The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Nadine Matheson’s debut crime thriller, the Jigsaw Man, unfolds in quick chapters, each only long enough to reveal a mysterious tidbit that sends the reader plunging into the next one. Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is working several murder cases that quickly and eerily become too reminiscent of a serial killer she locked up years ago, Peter Olivier, also known as the Jigsaw Killer. This new sociopath is killing to pay homage to Olivier, much to his distaste. After a hospital rouse, Olivier escapes and the clock is ticking to find him and his copycat before more body parts pop up like puzzle pieces across the London landscape.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC MATHESON)

One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu

Reviewed by Taylor H (Library Staff)

Rose Alice Anders is meant to be just like her father. He is the most magical person in their town of Belling Bright. She is Little Luck and will catch more magic than anyone on New Year’s Day. But then she doesn’t. She only catches one small jar of magic, and her entire world turns upside-down. She loses her friends, her father can’t accept who she is, and she learns that some people are just not meant to catch and use magic.

I liked this story. I’ve never read anything quite like it. As a brief warning, though, this book does deal with parental abuse, which may be upsetting for some readers. (Rose doesn’t recognize or question the abuse right away, so the book’s discussion surrounding it is pretty subtle throughout most of the book.) As a character, Rose was a bit annoying at times, but this is because her father has been drilling certain ideals into her mind from day one, meaning that her character is accurately portrayed. Her brother Lyle is a quiet, steady character and a great support for Rose. I think this story is important for middle grade readers. It’s about learning to accept who you are, regardless of the expectations others have for you.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC HAYDU)

Stir Crack Whisk Bake by Maddie Frost

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

This sweet baking board book is just right for your exploring toddler. I love to bake and while my great nephew is still just a bit young to make cupcakes I enjoyed sharing this story with him while we whisked maraca eggs and poured imaginary flour into our fun shark mixing bowl right along with this kitchen story. Colorful illustrations, concise word choices, and a mindful attention to detail earned this title its place on my official “Aunt” bookshelf.

Available through the Bridges Library System

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Reviewed by Sara (Library Patron)

This book really tugged at my heart strings. I wanted to keep reading more but I didn’t want the book to end! I want to keep reading more about Tully & Kate! This book had me in tears. A great story of two girls & their journey through life together becoming women & chasing their dreams side by side. A story of love, overcoming hardship & strength. Kristin Hannah had me drawn in from beginning to end. This was a fantastic read!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC HANNAH)

Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

Matt Pine is a college student who finds out that almost his entire family is dead in Mexico, and while the local police say it was an accident, others are not so sure. This might be because the Pine family is infamous. The older brother, Danny, is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his high school girlfriend, and the entire family (except Matt) was featured in a documentary series trying to prove Danny’s innocence. What follows is Matt’s investigation into what actually happened to his family, and finally trying to answer the question if his brother is innocent.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I love the thriller/suspense genre and this was one of the best ones that I’ve read in a while. The story is told through multiple points-of-view, which sometimes I don’t like, but the author really made it work well and kept the story moving at a fast clip. I couldn’t read it fast enough!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC FINLAY)

Juniper: The Happiest Fox by Jessika Coker

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

I extend a huge thank you to Whitewater Public Library for being the only one in our consortium of 24 libraries to carry a very special book, Juniper: The Happiest Fox by Jessika Coker. This amazing and true story reads like a picture book for adults. Images of a lovely snaggle-toothed fox pepper the pages and in each, Juniper the fox radiates pure joy, evident in her ever present-smile. This is a story about saving the animals we have put at risk, those that couldn’t survive because of how we have bred them and that often grow up without proper care and love. Jessika Coker and Juniper have done remarkable things and if I could grow up (more) to be just like her, I would. She is creating a safe haven for animals like Juniper, oddballs, who are passed by based on their looks or disabilities. “The light shines right through her eyes, straight to her heart, and when she looks at me I melt.”

There are so many wonderful quotes in this book and any animal lover will appreciate all the work she’s done to help give animals the happy lifetime homes they deserve, snaggle-toothed, missing an eye or a paw, what have you. “I was yours before I knew, and you have always been mine too.” Juniper’s best friend is a rescue dog named Moose who has “been there for everything. And he looks after me just as much as I look after him.” Coker understands these animals become family and the relationships we have with them are symbiotic. “I adored that she was being the animal she was born to be, that she would never be a conventional “pet.” I never wanted her to be that.”

Animals change lives. It doesn’t matter what species they are, Coker shows us that. “My goal was to remind them that we all share this earth, that all animals are individuals, just like we are.” In my opinion, she more than met her goal. This is a beautiful and sweet story complete with art made my Juniper herself. I’m so fond of this book because I don’t know what I’d do without the animals in my life; they give me hope each day. “She is my constant reminder that there is still goodness, purity and unconditional love in the world. The world can be heavy, but there’s still a little bit of magic if you know where to look.

Available through the Bridges Library System

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Reviewed by Taylor H (Library Staff)

Ever dream of winning the lottery? In The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Avery Grambs does just that. However, it’s not the lottery in the traditional sense. Instead, she finds out that a billionaire has just left her with nearly his entire fortune, a billionaire she has no known connection to. What follows is a completely new life for her, filled with paparazzi and the billionaire’s unhappy (and potentially dangerous) relatives. Avery and the billionaire’s four grandsons also discover that he left a web of puzzles behind for them to figure out, puzzles that may reveal why he chose Avery.

I definitely enjoyed the twists and turns in this book, and I wanted even more (good thing there’s a sequel). I thought the characters were interesting. They each had their own distinct personality and reasons for doing things. As Avery began to unravel the family secrets, I was right there with her, eager to learn what she was discovering. My only complaint is how the characters deal with the person who tries to have Avery killed. If you like puzzles, mysteries, and a little of bit of danger and romance, this is a book for you!

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC BARNES)

Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

YouTuber Vanessa Price quit her job to travel the world because she is worried she won’t live past 30, like her mother and sister. But when her other sister leaves her baby with her, Vanessa is stuck back in Minnesota dealing with the baby, her hoarder-father, and her half-brother who loves a good get-rich-quick scheme. Vanessa struggles, but luckily there is an extremely hot lawyer (Adrian) who lives next door and he seems to be a magic baby-whisperer. With his help, maybe Vanessa can handle everything that life is throwing at her.

This book (and others by Abby Jimenez) is utterly charming and wonderful. It is the perfect book to pick up and read when you are having a bad day. I loved the two main characters the most, but the cast of side characters are also wonderful. There is humor, romance, and fun, while also sharing the message about living every day to the fullest. I highly recommend this book.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC JIMENEZ)

Ocean Prey by John Sandford

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

Two great characters in one book! Sandford’s latest novel features both Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers.

Federal Marshall Davenport is assigned to work with the Florida-based FBI to find the murderers of three Coast Guardsmen that were killed during a drug raid.

When it becomes apparent that organized crime is involved, Lucas brings in Virgil to go undercover as a deep sea diver for hire. Virgil needs to infiltrate the Mafia that are trying to retrieve the remaining heroin stashed off the coast, and then get the evidence to nail them for the murders.

This was a fast-paced page turner. I recommend this one as a good summer read. Enjoy!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC SANDFORD)