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October 2, Come Meet Four Local Mystery Authors: Jason Pinter, Peggy Ehrhart, Erica Obey, and Tim O’Mara!

22 Sep

October 2 is the library’s 131 birthday and if you are a mystery fan you won’t want to miss the Hoboken Public Library’s Pumpkin and Pages Festival Celebration from 11 am- 4 pm in Church Square Park across from the library.  You can meet the authors in our Local Author Tent in Church Square Park, and they will be presenting booktalks or readings throughout the day! You can borrow their books from BCCLS Libraries!

Jason Pinter
Jason Pinter is the award-winning and bestselling author of eight mystery/thrillers, including  A Stranger at the Door and Hide Away. He also wrote the children’s book Miracle. HE WILL PRESENT A BOOKTALK IN THE LARGE TENT @ 2:00 PM.

Peggy Ehrhart
Peggy Ehrhart is the author of Knitty Gritty Murder, the 7th book in the Knit & Nibble mystery series. She also published two music-themed mysteries with Five Star Books. She is a former English professor with a doctorate in Medieval Literature. BOOKTALK  IN LOCAL AUTHORS TENT @ 11 AM.

Erica Obey
Erica Obey is the author of Dazzlepaint as well as four other historical and paranormal novels set in Hudson Valley, including the award-winning The Curse of the Braddock Brides. She is also working on a contemporary cozy series featuring a Hudson Valley librarian and her AI sidekick. BOOKTALK IN LOCAL AUTHORS TENT @ 3 PM.

Tim O’Mara
Tim O’Mara is the author of five ex-NYPD cop turned schoolteacher Raymond Donne novels, including The Hook, Nasty Cutter and  Dead Red.  He also edited Down to the River, a collection of river-based crime stories. BOOKTALK  IN LOCAL AUTHORS TENT @ 12:30 PM.

Also featured in the local author tent will be romance authors: Miriam Allenson, Victoria Jayne, Carol Van Den Hende, and Jennifer Wilck.   

Robert Anthony Gibbons, Lynne Shapiro, Carrie Magness Radna, and Danny Shot are local poets who will be reading their poetry. 

And we will have Children’s Authors Timothy Becker, Raakhee Mirchandani, and Patricia Ann Keeler joining us! 

Written by:
Ethan Gavin and Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Librarians

A Richly Detailed Historical Novel: Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

21 Jul

Since my mother’s ancestors date back to John Alden, a crew member on the historic 1620 Mayflower voyage, I’ve always been fascinated, as a Mayflower descendant, by the history of the Pilgrims as well as with their customs and lifestyle. Therefore, when I came across Chris Bohjalian’s enthralling new historical novel Hour of the Witch, I was inspired to read it, because of my proud New England roots and my penchant for Puritan history.

Set in 17th century early Boston, Bohjalian’s engrossing new novel focuses on the Puritans as they establish themselves in the new world and develop a strict set of values, beliefs, and laws. Mary Deerfield is a young and feisty Puritan woman who has married Thomas, an older man, who is not only an alcoholic, but is physically and verbally abusive. Unfortunately, she has not been able to bear him any children, so he berates her for failing as a wife.

Mary is faithful and resourceful but fears the demons that plague her soul. So, she plots her escape from a violent and unfortunate marriage. During a drunken rage, however, Thomas drives a three-tined fork, a symbol of the devil, into the back of her hand. She then resolves that she must divorce Thomas to save her life. During this time, however, divorce is highly uncommon and only raises suspicion by her neighbors and the townsfolk that she is probably an unfit wife with a tainted soul.

Naturally, her petition for a divorce is not granted and she is forced to continue with her unhappy marriage to a cruel and violent man. As she attempts to come to terms with this defeat, their jealous servant girl, with eyes for Thomas, accuses Mary of witchcraft, when she discovers a three-tined fork and a pestle, engraved with the wicked fork, in Mary’s apron. Now Mary must endure a harrowing trial, reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials, where she must defend herself and her very character. She must now not only fight to escape her marriage, but also the gallows.

Bohjalian’s twisting and tightly plotted story is filled with a riveting cast of characters and richly detailed history about the early Puritans. The dark and sinister second half of the book kept me spellbound and rooting for Mary’s vindication and freedom. She is truly an intelligent, well rounded, and respectable woman ahead of her times and readers will identify with her and sympathize with her plight. The story’s surprise ending, certainly caught me off guard, and gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

You can borrow it in print from BCCLS libraries or as an ebook from elibraryNJ or eBCCLS as an ebook.

Written by:
Ethan Galvin
Reference Librarian

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