All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Leslie Connor, 2016

This story, along with the titular protagonist's life, begins inside the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska. Perry Cook's mother, Jessica, is twelve years into a fifteen-year sentence for an undisclosed, nonviolent crime. Perry goes to a regular public school, but is able to live in the facility because of a kind warden, who decided to foster him so he would not be separated from his mother. However, when the district attorney learns of Perry's unusual situation, he is yanked from the only home he has ever known and placed with a foster family. This leads Perry on a quest to discover the true nature of his mother's crime as he attempts to be reunited with the people he considers family.

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The Murder Room

The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh Series #12)
P. D. James, 2003

This Adam Dalgliesh mystery set in modern day London centers around the Dupayne Museum, a private institution dedicated to the interwar years in Britain.  It contains a “Murder Room,” an exhibit of notorious murders between the wars.  The museum trustees are the three children of the founding father and they all must agree in order to keep the museum running now that the lease is up and it is becoming less financially viable.  One sibling wants to close it and cash it out, giving his share to his needy daughter while the other two want it to continue along with the current staff, but the dissenting sibling is soon found murdered.  Whodunnit is very difficult to figure out with so many characters with motive for murder !!  A real psychological thriller.

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All By Myself, Alone

Mary Higgins Clark,  2017

This whodunit from the queen of suspense, Mary Higgins Clark, takes place on a luxury cruise ship.  The story centers around Celia, a gem expert who is trying to forget her problems with her ex-fiancĂ©.  She suddenly becomes entangled in the murder mystery of Lady Em, a famous wealthy owner of a rare emerald necklace.  The story has several different characters that could have easily murdered Lady Em. This is a quick and easy read.   Although the plot was very typical of a murder mystery I think fans of Clark will enjoy this one.

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Plum lovin'

Janet Evanovich, 2007

Bestseller Janet Evanovich is a tried and true favorite in the mystery genre. Plum Lovin' is a novella, number 12.5 in the series "Between the Numbers" with her newest Plum adventure  This in-between short follows contemporary lady sleuth, Stephanie Plum, as she barters her skills for a prize arrest, a relationship expert who is wanted for armed robbery. Someone else wants the matchmaker bounty more than Plum though and she's in over her head with this one.  This is an easy read with likable characters. Try this brief novella to see if you like Evanovich's style, or begin at one for a full investment in the Plum series.

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The Alice Network

Kate Quinn, 2017

An exciting, historical novel about two women, a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I, and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947.  The two are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

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Best Kind of People

Zoe Whittall, 2016

Consequences of an accusation and how it affects a family, school and town.  When popular science  teacher, George Woodbury is accused of sexual misconduct, the  lives of his wife and children are torn apart.  This book explores the way a crime, or supposed crime, can implicate all.  This book was a finalist for the Giller Prize for Canadian fiction.

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Born a Crime

Trevor Noah, 2016

Noah's path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. He was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother.   At the time such a union was punishable by five years inprisonment. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.

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