LibraryReads, the nationwide library staff-picks list, offers the top 10 August titles public library staff across the country love:
A Great Reckoning: A Novel by Louise Penny (Minotaur, $28.99, 9781250022134). "Armand Gamache is back, and it was worth the wait. As the new leader of the Surete academy, Gamache is working to stop corruption at its source and ensure the best start for the cadets. When a copy of an old map is found near the body of a dead professor, Gamache and Beauvoir race against the clock to find the killer before another person dies. A terrific novel that blends Penny's amazing lyrical prose with characters that resonate long after the book ends. Highly recommended." --David Singleton, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Charlotte, N.C.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (Pamela Dorman, $26, 9780735221086). "This book is so full of twists and turns that my head was swiveling. Who took baby Cora? Marco and Anne decide to leave their baby home alone. After all, they share a wall with their neighbors, with whom they are partying. They would take turns checking in on her baby monitor. But when they return to their flat the first thing they find is an open door and no Cora. Who's to blame? Could it be an unlikely suspect that you won't see coming? If you like a book that keeps you guessing until the very end you won't be disappointed." --Debbie Frizzell, Johnson County Library, Roeland Park, Kan.
Watching Edie by Camilla Way (NAL, $26, 9781101991633). "Twisty psychological banter makes this book a thrill ride. Edie was the girl in high school who had it all. Heather was the awkward girl who wanted so badly to be accepted. That was high school and now Edie is a single mom caught in a dead end job. She is about to lose it when Heather comes to her rescue. While Edie loves being able to get her life back, the hold that Heather has on her and the baby is disconcerting. The story jumps back and forth between past and present and you will change your mind about their friendship right up to the last page." --Kimberly McGee, Lake Travis Community Library, Austin, Tex.
The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller (Pamela Dorman, $26, 9781101981207). "Talented chef Olivia Rawlings didn't make the best decisions in her love life, but it takes an accident with a flambéed dessert to force her into a major life change. She flees to a small town in Vermont and takes a job at a small inn. She soon discovers that even though the town is small, the world she has known is about to get much bigger. Miller's writing is descriptive enough to imagine Olivia in this setting, smell her pastries baking, and hear the music in the story. Miller has captured the essence of a great character in a setting that could easily feel like home to many readers." --Jennifer Ohzourk, St. Louis Public Library, St. Louis, Mo.
The Dollhouse: A Novel by Fiona Davis (Dutton, $26, 9781101984994). "This is the story of the women who stayed in the Barbizon Hotel in the 1950's. A reporter is tipped off about one of the women, who still lives in the building over 60 years later. As she tries to research a murder and a case of switched identities, she starts becoming part of the story. The narration switched between 2016 and 1952 and as I read the novel, I soon got caught up in the next piece of the puzzle. It had history, romance, and a way to view the changing roles of women. Enjoyed it very much!" --Donna Ballard, East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, N.Y.
The Book That Matters Most: A Novel by Ann Hood (Norton, $25.95, 9780393241655). "A recently separated woman seeks solace and purpose in a local book group, while her daughter is dealing with her own life-changing problems that just might be resolved with a little literary assistance. The juxtaposition of the idyllic small town and the harsh reality of the seedier side of Paris, the weight of memory and regret, and the power of human connection, along with the engaging characters all work together to create an enthralling read. Readers will be carried away with the hope that these lovely and damaged characters can find their own happy ending." --Sharon Layburn, South Huntington Public Library, South Huntington, N.Y.
Arrowood: A Novel by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau, $27, 9780812996395). "Arden Arrowood returns to the family home, a stately Second Empire mansion, after the death of her father. She is hoping to find some peace and possibly an answer to the decades old mystery of her twin sisters' kidnapping. Arden, at age 8, was the only witness to their disappearance, but memory is a tricky thing. The spooky old house, the setting on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River Bluffs, the small town atmosphere, a creepy caretaker, and many family secrets make this novel Un-put-down-able! Highly recommended." --Mary Vernau, Tyler Public Library, Tyler, Tex.
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250121004). "On the surface, Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, and the perfect jobs. What lies beneath the surface is something so sinister yet so believable that it will horrify most readers. What happens behind closed doors and could, or would, you believe it? This is a superb story of psychological abuse that will have your heart racing right up to the end." --Marika Zemke, Commerce Township Public Library, Commerce Township, Mich.
First Star I See Tonight: A Novel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062405616). "First Star I See Tonight is a satisfying addition to the Chicago Stars series. Cooper Graham has just retired as the quarterback when he meets private investigator Piper. Their relationship starts off with a mutual dislike that quickly turns into one full of sparks. Watching them navigate the waters is fascinating. In the end Cooper lays it all on the line in order to win his biggest game ever…a happily ever after. I highly recommend the book." --Jennifer Cook, L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire, Wis.
Die Like an Eagle: A Meg Langslow Mystery by Donna Andrews (Minotaur, $25.99, 9781250078551). "Meg and her family embrace America's favorite past time. It's the opening weekend for the Caerphilly Summerball baseball league and Meg finds a body in the porta-potty. Meg, her friends and family must catch a killer and figure out how to oust the petty league president before everyone's weekend is ruined. Reading Andrews' books is like a visit home to your favorite relatives, plus she weaves humor and fun while still penning an enjoyable mystery." --Karen Emery, Johnson County Public Library, Franklin, Ind.