An amateur sleuth, an unsuspecting victim, a quirky supporting cast, and a trail of clues and red herrings are the main ingredients of a cozy mystery. The term “cozy” was coined in the late 20th century and, in a cozy, it is not that person alone who fights the battle for justice. Many times, the protagonist is surrounded by a group of family and friends (and animals!), who are cheering her on to solve the crime. Source.

Below are a few cozy mysteries that feature animals as integral characters...

Probable claws by Rita Mae Brown
Also available in: large print

Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen and her friends and animal companions pursue the threads of a mystery dating back to Virginia's post-Revolutionary past, when their 18th-century predecessors struggled with the challenges of the fledgling country. In the present day, Harry's new friendship with Marvella Lawson, doyenne of the Richmond art world, leads her to rediscover her own creative passions-- and reveals evidence of an all too contemporary crime.

It’s February, prime foxhunting season for the members of Virginia’s Jefferson Hunt Club, when a shocking event alarms the community. A woman is found brutally murdered, stripped naked, and meticulously placed atop a horse statue outside a tack shop. The theft of a treasured foxhunting prize inside the store may be linked to the grisly scene, and everyone is on edge.

With few clues to go on, “Sister” Jane Arnold, master of the Jefferson Hunt Club, uses her fine-tuned horse sense to try to solve the mystery of this “Lady Godiva” murder. But Sister isn’t the only one equipped to sniff out the trail. The local foxes, horses, and hounds have their own theories on the whodunit. If only these peculiar humans could just listen to them, they’d see that the killer might be right under their oblivious noses–and that Sister could become the killer’s next victim. 

Comanche Captive by D. Laszlo Conhaim

Scott Renald is an Indian agent searching for white captives. Laura Little is a former captive seeking her Comanche-born son. They meet unexpectedly on the high plains. Touched by her story, Renald leads Laura's search while hostile tribesmen pursue them. Word of their predicament reaches Fort Sill, and agents are dispatched to grab her and recall him. Meanwhile, the army prepares for war with the Comanche. Circumstances propel all into a heart-wrenching and bloody conflict of competing loyalties and surprising discoveries against the scorched backdrop of the Staked Plain.

Also available in: print

"Be kind and have faith." Ella Troyer strives to abide by her mother's final words, although life in the small Amish town of Echo Creek isn't always easy. Her new stepmother, Linda, treats her coldly, and her two stepsisters, Drusilla and Anna, delight in gossip and laziness. After her father's death, Ella's stepsisters are free to attend youth singings while Ella stays at home to manage the household chores, rarely seeing another soul. Until one day, while running an errand, she has a chance meeting with a young Amish man from a nearby town. Drusilla and Anna are full of admiration for charming, affluent newcomer Johannes Wagler, and Linda hopes to ensnare him as a husband for one of her girls-- while keeping Ella out of the way. As for Hannes, he longs to catch another glimpse of the mysterious young woman who can sing so sweetly and bake the most delicious pie he's ever sampled. Now, with a little help from some unlikely sources, Ella dares to hope she might find her heart's dearest wishes-- for love, family, and a home of her own-- coming true at last.

Also available in: print

A poignant, evocative, and wonderfully gossipy account of the two sisters who represented style and class above all else--Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill--from the authors of Furious Love.

When sixty-four-year-old Jackie Kennedy Onassis died in her Fifth Avenue apartment, her younger sister Lee wept inconsolably. Then Jackie's thirty-eight-page will was read. Lee discovered that substantial cash bequests were left to family members, friends, and employees--but nothing to her. "I have made no provision in this my Will for my sister, Lee B. Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have already done so during my lifetime," read Jackie's final testament. Drawing on the authors' candid interviews with Lee Radziwill, The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters explores their complicated relationship, placing them at the center of twentieth-century fashion, design, and style.

