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Chapter 18 - A Day's Work

Some folks think that owning a book store is glamorous. They envision us sitting around, drinking coffee and sharing book stories with all the local literati. While it is a LOT of fun, it is also hard work. Norma and I research, read, buy, process, pay bills and payroll, stock, and constantly go out to find new and better books for our customers. Even when we are not at work, we are working on our business.

One of the best parts of my job is that monthly I co-host a radio show with Scott Richards of WEZV. He and I talk about books we have read, are reading or are looking forward to. Scott reads a lot and gets lots of Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) and new hardbacks from publishers to promote their books. He is very fair in his evaluations of them and always shares his favorites with me and his listeners.

Over the three years we've been doing this, I have gotten a lot of great recommendations from him. He gave me a few lately, one of which I just finished, which prompted me to write this blog. With no more ado here are some books Scott Richards and I have talked about and which we have recommended to each other.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson - Scott told me about this 2019 book. Most everyone knows the story behind Lizzie Borden, she was put on trial for murdering her father and stepmother in 1892. Lizzie was found not guilty of the crime and the murder remains a mystery to this day. This book tells about the trial, which was considered the trial of the century in Massachusetts.

Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin - I introduced Scott to this series by Franklin. It is England in 1171 and children are being murdered. The small Jewish community is being accused of the crimes and Henry II contacts his royal peer in Salerno for someone who is an expert in the science of deduction. They send Adelia, a prodigy from the Medical School of Salerno and so the medieval mystery begins. There are only four books in this series but each is better than the one before it.

A Well Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler - This is another recommendation by Scott. Therese Anne Fowler, who also wrote Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, has undertaken the story of Alva Vanderbilt. Alva was a remarkable woman who among her other attributes designed and built nine mansions and was an early suffragette.

The Jane Hawk Series by Dean Koontz - My contribution to our book chats is this newish series by Koontz. Jane Hawk is a suspended FBI agent whose Marine husband has committed suicide. Jane is pretty certainly it was not a suicide at all. As she starts to unveil the mystery there are enough bad guys to last for several books. There are currently five in the series.

The Malta Exchange by Steve Berry - Scott sometimes runs hot and cold on Steve Berry but I've always enjoyed Berry's books. The latest book is another Cotton Malone thriller involving the Catholic Church, the Knights of Malta, and other themes from history.

Are there any books you feel we should read and talk about in our Book Chats? Let me know.

As always, you can order these or other books at

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