Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Books by Alexander McCall Smith, Henning Mankell, Dean Koontz and Susan Lewis

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon

Title: The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Synopsis: Modern ideas get tangled up with traditional ones in the latest intriguing installment in the beloved, best-selling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

Precious Ramotswe has taken on two puzzling cases. First she is approached by the lawyer Mma Sheba, who is the executor of a deceased farmer’s estate. Mma Sheba has a feeling that the young man who has stepped forward may be falsely impersonating the farmer’s nephew in order to claim his inheritance. Mma Ramotswe agrees to visit the farm and find out what she can about the self-professed nephew. Then the proprietor of the Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon comes to Mma Ramotswe for advice. The opening of her new salon has been shadowed by misfortune. Not only has she received a bad omen in the mail, but rumors are swirling that the salon is using dangerous products that burn people’s skin. Could someone be trying to put the salon out of business?

Meanwhile, at the office, Mma Ramotswe has noticed something different about Grace Makutsi lately. Though Mma Makutsi has mentioned nothing, it has become clear that she is pregnant . . . But in Botswana—a land where family has always been held above all else—this may be cause for controversy as well as celebration.

With genuine warmth, sympathy, and wit, Alexander McCall Smith explores some tough questions about married life, parenthood, grief, and the importance of the traditions that shape and guide our lives.


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The Shadow Girls

Title: The Shadow Girls
Author: Henning Mankell 
Synopsis: Jesper Humlin is a mildly famous author and poet with lackluster book sales. Not even his editor will support his artistic vision, suggesting instead that he start writing crime novels in the place of poetry. In his travels, Humlin encounters three women who will change his worldview. All three have fled their home countries and settled in Sweden: Leyla from Iran, Tanya from Russia, and Tea-Bag from Nigeria. The women look to Humlin for guidance in telling their stories, learning how to shape the tales of their journeys and sacrifices. Both social comedy and social tragedy ensue from these efforts, but in the end Humlin, Leyla, Tanya and Tea-Bag all find that they have helped change one another.

The Shadow Girls is an absorbing tale of how a diverse society changes—and is changed by—its citizens, whoever they are.


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Wilderness (Short Story)

Title: Wilderness (Short Story)
Author: Dean Koontz
Synopsis: “The world is a machine that produces endless surprises and mysteries layered on mysteries.”

Addison Goodheart is a mystery even to himself. He was born in an isolated home surrounded by a deep forest, never known to his father, kept secret from everyone but his mother, who barely accepts him. She is haunted by private demons and keeps many secrets—none of which she dreads more than the young son who adores her.

Only in the woods, among the wildlife, is Addison truly welcome. Only there can he be at peace. Until the day he first knows terror, the day when his life changes radically and forever . . .


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The Truth About You


Title: The Truth About You
Author: Susan Lewis
Synopsis: Lainey Hollingsworth is the anchor in her home. In addition to managing her husband’s writing career, she oversees the daily operations of a chaotic family: a rebellious teenage daughter, a stepson who blames her for ruining his life, and an adoptive father afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Lainey always had a volatile relationship with her mother, who never revealed the truth about Lainey’s biological father, or the reason she fled Italy for England when Lainey was an infant.

As Lainey plans a trip to her mother’s homeland in search of answers, the familiar rhythm of life implodes when she receives a cryptic text message: Ask your husband about Julia. Suddenly caught between the ghosts of her past and a frighteningly unpredictable future, Lainey must face choices no woman would ever want to make.


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