On The Shelf: The library’s latest large-print fiction titles

Published 8:00 am Sunday, November 5, 2023

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

This week, we are featuring new large-print fiction titles.

The second book in Kelly Armstrong’s Rip Through Time series is called, “The Poisoner’s Ring.” Modern-day homicide detective Mallory Atkinson is working as an undertaker’s assistant in Edinburgh, Scotland circa 1869. Her employers are aware that she is not housemaid Catriona Mitchell — even though Mallory is inhabiting Catriona’s body. Dr. Duncan Gray moonlights as a medical examiner and partners with Mallory on their latest case which hits close to home. Men are dying from a powerful poison being administered to them. All signs point to the grieving widows; the latest of which is Gray’s oldest sister. It is said that poison is a woman’s weapon, but Mallory wonders if it is as simple as that. She must tread carefully though because every move she makes is being watched and there is no telling where the investigation will lead.

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“Masters of Death” is a fantasy novel by Olivie Blake. There is a game that immortals play with only one rule: don’t lose. Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent who also happens to be a vampire. Her biggest problem currently is that the house she’s trying to sell is haunted by a ghost who refuses to move on until his murder is solved. Fox D’Mora bills himself as a medium, but he’s a shameless fraud, he isn’t without his uses as he is the godson of Death. Viola seeks out Fox to help her with her ghost problem, but the two become involved in a quest that neither of them expects or wants. They will need the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-sick reaper and some mindfulness-practicing creatures to finish their quest.

Johnny Boggs was inspired by the real-life adventures of legendary cattleman Tom Candy Ponting for his latest, “Longhorns East.” Tom Candy Ponting was no ordinary trail boss as he didn’t smoke, chew, cuss or even carry a gun. He also learned how to herd cows on a farm back in England. He did, however, know how to handle cowboys in bare-knuckle prizefights. His skills and know-how are put to the test when he accepts a bet he just may live to regret. He must lead a cattle drive from Texas to New York City. Tom’s not one to back down from a dare, so he assembles a motley crew of cowboys containing Texans, Englishmen, Mexicans, Freemen and Cherokee, and they chart a course through the unfriendliest territory with 700 head of cattle. They will cross railroads, rustlers, hucksters and conmen with plenty of detours and dead ends. If they succeed, they’ll not only gain a whole lot of money, but they’ll also make history.

Graham Brown’s latest entry in Clive Cussler’s NUMA series is called, “Condor’s Fury.” Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are on a NUMA training mission in the Caribbean when they pick up a distress call from a nearby freighter. When they locate the damaged vessel, they find a dead captain clutching a shotgun. While searching the freighter for clues, they are attacked by the crew who seem terrified and disoriented, almost like they’re in a trance. The trawler they were towing has vanished and the men say it was taken by the puzzling lights that circled the ship. Kurt and Joe believe the men to be suffering from Havana Syndrome. Soon, they’re squaring off with Cuban mercenaries who plan to use their modern airships to hijack a nuclear submarine which leads to a life-or-death showdown in the skies.

“The Raging Storm,” is the latest mystery by Ann Cleeves. Jem Rosco is a sailor, adventurer, legend and celebrity who turns up in Greystone Devon in the middle of an autumn gale. The locals are excited to have a celebrity in their midst, but as abruptly as he arrives, Rosco disappears again. Soon, his lifeless body is discovered in a dinghy, moored off Scully Cove — a place with its own legends. Detective Inspector Matthew Venn is not happy he caught this case. Greystone is a place he visited as a child, and he parted ways with that community long ago. When another body is found, Venn will have to cut through the superstition and rumor surrounding the case to get a clear fix on the clues. The longer Venn works the case, the more he realizes that no one — himself included — is safe from the dark secrets swirling about Scully’s Cove.

“Death Comes to Lajitas,” is by James J. Griffin. The vast, desolate, and beautiful territory of Big Bend in Texas is a haven for outlaws and hell for the lawmen trying to keep the peace. It is full of places for thieves and killers to hide and it seems every cactus patch is hiding a man ready to send a lawman to his grave. Texas Ranger Luke Caldwell and his young partner, Bobby Howell, are sent into this lawless land to stop the wholesale cattle rustling and murders plaguing the region. One ranch has managed to avoid the depredations of these outlaws. Is it the headquarters for the desperados? Who is funding these gangs? Luke knows that even the local law can’t be trusted. On top of that, something doesn’t sit well with a mysterious English husband and wife. Are they really on vacation or do they have a hidden agenda? Luke and Bobby must work quickly if they don’t want to become just two more lawmen who go missing in the Big Bend.