December 2022


Clements, PaulJan Morris
Donati, AlbaDiary of a Tuscan Bookshop
McConaughey, MatthewGreenlights
Obama, MichelleThe light we carry
Tame, GraceThe Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner
Williams, LynneThe girl with the butterfly hands
Worsley, LucyAgatha Christie

The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner: A memoir by Grace Tame

Grace Tame has never walked on middle ground. From a young age, her life was defined by uncertainty – by trauma and strength, sadness and hope, terrible lows and wondrous highs. As a teenager she found the courage to speak up after experiencing awful and ongoing child sexual abuse. This fight to find her voice would not be her last. In 2021 Grace stepped squarely into the public eye as the Australian of the Year, and was the catalyst for a tidal wave of conversation and action. Australians from all walks of life were inspired and moved by her fire and passion. She was using her voice and encouraging others to use theirs too. The Ninth Life of a Diamond Miner is Grace’s story, in Grace’s words, on Grace’s terms. Here she returns, again and again, to the things that have driven and saved her: love, connection and radical, unwavering honesty. Like Grace, this book is sharply intelligent, deeply felt, wildly unexpected and often blisteringly funny. And, as with all her work, it offers a constructive and optimistic vision for a better future for all of us. Pan Macmillan Australia, 2022



The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

A heartening pep talk from the former first lady. Obama’s previous book, Becoming, was the bestselling book of 2018, translated into 24 languages and embraced around the world—not only because the author was already beloved and admired, but because the memoir shared the details of a unique, impressive life story. This follow-up is the kind of book that gets published because everyone wants more, whether or not there actually is any more to say. Inspired by roundtable discussions with young women and college students—and by questions asked on her arena book tour—Obama recapitulates and expands her guiding beliefs, giving us “a glimpse inside my personal toolbox…what I use professionally and personally to help me stay balanced and confident, what keeps me moving forward even during times of high anxiety and stress.” We’ve heard before about the author’s experiences as a Black woman at Princeton; the inspiring example of her father; the importance of friendship in her life; the early days of her relationship with her husband; and the decision to move her down-to-earth mother to the White House. She returns to those topics here, this time focusing less on storytelling than on crystallizing advice for those dealing with experiences of otherness, prejudice, “not-mattering” and loneliness (12% of Americans say they have no friends at all!). The author strongly believes our weaknesses can fuel our strengths, offering the example of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman’s overcoming her speech impediment. Toward the end of the book, Obama addresses the idea she’s become most famous for “going high,” first articulated at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. “But have you seen the world lately?” people ask her, after all the miseries and outrages of the last several years. “Are we stillsupposed to be going high?” Read the book to find out. No surprises or reveals but plenty of warmth and encouragement, particularly for young people. A good holiday gift. Kirkus Review, November 2022

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Steinbeck, JohnThe pearl
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Backman, FredrikBeartown
Delaney, JP.My darling daughter
Feeney, AliceDaisy darker
FitzGerald, HelenKeep her sweet
Flynn, ChrisHere be leviathans
Greer, Andrew SeanLess is Lost
Hepworth, SallyThe soulmate
Jones, GailSalonika burning
Joyce, RachelMaureen Fry and the Angel of the North
Kassab, YumnaThe lovers
Kingsolver, BarbaraDemon Copperhead
McCarthy, CormacThe passenger
McIntosh, FionaThe Orphans
Miller, AlexA brief affair
Saunders, GeorgeLiberation Day
Shinkai, MakotoShe and her cat
Shree, GeetanjaliTomb of sand
Simpson, IngaWillowman
Throsby, HollyClarke
Turow, ScottSuspect
White, SusanCut

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove tells a poignant story of a hockey town paralyzed by scandal. Jobs are disappearing and Beartown is slowly dying, so for its citizens, hockey is everything. Backman asks, “Why does everyone care about hockey? Because hockey tells stories.” This is the story not just of hockey, but of a 15-year-old named Maya Andersson, whose father, Peter, the general manager of the hockey club, loves hockey, but loves his family more. Seventeen-year-old Kevin Erdahl is the star of Beartown, with a chance to go professional. One night, after a huge win, Maya goes to a raucous party at Kevin’s house and is thrilled at his attention, but things get out of hand, and what takes place changes Beartown forever. Lest readers think hockey is the star here, it’s Backman’s rich characters that steal the show, and his deft handling of tragedy and its effects on an insular town. While the story is dark at times, love, sacrifice, and the bonds of friendship and family shine through, ultimately offering hope and even redemption. Backman veers close to the saccharine, but readers may be too spellbound to notice. Publisher’s Weekly, February 2017


