Book clubs: New in paperback
A finalist for the 2017 National Book Award, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI explores the horrific deaths that took place on the Osage Indian Reservation in the 1920s. Thanks to oil found on their reservation, members of the Osage Indian Nation enjoyed lives of prosperity. But between 1921 and 1926, the tribe was the target of a sequence of mysterious murders. When the FBI stepped in to investigate, J. Edgar Hoover sought help from an ex-Texas Ranger named Tom White, who assembled a group of undercover agents. What they uncovered was a shocking plot that left more than 24 people dead. Author David Grann (The Lost City of Z) is a master of the nonfiction narrative form. With expert research and reportage, he writes with flair and an eye for detail in this gripping look at a dark chapter in American history.
TRUE OR FALSE?
Inspired by whodunits à la Agatha Christie, Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders is an inventive work of detective fiction. Susan Ryeland is the editor of a series of bestselling mystery novels by Alan Conway, whose books are often set in charming English hamlets and feature celebrated crime-solver Atticus Pünd. Because the novels are blockbusters, Susan looks the other way whenever Conway acts strangely. When she begins his new manuscript, she finds Pünd applying his investigative skills to a murder at a stately home called Pye Hall. Conway’s narrative features the standard cast of shifty characters, but when Susan starts to read between the lines, she comes to believe that there’s a darker reality to the story—one involving an actual murder. Horowitz, author of the 2015 James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, weaves a wholly original tale from the elements of traditional suspense fiction, breathing fresh life into a venerable genre. Magpie Murders is a must-read for mystery fans of any generation.
TOP PICK FOR BOOK CLUBS
With Anything Is Possible, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout delivers a luminous group of stories set in the same world as her 2016 bestseller, My Name Is Lucy Barton. Rich in its exploration of family and community ties, this collection of intertwined narratives focuses on the residents of Amgash, Illinois, where Lucy once lived. The varied cast of characters includes the Mumford sisters (one of whom tracks down her restless mother in Italy), a tortured Vietnam vet and a school janitor whose beliefs are thrown into question when he tries to assist a lonely man. Lucy also makes an appearance, revisiting the town she left behind 17 years ago to pay a painful visit to her siblings. Strout’s characters grapple with the weight of the past even as they consider the promise of the future. Poignant and probing, this is a novel that’s sure to inspire rewarding discussion.
This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.