Monday, November 30, 2020

November 30, 2020 - New Arrivals

November 30, 2020

Adult Fiction

Hideaway by Nora Roberts.

Caitlyn Sullivan had come from a long line of Hollywood royalty, stretching back to her Irish immigrant great-grandfather. At nine, she was already a star--yet still an innocent child who loved to play hide and seek with her cousins at the family home in Big Sur. It was during one of those games that she disappeared. Some may have considered her a pampered princess, but Cate was in fact a smart, scrappy fighter, and she managed to escape her abductors. Dillon Cooper was shocked to find the bloodied, exhausted girl huddled in his house--but when the teenager and his family heard her story they provided refuge, reuniting her with her loved ones. Cate's ordeal, though, was far from over. First came the discovery of a shocking betrayal that would send someone she'd trusted to prison. Then there were years spent away in western Ireland, peaceful and protected but with restlessness growing in her soul. Finally, she would return to Los Angeles, gathering the courage to act again and get past the trauma that had derailed her life. What she didn't yet know was that two seeds had been planted that long-ago night--one of a great love, and one of a terrible vengeance...


Royal by Danielle Steel.

As the war rages on in the summer of 1943, causing massive destruction and widespread fear, the King and Queen choose to quietly send their youngest daughter, Princess Charlotte, to live with a trusted noble family in the country. Despite her fiery, headstrong nature, the princess's fragile health poses far too great a risk for her to remain in war-torn London. Third in line for the throne, seventeen-year-old Charlotte reluctantly uses an alias upon her arrival in Yorkshire, her two guardians the only keepers of her true identity. In time, she settles comfortably into a life out of the spotlight, befriending a young evacuee and training with her cherished horse. But no one predicts that in the coming months she will fall deeply in love with her protectors' son. She longs for a normal life. Far from her parents, a tragic turn of events leaves an infant orphaned. Alone in the world, that child will be raised in the most humble circumstances by a modest stable manager and his wife. No one, not even she, knows of her lineage. But when a stack of hidden letters comes to light, a secret kept for nearly two decades finally surfaces, and a long lost princess emerges.


Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell.

Utopia Avenue is the strangest British band you've never heard of. Emerging from London's psychedelic scene in 1967, and fronted by folk singer Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss and guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet, Utopia Avenue embarked on a meteoric journey from the seedy clubs of Soho, a TV debut on Top of the Pops, the cusp of chart success, glory in Amsterdam, prison in Rome, and a fateful American sojourn in the Chelsea Hotel, Laurel Canyon, and San Francisco during the autumn of '68.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Killer Book of Serial Killers by Tom Philbin & Michael Philbin.

The Killer Book of Serial Killers is the ultimate resource (and gift) for any true crime fan and student of the bizarre world of serial killers. Filled with stories, trivia, quizzes, quotes, photos, and odd facts about the world's most notorious murderers, this is the perfect bathroom reader for anyone fascinated with serial killers. The stories and trivia cover such killers as: John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, The BTK Killer, Jack the Ripper, The Green River Killer, serial killers around the world, and many, more. Including more than 40 black & white photos, this is a must for true crime fans.


Appalachian Fall by Jeff Young.

Despite fueling a century of American progress, the people at the heart of coal country are being left behind, suffering from unemployment, the opioid epidemic, and environmental crises often at greater rates than anywhere else in the country. But what if Appalachia's troubles are just a taste of what the future holds for all of us? Appalachian Fall tells the captivating true story of coal communities on the leading edge of change. A group of local reporters known as the Ohio Valley ReSource shares the real-world impact these changes have had on what was once the heart and soul of America. Including stories like: the miners' strike in Harlan County after their company suddenly went bankrupt, bouncing their paychecks, the farmers tilling former mining ground for new cash crops like hemp, the activists working to fight mountaintop removal and bring clean energy jobs to the region, and the mothers mourning the loss of their children to overdose and despair. In the wake of the controversial bestseller Hillbilly Elegy, Appalachian Fall addresses what our country owes to a region that provided fuel for a century and what it risks if it stands by watching as the region, and its people, collapse.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Who Was Nellie Bly? by Margaret Gurevich. NF

Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman had no idea that the open letter she'd written to a local newspaper in Pittsburgh in 1885 would change her life forever. The editor of the paper was so impressed with her writing, that he offered her a job! She'd later change her name to Nellie Bly and work as an investigative reporter in New York City. Known for her extraordinary and record-breaking trip around the world and her undercover of a mental institution, Nellie Bly was one of the first female investigative reporters in the United States and a pioneer in the field of journalism.


