Here it is. The final installment of Staff Picks 2019. May another year of great reading be ahead!
Linda leads the way:
Long Time Gone by J.A. Jance: This is the 17th book in this series featuring Seattle detective J.P. Beaumont. I had read the earlier ones years ago and somehow lost track of them. I had forgotten what good books they are. The stories are complete and complex as are her characters. This one is a page turner, full of twists and turns. It’s a very quick read. I finished it in a day. Her characters have grown and matured over the years and their relationships are deep. It might be good to read the first in the series to get a little background on them. Jance’s writing is so good, I was immersed in the setting and felt a part of the story, along for the ride, observing the chase. No, not observing, experiencing. It was a wild ride.
The Shaman’s Game by James D. Doss: With a full cast of complex and interesting characters, this book will immerse you in the culture and traditions of the Ute Nation in Colorado. Horace Antelope dies in the midst of a Dances Thirsty ritual, just as he taps into the power of The Great Mysterious One. He was old and dehydrated and exhausted from the demanding rite. His even older mother, Popeye Woman, dies of a heart attack from the shock. But there is much more here than meets the eye. Ute detective, Charlie Moon, spurred on by his own instincts and the spiritual insights of his Shaman Aunt Daisy, investigates what appears to be a death by natural causes. Suspects abound. Can Charlie Moon find the truth before anyone else dies?
Dave Slater series by P.F. Ford: I found this series free on Kindle and have enjoyed them very much. The author, apparently, went for years unable to get published and I don’t understand why. These are delightful, cozy British detective mysteries. They flow right along and are quick reads. I love the characters. They are quirky but intelligent and well suited to their jobs, and their relationships have humorous consequences even in the middle of their serious work. In each new volume, the plots get more complicated. So I recommend you go for a ride-along with DS Dave Slater and his partner, DS Norman Norman. (yes, really.) You won’t regret it. We are now carrying them in the library.
The Long Call by Ann Cleeves: This is the first installment of a new series written by the author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope series. We meet Detective Matthew Venn as he stands in a church yard watching the funeral of his father. He is not welcome there. Little does he know he will soon be involved with his estranged family and church, soon enough. A body is found on the beach. The victim is recognized by a local young woman with Down’s Syndrome as someone who has befriended her on the bus. Then, a friend of hers goes missing from the same day center that she attends, the one managed by Venn’s husband, Jon. This girl is also the daughter of Venn’s mother’s friend, a member of the strict church that rejected him. Now it’s Venn’s job to put all the pieces together and solve this puzzle, hopefully before another body turns up. Ms. Cleeves’ great talents at creating characters, scenes, and complex plots, once again presents a compelling, suspenseful novel you won’t want to put down.
Shetland, Season 5 – DVD: This series, based on the books by Ann Cleeves has beautiful scenery, complex characters, and intense plots. The acting is top notch and the stories are riveting. This particular season delves into the subject of human trafficking, and tests the mettle of all our favorite characters. If you haven’t seen any of these, you may want to start at the beginning. The books are also wonderfully written. Try them too.
Emma is next:
In the Dream House: a memoir by Carmen Maria Machado
After the People Lights Have Gone Off by Stephen Graham Jones
Growing Things and Other Stories by Paul Tremblay
All Systems Red by Martha Wells
The Wicked + the Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Mariah’s top picks:
Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey
The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant
Best Friends by Shannon Hale
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss
The Walking Dead – TV series
Stranger Things – Netflix series
Center Point Road by Thomas Rhett – album
And Dale will finish things off:
Middlewest by Skottie Young
Coyote Songs by Gabino Iglesias
Joker – DVD
The Witcher – Netflix series
Geist by The Browning – album
Happy New Year and we wish you all an adventurous year of reading, watching, and listening! See you at Topsham Public Library!