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The Last Chance Olive Ranch

Susan Wittig Albert

Max Mantel, the killer McQuaid put away years ago, has busted out of the Huntsville prison and appears to be headed for Pecan Springs. McQuaid knows there’s only one way to stop the vengeful convict—set a trap with himself as bait. China wants to stay by her husband’s side and keep him from harm. But McQuaid insists that she get out of town and go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch, where she’s agreed to teach a workshop on herbs. When China and her best friend arrive at the ranch, she learns the owner, Maddie Haskell, has her own troubles. She inherited the ranch and olive oil business from the late matriarch, Eliza Butler, but Eliza’s nephew is contesting the will. While China throws herself into helping Maddie, McQuaid’s plan backfires when Mantel executes a countermove he never saw coming.

 

The Fix

David Baldacci

Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher. The murder is part of an open Defense Intelligence Agency investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it. But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government--or worse, an international terrorist group--and an attack may be imminent.

 

Any Day Now

Robyn Carr

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan's Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She's put her troubled past behind her, but the path forward isn't yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet. Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she's always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it's a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future.

 

The Burial Hour

Jeffery Deaver

A businessman snatched from an Upper East Side street in broad daylight. A miniature hangman's noose left at the scene. A nine-year-old girl, the only witness to the crime. With a crime scene this puzzling, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are called in to investigate. Soon the case takes a stranger turn: a recording surfaces of the victim being slowly hanged, his desperate gasps the backdrop to an eerie piece of music. The video is marked as the work of The Composer. Despite their best efforts, the suspect gets away. So when a similar kidnapping occurs on a dusty road outside Naples, Italy, Rhyme and Sachs don't hesitate to rejoin the hunt. But the search is now a complex case of international cooperation--and not all those involved may be who they seem.

 

The Ends of the Earth

Robert Goddard

The Treaty of Versailles has finally been signed, officially ending the World War I peace negotiations, and the action shifts east, to Tokyo, where a team assembled at Max's behest anxiously awaits his arrival on the docks. Max had arrived in Paris soon after the end of the Great War to investigate the suspicious death of his father, a British diplomat named Sir Henry, and soon plunged into a treacherous game of cat-and-mouse with the people behind his father's death: German spymaster Fritz Lemmer and the dark horse of the Japanese diplomatic contingent, Count Tomura. It is in Japan--where Sir Henry worked as a young government agent--that Max hopes to finally uncover the whole truth behind his father's murder and take down Lemmer's spy network once and for all. But what Max's cohort doesn't know is that his own storyline seems to have come to an end in a villa outside Marseilles. Stuck in limbo, the team decides to pursue their only lead--right into Lemmer's den. Loaded with death threats, knife fights, a kidnapping or two, and a coded list that has the power to dismantle whole governmental hierarchies, The Ends of the Earth is a masterful work of historical cut-and-thrust that tests the bonds of family and country to their very limit.

 

Falling Darkness

Karen Harper

Claire Britten's training never prepared her for this—the forensic psychology curriculum didn't cover plane crashes. Or how to help fellow survivors cope, seven frightened people huddled in two small rafts awaiting a rescue that may never come. Especially when three of them are your ex-husband, your young daughter—and the man you love, Nick Markwood, whose pursuit by a criminal mastermind forced you all to run in the first place. When the bedraggled crew finally reaches dry land, they are still far from safe. Nick tries to secure transport to their witness-protection placement, urging everyone to stick to the identities laid out for them. But when danger follows them to their supposed safe haven, Claire and Nick no longer know who is helping or harming them.

 

The Mutual Admiration Society

Lesley Kagen

Unbeknownst to eleven year old Theresa (Tessie) Finley, she's in over her head. After hearing a scream and catching a glimpse of a mysterious man carrying a body beneath the flickering streetlights in the cemetery behind her house, Tessie adds solving a murder case to her already quite full to do list. Tessie has elected herself president of the crime-stopping Mutual admiration Society ... (which also includes her younger sister Birdie and best friend Charlie (Cue Ball) Garfield).

