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Frances Glessner Lee, born a socialite to a wealthy and influential Chicago family in the 1870s, was never meant to have a career, let alone one steeped in death and depravity. Yet she developed a fascination with the investigation of violent crimes and made it her life’s work. Best known for creating the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dioramas that appear charming—until you notice the macabre little details: an overturned chair, a blood-spattered comforter. And then, of course, there are the bodies—splayed out on the floor, draped over chairs—clothed in garments that Lee lovingly knit with sewing pins.
Lee developed a system that used the Nutshells dioramas to train law enforcement officers to investigate violent crimes, and her methods are still used today. 18 Tiny Deaths is the story of a woman who overcame the limitations and expectations imposed by her social status and pushed forward an entirely new branch of science that we still use today
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Summary: Much Ado About Mean Girls is a beautifully written Shakesperian version of the original movie. It follows Cady Heron and her friends through high school as she goes from Mathlete to Plastic and finds out what really matters in life or high school for that matter.
Review: This is an amazing reboot of Mean Girls. I loved the way it was written and will be a great asset to teens learning about Shakespeare while still being interesting to that age group. I highly recommend this book to anyone. A fun and easy read that does teach an important lesson. High school is tough and you have to find yourself through it all.
Summary: In the latest installment of the Chief Inspector Gamache series, Armand Gamache returns with a tarnished reputation and a demotion from his position as the head of the Sûreté. While his character is being publicly assassinated on social media, he must navigate the awkward dynamics of sharing the head of homicide position with Jean-Guy Beauvoir, his former second-in-command. Amid the crisis of historic spring flooding, which is threatening Montréal and the surrounding areas, Gamache and his colleagues find themselves investigating the disappearance of a young woman. As the residents of Three Pines come together to protect their town from the raging waters of the Riviѐre Bella Bella, the missing person hunt becomes a homicide investigation. Gamache finds himself working to solve a case that has him asking himself some tough questions, even as the threat of natural disaster and a social media firestorm loom over him.
Review: Although Still Life, the first in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, and the latest installment, A Better Man, are my only experience with Louise Penny’s books, the elements that drew me into Penny’s first book are the same ones that kept me reading this one. The mystery that is central to the plot was engaging, but it’s Armand Gamache, his Sûreté colleagues, and the residents of Three Pines that I find the most compelling. The world that Penny has built around Three Pines and it’s quirky residents, while not as prominent in this book, is still a fascinating part of the story. Anchored by Gamache, and the thoughtful way he approaches his interactions with everyone from colleagues to murder suspects, I especially appreciated the exploration of the relationship between Gamache and fellow Sûreté officer Jean-Guy Beauvoir in A Better Man. While I thought Penny was a little heavy-handed with the continued references to why the case in this story was so personal to both Gamache and Beauvoir, it wasn’t egregious enough to keep me from becoming immersed in the story. A Better Man left me wanting more Chief Inspector Gamache- anticipating both the next installment and the opportunity to catch up on the rest of Penny’s backlist.
Summary: Ann Cleeves, the author of The Long Call is well-known for her mysteries set in England. This time the setting is North Devon, a place she herself lived. A new detective is introduced, VI Matthew Denn who resides in North Devon with his spouse in a beach cottage. Vi Denn was raised in a strict religious cult, The Brethern who are featured throughout the book. The murder of a mystery man occurs along with the disappearance of two developmentally delayed young women who attend a center run by VI Denn’s spouse. Additionally, the social worker at the center is the daughter of one of its contributors. The who-dun-it unrolls slowly as we are given insight into the town, the characters, and The Brethern.
Review: At the opening, Matthew Denn is observing his father’s funeral from afar. Matthew has been shunned by the cult-like Brethern for having a husband. DI Venis not allowed at the funeral and cannot even speak with his mother. He is called to investigate a murder with links to his husband’s place of employment, the Brethern and two developmentally disabled teenage girls. As Ms. Cleeves develops the characters they become very real as does the town and the workings of the Brethern. There are some unexpected twists and turns of course and the ending was a surprise to me. A good read. A study of society. Highly recommend it. Review:
Summary: In today’s society technology enters almost every area of our lives from our cellphones to our entertainment equipment and even our bedrooms. Technology has greatly improved medical science. However, the application of specific technologies medical issues but also social, moral, religious, and individual rights concerns which are presented to the reader of Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff to decide. Presented in the first person, the main characters of a family reveal how they are facing such dilemmas. It is up to the reader of Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff to decide whether decisions made by the main characters are correct.
Review: Mother Knows Best, an easy to read book, is jumbled a bit in the beginning until the reader understands somewhat from what standpoint it is written. The reader then starts to understand the character’s position in the family and other central characters and their motivations. A family of three is center stage but there is a mystery that the parents keep from the 12-year-old daughter and their community. In the beginning, we know that she had had an older brother that somehow died and they are making a pilgrimage to his favorite place. We can tell the family dynamics are skewed. Neither Mom nor Dad will answer questions about the boy. This is the only time Mom will leave the house. She appears to have a mental health issue. We wonder why Mom is concerned about a dead son to the exclusion of providing emotional care to her daughter. The daughter is remarkably well. In fact, she is never sick. She is attractive, intelligent and precocious like any other child would be in this situation. We are lead through the world of in vitro fertilization, the creation of embryos from various sources. Most of this is well known to us. The twist is who, what, why and what are the consequences. Not my favorite sci-fi thriller but it’s a good summer read.
August 1st means we’ve been in our storefront for a year! Doors officially opened August 18 but we’re celebrating all month. So many of you have helped us grow in this first year, more than we’d imagined we could so quickly. Instead, we want to keep celebrating our community. If you’re going school supply shopping or just shopping and see a deal please pick up a few extra and bring them in. We’ll be distributing these to local children in need through L.A.S.O.S . We’ve already had two customers bring us some supplies! School supplies mean students arrive prepared and mean teachers don’t have to spend their own money on supplies either.
4 days until we find out if we’ve won Howard Banks Keep it Local contest. I’m so nervacited (as Pinkie Pie said) and it feels like Christmas in August! I know I’ve got a present coming either way because I’m working on hiring someone part-time to come and help me organize a bit more in the store. I recently read a great line in James Pattersons chapter book- Max Einstein. They quote Einstein as saying “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” I really love this as it goes hand in hand with my “Live Life Evolutionary” Tattoo. A reminder for motivation and momentum.