This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren-Vicksburg County Public Library.
This week’s column features new additions to your favorite fiction series.
Sarah Fox offers the second part of her mystery series “Literary Pub” with “An Ale of Two Cities”. Shady Creek, Vermont, is a quintessential tourist town. Winter Carnival always brings a lot of holiday cheer and tourists with a lot of money. Bibliophile and pub owner Sadie Coleman finds herself at the center of the festivities, sparkling decorations and twinkling lights. She is busy creating quirky cocktails, hosting a literary event, and cheerleading for her loyal employee Melanie “Mel” Costas as she takes part in the ice sculpting competition. Chef Freddy Mancini, who arrived with his nose in the air and bragged about his superior ice sculpting skills, is also entering this year’s competition. During the artists’ break in the contest, Mel’s tools disappear and Chef Freddy is found dead with his choice missing in his chest. Although the police focus on Mel, Freddy was not a saint and there were plenty of others with a motive including his assistant, his mentor, his former flame and even his half-brother. Sadie runs to Mel’s defense and makes sure the police don’t hastily arrest the wrong suspect, while flirting with the owner of the local brewery.
The third book in the ever popular Japanese mystery murder series starring Detective Kosuke Kindaichi and written by Seishi Yokomizo is called “The Village of Eight Tombs”. The titular village is nestled deep in the misty mountains and takes its name from a bloody legend: in the 16th century, eight samurai took refuge there to save a secret treasure, but they were murdered by the local population. This atrocity brought a horrible curse on the village. Centuries later, when a mysterious young man named Tatsuya arrives in town, a series of deadly poisonings occur and the neglected but brilliant detective Kosuke Kindaichi jumps on the case.
James Patterson’s most famous character, Alex Cross, returns in his 29th thriller with “Fear No Evil”. For years, Dr. Alex Cross and his family have been tracked down by a relentless killer. Alex and Detective John Sampson venture into the Montana wilderness, not for work, but for a personal mission. When attacked by two separate assassin teams, they will need all of their strength and cunning to survive the attack orchestrated by a twisted brain. As darkness falls and the river turns into rapids, gunshots ring out through the forest. Will Alex’s stalker achieve his goal or will justice prevail?
Jane Cleland’s “Josie Prescott Antique” mysteries get their 14th opus with her latest, “The Lost Letters of Jane Austen”. Josie Prescott is filming her new TV series, Josie’s Antiques, when the assistant director interrupts her to let her know she has a visitor. Josie goes out and finds an elegant older woman named Veronica Sutton. Veronica claims that she is an old friend of Josie’s late father. Oddly, nervous Veronica hands Josie a bundle of brown paper and leaves. When she opens the package, she finds a note with her name – from her father’s hand – and a green leather shoebox. It contains two letters in transparent plastic sleeves. The first letter carries the greeting, “My dear Cassandre”, the last, “Chère Fanny”. Both are signed “Jane Austen”. Josie’s heart skips a beat and she tries to track down Veronica to see what she knows about Josie’s father and if Jane Austen’s letters are genuine. As she gets closer to the truth, Josie finds herself in danger and learns that some people go to great lengths to keep a secret.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is back in “Sharpe’s Assassin,” the 22nd title in the popular series from author Bernard Cornwell. Sharpe has been called a lot of things – stranger, hero, thug, cowardly cannon – but he’s definitely the man you want to have by your side when the going gets tough. He was born in the gutter and grew up as an orphan. He joined the army 21 years ago and has been his home ever since. As the dust of the Battle of Waterloo still settles, the Duke of Wellington is in need of a favor, so naturally he turns to Sharpe. It seems that, even though Napoleon’s army is defeated, another enemy lurks in the shadows. This secretive group of fanatic revolutionaries is determined to take revenge. Sharpe’s new battleground is the labyrinth of the streets of Paris where the lines between friend and foe are blurred and the search for a spy is strewn with pitfalls from an assassin determined to kill his target or die. trying.
Romance author Judith McNaught offers the first in her Sequels series, titled “Once and Always”. Spirited and free-spirited American beauty Victoria Seaton sails the ocean in an effort to reclaim her legacy in Wakefield, the opulent English estate of her distant cousin, the infamous Lord Jason Fielding. Victoria is intrigued by Jason’s arrogance but drawn to his natural grace and the painful memories she sees in his dark eyes. When they finally get married, they revel in their joy – assured that the cruelties of the past are definitely behind them. Then, Victoria is saddened to discover the betrayal behind their love, and she fears that the undying love she had always wanted is gone forever.