The West Des Moines Public Library is partnering with the Polk County Health Department to be a pick-up location for free gun locks. Patrons do not need to have a library card in order to pick up a free gun lock at the Accounts and Checkout Desk or Children's Desk.
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Mrs. Plansky's Revenge
Mrs. Plansky's Revenge is bestselling author Spencer Quinn's first novel in a new series since the meteoric launch of Chet and Bernie--introducing the irresistible and unforgettable Mrs. Plansky, in a story perfect for book clubs and commercial fiction readers.
Mrs. Loretta Plansky, a recent widow in her seventies, is settling into retirement in Florida while dealing with her 98-year-old father and fielding requests for money from her beloved children and grandchildren. Thankfully, her new hip hasn’t changed her killer tennis game one bit.
One night Mrs. Plansky is startled awake by a phone call from a voice claiming to be her grandson Will, who desperately needs ten thousand dollars to get out of a jam. Of course, Loretta obliges—after all, what are grandmothers for, even grandmothers who still haven’t gotten a simple “thank you” for a gift sent weeks ago. Not that she's counting.
By morning, Mrs. Plansky has lost everything. Law enforcement announces that Loretta's life savings have vanished, and that it’s hopeless to find the scammers behind the heist. First humiliated, then furious, Loretta Plansky refuses to be just another victim.
In a courageous bid for justice, Mrs. Plansky follows her only clue on a whirlwind adventure to a small village in Romania to get her money and her dignity back—and perhaps find a new lease on life, too.
Added by Ann R.
Pink Lemonade Cake Murder
Fans of deliciously charming, page-turning whodunits rejoice! Beloved New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Culinary Mystery Joanne Fluke delivers the twenty-eighth mouthwatering Hannah Swensen Mystery!
The Tri-County Summer Solstice Celebration has come to town, and even among local artisans, athletes, and marching bands, Hannah attracts fans of her own while serving lip-smacking pink lemonade desserts. But the mood sours when a body turns up, leading revelers to wonder if the festivities mark both the longest day of the year and the deadliest . . .
A retired professional MLB player has met a terrifying end--and, considering the rumors swirling about his past, the list of suspects could fill a small stadium. Among them could soon be Delores, Hannah's mother, who publicly held a grunge against the victim after he infamously dunked her in the tank at a previous county fair . . .
Now, with her mother's innocence on the line, a life-changing announcement at The Cookie Jar, and a plethora of desserts to bake, Hannah can't afford to strike out as she begins a dangerous investigation into the ruthless killer who's truly in a league of their own . . .
Features Over a Dozen Cookie and Dessert Recipes from The Cookie Jar!
Added by Ann R.
#1 INTERNATIONAL BEST SELLER • A serial killer is spinning a sinister web and Detectives Joona Linna and Saga Bauer are caught dead center.
This pulse-pounding descent into the chilling world of The Spider is another shocking thriller in the Killer Instinct series.
Three years ago, Detective Saga Bauer received an ominous postcard describing a gun and nine white bullets—one of which was intended for her partner, Detective Joona Linna. The sender alleged that Saga was the only person who could save him. But as time passed, the threat faded.
A sack with a decomposing body has been found hanging from a tree in the forest. A milky white bullet casing turns up at the scene. When the body count begins to rise, the police realize that the killer is sending riddles, offering them the chance to stop the murders before they happen. But the police always seem to arrive a moment too late. As they begin to close in, the case becomes more and more tangled: someone is spinning a fiendishly intricate web, pulling Joona ever closer to a trap he may not be able to escape. The Spider is shocking and exhilarating in a way only Lars Kepler could accomplish.
Added by Ann R.
Death in Print
A celebration in Oxford for university tutor and bestselling author Jason Verdoot, attended by DCI St. Just and his fiancée Portia, is a night to remember . . . for all the wrong reasons.
University of Oxford tutor and bestselling author Jason Verdoodt has it all: acclaim, women, money . . . and an enemy or two. When he's found dead at the bottom of the stairs during a celebratory reception at St Rumwold's College, many wonder if seething jealousy of his literary success has turned someone's mind to murder.
Detective Chief Inspector Arthur St. Just becomes inescapably drawn into an investigation that takes him down the historic streets of Oxford and into the hallowed halls of its university. Alongside his fiancée, crime fiction writer Portia De'Ath, he uncovers several motives for murdering the celebrated but insufferable Jason - whose next novel may be a threat to many in his orbit - and no shortage of suspects who are nursing a grudge from the first novel. Has someone decided to write revenge into the plot?
Added by Ann R.
New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman tells the story of Amber Glass, desperately trying to get away from her tabloid past but compulsively drawn back to the city of her youth and the prom date who destroyed everything she was reaching for.
