Every Friday in August, we’ll be hosting a free public screening (with popcorn, of course) of one of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers. The fun starts at 1:30pm, so don’t miss out!

August 1st: North by Northwest

August 8th: Strangers on a Train

August 15th: Dial M For Murder

August 22nd: The 39 Steps

August 29th: The Birds

ANTICIPATION. It might not kill us, but it sure does hurt. Welcome to a new series about upcoming books, television series, and albums for which we just. can’t. wait.
Alicia, our Programming & PR Librarian, is desperately awaiting the release of Tana French’s novel, The Secret Place.
The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.But everything they discover leads them back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships that bound all the girls to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is already suspicious of Stephen’s links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda’s will go a long way to keep murder outside their walls. Holly’s father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives imagined.
Alicia, we take it you’re booked for the first week of September. What are you looking forward to?

ANTICIPATION. It might not kill us, but it sure does hurt. Welcome to a new series about upcoming books, television series, and albums for which we just. can’t. wait.

Alicia, our Programming & PR Librarian, is desperately awaiting the release of Tana French’s novel, The Secret Place.

The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

But everything they discover leads them back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships that bound all the girls to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is already suspicious of Stephen’s links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda’s will go a long way to keep murder outside their walls. Holly’s father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives imagined.

Alicia, we take it you’re booked for the first week of September. What are you looking forward to?

On Sunday, August 3rd at 2pm, local author Kathryn J. Atwood will discuss women’s contributions during World war I, and how the role of women ultimately changed after the war. Atwood will highlight women that appeared in her book, Women Heroes of WWI. See you there for this exciting look into the past!

On Sunday, August 3rd at 2pm, local author Kathryn J. Atwood will discuss women’s contributions during World war I, and how the role of women ultimately changed after the war. Atwood will highlight women that appeared in her book, Women Heroes of WWI. See you there for this exciting look into the past!

Book Review: Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

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Full disclosure, I’ve never read a so-called Christian fiction title before.  I thought I’d stretch my horizons a bit, and the history of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 always fascinated me.  The story begins shortly before the conflagration and we meet Mollie and Zack, (seeming) opposites who attract.  Mollie is a businesswoman with a mission, to keep her late father’s company afloat especially since it employs a ragtag bunch of Civil War veterans formerly part of the 57th Illinois, her father’s old infantry unit.   She has a business relationship with Zack the Scariest Lawyer in Town who represents her largest client in town, Hartman’s department store.  Everything hums along status quo until the fire hits and all bets are off.  Zack and Mollie are thrust together throughout the fire and along the way collect more assorted characters, including a spoiled young girl and a lonely dentist.   From then on the book descends into typical “will they or won’t they get together?” stuff amidst the backdrop of somewhat nefarious business deals.  The characters of Zack and Mollie are probably the best well-written in the book, which is good, because their romance is sweet.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the secondary or tertiary characters, which border on the outskirts of cliché.   While the point of the book is probably to illustrate the egalitarian spirit engendered by the fire, with the rich and poor rubbing shoulders, sometimes literally during the fire and its aftermath, some of the situations seem a bit contrived, especially with the addition of the character of Colonel Lowe as Zack’s rival and Polish immigrant girl Anka as Mollie’s.  These additions only ratchet up the annoyance factor.  The historical detail is very good and well-researched, and for that reason the book hums along, especially since there are few stories that cover this particular point of history.  I didn’t wince too much at the Christian ideals espoused; they were straightforward and not too preachy, although they too seemed a little thrown in.  Personally, I would have liked a little more grit to the story, but that’s a matter of taste.  Overall, this book is a light, pleasant read.

-Kelly Knight

P.S.  One big problem I have with this book is on the cover, and for that I don’t necessarily fault the author.  As pictured behind the character of Mollie is an unmistakable view of the Rookery, a landmark of Chicago architecture that was completed in 1888, more than seventeen years after the events related in the story.   Tsk, tsk.