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Bellingham Mysterians

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, February 19, 4:00pm

The Ruin: A Novel by Dervla McTiernan

When Aisling Conroy's boyfriend Jack is found in the freezing black waters of the river Corrib in Ireland, the police tell her it was suicide. She throws herself into work, trying to forget—but Jack's sister Maude reappears in Ireland after years abroad, determined to prove Jack was murdered. 

Meanwhile, Detective Cormac Reilly, who was recently transferred to Galway from his squad in Dublin, is assigned to dig into a cold case from twenty years ago—the seeming overdose of Jack and Maude's drug and alcohol addled mother. Other detectives are connecting Jack’s death to his mother’s, and pushing Reilly to arrest Maude, and fast. But instinct tells him something isn’t quite what it seems…

This unsettling small-town noir draws us deep into the dark heart of Ireland, where corruption, desperation, and crime run rife. A gritty look at trust and betrayal where the written law isn't the only one, The Ruin asks who will protect you when the authorities can't—or won't.

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, March 19, 4:00pm

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle--and people in general--has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence--creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, April 16, 4:00pm

The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Mystery of 1920s India #1) by Sujata Massey

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father's law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes women's legal rights especially important to her.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X—meaning she probably couldn't even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah—in strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger.

Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India's first female attorney, The Widows of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp new sleuth.

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, May 21, 4:00pm

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

The body of a senior official has been found in a filthy sewer, and a note left in his mouth warns the British to quit India, or else. Under tremendous pressure to solve the case before it erupts into increased violence on the streets, Wyndham and his two new colleagues--arrogant Inspector Digby and Sergeant Banerjee, one of the few Indians to be recruited into the new CID--embark on an investigation that will take them from the opulent mansions of wealthy British traders to the seedy opium dens of the city Masterfully evincing the sights, sounds, and smells of colonial Calcutta, A Rising Man is the start of an enticing new historical crime series.

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 06/18/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, June 18, 4:00pm

Collecting the Dead: A Novel (Special Tracking Unit #1) by Spencer Kope

Magnus “Steps” Craig is part of an elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI, charged with finding the lost or abducted and bringing them home. Dubbed “The Human Bloodhound,” Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface. He has a special skill—known only to his partner—that has enabled his team to stop seventeen serial killers over the past five years. But now there’s a new monster at-large, and the bodies are piling up.

When the remains of one young woman are found, Steps recognizes the “signature” from another crime scene: the mark of a sad face. Meanwhile, a serial killer that Steps has been trying to track for over ten years, code name “Leonardo,” is back in play—and on Steps’s trail. Just as the investigation seems to be closing in on Leonardo, the hunt for Sad Face heats up. Now, it’s up to Steps to outrun and outwit one of the most twisted serial killers he’s ever encountered. . .as time ticks away on the lives of the victims. Will this be another one of Steps’s miraculously-solved cases—or his last?

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, July 16, 4:00pm

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley

It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 08/20/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, August 20, 4:00pm

Missing, Presumed: A Novel (Manon Bradshaw #1) by Susie Steiner

At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep—and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.

Edith Hind—a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family—has been missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows that this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.

The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family but for Manon herself.

Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are.

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 09/17/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, September 17, 4:00pm

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

A sensitive orphan, Jane Steele suffers first at the hands of her spiteful aunt and predatory cousin, then at a grim school where she fights for her very life until escaping to London, leaving the corpses of her tormentors behind her. After years of hiding from the law while penning macabre “last confessions” of the recently hanged, Jane thrills at discovering an advertisement. Her aunt has died and her childhood home has a new master: Mr. Charles Thornfield, who seeks a governess.

Burning to know whether she is in fact the rightful heir, Jane takes the position incognito and learns that Highgate House is full of marvelously strange new residents—the fascinating but caustic Mr. Thornfield, an army doctor returned from the Sikh Wars, and the gracious Sikh butler Mr. Sardar Singh, whose history with Mr. Thornfield appears far deeper and darker than they pretend. As Jane catches ominous glimpses of the pair’s violent history and falls in love with the gruffly tragic Mr. Thornfield, she faces a terrible dilemma: Can she possess him—body, soul, and secrets—without revealing her own murderous past? 

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 10/15/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, October 15, 4:00pm

Sycamore Row: A Novel by John Grisham

Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County’s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises many more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

VB Reads...Bellingham Mysterians: A Book Group for Mystery Readers

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 4:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Tuesday, November 19, 4:00pm

Mr. Churchill's Secretary: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

London, 1940. Winston Churchill has just been sworn in, war rages across the Channel, and the threat of a Blitz looms larger by the day. But none of this deters Maggie Hope. She graduated at the top of her college class and possesses all the skills of the finest minds in British intelligence, but her gender qualifies her only to be the newest typist at No. 10 Downing Street. Her indefatigable spirit and remarkable gifts for codebreaking, though, rival those of even the highest men in government, and Maggie finds that working for the prime minister affords her a level of clearance she could never have imagined—and opportunities she will not let pass. In troubled, deadly times, with air-raid sirens sending multitudes underground, access to the War Rooms also exposes Maggie to the machinations of a menacing faction determined to do whatever it takes to change the course of history.

Ensnared in a web of spies, murder, and intrigue, Maggie must work quickly to balance her duty to King and Country with her chances for survival. And when she unravels a mystery that points toward her own family’s hidden secrets, she’ll discover that her quick wits are all that stand between an assassin’s murderous plan and Churchill himself.

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