David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon

In the 1920s, the Osage tribe of Oklahoma were the wealthiest people per capita in the world after oil was found on their land in the early 1900s. That statistic belies the reality of the situation, though, in which many of the Osage who owned valuable headrights had to have a white guardian to control their money and financial affairs. Nonetheless, much was made of the wealth that was on the reservation.

And in 1921, wealthy tribe members started disappearing and turning up dead. Still others succumbed to suspicious instances of alcoholic poisoning and a mysterious “wasting disease.” People who began investigating the deaths also started disappearing and dying. Within a few years, over two dozen people had died under suspicious circumstances. Eventually, the FBI under a newly appointed director named J. Edgar Hoover were brought in to investigate.

As someone who is interested in the 1920s, true crime, and Native American history, I was really surprised that I had never heard of the Osage “Reign of Terror” when this book was released earlier this year.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: 2017 Books in Bloom Authors

It’s that time of year again!

And by that time of year again, of course, I mean Books in Bloom.

We hope you’ll join us on May 21st in Eureka Springs at the Crescent Hotel for another afternoon of books and author talks.

Like last year, we’re giving you the scoop on who will be there, so you can get a head-start reading some of the offerings from this year’s authors.

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Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse (1982)

War Horse

Joey is just a lovely, somewhat high-strung bay horse, living on a small Devon farm, with his beloved teenaged owner Alfred when World War I breaks out. He’s soon sold to the British military and, thus, begins Joey’s odyssey as a military horse for both the British and the Germans. Along the way, he meets several owners and finds himself doing everything from charging into battle to hauling artillery to pulling ambulance wagons.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!

There’s a mystery sub-genre for all occasions and tastes. Literally. You want to read a mystery with food in it? There’s an entire sub-genre devoted to it. You want to read a mystery that involves some hardcore knitting? There’s an entire sub-genre devoted to it. You want to read a mystery that involves cute dogs and cats? Well, this post is for you!

Personally, as much as I enjoy mysteries, I’ve never really delved into these types of mystery sub-genres.

I’ve already talked about my hopeless track record in regard to food and mysteries.

Knitting and needle-crafts in general are not my friends, so that’s just not even an option.

But it’s really kind of odd that I’ve never gotten into pet mysteries because I really do like pets, specifically dogs. I’m currently owned by a 3-lb. Chihuahua named after a Roman emperor.

Even beyond my own personal enjoyment of animals, one of the first books I remember loving as a child featured pet detectives (sort of)–Bunnicula. Granted, they were paranoid and not always terribly competent pet detectives, but that was a huge part of their charm.

So, if like me you’re a newbie to the world of pet cozy mysteries, here’s a roundup of introductory titles to this oddly-specific genre.

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Allison Hoover Bartlett’s The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

The Man Who Loved Books

In thinking about true crimes of passion I could relate to, the title of this book most definitely caught my eye!

John Gilkey’s claim to fame as a career criminal was not how much he stole but what he stole: rare books, mostly.  Why specialize in stealing rare books? Writer Allison Hoover Bartlett wanted to find out and by following his story provides a look not only into the motivations behind his crimes but also into the world of legitimate rare book collectors, stories of other book thieves, and the story of the man who tracked Gilkey down, Utah antique book dealer Ken Sanders.

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Oddly-Specific Genres: Rugged Romance

“Of course, women don’t like Westerns.”

This statement from a stranger probably triggered one of my more embarrassing social interactions in college.

I don’t know about wherever you went to school, but at my undergraduate college, it wasn’t unusual to find yourself at a cafeteria table of mostly strangers. The following incident was relatively early in my college career, before I realized the importance of coordinating meal schedules with friends and arriving early so that I could avoid the awkwardness of small chat with strangers.

But on this particular day, I didn’t know any better and had found myself in this situation and, as an introvert, I responded by developing a laser-like focus on my plate and ignoring everyone else at the table. I was jarred out of this protective social cocoon when I overheard someone confidently proclaim that “Of course, women don’t like Westerns.”

Now, as a woman who happens to immensely enjoy Westerns–indeed, some of my favorite books, movies, and television shows are Westerns–that broad generalization really infuriated me. And without giving it much further thought or even clarifying context or anything else, I immediately blurted out an unintentionally very confrontational, “Well, I like Westerns!”

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Jennifer Barnes’s The Naturals

the-naturals

So . . . perhaps you read our Exploring the Fjord Side post and thought, “That Scandinavian crime fiction sure sounds bleak. I don’t know that I want to read something that snowy and brooding.”

In that particular case, perhaps Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s The Naturals, a gripping but decidedly less brooding (and non-snowy) YA mystery would be a little more to your liking.

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