Are you ready for day 2 of the curated collection of treasures? This one is a little more of a mixed bag, but it's certainly an interesting list.
I'm discussing two of the titles slightly out of order because they have a similar subject. They're both young adult books. They both deal with Jack the Ripper.
The first book is Matthew Kirby's A Taste for Monsters. In 1888, in London, Jack the Ripper was
terrorizing everyone. Evelyn is a young woman disfigured form working with dangerous chemicals at a matchstick factory, with nowhere to go and living each day in fear. She looks for work at the hospital where her life and most of her jaw was saved. She ends up as a maid for Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man. Evelyn finds a deep kindness in Merrick, who many see as a monster. But, the real monsters are men, and Jack the Ripper's victims haunt Joseph and Evelyn. Evelyn faces her own fears in order to uncover the truth. (Release date is Sept. 27.)
Ross King examines a legendary artist in Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies. It's the story behind the creation of the Water Lilies, as the horrors of World War I came closer to Paris and Giverny, as a new generation of artists challenged the achievements of Impressionism. At seventy-three, Monet had retired. He had cataracts. Then, he began painting again. (Release date is Sept. 6.)
Stalking Ground is Margaret Mizushima's second Timber Creek K-9 mystery featuring Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner, Robo. Mattie and Robo are called in to look for a woman who went missing in the mountains outside Timber Creek. But, it's mid-October, and a snowstorm is brewing. By the time they find her body, the snow is coming down hard. As their investigation develops, Mattie, Robo, Deputy Ken Brody and veterinarian Cole Walker find themselves in the middle of a killer's stalking ground. (Release date is Sept. 13.)
Detective Inspector Tony McLean takes on a case in the Scottish countryside in James Oswald's Dead Men's Bones. He's there to investigate the murder/suicide of a prominent politician, and there's a great deal of pressure to wrap up the case. But, McLean sees a connection between another case he's working on. And, investigating that link could be disastrous to his career, and possibly his life. (Release date is Sept. 13.)
Patrick Phillips' Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America was one of the most talked about books at BEA. Phillips examines the history of his home county, Forsyth County, Georgia. In 1912, a young girl's murder led thousands of townspeople to celebrate the hanging of two black teenagers, and to set fire to homes and churches. Bands of night riders declared Forsyth "whites only", and 1,100 black citizens fled. The story that begins in the 1830s continues into our own era. In 1987, residents attacked civil rights activists, fighting to "Keep Forsyth White." It takes a native son to uncover a history of racial terrorism. (Release date is Sept. 20.)
The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman is inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment. In the novel, Paris is about to be occupied by the Germans. A young woman, Solange Beaugiron, closes the door to her late grandmother's treasure-filled apartment, not knowing if she'll ever return. Her grandmother, had been a courtesan who cultivated a life of art and beauty to escape her impoverished childhood. Solange's grandmother reveals her story to her granddaughter, using her prized possessions to reveal her secrets. That story helps Solange make her own decisions when necessary. (Release date is Sept. 6.)
I've already heard good reports about the first in Kate Saunders' new mystery series, The Secrets of Wishtide. At fifty-two, Mrs. Laetitia Rodd is the widow of an archdeacon. She lives in Hampstead with her confidante and landlady, Mrs. Bentley. Laetitia makes her living as a highly discreet private investigator, taking on cases found by her brother Frederick. Frederick Tyson is a criminal barrister who has ten children. Laetitia uses her intelligence, discretion, and cover as an unsuspecting widow in her investigations. This time, she takes a position as a governess to look into a young man's "inappropriate" love interest, only to find the family has more secrets to hide than expected. (Release date is Sept. 13.)
Shadows on a Maine Morning is the latest Antique Print Mystery by Lea Wait. Maggie Summer is making big changes in her life. The antique print dealer has taken a sabbatical and moved to Maine to run an antiques mall with Will Brewer, her significant other. And, she's finally going to adopt the daughter she's wanted. But, the troubled girl is only interested in the harbor seals, not adoption. Then someone starts shooting the seals, a fisherman is murdered, and Will confesses a secret from his past. Maggie wonders if she's making the biggest mistake of her life. (Release date is Sept. 9.)
The final book is another hot title from BEA, Colson Whitehead's novel, The Underground Railroad. It's the story of a young slave's desperate bid for freedom as she flees after killing a young white boy who tries to capture her. The Underground Railroad is not a metaphor in this story. It's an actual network of tracks and tunnels. When a slave catcher sets out to find Cora, she's forced on a dangerous journey, state by state, in a desperate attempt to gain her freedom. (Release date is Sept. 13.)
Is there something in the list of books from the last couple days that caught your attention? What are you going to order from your local library or bookstore? Happy Reading!