Our staff picks feature continues this week with Sonya's Picks, and the common element is variety! Whether you are in the mood for literary fiction or something light and humorous, try one of the books on this week's list. Drop by in person to tell us what you've enjoyed (or not enjoyed) in the past, we can suggest a great book for you. If you're staying inside, try logging on to Novelist, in the E-Library's "Books, Authors & E-books" section, for more great reading suggestions.
Every single investigator - either professional or amateur - has his own approach to a crime. Being a feng shui master, C. F. Wong specializes in applying the principles of this discipline to a crime scene. Nothing pleases him more than sniffing out the clues based on how they feel, smell or look. The only distraction from his detective work is a book that he is writing, Some Gleanings of Oriental Wisdom. Borrowing greatly from this 'capital work', this reluctant sleuth effectively helps the clients, even when they are, according to any known occult science, totally doomed. If you decide to read The Feng-Shui Detective by Nury Vittachi, we can guarantee you plenty of laughs and giggling.
Shauna Singh Baldwin
This is an extraordinary story of love and espionage, cultural tension and displacement, inspired by the life of Noor Inayat Khan (code name “Madeleine”), who worked against the Occupation after the Nazi invasion of France.
When Noor Khan’s father, a teacher of mystical Sufism, dies, Noor is forced to bow, along with her mother, sister and brother, to her uncle’s religious literalism and ideas on feminine propriety. While at the Sorbonne, Noor falls in love with Armand, a Jewish musician.
Though her uncle forbids her to see him, they continue meeting in secret.
When the Germans invade in 1940, Armand persuades Noor to leave him for her own safety. She flees with her family to England, but volunteers to serve in a special intelligence agency and is sent back to occupied France. Unwavering courage is what Noor requires for her assignment and her deeply personal mission — to re-unite with Armand. As her talisman, she carries her grandmother’s gift, an heirloom tiger claw encased in gold.
The novel opens in December 1943. Noor has been imprisoned and begins writing in secret, tracing the events that led to her capture. When Germany surrenders in 1945, her brother Kabir begins his search through the chaos of Europe’s Displaced Persons camps to find her.
A witty philosophical murder mystery with a charming twist: the crack detectives are sheep determined to discover who killed their beloved shepherd. On a hillside near the cozy Irish village of Glennkill, a flock of sheep gathers around their shepherd, George, whose body lies pinned to the ground with a spade. George has cared devotedly for the flock, even reading them books every night. Led by Miss Maple, the smartest sheep in Glennkill (and possibly the world), they set out to find George’s killer. The A-team of investigators includes Othello, the “bad-boy” black ram; Mopple the Whale, a Merino who eats a lot and remembers everything; and Zora, a pensive black-faced ewe with a weakness for abysses. Joined by other members of the richly talented flock, they engage in nightlong discussions about the crime, wild metaphysical speculations, and embark on reconnaissance missions into the village, where they encounter some likely suspects. Along the way, the sheep confront their own all-too-human struggles with guilt, misdeeds, and unrequited love.
Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted toGet Smartreruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors -- but the upshot is she's good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee.
At last, a dog lover's mystery that portrays dogs as they really are. Chet, the canine narrator, forgets he isn't supposed to bark. He doesn't remember the choker chain is around his neck. He wonders what the noise is when he finds himself growling and questions where the breeze is coming from when his tail is wagging. Although ideas may not remain in his head for long, his loyalty to and love for his owner, Bernie, a divorced, financially strapped PI, are forever in his heart. A teenage girl, Madison, goes missing and might have been kidnapped, and Bernie takes the case. Bernie, Chet, and Suzie, a newspaper investigative reporter, follow the clues to an abandoned ghost town and mine. Quinn's characters are endearing, and his narrative is intriguing, fast-moving, and well written. Even cat lovers will find it entertaining. This first in a projected series by newcomer Quinn is highly recommended.