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The Penitent Priest by J.R. Mathis

"Ten years after Tom Greer’s wife’s unsolved murder, he returns to his hometown. In the interim, Tom has become a priest and has been temporarily assigned to his hometown parish. When a television reporter investigating his wife's cold case is murdered, Father Tom becomes a prime suspect. In trying to prove his innocence, he learns that his wife Joan and his long-time friend had been harboring secrets. Engrossing and well-written plot." - E. Pasquali

4/4 stars.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

"This is a story in the pre Civil War era of a young black slave on a cotton plantation. Cora was born on this plantation. She has no real family as her mother had run away many years earlier.
When Caesar, a new slave from Virginia, arrives, he convinces Cora to run away to freedom with him. A must read!" - T. Gustafson

4/4 stars.

Nantucket Threads by Pamela Kelley

"Love all characters in this series. Must visit Nantucket after reading about this quaint town. Looking forward to the next one." - M. Blatt

4/4 stars.

The Bennett Sisters Mysteries: Books 1-4 by Lise McClenden

"While each of these four books can be read as stand alone novels, reading them from Book 1 through Book 4 enriches the story of the Bennet sisters, all lawyers but each with different personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. The lives of Merle Bennet, her son Triston and Pascal, a French undercover policeman with the wine fraud unit, are central to each story. Recently widowed, Merle inherited a run-down house in a rural French town. When the inhabitant of the house refuses to leave and is subsequently murdered, Merle becomes the prime suspect.

Bed and Breakfast and Murder by Patti Larson

"This is book #1 in the Fiona Fleming mystery series. Fiona (Fee) inherits the Petunia Bed and Breakfast from her grandmother, Iris, only to find that just before her death, Iris deeded the B and B to Pete Wilkins. Shortly thereafter, Pete Wilkins shows up dead in Fee’s koi pond. Fee is the prime suspect, but she is worried that her father, the retired sheriff, might have murdered Wilkins. Humor is injected by Fee’s pungent, flatulent pug, Petunia, and her ditsy best friend, Daisy. A fast and enjoyable read with many red herrings and twists." - E. Pasquali

3/4 stars.

Death of a Blueberry Tart  by Lee Hollis

"Still reading this cozy mystery series. Changes in the characters as Hayley’s children are now out of the house. I do miss that interaction. In this book her mother comes to visit from Florida and it looks like she will be featured again. The funny part for me was when I realized her mother was my contemporary. Loved the recipes, very timely for blueberry season." - F. Schwarz

3/4 stars.

Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu

"A lesbian woman agrees to marriage her gay best male friend in a marriage of convenience. Lucky is living a life full of lies that slowly unfold as the story moves forward. She wants to fit in and be loved by her family and her community, but the more she explores her true self, the more she has to reject her community… particularly her mom. Lucky is torn between familial commitment and her own happiness. What will she choose?" - L. Ngo

3/4 stars.

1776  by David McCullough

"It was the beginning of our national story and the brave and mighty who gave forth the dream we share today. Over every waterway, through each turn of weather traveling the field, beyond enduring physical pain of the mind and body, there is the elation of putting one foot forward, there on the battlefield we read how the story of the Continental Congress comes alive." - C. Lucas

4/4 stars.

A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn

"How can so many people live in such a small place with so many opposing views on living in a color bound world while human joy and heart aches permeates the lines? A story set in South Africa at the onset of Apartheid laws solves a mystery and opens up more than who did it but the bitter truth about why it could happen." - C. Lucas

4/4 stars.

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

"Lisa See's fans will enjoy this story of friendship set in a Korean village on the island of Jeju in the 1930s and beyond. Having no previous knowledge of the haenyeo, I learned about their matrifocal society with women doing the dangerous work as female divers to support the family, while men stayed home with the little children. The message of getting past your own viewpoint and learning what's behind another's actions is well-summarized in the quote, 'To understand everything is to forgive.'" - D. Zelamsky

3/4 stars.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins 

"This book is exceptionally well-written & an amazingly engrossing story about the time period of the Great Depression & how it affected those living in the Dust Bowl. It tells the story of the push for people to go west to get jobs that were supposedly available in California picking fruit but turned out to be very hard to obtain for very little money, and living in refuge camps that were barely better than living outdoors, with limited amenities.

What the Nanny Saw by Fiona Neill

"Fun comedic book about a college student taking time off school to work as live-in nanny in London in order to save money to finish her last year of grad school. The family is rich, with 4 children: a 19yo boy about to start at uni, a 15yo anorexic girl, and 2 identical twin 6yo boys. The nanny is only 24yo herself and comes from a working class family in a southern coastal village, where her father is a fisherman.

The Book of Lost Names by Kristen Harmel

"I really enjoyed this WWII Era book. I enjoyed the growth in the protagonist Eva. She started off seeming selfish but her true heart showed as the story went on." - D. McCrory

4/4 stars.