She and Her Cat by Makoto Shinkai

Filmmaker and writer Shinkai (Your Name) conceives a whimsical and moving linked collection about a group of cats who help their owners find the strength they are unable to see in themselves. In “Sea of Words,” a young admin worker is afraid to ask the man she’s dating about the status of their relationship, and finds comfort from a cat named Chobi, who calls her his “girlfriend.” In “First Blossoming,” Chobi’s cat friend Mimi befriends an art student who decides to drop out of school and work at a design office, but faces immense obstacles in pursuing her dream to be a painter. “Slumber and Sky” follows a manga artist who falls into a deep depression when her childhood best friend suddenly dies the day after they have an explosive argument, but she finds the strength to move forward with the help of Mimi’s kitten, Cookie. While some of the human characters’ backstories feel slightly rushed, the author’s earnest depictions of the friendships between people and felines produces genuine wonder. The stories are rather simple, but they’re sure to satisfy readers looking for a quick pick-me-up. Publisher’s Weekly, August 2022


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver (Unsheltered) offers a deeply evocative story of a boy born to an impoverished single mother. In this self-styled, modern adaptation of Dickens’s David Copperfield, Demon Copperhead, 11, is the quick-witted son and budding cartoonist of a troubled young mother and a stepfather in southern Appalachia’s Lee County, Va.; eventually, his mother’s opioid addiction places Demon in various foster homes, where he is forced to earn his keep through work (even though his guardians are paid) and is always hungry from lack of food. After a guardian steals his money, Demon hitchhikes to Tennessee in search of his paternal grandmother. She is welcoming, but will not raise him, and sends him back to live with the town’s celebrated high school football coach as his new guardian, a widower who lives in a castle-like home with his boyish daughter, Angus. Demon’s teen years settle briefly with fame on the football field and a girlfriend, Dori. But stability is short-lived after a football injury and as he and Dori become addicted to opioids (“We were storybook orphans on drugs”). Kingsolver’s account of the opioid epidemic and its impact on the social fabric of Appalachia is drawn to heartbreaking effect. This is a powerful story, both brilliant in its many social messages regarding foster care, child hunger, and rural struggles, and breathless in its delivery. Publisher’s Weekly, August 2022

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Cooper, TeaThe butterfly collector
Goldsworthy, Adrian KeithThe fort
Gregory, PhilippaDawnlands
Keneally, TomFanatic heart
Knowles, MarkJason
Smith, Wilbur A.Titans of war
Turney, SimonDomitian

Dawnlands by Philippa Gregory

Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl) delivers an engrossing if scattered third installment to her Fairmile Series. In 1685, England’s Stuart James II is king. But for how long? His second wife, Mary Beatrice of Modena, is openly Roman Catholic. Some whisper that the young Duke of Monmouth, Charles II’s illegitimate son, is England’s rightful ruler. Will England see rebellion yet again? Through these fraught times Gregory follows tough-as-nails midwife Alinor Reekie, as well as her family and friends: Alinor’s son Rob wishes to avoid the brewing war but is soon entangled in it, and Alinor’s brother Ned Ferryman returns from America with his mysterious, newfound Pokanoket companion, Rowan, to fight with the rebels. Gregory intertwines these fictional lives with some of 17th-century England’s most famous and infamous figures. Some, like Lord Chief Justice, Judge Jeffreys, remind readers how barbarous the era could be, as he sentences a 70-year-old woman to burn alive. The narrative unfolds in familiar settings such as St. James’s Palace, Whitehall, and Windsor Castle, as well as London’s back allies and coffeehouses, and jumps to Bristol, Bath, Somerset (where the soon-to-be-executed Monmouth declares himself king), and colonial settings across the Atlantic. With so many places and characters in the mix, the story can be difficult to follow, but Gregory is as adept as ever at creating convincing atmosphere. The author’s fans will not be disappointed. Publisher’s Weekly, September 2022

