Posts Tagged ‘Forensics’

Best ‘New to Us’ Books in 2014: Melissa O’s Picks

December 26, 2014

I read a wide variety of books of all different genres. Ask me for a suggestion and I most likely have read something that would appeal to you. Here are five books I stumbled upon this year. Some have been out there a long time, others are more recent arrivals, but they are all worth checking out and passing along for more to enjoy!

The Devil's BonesThe Devil’s Bones by Jefferson Bass
Bill Brockton is a forensic anthropologist who founded the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee. There he and his team study of the science of decomposition. He also finds himself drawn into the danger and drama of the murders they are trying to solve. It starts out simply enough, a woman’s charred body in a burned out car. How did she die? Then he receives a package of strange cremated remains. Suddenly he is fighting for his life and trying to solve a crime so hideous you won’t want to believe it. Another reason to love this book is that the author, Jefferson Bass, is actually a pseudonym for Bill Bass, the real-life famous forensic anthropologist and founder of the Body Farm, and cowriter Jon Jefferson. How cool is that!

Pioneer WomanPioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels – a love story by Ree Drummond
I had never read her blog, watched her cooking show, or picked up one of her cookbooks when I stumbled on this autobiography by Ree Drummond. As someone who spent some time feeling lost and unsure about the future, I could relate to her feelings as she struggled with where her next steps should take her. She never thought that future would mean staying in rural Oklahoma. And she certainly didn’t think it would involve a cowboy! I became lost in the words, flowery and syrupy as they sometimes are, as she “accidently” found herself on a cattle ranch and having adventures she never could have pictured in her future. A great read about taking a chance on love and setting out on the path less traveled.

Dangerous PassageDangerous Passage by Lisa Harris
This is a new inspirational series introducing widowed police detective Avery North and medical examiner Jackson Bryant. Harris nicely intertwines a love story into a thrilling murder mystery. Young Asian women are being murdered and the only link between them seems to be a small tattoo of a magnolia blossom. The investigation seems to simply uncover more mysteries and cover ups. Can they solve the case before more women go missing, and will Avery be ready to open her heart to love again?


Stand Up That MountainStand Up That Mountain by Jay Erskine Leutze
If you love the outdoors, this book is for you. If you love gut wrenching legal battles, this book is for you. If you love to root for the little guy, well you get the picture. Jay has escaped his life as an attorney and retreated to the North Carolina Mountains. Living quietly as a naturalist and fisherman, he loves the Appalachian Trail. He learns from a family of “mountain people” that a mining company plans to dynamite Belview Mountain, which sits right beside the Trail. They have evidence of their less than ethical behavior and the fight is on. As an avid mountain hiker and lover of nature, this book captured me, especially since it is in our own backyard! It is hard to believe that we almost lost one of the great treasures of our state. Jay Erskine Leutze recounts his story of the ground breaking legal fight to save this tiny Appalachian community in a book that is as engaging as any fiction tale.

SubmergedSubmerged by Dani Pettrey
The old saying “you can never go home again” seemed to hold true for Bailey Craig. Yet home is exactly where she found herself, for better or worse. She left Yancey, Alaska in disgrace, now can she find forgiveness? Bailey returned to bury her beloved aunt her died in a plane crash. Was it an accident or was it murder? Cole McKenna has put his past with Bailey behind him, until she shows up in town again. Soon she is fighting for her own life. Can Cole accept that Bailey has changed and help her solve the murder before she becomes another victim? Dani Pettrey is a new author and anyone who loves Dee Henderson’s novels should check her out. This new inspirational suspense series is fantastic and I can’t wait to continue the journey with her characters.

Best ‘New to Us’ Books in 2013: Amy W’s Picks

December 24, 2013

My name is Amy and I am a read-aholic. Seriously, I read a wide range of genres and I will read it any way I can get it (e-reader, traditional book, audio book, etc).  Here are some pleasant discoveries from my year of reading. I hope you can include some of these books in your 2014 reading list. Enjoy!

crossingThe Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
This first in the Dr Ruth Galloway mystery series has everything including a sassy, smart  female protagonist, a mysterious atmosphere, a colorful cast of characters, history and mythology. Dr Ruth Galloway is a forensic archaeologist—to put it more directly, she is a bone expert. Her quiet academic world gets turned upside down when she is asked to examine bones at a local archaeological dig. Bones? At an archaeological dig? Big deal! Well it is a big deal when a local girl has been missing for nearly ten years and Detective Chief Inspector Harry Nelson is committed to closing the case and putting her family at ease. To complicate matters, another girl goes missing. This is a fun page, intelligent page turner that will send you running to the next book in the series.

