On The Shelf: Get lost in another world with New Adult Fiction titles

Published 8:00 am Sunday, September 24, 2023

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

This week, we will feature new titles from our New Adult Fiction collection.

T. L. Huchu’s latest is titled, “The Mystery of Dunvegan Castle.” Ropa, a 15-year-old ghostalker, is going to the Society of Skeptical Enquirers’ biennial conference. Upon arrival, she gets recruited into a locked room mystery game. Unlike other locked room mysteries, this one is a lockdown in an entirely creepy haunted castle. One of the magical attendees has stolen a valuable magical scroll and Ropa will need to navigate between Qosmos, the high wizard of Ethiopian magic; the over-the-top Lord Sashvindu Samarasinghe; England’s Sorcerer Royal and Scotland’s own Edmund MacLeod. Sorting through the dangerous secret politics and alliances to get to the truth will not be easy, but Ropa has a special tool: the many ghosts tied to the ancient and powerful castle.

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The latest in the Longmire series by Craig Johnson is called, “The Longmire Defense.” Sheriff Walt Longmire comes upon a cold case that hits close to home and puts his life on the line. When Walt and Dog are called to help on a routine search and rescue to Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, Walt comes across a rock outcropping that brings back a memory of his father. In the late forties, Bill Sutherland, the state accountant, was shot at an elk camp where he was a member. The investigation stalled, however, because no one at the club had the caliber of gun that inflicted the damage. The dog discovers the missing weapon, and they are plunged into the cold case. His investigation quickly finds ties to a hidden mineral fund that someone is willing to kill to keep a secret. The embodiment of the fair-minded detective, Walt is pushed to his ethical boundaries. In his tenacious pursuit of the truth, he finds the rifle in question belonged to Walt’s infamous and uncompromising grandfather, Lloyd Longmire.

“The Discreet Charm of the Big Bad Wolf, ” is the latest from Alexander McCall Smith. In this latest novel, Detective Ulf Varg will need to resolve both a sensitive crime and his own delicate dilemma in the hopes of preserving the peace. The Department of Sensitive Crimes is downsizing in light of a recent downturn in sensitive crime, and staff members are wondering who will be transferred elsewhere. The colleagues escalate their bickering and Ulf tries to remain above the fray. Anna, a longtime friend and coworker, appears to blame him for an old case that went sideways in an effort to put her own job prospects above their friendship. In the middle of all this, Ulf embarks on an important inquiry: a man’s cabin has mysteriously disappeared. How exactly does an entire house go missing? More to the point, how does one track down a stolen house? Meanwhile, a promising veterinary treatment for deafness in dogs has been announced, and Ulf’s dog might be the perfect patient.

“The Fraud,” by Zadie Smith, is a historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England. It’s 1873 and Scottish housekeeper Mrs. Eliza Touchet is a cousin by marriage of a once-famous novelist William Ainsworth. She is a woman of many interests: literature, justice, abolitionism, class, her cousin, his wives, this life and the next. She is also a skeptic and suspects her cousin of having no talent; his successful friend, Mr. Charles Dickens, of being a bully and a moralist. Andrew Bogle, meanwhile, grew up enslaved on the Hope Plantation in Jamaica. He knows that every lump of sugar comes at a human cost. When Bogle finds himself in London, star witness in a celebrated case of imposture, he knows his future depends on telling the right story. The Tichborne Trial was about a lower-class butcher from Australia claimed he was in fact the rightful heir of a sizable estate and title and it captivates Mrs. Touchet and all of England. Is Sir Roger Tichborne really who he says he is?

The latest from Jennifer Weiner is titled, “The Breakaway.” Abby Stern is 33 and in a happy place even though she still has gig jobs instead of a career and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she’s just moved in. But she’s got good friends, her bike and her bicycling club in Philadelphia. She has made peace with her plus-size body, most of the time. She is also on track to marry Mark Medoff, her childhood summer sweetheart, a man she met at the weight-loss camp that her perpetually dieting mother forced her to attend. But Abby can’t escape the feeling that something isn’t right or the memories of one thrilling night she spent with a man named Sebastian two years previously. Abby gets a last-minute invitation to lead a cycling trip from NYC to Niagara Falls and she’s glad to get some time away and reflect, but things get complicated. Sebastian, the one-night stand, is in the group and it turns out he’s a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away. Abby is determined to keep her distance, especially with the last-minute addition of her mother to the trip. Over two weeks and more than 700 miles, strangers become friends, hidden truths come to light, a teenage girl with a secret unites the riders in unexpected ways and Abby is forced to reconsider everything she believes about herself, her mother and the nature of love.

“Good Bad Girl,” by Alice Feeney is another thrilling mystery with drama and twisty surprises. Twenty years after a baby is stolen from a stroller, a woman is murdered in a care home. The two crimes are somehow linked, and a good bad girl may be the key to discovering the truth. Edith was tricked into a nursing home, but at 80 years young she’s been cunningly planning her escape. Patience works at the nursing home and is a kindred spirit, but she is lying to Edith about a great deal. Edith’s own daughter, Clio, won’t speak to her. Someone new is about to knock on Clio’s door with not-so-good intentions. These three women will have to get past their mistrust of one another in order to solve a mystery with three suspects, two murders and one victim. In doing so, they might just find out what happened to the baby who disappeared, the mother who lost her and the connections that bind them.