reading: August 2015

Murder Will Out: May 2015

May is Mystery Month and what better way to celebrate than with a good mystery?

 

The unquiet dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan

The kings of London by William Shaw

Mr. Monk and the new lieutenant by a novel by Hy Conrad ; based on the USA Network television series created by Andy Breckman

Too bad to die by Francine Mathews

Beyond limits by Laura Griffin

Murder on the Champ de Mars by Cara Black

What We're Reading August 2014

Reading suggestions from Canton Public Library staff.

The Mangle Street murders by M.R.C. Kasasian

Double agent: the first hero of World War II and how the FBI outwitted and destroyed a Nazi spy ring by Peter Duffy

The end of your life book club by Will Schwalbe

The Late Starters Orchestra by Ari L. Goldman

Far gone by Laura Griffin

Murder Will Out: June 2014

The Golden Calf by Helene Tursten ; Translation by Laura A. Wideburg

Good as gone by Douglas Corleone

Her brother's keeper: a Joan Spencer mystery by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis

Illegally iced by Jessica Beck

Murder Will Out September, 2013

Lynn Raimondo and Seth Harwood make their Mystery Debut this month.

A fete worse than death by Claudia Bishop

Bad Little Falls by Paul Doiron

Dante's wood: a Mark Angelotti novel by Lynne Raimondo

Gun machine by Warren Ellis

In broad daylight: a Jess Harding novel by Seth Harwood

What We're Reading August 2013

If You Like William Kent Krueger...

If you like suspense with your mystery, a troubled hero/heroine, a strong sense of place try:

Starvation Lake: a mystery by Bryan Gruley

Open season by C.J. Box

The cold dish by Craig Johnson

A cold day for murder by Dana Stabenow

The blue edge of midnight by Jonathon King

In the bleak midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming

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