In life, Jackie and Lee were alike in so many ways. Both women had a keen eye for beauty--in fashion, design, painting, music, dance, sculpture, poetry--and both were talented artists. Both loved pre-revolutionary Russian culture, and the blinding sunlight, calm seas, and ancient olive groves of Greece. Both loved the siren call of the Atlantic, sharing sweet, early memories of swimming with the rakish father they adored, Jack Vernou Bouvier, at his East Hampton retreat. But Jackie was her father's favorite, and Lee, her mother's. One would grow to become the most iconic woman of her time, while the other lived in her shadow. As they grew up, the two sisters developed an extremely close relationship threaded with rivalry, jealousy, and competition. Yet it was probably the most important relationship of their lives.

Murder on the Orient Express: a Hercule Poirot Mystery by Agatha Christie is one of the author's most famous mysteries. The story was inspired by two real-life crimes and the author's own experience being stranded on the Orient Express during Christmas of 1931.

In the book, the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise, agrees to interview all aboard the famous train's Calais coach, hoping to find the killer of an American millionaire before the local police arrive.

If you enjoy fast-paced mysteries like Murder on the Orient Express, then you may enjoy...

Also available in: audiobook

In 1914, a bold young American names Mary Russell meets a retired beekeeper in the English countryside. His name is Sherlock Holmes. And though many years have passed since he astonished Watson by solving Scotland Yard's most baffling crimes, the Great Detective is no fool. He instantly spots a fellow intellect in Mary. When his greatest enemy returns with a fiendishly resourceful plan for revenge, Holmes knows he faces the case of his lifetime - and that he needs Mary's help to solve it.

Also available in: audiobook

Nurse Hester Monk and her husband, William, commander of the Thames River Police, do desperate battle with two obsessed scientists who in the name of healing have turned to homicide. The monomaniacal Rand brothers--Magnus, a cunning doctor, and Hamilton, a genius chemist--are utterly ruthless in their pursuit of a cure for the fatal "white-blood disease." In London's Royal Naval Hospital annex, Hester is tending one of the brothers' dying patients--wealthy Bryson Radnor--when she stumbles upon three weak, terrified young children, and learns to her horror that they've been secretly purchased and imprisoned by the Rands for experimental purposes. But the Rand brothers are too close to a miracle cure to allow their experiments to be exposed. Before Hester can reveal the truth, she too becomes a prisoner. As Monk and his faithful friends--distinguished lawyer Oliver Rathbone and reformed brothel keeper Squeaky Robinson among them--scour London's grimy streets and the beautiful English countryside searching for her, Hester's time, as well as the children's, is quickly draining away.

Canton Seniors Book Discussion: November 29, 2018

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year's Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son's inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel's favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed--by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster--Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
 
The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.
 
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life's beauty and surprising possibilities

Upcoming sessions

Thursday, November 29 - 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Friends' Activity Room

Large Print book publishing in English began in 1964 in Leicester, England when Frederick Thorpe, a retired book and magazine distributor, decided to meet the needs of elderly poor-sighted readers by reprinting older classic books in editions about twice the physical size of the original book. The type inside was enlarged to about twice the size of the original printing. The books were given plain dust jackets with type only, color-coded to indicate categories like mysteries (black), general fiction (red), romances (blue), Westerns (orange) and so forth. These editions met the need but were difficult for frail elderly readers to handle because they were oversize. Source.

 

Here are just a few large print titles that are new to our shelves: 

Juror #3 [large print] by James Patterson
Also available in: print

Ruby Bozarth, a newcomer to Rosedale, Mississippi, is also fresh to the Mississippi Bar--and to the docket of Circuit Judge Baylor, who taps Ruby as defense counsel in a racially charged felony.

The murder of a woman from one of the town's oldest families has Rosedale's upper crust howling for blood, and the prosecutor is counting on Ruby's inexperience to help him deliver a swift conviction. Ruby's client is a college football star who has returned home after a career-ending injury, and she is determined to build a defense that will stick. She finds help in unexpected quarters from Suzanne, a hard-charging attorney armed to the teeth, and Shorty, a diner cook who knows more than he lets on.