City of Secrets by Victoria Ying. GN

Ever Barnes is a shy orphan who lives in a puzzle-box building (think an architectural Transformer) that is also a multi-level switchboard center, the communications hub of his city. He's the last of a family that's guarded a precious safe--contents unknown--for generations. All Ever knows is that what's in that safe protects the city and that his father was killed because he wouldn't give up the secret of the safe. Ever is resigned to living on his own in the switchboard building, where he knows every nook and cranny, and all the cranks and levers that operate the complicated complex. Some of the nicer young women who work there give him food on the sly. He's got his job- stay out of sight and protect the safe hidden deep in the maze of the building. Ever is the only one who knows about it. Or is he? Ever's lonely existence is upended by when Hannah, the daughter of the building's owner, shows up and spots the orphan in hiding. Hannah is determined to befriend Ever. His avoidance and her pursuit set off an unexpected series of events. Two things quickly become very clear- someone else knows Ever's secret and wants in on it. And having a friend is a very good thing when a whole evil goon squad is after you!

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Friday, November 27, 2020

November 27, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Good Killer

By Harry Dolan
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Audiobook Available from WV Reads!

1.5 Stars - I very rarely remark on books I don't care to finish. But this one looked like a perfect mystery/action thriller to me and I was disappointed. Both the narrative and the style didn't flow for me from the first page. As a newcomer to Dolan, maybe I'm just not destined to become one of his fans. 

The book starts off so melancholy instead of menacing it's almost depressing. Early on, we get both the killer and the hero's point of view. But the execution was rough. I actually had a hard time telling who was who in the narration. The beginning is also messy in that there's talk of a ghost and buried treasure, both of which are delivered melodramatically though the subconcious of our hero. And it all just feels out of place. I know opening with the action of the mall shooting that forces the main couple out of hiding couldn't be the first scene but the audiobook only eight hours long, not much time to plausibly work in those extras.

Perhaps there was more issue on the narrator himself but I didn't sense a strong character separation/voice. Harder still is the fact the POVs are done in third person present tense. It's very rare for a reason as it sort of reads like a Dateline reanactment voiceover. Further the complete lack of real dialouge only served the inner monotone rambling thoughts. That dominated the first 30 minutes at least with no signs of changing.  Henry the supposed killer is appropriately weird but he does not come off as particularly clever or engaging. The hero Sean is deep in his new hidden life along with his girlfriend Molly. But he lacks a sense of humor or a sense of life or purpose early on. The gunfight in the mall was no doubt a turning point for him but he lacked the personality required of an interesting main character. I chose this rating because I like the plot description and with more time or effort on my part I may have been pleasantly surprised here or there. But mostly, it looks like the impressive ratings out there were on basis of getting a free copy upon release.


Monday, November 23, 2020

November 23, 2020 - New Arrivals

November 23, 2020

Adult Fiction

The Last Agent by Robert Dugoni.

Betrayed by his own country and tried for treason, former spy Charles Jenkins survived an undercover Russian operation gone wrong. Exonerated, bitter, and safe, the retired family man is through with duplicitous spy games. Then he learns of a woman isolated in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo Prison. If it's Paulina Ponomayova, the agent who sacrificed her life to save his, Jenkins can't leave her behind. But there's no guarantee it's her. Or proof Paulina is still alive. To find out, Jenkins must return to Russia. Next move: blackmail Viktor Federov, a former Russian officer with his own ax to grind, into helping him infiltrate Lefortovo. The enemy who once pursued Jenkins across three continents is now the only man Jenkins can trust. Every step of the way--from Moscow to Scandinavia to the open ocean--they're hunted by a brutal Russian agent on a killer quest of his own. Out of loyalty to Paulina--dead or alive--Jenkins is putting everyone's life on the line for a new mission that could be his last.


