Season 3: Episode 9: Fantastic Reads

Season Three: Episode Nine: Fantastic Reads

In this episode, hosts Jackie, Leigh and Mary talk about their latest fantastic reads: Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland, Wild Chamber by Christopher Fowler, and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix.

About the hosts

Discover more about the show’s hosts.

Books mentioned

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland
*Jackie’s read

Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the apartment above their bakery. The apartment is where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and, despite the cramped quarters, it still feels like home. Now Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest, leaving her young daughter Gussie in Esther’s care. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams. Esther wants nothing more than to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy-not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac-and the fact that Stuart Williams, the heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence. When tragedy strikes during one of Florence’s practice swims, Esther makes the shocking decision to keep the truth about Florence’s death from Fannie-at least until the baby is born. She pulls the rest of the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, forcing to the surface long-buried tensions that show us just how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal. Told with humor and tenderness and based on a true story, Beanland’s debut is a breathtaking meditation on the lengths we go to in order to keep our families together. At its heart, it is an uplifting portrayal of how the human spirit can endure-and even thrive-after tragedy

Bryant & May : Wild Chamber : a peculiar crimes unit mystery by Christopher Fowler
*Leigh’s read

Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May are back on the case in this whip-smart and wildly twisting mystery, in which a killer in London’s parks is proving to be a most elusive quarry. Helen Forester’s day starts like any other: Around seven in the morning, she takes her West Highland terrier for a walk in her street’s private garden. But by 7:20 she is dead, strangled yet peacefully laid out on the path, her dog nowhere to be found. The only other person in the locked space is the gardener, who finds the body and calls the police. He expects proper cops to arrive, but what he gets are Bryant, May, and the wily members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit. Before the detectives can make any headway on the case, a second woman is discovered in a public park, murdered in nearly identical fashion. Bryant, recovering from a health scare, delves into the arcane history of London’s cherished green spaces, rife with class drama, violence, and illicit passions. But as a devious killer continues to strike, Bryant and May struggle to connect the clues, not quite seeing the forest for the trees. Now they have to think and act fast to save innocent lives, the fate of the city’s parks, and the very existence of the PCU.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
*Mary’s read

A supernatural thriller set in South Carolina in the ’90s about a women’s book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious stranger who turns out to be a real monster.

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