Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For September, we’re looking at a caper mystery surrounding artifacts, an inspirational novel about a treasure hunt in the hills of West Virginia, a fun cozy mystery series, a memoir/family history companion piece to A River Runs Through It, and an audiobook thriller about a destination wedding gone very wrong.
If you like caper-style mysteries:
Todd Robert Petersen’s Picnic in the Ruins (2021)
Two bungling criminal siblings are hired to steal maps connected to Native American cultural sites in Utah, but their decision to go rogue and seek their own fortune leads them on a wild chase throughout the American Southwest, pursued by both a fixer and a sheriff. Complications ensue, to put it mildly. In the midst of the comedic, action-packed caper story is also a more serious meditation on the ethics of artifact collecting and ownership.
Recommended for those who enjoy darkly funny capers with a philosophical side.
If you love inspirational fiction:
Chris Fabry’s A Piece of the Moon (2021)
Chris Fabry is known for his inspirational Christian fiction that is heartwarming, thoughtful, and character-driven. In his latest, set in early 1980s West Virginia, an eccentric millionaire squirrels his fortune away in a small town, triggering a treasure hunt. (That’s been a popular theme this month on the blog. :D) Two locals half-heartedly participate in providing updates on the search, until one of them has a friend go missing.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of James L. Rubart.
If you enjoy cozy mysteries:
Jane Elzey’s Cardboard Cottage mysteries (2020-present)
Jane Elzey is a local author who has penned a delightfully fun cozy mystery series. Centering around a group of middle-aged friends who enjoy games and find themselves drawn into solving murders as amateur sleuths, the Cardboard Cottage mysteries are charming and fast-paced and have a little more bite to them than the standard cozy. In the first book, one of the girls finds herself embroiled in a murder–did her husband pass away with a little help from her friends?–while the second book follows the friends on a cruise that turns deadly.
Recommended for those who enjoy sassy cozy mysteries.
If you prefer nonfiction:
John N MacLean’s Home Waters: A Chronicle of Family and a River (2021)*
Audiences were introduced to the MacLean family in Norman MacLean’s book A River Runs Through It and its subsequent 1992 film adaptation, starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robert Redford. It’s the story of two brothers and their lives in early 20th century Montana, drawn together by a love for fly fishing in their beloved Blackfoot River, regardless of their other differences. Norman’s son John has now penned his own book that adds to the story first told by his father that’s equal parts personal memoir, family history, meditation on fly fishing, and celebration of Montana.
Recommended for those who enjoyed A River Runs Through it.
*Ebook also available on Libby.
If you want an audiobook:
Sandie Jones’s The Guilt Trip (2021)**
A destination wedding weekend at a seaside villa in Portugal may sound like a dream come true, but the characters in this novel would probably challenge that assumption. Back in college, Rachel and Noah wondered if they could be more than friends, but two decades later, they remain close friends but married to other people. Rachel’s husband Jack has a brother named Will who is engaged to a girl named Ali. It’s Will and Ali’s wedding that’s being hosted at the villa. They should all be having fun, but Ali really rubs everyone the wrong way, and in the tension-filled time that ensues, secrets are outed, and relationships are tested.
Recommended for those who enjoy vacation-based thrillers full of domestic tension.
**Physical copy of book also available in library system.
What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.