Love and Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love by Kim Fay

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

Joan Bergstrom of Los Angeles sends a fan letter to Imogen Fortier, a monthly columnist living outside of Seattle. What follows is a charming novel of friendship, food, and love, told through letters between the two characters.

I love epistolary novels (works of fiction that are written in the form of letters or other documents), and this one was short and charming. I loved seeing how the relationship between the two characters grew as time went on, and I also loved all the references to different types of food. This was the perfect, quick read for a warm spring evening.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC FAY)

A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

A Forgery of Roses is a gothic mystery featuring an intriguing magic system in which certain people can alter reality by painting portraits.

After the disappearance of her parents, Myra Whitlock is unexpectedly offered a secret commission to paint the recently deceased son of the mayor and bring him back to life. Although Myra has never attempted such a feat and does not even know if it is possible, the sizable payment the mayor’s wife is offering makes the commission irresistible.

Myra’s portrait magic won’t work without knowing the death circumstances but some details the family offer simply don’t add up so Myra begins investigating on her own within the sprawling mansion of the mayor, uncovering a web of family secrets and even a taste of romance.

The compelling mystery kept me guessing and I especially loved how the flawed characters learned to both find and embrace their unique strengths.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC OLSON)

When a Killer Calls by John Douglas & Mark Olshaker

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

“This true crime book is an incredibly detailed account of “murder, criminal profiling and justice in a small town.” John Douglas and Mark Olshaker have eloquently infused the denseness of a nonfiction book with enough suspense that it reads like a fiction novel, the reader compelled to keep flipping pages. Inspiration for the show Mindhunter and an account of the birth of criminal profiling, this book details the achievements and defeats of a brand new way of thinking.

Two days before her high school graduation, Shari Smith was abducted from her driveway. The way in which the community, detectives and profilers worked together to seek justice for Shari is incredible. The window into how profilers think is fascinating, as is the process of building a profile of a killer to help catch them. Smith’s story will swallow anyone interested in true crime.

Located in Adult Nonfiction (364.152 DOU)

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Reviewed by Jess B (Library Patron)

She tied her husband to a chair and then shot him five times in the face, while waiting for the police to arrive she slits her wrists. At least that’s what everyone is saying, but she hasn’t said a word. A famous painter named Alicia Benson, who is accused of murdering her husband and then goes completely silent for six years, spending those years in a mental hospital called The Grove. Enter Theo Farber a psychotherapist who is more than he first appears. He is determined to make Alicia talk, he leaves his stable job to go to the sinking ship that is The Grove due to his obsession with getting Alicia to reveal her story. The story is told from Theo’s point of view but we get to see snippets of Alicia’s diary in the days leading up to the murder.

Michaelides’s writing is very gripping and always has you ready to learn more about these characters’ lives. It is a fast-paced book with short chapters. One thing I really loved about this book was that there were lots of ties throughout the whole book and little surprises that helped unravel all the twisted truths of this murder. The charm of this book is its plot twists and the steady unraveling of the relationships between the characters to keep you guessing until the big twist at the end. Even if you did put the pieces together before the book ended I’m sure you will still enjoy the journey this book takes you on. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC MICHAELIDES)

Once Upon a Time in Russia: The Rise of the Oligarchs, a True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder by Ben Mezrich

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)
The author wrote this book as a dramatic narrative account, creating it from court documents, newspaper articles, and participant recollections. Some dates and names were changed to protect privacy, but this is a true story, these events really happened from 2000-2013.

The story follows Boris Berezovsky, known as the Godfather of the Kremlin and Roman Abramovich. After the fall of communism, these and other ruthless men privatized major industries in Russia and became billionaires.

This is a true life thriller, the story starts with an assassination attempt and follows the brutality of the men rising to the top and acquiring billions along the way.

Berezovsky’s TV stations helped keep Yeltzin in power and also propelled Putin to the top. When Berezovsky turns on Putin, he has to flee the country with his bodyguards and enormous wealth in tow.

This book gave me a good understanding of how the oligarchs come to be and why they are so dangerous. Roman Abramovich is still in the news – he is the current owner of the Chelsea (England) Football team that is now under worldwide scrutiny.

This was an interesting, but disturbing read. I feel that I learned a lot and recommend this book to anyone that wants to be more knowledgeable about world events.

Available through the Bridges Library System

I Begin with Spring: The Life and Seasons of Henry David Thoreau by Julie Dunlap & Megan Elizabeth Baratta

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

I found this biography of Henry David Thoreau to be absolutely phenomenal.

Organized as a journey through the 4 seasons, beginning with spring and concluding with winter, this book is assembled as a pseudo-sketchbook, saturated with illustrations, handwritten notes, and historical ephemera.

The biographical information is segmented into easily digestible paragraphs flowing alongside nature facts, observations, and soft drawings, mirroring the way in which Thoreau’s life was deeply intertwined with the natural world.

A treasure for enthusiasts of nature, art, and writing.

Available through the Bridges Library System