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Some great titles to choose from

“Crime Beat” by Michael Connelly. My favorite mystery writer has collected his articles from his life as a crime reporter in Florida and Los Angeles in this nonfiction work. With sections titled “Cops,” “Killers” and “Cases,” this is an interesting look at the crimes themselves and how they shaped Connelly as a mystery writer. Connelly is a terrific writer who sets a new benchmark for the true crime genre.

“The Attack” by Yasmina Khadra. “The Swallows of Kabul” was a heart-wrenching story set in Taliban- ruled Afghanistan. Khadra’s follow-up looks at another devastating situation: the conflict between Palestine and Israel. Dr. Amin Jaafari is a highly respected Arab doctor working in Israel. When his wife is killed in a terrorist bombing, his life, his work and his faith are called into question.

“The Bookwoman’s Last Fling” by John Dunning. Cliff Janeway, a former homicide detective turned rare book dealer, is back in another terrific mystery. When Janeway is invited to Idaho to appraise the collection of a wealthy horse trainer, he finds his host dead and some rare volumes missing. Ties to the earlier death of Geiger’s wife, a collector of children’s books, lead Janeway on a dangerous search for the truth. Dick Francis fans should check this out.



“The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” by Michael Pollan. The author of “The Botany of Desire” explores what we eat and how we let it be produced. Whether from an organic grocery store, a supermarket, or your own back yard, all food has its origins somewhere else. The predominance of corn in 45 percent of the items found in a supermarket is just one of the eye-openers. This is not an ideological manifesto but a well-researched and often humorous look at the way we eat.

“Charlie Bone and the Hidden King” by Jenny Nimmo. The fifth installment of this thrilling series for young readers finds young Charlie Bone back at Bloor’s Academy, a school for the special descendants of the Red King. On New Year’s Eve, Charlie and his friends discover that every animal, wild or pet, has disappeared. Charlie sets out to solve the mystery and finds himself one step closer to discovering the truth about his father.




“Lost and Found” by Oliver Jeffers. Every season I have a favorite picture book, and this is it! A small boy finds a penguin at his door, assumes it is lost, and sets out to return it to its home at the South Pole. During their journey, the boy shares stories with his companion. When the voyage ends, they make a wonderful discovery. This is a very special and simple story of friendship, with delightful illustrations.

New in paperback

“A Slight Trick of the Mind” by Mitch Cullin. Many writers have explored Sherlock Holmes, but few as successfully as Cullin in this novel about the famed detective’s not-so-golden years. At the end of WWII, the 93-year-old Holmes finds himself a lonely beekeeper facing the indignities of old age. His brother Mycroft and Watson are both dead; his only companion is the son of his housekeeper. But his mind is still active as he works to complete a manuscript about one of his puzzling cases.

“Blood from a Stone” by Donna Leon. Few mystery series have caught on with readers as has Leon’s Venetian detective stories. Commissario Guido Brunetti explores the murder of an unknown street vendor, a probable illegal immigrant from Senegal selling knock-off designer handbags to tourists. When uncut diamonds are found in the victim’s room, the case is whisked away from Brunetti and the corrupt bureaucracy that is oh so Italian takes over. Leon is a talented writer who captures both Venice and the bad guys equally well.

“The Third Secret” by Steve Berry. The author of “The Amber Room” has really grown into his writing in this thriller centered on the papal succession. The Pope’s secretary, Monsignor Colin Michener, has been sent to Romania to find an elderly cleric who translated three cryptic prophecies of the Lady of Fatima and may hold the key to the mystery. This is fun and suspenseful.

“Deer in My Garden” by Carolyn Singer. Local gardeners know Singer from her successful Foothill Cottage Gardens nursery. She has written for many publications and appeared on HGTV. Singer understands that wildlife is a gift to the garden, so the secret is to find “yucky” plants and flowers that discriminating deer will turn up their noses at. This book contains listings of perennials and shrubs that work particularly well here in deer country.

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Compiled by manager Alison Jones-Pomatto at The Book Seller, 107 Mill St., Grass Valley, 272-2131. Hours are Mon. through Fri. 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


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