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October 2008
In This Issue
The Private Patient
The Sorceress of Belmair
Icing on the Cake
Red Dahlia
The Best Laid Plans
The Worst Thing I've Done
Through Black Spruce
The Retreat
The 19th Wife
The Year of Fog
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday
Tsar: a Thriller
Obsession, Deceit & Really Dark Chocolate
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The Private Patient by P.D. James
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Publisher: Knopf Canada Pub Date: Sep 16, 2008
ISBN-10: 0307397785
ISBN-13: 978-0307397782
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When the notorious investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, books into Mr. Chandler-Powell's private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring, long-standing facial scar, she has every prospect of a successful operation by a distinguished surgeon, a week's peaceful convalescence in one of Dorset's most beautiful manor houses and the beginning of a new life. She will never leave Cheverell Manor alive. When Adam Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder - and a second death occurs - even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt arise.
The Sorceress of Belmair by Bertrice Small
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Publisher: HQN Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2008
ISBN-10: 0373772955
ISBN-13: 978-0373772957

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Cinnia, sorceress of Belmair, expected to claim her rightful place as ruler, not as the wife of a stranger chosen by Belmair's magical guardian. But the enchantment that seals a marriage of power and greatness soothes her wounded pride, allowing her to use her magical gift to uncover the darkest secret of a bright planet whose young women are inexplicably disappearing.
Icing on the Cake  by Laura Castoro
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Publisher: Mira
Publication Date: January 1, 2007
ISBN-10: 0778324133
ISBN-13: 978-0778324133
Chick Lit
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When Liz Talbot's husband left her for a woman half her age, Liz put all her passions into her bakery. The problem is that fad diets and fitness crazes are ruining sales and she's barely staying afloat. Liz's luck seems to be changing when her ex dies without changing his will, leaving her the main beneficiary. Unfortunately one of the things she inherits is the advertising agency she left behind to pursue her dream of baking. Her partner? The newly widowed husband stealer--Brandi, with a heart over the i. As the new co-owner of Talbot Advertising, in the toilet since the death of her ex (that's right, she's now the proprietor of two failing businesses), Liz is more determined than ever to break out and make a name for herself as an artisan baker extraordinaire, providing her products can catch the eye of the Nabisco Food scout who is as elusive as he is mysterious.
Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante
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Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Date: July 3, 2007
ISBN-10: 1416532196
ISBN-13: 978-1416532194
Mystery / Thriller
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Detective Inspector Anna Travis hasn't worked with DCI James Langton since they teamed up to find a serial killer more than a year earlier. At that time they had a brief fling and parted company unhappily when Langton wouldn't commit to a long-term relationship. When they're thrown together again on a murder case, Anna finds herself reattracted to Langton but vows to keep her feelings hidden. Given the nonstop demands of the case, that's not as difficult as she feared. The body of a beautiful young woman is found, cut in half and drained of blood. The autopsy reveals that the victim was tortured and brutalized before she died, and even the hardened cops on the case are shocked. With the killer still at large, comparisons are quickly made to the never-solved Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles 50 years earlier, prompting the "Red Dahlia" moniker. When the case finally breaks open, it's the stuff of nightmares.
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
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Publisher: Emblem Editions
Publication Date: September 5, 2008
ISBN-10: 0771047584
ISBN-13: 978-0771047589
Literary Fiction / Political Satire
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This book beat out work by Douglas Coupland and Will Ferguson to win the Stephen Leacock Award because it is very, very good - a terrific Canadian political satire.

Here's the set up: A burnt-out politcal aide quits just before an election - but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock - an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers - to let his name stand in the election. No need to campaign, certain to lose, and so on.

Then a great scandal blows away his opponent, and to their horror, Angus is elected. He decides to see what good an honest M.P. who doesn't care about being re-elected can do in Parliament. The results are hilarious - and with chess, a hovercraft, and the love of a good woman thrown in, this very funny book has something for everyone.
The Worst Thing I've Done by Ursula Hegi
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Publisher: Touchstone
Publication Date: September 2, 2008
ISBN-10: 1416543767
ISBN-13: 978-1416543763
Literary Fiction

