World War I

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..

Murder Will Out: November 2015

Recent additions to some favorite series.

May We Suggest: Historical Mysteries

Second Street Station: a Mary Handley mystery by Lawrence H. Levy

The empty mirror: a Viennese mystery by J. Sydney Jones

A duty to the dead by Charles Todd

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

Damsel in distress by Carola Dunn

The devil's making by Seán Haldane

World War I: the Americans

Although the United States did not enter the war until 1917, the American Expeditionary Force suffered 320,500 casualties. In memory of the 100th anniversary of the war read about some of these brave men and women:
 

Yanks: the epic story of the American Army in World War I by John S.D. Eisenhower with Joanne Thompson Eisenhower

 

Five lieutenants: the heartbreaking story of five Harvard men who led America to victory in World War I by James Carl Nelson

 

The long way home: an American journey from Ellis Island to the Great War by David Laskin

 

 

 

 

American women in World War I: they also served by Lettie Gavin

 

 

 

 

Read-alikes for THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS

The movie rights have been purchased for M. L. Stedman's THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.  wonderful book about a lighthouse keeper and his wife. Tom is a WW I veteran, one of the 'lucky ones', he has lost a limb nor his mind but he deliberately seeks the solitude of an island off Australia.  He meets and marries, Isabel. But times on the island are tough for Isabel as she suffers multiple miscarriages and a stillbirth in just four years time. When a boat with a dead man and a young baby washes ashore, Isabel convinces Tom to let her keep the baby as their own, but the consequences to her actions may be dire.  Similar books are:

The sandcastle girls: a novel by Chris Bohjalian

The orchardist: a novel by Amanda Coplin

The secret keeper: a novel by Kate Morton

World War I: the Campaigns

The battles of World War I were fought in Europe, the  Middle East, and the Pacific. In memory of the war's 100th anniversary, check out some of the library's many resources on this global event whose repercussions are still being felt today:
 

To conquer hell: the Meuse-Argonne, 1918 by Edward G. Lengel

 

 

Verdun: the longest battle of the Great War by Paul Jankowski

 

 

 

Castles of steel: Britain, Germany, and the winning of the Great War at sea by Robert K. Massie

 

 

 

Yanks: the epic story of the American Army in World War I by John S.D. Eisenhower with Joanne Thompson Eisenhower

 

 

 

What We're Reading August 2013

Sleuth It! Mystery MeetUp

If you weren't able to attend Mystery MeetUp and earn your Sleuth It Badge as part of Connect Your Summer 2013, Canton Public Library's Summer Reading program for all ages, here is the list of books we talked about.

A cold day in paradise by Steve Hamilton

Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger

Blood alone by James R. Benn

As if by magic by Dolores Gordon-Smith

The hell screen by I.J. Parker

Sleuth It: Dead & Done I

Historical mysteries let the reader be picked up and be transported to different times and places. A good story is a painless way to get into the period, and, if it features a unsolved crime or two, gives a look at history’s darker underside.

As if by magic by Dolores Gordon-Smith

Everybody kills somebody sometime by Robert J. Randisi

The reeve's tale by Margaret Frazer

Blood alone by James R. Benn

India Black by Carol K. Carr

Book Club Choices: April 2013

The perfect book for a book discussion is one that's not too easy, not too hard, that will hold the interest of a diverse group of readers and will also inspire a lively discussion. For additional book club resources the Canton Public Library offers a wide variety of Book Club in a Bag kits.

The Paris wife: a novel by Paula McLain

The art of racing in the rain: a novel by Garth Stein

Gone girl: a novel by Gillian Flynn

The language of flowers: [kit] a novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Rockefellers: an American dynasty by Peter Collier and David Horowitz

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - World War I