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Anderson, LinThe party house
Black, CaraMurder at the Porte de Versailles
Brody, FrancesA mansion for murder
Connelly, MichaelDesert star
Disher, GarryDay’s end
Ellis, KateSerpent’s point
Evanovich, JanetGoing rogue
Fellowes, JessicaThe Mitford Secret
Greenwood, KerryMurder in Williamstown
Hendy, HannahThe dinner lady detectives
Kernick, SimonGood cop bad cop
Lynch, RachelDark game
Nossett, LaurenThe resemblance
Nunn, KayteThe only child
Patterson, JamesTriple Cross
Penny, LouiseA world of curiosities
Pine, AlexThe winter killer
Ramunno, OrianaAshes in the Snow
Robb, Candace M.A choir of crows
Sandford, JohnRighteous prey
Skelton, DouglasAn honourable thief
Templeton, AlineOld sins
Todd, CharlesAn Irish hostage
Toyne, SimonDark objects
Urquhart, AlainaThe butcher and the wren

The Mitford Secret by Jessica Fellowes

In Fellowes’s strong sixth and final mystery centered on the real-life Mitford family (after 2021’s The Mitford Vanishing), private detective Louisa Sullivan, the family’s former nursemaid, reunites in 1941 with the Mitfords at Chatsworth, their new home in the English countryside, which serves as a refuge for Louisa and her five-year-old daughter from the bombing of London. Then an old woman appears at Chatsworth, Mrs. Hoole, who claims to have a message for the youngest Mitford sister, Deborah, from the other side, directing Deborah to search the house’s vestibule. Those in attendance go along with the request, and Louisa finds a bloodstained maid’s cap hidden behind a wall panel. Mrs. Hoole eventually reveals the cap’s connected to the disappearance and likely murder of Joan Dorries, who was in service with her and vanished more than 25 years earlier. A fresh murder, which seems clearly linked to Joan’s fate, injects even more life into the cold case. Fellowes neatly balances period detail and fair cluing. Fans will be happy to see this series going out on a high note. Publisher’s Weekly, October 2022


A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny

Bestseller Penny’s virtuoso 18th novel featuring Chief Insp. Armand Gamache of the Québec Sûreté (after 2021’s The Madness of Crowds) blends nuanced characterization with nail-biting suspense. Siblings Fiona and Sam Arsenault return to Three Pines more than a decade after Gamache investigated the bludgeoning murder of their mother, Clotilde. His inquiry revealed that Clotilde had prostituted her children, then 13 and 10, at the time of the killing. During the case, he met his future number two and son-in-law, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, who came to a different conclusion than his own. Gamache stayed involved in Fiona’s life, even aiding her graduate studies in engineering. The Arsenaults’ arrival coincides with several murders, which seem connected to an unusual painting found concealed in a hidden room in Three Pines. It first appears to be a duplicate of The Paston Treasure, a cryptic 17th-century assemblage of items known as A World of Curiosities, but anachronistic elements, such as a digital watch, have been added. Penny adds crucial details about Gamache’s backstory and satisfactorily resolves a plotline tease from earlier in the series. This tale of forgiveness and redemption will resonate with many. Publisher’s Weekly, August 2022


Righteous Prey by John Sandford

Bestseller Sandford’s enjoyable second novel to unite his two main series leads (after 2021’s Ocean Prey) pits U.S. Marshal Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers, an agent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, against a highly organized group of mega-wealthy, thrill-seeking vigilantes, who meet on the dark web. The vigilantes keep their identities secret, issue a press release and donate to a charity after each kill, and urge others to follow their example. Their stated objective is “to murder people who need to be murdered.” Each of the five core members has their own idea of what that statement means. The first victim is a homeless man who prowls the alleys of San Francisco, the second a U.S. representative from Texas, the third a Minnesota real estate developer. With the real estate developer’s murder, Davenport and Flowers are drawn in to help with the FBI’s investigation. The book’s strength rests firmly on the rapport between Davenport and Flowers: their pithy dialogue is spiced with the kind of humor that enduring friendships engender. Sandford fans will hope they have a long run as a team. Publisher’s Weekly, July 2022


