Wolf Hollow (Lew Ferris #1), by Victoria Houston
It’s mid-May in the tiny north woods Wisconsin town of Loon Lake. There are rumors that a precious vein of nickel and copper is buried on the property of wealthy Grace McDonough, and the drilling is about to begin. But not if environmentalist Pete Ferris can help it.
When Grace’s 24-year-old son, Noah, is caught in a sordid sex crime, police chief Lew Ferris, makes the arrest. But a day later, Lew is stricken when her brother Pete turns up dead, a bloody pry bar found in the woods nearby. Then, Grace’s body is discovered in a car at the bottom of a river–and Noah has vanished. Lew puts out a statewide APB, but before long, Noah is also found murdered on the McDonough property.
It’s beginning to look like mother and son were killed by the same person. And when Lew learns that her brother had planned to file a lawsuit to prevent drilling for the sulfide mine, a key piece of the puzzle suddenly falls into place.
Spirits and Smoke (Maddie Pastore Mystery #2), by Mary Miley
December, 1924. Young widow Maddie Pastore feels fortunate to be employed by the well-meaning but fraudulent medium Carlotta Romany. Investigating Carlotta’s clients isn’t work she’s proud of, but she’s proud of how well she does it.
Maddie’s talents, however, draw them unwelcome attention: sharp-eyed Officer O’Rourke from the Chicago Police. He doesn’t believe in spiritualism – but in a city packed with mobsters, con artists and criminals, he’ll take any help he can get.
It’s not long before Maddie has a case to bring him. Why did teetotal banker Herman Quillen die of alcohol poisoning? And who is the gold-toothed man claiming to be his brother, and demanding the spirits reveal where Herman hid his money?
All Maddie wants is to uncover the truth – but to her horror, she’s soon mixed up in a tangled web of secrets and deception that leads to the heart of Chicago’s violent gangs . . . and she’ll need all her wits about her if she, and her loved ones, are going to make it out again alive.
Sins of the Fathers: A Novel, by Herbert J. Stern, Alan A. Winter
History hinged on a call as the German high command waited for Hitler’s order to invade Czechoslovakia. That was the signal that would launch their revolt to bring down the Reich.
Every detail of the coup was in place. Access roads to Berlin would be blocked. The city sealed. Communication centers taken. A commando squad―sixty hand-picked men―were ready to storm the Chancellery and seize Hitler. The only open question: to try Hitler as a traitor or execute him on the spot.
Sins of the Fathers is the eye-opening novel―based on historical facts―of the efforts of German military leaders, career civil servants, and clergy to solicit England’s assistance to bring down the tyrant in 1938. When Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain refused to meet with them, they turned to Winston Churchill, who secretly supported their cause. Armed with a strongly worded letter from the future prime minister, they waited for Hitler’s telephone call ordering German troops to invade Czechoslovakia―the signal for their uprising. But the call did not come. Instead, Prime Minister Chamberlain went to Hitler’s apartment in Munich only to bow to the dictator’s will. The invasion was over before it began―and with that, so was the coup. Flying home, Chamberlain announced he had obtained “peace for our times.”
Sins of the Fathers―the sequel to Wolf about Hitler’s rise to power―tells the dramatic true story of the foolish prime minister that undermined the coup to topple the regime, delivered Czechoslovakia to Hitler, saved the Führer’s life, and paved the road to World War II.
Red Burning Sky: A WWII Novel Inspired by the Greatest Aviation Rescue in History, by Tom Young
Summer 1944: Yugoslavia is locked in a war within a war. When not fighting against German occupation, Chetnik and Partisan factions battle each other. Hundreds of Allied airmen have been shot down over this volatile region, among them American Lieutenant Bill Bogdonavich. Though grateful to the locals who risk their lives to shelter and protect them from German troops, Bogdonavich dreams of the impossible: escape.
With three failed air missions behind him, Lieutenant Drew Carlton is desperate for redemption. From a Texas airbase he volunteers for a secretive and dangerous assignment, codenamed Operation Halyard, that will bring together American special operations officers, airmen, and local guerilla fighters in Yugoslavia’s green hills. The daring plan–to evacuate hundreds of stranded airmen while avoiding detection by the Germans–faces overwhelming odds. What follows is one of the greatest stories of World War II heroism, an elaborate rescue that required astonishing courage, sacrifice, and resilience.
