From crime to boom and bust in the new wild west, something for everyone
From crime to boom and bust in the new wild west, something for everyone
June 2023
Book News

This month's picks

"Crime novels magnify female friendships, taking them in directions that might shock or appall readers—perhaps because the characters are all too familiar. Whether readers have a best friend, dozens of girlfriends, or yearn for a connection with other women, crime novels about female friendship give them something to relate to, however horrifying the plot becomes." --Author Sian Gilbert
The following novels encapsulate many different facets of female friendship, both positive and negative: loyalty, mentorship, laughter; obsession, jealousy, anger; and everything in between.



She Started It

By Sian Gilbert

For fans of Lucy Foley and Liane Moriarty, She Started It is a hot, twisty summer thriller about a group of young women whose Caribbean bachelorette party takes a sinister turn. It's Lord of the Flies meets And Then There Were None...but with Instagram and too much prosecco.


How To Kill Your Best Friend

By Lexie Elliott

An apt title, How To Kill Your Best Friend focuses on three female friends—Georgie, Bronwyn and Lissa—and the inevitable dynamic of who the closer pair are that always comes with a trio. When Lissa drowns off the coast near the luxury hotel she owns, Georgie and Bronwyn return to the area for her memorial service. An experienced swimmer, it’s obvious there is more to Lissa’s death than meets the eye. Every three chapters are interspersed with ‘How-To’ methods for killing your best friend: from a simple accident, to poison, to increasingly nefarious deeds. 


One of the Girls

By Lucy Clarke

This is the delicious story of a bachelorette trip on a stunning Greek island... that ends in murder. With an ending that speaks to the strength of female bonds, every woman on this trip has a devastating secret which will connect them all (for better or worse) forever. It is a brilliant example of the lies and hierarchies that encompass complicated female friendships. Gripping, twisty, and full of sun-soaked suspense, this timely thriller examines the joys of female well as the deadly consequences when a relationship goes wrong.


My Sweet Girl

By Amanda Jayatissa

Paloma thought her perfect life would begin once she was adopted and made it to America, but she's about to find out that no matter how far you run, your past always catches up to you... Ever since she was adopted from a Sri Lankan orphanage, Paloma has had the best of everything--schools, money, and parents so perfect that she fears she'll never live up to them. She struggles with drinking, and now her roommate has discovered a secret from her past she’s determined to keep quiet. Things go from bad to worse when she finds him dead, and after a drunken blackout she calls the police only for the body to have vanished by the time they arrive. Is this all somehow tangled up in the desperate actions she took to escape Sri Lanka so many years ago? Did Paloma's secret die with Arun or is she now in greater danger than ever before?
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Death of a Book Seller

By Alice Slater

Death of a Book Seller
is female friendship turned obsession. Roach would rather be listening to the latest episode of her favorite true crime podcast than assisting the boring and predictable customers at her local branch of the bookstore Spines, where she's worked her entire adult life. But when Laura, a pretty and charismatic children's bookseller, arrives to help rejuvenate the struggling bookstore branch, Roach recognizes in her an unexpected kindred spirit. Despite their common interest in true crime, Laura keeps her distance from Roach, resisting the other woman's overtures of friendship. Undeterred, Roach learns everything she can about her new colleague, eventually uncovering Laura's traumatic family history. When Roach realizes that she may have come across her very own true crime story, interest swiftly blooms into a dangerous obsession.


The Enchanted Hacienda

By J.C. Cervantes

Harlow Estrada is trying to live her publishing dreams in New York, but a surprise layoff and a bad breakup with a worse boyfriend send her fleeing home to her family’s flower farm in El Viento, Mexico. The Estrada women are no ordinary florists, however: They grow magical blooms used for truth serums, memory removers and dangerous, desirable love potions. Soon Harlow is caught up in the delivery of a bonding bouquet for an older couple, and flirting with the bouquet customer’s attractive, mysterious grandson. But is it real love? Or is there some hidden floral enchantment tricking Harlow and Ben into infatuation? Hilarious and heartbreaking, flowers and foliage, food and dreams coalesce into “places you want to dive into and never leave.”



All the Sinners Bleed

By S.A. Cosby
After years of working as an FBI agent, Titus Crown returns home to Charon County, land of moonshine and cornbread, fist fights and honeysuckle. Seeing his hometown struggling with a bigoted police force inspires him to run for sheriff. He wins, and becomes the first Black sheriff in the history of the county. Then a year to the day after his election, a young Black man is fatally shot by Titus's deputies. Titus pledges to follow the truth wherever it leads. But no one expected he would unearth a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight, haunting the dirt lanes and woodland clearings of Charon. Now, Titus must pull off the impossible: stay true to his instincts, prevent outright panic, and investigate a shocking crime in a small town where everyone knows everyone yet secrets flourish. (If Stephen King likes it, you can’t go wrong.)


Cleopatra’s Daughter

By Michelle Moran
A tale inspired by the lives of the children of Cleopatra and Marc Antony finds Selene, her twin Alexander, and their younger brother Ptolemy sent to Rome to be raised by a formidable family rival after the deaths of their parents. (Ancient Egypt series, volume 3.)
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Rocky Mountain High: A tale of boom and bust in the new Wild West

By Finn Murphy
From the author who spoke at the Nederland Library when his first book, The Long Haul, was published, comes this tale of his manufacturing misadventures. Murphy takes us on a rollicking ride through the hemp growing and processing boom as he follows his Great American Dream, gradually losing his shirt but not his spirit.



Fire Weather

By John Vaillant

In May 2016, the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada, burned to the ground, forcing 88,000 people to flee their homes. It was the largest evacuation ever of a city in the face of a forest fire, raising the curtain on a new age of increasingly destructive wildfires. This book is a suspenseful account of one of North America's most devastating forest fires--and a stark exploration of our dawning era of climate catastrophes.


Brave the Wild River: The untold story of two women who mapped the botany of the Grand Canyon

By Melissa L. Sevigny

In the summer of 1938, botanists Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter set off to run the Colorado River, accompanied by an ambitious and entrepreneurial expedition leader, a zoologist, and two amateur boatmen. With its churning waters and treacherous boulders, the Colorado was famed as the most dangerous river in the world. Journalists and veteran river runners boldly proclaimed that the motley crew would never make it out alive. But for Clover and Jotter, the expedition held a tantalizing appeal: no one had yet surveyed the plant life of the Grand Canyon, and they were determined to be the first. Along the way, they chased a runaway boat, ran the river's most fearsome rapids, and turned the harshest critic of female river runners into an ally. Clover and Jotter's plant list, including four new cactus species, would one day become vital for efforts to protect and restore the river ecosystem.


Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy, one of the great novelists of American literature, died this month at the age of 89. McCarthy won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for his stunning, post-apocalyptic, father-son love story called The Road. He wrote most compellingly about men, often young men, with prose both stark and lyrical. There was a strong Southwestern sensibility to his work.

J.T. Barbarese, a professor of English and writing at Rutgers University, said McCarthy was, “if not our greatest novelist, certainly our greatest stylist" and cites his “obsession not only with the origins of evil, but also history. And those two themes intersect again and again and again in McCarthy's writing."

Check out McCarthy’s books at NCL.


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