Cozy up with mystery where there might be a murder, but not always bloody mayhem.

“Heart of Barkness” by Spencer Quinn. Chet the dog and P.I. Bernie encounter heartache and much worse in the world of country music. They’re both music lovers, so when Lotty Pilgrim, a country singer from long ago, turns up at a local bar, they drive out to catch her act. Bernie’s surprised to see someone who was once so big performing in such a dive and drops a C-note the Little Detective Agency can’t afford to part with into the tip jar. The C-note is stolen right from under their noses — even from under Chet’s, the nose that misses nothing. Soon they’re working the most puzzling case of their career, a case that takes them back in time in search of old border-town secrets, and into present-day danger where powerful people want those secrets to stay hidden. Chet and Bernie find themselves sucked into a real-life murder ballad where there is no one to trust but each other.

“Raspberry Danish Murder” by Joanne Fluke. Thanksgiving has a way of thawing the frostiest hearts in Lake Eden. But that won’t be happening for newlywed Hannah Swensen Barton, not after her husband suddenly disappears. Hannah has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar. Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband’s assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it. But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross’s car and using his desk at work, is murdered. Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge? Hannah will have to quickly sift through a cornucopia of clues and suspects to stop a killer from bringing another murder to the table.

“Silver Anniversary Murder” by Leslie Meier. As Tinker’s Cove, Maine, buzzes over a town-wide silver wedding anniversary bash, Lucy is reminded of her nuptials and ponders the whereabouts of Beth Gerard, her strong-willed maid of honor. Lucy never would have made it down the aisle without Beth’s help, and although the two friends lost touch over the years, she decides to reach out. It only takes one phone call for Lucy to realize that a reunion will happen sooner than later — at Beth’s funeral. Beth, who was in the process of finalizing her fourth divorce, had a reputation for living on the edge, but no one can believe she would jump off a penthouse terrace in New York City. The more Lucy learns about Beth’s former husbands, the more she suspects one of them committed murder. Summoning her friend’s impulsive spirit, Lucy vows to scour New York from the Bronx to the Brooklyn Bridge in search of the killer. With each ex dodgier than the last, it’s not long before Lucy’s investigation leads her to a desperate criminal who will do anything to get away, even if it means silencing another victim.

CHASKA LIBRARY

Tails for Reading: 10:30 to noon, Saturday, Dec. 14. Preschool and elementary school-age children are welcome to read books aloud to registered therapy dogs to encourage confidence in reading. Presented by North Star Therapy Animals. Children read for a 15-minute session on a first-come, first-served basis. No registration required.

BOMP! a Capella Quartet from the Minneapolis Commodores: 1 to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14. Bring the family to hear lively holiday music and barbershop harmony songs from the 1950s and 1960s. This project was funded (in part or in whole) with money from Minnesota’s Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Senior Surf Day: 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18. Come and learn how to surf the internet, type a web address, navigate a website and more. This class is designed for beginners, with a special emphasis on sites of interest to seniors. This is intended as a small class where the presenter provides plenty of individual help.

VICTORIA LIBRARY

ECFE on Wheels: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18. For ages birth to 5. Registration for each child per event session is required. Parent/guardian needs to stay with children. Parent education staff provides a free ECFE experience for families, caregivers and children ages birth to 5 to share together. There will be circle time, songs, an art activity and literacy take-home project.

STORYTIME

Lapsit Storytime: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Chanhassen. For ages birth to 18 months. Babies and their caregivers share quality time in a 20-minute session designed to encourage language development through board books and movement activities, followed by time for visiting and play. No storytime on Thursday, Nov. 28.

Family Storytimes: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Chanhassen; 6:30 p.m. Monday and 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Chaska; 10:30 a.m. Monday, Victoria. For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Children, parents and their caregivers are invited to share 30 minutes of singing, playing, reading, writing, and talking that encourages the development of early literacy skills.

Toddler Storytimes: 10:30 a.m., Monday, Chanhassen; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chaska; 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Victoria. Toddlers and their caregivers are welcome to join us for 20 minutes of action-packed fun with stories, rhymes, fingerplays, and musical movement for this age group. Come shake your sillies out with us. For ages 18-36 months.

Patrick Jones is branch manager for the Chanhassen and Victoria libraries. He can be reached at pjones@co.carver.mn.us.

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