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Nancy's Notes - March 5, 2009

"The Turtle Catcher" by Nicole Helget, "The Treasure" by Iris Johansen, "Dark Summer" by Iris Johansen, "Promises in Death" by J.D. Robb.

Every three years the staff must renew their certifications with 45 continuing education credits.  Last week we attended an ICN workshop on children's literature at the Belmond High School.  Three presenters gave book talks appropriate for readers from preschool through high school.  We took some time and selected many new books for these patrons.  The order should be in next week.
Recently we received several new titles for our adult readers.  The first one I am writing about has a very strange title but it is on the best seller list at the major books stores.  Written by Nicole Helget, it is entitled "The Turtle Catcher". The author was raised in a southern Minnesota farm community which is the site of this story. It begins in the days after World War I as Herman Richter returns from the front to find his only sister, Liesel, allied with Lester Sutter.  Sutter is a member of a rival clan whom people call "slow" and who spends his days trapping turtles at the lake.  Lisel sought Lester's friendship after the deaths of her parents and in the shadow of her own dark secret.  What began as a yearning for human touch unwinds into a tragedy.

Iris Johansen is a popular mystery writer.  She recently had her first historical romance in more than a decade published, "The Treasure".   It is the story of two unlikely treasure hunters on a perilous journey.  Lady Selen Ware had been nothing more than a harem slave when Kadar Ben Arnaud helped her escape to the safety of her native Scotland.  Even a world away, she still wasn't safe from the sheikh who claimed her as his stolen property and who now forced both her and Kadar to return with a chance to win their freedom.  There is a catch: first they must find the legendary religious relic that men of power have searched for from King Arthur's time to the present. 

We also purchased "Dark Summer" by Iris Johansen.  The story begins with Devon Brady, a devoted veterinarian working in a makeshift hospital, on a remote search and rescue mission.  When a man arrives with his wounded black Lab, Ned, she has no idea that she is about to be plunged into a whirlwind of terror and destruction.  Jude Marrock is out for revenge and has no choice but to involve Devon in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game. 

Popular writer J.D. Robb is the mystery counterpart of Nora Roberts.  Robb is back with installment 27 of her Eve Dallas series entitled "Promises in Death".  Dallas faces down a cop killer in New York City in 2060.  Amaryllis Coltraine recently transferred to the NYPD from Atlanta.  She's been a cop long enough to know how to defend herself against an assailant.  When she's taken down just steps away from her apartment and killed with her own weapon, Eve knows the victim isn't just "one of us".  Dallas's friend, Chief Medical Examiner Morris, had started a serious relationship with Coltraine.  After breaking the news to Morris, Eve starts questioning everyone, including Coltrain's squad, informants, and neighbors, while Eve's husband, Roarke, digs into computer data on the dead woman's life back in Atlanta.  To their shock, they discover a connection between this case and their own painful pasts.

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