The Way of Love by Tracie Peterson.

Faith Kenner is pursuing her dream to become a doctor at Willamette University's medical college so she can use her gift for healing to help those in need, especially the native populations forced onto reservations and then neglected. When she meets Andrew Gratton, a handsome riverboat captain who has been injured on his ship, she uses her skills to tend his wound, and a friendship grows between them. Andrew admires her strength and willingness to stand her ground, and Faith appreciates his intelligence and compassion. But Faith holds a secret that means their friendship can never become anything more, so she must bury her feelings for Andrew as best she can. When her fellow students put together lectures to speak out against Oregon's racist laws and policies, Faith is eager to participate. But some powerful men have other plans for their state, and soon Faith is caught in the middle of a plot to push the local Indian tribes to rebel. As she and Andrew fight for the rights of others, their love for each other grows. Can they trust that God has a way toward love for them, or will her secret stand in the way of their one chance for true happiness?


Every Summer by Joanne DeMaio.

Every summer has a story. That couldn't be more true for Jason and Maris Barlow, the Bradford brothers, soon-to-be innkeepers Elsa and Celia, and the rest of The Seaside Saga cast. But this particular summer is leaving its mark on the New England beach town of Stony Point. As lone lobsterman Shane settles in for another week at his rented bungalow by the sea, emotional tides turn. Relationships come unmoored; secret love affairs surface; family bonds are tested. So head under the trestle, walk the cottage-lined streets, sit on the sandy boardwalk, and spend Every Summer with your favorite beach friends. They're waiting for you.


Adult Non-Fiction

The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables by Angi Schneider.

Master the best preservation techniques for every veggie in your garden with seamless instruction and incredible recipes. Angi Schneider, a homesteader herself, will teach you to prepare your harvest so you can enjoy home grown produce in any season. She'll lead you through everything you need to know from canning, pickling and fermenting to dehydrating and freezing--with step-by-step photos for every technique! Each chapter teaches you the most effective preservation method for each vegetable with guidelines for safe procedures and the tastiest results. Spice up your pantry with unique flavor twists like Fermented Thai Green Beans and Dried Carrot Chai Chips. By preserving your own produce, you ensure that every veggie is at its peak ripeness so that it retains the most nutrients. With 100 recipes for the most common garden produce, you can make the freshest jams, sauces, pickles and more from Canned Sweet and Spicy Radishes to Granny's Bread and Butter Pickles. Whether from your own garden or from the farmer's market, this book will help you make the most of your harvest.


Star Trek: Food Recipes from the Replicator by Patricia Baker.

"Almost everyone in the world enjoyed the Star Trek Movies and TV series. Actually, the new ones are great too. However, there is one amazing way to experience the adventure and excitement through food. Food, aroma, and taste are the best thing to give you the feeling like you are in the movie, living together with Starfleet officers. Taking part in important missions and exploring the galaxy. Until we can use food from other planets and dishes created by our fellow aliens we must use our imagination, the scene from the episodes to create the food they eat."--


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Superworm by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler. E

Toad in trouble? Beetle in a jam? Never fear -- Superworm is here! And he's wiggling to the rescue! But when Superworm is captured by a wicked Wizard Lizard, will his friends find a way to help their favorite superhero escape? From the creators of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom, a super new adventure with a wriggly, squiggly hero you'll never forget.


Storm Dog by L. M. Elliott. J

Whip-smart Ariel doesn't fit in. Only in the winds of the Blue Ridge Mountains and spring storms that mirror the unhappiness she feels at home. Her brother understands her, but he's in Afghanistan. Her father hasn't been the same since George deployed. Her mother focuses on Ariel's gorgeous sister. When Gloria is selected to be an Apple Blossom Parade princess, Ariel feels even more the outsider and takes to the hills. There, during a raging storm, Ariel finds a lost dog who leads her to the safety of a cabin and Sergeant Josie, a former Army K-9 handler. Together--with music, dog-dancing, and a storm-child-crazy plan--the three outcasts find themselves.

