Spinecrackers (10/02/2020): Bringing Down the Duke

Bringing Down the Duke (cover)

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement…Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause…Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command…Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.


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September 2018 Library Reads Picks

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton

“Imagine the movie Groundhog Day, except this time Aiden Bishop wakes up each day in a deteriorating manor house, as a different person, and must work out who he is and how he relates to everyone else at the party commemorating the long ago death of a child. If he can’t solve the murder that occurs at the party, he is doomed to continue the loop every eight days. A riveting page turner.”

Becky Bowen, Kenton County Public Library, Erlanger, KY

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren

“Hazel is the eccentric, exuberant friend who’ll make you fall in love with her, and she’s not interested in being ‘dateable.’ Josh is busy being a workaholic, trying to make a long distance relationship work, and not pursuing romance with anyone else. But when his sister’s best friend Hazel blows back into his life, he is powerless to resist her genuine joie de vivre. If you’re looking for your next perfect read after The Kiss Quotient, look no further! A lovely slow burn.”

Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

Lies
by T.M. Logan

“When Joe unwittingly discovers that his wife has been having an affair with her friend’s husband, his life starts to unravel. It seems that her lover now wants Joe out of the picture. Follow the cat-and-mouse plot as it explodes with a shocking finish! Great fun for those readers who love a good psychological thriller.”

Paulette Brooks, Elm Grove Public Library, Elm Grove, WI

Night and Silence
by Seanan McGuire

“Toby is back in this latest installment of the October Daye series. Still reeling and recovering from the events of the last book, Toby and company are laying low. When her human daughter goes missing (again), Toby embarks on a twisty-turny race against time to find her. A solid entry and good choice for libraries with a strong demand for fantasy and urban fantasy.”

Mei-Ling Thomas, Rochester Hills Public Library, Rochester, MI

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen
by Sarah Bird

“A fascinating work of historical fiction about Cathay/Cathy Williams, a former slave turned Buffalo Soldier in post-Civil War America. Her raw and powerful story is sure to be popular with book clubs.”

Sarah Fetterman, Upper St. Clair Township Library, Upper St. Clair, PA

Lake Success: A Novel
by Gary Shteyngart

“Shteyngart delivers another painfully funny novel about ambition, disappointment, and the darker side of the American dream. For fans of witty, offbeat, satirical humor.”

Jennifer Alexander, St. Louis County Public Library, St. Louis, MO

The Dinner List: A Novel
by Rebecca Serle

“If you could have dinner with any five people, living or dead, who would they be? On her thirtieth birthday, Sabrina finds herself at dinner with her best friend, her ex-fiance, her long lost father, her college mentor and Audrey Hepburn, all with something to say to her. A charming combination of magical realism and romance.”

Tracy Babiasz, Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill, NC

Transcription: A Novel
by Kate Atkinson

“In WWII era London, Juliet Armstrong is working as an espionage monitor for MI5. Ten years later she suddenly finds herself targeted by dangerous individuals from her past. For fans of smart, witty, suspenseful, historical or spy fiction and authors like Tana French, Laurie R. King, and John Le Carre.”

Janet Lockhart, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

When the Lights Go Out
by Mary Kubica

“After her mother’s death, Jessie is trying is trying to rebuild her life. In her way is her debilitating insomnia and a secret that shakes the core of her identity. Psychological suspense with an unreliable narrator. This one’s for you Gone Girl fans.”

Diane Gring, Chester County Library & District Center, Exton, PA

Hitting the Books
by Jenn McKinlay

“McKinlay’s Lindsay Norris is back for another adventure in Briar Creek. As a fellow librarian, I appreciate her spot on observations of the library world. An upbeat cozy mystery with great characters and strong sense of place. For fans of the Aurora Teagarden mysteries and the Isabel Dalhousie mysteries.”

Carly Budzynski, Salem Public Library, Salem, VA

August 2018 Library Reads Picks

Vox

by Christina Dalcher

“In the future world depicted in Vox, women are limited to speaking 100 words per day. Readers will want to shout every word in their heads, hoard every book in their libraries, and second guess the words of every person in their lives. A captivating, timely book that explores women’s rights in a fast-paced, compelling story.”
                                                                                                                          Jennifer Gaenzle, Fort Fairfield Public Library, Fort Fairfield, ME

Our House

by Louise Candlish

“Full of secrets and surprises, Our House poses the question, “How well do you know the person you live with?” An attempt to co-habitate for the sake of the children leaves divorced mom Fiona alone and out in the cold. Readers will have a hard time putting down this twisty domestic suspense novel. Even after the last page is turned, the characters will linger.”

Annette Herbst, Columbia County Rural Library, Dayton, WA

Bellewether

by Susanna Kearsley

“A character-driven story with a nice surprise twist, this gothic-style fiction, set in 1759 Long Island, will not disappoint Kearsley’s many fans. Readers who enjoy good doses of romance, history, and magic will be pleased.”

