Great Reads Book Club

The Great Reads book club meets the third Saturday of each month at 11 AM in the Marshall library boardroom.

There is no pressure… just a chance to share your opinions or listen in as others share theirs.

Copies of each month’s title will be available at the front desk of the library for book club participants. You may also request a copy via the catalog. Please contact the library if you would like to join us!

If you have questions, you can call the library at 507-537-7003 or email us at library@marshalllyonlibrary.org.


2018 Times and Titles

12 January 2018

The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell

A retired navy officer has vanished in a forest near Stockholm. Kurt Wallander is prepared to stay out of the relatively straightforward investigation—which is, after all, another detective’s responsibility—but the missing man is his daughter’s father-in-law.   His methods are often questionable, but the results are not: he finds an extremely complex situation which may involve the secret police and ties back to Cold War espionage. Adding to Wallander’s concerns are more personal troubles. Having turned sixty, and having long neglected his health, he’s become convinced that his memory is failing. As he pursues this baffling case, he must come to grips not only with the facts at hand, but also with his own troubling situation.

17 February 2018

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith

Mma Makutsi, who has recently been promoted to co-director, has been encouraging Mma Ramotswe to update to more modern office practices. An unusual case, however, will require both of them to turn their attention firmly to the past. A young Canadian woman who spent her early childhood in Botswana requests the agency’s help in recalling her life there. Precious and Grace set out to locate the house that the woman lived in and the caretaker who looked after her many years ago. But when the journey takes an unexpected turn, they are forced to consider whether some things are better left in the past.

17 March 2018

Starvation Lake by Bryan Gruley

In the dead of a Michigan winter, pieces of a snowmobile wash up near the crumbling, small town of Starvation Lake—the same snowmobile that went down with Starvation’s legendary hockey coach years earlier. But everybody knows Coach Blackburn’s accident happened five miles away on a different lake. Gus Carpenter, editor of the local newspaper, has recently returned to Starvation. In his youth, Gus was the goalie who let a state championship get  away , crushing Coach’s dreams. Now he’s investigating the murder of his former coach.

21 April 2018

Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbø

Olav is a fixer for a high-profile crime kingpin in 1970s Oslo. He easily takes care of anyone who causes trouble for his boss. But he is more complicated than he seems. Olav’s latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, but it may become his greatest mistake: It turns out that the more you know about your boss’s business, the more your boss might want you fixed yourself—especially if you’re falling for his wife.

19 May 2018

May Day by Jess Lourey

Minneapolitan Mira James has been taking it easy since college graduation. Due to a dead-end job and a cheating boyfriend, the Twin Cities have lost their charm, and Mira decides to begin a new life in rural Battle Lake. Right away she is offered jobs as an assistant librarian and part-time reporter, and falls into an unexpected romance with a guy who seems to be the perfect man until he turns up dead.  Anxious to learn more about the man who had briefly stolen her heart, Mira delves into the hidden mysteries of Battle Lake.  Mira soon discovers that unknown dangers are concealed under the polite exterior of this quirky small town, and revenge is a tator-tot hotdish best served cold.

19 June 2018

The Hidden Child by Camilla Lackberg

Crime writer Erica Falck is shocked to discover a Nazi medal among her late mother’s possessions. Haunted by a childhood of neglect, she resolves to dig deep into her family’s past and finally uncover the reasons why. Her enquiries lead her to the home of a retired history teacher. He was among her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War but her questions are met with bizarre and evasive answers. Two days later he meets a violent death. Detective Patrik Hedström, Erica’s husband, is on paternity leave but soon becomes embroiled in the murder investigation. Who would kill so ruthlessly to bury secrets so old?

21 July 2018

Goodbye, Ms. Chips by Dorothy Cannell

“Ellie, the headmistress wants to see you.” Words to strike terror in the heart of any inmate of St. Roberta’s boarding school who has failed to turn in her Latin prep, left out London on a map drawn of England, or prowled the ruins of the medieval abbey at dead of night. Ellie has been guilty of all these sins and more. Fortunately, she is no longer a pudgy, insecure adolescent but a happily married interior designer with a beautiful home by the sea. The only cloud in the sky on this lovely day in June is the message relayed by her friend Dorcas,.  Having heard of Ellie’s success as an amateur detective, the headmistress, Mrs. Battle, wants Ellie to come and find out who has stolen the Loverly sports trophy. Ellie cannot refuse Dorcas’s entreaties and finds herself in the thick of boarding school life, where an apparent schoolgirl prank soon gives way to murder.

18 August 2018

Skeleton Road by Val McDermid

In the center of historic Edinburgh, builders are preparing to demolish a disused Victorian Gothic building. They are understandably surprised to find skeletal remains hidden in a high pinnacle that hasn’t been touched by maintenance for years. But who do the bones belong to, and how did they get there?  Enter cold case detective Karen Pirie, who gets to work trying to establish the corpse’s identity. And when it turns out that the bones may be from as far away as former Yugoslavia, Karen will need to dig deeper than she ever imagined into the tragic history of the Balkans: to war crimes and their consequences, and ultimately to the notion of what justice is and who serves it.