Red Burning Sky is a riveting and ultimately triumphant tale based on true events, all the more remarkable for being so little known–until now.
Lead Me Astray, by Sondi Warner
Aurie Edison shouldn’t linger in Overlay City, a mystical world of ley lines hidden within New Orleans. Luckily, there’s a seductive Empath named Mys who pledges to get her where she needs to be. Then there’s Detective Zyr Ravani, the hot werewolf tasked with keeping them safe. But what’s the worst that can happen to a Ghost?
See, Aurie’s not living her best life. But she COULD be if she accepts the powerful desire swirling between the three of them.
Ready to get away with something different? Solve Aurie’s murder with Detective Zyr Ravani and the genderqueer Mx. Mys as you fall head over heels for this threesome along the way. Go ahead. #GetAwayWithIt
Introducing an adventurous tale of self-discovery, magic and menagé a trois. LEAD ME ASTRAY is a fresh new story from an authentic LGBTQ voice. Add this unicorn to your reading list and find out why it’s a winner.
Mage of Fools, by Eugen Bacon
In the dystopian world of Mafinga, Jasmin must contend with a dictator’s sorcerer to cleanse the socialist state of its deadly pollution.
Mafinga’s malevolent king dislikes books and, together with his sorcerer Atari, has collapsed the environment to almost uninhabitable. The sun has killed all the able men, including Jasmin’s husband Godi.
But Jasmin has Godi’s secret story machine that tells of a better world, far different from the wastelands of Mafinga. Jasmin’s crime for possessing the machine and its forbidden literature filled with subversive text is punishable by death.
Fate grants a cruel reprieve in the service of a childless queen who claims Jasmin’s children as her own. Jasmin is powerless—until she discovers secrets behind the king and his sorcerer.
Her Hidden Genius, by Marie Benedict
Rosalind Franklin has always been an outsider―brilliant, but different. Whether working at the laboratory she adored in Paris or toiling at a university in London, she feels closest to the science, those unchanging laws of physics and chemistry that guide her experiments. When she is assigned to work on DNA, she believes she can unearth its secrets.
Rosalind knows if she just takes one more X-ray picture―one more after thousands―she can unlock the building blocks of life. Never again will she have to listen to her colleagues complain about her, especially Maurice Wilkins who’d rather conspire about genetics with James Watson and Francis Crick than work alongside her.
Then it finally happens―the double helix structure of DNA reveals itself to her with perfect clarity. But what unfolds next, Rosalind could have never predicted.
Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love, by Kim Fay
When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter–as well as a gift of saffron–to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she’s never tasted fresh garlic–exotic fare in the Northwest of the sixties. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the unexpected in their own lives.
Food and a good life–they can’t be separated. It is a discovery the women share, not only with each other, but with the men in their lives. Because of her correspondence with Joan, Imogen’s decades-long marriage blossoms into something new and exciting, and in turn, Joan learns that true love does not always come in the form we expect it to. Into this beautiful, intimate world comes the ultimate test of Joan and Imogen’s friendship–a test that summons their unconditional trust in each other.
What the Fireflies Knew, by Kai Harris
After her father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of the family home in Detroit, almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB) and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing.
Over the course of a single, sweltering summer, KB attempts to get her bearings in a world that has turned upside down–a father who is labeled a fiend; a mother whose smile no longer reaches her eyes; a sister, once her best friend, who has crossed the threshold of adolescence and suddenly wants nothing to do with her; a grandfather who is grumpy and silent; the white kids across the street who are friendly, but only sometimes. And all of them are keeping secrets.
Pinballing between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, KB is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice. As she examines the jagged pieces of her recently shattered world, she learns that while some truths cut deep, a new life–and a new KB–can be built from the shards.
Capturing all the vulnerability, perceptiveness, and inquisitiveness of a young Black girl on the cusp of puberty, Harris’s prose perfectly inhabits that hazy space between childhood and adolescence, where everything that was once familiar develops a veneer of strangeness when seen through newer, older eyes. Through KB’s disillusionment and subsequent discovery of her own power, What the Fireflies Knew poignantly reveals that heartbreaking but necessary component of growing up–the realization that loved ones can be flawed, sometimes significantly so, and that the perfect family we all dream of looks different up close.