Adult Suggested Reads

Mystery, historical fiction, thriller, and non-fiction: Check out MPL's latest staff recommendations.

Click on the book cover to visit the library catalogue and reserve a copy.

How the Light Gets In

"There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen

Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it's a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn't spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized.


The Alice Network

 In an enthralling new historical novel from national bestselling author Kate Quinn, two women ― a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947 ― are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.


Sisi: Empress on Her Own

Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth—fondly known as Sisi—captures the hearts of her people as their “fairy queen,” but beneath that dazzling persona lives a far more complex figure. In mid-nineteenth-century Vienna, the halls of the Hofburg Palace buzz not only with imperial waltzes and champagne but with temptations, rivals, and cutthroat intrigue. Feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage, Sisi grows restless. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest. There she rides her beloved horses and enjoys visits from the Hungarian statesman Count Andrássy, the man with whom she’s unwittingly fallen in love. But tragic news brings Sisi out of her fragile seclusion, forcing her to return to her capital and a world of gossip, envy, and sorrow where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows.


Rare Objects

Boston, 1933. Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston's North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as head strong as her trademark red hair suggests, she's determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression. However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin - a rebellious hunger for experience that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a remote psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom.


Melville in Love: The Secret Life of Herman Melville and the Muse of Moby-Dick

Herman Melville's epic novel, Moby-Dick, was a spectacular failure when it was published in 1851. Because he was neglected by academics for so long, we know very little about Melville, and even less about what he called his "wicked book". Scholars still puzzle over what drove Melville to invent Captain Ahab's mad pursuit of the great white whale. In Melville in Love Michael Shelden sheds light on this literary mystery to tell a story of Melville's passionate and clandestine affair with a married woman named Sarah Morewood, whose libertine impulses encouraged and sustained Melville's own. In his research, Shelden discovered documents suggesting that, in their shared resistance to the "iron rule" of social conformity, Sarah and Melville forged an illicit and enduring romantic and intellectual bond.


Book Cover for The Secrets You Keep

The Secrets You Keep

What would you do if you realized that your new husband, a man you adore, is keeping secrets from you—secrets with terrifying consequences? Bryn Harper, an accomplished self-help author is recovering from a devastating car accident that has left her haunted by recurring, smoke-filled nightmares. She can’t shake the ominous feeling her dreams contain a warning. In the beginning, her husband Guy couldn’t have been more supportive. But after moving into a new house together, disturbing incidents occur and Guy grows evasive, secretive. Then, a woman hired to cater their dinner party is brutally murdered. As Bryn’s world unravels—and yet another woman in town is slain —she must summon her old strength to find answers and protect her own life. Her nightmares may in fact hold the key to unlocking the truth and unmasking the murderer.


The Child

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby? As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss. But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery.


Black Rabbit Hall

Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s Cornish country house, where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, one terrible day, it does. More than three decades later, Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals. But as she’s drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, she soon finds herself ensnared within the house’s labyrinthine history, overcome with a need for answers about her own past and that of the once-golden family whose memory still haunts the estate.


Dinner With Edward

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter--who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York--Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, no matter how messy that proves to be.


Born a Crime

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.


Young Elizabeth: The Making of the Queen

We can hardly imagine a Britain without Elizabeth II on the throne. It seems to be the job she was born for. And yet for much of her early life the young princess did not know the role that her future would hold. She was our accidental Queen. Elizabeth's determination to share in the struggles of her people marked her out from a young age. Her father initially refused to let her volunteer as a nurse during the Blitz, but relented when she was 18 and allowed her to work as a mechanic and truck driver for the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service. It was her forward-thinking approach that ensured that her coronation was televised, against the advice of politicians at the time.