Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Reviewed by Anonymous (Library Patron)

The first book in the Truly Devious trilogy by Maureen Johnson is a unique mystery filled with unsolved crimes and new dramas. It takes place at Ellingham Academy, a school started by the great for the great. Stevie Bell, a new student there, has a fairly normal experience until a project goes wrong. I enjoyed the book because it was able to hook me in and I want to read the rest of the trilogy. The main character, Stevie, loves true crime and it’s the reason she is at the academy, this makes her character very relatable and seem like an ordinary person who got to experience her dreams of being a detective. I love mystery stories and I would recommend this series to people who like to be the detective as they read.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC JOHNSON)

The Looking Glass by Janet McNally

Reviewed by Avery H (Library Patron)

I really enjoyed this story of falling in love, experiencing heartbreak at the ends of tragedy, all the while being on a quest to search for answers. In this novel, Sylvie, a ballerina, sets out to find her older sister, Julia, who left a year ago leaving no clues or any traces of where she’s gone behind. When Sylvie receives a package in the mail from her, everything changes. The book follows her on a journey that ends up changing her forever. I think this story is beautifully written with it’s touches of magic here and there and the way it goes deep into Sylvie’s past to show how she develops as a character. I would categorize this novel as fantasy/fiction. Anyone who loves a good mystery with touches of romance and fantasy, this one’s for you.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MCNALLY)

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

I’ve always enjoyed Harlan Coben’s standalone novels, but for whatever reason I was always hesitant to read his Myron Bolitar series. After multiple people told me I had to read them, I decided to take the leap and try the first one, and I am so glad that I did.

Myron Bolitar is a sports agent, and while he can be hotheaded, he is also compassionate. In Deal Breaker, Myron’s client, Christian Steele, is entangled in the disappearance and suspected death of his ex-girlfriend. Myron attempts to find out the truth of what happened and who is responsible while dodging the underbelly of the crime and sports world.

Clearly I should have read this series sooner because I’ve already finished the second one, and I’m about to start on the third! So if you are looking for a new series that has some mystery, action, sports, and memorable characters, try the Myron Bolitar series.

Available through the Bridges Library System

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)

The Secrets of Bones by Kylie Logan

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

Jazz Ramsey, an administrative assistant at a Catholic Girls School, is passionate about cadaver dog training. She takes a certified dog to the girls’ career day and hides old bones into the unused fourth floor for a demonstration. Everything becomes unraveled when the dog finds a skeleton of a former teacher that supposedly left the school a few years before.

Jazz starts investigating into Bernadette Quinn’s past, and finds more suspects than the detective working the case. Her on again, off again cop boyfriend helps too.

This book was very predictable and I knew how it would turn out way before the end of the book. The storyline veered into many uninteresting directions . The bestselling author may have a devoted following, but the book just wasn’t for me.

I’ll give it one star – something to read on a rainy night, but I’m not clamoring for more.

Available through the Bridges Library System

True Detective: Season 1

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

As so many have during the past two years, I rediscovered a show I missed upon its release. I had heard the rave reviews of True Detective’s first season but never got around to watching it. I’m so glad we gave it another chance. The absolutely superb acting by the two leads–Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey–is the best of their respective careers. McConaughey’s performance in particular of road weary existential angst driven Louisiana state detective Rustin Cohle is haunting and award worthy. You follow the story anxiously as the looped timelines and storylines unwind themselves along the way. Storytelling at its best!


The Bloodless Boy by Robert J. Lloyd

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

The Bloodless Boy is the very compelling title of Robert J. Lloyd’s debut historical mystery novel. Set in Restoration London among the lights of the fledgling Royal Society, The Bloodless Boy sparkles with historical detail and page-turning action. The author’s website says he is hard at work on a sequel, and I cannot wait to read it.

The story does begin a bit slowly, taking several chapters to introduce the characters and set up the mystery. Three men are summoned to the bank of London’s River Fleet to inspect the body of a young child who has been drained of his blood. Justice Sir Edmund Bury Godfrey, Curator of the Royal Society Robert Hooke, and Hooke’s assistant Harry Hunt then embark upon an investigation into the murder. Harry Hunt eventually emerges as the main character, and develops into a regular Indiana Jones of intellect and action. Any fan of Dan Brown or Bernard Cornwell will instantly recognize the type.

Sometimes Harry’s escapes seem a bit far-fetched–can one really use pitch to seal a doorway so tightly that a raging fire can’t get through?–but it’s all in good fun. And as a romp through the colorful Restoration period and the checkered history of early modern science, The Bloodless Boy is quite fun.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC LLOYD)

Spider Lake by Jeff Nania

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

This is the second book of the series by a Wisconsin author. Figure Eight introduces us to John Cabrelli, a former Chicago cop who moves to northwestern Wisconsin after an on-duty tragedy.

Spider Lake picks up with John recuperating after a confrontation with a crooked local cop in Musky Falls.

The new Chief of Police recruits him to assist in finding a missing federal agent. John has found his late uncle’s secret vault of photos that include a picture of the federal agent, suitcases of cash, and an incriminating photo of a FBI agent that is currently working on the case.

This is an easy-to-read, fast paced mystery. I enjoyed it and picked up the third book of the series, Bough Cutter.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC NANIA)

We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

We Know You Remember is the English-language debut novel for popular Swedish crime writer Tove Alsterdal. But don’t be fooled by that word “debut”–this is a well-crafted mystery, by a writer at the top of her game.

We Know You Remember is a complex story, but it begins with a murder. Olof Hagstrom, who has not visited his family in more than 20 years, decides on a whim to stop when he is driving near his father’s home. When he goes inside, he discovers that his father has been murdered. The investigation leads down twisted channels into the past, turning up more crimes–and more suspects–at every turn.

One of the investigators, detective Eira Sjodin, finds she has more than one special connection to the case. She pursues the Hagstrom case determinedly, challenging her superior officers, her skills as an officer, and even her own beliefs. Eira Sjodin reminds me of Thora Gudmundsdottir, the detective in Yrsa Sigurdardottir’s excellent Icelandic crime series. Alsterdal is reported to be working on a sequel to We Know You Remember, and I’m crossing my fingers that it will again star Eira Sjodin.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC ALSTERDAL)

The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault

Reviewed by Melissa Beck (Library Staff)

Marnie takes up tea leaf reading as a way of embracing her family’s weirdness instead of pretending it isn’t there. However, what started out as a harmless statement of individuality takes a menacing turn when the symbols begin leading Marnie deep within the mystery of a classmate who disappeared one year prior.

The seedy mystery kept me guessing and the October atmosphere added a welcome chill. Pairs well with a steaming cup of tea, although your tea might go cold as you’re swept into the unraveling secrets.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC ARSENAULT)