Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Staff Recommendations, Week of April 9, 2024

This week brings new releases and new recs, as new weeks tend to do. A couple books from Rachel Copeland's stack are on the docket this time around.

Our first rec is for Ghost Station, the new novel by SA Barnes. Rachel says: "Dr. Ophelia Bray has a specific reason for dedicating her life to preventing ERS, a condition associated with space travel that can result in mass murder, and she'd rather not talk about it. At the first opportunity to study the condition and avoid controversy at home, she runs - straight to a crew that's suspicious of her motives, cagey about the death of a team member, and uninterested in her attempts at therapy. As the crew's mission to establish residency on an abandoned planet is imperiled by another death and devolves into horror and distrust, Ophelia and team have to work together to get the hell off the planet in one piece. The choice to place a psychologist in the middle of a psychological horror is just brilliant - watching Ophelia talk herself past fear was a treat. Take the cosmic horror of Leviathan Wakes and the claustrophobic helplessness of Doctor Who's "The Waters of Mars" and you have a book that will keep you guessing and quaking in your space boots all the way through. "

This week also sees the release of a paperback edition of The Tumbling Girl, the first book in Bridget Walsh's mystery series, which has a couple of Boswellian recommenders. First, from Rachel C: "While the rest of London in 1876 is quivering at the thought of the Hairpin Killer, Minnie Ward is more concerned with who killed her best friend and got away with it. Staged as a suicide, only Minnie seems to care that the rope burns on her wrists couldn't possibly be from her acrobatics routine. When she hires private detective Albert Easterbrook, she intends to get justice for her friend - only to uncover a dark criminal conspiracy that preys on the lower classes. As Minnie herself becomes a target, the two have to decide how far they can go before it's too late. This one is, in a word, spine-tingling, with some of the more gruesome scenes I've seen in a while. Walsh leaves the reader with the distinct feeling that, much like Holmes and Watson, Ward and Easterbrook have many more grisly murders to solve, and there might even be a Moriarty-esque character waiting in the wings. As a fan of Deanna Raybourne's long running Veronica Speedwell series, I'm ecstatic find a comparable series at its start."

Kathy Herbst chimes in: "The first book in this historical mystery series set in Victorian London was a real page-turner! Encompassing the worlds of music halls, high class clubs, and the city's gritty underbelly, Minnie Ward, a feisty and courageous music hall script writer, sets out to solve the murder of her best friend with the help of former police officer private investigator Albert Easterbrook (think Miss Scarlett and the Duke). Dark and compelling, with humor and wit walking side by side with violence and danger. If you are a fan of Sarah Waters novels, I think you'll like this one!"

And fyi, Tim is a fan of this series, too. Those are the recs! We'll be back here next week with more books that we love. Until then, read on.

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