 

My Italian Bulldozer

Alexander McCall Smith

Visiting the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino to finish his overdue cookbook, writer Paul Stewart endures setbacks that leave him stranded at the airport until a stranger offers him transportation on a bulldozer, triggering a madcap series of adventures on the Tuscan countryside.

 

The Horse Dancer

Jojo Moyes

A headstrong teen quietly training to become an elite equestrian to fulfill her ailing grandfather's ambitions is taken in by a struggling lawyer and her estranged husband, whose lives are thrown into turmoil by a devastating secret.

 

 

 

 

Fallout

Sara Paretsky

V.I. Warshawski travels to Kansas to investigate the disappearances of a young film student and a faded Hollywood star. Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks her quarry through a university town, across fields where missile silos once flourished — and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions, a past that holds the key to the crimes of the present. But as the mysteries stack up, so does the body count. And in this, her toughest case, not even V.I. is safe.

 

The Romance Reader's Guide to Life

Sharon Pywell

As sisters Lilly and Neave grow up during an era changed and defined by WWII and its lingering aftereffects, they struggle with what it means to be women with varying degrees of freedom and opportunity, ultimately establishing a flourishing cosmetics business. But when Lilly runs afoul of her increasingly abusive, possibly homicidal husband and vanishes, Neave has to carry on in her absence, aided only by a pair of ghosts. The narrative is interspersed with extracts from The Pirate Lover, a steamy romance, in which Neave discovers a world of passion, love, and betrayal. And it is to this world that she retreats to again and again when real life becomes too much.

 

Miss Julia Weathers the Storm

Ann B. Ross

Vacationing at the beach with her friends, including one nursing a broken heart, Miss Julia discovers valuable items that have been washed up by a strong storm before her group is threatened by a strange couple that demands they hand over their findings.

 

 

Golden Prey

John Sandford

A series of audacious robberies compels newly appointed U.S. marshal Lucas Davenport to investigate the possible return of a gang leader who once killed two FBI agents.

 

 

 

 

One Perfect Lie

Lisa Scottoline

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Jordan's baseball games. But Jordan is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans. Susan Sematov, also a single mother, is proud of her son Raz, an athletically talented high school pitcher. But Raz's father died recently, leaving him in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil. A handsome stranger comes to town and infiltrates the high school, posing as a teacher but with a hidden agenda all his own.

 

Anything is Possible

Elizabeth Strout

Here are two sisters, one trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for love from her mother; and the adult Lucy Barton, returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

 

The Night the Lights Went Out

Karen White

Moving to an Atlanta suburb after her divorce, Merilee forges tenacious bonds with a town matriarch and a wealthy supermom before terrible secrets throw the lives of all three women into turmoil.

 

 

 

 

The Dragon's Legacy

Deborah Wolf

In the heart of the singing desert, the people are fading from the world. Mothers bear few live children, the warriors and wardens are hard-pressed to protect those who remain, and the vash'ai - the great cats who have called the people kithren for as long as there have been stories - bond with fewer humans each year. High above, the Sun Dragon sings a song of life and love while far below, the Earth Dragon slumbers as she has since the beginning of time. Her sleep is fitful, and from the darkness of her dreams come whispers of war ... and death. Sulema is a newly minted warrior of the people and a true Ja'Akari - a daughter of the unforgiving desert. When a mysterious young man appears in her home of Aish Kalumm, she learns that the Dragon King is dying in distant Atualon. As the king fades, so does the magic that sings the Earth Dragon to sleep. There are those who wish to keep the dragon trapped in endless slumber. Others would tap her power to claim it for their own. And there are those who would have her wake, so they might laugh as the world burns.

 

Fast and Loose

Stuart Woods

Stone Barrington is enjoying a boating excursion off the Maine coast when a chance encounter leaves him somewhat the worse for wear. Always able to find the silver lining in even the unhappiest circumstances, Stone is pleased to discover that the authors of his misfortune are, in fact, members of a prestigious family who present a unique business opportunity. The acquaintance is fortuitous indeed, for as it turns out, Stone and his new friends have an enemy in common. He’s the sort of man who prefers force to finesse, and who regards any professional defeat as a personal and intolerable insult. And when Stone’s sly cunning collides with his adversary’s hair-trigger-temper, the results are sure to be explosive.