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Usually, writing about library activities is easy because so much is happening in the library during the summer. Not so this summer. We’re busy, but we miss all the kids and daily in-house activities we have with them. It’s just too quiet!
Yesterday I did a quick “What are you reading or have you read that you loved” poll. Don’t ask librarians that question unless you are ready for a long, long list. Here are a few favorites:
Most of us love a good mystery series and it seems that Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon books topped the list. Anna is a park ranger and each murder mystery is set in a different national park. The writing is crisp and Anna is a great character who grows and changes with the series. Start with Track of the Cat.
Catherine Coulter actively writes more than one series. My favorites are the FBI thrillers. Book 24, Deadlock, comes out July 28. Five red boxes are delivered to Agent Savich at the Hoover Building. He and his wife, Sherlock, must solve the mystery in order to save a young woman and also to protect their own family. The Cove is the first in this series.
Iris Johansen cranks out one mystery after another. Our favorites revolve around Eve, a forensic scientist. Eve has been a recurring character for years and her friends and family are all familiar to readers. Her newest book, The Persuasion, involves Eve’s adopted daughter, Jane. The first book in the series is Face of Deception.
CJ Box has a few standalone books, but our favorites are his Joe Pickett novels. In the latest book, Long Range, Joe is asked to join a other game wardens looking for a renegade bear. Just as he begins to suspect that the bear isn’t the killer, he is called back to his district. Someone is trying to kill a judge and the act has been blamed on Joe’s best friend, Nate. These are gritty, page-turning books. The first book in the series is Open Season.
Closer to home are the Red River Mysteries by Reavis Wortham. All of these novels are set in the 1960s around Paris, Texas. You’ll recognize many of the places in the books. Number one is The Rock Hole. His new series involves Sunny Hawke, a Texas Ranger. Hawke’s Prey is the first in that series.
Everyone here is tired of listening to me go on and on about Maisie Dobbs by Jaqueline Winspear. The books are set in England and begin around 1915. We see Maisie grow up and serve as a nurse in “The Great War.” She becomes a private detective and, in the latest book, World War II has begun. This is a good, good series. Winspear has a memoir coming out this year titled This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing. (I hope we’ll be laughing, too.)
I’m also a little overboard with James Rollins. His series involving Sigma Force is my favorite. Sigma is a secret arm of the CIA and their headquarters is located under the Smithsonian. In each and every book the world is threatened and, of course, Sigma saves the day. These are real thrillers that are a bit “out there” with their science. There’s enough truth in the plot to make you wonder if the situations could be repeated realistically. One of the best things about the books are Rollins’ notes at the end on what really could or could not happen. Start with Sandstorm.
The Ruth Galloway novels by Elly Griffiths are strong and well written. Galloway is an anthropologist in Great Britain. In The Crossing Places, she finds a body close to her home. Working with the local police detective, Galloway is able to find the murderer. She’s so good at what she does that the detective continues to consult with her in the books that follow.
And there are more! The list is long and we’ll include more titles next week. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July. We’ll be back on Monday. Happy reading!
Helen Thompson - Director, Mount Pleasant Public Library