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By Robin Helenthal
The Lost Man by Jane Harper is set in the Australian outback where three brothers live three hours apart on cattle ranches in an isolated belt of Australia and were one another’s nearest neighbors. Nathan and Bub the oldest and youngest meet for the first time in months at the remote fence that separated their ranches and where they find their middle brother Cameron dead. What caused Cameron the middle son, who ran the family homestead, to go out in the unrelenting sun alone? When Nathan, Bub and Nathan’s son return to the homestead to grieve Cameron’s loss with his wife, daughters, and mother as well as a long-time employee and a couple of recently hired seasonal workers, Nathan becomes suspicious. He starts to look into secrets that the rest of the family would rather be left in the past. If someone forced Cameron to his death, being in the isolated outback leaves very few suspects.
Chocolate Cream Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke is the latest in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series. When The Cookie Jar is chosen as the setting for a TV special about movies filmed in Minnesota, Hannah hopes to get some great publicity for the bakery, not the scandal that is swirling around her personal life. She has gone from an idealistic newlywed to a betrayed wife in just a matter of weeks. First she has an unsettling visit from the person that she had believed was her true love, then she has a group of bodyguards following her every move and a murder victim is found in her bedroom. Hannah and an old flame team up to solve the case of a killer sneaking around Lake Eden.
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella begins as a good-looking stranger asks Fixie Farr to watch his laptop for a minute in a coffee shop. She agrees and in the process saves the computer from certain disaster. When the computer’s owner Sebastian returns, he writes her an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie lives by her late father’s motto of “family first” and has been running the family housewares store since her father passed away while all her siblings have left. If she doesn’t take care of the store, who will? When her childhood crush Ryan comes back into her life, his lack of a job does not sit well with Fixie, so she asks Sebastian to give him a job. This begins a series of IOUs between Sebastian and Fixie, some are small favors and some are life changing. Soon Fixie, who is Ms. Fixit, has to decide what she really wants. Will she finally make a stand and do what she really wants?
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