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Saturday, November 21, 2020

November 21, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Pretend You Don't See Her

By Mary Higgins Clark
Release Date: April 28, 1997
Audiobook available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A fast-moving, sinister novel about an everyday woman becoming a target and trying to unearth herself from the depths of a murder trial. This wasn't particularly original by the queen of suspense but definitely held my interest from the first page to the last. Lacey's struggle to walk the line between two lives and stay out of the killer's crosshairs was chillingly vivid.

The further I read (listened) the more Lacey seemed destined to end up in trouble. She's particularly bullheaded with a tendenacy to do what she thinks is best. Being that the villian(s) was part of her circle, she was pretty much doomed to hit on something eventually. This was almost more of an amateur sleuth murder mystery. What troubled me about Lacey for real though was that she had a whiney side. Her lies to protect herself seemed to come easily when she wanted to lie. And her treatment of Tom who is the gentleman trying to start a relationship with her was cold at times.

Some people witness a crime and have to start over with spouses, kids, or pets to worry about. She was a single woman who didn't actually see the killer so she might be more grateful for law enforcement's help. The narrator sounded too old to voice Lacey and perhaps made her seem distant (she also mispronounced a word here and there). I did enjoy returning to this author's work after a long spell. She always manages to tell the story in a way that puts in the reader in the scene but keeps the scenes flowing. The violence is somehow scary but not written in a brutal way. And even if I can guess what happens next, I'm excited or anxious still. While this didn't have the fascinating twists of All Around the Town or the crazy climax of Moonlight Becomes You, I enjoyed it overall. The story was written in a simpler time before cell phones and social media. So researching clues and hiding in plain sight was so different but no less fascinating. This is a perfectly paced read for any dark and chilly Fall day.


Thursday, November 19, 2020

November 19, 2020 - A Book & A Recipe

Brooke County Libraries present:

November 2020's A Book and A Recipe.


Happy Thanksgiving, all! In honor of the holiday, here at BCPL and Follansbee libraries want to share a recipe from Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving. Keep in mind we also have a DVD of the movie version and the book available from our ebook catalouge.


Photos and recipe courtesy of


Louisa May Alcott's Apple Slump

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: about 15 minutes preparation, plus about 50 minutes for baking




·       4 to 6 tart apples (3 cups sliced)

·       1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

·       1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

·       1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

·       1/4 teaspoon salt

·       1 1/2 cups flour

·       2 teaspoons baking powder

·       1/2 teaspoon salt

·       1/2 cup sugar

·       1 egg (well beaten)

·       1/2 cup milk

·       1/2 cup melted butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pare, core, and slice the apples.  Lightly grease the inside of a 1 1/2-quart baking dish (I used a 9 in. x 9 in. square baking dish) with butter.  Put the sliced apples into the dish.  In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Sprinkle the mixture over the apples and stir to mix.  Bake apples uncovered until they are soft, about 20 minutes.

While the apples are baking, stir together into a bowl the flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar.  Mix into this the beaten egg, milk, and melted butter.  Stir gently.  Spread this mixture over the apples and continue baking until the top is brown and crusty (about 25 to 30 minutes).  Serve with whipped cream.

Be sure to let us know if you give this a try! Feel free to leave us a comment below or a post on one of our social media pages.


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November 17, 2020 - Staff Reviews

Chasing Cassandra
By Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: 
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - I was starting at end the end of Kleypas' Ravenals series with this book, but I managed to get immersed in it all the same. Cassandra was such a sweet and patient heroine, I couldn't help but hope she got her happy ending. And Tom's pursuit of her was endlessly entertaining.

Kleypas seems to always write an engaging story whether contemporary or historical and with a touch suspense and steam. Cassandra and Tom make a horrible couple on paper and in the beginning pretty much no one supports the idea. Cassandra's a sweet little dreamer and Tom is about as cynical as they come and makes no apologies for it. This push and pull continues for a considerable amount of the book. But from the get-go, these two are fascinated with each other and makes for a fun ride.