Amber Glass has spent her entire adult life putting as much distance as possible between her and her hometown of Baltimore, where she fears she will forever be known as "Prom Mom"--the girl who allegedly killed her baby on the night of the prom after her date, Joe Simpson, abandoned her to pursue the girl he really liked. But when circumstances bring Amber back to the city, she realizes she can have a second chance--as long as she stays away from Joe, now a successful commercial real estate developer, married to a plastic surgeon, Meredith, to whom he is devoted.
The problem is, Amber can't stay away from Joe. And Joe finds that it's increasingly hard for him to ignore Amber, if only because she remembers the boy he was and the man he said he was going to be. Against the surreal backdrop of 2020 and early 2021, the two are slowly drawn to each other and eventually cross the line they've been trying not to cross.
And then Joe asks Amber to help him do the unthinkable . . . and she must decide if she is willing to let their toxic and dangerous past repeat itself.
Added by Ann R.
Flags on the Bayou
From New York Times-bestselling author James Lee Burke comes a novel set in Civil War-era Louisiana as the South transforms and a brilliant cast of characters - enslaved and free women, plantation gentry, and battle-weary Confederate and Union soldiers - are caught in the maelstrom
In the fall of 1863, the Union army is in control of the Mississippi river. Much of Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is occupied. The Confederate army is retreating toward Texas, and being replaced by Red Legs, irregulars commanded by a maniacal figure, and enslaved men and women are beginning to glimpse freedom.
When Hannah Laveau, an enslaved woman working on the Lufkin plantation, is accused of murder, she goes on the run with Florence Milton, an abolitionist schoolteacher, dodging the local constable and the slavecatchers that prowl the bayous. Wade Lufkin, haunted by what he observed--and did--as a surgeon on the battlefield, has returned to his uncle's plantation to convalesce, where he becomes enraptured by Hannah. Flags on the Bayou is an engaging, action-packed narrative that includes a duel that ends in disaster, a brutal encounter with the local Union commander, repeated skirmishes with Confederate irregulars led by a diseased and probably deranged colonel, and a powerful story of love blossoming between an unlikely pair. As the story unfolds, it illuminates a past that reflects our present in sharp relief.
James Lee Burke, whose "evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder" (Entertainment Weekly), expertly renders the rich Louisiana landscape, from the sunsets on the Mississippi River to the dingy saloons of New Orleans to the tree-lined shores of the bayou and the cottonmouth snakes that dwell in its depths. Powerful and deeply moving, Flags on the Bayou is a story of tragic acts of war, class divisions upended, and love enduring through it all.
Added by Ann R.
From the award-winning master of crime fiction, Denise Mina re-imagines the "Bonfire of the Vanities,” a series of fires lit throughout Florence at the end of the fifteenth century—inspired by the fanatical Girolamo Savonarola.
Girolamo Savonarola was a Dominican friar living in Florence at the end of the fifteenth century. An anti-corruption campaigner, his hellfire preaching increasingly spilled over into tirades against all luxuries that tempted his followers toward sin. These sermons led to the infamous "Bonfire of the Vanities”—a series of fires lit throughout Florence for the incineration of everything from books, extravagant clothing, playing cards, musical instruments, make-up, and mirrors to paintings, tapestries, and sculptures.
Railing against the vice and avarice of the ruling Medici family, he was instrumental in their removal from power—and for a short time became the puritanical leader of the city. After turning his attention to corruption within the Catholic Church, he was first excommunicated and then executed by a combination of hanging and being burned at the stake.
Just as in Rizzio—her latest novel with Pegasus Crime—Denise Mina brings a modern take to this fascinating historical story, drawing parallels between the febrile atmosphere of medieval Florence and the culture wars of the present day. In dramatizing the life and last days of Savonarola, she explores the downfall of the original architect of cancel culture and, in the process, explores the never-ending tensions between wealth, inequality, and freedom of speech that so dominate our modern world.
Added by Ann R.
The Last Ranger
The best-selling author of The River returns with a vibrant, lyrical novel about an enforcement ranger in Yellowstone National Park who likes wolves better than most people. When a clandestine range war threatens his closest friend, he must shake off his own losses and act swiftly to discover the truth and stay alive.
“A good story that’s intertwined like leaves afloat in a river with the current of Heller’s descriptive powers… Filled with Heller’s lush writing… Powerful.” –Denver Post
Officer Ren Hopper is an enforcement ranger with the National Park Service, tasked with duties both mundane and thrilling: Breaking up fights at campgrounds, saving clueless tourists from moose attacks, and attempting to broker an uneasy peace between the wealthy vacationers who tromp through the park with cameras, and the residents of hardscrabble Cooke City who want to carve out a meaningful living.
