History abounds at Iola Public Library

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Local News

May 25, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Iola Public Library

Alex Grecian made his name with the “Scotland Yard Murder Squad” series, set in Victorian England. Leaving that series behind, he has now written a standalone thriller “The Saint of Wolves of Butchers” set in his home state, Kansas. A sadistic Nazi who in the early 1950s made his way under an assumed name to Kansas and has developed a following here, a Nazi hunter on his trail, and an African-American Kansas State Trooper are the characters.

Charles Frazier returns to the Civil War era (and decades following) in “Varina.” Its title character is Varina Howell Davis, wife and widow of Confederate president Jefferson Davis. It also involves Jimmie Limber, an orphaned African American whom she adopted as a boy and was separated from at the end of the Civil War. Limber really existed, but this book envisions him reuniting with Varina late in life, with her relating her life’s story to him. It’s a sad story for the most part: marriage to a much older widower, disliked for unconventional opinions and attitudes, first lady of a cause she didn’t really believe in, and more. Frazier is best known for writing “Cold Mountain,” a National Book Award winner which was also turned into a movie.

In “Hotel on Shadow Lake” by Daniela Tully, 16-year old Maya’s beloved grandmother disappears in Munich in 1990. Maya doesn’t know that grandmother Martha received a letter from her long-dead twin brother which had been trapped in East Germany for four decades. Twenty-seven years later, Maya learns that Martha’s body has been unearthed in upstate New York, a place she had no known connection to. Dropping everything, Marta flies to New York to see if she can learn her grandmother’s story.

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