New fiction

“Under the Alaskan Ice,” by Karen Harper. When a plane smashes through the ice at Falls Lake Lodge, it’s a haunting remembrance of all Megan Metzler has lost. Years ago, Meg’s husband died in a similar crash, a heartbreak Meg and her son have struggled to reconcile. Yet, Meg agrees to help Bryce Saylor when he arrives to investigate. Bryce knows he must work quickly as he dives into the freezing water to hunt for clues. But when important evidence is damaged, Bryce realizes the plane crash was no accident. With the killer at their heels, Meg and Bryce have to move fast to solve a mystery as unforgiving as the Alaskan wilderness, otherwise they may be the killer’s next victims.

“Wrong Alibi,” by Christina Dodd. Evelyn Jones gets a job in Alaska, working for a man in his isolated mountain home. All is well until Donald White disappears, and Evie is looking at embezzlement and murder charges. She denies the allegations, but no one listens. Looking at life in prison sends her fleeing. Bent on justice, Evie searches for the murderer who kills without regret. Then one day Donald returns from the dead. Evie comes out of hiding; the fugitive becomes the hunter. Now Evelyn must unpick the strands of evidence before she’s once again found with blood on her hands.

“Night Bird Calling,” by Cathy Gohlke. When Lilliana’s mother dies, Lilliana packs up and runs from an abusive husband to her only living relative, now living in the North Carolina hills. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t set eyes on Lilliana for years, she offers her great-niece a home. Their reunion inspires plans to remodel Hyacinth’s home into a public library where people of all colors are welcome. Slowly, Lilliana finds friendship with clever 11-year-old Celia Percy, kindly Jesse Willard and Ruby Lynne, a woman with many secrets. When the plans for the library trigger the anger of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple the new life she’s built.

New nonfiction

“We Thought We Knew You: A Terrifying True Story of Secrets, Betrayal, Deception, and Murder,” by M. William Phelps. In 2015, Mary Yoder came home from the clinic that she ran with her husband, Bill, saying she felt unwell. Soon, Mary was vomiting, sweating, and weak. Doctors were mystified as to the cause of her rapidly progressing illness. Her family, including Bill and their children, Adam, Tamryn, and Liana, gathered at her bedside to say farewell. After Mary’s death, the family received horrifying news: Mary had been poisoned. Another shock followed when the sheriff’s office got a tip that Adam had poisoned his mother. But Adam was not the only suspect in the case. Adam’s former girlfriend, Kaitlyn, worked at the Yoders’ clinic. Had the two plotted to kill Mary, or was the murderer someone else entirely?

“Cowboy Culture: Capturing the Spirit of the Old West in the Sierra Nevada,” by Sandy Powell. It was an exhilarating era, when wagon trains and stagecoaches sped to the California goldfields. In the shadow of the Sierra Nevada, the real Wild West came into being. And it still lives today, in the people who race over mountain passes on horseback while recreating the Pony Express, and drive cattle out of the high country every autumn. It lives on under the wheels of the mule-team wagons and of draft horses towing wagons over a mountain pass. The Old West comes alive in a book teeming with unique western images and history, stories from the trail and cowboy poetry.

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