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January 2, 2005 Edition

Lake of Sorrows, by Erin Hart

While American forensic pathologist Nora Gavin is working at an Irish archaeological dig where an Iron Age body has been found, a second body is found nearby in similar circumstances. Finding two rare “bog mummies” in such a short period of time is unheard of. Both men were ritually “thrice killed,” but the newly discovered corpse wears a wristwatch. Nora finds herself embroiled in a new romance and nearly drowning in mysteries as more bodies appear.

Angel of Harlem, by Kuwana Haulsey

Based on the real life of Dr. May Chinn, this arresting novel tells the story of a young black girl coming of age in the 1920s during the Harlem Renaissance movement. Though May is a gifted musician who has accompanied singer Paul Robeson for years, she is discouraged from becoming a concert pianist by a racist professor and makes up her mind to become a doctor instead. Her struggles to overcome a double prejudice against women and blacks in the medical profession are rewarded: she is the first African American woman to graduate from Bellevue Medical college, the first to obtain an internship at Harlem Hospital, and the first black woman doctor in New York.

Edenborn, by Nick Sagan

Second in a proposed sci-fi trilogy (“Idlewild” is first), this is a look at a post-Black-Ep-virus world, where only a handful of humans remain. Two survivor groups have coalesced: one is based on children who have been genetically engineered to be immune to the virus; the other is staying alive thanks to a panoply of medications which hold the virus at bay. For the most part, the groups have the same goals: repopulating the earth. But the Black Ep virus is always waiting, and one little mutation could spell the end of humanity.

Poor Mrs. Rigsby, by Kathy Herman

Dumped by her husband for a younger woman, Sally Cox resentfully takes a job at the local nursing home where Elsie Rigsby is living. Thrifty Elsie has more money hidden away than Sally can dream of, and soon Sally, good church-goer that she is, is in on the secret that keeps it safe from Elsie’s son and the government. But when Elsie dies, money unspent, Sally loses the moral battle and agrees to a coworker’s plan to get the money. When her co-conspirator is murdered by someone in pursuit of the money, Sally decides to put events in God’s hands, confess, and see where she ends up.

The Fall, by Michael Allen Dymmoch

Joanne Lessing startles a driver as she photographs a scene he’s passing through, causing him to hit a parked car, starting a chain of events that she will be lucky to emerge from unscathed. After reporting the hit-and-run, she finds herself interviewed by police officers whose interest centers around the photo of the flashy car, and then by FBI, who are interested in what Joanne can remember of the occupants. Turns out that Joanne’s neighbor, who was in the FBI’s witness protection program, has been murdered, and, thanks to her photo, it’s obvious who did it. But catching the murderer is proving difficult, and Joanne begins to worry for her safety in this thriller.

Perfect Circle, by Sean Stewart

Part comedy, part horror novel, this is the story of a man who can’t look away from ghosts. William sees them everywhere, and they are messing with his life in unexpected ways. He can’t drive a car (he can’t tell the difference between ghosts and real people at night), he’s just lost his job at Petco for eating cat food, and his “job” as an amateur exorcist has just turned him into a murderer. And now, his Uncle Billy is back, still dead, but very interested in William. And William’s got to figure out why…

The Village Bride of Beverly Hills, by Kavita Daswani

Priya thought she was prepared for everything – the traditional marriage ceremony, the move from India to America, the new life with her husband and in-laws, even the burden of being a housewife, responsible for cooking and cleaning. But when her mother-in-law, disgusted that Priya isn’t pregnant yet, tells her she needs to go find a job, Priya is terrified. Though she’s a college graduate, no woman in her family has ever had one – it just isn’t done in a traditional family. The job she gets is not the job her new family would want, and Priya finds herself torn between the glamour of her worklife and her desire to make her marriage work.

The Warlord, by Richard H. Dickinson

Thirty years after Dickinson’s earlier book “The Silent Men,” Jackson Monroe, who earned his stars as a sniper during the Vietnam War, is a middle-aged three-star general. Flying over Afghanistan on his way to a conference with Afghani warlords, his helicopter is shot down with his unit in the mountains. After so many years in Washington politics, his men doubt he’ll be anything but a burden to them, but Monroe’s commando training kicks in and he earns their respect… and, more importantly, gets them home.

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