Adult Fiction

The Snowman

The Snowman Book Cover

A little boy in Oslo, Norway, wakes up to find a snowman in his front yard and his mother missing. Veteran detective Harry Hole is called in to solve the puzzle. Soon, a pattern is discovered and more bodies turn up. What sounds like a formulaic murder mystery is absolutely gripping when told by Jo Nesbo. He is a Norwegian author, often compared to Steig Larssen, but I found this book to be better than any of the "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" books. It is very well-written with many twists and turns which will keep you turning pages well into the night.

The Peach Keeper: a novel

The Peach Keeper: a novel Book Cover

This latest novel by Allen features Willa Jackson of Walls of Water, North Carolina. The magical realism found in Allen’s other novels remains, along with a little bit of romance, and a little bit of history. The story revolves around the “The Blue Ridge Madam,” a mansion in the Blue Ridge Mountains once belonging to Willa Jackson’s family. An old classmate of Willa’s, Paxton Osgood, has restored the mansion and plans to open an inn. When a skeleton is found buried beneath the lone peach tree on the property, a secret history involving both Willa’s and Paxton’s families is unveiled.

The Illumination

The Illumination Book Cover

In the aftermath of a fatal car accident, a private journal of love notes from a husband to his wife is passed into the hands of six suffering people. Although completely different, they live in a world in which pain is expressed as illumination, so one’s wounds and suffering glitter and fluorescence. A very original story about a different world and how people are still connected.

Our Man in Havana

Our Man in Havana Book Cover

This quick, suspenseful, and at times humorous book is about a vacuum-cleaner salesman in Havana recruited by the British Secret Service to work as a secret agent; in need of money he reluctantly agrees. Things are going fine until the phony reports he has been filling to keep his job start becoming true. Similarly engaging is The Quiet American.

The Lake of Dreams: a novel

The Lake of Dreams: a novel Book Cover

This complex family history is set in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York. It is the story of Lucy Jarrett, who returns to her childhood home and accidentally discovers her family's hidden past. Lucy is in transition and is attempting to figure out what comes next for her. Besides still being distraught by her father's death in a fishing accident years earlier, she questions her current arrangement with her boyfriend and career choices. Lucy reconnects with her first boyfriend and digs into her family's mysterious past while she is home. The mystery of her family's secret past is very interesting and ends nicely in present day.

The Wednesday Sisters

The Wednesday Sisters Book Cover

This book tells the wonderful story of the friendship of five women in Palo Alto, California. The women are very different but are bonded by a shared love of literature and the Miss America Pageant, which they watch together every year. The women start a writing club and meet weekly. They also experience the history of Vietnam, the race for the moon, and the women’s movement. Humorous and enjoyable!

The Red Garden

The Red Garden Book Cover

This book is a collection of stories that chronicle the history of Blackwell, a mythical town in Massachusetts. Each story takes place in a specific time period and focuses on different characters descended from the town founders. The stories are short and not directly related yet they piece together a fragmented picture of the town’s history. Recommended for those that like magical realism.

Lady of the Butterflies

Lady of the Butterflies Book Cover

This is the story of Eleanor Glanville, daughter of a Puritan landowner in the English moors during the 17th century. The marshy land that she lived on was abundant with butterflies. At that time butterflies were believed to be the souls of the dead and Eleanor's scientific study of butterflies had others believing she was mad. This historical romance shows the differences between Puritans and Catholics, and how they affected England politically and historically. A large part of the story involves Eleanor's love life and her struggle with her lovers over the decision whether or not to drain the marshes around her home. An excellent read for those who like historical fiction.

Letting Loose the Hounds

Letting Loose the Hounds Book Cover

Here are 11 stories set in the small towns of Utah and Arizona. Most of them deal with "letting loose" or wanting to. The stories range from situations that are familiar and surprising in their range and can definitely be considered written with "guy humor."