In A Bitter Truth (HarperCollins, $14.99), the third volume of the Bess Crawford series, Charles Todd brings the World War I nurse home from France for Christmas leave with her family. On returning to London Bess finds a woman huddled in the doorway of her flat and, after befriending and providing shelter to this stranger, ends up travelling with her to her home in Sussex. There Bess becomes embroiled in the unraveling of a family mystery and the consequences of the murder of a houseguest. Ultimately, Bess has to return to duty in France, and the solution to the Sussex questions comes over a period of time during which the nurse makes several trips between England and mainland Europe. As usual, this mother-andson writing team provides a satisfying read.
A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries #3) Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062015716
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 1st, 2012

If, without buying an airline ticket, you want to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of both 1880 and 1980 Venice, Italy, Deborah Weisgall’s The World Before Her (Mariner, $13.95) is the book to read. Against the gorgeous Venetian backdrop, the novel plays out the stories of two marriages, separated by 100 years: the first is a fictionalized version of the actual trip to Venice made by the newlywed Marian Evans—the author George Eliot—with her husband, a friend 20 years her junior; and the second is the completely fictional visit by Caroline Spingold, a sculptor, and wife of a man 20 years her senior. Both women take journeys to discover themselves.  I’ve come away from this book with a commitment to reread George Eliot this year.

The World Before Her Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780547237961
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 13th, 2009

In The Monster In The Box (Scribner, $26), the 22nd installment of Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series, an aging Inspector unravels a tangled web, and along the way, readers are introduced to a young, single Police Constable Wexford, investigating his first murder case—and meeting a suspect who, with no hard evidence against him, reappears on the edge of various cases throughout Wexford’s career.  As the book moves back and forth between past and present, we see Wexford’s suspicions grow but go unsatisfied, as the sleuth is continually frustrated in his effort to substantiate his instinct. A great fan of Ms. Rendell’s work, I consider this page-turner one of her best.

The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford Novels) Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781439150375
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Scribner Book Company - July 6th, 2010