Blogs

It's a Mystery 7/7/2008

Mysteries on the Move

 

WOW!  What happened to the mysteries?  As many of you may have noticed, the library has been doing a lot of rearranging of the fiction collection, including the mystery section. 

It's a Mystery 6/26/2008

MYSTERY SERIES

 

One thing that often distinguishes mysteries from suspense novels is that most mysteries are part of a continuing series.  Suspense novels are usually stand-alones.

Many readers of mysteries (myself included) enjoy following these series.  You get to know the main characters, their family, friends, and co-workers and how their lives and careers change over time.  As soon as you finish the newest title, you look forward to the next book, especially if the latest one ends in a cliff-hanger.

Off to Botswana, anyone?

The Miracle at Speedy motors (Latest in the series "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency)by Alexander McCall Smith
Are gas prices keeping you home this summer? Don't worry, sit back on an easy chair and join Precious Ramostwe for a "ride". Mma Ramotswe is the number one lady detective of Botswana! Granted, she is "traditionally built" and her white van is tiny, but she won't crowd you, she is very accommodative! The roads in Botswana may be bumpy but the landscape is quite exotic! In this ninth title in the series, Mma Ramotswe tackles the mystery of some anonymous hate letters and that of a missing family. She is endowed with such grace, intuition and intelligence that she is a natural problem solver. Her knowledge of "The Principles of Private Investigation" by Clovis Anderson is so thorough, that she can quote any passage from it anytime! Of course she has help from her big-spectacled associate, Mma Makutsi; a graduate from Botswana Secretarial College with a fantastic score of 97% in the final exam!

Suspense in the Middle East

The Last Secret of the Temple
by
Paul Sussman

Set in the Middle East, this gripping suspense weaves a spellbinding mix of archaeology, murder, and history. With the discovery of a body found in Egypt, detective Yusuf Khalifa becomes involved in a case that entails murder, corruption, and a conspiracy that will lead far beyond what he could have imagined.

Just the Facts

FARM FRESH

It's summer, finally. Find farmers' markets, farm markets, pick your own, and roadside markets in your county by going to www.ohioproud.com. Click on "farm markets" in the banner under the photo and create your own list. Contact information, hours of operation, and products carried are given for each market.

It's a Mystery 6/5/08

The Cozy Mystery (a.k.a. the traditional British mystery)

 

Among the many sub-genres of mysteries, one of the most popular is the cozy mystery.  The mystery website cluelass.com defines a cozy as a traditional style of mystery that usually includes an amateur sleuth or eccentric professional solving a crime in a country house or quiet neighborhood, with very little description of violence or sex.  There is a limited roster of suspects, all part of the victim's social circle, and a mildly romantic sub-plot.

Mars Phoenix in the good, cold summertime

University of Arizona weather graphic depicts conditions at the Phoenix landing site.It's summer time where the Phoenix lander sits at what would be the Martian arctic circle. Its mission is limited to only around 92 (Earth) days because, even as it sits there in Mars's summer season, the high temperature never exceeds something like 20 degrees (F) below zero and, at night, well, your ice cream would never melt. EVER! They tell us that, as winter sets in on Mars, the Phoenix lander will become entombed, yes completely covered in snow and ice --mostly frozen carbon dioxide-- effectively "killing" the immobile robot about three (Earth) months from now. When summer returns to the northern regions of Mars, the lander will be exposed again. The solar panels will generate electricity again. And NASA will listen. There is a small chance Phoenix will stir back to life and, if it does, her handlers don't want to miss it! In the mean time we sit and watch the show from the warmer climes of Earth and marvel.

House of Cards

Kevin Lewis was not your average blackjack player. As a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined a clandestine team of several other mathematically gifted MIT students who had studied and fine-tuned various strategies for the popular and, the experts say, only beatable casino card game. For four years during the mid-1990s, Kevin and his teammates flew to Las Vegas on weekends, worked surreptitiously as a team at the blackjack tables, and raked in thousands of dollars per weekend. How they did it, what motivated them to pursue this lifestyle for so long, and how they were eventually discovered, makes for a jaw-dropping, page-turning, amazingly true story as recounted in Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich.

Science as Entertainment

The Canon:  A whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science

Natalie Angier

Ms. Angier is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the New York Times.  She combines a passion for science with an understanding of how it works and then writes about it with wit and intelligence.  This is a book for any parent who has been asked what is electricity or how was the earth made.  It is also for anyone wanting to understand many of the issues facing us today--from stem cells to bird flu and global warming.  All the major scientific disciplines are brought to light:  physics, chemistry, biology, geology and astronomy in a book that will inspire and recapture each reader's childhood fascination with the world around us.

Three Cheers for Laurie R. King!

Touchstone
by Laurie R. King
A great stand alone title from the author of the Mary Russell mysteries, this novel is set in post World War I England. It follows the efforts of an American agent hunting down a terrorist who has ties to bombings in the United States. In order to get close to his suspect, Harris Stuyvesant befriends a wounded British soldier who left the war with incredible extrasensory abilities after nearly getting killed in the trenches.