Book Buzz: Gossip-Fueled Mysteries, Organized Crime Sagas, Unwitting Romances, Rural Medicine, and Literary Science Fiction

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For July, we’re looking at two very different mysteries, a South-Asian-by-way-of-Canada revamp of You’ve Got Mail, nonfiction about Arkansas country doctors, and a companion novel to A Visit to the Goon Squad.

If you love mysteries/crime fiction:

Janice Hallett’s The Appeal (2022)

When the directors of a small community theater group get devastating news about a relative’s health, the community and the theater group rally around them for a fundraiser. But not everyone is convinced that the fundraiser is on the up and up, a suspicion that is seemingly confirmed when someone is murdered on the night of the dress rehearsal. In this modern take on an epistolary novel, readers join two lawyers who must sift through all the gossipy emails and text messages exchanged in the lead up to the crime to determine what happened and if the right person was arrested.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Ruth Ware.

Don Winslow’s City on Fire (2022)*

If you prefer your crime fiction a bit grittier than The Appeal, try this one instead. In his latest book, the first in a planned trilogy, Don Winslow follows two crime families (one Italian and the other Irish) from their beginnings in New England to their expansion across the country. Initially, the two families have a truce of sorts that allow them to rule jointly, but when a woman comes between them, deadly complications ensue.

*Ebook also available on Libby.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Mario Puzo, Harlen Coben, Robert Crais, and Lawrence Block.

If you prefer romance:

Uzma Jalaluddin’s Hana Khan Carries On (2021)

Retellings of You’ve Got Mail (itself a retelling of the classic Shop Around The Corner) are a popular subgenre of romance. And who doesn’t love a tale about two unsuspecting business rivals falling in love with each other?! In this version, Hana works part-time at a halal restaurant in her bustling Toronto community, but what she dreams of more than anything is succeeding in radio. She pours her hopes and dreams into her podcast and strikes up a friendship with one of her listeners, unaware that he’s the entrepreneur behind the new restaurant that just might put her out of work.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Sonali Dev.

If you enjoy nonfiction:

Sam Taggart’s Country Doctors of Arkansas (2020)

In times past, much of the medical care provided in Arkansas (and in many places around the United States) came from rural country doctors. Even now, in a state as rural as ours, country doctors are still practicing in small towns across the state. In this inspiring history, a couple of dozen rural country doctors, from the state’s earliest history until now, are profiled.

Recommended for local history buffs.

If you want an audiobook:

Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House (2022)**

You don’t have to have read Jennifer Egan’s previous book, A Visit to the Goon Squad, to follow the action in her latest book, which is a companion novel. So, if you’ve read the previous book, you’ll make some extra connections, but you can also read this as a standalone. It revolves around the premise that a tech innovator has developed a means for people to save and share their memories. He calls it “Own Your Unconscious,” and this book allows a wide variety of characters to do just that, in ways that surprisingly intersect.

**Ebook also available on Libby and physical book from the library.

Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Haruki Murakami and Dave Eggers.

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.


Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

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