My Librarian: Fritzi Newton
While I’ll read most anything, I’d have to say that women’s fiction is probably at the top of my list. Think Ann Patchett, Anne Tyler, Anna Quindlen (no, your name doesn’t have to be a form of “Ann” to qualify as one of my faves), Barbara Kingsolver, and Sue Miller. But, I also love Tom Franklin—Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (about an outcast accused of a comely teen’s murder in the Deep South), and I just finished Station Eleven, an apocalyptic novel where 99% of the world’s population succumbs to a virulent flu.
And, then there’s my obsession with everything related to the Great Outdoors—Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail and The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw. Finally, stories—both fiction and non-fiction—about foodies set my heart racing. If you haven’t picked up Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise, trust me, you’ll ADORE it!!
Working in libraries for over half of my life has given me MANY years of practice when it comes to matching each person with the perfect book choice. And, nothing gives me greater pleasure than having those same people return to gush enthusiastically about their custom-selected titles. I’m pretty certain I can find something for you that will complement your reading tastes and, hopefully, have you clamoring for MORE!
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When legendary but reclusive movie star Evelyn Hugo agrees to grant an interview about her forthcoming auction to raise money for breast cancer, the world anxiously waits for her words. But why would she request that Monique Grant, a relatively unknown writer, pen her first public dialogue in years? Even Monique is dumbfounded.
Showcasing her vast physical charms in combination with her relentless drive to succeed, Hugo left Hell’s Kitchen in the dust and rose to join Hollywood’s elite. Her presence both on film and in person was riveting, but, with seven husbands, her career was rife with controversy. The fact that she chose to live her later years in seclusion only feeds the public’s frenzy for details.
When promising artist Artemisia is found with a slit throat, her married lover is sentenced to be executed for the murder. But Lady Sundridge is convinced that Miles Ramsforth, patron of the arts, is innocent of killing his comely protégé—who also happened to be pregnant with his first child. On the advice of a shadowy figure, Lady Sundridge enlists the expertise of amateur sleuths Veronica Speedwell and her partner Revelstoke “Stoker” Templeton-Vane.
The pressure’s on for the detectives as the execution is scheduled in seven days. The biggest problem hinges on the existence of any number of suspects who had good reason to frame Ramsforth for the violent crime. And, to introduce several more intriguing wrinkles, Lady Sundridge is not who she claims to be. When their lives are threatened, Veronica and Stoker are certain they’re getting closer to solving the case.
A Perilous Undertaking, by Virginia’s own Deanna Raybourn, is the second in the Veronica Speedwell series. If you haven’t already read the first book, I would definitely recommend starting with A Curious Beginning. Despite the book’s setting of late 1800s England, Veronica is quite the modern woman. She travels the world solo, capturing exotic butterflies to sell to any number of wealthy collectors.
Dublin Murder Squad detectives Antoinette Conway and Stephen Moran catch the case of an attractive young woman found dead with her head bashed in. Since neither has extensive experience, a seasoned detective is assigned to assist. Initially the case looks like a slam dunk—rejected boyfriend loses his head and, in a rage, kills the woman of his dreams.
But certain facts just don’t add up. The person committing the murder used great force, and the boyfriend has a slight build and no history of violent behavior. Also baffling is that the best friend of the victim suggested there was a clandestine relationship with another man. But the most intriguing question is, why would the third detective push so hard to arrest the boyfriend when absolutely zero hard evidence exists?