I loved the scene early on where Tom overhears Cassandra proposes marriage to another man and pops out of his hiding place. It reminded me of Gone with the Wind and be still my heart. These two have a number of cute and memorable moments like repairing a hot water tank and trading barbs about various novel. Bazzle is a little boy who seems to wander into the story, and I actually found his role to be one of the weaker points. I think his part would have been more satisfying with at least a few more real moments of affection or connection with his perspective parents. But he seems to sort of float on the edges of the story while still taking considerable page time that might have been more about the main couple. It's also worth mentioning that it's a rather quick read so a library copy might be the way to go. This doesn't have the length and twists of a Catherine Coulter or Tessa Dare story, though no less likable. No complaints otherwise really, and I found it be a completely charming little read.


Monday, November 16, 2020

November 16, 2020 - New Arrivals

November 16, 2020

Adult Fiction

The Somerset Girls by Lori Foster.

When they’re running the animal-rescue farm they inherited from their grandparents, Autumn and Ember Somerset are perfectly in sync. At all other times, not so much. Dependable Autumn would rather curl up with a good book than paint the town red with Ember. After the disaster that was Autumn’s last relationship, it’s pure self-protection. But when her high school crush comes back to town with his adorable young daughter, igniting memories best left forgotten, there’s only one person Autumn can turn to… Beneath Ember’s free-spirited facade is a layer of deep hurt. She’ll gladly nudge Autumn toward a second chance. But risk her own heart? Not likely. The closer Autumn gets to her own happily-ever-after, the more Ember wonders what she might be missing—and if it isn’t her time to be bold, too.


All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny.

On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather as a family for a bistro dinner with Armand's godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. Walking home together after the meal, they watch in horror as Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on the elderly man's life. When a strange key is found in Stephen's possession it sends Armand, his wife Reine-Marie, and his former second-in-command at the Sûreté, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, from the top of the Tour d'Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded, works of art. It sends them deep into the secrets Armand's godfather has kept for decades. A gruesome discovery in Stephen's Paris apartment makes it clear the secrets are more rancid, the danger far greater and more imminent, than they realized. Soon the whole family is caught up in a web of lies and deceit. In order to find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past. His own family. For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide.


Split Feather: Daughter of the Midnight Sun by Deborah A. Wolf.

Siggy Aleksov sees demons and talks with creatures she knows aren't really there. Taken from her family as a child, she is dogged by memories of abandonment, abuse, and mental health issues. Siggy suffers from a hot temper, cluster headaches, caffeine addiction, and terminal foul language. She complicates her life even more when she saves the life of a talented assassin sent to kill her. Deciding to get the hell out of Dodge, Siggy travels to the Alaska bush to find out who she really is. The answer is more fantastic that she could have imagined--and she can imagine a lot.


Adult Non-Fiction

Die with Zero by Bill Perkins.

Imagine if by the time you died, you did everything you were told to. You worked hard, saved your money, and looked forward to financial freedom when you retired. The only thing you wasted along the way was... your life. Die with Zero presents a startling new and provocative philosophy as well as practical guide on how to get the most out of your money--and out of your life. It's intended for those who place lifelong memorable experiences far ahead of simply making and accumulating money for one's so-called Golden Years. In short, Bill Perkins wants to rescue you from over-saving and under-living. Regardless of your age, Die with Zero will teach you Perkins' plan for optimizing your life, stage by stage, so you're fully engaged and enjoying what you've worked and saved for. You'll discover how to maximize your lifetime memorable moments with "experience bucketing," how to convert your earnings into priceless memories by following your "net worth curve," and find out how to navigate whether to invest in, or delay, a meaningful adventure based on your "spend curve" and "personal interest rate." Using his own life experiences as well as the inspiring stories and cautionary tales of others--and drawing on eye-opening insights about time, money, and happiness from psychological science and behavioral finance --Perkins makes a timely, convincing, and contrarian case for living large.


Ten Days in a Mad-House by Nellie Bly.