A choir of crows by Candice Robb

Set in 1374 shortly after the events of 2019’s A Conspiracy of Wolves, Robb’s solid 12th Owen Archer mystery finds the future of the English royal family uncertain. Edward III and his heir, Prince Edward, are in poor physical and mental health, and the next in the line of succession, Prince Richard, is only a child. Owen, now the captain of bailiffs for the city of York, is serving as Prince Edward’s “eyes and ears in the North.” Meanwhile, a monk arrives at Owen’s house with “a fair young woman” disguised as a male pilgrim. The woman, whose name and background are unknown to the monk, is accused of fatally stabbing a vicar in the churchyard and of climbing up the chapter-house stairs to the roof and pushing another man to his death. Owen investigates, concerned that the deaths might pose a risk to the realm. Owen’s worries that his children may have the pestilence add some emotional depth. Robb once again effectively blends crime with the politics of 14th-century England. Publisher’s Weekly, April 2020

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Delaney, BrigidReasons not to worry
Fidler, RichardThe book of roads & kingdoms
Hickie, IanMinding your mind
Mosse, KateWarrior queens & quiet revolutionaries
Murakami, HarukiNovelist as a vocation
O’Rourke, MeghanThe invisible kingdom
Thunberg, GretaThe climate book
Wilkinson, TobyA world beneath the sands

The Invisible Kingdom by Meghan O’Rourke

With a poet’s sensibility, journalist’s rigor, and patient’s personal investment, O’Rourke (The Long Goodbye) sheds light on the physical and mental toll of having a mysterious chronic illness. “I got sick the way Hemingway says you go broke: ‘gradually and then suddenly,’ ” she writes before delving into the decades-long game of cat and mouse she played with symptoms ranging from rashes to exhaustion starting in the late 1990s. As she reflects on the labyrinthine system she had to navigate before eventually being diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, O’Rourke traces the history of Western medicine—from the “dramatic clarity” of germ theory to its murky treatment and dismissal of patients it can’t diagnose. As she writes, “It is a truth universally acknowledged among the chronically ill that a young woman in possession of vague symptoms… will be in search of a doctor who believes she is actually sick.” Wary of “late-capitalist” illness narratives that demand either wellness or wisdom from sick people, O’Rourke shirks a tidy recovery story and instead mines her abjection, astonishment, and vulnerability—and the radical illness writings of Alphonse Daudet, Alice James, and Audre Lorde—to offer a stunningly raw account of living with the existential complexities of a sickness that “never fully resolves.” Readers will be left in awe. Publisher’s Weekly, November 2021


Novelist as a Vocation by Haruki Murakami

Novelist Murakami (1Q84) reveals the tricks of the trade in this stellar essay collection, originally published in Japan in 2015. In “Are Novelists Broadminded?” he observes that “people with brilliant minds are not particularly well suited to writing novels,” while “A Completely Personal and Physical Occupation” makes a case that it’s crucial for a writer to cultivate stamina: “You have to become physically fit. You need to become robust and physically strong. And make your body your ally.” In “When I Became a Novelist” Murakami shares stories of his time at the Waseda University in Tokyo at the peak of student protests and recalls his days operating a jazz café with his wife in the mid-’70s: “We were all young then, full of ambition and energy—though, sad to say, no one was making any money to speak of.” Especially enjoyable is a mystical tale he shares about a baseball game he attended in 1978 during which “based on no grounds whatsoever, it suddenly struck me: I think I can write a novel.” Lighthearted yet edifying, the anecdotes make for a fantastic look at how a key literary figure made it happen. Murakami’s fans will relish these amusing missives. Publisher’s Weekly, August 2022


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Arnold, LukeOne foot in the fade
Blake, OlivieThe Atlas paradox
Chambers, BeckyA prayer for the crown-shy
Dean, SunyiThe book eaters
Gibson, S. T.A dowry of blood
Roberts, NoraThe Choice

One Foot in the Fade by Luke Arnold

Arnold’s outstanding third Fetch Phillips urban fantasy (after Dead Man in a Ditch), set seven years after the Coda removed magic from the world, sees human Phillips struggling to sustain his business helping formerly magical clients adjust to that change. Gigs are drying up as supernatural beings reconcile themselves to a permanently diminished existence, a resignation accelerated by the rapacious Niles Company, which is reshaping the infrastructure of Phillips’s home base of Sunder City. Now Phillips, who’s driven by guilt to find a way to restore magic as his own actions inadvertently caused the Coda, pursues reports of thieves targeting once-magical artifacts, suggesting that someone may know how to restore their powers. But his investigation takes a dangerous turn following the suspicious death of a friend, an angel whose wings could no longer be used for flight. Arnold’s attention to worldbuilding details, such as necessary changes to Sunder City’s streets to accommodate automobiles, set this a cut above. While many others have tried to wed hard-boiled narration with a supernatural plot, few have been as successful. Publisher’s Weekly, February 2022


