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How Mysterious

Posted On March 5, 2020

Curl up with a curious selection for spring

Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders by Tessa Arlen

Summer 1942. Poppy Redfern is Little Buffenden’s first Air Raid Precautions Warden. The Redfern family house and land have been requisitioned by the War Office to build an airfield for the American Air Force – which increases the chances that the small English village might become a German bombing target. Shortly after the airfield opens, two young women dating American servicemen are killed. Poppy decides to start her own investigation in which Americans and villagers (many of whom wish the Americans never made an appearance) are suspects. Can Poppy find the killer before another young woman, or even herself, pays the ultimate price? Fans of Susan Elia MacNeal’s “Maggie Hope” mysteries will greatly enjoy this new series. It really is a smashing read!

–Chantal Wilson

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

When a twenty-something Philadelphia babysitter, Emira Tucker, gets accused of kidnapping the toddler of her wealthy white employer, Alix Chamberlain, a series of events unfolds that complicates and reveals the intricacies of life's many relationships. Kiley Reid effortlessly packs a page’s worth of detail into each sentence and her characters are vividly real. The novel, while set in 2015 with references to many things specific to that period, has staying power via its long look at the ways in which subtle racism filters through everyday life. With an omniscient third person narrator, we get to investigate the minds and deepest inner thoughts of both Alix and Emira and witness the ways race, class, privilege, age and all of life's various factors affect their lives and interactions with one another. A deep and interesting story disguised as easy and entertaining makes this such a fun read.

–Morgan Ryan

Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes

Eva Innocente is a hard talking, hard drinking, hard hitting, hard loving captain, and while she frequently ends up in compromising situations, she has the brains and gusto to get out of them – mostly. The Fridge (the big bad) kidnaps Eva’s sister, Mari, and blackmails her into doing odd jobs for them. Space battles, psychic cats, deliveries and pickups gone bad, rogue religious conversions, and declarations of war ensue. At one point in the story, there is a literal space opera.  You’ll like this book if you enjoy space exploration, complicated family dynamics and a love story on the side.

–Mahogany Skillings



Afia Atakora deftly interweaves storylines from before, during and after the Civil War in an independent and isolated settlement of former slaves. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Rue is a midwife and healer in the community. When the community is tested by both outside and inside forces, Rue must find a way to save them. “Conjure Women” is a compelling saga set in the pre- and post- Civil War South centered around two strong healing women. The alternating timelines will keep readers hooked and guessing. Recommended for fans of “Homegoing” and “She Would Be King.”

–Megan Mathis

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