March 2023

Laura’s Picks:What Moves the dead


What moves the dead by T. Kingfisher (2022) 

Have you been watching The Last of Us? No post-apocalypse here, just a visit to Ruritania to visit a dying childhood friend. But all is not as it seems in this spooky re-telling of Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher. The stagnant lake glitters eerily at night. The countryside teems with bizarre fungal growths. And the hares are always watching.


 Screaming Staircase

The screaming staircase by Jonathan Stroud (2013)

If you’ve been following Lockwood & Co. on Netflix, check out the first book in the series introducing a team of teen agents in an alternate London who investigate paranormal activity. The hauntings are delightfully scary and the power of friendship always wins. 

John’s Picks:

Madman sm

Madman Across the Water by Elton John (1971) 

The fourth studio album by Elton John and his first foray into a more progressive rock style.   It is also the first album to feature Davey Johnstone on the guitar, who would go on to permanently join the band and ultimately become its musical director.  Containing two singles, “Levon” and “Tiny Dancer,” the album was not one of John’s biggest commercial efforts at the time of its release, but has come to be appreciated in more recent years since its remastering. 

 Italian Job

The Italian Job (2003)

A heist action film directed by F. Gary Gray and starring Mark Wahlberg alongside an ensemble cast.  The film is an American remake of the 1969 British film starring Michael Caine, but has a different plot from the original movie.   Wahlberg leads a team of professional thieves out to take revenge against one of their own who double-crossed them a year earlier.  With both action and comedic elements, it’s a film that never takes itself too seriously but is still a fun adventure to watch.


Top Gun: Maverick (2022)Top Gun Maverick


The long-awaited sequel to the original 1986 film directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Tom Cruise, who reprises his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.  In the film, Maverick is assigned to train a new group of Top Gun candidates for a dangerous aerial mission; among them is the son of his late best friend “Goose.”   With groundbreaking practical effects including the use of real Navy fighter jets, the film grossed over a billion dollars and is largely considered superior to the original movie.


Lauren’s Picks:

Even Though Opens in new window

Even Though I Knew the End by C. L. Polk (2022) 

In this historical fantasy set in 1940s Chicago, magical investigator Helen Brandt sold her soul to save her brother’s life. Now her time on Earth is almost up, and the only thing she regrets is that she won’t have a future with the woman she loves. Helen’s employer offers her a chance at freedom, but there’s a catch: she has to find the serial killer known as the White City Vampire in three days, before a demon comes to collect her soul. 

Amy’s Picks:

 Irish Village

Murder in an Irish Village (and others) by Carlene O’Connor (2016) 

In the mood for a lighthearted mystery series in honor of St. Patrick’s Day?  This title is the first in a series of nine who-done-its, all set in County Cork, and featuring Siobhan O’Sullivan, her family, and a cast of village residents.  The O’Sullivan family bistro is the setting for an alarming discovery – a body with a pair of barber scissors in its chest.  With Siobhan and her siblings under suspicion, she must solve the crime herself to clear her family.  But the charming village of Kilbane seems to be a hotbed of murder! Subsequent titles in the fun series feature mysterious deaths in other locations in the village – the churchyard, the bookshop, and the bakery, to name a few.  If you like cozy mysteries in interesting settings, don’t miss the witty Irish charm of this series.

Jenna’s Picks for Young Adults:


The Davenports by Krystal Marquis (2023) 

Escape to the early 1900’s in this glamorous and glitzy debut by Marquis that follows the Davenports, one of the few Black families with incredible wealth and status during the time period. The novel alternates perspectives between four young female characters trying to find their place: Olivia and Helen (the Davenport daughters), Amy-Rose (the childhood friend turned maid), and Ruby (Olivia’s best friend). If you’re a fan of historical fiction and romance, this is the book for you – and the good news is, it’s only the first in a series! 



Promise Boys by Nick Brooks (2023) Promise Boys

The students of the Urban Promise Prep school have a murder on their hands. When the principal is found dead on school grounds, a group of students must band together to find the killer and prove their innocence. J.B., Ramon, and Trey are prime suspects according to the police, but as with most mystery/thrillers, nothing is as it seems. The short chapters told in alternating perspectives will keep you hooked and guessing until the end.