A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson

Anyone going into Gibson’s purported retelling of Dracula expecting it to do what it says on the tin is in for a surprise; the few glancing allusions to the original are so brief as to be barely a footnote. The dark, seductive tale that Gibson (Robber Girl) delivers instead has far more in common with “Bluebeard.” It takes the form of a love letter/murder confession from the heroine, Constanta, to the captivating but tyrannical unnamed vampire who turned her and made her his bride before becoming her abuser, chronicling their relationship from plague-ridden medieval Romania through a violent, whirlwind tour of Europe, to 1920s France. Along the way, Constanta’s husband masterfully manipulates her into twice agreeing to expand their family, turning first Magdalena, a ruthless Spaniard, then Alexi, a boisterous Russian actor, into vampires and bringing them into their marriage bed. Passion and genuine love arise between “my lord’s” three consorts, and it’s Constanta’s concern for Magdalena and Alexi that finally allows her to break her husband’s thrall and see his strict rules and jealous rages for what they are. The result is a messy, in-depth portrait of emotional abuse that nails Constanta’s complex intermingling of love, pain, fear, and anger in mesmerizing prose. Thorny, fast-paced, and unabashedly queer, this is sure to draw readers in. Publisher’s Weekly, June 2022


A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

Tea monk Sibling Dex and robot Splendid Speckled Mosscap are back for the quietly brilliant second installment in Hugo Award winner Chambers’s Monk and Robot novella series (after A Psalm for the Wild Built). Dex returns from their sojourn into the dangerous wilderness of the Antlers, with Mosscap—the first robot to reach out to humans in the centuries since the Awakening, when robots gained sentience and went off to form their own autonomous societies—in tow. Built in the wild by other robots, Mosscap had never met a human before Dex and is determined to answer the question, “What do humans need?” As Dex and Mosscap navigate their new celebrity status and set out to encounter the full breadth of humanity through Panga’s varied human settlements, the question proves more complicated than either anticipated. The result is a lightly drawn but profound meditation on belief, entropy, and the nature of need and want that once again demonstrates Chambers’s prowess as both a storyteller and a thinker. Quiet and contemplative, empathic and warmhearted, this masterful sequel builds on the themes of the first volume to posit a more sustainable, more caring way of life. It’s both truly comforting and endlessly thought-provoking. Publisher’s Weekly, March 2022

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Harper, DamianKorea
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New additions to eBooks at SMSA

eBooks & Audiobooks help


General novelsChandran, ShankariSong of the Sun God
General novelsLu, SiangThe Whitewash
General novelsMargo, GabriellaAll’s Fair in Love and Tequila
General novelsMcCaffrey, KateDouble Lives
General novelsPicoult, JodiMad Honey
General novelsThrosby, HollyClarke
Historical novelsTea CooperThe Butterfly Collector
MysteryAdams, ErinJackal: A Novel
MysteryBateman, E. C.Death at the Auction
MysteryCarver, WillSuicide Thursday
MysteryConnelly, MichaelDesert Star
MysteryCurran, ChrisWhen the Lights Go Out
MysteryGreenwood, KerryMurder in Williamstown
Non fictionSavva, NikiBulldozed: Scott Morrison’s fall and Anthony Albanese’s rise
Non fictionToibin, ColmA Guest at the Feast

The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane

In McFarlane’s expansive latest (after The High Places), the search for a missing boy in the Australian outback in 1883 casts lights on the tensions roiling beneath the surface of the English colony. One day, six-year-old Denny Wallace goes for a walk and disappears into a dust storm. Members of the small farming community help Denny’s parents, Mathew and Mary, look for their son. Among the teeming cast are Minna Baumann, a newlywed who pines for her constable husband, Robert, after he joins the search party; Mr. Daniels, the sickly local vicar who is suspected of knowing what happened to Danny; Karl and Bess Rapp, itinerant artists who have come to paint the desert sunset; Cissy Wallace, one of Denny’s five sisters, who has her sexual awakening as a result of the search; and Jimmy Possum, an Aboriginal tracker whose talismanic cloak is coveted by Mrs. Axam, the community’s matriarch. But will their combined efforts lead to Denny’s ultimate rescue? Though there isn’t much of a plot, the vivid descriptions of the landscape, a lived-in feeling community, dozens of well-defined characters, and an honest look at the uneasy relationship between settlers and Australia’s Indigenous population carry the reader along. Fans of Richard Flanagan and Peter Carey will love this. Publisher’s Weekly, September 2022


