I’ve had a lot of patrons ask me for books to read on a trip, while they’re relaxing on the beach, driving in the car (don’t worry, I give them audio books), or waiting through a long flight. But what about those of us who have to content ourselves with a “staycation“? (Yeah, I know, that term is kind of hideous). Well, while I was posting the new items to the website, it occurred to me that a lot of the new books are set in a place much cooler (sometimes literally) than good old Watertown.
Vineyard Chill by Philip R. Craig
Let’s start close to home, with this mystery about a young woman who goes missing while bird watching at Martha’s Vineyard, and the long-time residents who have to crack the case to clear the reputation of a friend. This is the last book in the Martha’s Vineyard series, so if you’ve been following along, you’ll definitely need to read this one.
An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor
You can’t drive to Ireland, but you can at least hear about it while you’re driving somewhere else. This sequel to An Irish Country Doctor follows the trials and exultations of Dr. Barry Laverty as he begins his assistantship to Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly in Balleybucklebo, a fictional Irish Ulster village of the 1960s.
We’ve Always had Paris – and Provence by Patricia and Walter Wells
A biography, a photo essay, and a cookbook all at once, this is probably the best way to experience France short of actually going. With charm and insightful anecdotes about the Parisian and Provençal food-driven life, cookbook author Wells and her husband, Walter, artfully recreate their quarter-century–long courtship with flavorful France.
Your Scandalous Ways by Loretta Chase
What’s scandalous is that, I, unlike the protagonists in this novel, have never been to Venice. Spy, secret agent, and “retrieval expert” for the Crown, nobly born James Cordier is the best in the business, so getting some politically crucial letters from Francesca Bonnard, the most notorious courtesan in Europe, should be a simple task. But James hadn’t counted on Francesca’s being wary, smart, and incredibly desirable—or on his reaction to her. He also hadn’t counted on someone wanting her dead.
Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston
Hitting Italy again, you can read about the true story of Douglas Preston’s investigation of a old mystery that took place in his back yard – in Florence, Italy. He might have even proved that truth is stranger than fiction – except that his own fiction has things like mutant lizard men, or crazed scientists who try to make magic potions out of body parts. I’m just saying.
Apples are from Kazakhstan by Christopher Robbins
I don’t know how good of a travel spot Kazakhstan is, but why not? Closed to foreigners under Romanov and Soviet rule, Kazakhstan has remained largely hidden from the world. Few would guess that Kazakhstan turns out to be the country that gave the world apples, trousers, and even, perhaps, King Arthur.
Try the Pegasus Galaxy for another exotic locale (although as far as I’ve noticed, the awesome ocean view of the lost city of Atlantis comes with a worrisome side helping of space vampires, so maybe it’s best that we can’t go there in person). In the second season of this sci-fi adventure series, the Atlantis expedition has gotten back in contact with Earth, but there’s still plenty to worry about from the wraith.