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Nancy's Notes - December 12, 2013

“King and Maxwell” by David Baldacci, “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman, “Death of a Black Haired Girl” by Robert Stone.

    David Baldacci is one of our more popular writers. His latest is, “King and Maxwell”, which at first seems like a simple story. Tyler Wingo, a teenage boy, learns the awful news that his father, a soldier, was killed in action in Afghanistan. Then the extraordinary happens: Tyler receives a communication from his father, after his supposed death. Tyler then hires Sean and Michelle to solve the mystery surrounding his father. But their investigation quickly leads to more troubling questions. Could Tyler's father really still be alive? What was his true mission? Could Tyler be the next target?
    If you watch the Today Show you may have seen a news clip about an elderly, reclusive heiress who had lived in a hospital for many years. Her life is the basis for  journalist Bill Dedman’s “Empty Mansions”. He noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale. Owned by Huguette Clark, it had been unoccupied for nearly sixty years.  This is the story wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. Clark was a woman who was so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health. How had she transformed from the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege to one who secrets herself away from the outside world?
    Robert Stone is a new author to our library. I think you may enjoy his, “Death of a Black Haired Girl”. Steven Brookman is a professor in an elite college in a New England. For the sake of his marriage he has come to a decision that he must extract himself from his relationship with Maud Stack, his student, whose papers are always late and too long and yet always brilliant. But Maud is a young woman whose passions are not easily contained or curtailed, and their union will quickly yield tragic and far-reaching consequences.
    Even though the days are cold, sneak in for a book or movie to curl up with in the evenings. We are here: Monday through Wednesday between noon and 8:00 p.m.,  Thursday and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or Saturday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

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