I always think of April as a time of renewal, a chance to spiff up the house, clean out closets and try something different. If cleaning isn’t your thing and you would rather relax and read, here are a few new books to try.Brand new titles include: “Shadow Land” by Elizabeth Kostova Alexandra Boyd, a young American woman, travels to Bulgaria hoping to ease her grief on losing her beloved brother. Once in the city, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi and inadvertently keeps one of their bags. Trying to find the name of the owner, Alexandra opens the bag only to discover an urn filled with ashes. Finding the family and returning the precious item sets Alexandra on a journey into the history and culture of a beautiful but haunted country. “The Stars are Fire” by Anita Shreve It is October 1947 and following a long hot summer with no rain, fires break out in Maine from Bar Harbor to Kittery. Gene and Grace Holland live right by the water. Gene joins the volunteer fire brigade while Grace is left with two toddlers and best friend Rosie to protect their homes. Grace, Rosie and the children are forced into the ocean as the flames destroy everything. They are left with an uncertain future in a town that no longer exists. Based on a true story, this is a book about courage during a catastrophic event and its devastating aftermath. “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann A true-life mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history, this book depicts one if the FBI’s first major homicide investigations. Set in Oklahoma in the 1920s, the Osage Indian tribe has recently benefited from the discovery of oil on their land. Mollie Burkhart and her family were enjoying their newfound wealth when one by one they were found murdered. More members of the tribe died under mysterious circumstances. The FBI, called in to investigate, bungled the case. The death toll climbed to 24 before J. Edgar Hoover turned to Tom White, a former Texas Ranger, to solve the crimes. An undercover team, working with the Osage, finally began to expose the killers. “Mississippi Blood” by Greg Iles This is a highly suspenseful novel and the final book in the Natchez Burning trilogy. Penn Cage, the current mayor of Natchez, Miss., is haunted by the secrets of the past. His world is collapsing around him; his wife is dead, his father, a prominent doctor, is about to be tried for murder and Penn is dreaming of revenge while drowning in grief. Dr. Cage refuses to allow Penn to help him, preferring his secrets stay hidden. But Penn wants the truth and joins with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to town to write about the case. They must uncover 50 years of hidden history to exonerate his father and return peace to his family.Finally, a couple of the most popular reads right now in the library: “Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman Meet Ove. Ove, to quote his neighbors, is “the bitter man from hell.” He has his principles, his routine and a very short fuse. People usually give him a wide berth. A new family moves in next door and when their car accidently flattens Ove’s mailbox, Ove doesn’t take it well. But everyone has a story, even Ove, and what happens next will surprise you. This book explores the profound impact one person has on countless others. “The Fix” by David Baldacci Memory Man, aka Detective Amos Decker witnesses a double homicide on the street just outside FBI headquarters. The shooter, a successful businessman, guns down a schoolteacher and then shoots himself. Decker starts looking into the killings but is thwarted by Harper Brown, a DIA agent. She orders Decker off the investigation, claiming it her case. Someone, however, has leaked critical information and Decker has never been bound by the rules. He just wants to solve the crime.
I’ve moved the broom and dustpan away from the recliner so I can finish my latest book, “The Gargoyle Hunters” by John Freeman Gill. It is pretty good. I’m off to read. Judy Kelmelis is a reference librarian at the Groton Public Library.