In 1887, reporter Nellie Bly was admitted to the Blackwell's Island Lunatic Asylum in order to do undercover reporting on the conditions there, as part of the assignment given to her by Joseph Pulitzer at the New York World. The resulting reports were published later that year in a book, Ten Days in a Mad-House, and influenced substantial changes, followed by the closure of the asylum.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

The Daughters of Ys by M. T. Anderson & Jo Rioux. GN

"Ys, city of wealth and wonder, has a history of dark secrets. Queen Malgven used magic to raise the great walls that keep Ys safe from the tumultuous sea. But after the queen's inexplicable death, her daughters drift apart. Rozenn, the heir to the throne, spends her time on the moors communing with wild animals, while Dahut, the youngest, enjoys the splendors of royal life and is eager to take part in palace intrigue. When Rozenn and Dahut's bond is irrevocably changed, the fate of Ys is sealed, exposing the monsters that lurk in plain view. M. T. Anderson and Jo Rioux reimagine this classic Breton folktale of love, loss, and rebirth, revealing the secrets that lie beneath the surface."-- Provided by publisher.


Found by P. C. Cast & Kristin Cast. YA

Fog rolls into Tulsa, and with it comes Darkness. Zoey knows something is up, and that the something involves Neferet, but Neferet can't possibly be freed, right? Other Neferet and her companion, Lynette, arrive in Woodward Park to set this world's Neferet free from her grotto prison, and discover there may be those who sympathize with their cause. Meanwhile, Other Kevin and Other Stark are hot on their trail, but how can the new friends travel to this world without invoking Old Magick and paying a costly, perhaps deadly, price? In Found, the culmination of the House of Night Other World series, a surprisingly talented fledgling, an immortal, and the unlikeliest of allies will band together with Zoey and the Nerd Herd. Will they be powerful enough to defeat her old nemesis, or will two worlds be destroyed and claimed by Darkness? Find out in the thrilling conclusion to the House of Night Other World series!

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Friday, November 13, 2020

November 13, 2020 - Book Club Preview

Brooke Counties Libraries Book Club – November 2020


Our discussion will feature The Anthills of Savannah by Chinua Achebe.


About the book - Chris, Ikem and Beatrice are like-minded friends working under the military regime of His Excellency, the Sandhurst-educated President of Kangan. In the pressurized atmosphere of oppression and intimidation they are simply trying to live and love - and remain friends. But in a world where each day brings a new betrayal, hope is hard to cling on to. Anthills of the Savannah (1987), Achebe's candid vision of contemporary African politics, is a powerful fusion of angry voices. It continues the journey that Achebe began with his earlier novels, tracing the history of modern Africa through colonialism and beyond, and is a work ultimately filled with hope.

 Achebe's novels focus on the traditions of Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of values during and after the colonial era. His style relied heavily on the Igbo oral tradition, and combines straightforward narration with representations of folk stories, proverbs, and oratory. He also published a number of short stories, children's books, and essay collections. He became the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Achebe died at age 82 following a brief illness.

If you've enjoyed this title or this author's work, please feel free to leave us a comment here or on our social media pages. We'd love to hear from you!


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

November 11, 2020 - Staff Reviews

The Deceivers

By Alex Berenson

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3.5 Stars - Satisfying final (so far) entry in the John Wells series. New settings and new friends and enemies for Wells keeps things interesting. The plot was skillfully mapped out in spite of many false leads, lying bad guys, and shady spy games. 

Wells has always been a mostly solo character but his personality shines with more interaction. He and his gruff boss Shaffer had chats that never failed to be bright spots in the stories. But this book opened up Wells a little more than he ever has yet. Duto and Shaffer are still here, but Shaffer gets to practically have his own adventure. John's new team involves a new boss who is also likable and the standout trainee Coil. Admittedly, I hoped the marine we reappear after The Prisoner because he makes an impression.

A lot about this entry was refreshing. The bad guys and girls Wells and his motley crew are tracking this time are different. And the way villians are ALSO getting played was entertaining. Wells and Coil go to South American in another new locale for this series. It started off set mostly in the Middle East and facing terrorist cells there. This one has Colombian drug lords, Russian spies, and homegrown threats. Also I liked that Wells did not have to spend as much time in his own head. Deep cover work is of course a lonely occupation by nature and forces a person to become someone else. I thought it was a good thing Wells finally got to have a family back home. He's a tough guy but he needs happy times too. And I really enjoyed Wells just getting to be himself in this one as he chased leads, took down bad guys, and of course saved America.


Monday, November 9, 2020

November 9, 2020 - New Arrivals

November 9, 2020

Adult Fiction

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow.

