It’s officially fall and you know what you want: moody settings and suspenseful plots with a hint of murder. Our most popular books of September reflect that sentiment with only one or two “happy” books—the rest are deliciously somber and perfectly matched for a rainy fall day spent absorbed in suspense.
I was instantly drawn to THE CLOISTERS when I saw the beautiful cover, and when I heard the story line I thought, “It’s a witchy Da Vinci Code.” I was not wrong and I was not disappointed (I loved THE DA VINCI CODE). Set in the Metropolitan Museum's gothic Cloisters exhibit, this occult thriller begins with Ann Stilwell almost losing her summer job opportunity at the Met, but miraculously securing a last-minute position at the Cloisters. However, her colleagues clearly have some secrets and as Ann develops relationships with each one, truths and outrageous theories begin to emerge. Ann tries to stay rooted, but her work is directing her onto a cryptic path of spiritual and psychological exploration as her research into the history of divination begins to uncover some incredible possibilities. Every chapter in THE CLOISTERS creates a new revelation, leaving you hooked to the very end and making sure you don't miss a single detail.
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The Secret History meets Ninth House in this sinister, atmospheric novel following a circle of researchers as they uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.
When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.
Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.
A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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In the depths of a 19th-century winter, a little girl is abandoned on the streets of Victorian London. She grows up to become in turn a thief, an artist’s muse, and a lover. In the summer of 1862, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she travels with a group of artists to a beautiful house on a bend of the Upper Thames. Tensions simmer and one hot afternoon a gunshot rings out. A woman is killed, another disappears, and the truth of what happened slips through the cracks of time. It is not until over a century later, when another young woman is drawn to Birchwood Manor, that its secrets are finally revealed.
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Leary’s latest is a stunning tale of corruption, compassion, and hope, and includes one of the best endings I’ve read in ages. She’s reached back in history and uncovered a shockingly true story, one that resonates strongly today. Full of jaw-dropping twists and intriguing characters—you won’t be able to put it down.
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate.
It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel.
Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care.
Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all.
Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”
A New York Times Notable Book of 2015, LEAVING BERLIN is Joseph Kanon doing what he does best: a thrilling historical noir set in one of the world’s darkest periods. Berlin native and Jewish writer Alex Meier never intended on returning to the place of his birth. Having fled the Nazis for America in the years before the war, Alex, now in 1948, is facing trouble in the US for his politics. Hoping to clear his record, he agrees to return to Germany as a spy following top CIA targets like a Russian who just so happens to be romantically involved with a woman Alex once loved—and may still have feelings for. But their rocky reunion is just the start of Alex’s tenure as a spy, which quickly involves a failed kidnapping, a killing, and an escapee from a labor camp. What’s left for Alex is a choice: whether to stay true to his promise to the CIA in an effort to clear his name or switch sides for the only woman he’s ever loved. It’s all here in Joseph Kanon’s thrilling novel that brings to life a shadowy period of history to entertain us with every last page.
New York Times Notable Book * NPR Best Books 2015 * Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2015
The acclaimed author of The Good German “deftly captures the ambience” (The New York Times Book Review) of postwar East Berlin in his “thought-provoking, pulse-pounding” (Wall Street Journal) New York Times bestseller—a sweeping spy thriller about a city caught between political idealism and the harsh realities of Soviet occupation.
Berlin, 1948. Almost four years after the war’s end, the city is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. In the West, a defiant, blockaded city is barely surviving on airlifted supplies; in the East, the heady early days of political reconstruction are being undermined by the murky compromises of the Cold War. Espionage, like the black market, is a fact of life. Even culture has become a battleground, with German intellectuals being lured back from exile to add credibility to the competing sectors.
Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. But almost from the start things go fatally wrong. A kidnapping misfires, an East German agent is killed, and Alex finds himself a wanted man. Worse, he discovers his real assignment—to spy on the woman he left behind, the only woman he has ever loved. Changing sides in Berlin is as easy as crossing a sector border. But where do we draw the lines of our moral boundaries? At betrayal? Survival? Murder? Joseph Kanon’s compelling thriller is a love story that brilliantly brings a shadowy period of history vividly to life.
Lisa Jewell is a master at writing truly twisting tales! Three seemingly unrelated mysteries converge into horrifying truths in this domestic thriller. DCI Samuel Owusu is called to investigate the remains that have washed up on the shore of the Thames, only to discover that they’re connected to a thirty-year-old cold case that left three people dead. Rachel Rimmer has just been told that her husband was found dead in the cellar of his house in France, and she is desperately trying to avoid answering anything about his past. Meanwhile, Lucy Lamb is finally moving back to London after a horrible tragedy thirty years prior, but just before she can get settled her brother takes off looking for answers from their past. There are so many layers to this one that you’ll love unpacking all the details and trying to put the puzzle together before the very end.
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A woman stops at nothing to find her husband’s murderer in this psychological thriller about twisted marriages, fractured families, and deadly obsessions in this standalone sequel to the “brilliantly chilling” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs from the New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell.
Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.
Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.
After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.
As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.
In this masterful standalone sequel to her haunting New York Times bestseller, The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell proves she is writing at the height of her powers with another jaw-dropping, intricate, and affecting novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.
