“Crime and Covers” is the fifth and final in Tallmadge author Amanda Flower’s Magical Bookshop mystery series, set in Cascade Springs, a tourist village near Niagara Falls.
In the first book, “Crime and Poetry”, Violet was a grad student from Chicago whose grandmother called her to rush to Cascade Springs, claiming she was seriously ill. It turned out Grandma was pretending and really wanted Violet to take over running the family bookstore, as it’s part of Violet’s heritage to be the ‘keeper’, to nurture the supernatural birch that grows in inside the store.
Emily Dickinson’s works were relevant to solving the first crime, and each subsequent book has had a similar literary theme, with Edgar Allan Poe, Louisa May Alcott, and Walt Whitman providing context.
In Crime and Poetry, the author is Thoreau. The story takes place at Christmas, but it is not a Christmas book. Violet is days away from marrying David Rainwater, the handsome Seneca police chief she met in the first book, when a woman walks into the shop and offers what appears to be a signed first edition of “Walden ” in perfect condition. The woman asks Violet to buy the book. Violet is interested – as an expert in Transcendental Literature, she is very interested – but wants to authenticate her first. The woman is furious and leaves in anger.
It seems to be the end, and the newlyweds are on their way to their reception when David peeks out the window of their luxury car and sees a body on the bank: it’s the woman from the bookstore, and on his palm is written in ink “They stole my book.”
The honeymoon is over as the death is investigated; meanwhile, no one knows what happened to the book. Violet meets a woman obsessed with her belief that she is a direct descendant of Thoreau and is on a mission to prove it.
Flower’s Amish Matchmaker mystery series is set in Harvest, the same fictional village in Holmes County in which her Amish Candy Shop mysteries are set. In “Marriage Can Be Mischief”, widow Millie Fisher continues to busy herself with quilting and flea market shopping with her “Englisch” friend Lois.
Although Lois has purple fingernails and red and purple hair, and Millie’s mischievous goats cause shenanigans all over Harvest, “Marriage” is darker and more convoluted than the whimsical Bookshop series. Millie and Lois are on their way home from a long children’s concert in the town square when they come across a group of emergency vehicles.
The deputy won’t tell them what’s going on, but when Millie bikes back that way the next day, she finds him there with another man who claims to be making a documentary about an unsolved murder that happened 40 years before. He uses a drone to get aerial footage and Millie hears the deputy asking him to find a skull.
A skeleton is discovered, an old Millie beau believes belongs to her sister, who was in an abusive marriage to a man who was found dead. Millie’s investigation involves quilting bee gossip and numerous trips to the local Amish cafe for a pie.
“Crimes and Covers” (304 pages, hardcover) is $26.99 from Crooked Lane Books. “Marriage Can Be Mischief” (285 pages, softcover) is $8.99 from Kensington.
Amanda Flower, who won the Agatha Award for “Andi Unstoppable,” her 2016 young reader novel about a 12-year-old detective, will discuss and sign her work from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Green Branch of the County Public Library. Akron Summit, 4046 Massillon Road. Register at akronlibrary.org.
“Death by Democracy”
The Ohio Community Rights Network and the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund have collaborated to produce “Death by Democracy: Protecting Water and Life: Frontline stories from Ohioans fight corporate and state power”, seven stories of activists working to oppose the oil and gas fracturing and toxic substances. waste.
The stories are both individual and sadly similar. Activists in Medina and Portage counties, Youngstown and Toledo and elsewhere are collecting signatures for ordinances or charter amendments on ballots. They say they have been intimidated by industry representatives and forced to jump through hoops set up by courts and city councils.
Militants have been spent aggressively by deep-pocketed oil and gas companies. They’re demoralized, but in the words of one contributor, ‘we don’t lose until we quit’.
“Death by Democracy” (149 pages, softcover) costs $15 on celdf.org.
The Ohio Arts Council has released the names of 75 recipients of $5,000 individual achievement awards in areas including choreography, playwriting and music composition. Fiction winners include Cleveland’s Alex DiFrancesco (“All City: A Novel”), Barberton native Jyotsna Sreenivasan (“These Americans” story collection), and South Euclid novelist (cozy mysteries include ” A Deadly Inside Scoop”). Named in the poetry are Jessica Jewell of Stow and Diana Lueptow of Akron.
Loganberry Books (13015 Larchmere Blvd., Shaker Heights): Dallas Mavericks executive Greg Nared signs “The Ultimate Assist: Helping Children to Succeed in Sports and Life,” Sunday noon; At 1 p.m. Sunday, Goutham Rao, chairman of family medicine and community health at University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University, signs “Rainy Day Comrades,” a novel about the use of insider health information for criminal purposes. At 2 p.m. Sunday, Cleveland professors Gabrielle Vaughn and Chelbi Graham sign “A is for Africa: A Guide to African-American History.”
Dover Public Library (525 N. Walnut St.): Author Liz Strauss discusses using Kindle Direct Publishing, followed by a book signing, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Monday; 6:30-7:30 pm Thursday, Adrian Schaar talks about his memoir “David from Muskrat Bottom,” followed by a book signing. Sign up at doverlibrary.org or 330-343-6123.
Hudson Library and Historical Society: As part of the library’s “Tour of Greece” month, Cornell University history professor Barry Strauss talks about “The Trojan War: A New History” in a Zoom event at 7 p.m. Wednesday; at 7 p.m. Thursday, neurologist Sara Manning Peskin discusses “A Molecule Away From Madness: Tales from the Hijacked Brain.” Register at hudsonlibrary.org.
Kent State University Stark Campus (Timken Great Hall, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, Jackson Township): Elizabeth Smart joins the featured speaker series, talking about her work as an activist since being rescued in 2003 after being detained by kidnappers for nine months, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the signing of his books “My Story” and “Where There Is Hope: Healing, Moving On, and Never Giving Up.” Tickets are free but compulsory. Go to kent.edu/stark/featured-speakers-series.
Canton Palace Theater (605 Market Ave. N.): Poet and novelist Jason Reynolds, whose works for young and middle-aged adults have won Coretta Scott King and Kirkus Awards and a Newbery Honor, joins the Dr. Audrey Lavin Speaking of Books series Author Series from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by a book signing. Register at starklibrary.org.
Wadsworth Public Library (132 Broad St.): Tony Agnesi, whose books include “A Storyteller’s Guide to a Grace-Filled Life,” presents “Self-Publishing Achieving,” 7-9 p.m. Thursday. Register at wadsworthlibrary.com.
Supper Club Music Box (2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland): The Cleveland Stories Dinner Parties series continues with Mike Olszewski, author of “From Captain Penny to Superhost: Tales from the Golden Age of Cleveland Children’s Television,” and television producer (“Modern Family” , “Cheers”) Dan O’Shannon, 7 p.m. Thursday. Dinner is $20; the conference is free. Go to musicboxcle.com.
Morley Library: Father and daughter authors David Meyers and Elise Meyers Walker give a presentation based on “Historic Black Settlements of Ohio” during a Zoom event from 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday. Register at morleylibrary.org.