Julie Raynor, High Point Public Library, High Point, NC

Good Luck with That

by Kristan Higgins

“Emerson, Georgia, and Marley met as teens at a “fat camp.” When one of them dies young, the others are forced to confront their own struggles with self-esteem and acceptance. With equal measures of humor and heartbreak, this book sparks questions about society’s idea of the perfect size and explores how body image can have far-reaching effects.”

Claudia Silk, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

The Masterpiece: A Novel

by Fiona Davis

“Disparate decades of New York City are capably brought to life through two strong and resourceful female characters in Davis’s latest work. At the center is the Grand Central Terminal, which served as an art school in the 1920s, is threatened with demolition in the 1970s, and connects the threads of Clara Darden’s and Virginia Clay’s lives. Well researched and captivating.”

Kelly Baroletti, Wantagh Public Library, Wantagh, NY

The Other Woman: A Novel

by Sandie Jones

“Emily thinks she’s found the man of her dreams in Adam. But when she meets Pammie, the woman she hopes will be her future mother-in-law, things take a sinister turn. Fast-paced, gripping, and ultimately satisfying.”

Jenny Moore, Hillsboro Public Library, Hillsboro, OR

Rust & Stardust: A Novel

by T. Greenwood

“Disturbing crime fiction based on real events that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita. In 1948, fifth grade Sally Horner is kidnapped by a man pretending to be a police officer.”

Ninoshka Aviles, Osceola Library, Osceola, FL

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

by Rhys Bowen

“The 12th book in the Royal Spyness mystery series finds our heroine, Georgie, juggling all manner of details as she prepares for her upcoming marriage to Darcy. A fun, breezy mystery.”

Cori Dodds, Derby Public Library, Derby, KS

Meet Me at the Museum: A Novel

by Ann Youngson

“A touching epistolary novel about an English farmer’s wife and a museum curator who may be in for an unexpected second act.”

Marilyn Sieb, L.D. Fargo Public Library, Lake Mills, WI

A River of Stars: A Novel

by Vanessa Hua

“A Chinese woman makes her way to America with her unborn daughter determined to make a life for them both. For readers who enjoy modern immigration stories like Behold the Dreamers and Little Fires Everywhere.”

Abby Johnson, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, IN

July 2018 Library Reads

Spinning Silver
by Naomi Novik

“A wonderful reimagining of the Rumpelstiltskin story. A tale of love, family, magic, and destiny, told from the perspective of three strong female characters.”

Melanie Liechty, Logan Library, Logan, UT

Clock Dance: A Novel
by Anne Tyler

“Willa Drake gets a second act when she steps in to care for a nine-year-old in a complicated situation. Character driven fiction and a sweeping storyline.”

Mary Anne Quinn, Warwick Public Library, Warwick, RI

Dear Mrs. Bird: A Novel
by AJ Pearce

“In 1940s London, Emmy takes a job as a typist that evolves into answering rejected letters sent to an advice columnist.”

Judy Hartman, Mechanicsville Public Library, Mechanicsville, IA

Baby Teeth: A Novel
by Zoje Stage

“A fragile woman struggles against her mute daughter’s schemes for her father’s undivided attention. Dark, creepy, and downright scary.”

Kathryn Neal, Skiatook Library, Skiatook, OK

Give Me Your Hand
by Megan Abbott

“Kit competes for her dream job with a rival who was once her closest friend. Gripping psychological suspense.”

Kristy Gates, Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, Jonesboro, AR

Believe Me: A Novel
by JP Delaney

“An unemployed actress works for a divorce lawyer entrapping unsuspecting husbands until she finds herself ensnared in a murder investigation. This roller-coaster ride of a book will keep you guessing with an unreliable narrator and and a twisty plot.”

Linda Quinn, Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield, CT

Caught In Time: A Novel
by Julie McElwain

“The third book in the Kendra Donovan series finds our protagonist investigating the murder of a mill owner against the the backdrop of the Industrial Revolution.”

Melissa Barber, Lubbock Public Library, Lubbock, TX

Somebody’s Daughter
by David Bell

“Michael Frazier is searching for the missing daughter he never knew he had. A multi-layered plot with so many compelling, complex characters, this book grabbed me from the first sentences.”

Evelyn Cunningham, Norwalk Public Library, Norwalk, CT

The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna by C. W. Gortner

“A look at Maria, Empress of Russia, and her trials before and after becoming the Russian Empress. Well written historical fiction.”

Janette McMahon, Fremont County Library System, WY

Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel
by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

“Set against the violence of 1990s Columbia, a young girl and a maid form an unlikely and dangerous relationship. Equal parts heartwrenching and beautiful.”

