Enjoy a good murder mystery?
I just finished the Gaslight Mystery Series by Victoria Thompson and I thoroughly enjoyed them. These are set in the early 1900's in NYC. A midwife and NYC detective team up to solve unusual murders.
Thompson uses contemporary themes (slave trade) incorporated into these unique stories and always creates surprising endings. Pick one up and enjoy!
-Mary Walker, Library Clerk
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Tags: Action, Drama, Complex, Intense
A house that is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. We’ve all heard of some version of this; however, a house that changes its size on the inside, creates corridors and blocks exits, and is more akin to a labyrinth than a house; now you have my attention. This is only part of Danielewski’s brain child House of Leaves.
Inside this tome you will uncover the mysteries of the new property purchased by the Navidsons, follow the daily life of Johnny Traunt, and hear desperate pleas from Johnny’s mother through the Whalestoe Letters.
Danielewski’s writing style is elegant, complex, and deliberate in a provocative way I had never encountered before as he twists the concepts of text to reflect different mediums. The typeface in and of itself is a depiction of what is happening in the book. This is a common thread that connects much of his larger work.
If you enjoy books that challenge not only literary conventions but also challenge their readers to immerse themselves fully in them, then think of picking this book up. Be forewarned this book is not a light read but rather a beautiful experience in and of itself.
Wind through the complex maze that is this book as the Navidsons wind themselves through their new house.
Reviewed by One
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The setting is St. Oswald's school, an all boys school in a small English village. The main character is the Latin master who has been at the school thirty plus years and usually has a good relationship with his "boys."
Some of these boys return years later in the midst of the school's fiscal and academic troubles and one of them is capable of terrible things. His story is told in a series of letters addressed to an old friend; letters that detail all of the terrible things. Seeing these boys again digs up some of the buried memories of a scandal from their time and threatens to reveal the full extent of the scandal.
How well do we know our friends and acquaintances? The twists and turns and secrets that are revealed show just how little we may know about the people close to us.
-Kate, Adult Librarian
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"I got lost in this beautifully written Victorian mystery. A multilayered story about a search for a killer, a master thief, an elusive woman, and a cast of rich and compelling characters. You will find the cold and fog as you are completely spirited away.
To say any more is to detract from the joy of reading this superb novel. I give it an A."
-Todd, Library Patron
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Reviewed by John Cohen, Library Director
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the story of a grown man returning to a place from his childhood, and remembering something magical and terrifying that happened there. On the one hand, this is perfectly within the wheelhouse of the author, who has given us such works as Sandman, American Gods, and Coraline. If there is an author more comfortable with taking the fantastic and treating it as a juxtaposition of the modern world, I have yet to read him. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a good book.
However, I think for Neil Gaiman fans, this book may fall a little short of some of his other works. One of the things that is so appealing about his works like American Gods and Anansi Boys is that the elements of magic he uses are familiar to us, at least through pop culture. The average reader of Gaiman's books knows who Thor and Loki are, or what a genie is, or that some cultures believe that names hold magical power. This slight familiarity with the folklore makes the fantastic seem more familiar, which makes how he entwines it with the modern all the more interesting.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane either abandons this or uses references so obscure I don't know them. The Hempstocks may remind you vaguely of the Fates, but they clearly aren't them. The book instead relies on a more general magic, creating a modern fairy-tale without a clear predecessor that it builds upon. There's nothing wrong with that, nor with Gaiman stretching his writing style, but as a Gaiman fan, it was something I actively noted while reading it, and it could, at times, pull me out of the story.
All that said, I enjoyed the book and think anyone interested in urban fantasy would enjoy it.
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