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Fiction You Might Have Missed

Now that FRVPLD has begun delivery service, maybe you're ready to give your Kindle or iPad a rest and are itching to pick up a physical book again. Here are some fiction titles that were released in the weeks leading up to our closure that maybe you didn't have a chance to take a look at. These books are all available on the shelf at the time of writing. Place your holds now to have them delivered to your doorstop!

                    

Daisy Cooper's Rules for Living by Tamsin Keily- Daisy Cooper's life is just getting started, when suddenly it ends. Surprised to find herself in an Afterlife processing center, she is even more stunned to learn that she wasn't meant to die for another fifty years. One terrible, embarrassing clerical error is behind it--and an administrator named Death is to blame. But death, as they say, is final, and Daisy must now navigate this impossible new world. With the help of an unlikely ally, Daisy begins to realize that letting go isn't just a challenge faced by those left behind. And as she learns how to survive this strange reality, friendship, hope and love begin to come alive in the most unexpected ways.

Good Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria Reva- A bureaucratic glitch omits an entire building, along with its residents, from municipal records. So begins Reva's "darkly hilarious" (Anthony Doerr) intertwined narratives, nine stories that span the chaotic years leading up to and immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. But even as the benighted denizens of 1933 Ivansk Street weather the official neglect of the increasingly powerless authorities, they devise ingenious ways to survive.

This Town Sleeps by Dennis E. Staples- Set on an Ojibwe reservation in northern Minnesota, This Town Sleeps is the story of Marion Lafournier, a gay Ojibwe man, and his search for meaning in a town he cannot seem to leave. When he begins a romance with a closeted former high school classmate Shannon, Marion finds himself struggling to connect with the volcanic and unstable man. One night, while roaming the dark streets of Geshig, Marion unknowingly brings to life a dog from underneath the elementary school playground. The mysterious revenant leads him to the grave of Kayden Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star who was murdered at the young age of seventeen, and whose presence still lingers in the memories of the townsfolk. While investigating the fallen hero's death, Marion discovers family connections and an old Ojibwe legend that may be the secret to unraveling the mystery he has found himself in.

Blackwood by Michael Farris Smith- In this timeless, mythical tale of unforgiving justice and elusive grace, rural Mississippi townsfolk shoulder the pain of generations as something dangerous lurks in the enigmatic kudzu of the woods. The town of Red Bluff, Mississippi, has seen better days, though those who've held on have little memory of when that was. Myer, the county's aged, sardonic lawman, still thinks it can prove itself -- when confronted by a strange family of drifters, the sheriff believes that the people of Red Bluff can be accepting, rational, even good. The opposite is true: this is a landscape of fear and ghosts -- of regret and violence -- transformed by the kudzu vines that have enveloped the hills around it, swallowing homes, cars, rivers, and hiding a terrible secret deeper still.

Without Sanction by Don Bentley- Defense Intelligence Agency operative Matt Drake broke a promise. A promise that cost three people their lives and crippled his best friend. Three months later, he's paralyzed by survivor's guilt and haunted by the memories of the fallen. Matt may have left Syria, but Syria hasn't left him. In the midst of his self-imposed exile, Matt is dragged back into the world of espionage and assets that he tried to forget. A Pakistani scientist working for an ISIS splinter cell has created a terrifying weapon of mass destruction. The scientist offers to defect with the weapon, but he trusts just one man to bring him out of Syria alive - Matt Drake.

Photos of You by Tammy Robinson- When Ava Green turns twenty-eight, she discovers this will be her last birthday. The cancer she thought she'd beaten three years ago is back, only this time it's terminal, and she's not going to waste any of the time she has left. There's one thing she's been dreaming of since she was a little girl: her wedding. There's only one problem. She doesn't have a groom. Ava's friends and family rally around her and decide they will help her throw the wedding of her dreams, just without the groom. As word spreads on social media, the wedding planning goes viral, attracting the attention of a prominent women's magazine. But when a photographer volunteers to help document the whole event, it becomes heartbreakingly clear that it's never too late to discover the love of your life.