This soon-to-be-classic memoir shares the true story of Stella Levi, a nonagenarian from Juderia, the Jewish neighborhood on the Greek island of Rhodes. Through her conversations with author Michael Frank over six years, she shares her experience of growing up in Juderia, as well as the destruction of her community when Nazis rounded up all the neighborhood’s inhabitants and deported them to Auschwitz. This important book allows readers to bear witness to not just the tragedy suffered by Stella Levi and her fellow Jews during the Holocaust, but to the richness of her life in Juderia and to how she constructed her life again after her community was destroyed.
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Recipient of the Jewish Book Council’s Natan Notable Book Award
The remarkable story of ninety-nine-year-old Stella Levi whose conversations with the writer Michael Frank over the course of six years bring to life the vibrant world of Jewish Rhodes, the deportation to Auschwitz that extinguished ninety percent of her community, and the resilience and wisdom of the woman who lived to tell the tale.
With nearly a century of life behind her, Stella Levi had never before spoken in detail about her past. Then she met Michael Frank. He came to her Greenwich Village apartment one Saturday afternoon to ask her a question about the Juderia, the neighborhood in Rhodes where she’d grown up in a Jewish community that had thrived there for half a millennium.
Neither of them could know this was the first of one hundred Saturdays that they would spend in each other’s company as Stella traveled back in time to conjure what it felt like to come of age on this luminous, legendary island in the eastern Aegean, which the Italians began governing as an official possession in 1923 and transformed over the next two decades until the Germans seized control and deported the entire Juderia to Auschwitz.
Probing and courageous, candid and sly, Stella is a magical modern-day Scheherazade whose stories reveal what it was like to grow up in an extraordinary place in an extraordinary time—and to construct a life after that place has vanished. One Hundred Saturdays is a portrait of one of the last survivors drawn at nearly the last possible moment, as well as an account of a tender and transformative friendship that develops between storyteller and listener as they explore the fundamental mystery of what it means to collect, share, and interpret the deepest truths of a life deeply lived.
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Milan, 1497: Leonardo da Vinci is completing his masterpiece, The Last Supper. Pope Alexander VI is determined to execute him after realizing that the painting contains clues to a baffling and blasphemous message, which he is determined to decode. The Holy Grail and the Eucharistic Bread are missing, there is no meat on the table and, shockingly, the apostles are portraits of well-known heretics—none of them depicted with halos. And why has the artist painted himself into the scene with his back turned toward Jesus? The clues to Leonardo's greatest puzzle are right before your eyes in this riveting novel.
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Milan, 1497: Leonardo da Vinci is completing his masterpiece, The Last Supper. Pope Alexander VI is determined to execute him after realizing that the painting contains clues to a baffling -- and blasphemous -- message, which he is determined to decode. The Holy Grail and the Eucharistic Bread are missing, there is no meat on the table and, shockingly, the apostles are portraits of well-known heretics -- none of them depicted with halos. And why has the artist painted himself into the scene with his back turned toward Jesus? The clues to Leonardo's greatest puzzle are right before your eyes....
A fresh take on WWII France that will appeal to bibliophiles everywhere. I fell in love with Odile and Lily, with their struggles and triumphs, from the very first page. Meticulously researched, THE PARIS LIBRARY is an irresistible, compelling read.
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An instant New York Times, Washington Post, and USA TODAY bestseller—based on the true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II—The Paris Library is a moving and unforgettable “ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).
Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet seems to have the perfect life with her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into the city, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.
Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.
“A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship” (Booklist), The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest places.
In this New York Times bestselling novel, Myra has always been shy and just a little bit lonely; but now, as an adult, she makes the most of her quiet life, despite being what she considers to be a middle-aged spinster. Her closest emotional attachments are to her patients who she meets through her job as a visiting nurse. But when her newest terminal brain tumor patient turns out to be Chip, a former high school classmate and the most popular boy in school, Myra forms a connection beyond anything she expected.
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In this classic New York Times bestselling novel, “one of the most dramatic and beautiful books of her career” (Midwest Book Review), the author of The Confession Club has written a compassionate and unforgettable celebration of the redemptive power of second chances and love over death.
Myra Lipinsky is living a quiet life as a middle-aged, self-described spinster. She had been a lonely child, and now she is an equally lonely adult though she takes great pride in her career as a visiting nurse. Her patients are her only true emotional attachments, but when they are well, they move on.
When she gets a call about a new assignment, she is shocked to discover that the patient is Chip Reardon, a former high school classmate of Myra’s. He had been the most popular and adored boy in school, but now he is suffering from an incurable brain tumor and plans to die at home. With their roles starkly reversed, Myra and Chip discover that it is often through facing death that we can truly begin to live.
This captivating page-turner follows Trevor Riddell’s recollection of his childhood visit to the infamous Riddell House two decades prior, accompanied by his bankrupt father, newly separated from his wife. While his father sought to dispatch Trevor’s grandfather to a nursing home and sell off the house for profit, Trevor discovered a ghost in the house that pushed him towards a different agenda. With poetically beautiful scenes and fragments of spiritual clarity woven throughout the hidden stairways and forgotten rooms of the old estate, Stein’s storytelling is enthralling in A SUDDEN LIGHT.
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