From the Stacks

By Carol Ann Robb, PPL Reference Librarian

Last week I went to my comfort zone for reading—novels set on the Home Fronts during World War II. Despite it being an extremely dark period in history, it’s my favorite era to read about. The resilience of people is inspiring and I know that it ends well for our side.

“Front Page Murder,” by Joyce St. Anthony was a two-fer (a mystery and WW II time period), though it differs from many that I read as it takes place in the US (specifically Pennsylvania). The plot was good, the identity of the killer remained unknown to me until right before his/her exposure, and the author caught the essence of the time period (well, I assume she did since I wasn’t around then).

Parts of the book seemed a bit implausible but I just went with it (suffering from seasonal allergies made me more accepting). Irene Ingram is an enjoyable character and the small-town newspaper background provides an interesting angle. I will certainly recommend it to readers looking for a mystery to keep their interest.

Rhys Bowen’s most recent novel, “Where the Sky Begins,” took me overseas to England. After being bombed out of her London home, Josie Banks is sent to the countryside to recover from her injuries. She soon discovers it’s far preferable to the nightly bombings in the capital city and begins a new and far more satisfying life than she’s ever had. Being a mystery writer, Bowen does include some twists—again, I couldn’t quite buy all of them but you’ll find yourself rooting for Josie.

Waiting in the wings—I’m taking a break with Wiley Cash’s “When Ghosts Come Home,” which I’m enjoying more than I expected considering it’s not my usual fare—is “Librarian Spy” by Madeline Martin. I didn’t go our searching for books that have intelligence and spying in their storylines but all three touch on that. I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or a new trend among mainstream WW II fiction.

Am I getting into a reading rut? Perhaps, but I enjoy them and there are plenty of novels set in this time period being published now so it’s not just me reading them. If you haven’t tried one, come on in. I’ll be happy to give you an armload to read and savor.