It’s no mystery that the holidays are a great time to catch up on great books. Check out these suspenseful mystery titles from this summer you might have missed.

“Careful What You Wish For” by Hallie Ephron. Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.

Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better — he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married.

Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses. But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says ... now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage ... and possibly her life.

“Girls Like Us” by Cristina Alger. When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, his FBI agent daughter Nell returns to the house she grew up in for the first time in 12 years. At the behest of her father’s partner, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young Hispanic women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect — and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks.

Plagued by doubts about her mother’s murder — and her own role in exonerating her father in that case — Nell can’t help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why.

“A Stranger on the Beach” by Michele Campbell. Caroline Stark’s beach house was supposed to be her crowning achievement: a lavish, expensive space to showcase what she thought was her perfect family. But after a very public fight with her husband, she realizes things may not be as perfect as they seem: her husband is lying to her, the money is disappearing, and there’s a stranger on the beach outside her house.

As Caroline’s marriage and her carefully constructed lifestyle begin to collapse around her, she turns to Aidan, the stranger, for comfort ... and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s infatuation with Caroline, her family, and her house becomes more and more destructive. But who is manipulating whom in this deadly game of obsession and control? Who will take the blame when someone ends up dead ... and what is Caroline hiding?

CHANHASSEN LIBRARY

Authors Collective: 1 t o 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23. Authors Collective is a group of authors and writers at all stages of putting a work into book form. Learn together, publish, and market as professionals.

Chanhassen Library Book Club: 6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 26. Join this long-standing book club for a great discussion — the club is open to the public.

ACT on Alzheimer’s Information Desk: 1 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27. If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or any dementia, literature and community resources are available from a hands-on caretaker at the ACT on Alzheimer’s Desk in the Chanhassen Library lobby.

CHASKA LIBRARY

Adult Special Services Story Hour: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., Monday, Nov. 25. Enjoy music, age-appropriate picture books, discussion and more. Please contact Angela Hunt at 952-448-3886 if you plan to bring a group for the first time.

STORYTIME

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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