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Archived Staff Picks - September 2019


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Searching for Sylvie Lee
By: Jean Kwok
Recommended by Marilyn

A poignant and suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears, and a series of family secrets emerge, from the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Translation.
It begins with a mystery. Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother—and then vanishes.
Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a The Netherlands and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love.
But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers. Sylvie has always looked out for them. Now, it’s Amy’s turn to help. Terrified yet determined, Amy retraces her sister’s movements, flying to the last place Sylvie was seen. But instead of simple answers, she discovers something much more valuable: the truth. Sylvie, the golden girl, kept painful secrets . . . secrets that will reveal more about Amy’s complicated family—and herself—than she ever could have imagined.
A deeply moving story of family, secrets, identity, and longing, Searching for Sylvie Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive portrait of an immigrant family. It is a profound exploration of the many ways culture and language can divide us and the impossibility of ever truly knowing someone—especially those we love. 

This title is available in Regular Print, Large Print, Downloadable eBook and Audiobook formats.
Review from

Chappaquiddick: Power, Privilege, and the Ted Kennedy Cover-Up 
By:  Leo Damore
Recommended by Emily

A young woman leaves a party with a wealthy U.S. senator. The next morning her body is discovered in his car at the bottom of a pond.
This is the damning true story of the death of campaign strategist Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick and of the senator—37-year-old Senator Ted Kennedy—who left her trapped underwater while he returned to his hotel, slept, and made phone calls to associates. It is the story of a powerful, privileged American man who was able to treat a woman's life as disposable without facing real consequences. And it is the story of a shameful political cover-up involving one of the nation's most well-connected families and its network of lawyers, public relations people, and friends who ensured Ted Kennedy remained a respected member of the Senate for forty more years.  

This title is available in Regular Print, Downloadable Audiobook and DVD formats.
Review from the back of the book.

No Country for Old Gnomes
By: Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Recommended by Rachel   

War is coming, and it’s gonna be Pell.
On one side stand the gnomes: smol, cheerful, possessing tidy cardigans and no taste for cruelty.
On the other side sit the halflings, proudly astride their war alpacas, carrying bags of grenades and hungry for a fight. And pretty much anything else.
It takes only one halfling bomb and Offi Numminen’s world is turned upside down—or downside up, really, since he lives in a hole in the ground. His goth cardigans and aggressive melancholy set him apart from the other gnomes, as does his decision to fight back against their halfling oppressors. Suddenly Offi is the leader of a band of lovable misfits and outcasts—from a gryphon who would literally kill for omelets to a young dwarf herbalist who is better with bees than with his cudgel to an assertive and cheerful teen witch with a beard as long as her book of curses—all on a journey to the Toot Towers to confront the dastardly villain intent on tearing Pell asunder. These adventurers never fit in anywhere else, but as they become friends, fight mermaids, and get really angry at this one raccoon, they learn that there’s nothing more heroic than being yourself. 

This title is available in Regular Print and Downloadable eBook formats.
Review is from

Where the Crawdads Sing
By:  Delia Owens
Recommended by Janet

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley  Cove, a quiet town in the desolate  marshlands of the North Carolina  coast.
Kya, an abandoned child, sensitive and intelligent, has survived for years alone in the marsh she calls home.
In her isolation and through  her eyes we see the secret wonders and dangers of her private world.
The time comes when her yearning for human connections leads her to open herself to a new life and friendship with two young men who are intrigued by her wild beauty.
As the story unfolds, Kya becomes a suspect in a savage murder.
This is a beautifully written, gripping novel. 

This title is available in Regular Print, Downloadable eBook and Audiobook formats.

Watching you
By: Lisa Jewel
Recommended by Krista

This was my first Lisa Jewel novel and I was drawn into the story in the first few pages. The book takes place in a quiet suburban community where secrets seem to be hiding. At the center of the secrets is the dashing fifty something Tom Fitzwilliam the headmaster of the local school.  Told from the perspective of Joey, 27 married something, Jenna 15 year old student at Tom’s school and Freedie his teenage son; everyone has something to hide.
I really liked this book. The story was intricately plotted moving along at a swift pace. It was fun to try to figure out what was really happening and the story kept me guessing.  Right after finishing this book I checked out another Lisa Jewell book, I Found You which I also really liked. 

This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording (CD), Downloadable eBook and Audiobook formats.

The Department of Sensitive Crimes
By:  Alexander McCall Smith
Recommended of Pauline 

The chronicler of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (The Colors of All the Cattle, 2018, etc.) and 44 Scotland Street (A Time of Love and Tartan, 2018, etc.) takes on Nordic noir. 
The staff of Malmö’s Sensitive Crimes Department are pretty sensitive themselves. Ulf Varg worries what sorts of life choices will be left to him once he turns 40. Anna Bengsdotter, married to an anaesthetist, is secretly in love with Ulf, and he with her. Carl Holgersson shoulders most of the squad’s actual work out of a cheerful sense of duty. Clerical assistant Erik Nykvist fishes whenever he can and dreams of his retirement, when he expects to fish even more.
 The group is evidently assigned to investigate crimes too marginal and quirky for anyone else in law enforcement. 
Why would someone stab market trader Malte Gustafsson painfully but ineffectually behind his knee? Has university student Bim Sundström's boyfriend gone to the North Pole, as she claims, or has she actually done away with him? (Not-really-a-spoiler alert: She’s made him up in response to her chums’ nonstop questions about her love life.) And why has someone launched a social media attack that seems intended to put the spa run by Police Commissioner Felix Ahlström’s cousin out of business? 
Fans of the bestselling author’s long-running franchises won’t be surprised by the two most distinctive features of the gravely waggish department’s caseload: The mysteries seem both utterly inconsequential and quietly provocative, and they have long tails that continue to flop around even after they’re nominally solved.

This title is available Regular Print, Large Print and downloadable eBook formats.

By: Catherine Coulter
Recommended by Kim

The #1 New York Times bestselling FBI Thriller series returns with another tour de force in which agents Savich and Sherlock stumble into a bizarre case that’s more complicated and twisted than any they’ve ever encountered.

On a Tuesday afternoon, Agent Sherlock is driving in downtown Washington when her Volvo is suddenly T-boned at an intersection. As her car spins out of control, a man’s body slams against her windshield and then – blackness. When she finally regains consciousness in the hospital, she’s told about the accident and the man she struck. No one knows yet who he is or where he is because he ran away. From DNA, they discover his name is Justice Cummings and he’s a CIA analyst at Langley . . . and he’s still missing.
Meanwhile, in the small town of Gaffer’s Ridge, Virginia, Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith rescues Carson DeSilva, a kidnapped woman who claims her captor had probably murdered three missing teenage girls. However, the man she accuses is the local sheriff’s nephew and a member of a very powerful family, reputed to have special powers. When the sheriff arrests Griffin and Carson, he calls Savich for help. Together they have to weave their way through a labyrinth of lies to find the truth of a terrible secret.
Labyrinth is an electrifying novel with shocking twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This title is available in Regular Print and downloadable eBook formats.
This review is from Google books.


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