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October 10, 2004 Edition

The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith, read by Davina Porter


This is the beginning of a new series from the author of "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," (all the books in that series are available on tape or cd as well) which features Isabel Dalhousie, a Scottish philosopher by training and a detective by avocation. When she sees a young man fall off a balcony to his death, she feels it wasn't an accident, and decides that she owes it to him to find his murderer. If only there weren't so many suspects! (available on cd and tape)

Something Rotten, by Jasper Fforde, read by Emily Gray


Thursday Next is a time-traveling detective with her hands full of problems. Besides being a single mom now that her husband has been eradicated from the time stream, she's busy subbing for Joan of Arc and making sure pulp Westerns have their share of Minotaurs. But when Yorrick Kaine teams up with the Goliath Corporation and tries to take over the world, Thursday's gloves come off and she gets down to business. Fans of Monty Python, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams ought to love this series - new readers should start with "The Eyre Affair". (available on cd and tape)

Hawke, by Ted Bell, read by John Shea


A rip-roaring tale of adventure, espionage, and modern piracy on the high seas worthy of James Bond himself. Lord Alexander Hawke is a free-lance spy for the Brits and the Americans who finds himself on assignment in the Caribbean, looking for a stolen submarine with 40 nuclear warheads. It is the same area where, as a young child, he witnessed the murders of his parents by modern-day pirates in search of a secret. Unbeknownst to him, Alex himself carries the secret, and now, as he returns to the pirates' territory, he is in more danger than he thinks, and not from a direction he anticipates. (available on cd)

A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage, by Mark Twain, read by Garrison Keillor


Intended to be part of a contest concocted by Twain, but never carried out (Twain's idea was to write a "skeleton" of a story and hand it out to prominent writers of his day to see how each of them fleshed it out), this tale of Mary and Hugh, whose marriage plans are thwarted by Mary's father and uncle, is a light amusement. Keillor lends the perfect voice to this homespun tale, and Roy Blount's introduction and afterword, which tell the story behind the story, are priceless. (available on tape)

How I paid for College, by Marc Acito, read by Jeff Woodman


When high school senior Edward Zanni tells his dad he wants to study acting at Julliard, his dad puts his foot down. Edward's got lots of friends willing to help him out, most with theater experience, and they concoct a scheme to get back the money that Edward's step-mother is siphoning away from her husband. Not, of course, to give back to his dad, but for Edward's tuition - after all, his dad doesn't even know the money is gone. But, as with most schemes, there's a catch... (available on tape)

The Olive Farm, and The Olive Season, written and read by Carol Drinkwater


These two books tell the story of Drinkwater’s love affair with a dilapidated olive farm in the south of France. When she and her partner decide to buy the property, they can see only its charms, but ugly and expensive realities soon makes themselves known. While recreating the once-beautiful and productive farm, Drinkwater also makes adjustments to her new roles as a step-mother and as a foreigner. In the second book, Drinkwater and her now-husband return from their honeymoon and dive into life as farm owners and, perhaps, new parents. (available on cd)

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