May 2022 Staff Picks

Recommended by Nancy Bell, Readers' Advisory Librarian
Suburban Dicks by Fabian Nicieza
When gas attendant Satkunananthan Sasmal is found dead, the police are quick to announce it as gang and drug related. Andrea Stern hears the announcement and knows the police are wrong. What does this mother of four with baby number five on the way know that the police doesn’t? Before she became a mother, she was an FBI profiler prodigy, and when she accidentally drove her minivan onto the crime scene when her daughter needed the bathroom, she noted some key details the police are missing. Kenneth Lee, a now disgraced reporter who spends his days writing puff pieces for his hometown paper, also doesn’t understand why the police are claiming drugs, when the family of the victim vehemently claim he only went to the gas station and home. Old acquaintances from high school, Andrea and Kenny team up to solve the murder for various reasons, but most importantly the same one: redemption.

I’m a big fan of police procedural shows—Criminal Minds, Law & Order, and my parents recently turned me onto the show Bosch—and Nancy Drew was my go-to book series. I absolutely loved this debut novel by Deadpool’s co-creator Fabian Nicieza. It’s the perfect mix of procedural drama and amateur sleuthing, and kept me guessing the motives and identity of the killer.

Verity by Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is best known for romance novels starring characters going through emotional rollercoasters to reach their happily (or not) ever after. In this romantic psychological suspense, our romantic leads quickly bond over their recent experiences with grief. Lowen recently lost her mother to cancer; Jeremy’s twin daughters died within six months of each other, and his wife, Verity, has been seriously injured in a car accident, and can’t finish her successful book series. Luckily, Jeremy convinces Lowen, a financially struggling writer, to write the remaining books. As Lowen searches for Verity’s book notes and she begins to fall in love with Jeremy, she stumbles upon a secret unfinished autobiography, revealing Verity’s unspeakable secrets. Told from both Verity and Lowen’s perspectives, you don’t know who to believe or what is true, as the intricate plot twists and turns all the way to the ending’s final reveal. (Trigger warnings: violence, child abuse, graphic descriptions, profanity, and other sensitive issues.)

What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline
A normal drive back home from a soccer game turns into a harrowing car-jacking, and the Bennett family being forced into witness protection. The Bennetts begin to unravel, as each family member reacts differently to their trauma of the violence and tragedy they experienced. Most notably, the father, Jason, searches for the truth to try to protect his family, and propels himself into the role of an action hero. A friend recommended this book to me and said that while they’ve enjoyed all of Scottoline’s novels, this book has a beautifully constructed plot that weaves together seemingly unrelated threads, and really makes you think about the small things you do and small decisions you make every day that can spin out of control.

Recommended by Maggie Mueller, Teen Services Librarian
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
If you’re in the mood for a shocking and gut-wrenching conclusion, check out Monday’s Not Coming. Claudia and Monday are best friends and practically inseparable, so when Monday doesn’t show up for the first day of school, Claudia is worried. When Monday doesn’t show up by the second week, Claudia knows something is wrong, but she can’t get an answer from Monday’s mother or sister. As she digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, Claudia discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing she’s gone?  

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
If you enjoy cozy mysteries with family secrets and jaw-dropping revelations, you’ll want to read The Cousins. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins but they barely know each other, and they’ve never met their rich grandmother who disinherited their parents. When they each receive a letter inviting them to work at their grandmother’s island resort for the summer, they’re surprised and curious. But when the cousins arrive, they begin to discover just how dark and mysterious their family’s past is. 

That Weekend by Kara Thomas
If you like well-crafted mysteries full of surprises, you’ll like That Weekend. Prom weekend goes terribly wrong when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past 48 hours, and her friends Kat and Jesse missing. Claire knows the answers are buried in her memory, but as she tries to uncover what happened to her, she learns everyone has secrets – even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like what she remembers.  

Picture Books
Recommended by Marie Boleman, Head of Children & Families Outreach Services
Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren
Written in a mystery noir style, this witty book entertains kids as well as adults. Pigeon P.I. is “taking it easy,” but a little chick persuades him to return to detective work to help find her missing friends. Fans of elephant and piggy will appreciate the humor. 

Poppy and Sam and the Mole Mystery by Cathon
Young children will enjoy this adventure featuring three adorable friends. They are helping mole find his glasses. On their search, they find many other lost items. Mabey they can help more than just Mole be reunited with their missing things.  

Secret Agent Splat by Rob Scotton
Splat’s Dad makes amazing toy animals. One day, the toy ducks start disappearing and reappearing with missing parts! Splat is determined to find the thief! With all-out humor in the story and illustrations, Kids will be eager to see how this one ends. 

Chapter Books
Recommended by Victoria Sheehan, Children's Library Assistant II
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
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Just imagine, a kid living in an unconventional, yet marvelous old inn, full of hidden nooks and crannies, in a snowstorm during winter break, whose interesting guests are smugglers… one of whom has dropped a mysterious map. Brace yourself for a wonderful story as Milo uncovers secrets behind the mysterious Greenglass House and its guests. The captivating narrative will have you cheering for Milo as he discovers self-confidence, friendship, and belonging along the way.

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
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Middle school students race against time to solve the dangerous and deadly events which begin to unfold in their community. Readers will identify with outbreaks, lockdowns and quarantines. Fans of the Netflix series, Stranger Things, may enjoy reading this fast-paced sci-fi mystery by the author who wrote Holes.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
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This well written story is super creepy! I found it hard to put down. It is an action-packed suspenseful adventure with depth to the characters.  After a girl saves a mysterious book from being tossed in a river, strange and scary things begin to happen.  Will she and her friends survive? This book is part of a quartet by the talented young author.