Desert Star by Michael Connelly

In bestseller Connelly’s thrilling fifth outing for Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch (after 2021’s The Dark Hours), Ballard invites the retired Bosch to volunteer for the LAPD’s newly revived Open-Unsolved Unit, which she’s running, enticing him with the prospect of finding the man responsible for the 2013 slaying of an entire family. She also wants to reopen the 1994 murder of 16-year-old Sarah Pearlman, sister of the L.A. city councilman who helped resuscitate the cold case team. Ballard and Bosch work at the department’s new homicide archive where the unsolved murder books are stored: “hallowed ground to Bosch. The library of lost souls.” Both cases require deep dives into the past; both lead to great action scenes; and, as always, Connelly displays his encyclopedic knowledge of the latest forensics, such as “Investigative Genetic Genealogy.” Bosch, however, takes a low-tech approach and follows leads in the field with his trademark intensity, driven by his desire to restore order in a violent world (“The dark engine of murder would never run low on fuel. Not in his lifetime”). This entry, the 24th Bosch novel, may not be as expansive as The Dark Hours, but it ranks up there with Connelly’s best. Publisher’s Weekly, August 2022

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General novelsBrown, CarolynJust in time for Christmas
General novelsCole, AlyssaWhen no one is watching
General novelsHoover, ColleenUgly love
General novelsJewell, LisaThe third wife
General novelsModglin, KierstenThe arrangement
MysteryAmphlett, RachelBridge to Burn
MysteryCahoon, LynThe Tuesday Night Survivors’ Club
MysteryGray, ClaudiaThe murder of Mr Wickham
MysteryLafferty, MurStation eternity
MysteryRichards, NatalieOne was lost
MysteryRosenfeld, KatNo one will miss her
MysterySchellman, KatharineThe body in the garden
MysteryUrquhart, AlainaThe butcher and the wren
Science fictionArcher, C. J.The librarian of crooked lane
Science fictionShepherd, MeganMalice house

When no one is watching by Alyssa Cole

At the start of this outstanding thriller from Cole (A Prince on Paper), Sydney Green decides, as a distraction from her elderly mother’s illness and other personal woes, to take a walking tour of Gifford Place, her historically Black Brooklyn neighborhood, which is becoming increasingly gentrified and considered as the home for a pharmaceutical firm’s massive new headquarters. Angered by the white tour guide’s detailing “the lives of the rich white people who’d lived there a hundred years ago,” but saying nothing about the area’s current African American residents, Sydney plans to set up her own neighborhood tour. As Sydney researches Gifford Place’s complicated history and racial background, she notices that longtime neighbors and friends are starting to disappear. Theo, a new white neighbor she met on the tour, lends some unwanted assistance in trying to figure out what’s going on. Sydney’s paranoia and fear, coupled with her guilt at placing her mother in a nursing home, fuel the tense plot, which builds to a credible finale. This stellar and unflinching look at racism and greed will have readers hooked til the end. Publisher’s Weekly, July 2020


No one will miss her by Kat Rosenfeld

The murder of Lizzie Oullette, the most hated woman in rundown Copper Falls, Maine, jump-starts this clever, surprising psychological thriller from YA author Rosenfield (Inland). Few people mourn Lizzie, their dislike stemming from her rough background, the only child of the local junkyard’s owner. Instead, the residents of Copper Falls (“not even the yearly influx of tourists could reverse the town’s protracted death from neglect”) are more worried about her missing husband, the prime suspect in Lizzie’s murder, regarded by them as “some kind of hometown hero whose life had been unfairly derailed.” The investigation of Det. Ian Bird of the Maine State Police takes him to Boston to track down Adrienne and Ethan Richards, the wealthy couple who rented the lake house where Lizzie’s body was found. A much-despised disgraced financier, Ethan was never prosecuted for bilking many out of their life savings. Flashbacks reveal how the lives of Lizzie and smug, arrogant Adrienne intersected with fatal results. The superb character-driven plot delivers an astonishing, believable jolt. Rosenfield shines a searing light on issues of classism, jealousy, and squandered potential. Publisher’s Weekly, August 2021

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