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Annie, Jake and Mason-friends practically from the womb-have developed a fraught dynamic sharply affected by competitiveness, attraction and jealousy. The book's opening trauma-Mason's suicide-serves as a springboard for Hegi to delve into the friends' tangled past: Mason and Annie get married the same night Annie's father and very pregnant mother die in a car wreck. The baby, Opal, survives, and the three friends raise her. But festering attractions-Mason to Jake; Jake to Annie-lead Mason to cross a line, Annie to want out of the marriage and Jake to fail to act at a pivotal moment. Woven into the mix is the post-WWII story of Annie's immigrant mother, Lotte, and her friend Mechthild, who came to America from Germany to work as au pairs and pretended to be Dutch to avoid persecution. Though a bumper crop of tragedy weighs heavily on this controlled and articulate novel, Hegi (Sacred Time) is an accomplished storyteller; she inhabits different characters and blends the past with the present to tell a rich story of love, death, loyalty and survival.
Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
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Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication Date: September 2008
ISBN-10: 0670063630
ISBN-13: 978-0670063635
Literary Fiction

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Will Bird is a legendary Cree bush pilot, now lying in a coma in a hospital in his hometown of Moose Factory, Ontario. His niece Annie Bird, beautiful and self-reliant, has returned from her own perilous journey to sit beside his bed. Broken in different ways, the two take silent communion in their unspoken kinship, and the story that unfolds is rife with heartbreak, fierce love, ancient blood feuds, mysterious disappearances, fires, plane crashes, murders, and the bonds that hold a family, and a people, together. As Will and Annie reveal their secrets-the tragic betrayal that cost Will his family, Annie's desperate search for her missing sister, the famous model Suzanne-a remarkable saga of resilience and destiny takes shape. From the dangerous bush country of upper Canada to the drug-fueled glamour of the Manhattan club scene, Joseph Boyden tracks his characters with a keen eye for the telling detail and a rare empathy for the empty places concealed within the heart.
The Retreat by David Bergen
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Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
Publication Date: September 9, 2008
ISBN-10: 0771012535
ISBN-13: 978-0771012532
Literary Fiction
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In 1973, outside of Kenora, Ontario, Raymond Seymour, an eighteen-year-old Ojibway boy, is taken by a local policeman to a remote island and left for dead.

A year later, the Byrd family arrives in Kenora. They have come to stay at "the Retreat," a commune run by the self-styled guru Doctor Amos. The Doctor is an enigmatic man who spouts bewildering truisms, and who bathes naked every morning in the pond at the edge of the Retreat while young Everett Byrd watches from the bushes. Lizzy, the eldest of the Byrd children, cares for her younger brothers Fish and William, and longs for what she cannot find at the Retreat. When Lizzy meets Raymond, everything changes, and Lizzy comes to understand the real difference between Raymond's world and her own. A tragedy and a love story, the novel moves towards a conclusion that is both astonishing and heartbreaking.
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
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Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: August 5, 2008
ISBN-10: 1400063973
ISBN-13: 978-1400063970
Mystery / Thriller
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It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family's polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

Soon after Ann Eliza's story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds-a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father's death.

And as Ann Eliza's narrative intertwines with that of Jordan's search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
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Publisher: Bantam Discovery
Publication Date: February 26, 2008
ISBN-10: 0385340125
ISBN-13: 978-0385340120
Mystery / Suspense
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Six-year-old Emma vanished into the thick San Francisco fog. Or into the heaving Pacific. Or somewhere just beyond: to a parking lot, a stranger's van, or a road with traffic flashing by. Devastated by guilt, haunted by her fears about becoming a stepmother, Abby refuses to believe that Emma is dead. And so she searches for clues about what happened that morning-and cannot stop the flood of memories reaching from her own childhood to illuminate that irreversible moment on the beach.

Now, as the days drag into weeks, as the police lose interest and fliers fade on telephone poles, Emma's father finds solace in religion and scientific probability-but Abby can only wander the beaches and city streets, attempting to recover the past and the little girl she lost. With her life at a crossroads, she will leave San Francisco for a country thousands of miles away. And there, by the side of another sea, on a journey that has led her to another man and into a strange subculture of wanderers and surfers, Abby will make the most astounding discovery of all-as the truth of Emma's disappearance unravels with stunning force.
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith
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Publisher: Knopf Canada
Publication Date: September 23, 2008
ISBN-10: 0307396991
ISBN-13: 978-0307396990
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Isabel's incandescent curiosity is piqued when she is asked to help a professor of medicine who has been disgraced by allegations of scientific fraud concerning a newly marketed drug. Would a doctor with a stellar reputation make such a simple but grave mistake? If not, what explains the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a patient?