When Ren, hiking through the backcountry on his day off, encounters a tall man with a dog and a gun chasing a small black bear up a hill, his hackles are raised. But what begins as an investigation into the background of a local poacher soon opens into something far murkier: A shattered windshield, a series of red ribbons tied to traps, the discovery of a frightening conspiracy, and a story of heroism gone awry.
Populated by a cast of extraordinary characters—famous scientists, tattooed bartenders, wildlife guides in slick Airstreams—and bursting with unexpected humor and grace, Peter Heller masterfully unveils a portrait of the American west where our very human impulses—for greed, love, family, and community—play out amidst the stunning beauty of the natural world.
Added by Ann R.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning Colson Whitehead continues his Harlem saga in a powerful and hugely-entertaining novel that summons 1970s New York in all its seedy glory.
It’s 1971. Trash piles up on the streets, crime is at an all-time high, the city is careening towards bankruptcy, and a shooting war has broken out between the NYPD and the Black Liberation Army. Amidst this collective nervous breakdown furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney tries to keep his head down and his business thriving. His days moving stolen goods around the city are over. It’s strictly the straight-and-narrow for him — until he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter May and he decides to hit up his old police contact Munson, fixer extraordinaire. But Munson has his own favors to ask of Carney and staying out of the game gets a lot more complicated – and deadly.
1973. The counter-culture has created a new generation, the old ways are being overthrown, but there is one constant, Pepper, Carney’s endearingly violent partner in crime. It’s getting harder to put together a reliable crew for hijackings, heists, and assorted felonies, so Pepper takes on a side gig doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem. He finds himself in a freaky world of Hollywood stars, up-and-coming comedians, and celebrity drug dealers, in addition to the usual cast of hustlers, mobsters, and hit men. These adversaries underestimate the seasoned crook – to their regret.
1976. Harlem is burning, block by block, while the whole county is gearing up for Bicentennial celebrations. Carney is trying to come up with a July 4th ad he can live with. ("Two Hundred Years of Getting Away with It!"), while his wife Elizabeth is campaigning for her childhood friend, the former assistant D.A and rising politician Alexander Oakes. When a fire severely injures one of Carney’s tenants, he enlists Pepper to look into who may be behind it. Our crooked duo have to battle their way through a crumbling metropolis run by the shady, the violent, and the utterly corrupted.
CROOK MANIFESTO is a darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. Colson Whitehead’s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of the all-time great evocations of a place and a time.
Added by Ann R.
In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America's finest writers.
"Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature." --The Guardian
A Reese's Book Club Pick
In the spring of 2020, Lara's three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.
Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.
Added by Ann R.
The First Ladies
The Instant New York Times Bestseller!
A novel about the extraordinary partnership between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune—an unlikely friendship that changed the world, from the New York Times bestselling authors of the Good Morning America Book Club pick The Personal Librarian.
The daughter of formerly enslaved parents, Mary McLeod Bethune refuses to back down as white supremacists attempt to thwart her work. She marches on as an activist and an educator, and as her reputation grows she becomes a celebrity, revered by titans of business and recognized by U.S. Presidents. Eleanor Roosevelt herself is awestruck and eager to make her acquaintance. Initially drawn together because of their shared belief in women’s rights and the power of education, Mary and Eleanor become fast friends confiding their secrets, hopes and dreams—and holding each other’s hands through tragedy and triumph.
When Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected president, the two women begin to collaborate more closely, particularly as Eleanor moves toward her own agenda separate from FDR, a consequence of the devastating discovery of her husband’s secret love affair. Eleanor becomes a controversial First Lady for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights. And when she receives threats because of her strong ties to Mary, it only fuels the women’s desire to fight together for justice and equality.
This is the story of two different, yet equally formidable, passionate, and committed women, and the way in which their singular friendship helped form the foundation for the modern civil rights movement.
Added by Ann R.
Girlfriend on Mars
Amber Kivinen is moving to Mars. Or at least, she will be if she wins a chance to join MarsNow. She and twenty-three reality TV contestants from around the world--including attractive Israeli soldier Adam, endearing fellow Canadian Pichu, and an assortment of science nerds and wannabe influencers--are competing for two seats on the first human-led mission to Mars, sponsored by billionaire Geoff Task.
Meanwhile Kevin, Amber's boyfriend of fourteen years, was content going nowhere until Amber left him--and their hydroponic weed business--behind. As he tends to (and smokes) the plants growing in their absurdly overpriced Vancouver basement apartment, Kevin tunes in to find out why the love of his life is so determined to leave the planet with somebody else. On screen, Amber competes in globe-trotting, Survivor-meets-Star Trek challenges and seems like she might be falling for Adam. But is that real, or is it just a tactic to keep from being voted off? And since the technology to come home doesn't exist yet, would Amber really leave everything behind to be a billionaire's Martian guinea pig? Sure, the rainforest is burning, Geoff Task has bought New Zealand, and Kevin might be a little depressed, but isn't there some hope left for life on Earth?
