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By Its Cover: The Death of Kings

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9 March 2017

Imagine a classic film in black-and-white flickering on a screen in a darkened room. For an instance the frame freezes. A woman stands holding a glass of champagne in a room, reminiscent of an English manor, with a gentleman seated before her and two faceless men behind her. This cover seems to reflect such a… Read More ›

Top 10 Sci-Fi Novels in 2016?

For the first time, The Poisoned Martini is taking a look at the most popular science fiction titles of the previous year. Based on circulation figures at the library where I work, these were the most checked out Sci-Fi novels in 2016. *** 10.  Death Wave by Ben Bova— In the sequel to New Earth,… Read More ›

Top 10 Fantasy Novels of 2016?

After looking at last year’s top mysteries, it’s time to check out which fantasy novels were the most popular in 2016.  The following list includes a mix of high fantasy, urban/paranormal fantasy, and steampunk titles, all of which are shelved in the Fantasy section at the library where I work.  Based on circulation figures, these were… Read More ›

Top 10 Mysteries of 2016?

As 2016 comes to a close, let’s take a moment to look back at the year’s most popular mysteries. Based on circulation figures at the library where I work, these were the most checked out mysteries in 2016. Considering last year’s list, is it any surprise that one particular author once again dominated the top ten?… Read More ›

Bones on Ice

A body frozen in ice. A freak accident leading to such an occurrence is tragic and frightening, but what if it’s something more? Consider Ötzi, the 3,300 BCE era “Iceman” whose frozen remains were found in the Alps. Discovered in 1991, at first, it was thought he was a hapless mountaineer recently deceased. Tests later proved… Read More ›

Louise Penny’s The Hangman

“Armand Gamache didn’t like what he was looking at … A man was hanging from a tree in front of him.” The calm, collected Chief Inspector Armand Gamache stands “still and silent, like the forest itself” as the police search the area deep in the woods of Quebec where the body is found. It’s a… Read More ›

Patricia Cornwell’s Chaos II

Chaos resumes with the meticulous investigation of the body and surrounding crime scene. The bicyclist is found sprawled on the ground in the shape of an X. It’s possible she may have been dragged, but there’s no evidence suggesting a struggle. Yet the victim’s helmet and shoes are scattered about some distance from the corpse…. Read More ›

Patricia Cornwell’s Chaos

Chaos is here. Cornwell’s latest Kay Scarpetta novel begins in the sweltering heat of late summer on the Harvard campus. The twenty-fourth entry in the series promises chaos, and it’s not in the form of Kay’s sister, Dorothy. The book’s synopsis informs us that a young woman “is killed while riding her bicycle along the… Read More ›

By Its Cover: Someone Always Knows

Sometimes it’s not so much the cover that attracts attention but the title on it. Someone Always Knows. What a loaded statement! It begs the question, “Knows what?” At first glance—and certainly from a distance—the cover may not seem like much. Only the almost-neon green title stands out initially. A closer look reveals the two… Read More ›

Maia Chance’s Teetotaled

“Although, of course, not rum. I never touch that vile stuff. But a highball, yes, a highball would be refreshing—” One character’s seemingly innocent comment becomes surprisingly significant and launches a murder investigation that complicates the retrieval of an errant diary. Short on funds, Lola Woodby is “an unwilling teetotaler” and the rent is coming… Read More ›

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