Alejandra Rodriguez, Osceola County Library, FL

June 2018 Library Reads Picks

Bring Me Back: A Novel
by B.A. Paris

“Intensifying psychological suspense. Twelve years after Finn’s girlfriend Layla disappeared, a discovery raises new questions.”

Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

There There
by Tommy Orange

“A large cast of interwoven characters depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place.”

Abby Johnson, New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, New Albany, IN

Us Against You: A Novel
by Fredrik Backman

“The citizens of Beartown are about to lose their beloved hockey team and their rivals could not be happier. The narrator has you wondering who is going to die and why events occur as they do.”

Gail Christensen, Kitsap Regional Library, Bremerton, WA

The Word is Murder: A Novel
by Anthony Horowitz

“A playful commentary on the mystery genre itself and the first in a promising new series. The author, Horowitz, plays the part of the narrator, and gets caught up in solving a murder with Daniel Hawthorne, an out-of-work detective.”

Amy Whitfield, Wake County Public Libraries, Cary, NC

Jar of Hearts
by Jennifer Hillier

“A suspenseful thriller told from multiple perspectives. A Seattle detective must unravel a web of secrets dating back to his high school days.”

Gail Roberts, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax, VA

Dreams of Falling
by Karen White

“Set in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, this story does what Southern fiction does best: family, lies, and secrets. For fans of Patti Callahan Henry and Mary Alice Monroe.”

Leanne Milliman, Charlevoix Public Library, Charlevoix, MI

The Kiss Quotient
by Helen Hoang

“A wonderfully sweet and erotic romance featuring an autistic heroine who hires a hot male escort to teach her how to enjoy sex, but learns so much more.”

Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

All We Ever Wanted: A Novel
by Emily Giffin

“Great storyline that is relevant to issues both facing young people today and the people raising them. The story keeps you guessing.”

Sarah Trohoske, Erie County Public Library, Erie, PA

Little Big Love
by Katy Regan

“A portrait of a family and a boy’s search for the father who left them, told from multiple perspectives with authentic, likeable characters.”

Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis County Library, Austin, TX

How Hard Can It Be?: A Novel
by Allison Pearson

“Kate is holding it all together, unemployed husband, kids, and parents. So, she reinvents herself as someone younger to secure a job with the hedge fund.”

Toni Nako, The Public Library of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

May 2018 Library Reads Picks

Furyborn
by Claire Legrand

“Fierce, independent women full of rage, determination, and fire. The first novel in the Empirium trilogy holds appeal for both young adult and adult readers. For fans of Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, and The Hunger Games.”

Kristin Friberg, Princeton Library, Princeton, NJ

The Other Lady Vanishes
by Amanda Quick

“Historical romantic suspense. Who would suspect that the quiet California seaside tea shop waitress is actually an escaped mental patient? The second book in Quick’s Burning Cove series has the same 1930s vibe and glamorous, gossipy Hollywood ambiance as The Girl Who Knew Too Much.”

Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

The Death of Mrs. Westaway
by Ruth Ware

“Ware’s best book by far. I finally stopped trying to puzzle it out and just sat back to enjoy the ride.”

Susanne Guide, Union County Public Library, Liberty, IN

The Perfect Mother: A Novel
by Aimee Molloy

“A frank look at mommy culture wrapped in an original twist on the suburban, psychological thriller.”

Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

Love and Ruin: A Novel
by Paula McLain

“Biographical and historical fiction. Another fascinating Hemingway wife from McLain who always writes interesting women and great period detail.”

Elizabeth Angelastro, Manilus Library, Manilus, NY

Tin Man: A Novel
by Sarah Winman

“A beautifully written story of love, loss, grief, friendship, and acceptance. The story winds in and out of time in a figure eight like waves reaching shore and receding again.”

Donna Burger, Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY

Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel
by Araminta Hall

“Disturbing psychological suspense with an unreliable narrator. This is a love story. Or is it? It’s more a story of obsession.”

Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, MO

Paper Ghosts: A Novel of Suspense
by Julia Heaberlin

“Grace has spent years secretly investigating the disappearance of her older sister. Grace’s prime suspect is Carl Feldman, a photographer, who has been acquitted of the crime and now suffers from dementia. Grace decides that a road trip may jog Carl’s memory.”

Galen Cunniff, Scituate Town Library, Scituate, MA

The Favorite Sister
by Jessica Knoll

“Perfect for the reality TV addicted, this book is gossip laden, full of edge, and contains plenty of surprises.”

Sharon Layburn, Huntington Public Library, Huntington Station, NY

The Ensemble: A Novel
by Aja Gabel

“Set against the backdrop of the highly-competitive and merciless world of classical music, this brilliantly written debut is an exquisite portrait of a group friendship spanning decades. Gabel weaves a lyrical tale of four young musician’s journeys and their complex, yet resilient, relationships with each other. For fans of The Interestings, A Little Life, and A Secret History.”

Mayleen Kelley, JV Fletcher Library, Westford MA