Mimi Lee is in over her head. There's her new Los Angeles pet grooming shop to run, her matchmaking mother to thwart, her talking cat Marshmallow to tend to -- oh, and the murder of a local breeder to solve . . . if only Mimi hadn't landed herself on top of the suspect list!


The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.

“Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable. One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England's finest novelists. Now it's home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen's legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen's home and her legacy. These people--a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others--could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.” -- Provided by publisher.


Murder on Pleasant Avenue by Victoria Thompson.

“A young woman is missing in the upper Manhattan neighborhood called Italian Harlem, and everyone knows who’s responsible--the Black Hand, a notorious group known for terrorizing their own community with violence and kidnappings. Gino and Frank set out to learn more about the disreputable gang and soon find a lead: a saloon-owning gangster named Nunzio Esposito. Gino hates that a fellow immigrant would stoop so low and decides to confront his wayward countryman. But he quickly discovers the man can't be reasoned with--because he's been murdered. The police have only one suspect: Gino Donatelli. Frank and Sarah know Gino is no killer, but someone has pulled out all the stops to make it look like he is guilty. They also must now face the Black Hand, who are honor-bound to avenge the death of one of their own. With evidence mounting against their friend and a group of bad guys out for blood, Sarah and Frank race to unravel a treacherous plot before Gino's time runs out."-- Provided by publisher.


Adult Non-Fiction

Guinness World Records 2021

“All aboard the 2021 edition of the world’s best-selling annual book! With this year’s fully updated edition, we want you to “Discover Your World” by taking you on a tour of the most astonishing, surprising and inspiring achievements from across the globe and beyond – everything from amazing human bodies and awe-inspiring animals to the latest entertainment and videogame achievements!” –


Women Making History: The 19th Amendment by The National Park Services.

"The National Park Service is excited to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that abolished sex as a basis for voting and to tell the diverse history of women's suffrage-the right to vote-more broadly. The U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment on June 4, 1919. The states ratified the amendment on August 18, 1920, officially recognizing women's right to vote. This handbook demonstrates the expansiveness of the stories the NPS is telling to preserve and protect women's history for this and future generations. The essays included within tell a broad history of various women advocating for their rights. Sprinkled throughout are short biographies of notable ladies who devoted their time to the women's suffrage movement along with summaries of events important to the cause."-- Provided by publisher.


Easy/Juvenile/Young Adult/Graphic Novel

12 Women in the Arts by Brianna L. DeVore. NF

From playwright Lorraine Hansberry to conceptual artist Yoko Ono, designer Coco Chanel, and contemporary composer Missy Mazzoli, this book profiles 12 important women artists from around the world. Each chapter includes attention-grabbing photos, biographical details, and fascinating facts. Sidebars go beyond the basics, and prompts invite readers to think for themselves. An Out of the Shadows section features mini-bios of women in the arts who never got the recognition they deserved.


Shhh! I’m Reading! by John Kelly. E

Bella is reading the best book ever! She's just gotten to the most amazing part when suddenly, Captain Bluebottom appears and invites her on an adventure. "I'm sorry, Captain," Bella tells him, "but today, I'd rather just sit and read my book." So Bella returns to her book and is just about to read the best part when Maurice Penguin shows up and invites her to perform on stage with all the penguins. But Bella just wants to read today! Will she ever have the chance to finish her book?

Brooke County Public Libraries    Wellsburg (304) 737-1551    Follansbee (304) 527-0860

Thursday, November 5, 2020

November 5, 2020 - Staff Reviews

 Dream Maker

By Kristen Ashley
Release Date: May 26th 2020
Ebook Available from WV Reads!

3 Stars - A new series that ties in with a lot of Kristen Ashley favorites. I really enjoyed the set up as well as the main characters Mag and Evan. They were quirky and down to earth and had a fun insta-love thing going on. Those new to Ashley's work though might be a little lost though she does a lot of background from her other books here.

