Clara Maynard's blog

Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death

I recently started watching a PBS Masterpiece Mystery series called The Grantchester Mysteries. The show was so charming that I decided to read some of the books. The TV series covers the first book in the series, Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. Canon Sidney Chambers is a young Anglican priest and his church is in the village of Grantchester, quite near Cambridge. He loves jazz, complicated women and solving crimes.

The Overlook

I’m continuing on with the Harry Bosch series. In The Overlook, Harry is called out to his first case since he joined the Homicide Special squad. Dr. Stanley Kent has been murdered and it looks like a terrorism case. Dr. Kent had access to medical radioactive substances, used to treat cancer patients. As the case unfolds, it looks like someone invaded his home, tied up his wife, and then sent threatening pictures to his phone. He was sent a message to retrieve the radioactive substances and bring them to the Mulholland Drive overlook, or else his wife was going to be killed. Now his body is lying there and Harry has to figure it out. Of course, the FBI is involved, and Harry’s former lover, Rachel Walling, is one of the FBI agents he has to work with. I enjoyed reading about Harry and his struggles. I wasn’t surprised upon finding out who the murderer was, but I enjoyed the story. 

Cover of The Overlook


A great time!

Friends enjoying the party


The Friends of the Barbara Bush Library had their annual meeting this past Monday. Out new officers were announced, the new budget was accepted and volunteer awards were handed out. Our director, Edward Melton, spoke about the future of the library and the exciting new opportunities coming our way. Everyone had a great time! Special congratulations to Charlotte Moore, Community Volunteer of the Year, shown receiving her award. 

Charlotte Moore


Beautiful Art and Writing

picture of Margie Crisp


Recently, we held our Pen and Paintbrush Book Discussion. This is done three times a year, in partnership with the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Art. We discuss a book related to the current art exhibit and then view the art. For this session, Margie Crisp, author and artist, was there to discuss her book River of Contrasts. She traveled the Colorado River, and wrote about the landscape and the people she encountered. Her illustrations are scattered throughout the book and it is wonderful. I highly recommend checking out a copy. We were able to hear from Margie about the creative process and how she recorded her observations and thoughts with both art and writing. The we enjoyed the exhibit which featured works by Margie and other Texas artists. 


Murder Past Due

Murder Past Due is the first entry in the Cat in The Stacks mystery series. It has a librarian, who owns a Cat and solves mysteries. How could I resist this? Normally, I read procedurals and “darker” mystery novels, but once in a while, I like to read a cozy mystery. The hero is Charlie Harris who has recently relocated to his hometown of Athena, Mississippi. Charlie works at the local library and owns a Mane Coon tabby named Diesel who is a major character in the book. Godfrey Priest, big time author and home town boy, returns to give a speech. However, it is not long before he is killed and Charles and Diesel start to work on solving the mystery. This is a nice relaxing read and I enjoyed it very much. I’ll be checking out the other books in the series. 

Murder Past Due cover


The Fugitive

I had to make a long road trip so I grabbed The Fugitive to listen to on the way. I had been meaning to try one of Margolin’s books for a while. Although it was predictable in spots, it was entertaining and suspenseful. Charlie Marsh fled the US twelve years ago when he was accused of murder. He’s been living in the African country of Batanga, but has gotten in trouble with the mad, violent dictator of the country. Seems he doesn’t appreciate Charlie sleeping with his favorite wife. Figuring facing trail in the US is better than being tortured in the basement of the dictator’s house, Charlie comes back and turns himself into the District Attorney. Beforehand though, he promises World News magazine an exclusive interview as long as they arrange legal representation. Amanda Jaffe, young lawyer, is ready to take on the case. But there’s a lot of danger and suspense along the way. 

cover of The Fugitive


Teen Council members needed!

Do you like to attend teen programs at the library? Do you like volunteering and helping your community? Then we have an opportunity for you! We are looking for teens to join our new Teen Council. Call 281-376-4610 or e-mail for more info.

picture of teenagers


Hush Hush

Just finished reading Laura Lippman's newest book, Hush Hush. This is the newest in her series of Tess Monaghan mysteries. Tess is now a new mom and trying to juggle detective work and her family's hectic schedule. Her mentor, lawyer Tyner Gray, calls her in to do security for a old friend. This old friend, Melisandre Harris Dawes, locked her baby in a car and sat outside under a tree while the infant died. She was found not guilty by reason of insanity and admits that she was insane then. But now, 15 years later, she's back and wants to be reunited with her surviving daughters. Tess is torn between sympathy and suspicion towards this new client. 

cover of Hush Hush

Space City Slam

Space City Slam, presented by Writers in Schools, was here on Saturday, March 7. Teenagers came in and signed up to compete by reading their original poems and raps. There was a panel of judges and  participants were ranked on their writing, creativity, and delivery. There were a lot of talented young people. And between poets, we had a DJ playing some great music. It wasn't always easy to get up in front of an audience and share your thoughts and feelings but all of the poets did so. The winners advance to semi-finals and could wind up going all the way to the international event, held in Atlanta, Georgia later this year. We hope to make this an annual event as it was so much fun!

The audience and judgesThe winners








The Forgers

When I read The Forgers by Bradford Morrow, I expected something along the lines of John Dunning’s Bookman series, a bit light hearted, with lots of insight into the rare book collecting industry. This was a bit different, slow moving, but with lots of character development and psychological insights. It starts off with a man, Adam Diehl, dying slowly in the hospital after a brutal attack. It seems Adam was a forger, something his sister, Meghan, struggles to deal with. Her boyfriend, Will, tries to help her but he himself has secrets.   

cover of The Forgers


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