Larry Grieco, Librarian

It is always a pleasure to introduce a new C.J. Box novel. This one, called Stone Cold, is another in the “Joe Pickett” series. Joe Pickett is a game warden by title, but has slowly become a troubleshooter for the governor of Wyoming. There is a rich stranger in the state’s remote Black Hills, living on a “massive” ranch. Everything about this stranger is a mystery, from “the women who live with him to the secret philanthropies, the private airstrip, and the sudden disappearances.” This is not to mention the rumors that the stranger’s wealth comes from killing people. Joe is sent to find out what the truth is, and what he finds out is way more than he bargained for. There are two other men living up there as well, one a “stone cold killer,” and another one who Joe is all too familiar with. As Booklist says: “You’ll have a hard time putting this one down and turning out the light.” And then a quote from Bookpage: “C.J. Box moves from strength to strength with each new installment. I would say that he is at the top of his form, but the top just keeps moving ever upward.”

Mary Higgins Clark is a suspense writer who never disappoints. Hew newest book, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, is about several murders, seemingly unrelated—at first anyway. When Laurie Moran’s husband was killed, their three-year-old son Timmy was the only witness. Even five years later, Timmy still has nightmares about the “blue-eyed killer.” Before he fled the scene, the killer threatened both the child’s mother and Timmy himself. As life goes on, Laurie is now a television producer who is working on a true-crime, cold-case show. The first episode is about a twenty-year-old unsolved murder of a socialite who was found suffocated in her bed. Can that decades-old murder be connected with the murder of Laurie’s husband? And will the blue-eyed killer return to carry out his threat? In Mary Higgins Clark’s hands these questions become paramount in the reader’s mind. The New York Times: “Credit Clark for her intuitive grasp of the anxieties of everyday life that can spiral into full-blown terror.”

And now to another unsolved murder, one from the summer of 1876 in San Francisco. The city is in a record-braking heat-wave and, as though that wasn’t stressful enough, there is a smallpox epidemic with which to contend. A young woman, Jenny Bonnet, is shot and killed, “through the window of a railroad saloon.” Jenny’s friend, Blanche Beunon, a French burlesque dancer, is determined to find her murderer. Blanche delves deep into the mystery and finds a story of bohemian style free-love, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires. Jenny herself lived a secret life, and that may have everything to do with her untimely murder. This is a “lyrical tale of love and bloodshed among lowlifes.” The author is Emma Donoghue, and the title is Frog Music. Writer Darin Strauss: “As ever, Donoghue focuses on people on the skirts of the world, who make their way outside the common middle of things. Blance and Jenny are characters you will never forget, filmed in vibrant, CinemaScope prose, and they mark Emma Donoghue’s greatest achievement yet.”

The library is running a one-of-a-kind art exhibit, the Lester Varian collection of prints of depression-era Central City. These are drawings that capture the heart of a town in the 1930s, with familiar structures and narrow, dusty streets. The exhibit is currently running and will be up until the end of May. There will be a mid-show reception held on Thursday evening, Apr. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. This is an art show you won’t want to miss.