A Killer in King’s Cove (Lane Winslow #1), by Iona Whishaw (2016)

Historical Mystery | Adult

A Killer in King's Cove (Lane Winslow #1), by Iona Whishaw (2016)

World War II has just ended, and despite victory for the Allies, British intelligence officer Lane Winslow is weary of the whole thing. The bombed out ruins, the rationing, the weather, the person who let her down. She leaves it all behind for Canada, and buys a home in the fictional town of King’s Cove, on Kootenay Lake in British Columbia. The nearest police department is in Nelson, but there is a little post office in her new hometown, along with a smattering of residents, some friendly and some diffident. But when a body turns up, a piece of evidence suggests it’s tied to Lane, forcing her to investigate without giving up secrets of her past. This is a gentle mystery, focused (like all good mysteries) more on the characters and their possible motives than on the blood and gore of death. It’s a lovely period piece, set in my own backyard!

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The Missing Ones (Hester Thursby #2), by Edwin Hill (2019)

Mystery | Adult

The Missing Ones (Hester Thursby Mystery #2), by Edwin Hill

This is the second entry in the Hester Thursby mystery series. I didn’t read the first one; it works as a standalone but there are many references to the first book which I would argue would have added to an already good reading experience. I picked up the book after my library featured the book in its monthly mystery newsletter. Hester is a diminutive librarian, not quite 4’10”, who uses her research skills to find people. However, she is reeling from post-traumatic stress resulting from a horrifying event (in the first book) and is struggling to cope with life. She hasn’t been to work for months, lying to her partner Morgan and pretending all is well. As primary caregiver for Morgan’s niece Kate, she can’t let the four-year-old out of her sight, terrified of the dangers that she imagines await in the world.

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One Wild Christmas, by Nicholas Oldland (2019)

Picture Book | 3-7

This is the first of two reviews this week to help with your holiday shopping. Canadian Nicholas Oldland has released a delightful addition to his Life In The Wild picture book series (see my review Walk on the Wild Side). Our three pals – a moose, a beaver, and a bear – are ready to celebrate Christmas with decorations, stockings and yummy food when they discover they have forgotten a tree. Out they go in search of the perfect tree, but when they find it, Bear loves it too much to let his friends cut it down. Sharp young readers will figure out the solution before it’s revealed, a lesson in compromise wrapped in environmental ethics.

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Storm Rising, by Sara Driscoll (2018)

Thriller | Adult

Storm Rising (series FBI K-9 #3), by Sara Driscoll (2018)

This is the third entry in the FBI K-9 series by Sara Driscoll, but the first one I’ve read. Meg Jennings and her rescue dog Hawk, a superbly trained black lab, are sent from Washington D.C. to help find missing people when a hurricane devastates the Virginia Beach shore. Partners in the FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team, the two searchers and their colleagues work hard to find live victims, not than bodies. But when Meg and Hawk find a terrified young woman in the Great Dismal Swamp, they are diverted into a criminal investigation into a human sex trafficking ring that was disrupted by the storm. The chaos gives police an opportunity to break up the ring and save even more young lives, but promising leads fade as the evidence they need is washed away.

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Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School (#1), by Julie Falatko, illus. by Colin Jack (2018)

Humourous Fiction

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School, by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Colin Jack (2018)

Sometimes a title just grabs you and says Read Me. This is one of those titles. It’s the first of two reviews I’m doing this week, both of them books for children. There are three books in the “Two Dogs in a Trench Coat” series; this is the first. Sassy and Waldo are two dogs whose lives are devoted to eating food, protecting the household from the evil squirrels, and napping in the sun. Until they realize Stewart, the boy in their house, needs saving from a place called School, a place he goes every day and returns dejected and bored. Thanks to Waldo’s surprising ability to speak English, the two dogs finagle their way into the classroom, where they learn just how exciting school is, and help Stewart make a friend along the way.

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This Fallen Prey (Rockton #3), by Kelley Armstrong (2018)


This Fallen Prey, by Kelley Armstrong (2018)

Kelley Armstrong is a well-known Canadian author, with a strong backlist in young adult and science fiction. I’ve read her before, but not lately, so when I spotted this on our library’s new book shelf, I picked it up and added it to a growing pile. Turns out it’s the third book in series I have not read. I think it would be best to start with book 1, but in summary, Casey Butler is a deputy in a tiny off-the-grid settlement in the Yukon, where its residents come to stay to escape some kind of threat in the real world. Some of them are there willingly, and others not. She’s in a relationship with Eric Dalton, who is her boss, the town’s sheriff. Both are about 30 years old. The book opens in mid-May when a plane lands and delivers an unexpected “package” – an accused serial killer “sentenced” to stay there instead of facing the law, thanks to a hefty payoff by his stepdad.

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The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (2018)

Science Fiction

The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal (2018)

In this alternative history of space flight, a meteorite strikes in 1952 just off the east coast of the United States, destroying Washington D.C. and forcing the New White House inland. It also spawns a “meteor winter” and future global warming that threaten humanity’s survival, fomenting the development of rockets a full decade earlier than in real life. But historical reality retains its grip in this novel that spans most of the 1950s – racism abounds, as does a chauvinist perspective that limits women to the role of computers as they perform the mathematical calculations that will launch rockets and eventually put (male) astronauts in space.

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