If you liked Vince Flynn’s political thrillers, you might also like these novels where political power-plays, shady conspiracies, and intrigue are the order of the day in the high-octane reads.

“House Arrest” by Mike Lawson. As the fixer for Congressman John Mahoney in Washington, D.C., Joe DeMarco has had to bend and break the law more than a few times. But when Rep. Lyle Canton, House Majority Whip, is found shot dead in his office in the U.S. Capitol and DeMarco is arrested for the murder, DeMarco knows he's been framed. Locked up in the Alexandria Jail awaiting trial, he calls on his enigmatic friend Emma, an ex-DIA agent, to search for the true killer. 

“Judgment” by Joseph Finder. It was nothing more than a one-night stand. Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, is rumored to be in consideration for the federal circuit, maybe someday the highest court in the land. At a conference in a Chicago hotel, she meets a gentle, vulnerable man and has an unforgettable night with him, something she'd never done before. They part with an explicit understanding that this must never happen again. But back home in Boston, Juliana realizes that this was no random encounter. Strings are being pulled in high places, a terrifying unfolding conspiracy that will turn her life upside down

“The Malta Exchange” by Steve Berry. The pope is dead. A conclave to select his replacement is about to begin. Cardinals are beginning to arrive at the Vatican, but one has fled Rome for Malta in search of a document that dates to the 4th century and Constantine the Great. Former Justice Department operative, Cotton Malone, is at Lake Como, Italy, on the trail of legendary letters between Winston Churchill and Benito Mussolini that disappeared in 1945 and could re-write history. But someone else seems to be after the same letters and, when Malone obtains then loses them, he's plunged into a hunt that draws the attention of the legendary Knights of Malta. 

CHANHASSEN LIBRARY

Teen Advisory Board: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11. For ages 13-18, no registration required. Join other teens that have an interest in library programs and more. We meet monthly to help plan programs, activities and volunteer as Teen Advisors. We also enjoy some snacks and discussion about books and more.

Sweetheart Storytime: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12. For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Join us for a super Valentine's Day storytime with Valentine's crafts. No registration required.

Carver Scott Master Gardeners presents Nature Heals: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13. For thousands of years, people have been cultivating plants, farms and gardens. Over time, the memory of these experiences has been written into our unconscious. Our evolutionary home is in nature, but now we live where many people live apart from the natural world. Join us as we explore ways to reconnect with the natural world.

CHASKA LIBRARY

Tails for Reading: 10:30 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Feb. 8. 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.

Sweetheart Storytime: 6:30 to 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10 ; 10:30 to 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11 and 10:30 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12. For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Join us for a super Valentine's Day storytime with Valentine's crafts. No registration required.

Carver Scott Master Gardeners presents Indoor Gardening: 6:30 to 7:45 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12. Join us as we learn the basics about gardening indoors, including terrariums and fairy gardens. The process is fun and a great way to take your love of gardening through the end of the winter. Please bring a glass vessel you’d like to use as a terrarium and we’ll supply the rest (including soil and basic plants). This class is presented by Carver/Scott Master Gardeners.

VICTORIA LIBRARY

Sweetheart Storytime: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 10 and Wednesday, Feb. 12. For all ages, with a focus on children age 2 and up. Join us for a super Valentine's Day storytime with Valentine's crafts. No registration required.

ECFE on Wheels: 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12. 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.

League of Women Voters Primary Process Info Session and Q&A: 1 to 2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12. Most voters think of the presidential election as happening in November every four years. But the process that voters use to pick our president extends long before election day. The first official step in the process in Minnesota is the presidential nominating primary. Join the League of Women Voters for a brief information session followed by Q&A about the process to prepare yourself for March 3.

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.

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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