                    

Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta- Kara Davis is a girl caught in the middle--of her Canadian nationality and her desire to be a "true" Jamaican, of her mother and grandmother's rages and life lessons, of having to avoid being thought of as too "faas" or too "quiet" or too "bold" or too "soft." Set in "Little Jamaica," Toronto's Eglinton West neighbourhood, Kara moves from girlhood to the threshold of adulthood, from elementary school to high school graduation, in these twelve interconnected stories. We see her on a visit to Jamaica, startled by the sight of a severed pig's head in her great aunt's freezer; in junior high, the victim of a devastating prank by her closest friends; and as a teenager in and out of her grandmother's house, trying to cope with the ongoing battles between her unyielding grandparents. A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker.

Ball Park by John Farrow- Montreal, 1975. Detective Émile Cinq-Mars is transferring from the Night Patrol--the notoriously tough department of officers in charge of watching over the city as it sleeps--to the day shift. His old superior has seen to it that he's assigned to partner Yves Giroux, another ex-Night Patrol detective some say isn't on the 'up and up'. Getting in a house is easy for teenage thief Quinn Tanner. The stress comes in getting out clean. On finding her getaway driver dead after her latest heist, she goes underground. For his first case on the day shift, Émile is sent to the property that Quinn has just visited, and their paths are set to cross. But has she stolen something more valuable than she realizes...and who is hunting for her now?

The Land Beyond the Sea- Sharon Kay Penman- The Kingdom of Jerusalem, also known as Outremer, is the land far beyond the sea. Baptized in blood when the men of the First Crusade captured Jerusalem from the Saracens in the early twelfth century, the kingdom defined an utterly new world, a land of blazing heat and a medley of cultures, a place where enemies were neighbors and neighbors became enemies. At the helm of this growing kingdom sits young Baldwin IV, an intelligent and courageous boy committed to the welfare and protection of his people. But despite Baldwin's dedication to his land, he is afflicted with leprosy at an early age and the threats against his power and his health nearly outweigh the risk of battle. As political deception scours the halls of the royal court, the Muslim army--led by the first sultan of Egypt and Syria, Saladin--is never far from the kingdom's doorstep, and there are only a handful Baldwin can trust, including the archbishop William of Tyre and Lord Balian d'Ibelin, a charismatic leader who has been one of the few able to maintain the peace.

The God Child by Nana Oforiatta Ayim- Maya grows up in Germany knowing that her parents are different: from one another, and from the rest of the world. Her reserved, studious father is distant; and her beautiful, volatile mother is a whirlwind. And then Kojo arrives one Christmas, like an annunciation: Maya's cousin, and her mother's godson. Kojo has a way with words--a way of talking about Ghana, and empire, and what happens when a country's treasures are spirited away by colonialists. But then Maya and Kojo are separated, shuttled off to school in England, where they come face to face with the maddening rituals of Empire. Returning to Ghana as a young woman, Maya is reunited with her powerful but increasingly troubled cousin. Her homecoming will set off an exorcism of their family and country's strangest, darkest demons.

The Keeper by Jessica Moor- When Katie Straw's body is pulled from the waters of the local suicide spot, the police are ready to write it off as a standard-issue female suicide. But the residents of the domestic violence shelter where Katie worked disagree. These women have spent weeks or even years waiting for the men they're running from to catch up with them. They know immediately: This was murder. Still, Detective Dan Whitworth and his team expect an open-and-shut case--until they discover evidence that suggests Katie wasn't who she appeared. Weaving together the investigation with Katie's final months as it barrels toward the truth.

Red Letter Days by Sarah Jane Stratford- Amid the glitz and glamour of 1950s New York, Phoebe Adler pursues her dream of screenwriting. A dream that turns into a living nightmare when she is blacklisted--caught in the Red Menace that is shattering the lives of suspected Communists. Desperate to work, she escapes to London, determined to keep her dream alive and clear her good name. There, Phoebe befriends fellow American exile Hannah Wolfson, who has defied the odds to build a career as a successful television producer in England. Hannah is a woman who has it all, and is now gambling everything in a very dangerous game--the game of hiring blacklisted writers. Neither woman suspects that danger still looms ... and their fight is only just beginning.

