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Litchfield MN 55355


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While all Pioneerland Library System buildings remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Curbside Pick-up of library items is available. You may place items on hold using the online catalog. Library staff will call you to schedule a pickup time once your hold is ready. Pickup days/times vary by location. Please contact your library if you have questions or need assistance in using this service.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Treat Yourself to a Scary Book

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Halloween is almost here, so it’s time for some scary books.  This could mean mysteries, crime thrillers, ghost stories, vampire novels, or anything spooky or frightening.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have a new book out that’s pretty scary.  Old Bones features a young archaeologist who is asked to lead a team in search of the supposed “Lost Camp” of the Donner Party, the notorious pioneers who descended to cannibalism when trapped in the mountains.  As the members of the expedition excavate the site, they discover even more shocking details, and they find their own lives at risk.  Characters Nora Kelly and Corrie Swanson spin off of a previous Preston and Child book series in this start of a new series.

For some Victorian crime atmosphere (think gas lamps and fog), you can pick up Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with Anna Waterhouse.  Set before Sherlock Holmes meets Dr. Watson, this mystery finds Sherlock helping his brother investigate a serial killer who has killed a distant relative of Queen Victoria.  This is the third in the Mycroft series by NBA star Abdul-Jabbar, all of which have gotten good reviews.

Zombies are good Halloween subject matter.  The new novel Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff features a post-apocalyptic Ireland overrun by zombies called the skrake. A young woman named Orpen has been raised on a small, safe island off of the coast, living only with her mother and her mother’s partner.  She wishes to go to the mainland and meet other survivors despite the risk of the skrake, and when disaster strikes her island, she has no choice but to cross the water and prepare to fight for her life.

If serial killers are more your thing, look for The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup, a Danish television and film writer.  It’s Scandinavian noir, along the lines of Steig Larsson and Jo Nesbo.  A psychopath is leaving a doll fashioned from chestnuts at the scene of each murder, and a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to find the murderer.  Netflix is developing the novel into an original series.

Minnesota mystery author Ellen Hart writes the long-running Jane Lawless series.  Installment #26 is the newest book: Twisted at the Root.  A widower’s family contacts Jane for help proving he was wrongly accused of murdering his husband, and Jane finds that her missing brother was involved in the trial.  Reviewers have praised the fully-realized characters and the ramped-up creepiness of the plot. 

Have you tried an escape room?  The novel The Escape Room by Megan Goldin takes the idea to a terrifying level.  Four Wall Street financiers are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise in an escape room that turns out to be a tense game of survival. Kirkus Reviews says, “Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room.”

Dean Koontz is well-known for creepy books.  His newest novel is The Night Window, the last in his Jane Hawk series.  Jane is a rogue FBI agent with a mission to take down the powerful people trying to control America through an army of mind-altered people.  Reviewers say this is best book in the series, carefully plotted and entertaining.

If you like a book that will scare you one way or another, the Litchfield Library offers plenty of choices. Happy Halloween!