Books for a long winter’s evening...

“This Close to Okay,” by Leesa Cross-Smith

On a rainy night in Kentucky, therapist Tallie Clark is driving home from work when she sees a man on the edge of a bridge. She pulls over, jumps out of her car and convinces him to step away from the bridge and join her for a cup of coffee. What happens next will change both of their lives forever.

In a story about a deep and personal connection between two strangers, Cross-Smith elegantly uncovers an emotional journey between recently divorced Tallie and Emmett, a man filled with pain.

Told in alternating chapters between the two main characters, readers will discover what brought Emmett to the bridge and why Tallie’s marriage ended in divorce. This favorite 2021 book is a beautiful story about love, family, and hope. Can two people really know each other in one weekend? Will their secrets tear them apart or bring them closer together?

“The Mystery of Mrs. Christie,” by Marie Benedict

In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing near a gloomy lake. While investigators discover her empty car with tire tracks nearby and a fur coat, her husband and daughter have no idea where she is. But the clues begin to point to her husband. Will Archie be able to handle the speculations and accusations surrounding him? Did he really have something to do with her mysterious disappearance or did she vanish on her own? Told in alternating chapters, from the time she goes missing to 1912 when Christie and her husband first meet, Benedict shares happy moments from their first dance, garden walks, and getting married, along with their tensions and many arguments.

Do you have a favorite Agatha Christie novel? Some fans might remember Christie’s disappearance a bit differently. Overall, readers will enjoy the interactions with her family, and learning more about her early writing career, especially the many puzzles, interesting characters and what inspired the different settings in her novels. (Available on Hoopla. Also, available on Hoopla — a wonderful selection of Agatha Christie books and her autobiography.)

Join The Library Book Club and Deschutes Public Library Book Club Central each month online via Zoom. For new 2021 book recommendations, email paigeb@deschuteslibrary.org.