Ashley's work is an acquired taste. Her writing style can drive some people crazy. We get our hero Mag's (aka Danny) point of view as well as our heroine Evan's, mostly very contrasting perspectives. I found seldom a slow part. Lots of shady characters, ransacked apartments, and a fast love story. Evan's duel personality as an introvert computer nerd and a dancer for cash was interesting if maybe a bit too sharp contrast. Mag's self-proclaimed flaw, his temper, was more telling than showing but okay. Otherwise, he was basically perfection. 

It's been four to five years since I last read Ashley's work and I had an easy time getting back into it. I think of her books like if new adult/suspense genres had a baby with a Janet Evanovich novel. One has to be able to ignore the fragmented sentences and oddball/repeat word choices. Admittedly, some people will think no one has thought processes like these people and some will think it sounds real. Also I feel compelled to note, the prior book characters are very much snowballed into scenes here. To the point it felt awkward sometimes and I was familiar with the dynamics. This is a huge part of her fan base though who love to see the whole gang show up. But I didn't find anything too spoilery for a newbie.


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November 3, 2020 - The Con Is On

Brooke County Libraries Book Theme – November 2020


Con Artist Stories


For our theme this month,  we are going to list some of the novels in our collection featuring con games and con artist characters! If you love movies like Ocean’s Eleven, The Hustle, Focus, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, or The Sting, consider checking out one of these titles from your local library. All titles are available from Brooke County Libraries.

If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon

From the blurb - It is a story portraying an ordinary woman who is framed by the Mafia, her subsequent quest for vengeance towards them and her later life as a con artist.

King Con by Stephen J. Cannell

From the blurb- Beano X. Bates is a con man so charismatic and ingenuous he has been honored with the nickname 'King Con'. But the King is threatened when he crosses Joe "Dancer" Rina, a New Jersey crime boss who doesn't take kindly to being cheated at high stakes poker.

Death Angel by Linda Howard

From the blurb - A striking beauty with a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau is more than content to be arm candy for Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord who deals with betrayal through quick and treacherous means

The Ultimatum by Karen Robards

From the blurb- She's known as the Guardian. Running a multinational firm with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stole—and she's damn good at it. She does things on her own terms.

The Job by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

From the blurb - Charming con man Nicolas Fox and dedicated FBI agent Kate O'Hare secretly take down world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons, next job Violante, the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire.

The Mistress by Susan Wiggs

From the blurb - While Kathleen had hoped to win Dylan's love, he had planned only to capture her heart and steal her fortune. Dylan Kennedy -- con artist, gambler, and ne'er-do-well -- has been unwittingly caught in his own game. Now the real sparks are about to fly.

Sweet Revenge by Nora Roberts

From the blurb - At twenty-five, Princess Adrianne lives a life most people would envy. Beautiful and elegant, she spends her days dabbling in charities and her nights floating from one glamorous gala to the next. But her pampered-rich-girl pose is a ruse, a carefully calculated effort to hide a dangerous truth.

Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Cruise

From the blurb - Sophie Dempsey is content living a quiet life filming wedding videos until an assignment brings her to Temptation, Ohio. From the moment she drive into town, she gets a bad feeling; Sophie is from the wrong side of the tracks and everything in Temptation is a little too right.

After the Darkness by Tilly Bagshawe

From the blurb - A classic tale of love and betrayal, and a struggle for survival in the new world order, this is an enthralling novel with ripped-from-the-headlines immediacy, perfect for the post-Bernie Madoff era in America.

Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts

From the blurb - The daughter of a world-renowned magician, Roxy Nouvelle has inherited her father’s talents—and his penchant for jewel thievery. Into this colorful world comes Luke Callahan, an escape artist who captures her heart.

Scandalous by Karen Robards

From the blurb- The family's riches will pass to the next male heir -- a distant cousin -- and the Banning sisters are doomed unless Gabby thinks fast. Which she does. Pretending that Marcus is still alive, Gabby arranges beautiful Claire's London season.

The Collectors by David Baldacci

From the blurb - From an ingenious con in Atlantic City tho the possible forgery of one of the rarest and most valuable books in America history, to a showdown of epic proportions in the very heart of the capitol, David Baldacci weaves a brilliant, white-knuckle tale of suspense in which every collector is searching for one missing prize: the one to die for…

Razor Girl by Carl Haissen

From the blurb - Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield--the eponymous Razor Girl--and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page.