An audacious debut from "a dazzlingly smart and strikingly original writer" (Molly Antopol), Girlfriend on Mars is at once a satirical indictment of our pursuit of fame and wealth amidst environmental crisis, and an exploration of humanity's deepest longing, greatest quest, and most enduring cliché love.
Added by Ann R.
“A juicy story…Simmers with tension as secrets explode out into the open.” —The Washington Post * “So alluring…I raced happily through the pages.” —The New York Times Book Review * “An absolutely captivating read.” —Elin Hilderbrand * “Gorgeously told…The work of a seasoned and wonderfully wise storyteller.” —Paula McLain
From the author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game comes a riveting novel about Cape Cod, complicated families, and long-buried secrets—for fans of the New York Times bestsellers The Paper Palace and Ask Again, Yes.
Ken and Abby Gardner lost their mother when they were small and they have been haunted by her absence ever since. Their father, Adam, a brilliant oceanographer, raised them mostly on his own in his remote home on Cape Cod, where the attachment between Ken and Abby deepened into something complicated—and as adults their relationship is strained. Now, years later, the siblings’ lives are still deeply entwined. Ken is a successful businessman with political ambitions and a picture-perfect family and Abby is a talented visual artist who depends on her brother’s goodwill, in part because he owns the studio where she lives and works.
As the novel opens, Adam is approaching his seventieth birthday, staring down his mortality and fading relevance. He has always managed his bipolar disorder with medication, but he’s determined to make one last scientific breakthrough and so he has secretly stopped taking his pills, which he knows will infuriate his children. Meanwhile, Abby and Ken are both harboring secrets of their own, and there is a new person on the periphery of the family—Steph, who doesn’t make her connection known. As Adam grows more attuned to the frequencies of the deep sea and less so to the people around him, Ken and Abby each plan the elaborate gifts they will present to their father on his birthday, jostling for primacy in this small family unit.
Set in the fraught summer of 2016, and drawing on the biblical tale of Cain and Abel, Little Monsters is an absorbing, sharply observed family story by a writer who knows Cape Cod inside and out—its Edenic lushness and its snakes.
Added by Ann R.
Return to Valetto
A Must-Read at The New York Post, BookPage, and The Christian Science Monitor
“A story of love, loss, and the enduring power of hope. I was transfixed from page one.” ―Lara Prescott, New York Times bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept
From the bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, Dominic Smith’s Return to Valetto tells of a nearly abandoned Italian village, the family that stayed, and long-buried secrets from World War II.
On a hilltop in Umbria sits Valetto. Once a thriving village that survived centuries of earthquakes and landslides and became a hub of resistance and refuge during World War II, it has since been nearly abandoned, as residents sought better lives elsewhere. Only ten remain, including the widows Serafino—three eccentric sisters and their steely centenarian mother—who live quietly in their medieval villa. Then their nephew and grandson, Hugh, a historian, returns.
But someone else has arrived before him, laying claim to the cottage where Hugh spent his childhood summers. The unwelcome guest is the captivating and no-nonsense Elisa Tomassi, who asserts that the family patriarch, Aldo Serafino, a resistance fighter whom her own family harbored, gave the cottage to them in gratitude. But like so many threads of history, this revelation unravels a secret—a betrayal, a disappearance, and an unspeakable act of violence—that has affected Valetto across generations. Who will answer for the crimes of the past?
Dominic Smith’s Return to Valetto is a riveting journey into one family’s dark past, a page-turning excavation of the ruins of history, and a probing look at our commitment to justice in a fragile world. It is also a deeply human and transporting testament to the possibility of love and understanding across gaps of all kinds—even time.
Added by Ann R.
Palm Reading for Beginners
Your spiritual journey is in your hands—the essential guide to palm reading
What if the answers you've been looking for are right there, in the palm of your hand? If you're a novice to the practice of palmistry and want to dive deep into this alluring subject, Palm Reading for Beginners will show you how to look through a window into your past, present, and future presented in one single, universal language—our hands.
From improving mental clarity to understanding your own potential, this book combines all the core principles of this ancient art. Learn to analyze the lines and mounts of the palm, hand movements and shapes, and patterns of fingerprints to put them together and apply meaning to everyday life.
Palm Reading for Beginners interesting tidbits include:
- Profound and relatable—The how-to information is in-depth, thorough, and easy-to-understand making your palm reading journey easy.
- Invaluable insight—Use these essential palm reading methods to not only examine a hand but interpret what you see.
- Illuminating illustrations—The clear and concise drawings make it that much easier for you to perfect the practice.
With Palm Reading for Beginners, you'll see your life in ways you never thought possible.
Edited by Kate