A Few New Mysteries to Reserve for Curbside Pickup!

Here are a few new mysteries to reserve by three great authors! Reserve them for Curbside Pickup by following these instructions.

The Long Call and The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves’ latest book, The Darkest Evening: A Vera Stanhope Novel, can be reserved now in the catalog. It is the #9 in the series and due out in September. 

The Long Call is out now and can be reserved in physical format for Curside Pickup, or you can check out ebook or audiobook format on Overdrive or through the Libby app. 

The first in the Two Rivers series, it is set on the coast of North Devon, England. Meet Detective Inspector Matthew Venn, who is investigating the death of a man found on the beach, as well as two kidnappings in which key suspects are discovered that are involved with the Woodyard Centre which is managed by Venn’s partner, Jonathan Church.

The Witch Elm by Tana French in print, ebook, or audiobook format

Toby, a publicist for an art gallery in Dublin, is savagely attacked in his apartment by robbers. He moves in with his Uncle Hugo to recover when a human skull is discovered in the hollow of a witch elm tree in the backyard.

Keep an eye out for The Searcher, French’s latest book, due out in October. She is also the author of the popular Dublin Murder Squad Series.

A Better Man and All The Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

A Better Man by Louise Penny is #15 in the Chief Inspector Gamache Mysteries. Gamache is now the head of homicide again, working with his son-in-law to solve what appears to be a murder of a pregnant woman by her husband. Unexpected events call for the investigation to be reexamined in this complex psychological mystery. Familiar characters appear in the setting of Three Pines, Canada.

Check it out in print , ebook, or audiobook format. 

All The Devils Are Here, #16 in the series, is due out in September.

Escape to the Country! Find Bucolic Bliss on hoopla, Overdrive, and Acorn TV

Here in our pretty seaside town, we’re surrounded by an abundance of Atlantic natural beauty. But if you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust as summer begins and would like to seek out pastures new–at least in imagination–let the Abbot Library be your guide! You’ll find the suggestions below on hoopla, Overdrive/Libby, and Acorn TV.

If rural New England takes your fancy, you might just like Sy Montgomery’s The Good, Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood, read by Audiofile Earphones Award-winning Xe Sands and set on a New Hampshire farmstead. This gentle, true tale of a runt piglet who became a beloved village icon and even did a stint on NPR is sure to charm you. Sy Montgomery is a noted naturalist who is famous for The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness and, more recently, the soulful, philosophical How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals–neither of which is strictly rural, but both of which will nonetheless envelop the reader in the wonders of the natural world.

If you think the grass might be even greener in England (that famously “green and pleasant land”), then try world-renowned titles by Yorkshire country veterinarian Alf Wight, written under the nom-de-plume “James Herriot.” Many are familiar with the bestselling All Creatures Great and Small, adapted for TV in the late 1970s and 1980s, and starring Robert Hardy (of Harry Potter fame) and Christopher Timothy. If not, or if you’d like to revisit the famed practice in Darrowby, try this Overdrive audio version with the genial-voiced Timothy as narrator. Herriot’s evocation of the lush Yorkshire Dales in funny and poignant true-to-life tales is sure to soothe the soul. Did you know that there are further Herriot books to enjoy? You’ll find many of them here, in both audio and ebook formats. Also, keep an eye out for more audio versions (also voiced by Timothy) coming to our Overdrive collection this July.

Farm life and bucolic landscapes also feature on several high-quality Acorn TV documentaries and series. If you can’t get enough of James Herriot, you’ll love The Yorkshire Vet, which follows the real-life adventures of two vets now working in Alf Wight’s old practice, one of whom trained under Wight. Or tune in to some pleasurably educational reality TV with “The Family Farm,” filmed in the Welsh countryside. You’ll watch three urban families as they challenge themselves to live an agrarian life for three weeks. For an illuminating ramble across the whole of Wales, accompanied by a charming sheepdog and his knowledgeable human, try “Off the Beaten Track,” also on Acorn TV.

Here’s hoping you find your rural bliss!

Recommended Reading: “The War That Saved My Life” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley is a children’s historical fiction book recommended for ages 9-12. It’s on Overdrive in an ebook and audiobook format.

Set in England during WW ll, this sometimes wrenching but hopeful story details a child’s journey from abuse and isolation to accepting love and personal fulfillment against great odds and a background of war.

Ada, ten, and her six-year-old brother live in a tiny apartment where Ada never goes outside, including never attending school, because her malicious Mam is ashamed of her daughter’s club foot. Deprivation and isolation from others are Ada’s life, until the German bombing. When urban children are evacuated to the English countryside for safety, both children end up on a farm taken care of by a woman with her own sorrows to cope with.

So begins a restart for Ada. She learns to read, to walk, and to ride a neglected pony. She learns to trust and accept love from an adult for the first time in her life. The war’s violence and danger is still near, as there is a busy military airstrip nor far from the farm. Looming also is the fact that their abusive mother may come back and take them away. Against this backdrop of worry and challenges, Ada finds the courage to enter life on new terms.   

Jane Austen in Quarantine

There’s been a little flurry of Austen-flavored memes lately, like this one: and why not? From a modern perspective, affluent Regency men and women were probably past masters at social distancing and spent a good deal of time indoors (well, at least the women did). The recent, timely release of the latest Emma adaptation has gifted viewers with a bit of gentle escapism wrapped up in confectionary costumes and sparkling dialogue. So, Janeites, unite! Now is the time to brew a cuppa, pull up your chaise longue, and succumb to some therapeutic Austen-mania!

To start with, why not revisit the classic 1990’s adaptation of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam? The heroine Jane thought “no one but myself will much like” has enjoyed perennial popularity. And there’s so much comfort to a story in which nothing worse than a few matchmaking mishaps and some snarky words at a picnic mar the sunny landscape.

For a bit of sly genre-bending fun, Northanger Abbey (starring the now-famous Felicity Jones) is just the ticket. Tickle your gothic funny bone and cheer on Catherine as she emerges from her novel-induced paranoia to find true love. Imagine being cooped up in a creepy (well, not so creepy, really) abbey with Henry Tilney. Life could be worse! Another house takes center stage in Mansfield Park, a sprightly adaptation that will make you fall in love with one of Jane’s less popular novels–and possibly with Jonny Lee Miller!

Jane herself was no stranger to domestic seclusion. Lucy Worsley invites us into Jane’s many and varied domiciles in her fascinating study Jane Austen at Home: A Biography. Expertly narrated by Ruth Redman, the book examines Austen’s legacy through the lens of her life indoors, from Steventon to Bath to Chawton. If you fancy a turn around the hedges–or are just feeling a bit claustrophobic–have a look at Austen Country: The Life and Times of Jane Austen and let images of the Hampshire countryside soothe your spirit.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that a stir-crazy Janeite in possession of hoopla access won’t be in want of suitable entertainment!