Staff Picks for Fiction 2012

A list of some of our favorite reads of 2012.

Shadow of Night – Deborah E. Harkness. A follow-up to the best-selling A Discovery of Witches finds Oxford scholar and reluctant witch Dina and vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont in Elizabethan London, where Dina seeks a magical tutor and Matthew confronts elements from his past at the same time the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens.
  Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn, When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred. By the best-selling author of Dark Places. First Chapter
Freeman - Leonard Pitts. Shortly after the Confederates surrender, a runaway slave leaves the safety of Philadelphia in search of his wife who he left in Mississippi 15 years earlier, but who has been taken by gunpoint to Arkansas by her former landowner.
The Chaperone – Laura Moriarty. Accompanying a future famous actress from her Wichita home to New York, chaperone Cora Carlisle shares a life-changing five-week period with her ambitious teenage charge during which she discovers the promise of the 20th century and her own purpose in life. By the author of The Center of Everything.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple. When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her in this new novel from the author of This One is Mine.

The Orphanmaster – Jean Zimmerman. In 17th-century New Amsterdam, today Manhattan, 22-year-old trader Blandine von Couvering and British spy Edward Drummond investigate the mysterious disappearance of orphan children. A first novel.
The Gods of Gotham - Lyndsay Faye. Joining the newly formed NYPD at the height of Ireland’s 19th-century potato famine, Timothy reluctantly assumes his duties in a notorious slum district, where in the middle of the night he hears a little girl’s claim that dozens of bodies have been buried in a local forest.
  Restless in the Grave – Dana Stabenow. A crossover mystery featuring Aleut private investigator Kate Shugak and Alaska State Trooper Liam Campbell finds them teaming up to investigate a suspicious plane crash that ended the life of aviation entrepreneur Finn Grant, a case that requires Kate to work undercover as a bar waitress. By the author of Though Not Dead. First Chapter
11/22/63 – Stephen King. Receiving a horrific essay from a GED student with a traumatic past, high-school English teacher Jake Epping is enlisted by a friend to travel back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a mission for which he must reacclimate to 1960s culture and befriend troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald.First Chapter  Table of Contents
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan. After a layoff during the Great Recession sidelines his tech career, Clay Jannon takes a job at the titular bookstore in San Francisco, and soon realizes that the establishment is a facade for a strange secret. First Chapter
The Snow Child l – Eowyn Ivey. A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1920 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own. First Chapter
The Nightmare – Lars Kepler. An international best-selling sequel to The Hypnotist follows Detective Joona Linna’s investigation into two mysterious murder cases in Stockholm that have been staged to look accidental, scenes that prompt Joona to discern a link between the crimes and a more sinister operation. First Chapter
The Keeper of Lost Causes – Jussi Adler-Olsen. A U.S. release of a first installment in a top award-winning Danish series introduces chief detective Carl Morck, who after recovering from what he thought was a career-destroying gunshot wound is relegated to cold cases and becomes immersed in the five-year disappearance of a politician.

The Killing Moon - N. K. Jemisin. In a city where Gatherers harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to judge the corrupt, Ehiru, the most famous of the city’s Gatherers, learns that he must protect the woman he was sent to kill or watch the city be devoured by forbidden magic. First Chapter

  Trail of the Spellmans : Document #5 – Lisa Lutz. Struggling with wacky family activities, secrets and feuds, private investigator Isabel Spellman avoids Henry Stone by spending time drinking with his mother and tackling eccentric cases that seem suspiciously pointless. By the award-winning author of Heads You Lose.First Chapter
Discount Armageddon – Seanan McGuire. Verity Price, trained from birth as a cryptozoologist–a monster hunter–attempts to pursue a career in professional ballroom dance, but dangerous cryptids and the Covenant’s newest operative keep getting in the way of her passion.
Taken – Robert Crais. Hired along with Joe Pike to investigate the alleged kidnapping of a wealthy industrialist’s son, Elvis Cole quickly disproves police theories and goes undercover to infiltrate a ring of professional border kidnappers only to be abducted himself. By the award-winning author of The Sentry.
The Rook  – Daniel O’MalleyA high-ranking member of a secret organization that battles supernatural forces wakes up in a London park with no memory, no idea who she is and with a letter that provides instructions to help her uncover a far-reaching conspiracy. First Chapter

  A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty – by Joshilyn Jackson. Ginny Slocumb knows that this year, her forty-fifth, is a “trouble year.” When her 30-year-old daughter Liza, a former drug addict, suffers a debilitating stroke that leaves her mute, Ginny can only wonder what catastrophe will come her way next. Consumed by her fear that her 15-year-old granddaughter, Mosey, will follow family tradition and end up pregnant, Ginny soon realizes that she’s got bigger problems when she finds a baby’s skeleton buried in a shallow grave in the backyard. Alternating between the three Slocumb women’s perspectives, this compelling tale of love, loss, and family secrets is both humorous and heart-breaking.
Death of a Kingfisher – M. C. Beaton. When Scotland is hit by the recession, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth notices that the Highland people are forced to come up with inventive ways to lure tourists to their sleepy towns. The quaint village of Braikie doesn’t have much to offer, other than a place of rare beauty called Buchan’s Wood, which was bequeathed to the town. The savvy local tourist director renames the woods “The Fairy Glen,” and has brochures printed with a beautiful photograph of a kingfisher rising from a pond on the cover. It isn’t long before coach tours begin to arrive. But just as the town’s luck starts to turn, a kingfisher is found hanging from a branch in the woods with a noose around its neck. As a wave of vandalism threatens to ruin Braikie forever, the town turns to Hamish Macbeth. And when violence strikes again,the lawman’s investigation quickly turns from animal cruelty to murder.First Chapter
Thirteen – Kelley Armstrong. In the conclusion to Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, Savannah Levine, a young witch whose magical powers have been temporarily stripped, is faced with the task of saving her family and friends and finding a way to win the battle against the evil creatures that have been unleashed upon the world.
The Absolutist - John Boyne. Tristan Sadler, a gay soldier, recalls his time spent fighting in World War I and the intensity of his friendship with Will Bancroft, a soldier who became a conscientious objector and was shot as a traitor.
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