Historical Fiction

We currently have over 3500 large print books in our Adult collection to choose from with new titles being added throughout the year. From the classics to the cult favorites, our selection spans fiction and nonfiction across all genres.  This month we are spotlighting recently published Mystery selections.

When a Hollywood actress buys an old mansion in Haven Harbor, Maine, she hires Angie Curtis to appraise the estate's sizable collection of needlepoint pictures. But the more Angie examines the pieces, the more they seem to point toward a twenty-five-year-old murder--and the murderer.

Amy-Faye Johnson's book club, the Readaholics, is engrossed in Murder on the Orient Express, and Poirot's surprising resolution is stirring up debate. Is the solution remotely realistic? Is justice served? Well, it's fiction after all. Then, just as Amy-Faye is planning the grand opening of her brother Derek's pub, his hot-headed partner is murdered. To keep Derek from being railroaded as a suspect, Amy-Faye and the Readaholics take a page from Poirot and investigate. But the clues lead to unlikely places and surprising motives ...

Looking for a good mystery and a way to earn the Connect Your Summer 2016 Super Bookworm: My Mitten badge?  Check out this selection of mysteries set in Michigan.

The 10th installment of the beloved Woods Cop Mystery series! The traditional firearm deer season in Michigan lasts two weeks, a time in which the most hunters are afield during the year and the time when most things happen. Game wardens cannot count on having any life but work during this period, and in this case Grady Service, who takes longtime violator and archrival Limpy Allerdyce on as his partner for deer season runs into the most bizarre string of big cases involving deer that he has ever encountered. Buckular Dystrophy is the term coined by Conservation Officers to describe the condition whereby people cannot help killing deer, not for sport or food, but for other reasons - an addiction of sorts, and unlike other addictions, one not medically organized, but just as real.
 

Tracking the beast by Henry Kisor

When the remains of three little girls turn up inside railroad hopper cars, Sheriff Steve Martinez faces a troublesome case, for the cars had sat for years on a siding deep inside his beloved Porcupine County. After Steve and his comrades do the spadework, the FBI moves in, thinking their Unsub is both rapist and murderer. But Steve believes the killer--or killers--instead hired someone to dispose of the bodies. With the help of lawmen of all kinds, including the Ontario Provincial Police, and even Detroit mobsters, Steve doggedly tracks "the Beast." This intricate police procedural, set in the wilds of Upper Michigan, features not only an exciting high-tech chase around Lake Superior but also the revival of a clever World War II deception.

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.

For almost 35 years, The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction has been given annually to an U.S. author for a meritorious book of historical fiction set in the Americas  and published in the previous year for children or young adults. Here are some of the previous winners. Named after the award's founder, acclaimed author of Island of the Blue Dolphins and other books, the award was intended to encourage writers to focus on historical fiction and increase the interest of young readers in how the country was shaped. For a complete listing, you can visit the award's website

 

The hired girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs chronicles her life in a journal when she leaves her family's farm in Pennsylvania to work as a hired girl in Baltimore in the summer of 1911.

Dash by Kirby Larson

When her family is forced into an internment camp, Mitsi Kashino is separated from her home, her classmates, and her beloved dog Dash; and as her family begins to come apart around her, Mitsi clings to her one connection to the outer world--the letters from the kindly neighbor who is caring for Dash.

Breaking Stalin's nose by Eugene Yelchin

In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist, but when police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.

Also available in: audiobook

Crossing paths at an inn, thirteenth-century travelers impart the tales of a monastery oblate, a Jewish refugee, and a psychic peasant girl with a loyal greyhound, the three of whom join forces on a chase through France to escape persecution.

A single shard by Linda Sue Park
Also available in: audiobook

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: May 26, 2016

Canton Seniors Book Group will meet on Thursday, May 26 from 2:00 PM-3:00 PM in Canton Public Library's Group Study Room A. We will be discussing KILLING PATTON by Bill O'Reilly.  Request a copy from the librarian at the Information Desk.

Upcoming sessions

There are no upcoming sessions available.

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.

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."--.

On Wednesday, May 4 at 7:00PM, Allison Leotta and Con (Cornelius) Lehane will visit Aunt Agatha's Bookstore in Ann Arbor to sign their new books,  Allison's new legal thriller, The Last Good Girl is set in a thinly disguised Ann Arbor; Con's Murder at the 42nd Street Library .  On Sunday, May 15, History Mystery returns to Aunt Agatha's for an Open House at 1:00PM.  Visiting us will be Susanna Calkins, Sharan Newman, Candace Robb & Sam Thomas.  All except Sharan have new books out. Special guest will be Darcie Wilde, known to some of you as Sarah Zettel, who has a new Regency era mystery.  Steve Hamilton returns on Tuesday, May 17, 7:00PM.  to sign his new book, The Second Life of Nick Mason at the Ann Arbor District Library-Downtown.  

"Sabina Carpenter and John Quinncannon are no stranger to mysteries. In the five years since they opened Carpenter and Quinncannon, Professional Detective Services, they have solved dozens, but one mystery has eluded even them: Sherlock Holmes or, rather, the madman claiming his identity, who keeps showing up with a frustrating (though admittedly useful) knack for solving difficult cases. Roland W. Fairchild, recently arrived from Chicago, claims Holmes is his first cousin, Charles P. Fairchild the Third. Now, with his father dead, Charles stands to inherit an estate of over three million dollars--if Sabina can find him, and if he can be proved sane. Sabina is uncertain of Roland's motives (he will inherit if Charles can't), but agrees to take the case. John, meanwhile, has been hired by the owner of the Golden State brewery to investigate the "accidental" death of the head brew-master, who fell into a vat of his own beer, and drowned. When a second murder occurs, and the murderer escapes from under his nose, John finds himself on the trail not just of the criminals, but of his reputation for catching them. But while John is certain he can catch his quarry, Sabina is less certain she wants to catch hers. Holmes has been frustrating, but useful, even kind. She is quite certain he is mad, and quite uncertain what will happen when he is confronted with the truth. Does every mystery need to be solved?"--.

The language of secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan

"Detective Esa Khattak heads up Canada's Community Policing Section, which handles minority-sensitive cases across all levels of law enforcement. Khattak is still under scrutiny for his last case, so he's surprised when INSET, Canada's federal intelligence agency, calls him in on another potentially hot button issue. For months, INSET has been investigating a local terrorist cell which is planning an attack on New Year's Day. INSET had an informant, Mohsin Dar, undercover inside the cell. But now, just weeks before the attack, Mohsin has been murdered at the group's training camp deep in the woods. INSET wants Khattak to give the appearance of investigating Mohsin's death, and then to bury the lead. They can't risk exposing their operation, or Mohsin's role in it. But Khattak used to know Mohsin, and he knows he can't just let this murder slide. So Khattak sends his partner, Detective Rachel Getty, undercover into the small-town mosque which houses the terrorist cell. As Rachel tentatively reaches out into the unfamiliar world of Islam, and begins developing relationships with the people of the mosque and the terrorist cell within it, the potential reasons for Mohsin's murder only seem to multiply, from the political and ideological to the intensely personal. The Unquiet Dead author Ausma Zehanat Khan once again dazzles with a brilliant mystery carefully woven into a profound and intimate story of humanity"--.

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