Ruby never belonged to the country-club set, but once she nearly married into it. As news breaks of a second murder, Ruby's ex-fiancé, Lee Greene, shows up on her doorstep--a Southern gentleman in need of a savior. As lurid, intertwining investigations unfold, no one in Rosedale can be trusted, especially the twelve men and women impaneled on the jury. They may be hiding the most incendiary secret of all.

Also available in: print | e-book | audiobook

The #1 New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning authors are back with an electrifying new novel that will leave your heart racing. Kendra Michaels is reluctant to help the FBI with the most recent case they've brought to her...until she hears the details: The body was found just blocks away from Kendra's condo. The man was carrying an envelope with Kendra's name on it, and inside was an SD card with what appears to be an innocuous video of a wedding reception. And just one week before the attempted delivery of this mysterious video, the groom in the video was murdered. As the body count rises, Kendra joins forces with private investigator Jessie Mercado and agent-for-hire Adam Lynch as they discover that each victim played a part in convicting a serial killer years before. Someone has clearly taken up his mantle to exact a sadistic form of vengeance. But who is it? A family member? An old partner? Or is it possible that the wrong man was convicted and the serial killer himself has returned to continue his sick spree? In Double Blind, Iris and Roy Johansen deliver an emotional, gripping new entry in the bestselling Kendra Michaels series.

Large print is not just a bigger font size that makes reading accessible for the visually impaired. It’s also proven to improve letter and word recognition, aid reading comprehension, and increase feelings of confidence and satisfaction when reading. That makes it perfect for beginning or reluctant readers and ESL/ELL students. Large print books are an essential resource for any literacy program. Source.

 

Here are just a few new large print titles that are new to our shelves:

Every Breath [large print] by Nicholas Sparks
Also available in: print

Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.
Tru Walls has never visited North Carolina but is summoned to Sunset Beach by a letter from a man claiming to be his father. A safari guide, born and raised in Zimbabwe, Tru hopes to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding his mother's early life and recapture memories lost with her death. When the two strangers cross paths, their connection is as electric as it is unfathomable . . . but in the immersive days that follow, their feelings for each other will give way to choices that pit family duty against personal happiness in devastating ways.

Illuminating life's heartbreaking regrets and enduring hope, EVERY BREATH explores the many facets of love that lay claim to our deepest loyalties--while asking the question, How long can a dream survive?
 

"I am stockpiling antibiotics for the Apocalypse, even as I await the blossoming of paperwhites on the windowsill in the kitchen," Anne Lamott admits at the beginning of Almost Everything. Despair and uncertainty surround us: in the news, in our families, and in ourselves. But even when life is at its bleakest--when we are, as she puts it, "doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated"--the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. "All truth is paradox," Lamott writes, "and this turns out to be a reason for hope. If you arrive at a place in life that is miserable, it will change." That is the time when we must pledge not to give up but "to do what Wendell Berry wrote: 'Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.'"

In this profound and funny book, Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom that are buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Divided into short chapters that explore life's essential truths, Almost Everything pinpoints these moments of insight as it shines an encouraging light forward.

Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious, Almost Everything is the book we need and that only Anne Lamott can write.

The acclaimed author of the phenomenal Sookie Stackhouse novels, Charlaine Harris introduces a Southern librarian whose bookish bent for murder gets her involved in real-life mysteries.

Real Murders--

Georgia librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. But after she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss, Roe has to uncover the person behind a terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects-or potential victims.

A Bone to Pick--

When a deceased acquaintance names Roe as heir to a substantial estate, which includes money, jewelry-and a house complete with a skull hidden in a window seat-Roe concludes that the elderly woman has purposely left her a murder to solve. She must identify the victim and figure out which one of Jane's ordinary-seeming neighbors is a murderer-without putting herself in deadly danger.

