ON THE SHELF: Large-print titles that are out of this world

Published 8:00 am Sunday, August 6, 2023

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week, we are featuring more titles from our New Large Print collection.

“Exiles” by Jane Harper is an engaging mystery about a missing mother. Aaron Falk is a federal investigator who is on his way to a town in the Southern Australian wine country for the christening of an old friend’s baby. He can’t seem to get away from mysteries, even on vacation. The weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Kim Gillespie. Kim disappeared at a busy town festival on a warm spring night after safely tucking her sleeping baby into the stroller, then vanishing into the crowd. There has been no word for a year. Falk and his old friend Raco can’t seem to leave the case alone, especially after Kim’s older daughter makes an impassioned plea for anyone with information about her mom to come forward. Falk is welcomed into Kim’s circle of friends and loved ones as he soaks up the atmosphere of the countryside around him. The group’s dynamics may not be as tight-knit as it seems. Dark questions linger and past truths emerge with every clue. What would make a woman abandon her child? What happened to Kim Gillespie?

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“The Circus Train” by Amita Parikh poses the question, “When all is lost, how do you find the encourage to keep moving forward?” It’s 1938 and Lena Papadopoulos has yet to find her place within the circus, even as the daughter of the famed illusionist and headliner, Theo. Bound to a wheelchair after a bout of childhood polio, Lena yearns for the real-world magic of science and medicine. She has a brilliant and curious mind that is stronger than the limitations placed upon her by society. Then her unconventional life takes a surprising turn when she rescues Alexandre — an orphan with secrets of his own. Their friendship blooms even as World War II escalates around them. When Theo and Alexandre are arrested by the Nazis and made to perform in a Jewish ghetto, Lena is separated from all that she knows and is forced to make her own way.

“The Sound of Light” is by Sarah Sundin. Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity when the Germans march into Denmark. With his new identity, he secretly rows messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. Meanwhile, American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research. While printing resistance newspapers, Else hears stories of the movement’s legendary Havmand — the merman — and wonders if the quiet, unassuming shipyard worker living at the same boardinghouse has something to hide. When the Nazis decide to crack down on the Danes, these two passionate souls will find out if there is more power in speech or in silence.

“Miss Newbury’s List” is the latest romance by Megan Walker. When Rosalind Newbury was a child, she created a list of ten things to do before her wedding day. Fast forward to 1820 and Ros is counting the days until her wedding to the Duke of Marlow—a man she has only met twice—and she knows exactly how she wants to spend her time. She is determined to tackle each item, albeit in secret. After all, a soon-to-be-duchess is not allowed to bury treasure in the pasture, eat sweets all day, or learn how to swim. Ros enlists the help of her best friend, Liza, who brings along her cousin, Charlie. Charlie’s a prodigal son-turned-boxer who has come to the countryside hoping to mend his reputation and learn how to be his father’s heir. As they work through the list, Ros and Charlie form an unlikely friendship that blooms into something a bit more. Ros can see that Charlie may be an imperfect man, but he has a good heart. Ros will have to decide to either admit her feelings for Charlie and risk her family’s future or keep her promise to marry the duke and start a new life as a noblewoman.

“City Under One Roof” is a gripping debut novel for Iris Yamashita. When a severed hand and foot wash ashore in the small town of Point Mettier, Alaska, Cara Kennedy is on the case. She is a detective from Anchorage but has her own motives for investigating the possible murder in this isolated town which can only be accessed via a tunnel. When a blizzard causes the tunnel to close indefinitely, Cara is stranded among the odd and suspicious residents — all of whom live in the same high-rise building. All 205 residents are also as icy as the weather. Cara teams up with the local police officer Joe Barkowski, but their investigation is interrupted by a fearsome gang
from a nearby native village. Cara soon discovers that everyone in town has something to hide. Will Cara be able to get to the truth before she comes undone herself?