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New Year, New Selections

Did you know that our Library holds two different types of monthly book groups? Do you attend? We have a book group just for mysteries and another for other fiction and non-fiction titles. We’ve updated our lists to let you know what we’ll be reading each month for at least the next six months. Please ask a Librarian if you’d like help finding any of these titles.

Monthly Book Group

Meets upstairs at the Library on the third Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Selections, February – June 2013
Download a printable list. [.pdf]

The Long Walk

February 20, 2013
The Long Walk
by Brian Castner

The author, a former Air Force bomb squad commander, writes about the terror and camaraderie of war and his struggles to readjust to civilian life. The book is one of this year’s Silicon Valley Reads selections. Castner will speak at the Library on March 3, at 3 p.m.

White Teeth

March 20, 2013
White Teeth
by Zadie Smith

The funny and poignant tale of two families of wildly different backgrounds confronting the craziness of 1970s London.

Citizens of London

April 17, 2013
Citizens of London: the Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour
by Lynne Olson

A chronicle of how a group of Americans became close with Winston Churchill and aided the British during World War II.

My Antonia

May 15, 2013
My Antonia
by Willa Cather

The classic novel of rural immigrant life in late 19th century America is unpretentious and painfully authentic.

Rules of Civility

June 19, 2013
The Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles

A young woman making her way in 1930s New York discovers that simple choices can change a life forever.

Mystery Book Group

Meets upstairs in the Library Fireplace Room on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.
Selections, March – August 2013
Download a printable list. [.pdf]

The Expats

March 12, 2013
The Expats
by Chris Pavone

Kate Moore jumps at the chance to leave her double life in the US and live in Europe only to find that her problems are just beginning.

I'd Know You Anywhere

April 9, 2013

I’d Know You Anywhere
by Laura Lippman

A terrifying story about a death row inmate and his obsession with the victim that got away.

The Kill Artist

May 14, 2013
The Kill Artist
by Daniel Silva

Art restorer and former secret agent Gabriel Allon is drawn back into the ‘game’ when a zealot from his past goes on a killing spree.


June 11, 2013
by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö

The first book in the Martin Beck Police Mysteries and the first of the police procedurals to come out of Scandinavia and now a popular television series in Europe and on public television.

Bootlegger's Daughter

July 9, 2013
Bootlegger’s Daughter
by Margaret Maron

Deborah Knott, daughter to an infamous bootlegger in rural North Carolina, investigates a decades old murder in this atmospheric novel.

March Violets

August 13, 2013

March Violets
by Philip Kerr

Set in Berlin during the 1936 Olympics, the first of Kerr’s Bernie Gunther novels is like finding Sam Spade in a weirdly frightening and dangerous place.

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Next Six Books for the Mystery Book Group

The votes are in and here are the next six books for the Mystery Book Group.  More copies have been ordered  for all titles and should be available in a few weeks.

September 13, 2011
Faithful Place
By Tana French
An undercover cop finds himself investigating the twenty year-old murder of his teenage girlfriend in Tana French’s third novel. 

October 11, 2011
Jolie Blon’s Bounce
By James Lee Burke
The complex and compelling Dave Robicheaux  investigates the murders of two women in this 12th in the series.  Lots of atmosphere, of course, it is Louisiana.

November 8, 2011
What the Dead Know
By Laura Lippman
A thirty year-old case of kidnapping resurfaces when a middle-aged woman claims to be one of the victims.  Lipppman won the Anthony, Macavity and Barry awards in 2008 for this stand-alone novel. 

December 13, 2011
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
By John le Carré
Retired spy George Smiley returns to uncover the ’mole’ that has been operating in the British intelligence service.  Look for the new film starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth due out in November.

January 10, 2012
Bad Luck and Trouble
By Lee Child
Ex-military cop Jack Reacher joins with his former army team to find who is killing them off.

February 14, 2012
Acqua Alta
By Donna Leon
Commissario Guido Brunetti   investigates the murder of a museum director during the  annual sea surge that floods the streets of Venice.

Posted by SK

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Mysterious Sunnyvale

Mysterious Sunnyvale is a celebration of California mystery authors and their books.  We begin in May with a video and end with a special author talk in July.

Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m.
Mysterious California: Four Authors
To kick off our ‘book club in a box’ we’ll screen a forty minute documentary featuring interviews with four authors and a visual tour of the distinctive California landscapes featured in their books.  The books will be available for check out and we’ll discuss them on June 23.

Thursday, June 9, 7-8 p.m.
John Lescroart
John Lescroart, best selling author of the Dismas Hardie and Abe Glitsky mystery series, will discuss his writing and sign books.  This event is free to the public but tickets are required and can be picked up at the Library’s Information Desk.

Tuesday, June 14, 7 p.m.
Mystery Book Group
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
You’ve seen the movie, now read the book.  Follow noir detective Sam Spade as he walks the dark streets of San Francisco to locate ‘the bird’ and outwit the police and the criminals.

Thursday, June 23, 7 p.m.
Mysterious California: Four Authors
Four California authors and their books will be discussed.  The books include Southland by Nina Revoyr, Shell Games by Kirk Russell, Sharpshooter by Nadia Gordon, and The Art of Detection by Laurie King.  Copies of the books are available at the Information Desk.

Tuesday, July 12, 7 p.m.
Mystery Book Group
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Easy Rawlins, a young black veteran trying to make a living in post WWII Los Angeles, becomes a reluctant detective when he is hired to track down a mysterious French woman who has disappeared with $30,000 that is not her own.

Tuesday, July 26 at 7 p.m.
Laurie King
Award-winning and best-selling author, King will speak in person at the Library, about writing, publishing and promoting her books.  This event is free to the public but tickets are required and can be picked up at the Library’s Information Desk beginning June 1.

For more information on Mysterious Sunnyvale activities, call (408) 730-7300 option 5 on the menu.

Posted by SK

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Holmes Lives On

Many authors have borrowed Arthur Conan Doyle’s great Sherlock Holmes for their novels, but few are satisfying to fans of the original. There are, however, a few that I find enjoyable.

I particularly like Laurie King’s series with the smart, but arrogant Mary Russell. Mary who is more than a match for Holmes has a series of ten books and there will be an eleventh in September.

Others that I felt were very good include:

Mitch Cullin’s  A Slight Trick of the Mind (2005).

Michael Chabon’s  The Final Solution: a Story of Detection  (2004)

Jamyang Norbu’s  Sherlock Holmes: the Missing Years (2001)

Donald Thomas  The Execution of Sherlock Holmes (2007)

Theodore Riccardi’s  The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (2003)

If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes and are on the hunt for more books, here is a fun site that has plot descriptions, characters, locations, and publication data about an amazing number of pastiches:

Posted by SK

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Play Fair Mysteries

A “play fair” mystery is one that includes all the clues necessary for the reader to solve it.  Classic mystery authors Agatha Christie, John Dickinson Carr, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, and Rex Stout were known for it and it is a part of what made them popular.  Is anyone still writing ‘play fair’ or ‘fair play’ mysteries?  Yes, there are authors who still provide enough clues for you to deduce who done it.  Of course, the real skill is in picking out the clues from the red herrings.  Tune up your ‘little gray cells’ and try these contemporary authors:

Posted by SC

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