Archive | July, 2013

1930’s Mysteries

8 Jul

Get the lowdown on three snazzy mysteries series, written by contemporary authors set in the 1930’s.  Even if you don’t know squat about the time period, you’ll still have a swell time reading them this summer.

Royal Spyness Mysteries

Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness series, set in 1930s London, features Lady Georgiana Rannoch. Thirty-fifth in line for the throne, but despite her royal connections suffers from a lack of funds, but not a lack of spirit.  The supporting characters include her film star mother, possible spy and Georgie’s sometimes beau Darcy, and her cockney grandfather, all who have quirky charm.  Although sometimes not the most historically accurate (her Romania in Royal Blood seems more drawn from depictions in Dracula films than the actual place), the books still are engaging and are a great Summer read.  There are six books in the series so far and the latest book, Heirs and Graces is scheduled to be released at the beginning of August.

royal spyness

Her Royal Spyness – 1st book in the series

The Darling Dahlias
Susan Wittig Albert’s The Darling Dahlias series is also set during the tough time of the 1930s and features a spunky heroine, but has a totally different feel with their focus on a set of close friends who live in the Southern United States.  The series title comes from a gardening club in Darling, Alabama that the central characters are members of.  There are currently three books in the series: The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree, The Darling Dahlias and the Naked Ladies, and The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose.  The Darling Dahlias and the Texas Star is scheduled for the beginning of September and Whitting is currently working on The Darling Dahlias and the Silver Dollar Bush.  Albert has clearly spent a great deal of effort researching the period and the reader will feel truly transported back in time.  I am also a fan of Albert’s Victorian-Edwardian Mysteries series written with her husband under the pen name Robin Paige.


The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree – 1st book in the series

The Marjorie McClelland Mysteries
The Marjorie McClelland Mysteries by Amy Patricia Meade are set in the mid 1930’s in Connecticut and star mystery writer, Marjorie McClelland.   The series includes four books: Million Dollar Baby, Ghost of a Chance, Shadow Waltz, and Black MoonlightMillion Dollar Baby features an intriguing mystery as well as witty banter between Marjorie and British aristocrat Creighton Ashcroft, who Marjorie finds both attractive and the insufferable.  A local detective also catches Marjorie’s eye.  Readers who enjoy a bit of romance with their mystery will enjoy Meade’s work and will be reading to learn the outcome of the love triangle as much as to learn the identity of the murderer.


Million Dollar Baby – 1st book in the series

– Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Three of my favorite Bands to Hear Live (that Hoboken Library Card Holders can Listen to for Free on Freegal)

1 Jul

I love seeing live music, but life often gets in the way of going to as many shows as I would like.  But it only takes a few seconds to log on and download music from Freegal.  Freegal is a service available to Hoboken Public Library Resident Card Holders.  You can download up to three free songs per week.   The songs are permanently yours once you have downloaded them.   It is a great resource for finding songs from popular musicians such as Beyoncé and Adele, when there is a long waiting list for their CDs at the library.  I listen to a lot of Goth and Industrial music and some of it can be hard to find, but Freegal has a variety of artists available in even hard to find genres and international musicians.  So take a peek and download some music!



The Cruxshadows are a Goth band originally from Florida.  I have seen them numerous times live including at clubs in NY,  the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention DragonCon in Atlanta (which they perform at yearly), and even on the Gothic Cruise in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  No matter what the venue they are at the Cruxshadows always put on amazing show.  Rogue, the lead singer, is energetic and will often wander through the audience.  At one performance, he hung off a balcony above the crowd.  He is also probably one of the nicest musicians you will ever meet and always makes time for his fans.  Their lyrics are thoughtful and often mix in mythological reference such as the Orpheus myth.  Their songs also have good beats for dancing and several of their singles have been number one on the Billboard U.S. Hot Dance Singles Sales Chart.   When I lived in Boston, Marilyn, My Bitterness was played constantly at ManRay, the local Cambridge Goth club.  Hoboken Public Library Card Holders can download it and other songs from their album Telemetry of a Fallen Angel (one of my favorites) on Freegal.


The Cello Rock Band Rasputina is my favorite live band.  Their lyrics are quirky and range from topics like the historic year without a winter, to mayflies, to ice hotels.  The habit of wearing Victorian Undergarments such as pantaloons and corsets onstage adds to their whimsy.  The main force behind Rasputina is cellist, Melora Creager, though I have also enjoyed solo cello performances by some of the musicians that have been part of the band through the year including Zoe Keating and Erica Mulkey (of Unwoman).  I have seen Rasputina over a half dozen times in a variety of venues, but my favorite shows will always be the ones at the sadly soon to be closed Maxwell’s here in Hoboken, where due to the short height of the stage and the necessarily seated position of musicians playing cellos the audience was always asked to sit on the floor, which gave the show an added surreal feel reminding me of elementary school assemblies in the gymnasium.  Since Creager lives in New York, the band plays frequently in this area.  But even if you don’t make it out to one of their shows, you can sample songs including my favorite, The New Zero, from three of Rasputina’s albums on Freegal including Thanks for the Ether, Transylvanian Regurgitations, and How We Quit the Forest.

VNV Nation

VNV Nation
VNV Nation is one of my husband’s favorite Industrial/EBM bands.  I saw them once opening up for Apoptygma Berzerk and then several years later headlining with And One opening for them.  The Irish/English Duo of Ronan Harris and Mark Jackson are now based in Germany, but they tour frequently so although they currently have no local dates scheduled, you may have the opportunity to see them in the future.  With meaningful lyrics, a great stage presence, and a sound that ranges from upbeat danceable tracks to ballads, they are definitely worth checking out.  Songs from Of Faith, Power And Glory (including my favorite song Tomorrow Never Comes) and Reformation 01 are available from Freegal.

– Aimee Harris, Reference Librarian

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