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Posts by Katie H

"Riverside to Norco units, have a 211 in process at the Security Pacific Bank…"

Cover of Norco ’80:  The True Sto
A review of Norco ’80: The True Story of the Most Spectacular Bank Robbery in American History by Peter Houlahan

It’s pretty clear early on in Norco ’80 that very few people are going to come out at the conclusion looking like heroes. In Peter Houlahan’s deeply researched, thrilling recreation of the 1980 robbery and the trial that followed it, there is always the overriding sense of, well, senselessness.

Sep 11, 2019

O Juno! Or, the tribulations of Rome’s hardest working private informer

Cover of Ides of April
A review of Ides of April by Lindsey Davis

Ancient Rome could be a tough place for a woman, but it takes a lot to faze Flavia Albia, Rome’s only female private informer. But in The Ides of April, her first case might be her last. Hired by one of the neighborhood’s more detestable characters, Flavia is tasked with defending the woman from charges stemming from a fatal accident with a runaway cart that killed a toddler. Flavia doesn’t relish working for her client, but the daughter of famed informer Marcus Didius Falco doesn’t back away from a challenge—especially when the coffers are running low. But when Flavia’s awful clie

Aug 12, 2019

A splendid little moon

Cover of The Revolution of the Moon
A review of The Revolution of the Moon by Andrea Camilleri

The news of the recent passing of Italian novelist Andrea Camilleri means a great loss to the mystery readers, as Camilleri was particularly known for his Inspector Montalbano series set in contemporary Sicily. Yet the late-blooming Camilleri (he wrote his first novel in his sixties) was remarkably prolific, writing close to a hundred novels in a variety of genres, notably historical fiction. Born in Sicily, Camilleri had a knack for mining the island’s rich history and culture.

Jul 24, 2019

That other sunken ship

Cover of Dead Wake: The Last Crossi
A review of Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Ask anyone about a notorious shipwreck, and they will more than likely respond with the Titanic disaster of 1912. Yet a mere three years later, another grand ocean liner met an equally disastrous fate, the repercussions of which would be felt far beyond those immediately involved. The Lusitania was the giant Cunard liner that many felt could not, would not fall victim to Germany’s submarine warfare against British shipping. It’s an intriguing story, and when told by Erik Larson in Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, it becomes an intensely personal, vivid tale.

Jul 16, 2019

Sweet Anticipation for July 2019

Sweet Anticipation graphic July
New Titles

July and August always feels a bit like a lull in the publishing calendar, as if the big book pushes of late May and June have exhausted publishers to the extent that they all pull up stakes and head out of town with bags bulging with books. But the upside of all those big May and June releases means midsummer is a great time for the so-called ‘midlist’ author to shine—those books that might not get the fanfare of a bestseller but are gems for the readers willing to seek them out. This July sees some particularly notable authors releasing titles that have strong appeal, but potentially with

Jun 24, 2019

OverDrive Big Library Read Title for Summer 2019

Dangerous Act of Kindness cover image
Cover of Dangerous Act of Kindness
Dangerous Act of Kindness by L. P. Ferguson

It’s nearly (official) summer and with the warmer temps comes OverDrive’s Big Library Read. This year’s selection is L. P. Fergusson’s World War II-set drama A Dangerous Act of Kindness. When Widow Millie Sanger finds downed German pilot Lukas Schiller on her property, she tends to his injuries and shelters him to ensure he isn’t discovered by the authorities. It could be a disastrous decision: England is at war with Germany, and the discovery of an enemy combatant on her farm could mean death for both of them.

Jun 19, 2019

Sweet Anticipation for June 2019

Sweet Anticipation June graphic
New Titles

It’s official: summer is here. Although the annual deluge of summer titles properly started in May, June sees the arrival of seasonal favorites like Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe, and no shortage of thriller titles. But if a beach read isn’t your thing, there is no shortage of other crisp new options hitting shelves this month. 

May 28, 2019