An investigation is in order, especially since a man's reputation is in jeopardy, and a great deal of money is at stake for the pharmaceutical company involved.

She's also occupied by the envy she feels in the face of Jamie's new friendship with the composer-in-residence at the University of Edinburgh. Whatever the case, whatever the solution, Isabel's combination of spirit, smarts, curiosity, empathy and unabashed nosiness guarantees a delightful adventure.
Tsar: a Thriller by Ted Bell
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Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: September 23, 2008
ISBN-10: 1416550402
ISBN-13: 978-1416550402
Spy / Thriller

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In bestseller Bell's rousing fifth thriller (after Spy), Alex Hawke fights the leaders of a new and invigorated Russia, where Vladimir Putin has been locked up in a lethal prison built over a massive radioactive waste site. Evil mastermind Count Ivan Korsakov (aka the Dark Rider) is determined to return Mother Russia to her rightful place in the world order by reacquiring her former colonies, after which he intends to conquer Europe and reign as the new tsar. The only thing standing in his way is Hawke, who, as series fans well know, is more than up to the task of thwarting those who try to take over the globe. Life throws Hawke a curve when he finds himself falling in love with the astoundingly beautiful Anastasia, who just happens to be Korsakov's daughter. As always, Bell pulls out all the stops with terrific action scenes, fiendish murders, diabolical villains, dramatic rescues and all the cool weaponry the reader could possibly hope for.
Obsession, Deceit & Really Dark Chocolate by Kyra Davis
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Publisher: Red Dress Ink
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
ISBN-10: 0373895534
ISBN-13: 978-0373895533
Chick Lit / Mystery

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Sophie Katz's relationship with the irresistible and occasionally insufferable P.I. Anatoly Darinsky is on the fritz when a friend recruits Sophie's investigation skills to decode her possibly two-timing husband's strange behavior. When Sophie shows up in a short, red cocktail dress and her friend's hubby winds up dead, the loveable would-be sleuth can't help but take on the job.Suddenly plunged into a crazy world of campaign mudslinging, dirt-digging and cover-ups, Sophie begins to uncover some pretty dirty secrets indeed- involving a conservative congressional hopeful's involvement in the Furry community, a group of people who dress up in mascot-size stuffed animal costumes. Sex and politics, wouldn't you know?

Way in over her head as usual, Sophie reluctantly-or not-so-reluctantly- enlists the help of her two-time sidekick and ex-Anatoly. Together they set out to determine who killed Eugene and why, and in the process can't resist falling for each other-again?
Indignation by Philip Roth
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Publisher: Renouf Pub Co Ltd
Publication Date: September 18, 2008
ISBN-10: 067006906X
ISBN-13: 978-0670069064
Literary Fiction
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Roth's brilliant and disconcerting new novel plumbs the depths of the early Cold War-era male libido, burdened as it is with sexual myths and a consciousness overloaded with vivid images of impending death, either by the bomb or in Korea. At least this is the way things appear to narrator Marcus Messner, the 19-year-old son of a Newark kosher butcher. Perhaps because Marcus's dad saw his two brothers' only sons die in WWII, he becomes an overprotective paranoid when Marcus turns 18, prompting Marcus to flee to Winesburg College in Ohio.

Though the distance helps, Marcus, too, is haunted by the idea that flunking out of college means going to Korea. His first date in Winesburg is with doctor's daughter Olivia Hutton, who would appear to embody the beautiful normality Marcus seeks, but, instead, she destroys Marcus's sense of normal by surprising him after dinner with her carnal prowess. Slightly unhinged by this stroke of fortune, he at first shuns her, then pesters her with letters and finally has a brief but nonpenetrative affair with her.

Olivia, he discovers, is psychologically fragile and bears scars from a suicide attempt-a mark Marcus's mother zeroes in on when she meets the girl for the first and last time. Between promising his mother to drop her and longing for her, Marcus goes through a common enough existential crisis, exacerbated by run-ins with the school administration over trivial matters that quickly become more serious.... The terrible sadness of Marcus's life is rendered palpable by Roth's fierce grasp on the psychology of this butcher's boy, down to his bought-for-Winesburg wardrobe. It's a melancholy triumph and a cogent reflection on society in a time of war.

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