The Detroit Radio Information Service (DRIS) is southeast Michigan's Radio Reading/Audio Information service for people with disabilities. It is a service of WDET 101.9FM and Wayne State University.

 

DRIS broadcasts 8,760 hours of continuous audio information programming a year, helping to offset the impact of vision loss and the inability to hold or comprehend print. DRIS engages local volunteer readers and offers the verbatim readings of more than 100 local and national newspapers and magazines a week. Special interest materials include this week's grocery and department store ads, senior citizen issues, hobbies, and literature. Rehabilitation programs focus on topics like adjustment, employment, education, and legislation.​

 

DRIS broadcasts its programming over a private, closed-circuit radio signal. Specially built radio receivers are loaned free of charge to qualified applicants.

 

Any person, who is unable to see, hold, or comprehend conventional printed matter because of a disability, including a learning disability, may apply to use DRIS.

Author Alexander McCall Smith's popular series the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency features the character Mma Precious Ramotswe from Botswana. Precious is a detective who feels that solving mysteries is more than just solving an individual's problem--it is about understanding people and their ins and out.

If you enjoy an engaging mystery with lively and interesting characters, then you may enjoy...

Pardonable lies by Jacqueline Winspear

A deathbed plea from his wife leads Sir Cecil Lawton to seek the aid of Maisie Dobbs, psychologist and investigator. As Maisie soon learns, Agnes Lawton never accepted that her aviator son was killed in the Great War, a torment that led her not only to the edge of madness but to the doors of those who practice the dark arts and commune with the spirit world. In accepting the assignment, Maisie finds her spiritual strength tested, as well as her regard for her mentor, Maurice Blanche. The mission also brings her together once again with her college friend Priscilla Evernden, who served in France and who lost three brothers to the war―one of whom, it turns out, had an intriguing connection to the missing Ralph Lawton.

Working with her retired CIA friend John Farrell, Mrs. Pollifax must smuggle a manuscript out of Jordan, a document that encodes the shocking truth of Saddam Hussein's reign.

Hardly are the two airborne when the coils of Middle Eastern intrigue begin to unwind. Mrs. Pollifax's seatmate is not the affable Arab businessman he pretends to be. It is not imagination that persuades Mrs. P. that wherever they go, she and Farrell are followed. To elude their pursuers in such a politically volatile country isn't easy. In fact, it can be downright deadly. . . .

The 360s of the Library's non-fiction collection encompasses a wide variety of subjects. Volunteerism, healthcare, elder care, homelessness, gun control, environmental concerns, organized crime, fraud, and crimes and trials are just a few of the topics that can be found on the shelf. 

 

Below is a sampling of new titles purchased for the collection.

In Bad Advice, Paul A. Offit shares hard-earned wisdom on the dos and don’ts of battling misinformation. For the past twenty years, Offit has been on the front lines in the fight for sound science and public heath. Stepping into the media spotlight as few scientists have done―such as being one of the first to speak out against conspiracy theories linking vaccines to autism―he found himself in the crosshairs of powerful groups intent on promoting pseudoscience. Bad Advice discusses science and its adversaries: not just the manias stoked by slick charlatans and their miracle cures but also corrosive, dangerous ideologies such as Holocaust and climate-change denial. Written with wit and passion, Offit’s often humorous guide to taking on quack experts and self-appointed activists is a must-read for any American disturbed by the uptick in politicized attacks on science

Olivia and Mia Flores are married to the highest level drug traffickers ever to become US informants. Their husbands worked with--and then brought down--El Chapo, as well as dozens of high-level members of the Mexican cartels. They had everything money could buy: luxury cars, huge houses, and expensive jewelry--but they chose to give it all up when they cooperated with the US government. They knew that life was about more than wealth; it was about love, family, and doing what's right. CARTEL WIVES is a love story, a "Married to the Mob" story, an insider's look into the terrifying but high-flying empire of the new world of drugs, and, finally, the story of a major DEA and FBI operation.

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