May 2022 Recommendations
The Last Duel dir. Ridley Scott
The Last Duel opens in Paris, France, 29 December, 1386, the 14th century. This story is based on true events. A young woman accuses a nobleman of a brutal assault, insists that she is telling the truth. The accused and the accuser’s husband must fight to the death. God is the final judge.
Available as a DVD at the Farmville Library.
In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund
Someone became a killer at Blackbrook Academy. Following a terrible storm and flood at a Maine prep-school, some students, including Orchid McKee, become trapped. Just as the storm seems to be over, the well-loved Headmaster, Boddy, is found murdered. Orchid, who has dark secrets of her own, and her classmates work to solve the mystery. Inspired by the 1949 board game CLUE, In the Hall with the Knife, is the first book in the Clue Mystery Series, by Diana Peterfreund.
Available in print at the Farmville Library.
The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward
The Last House on Needless Street is a gothic novel in the tradition of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Follow three very different narrators and piece together the mystery of Ted, his home, and the gods he’s made. This is the kind of thriller that simmers, relying on small details and distinct voices to lead you to the shocking truth.
Available in print at the Buckingham Library and as an e-book on Libby.
Last Night in Soho dir. by Edgar Wright
This movie is part period drama and part modern psychological thriller. A lonely young woman moves to London for university and becomes drawn into the life of Sandie, a young woman pursuing being a singer in 1960s Soho. In spite of the heavy subject matter, the movie is enthralling: it’s got cleverly filmed scenes, a great soundtrack, and the cast is perfect (especially the late Diana Rigg). I’m usually not a fan of thrillers, but the storytelling and aesthetics of Last Night in Soho really hit it out of the park.
Available as a DVD and BLU-RAY at the Farmville Library.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
If you enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy, you definitely want to pick up this prequel to the series. Set during the tenth annual Hunger Games, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, tells the story of an 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (the future President Snow). Assigned to be a mentor to the female tribute from District 12, Coriolanus believes his chances for success are minimal until he realizes that the tribute possesses a certain charm and hidden talents. As their lives become intertwined, Coriolanus must come to terms with his own morality and what it takes to gain control.
Available in print at the Buckingham and Farmville Libraries, as an e-book on Libby, and as an audiobook on Hoopla.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Good Omens is the joint venture of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett that tells the tale of an angel and a demon trying their best to prevent the antichrist from causing the apocalypse. While this may sound like it would be an action-packed adventure, this solidly falls in the category of comedy and satire as it tackles ideas of good and evil, consumerism, and other things all while taking itself not too seriously. It is a novel written by two British authors so some of the references were a bit different than the usual fare for what I read but none of them were obscure enough to fully dislodge me and would at most take a simple Google search to get me back on my way. All in all, I had a lot of fun reading it and recommend it to others as well. There is also a TV series based on the book if that is your preference and I look forward to watching that now that I have finished the book.
Available in print at the Hampden-Sydney Library and as an e-book and audiobook on Hoopla.
And Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helen Tursten
Take a short visit with 8-+ year old Maude, Swedish lady, as she reminisces of her early years prior to retiring from teaching foreign languages. Maude demonstrate her tenacity and resourcefulness protecting her elder sister, protecting Maude’s own financial future, and skillfully outmaneuvering questions from police detectives. Maude has a moral compass, it just doesn’t align with everyone!
Available in print at the Buckingham and Farmville Libraries and as an audiobook on Hoopla.