                

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend by Jenny Colgan- Sophie Chesterton is a girl about town - she knows all the right people, goes to all the right parties, and wears all the right clothes. But deep down she suspects that her best friends are actually rather nasty, and that her lifestyle doesn't really amount to much. Her father wants her to make her own way in the world, to make him proud. But after one shocking evening her life is changed for ever. Scraping a living as an assistant to a 'glamour' photographer; living in a hovel on the Old Kent Road with four smelly boys; eating baked beans from the can - this is one spectacular fall from grace. Sophie is desperate to get her life back - but does a girl really need diamonds to be happy?

And I Do Not Forgive You by Amber Sparks- In prose that beats with urgency, these contemporary stories read like the best of fairytales--which are, as Sparks writes, just a warning disguised as a wish.In "Mildly Happy, With Moments of Joy," a friend is ghosted by a simple text message; in "Everyone's a Winner at Meadow Park," a teen precariously coming of age in a trailer park befriends an actual ghost. Indeed, the depths of friendship are examined under the most trying circumstances. Humorous and unapologetically fierce, other stories shine an interrogating light on the adage that "history likes to lie about women"? as the subjects of "You Won't Believe What Really Happened to the Sabine Women" (it's true, you won't) will attest. Sparks employs her vast knowledge of the morbid and macabre in "The Eyes of Saint Lucy," in which a young girl creates elaborately violent dioramas of famous saints with her mother. And in "A Short and Speculative History of Lavoisier's Wife," the great efforts of French chemist Lavoisier's widow to ensure his legacy are chillingly revealed.Taken together, this hypnotic and otherworldly collection seeks to reclaim the lives of the silenced. And what is history, Sparks asks, but the chance to dig up our skeletons and give them new stories? Humorous and unapologetically fierce, And I Do Not Forgive You offers a mosaic of an all-too-real world that too often fails to listen to its goddesses.

Coming Up for Air- Sarah Leipciger- L'Inconnue is a young woman lost in turbulent Paris at the turn of the nineteenth century. Amund is a Norwegian toymaker and father to two young children in the 1950s. Anouk is a contemporary Canadian suffering from cystic fibrosis, a medical condition that leaves her constantly fighting for air, swimming through the boundary between life and death as she awaits a lung transplant that could save her life. The way their stories intersect takes us effortlessly through time and space, revealing how our lives can be changed by strangers -- and how we, in turn, can shape events far beyond our apparent reach.

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd- Bridie Devine--female detective extraordinaire--is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors trading curiosities in this age of discovery. Winding her way through the labyrinthine, sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won't rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing a past that she'd rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where spectacle is king and nothing is quite what it seems.

Before Familiar Woods by Ian Pisarcik- On the outskirts of a town too tired for its own happenings, the boys were found dead inside a tent. Three years later, their fathers have disappeared, too. Ruth Fenn's son was the boy they blamed. For three years, Ruth has accepted her lot as pariah, focusing on her ailing mother and the children left in her care by the struggling single parents of North Falls, Vermont. But now the additional loss of her husband is too much to bear, and she has no choice but to overcome the darkness or be consumed by it. But as she edges closer to the truth, she begins to uncover some secrets that are better left buried. That's when she meets Milk Raymond, a war vet who comes home to find his nine-year-old son abandoned by his mother. Unable to find work, with no idea how to be a father, Milk turns to Ruth for help. But as the mystery of Ruth's missing husband deepens, the fragile stability Milk has created for Daniel is shattered by the ill-fated return of Daniel's mother, who will stop at nothing to get her boy back. As these unsettled and interconnected lives hurtle towards a devastating conclusion, both Ruth and Milk are about to learn that their dying Vermont town has more secrets than they ever thought possible--and there are those who will do anything to protect them.