15 September 2018

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova.  For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence.  Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world. The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.

20 October 2018

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander.

17 November 2018

The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol

Nina Borg is a compulsive do-gooder. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.

15 December 2018

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

It’s five days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for Fugitive Apprehension Agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn’t got a tree. She hasn’t bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There’s not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.

And there’s a strange man in her kitchen.

2019 Times and Titles

19 January 2019

Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Mystery by Spencer Quinn

There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp — Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they’re lying.

Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It’s not just that her grammy’s stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It’s the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It’s the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.

16 February 2019

Robicheaux: A Novel by James Lee Burke

During a murder investigation, Dave Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves.

16 March 2019

The Escape Artist by Brad Meltzer

Who is Nola Brown?  Nola is a mystery.  Nola is trouble.  Nola is supposed to be dead…

Her body was found on a plane that mysteriously fell from the sky as it left a secret military base in the Alaskan wilderness. Her commanding officer verifies she’s dead. The US government confirms it. But Jim “Zig” Zigarowski has just found out the truth: Nola is still alive. And on the run.

20 April 2019

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

People of talent and accomplishment, people admired and happy and sound of mind, have been committing suicide in surprising numbers. When Jane Hawk seeks to learn why, she becomes the most-wanted fugitive in America. Her powerful enemies are protecting a secret so important—so terrifying—that they will exterminate anyone in their way. The paranoia and mystery increase as the story unfolds…

18 May 2019

Spider Woman’s Daughter by Anne Hillerman

Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manualito witnesses the cold-blooded shooting of someone very close to her. With the victim fighting for his life, the entire squad and the local FBI office are hell-bent on catching the gunman. Bernie, too, wants in on the investigation, despite regulations forbidding eyewitness involvement. But that doesn’t mean she’s going to sit idly by, especially when her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, is in charge of finding the shooter.

15 June 2019

Fallout by Sara Paretsky

Before there was Lisbeth Salander, before there was Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. WARSHAWSKI. To her parents, she’s Victoria Iphigenia. To her friends, she’s Vic. But to clients seeking her talents as a detective, she’s V.I. And her new case will lead her from her native Chicago… and into Kansas, on the trail of a vanished film student and a faded Hollywood star.

Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks her quarry through a university town, across fields where missile silos once flourished — and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions, a past that holds the key to the crimes of the present. But as the mysteries stack up, so does the body count. And in this, her toughest case, not even V.I. is safe.

20 July 2019

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

17 August 2019

Defending Jacob by  William Landay

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney for two decades. He is respected. Admired in the courtroom. Happy at home with the loves of his life: his wife, Laurie, and their teenage son, Jacob.

Then Andy’s quiet suburb is stunned by a shocking crime: a young boy stabbed to death in a leafy park. And an even greater shock: The accused is Andy’s own son—shy, awkward, mysterious Jacob.

Andy believes in Jacob’s innocence. Any parent would…

21 September 2019

Celine by  Peter Heller

Celine is not your typical private eye.  With prep school pedigree and a pair of opera glasses for stakeouts, her methods are unconventional but extremely successful.  Working out of her jewel box of an apartment nestled under the Brooklyn Bridge, Celine has made a career out of tracking down missing persons nobody else can find.  But when a young woman named Gabriela employs her expertise, what was meant to be Celine’s last case becomes a scavenger hunt through her own memories, the secrets there and the surprising redemptions.

19 October 2019

The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos

Gus Ramone is “good police,” a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city’s Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa whose body has been found in a local community garden.The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop twenty years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan “Doc” Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T. C. Cook. The series of murders, all involving local teenage victims, was never solved. In the years since, Holiday has left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and now finds work as a bodyguard and driver. Cook has retired, but he has never stopped agonizing about the “Night Gardener” killings.The new case draws the three men together on a grim mission to finish the work that has haunted them for years

16 November 2019

Murder on the Serpentine by Anne Perry

It is not the custom for the commander of Special Branch to receive a royal summons—so Thomas Pitt knows it must be for a matter of the gravest importance. The body of Sir John Halberd, the Queen’s confidant, has been found in the shallow water of the Serpentine in Hyde Park, bearing the evidence of a fatal blow to the head

Commander Pitt must navigate the corridors of power with the utmost discretion and stealth, for it seems certain that Sir John’s killer is a member of the upper classes.

19 December 2019

Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

The last thing Mary Russell and her husband, Sherlock Holmes, need is to help an old friend with her mad and missing aunt.

Lady Vivian Beaconsfield has spent most of her adult life in one asylum after another, since the loss of her brother and father in the Great War. And although her mental state seemed to be improving, she’s now disappeared after an outing from Bethlem Royal Hospital. Russell wants nothing to do with the case—but she can’t say no.  To track down the vanished woman, she brings to the fore her deductive instincts and talent for subterfuge and her husbands legendary prowess.