Joanne’s Mystery Picks

the woman in cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

If you liked The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl then chances are you’ll like Ruth Ware’s latest.  Lo Blacklock is a journalist who writes for a travel magazine and has just been given the best assignment imaginable: a week on board a luxury cruise.  Feeling a bit fragile after being recently burgled, Lo is hoping that both the assignment and the atmosphere will help her regain her equilibrium.  

When Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard, yet all passengers and crew are accounted for when she reports the incident, her credibility is quickly questioned.  She’s determined to prove that she’s not mistaken and embarks on a dangerous path to find the truth of the matter.

Be prepared to share the tension, anxiety, paranoia and claustrophobia that Lo experiences as she searches for the answers to the questions: who was thrown overboard? And why?

4 Daggers
Joanne gives this “4 daggers out of 5”

Weekend Picks

Spooky Ed.

Here’s a few scary flicks picked fresh from the last frightening year in film.



After a family tragedy, a young American couple joins some friends at a midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that grow increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing.


A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.


Haunted by trauma from her past and compounded by a string of eerie coincidences, Adelaide grows increasingly certain that something bad is going to befall her family. After spending a tense beach day with their friends, Adelaide and her family return to their vacation home. When darkness falls, the Wilsons discover the silhouette of four figures holding hands as they stand in the driveway. The endearing American family faces doppelgängers of themselves.


The quiet life of devoted couple Red and Mandy takes a dark and bizarre turn when a nightmarish cult and their maniacal leader seek to possess Mandy, body and soul. A shocking assault on the innocent pair leads to a spiraling, surreal, bloody rampage of all out, mind-altering vengeance.


When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

A Quiet Place

A family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threatens their survival.

Pet Sematary

Louis Creed and his wife Rachel relocate with their two young children from Boston to rural Maine. The couple soon discovers a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbor Jud Crandall, setting off a perilous of events that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.



St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the Oct. 23, 2019 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Homes, a refugee storyHomes : a refugee story

By Winnie Yeung & Abu Bakr Al Rabeeah

A young boy recounts what it was like living in Syria during the civil war — the normal things like video games, sleepovers, and family jarringly juxtaposed with the constant threat of what could happen next. It also recounts both the gratefulness and the loneliness of the family’s immigration experience in Edmonton. The Oct. 27 StarFest event with the authors is sold out.


North-west is our motherThe North-West is our mother : The Story of Louis Riel’s People, the Metis Nation

By Jean Teillet

There is a missing chapter in the narrative of Canada’s Indigenous peoples–the story of the Métis Nation. Their story begins in the last decade of the eighteenth century in the Canadian North-West. Within forty years they were famous throughout North America for their military skills, their nomadic life and their buffalo hunts. Meet the author at our StarFest event on Oct. 28, 7 pm.

St. Albert Gazette Great Reading

Book picks as published in the Oct. 16, 2019 St. Albert Gazette. For more great reads, check here.

Chop Suey NationChop Suey Nation : the Legion Cafe and other stories from Canada’s Chinese restaurants

By Ann Hui

In 2016, Globe and Mail reporter Ann Hui drove across Canada to write about small-town Chinese restaurants and the families who run them. Using her own family’s story as a touchstone, she explores the importance of these quintessentially Canadian restaurants in the country’s history. The StarFest event with Ann Hui on Friday, Oct. 25 is sold out.


Moon of the crusted snowMoon of the crusted snow : a novel

By Waubgeshig Rice

A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice. With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. StarFest event tickets for Oct. 26 are still available!

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

The third sinThe Third Sin by Aline Templeton

When the body of a man is found in a car wreck on the Solway mud flats, it’s initially treated as an unfortunate accident.  That is until he’s identified as a man who was declared dead two years previously. DI Marjory (Big Marge) Fleming is called in to assist in the investigation, much to the chagrin of DI Len Harris who is relegated to following her lead.  

Her investigation finds that the dead man was part of a group called the Cyrenaics who believed that pleasure was the ultimate – until one of them died from an overdose.  The group disbanded, with some moving away, others disappearing, and one supposedly committing suicide. It is this last person who is now the center of their investigation.

Fleming and her team are tasked with investigating the recent death while having to review the case of the overdose death two years previously.  Their job is complicated enough without the constant hostility of Harris and his team who go as far as with-holding evidence with the aim of sabotaging the investigation.

A complicated case with complex characters leads to a whopping good mystery. Templeton is at the top of her game with this one.

5 Daggers
Joanne gives this “5 daggers out of 5”.