victorianInside the Victorian Home : a Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders
This book is delightful! It is one of those books you want to tell people about constantly but worry that they will roll their eyes after the sixth or seventh Victorian life fun fact. But it is packed with interesting tidbits at every turn of the page and you cannot help but be aghast at some of the details. Artfully constructed, Judith Flanders moves room by room through the Victorian home describing not only the practical uses of the room, but also closely examining Victorian society in its most intimate setting. This book is well written and supported by diaries and journals. So if you often find yourself at a loss for something interesting to say at a party, read this book and you will be the life of the party.

financialThe Financial Lives of Poets by Jess Walter
If you enjoyed the show “Breaking Bad,” you would probably enjoy this book about Matt Prior, a nice guy saddled with debt after following his ill-conceived dream. He is struggling to support his family and his marriage is falling apart. So one night at the 7 Eleven he falls in with some real losers in an attempt to keep his home out of foreclosure. Hijinx ensue, more bad decisions are made. You never stop rooting for Matt in this funny, fast-paced and heartwarming book.

wolfWolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
Today’s scandals have nothing on Henry VIII and his henchman Thomas Cromwell. Wolf Hall takes place from the point of view of Englishman, Thomas Cromwell.  Cromwell was the son of a drunken blacksmith and rose from those humble beginnings to be the king’s right-hand man. This book is a challenging read everyone seems to be named Thomas, John, Henry, Harry, William, Mary or Anne. But it is very worthwhile to read this award-winning book, a historical look at the complexities of power that still rings true today.

attachAttachments by Rainbow Rowell
Alright, this was not my favorite book this year but this is one of my favorite contemporary authors and I am dedicated to reading anything she writes. My colleagues will have raved about a couple of her YA books published this year (Fangirl and Eleanor and Park) and I agree. Written for adults, this book is fun too! And the dialogue is witty and the characters are likeable. Lincoln O’Neill is kind of at a standstill and he takes a really boring, go nowhere night job monitoring email at a local newspaper. Things start to look brighter when he falls in love; unfortunately, he falls in love with Beth while reading her hilarious and honest email exchanges with her best friend and co-worker, Jennifer. Oh, and Beth does not know he exists and he knows the intimate details of her life which would be kind of creepy. Earlier I used the phrase “funny, fast-paced and heartwarming book”, it applies here also!

Best New Books of 2013: Melissa O’s Picks

December 12, 2013

Here it is! My favorite blog post of the year. It is difficult to narrow down my favorite books of the year to only five, but here is a sample from all over the library. As you can see, I have wide ranging interests, so you never know what I might stumble across to share with you!

The Good Nurse by Charles Graeber
This book combines the suspense of a crime drama, the anxiety many of us feel about going into the hospital, and a serial killer into a frightening edge-of-your-seat tale! This is the true story of Charles Cullen, a registered nurse who was implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients during his career and was finally arrested in 2003. The most terrifying aspect of the story is how he managed to be so successful as a serial killer.  For more information read a review of this book or check out the author’s website.

Nobody by Jennifer Barnes
Have you ever felt invisible, overlooked, or unimportant? Of course, it is all in your head. But what if it wasn’t? What if you COULDN’T be noticed? Meet Claire, a Nobody who does not know she is one. Until the day someone tries to kill her.  But how can he notice her when no one else does? And why would anyone care enough to want to assassinate her? With a nice mix of Sci-Fi, action, and romance this is a fun read.

Suspect by Robert Crais
This is a must read for any mystery, action thriller, or dog lover! A new favorite, this book grabbed me from the first pages as it brings together two damaged souls: a cop and a former war dog. Both are recovering from devastating injuries. Both have lost their partner. Can Scott and Maggie help each other heal? And will they ever be able to protect and serve again? You cannot help but root for this duo as they fight to solve the mystery of Scott’s partner’s death.

The Elite by Kiera Cass
The second book in Cass’s dystopian series (after The Selection) immerses you in political intrigue, romance, and … reality TV? Torn between two loves, America Singer is vying for the hand of Prince Maxom even as she is drawn back to her first love. But this prince doesn’t woo his princess in the way you would expect. He selects his bride through a televised competition. Think “The Dating Game” meets “The Real Housewives!” A fun read and I am looking forward to the next installment.

Frozen In Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of WWII by Mitchell Zuckoff
Two stories are woven together in this suspenseful retelling of a tragic and heroic rescue effort from WWII.  The book begins with the November 5, 1942 crash of a US cargo plane in Greenland. The rescue effort saw another plane crash, and the vanishing of a Grumman Duck amphibious plane. The modern day quest for those lost men and the retelling of the months long rescue is a riveting tale. What made it more special is describing the book to my grandfather, an Army lieutenant throughout war, and having him recall hearing about these lost men over 70 years ago.

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