New Reads (Sept 1, 2015–)

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
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In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing–and you know that can’t be good–in this delightfully weird and funny sequel to the New York Times bestseller A Dirty Job Secondhand Souls It seems like only yesterday that Charlie Asher took on a very dirty job–collecting souls and keeping the Forces of Darkness at bay. The new gig came with the Big Book of the Dead and a host of other oddities: creatures under the streets, an evil trinity of ravenlike Celtic death goddesses, and one very bad Underworld dude attempting to conquer humanity. Along with a cohort of other oddballs, Charlie faced off against these denizens of darkness–and met his own end. But thanks to Audrey, his Buddhist-nun boo, his soul is still alive . . . inside a fourteen-inch-high body made from lunchmeat and spare animal parts. Waiting for Audrey to find him a suitable new body to play host, Charlie has squirreled himself away from everyone, including his adorable seven-year-old daughter, Sophie, who enjoys dressing up like a princess, playing with her glitter ponies, and–being the Luminatus–spouting off about her power over the Underworld and her dominion over Death. Just when Charlie and company thought the world was safe, some really freaky stuff hits San Francisco.

 

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
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Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival. One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned–always on July 24, which is only weeks away. As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola? In the tradition of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, The Book of Speculation

 

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
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From the author of the New York Times bestseller and 2014 Edgar and Anthony nominee Reconstructing Amelia comes another harrowing, gripping novel that marries psychological suspense with an emotionally powerful story about a community struggling with the consequences of a devastating discovery. At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of an infant is discovered in the woods near the town’s prestigious university campus. No one knows who the baby is, or how her body ended up out there. But there is no shortage of opinions. When freelance journalist, and recent Ridgedale transplant, Molly Anderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the story for the Ridgedale Reader, it’s a risk, given the severe depression that followed the loss of her own baby. But the bigger threat comes when Molly unearths some of Ridgedale’s darkest secrets, including a string of unreported sexual assaults going back twenty years. Meanwhile, Sandy, a high school dropout, searches for her volatile and now missing mother, and PTA president Barbara struggles to help her young son, who’s suddenly having disturbing outbursts.

 

Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
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A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl , Mary Kubica She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can’t get the girl out of her head… Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal-or worse. But despite her family’s objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home. Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow’s past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she’s willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated. Don’t miss this thrilling follow-up to The Good Girl by master of suspense, Mary Kubica.

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