Book Buzz Episode 51 – The Hunter & City of Girls

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Air date: May 26, 2024

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The Hunter

City of Girls

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Hi, this is Jessica Russell. I’m the assistant director of collection services at Sno-Isle Libraries. And welcome to Book Buzz. 

Today's two reading recommendations are a mystery set in Ireland and a romance set in New York. 

First, we’re going to hear from Danielle, library associate at the Mariner Library, for a tale of small-town secrets. Go ahead, Danielle. 


The hottest summer in memory has struck Ireland, and the residents of Ardnakelty are feeling the tension. Especially agitated by the unexpected heat is Cal Hooper, a former Chicago detective who was looking forward to an uneventful retirement. Instead, he finds himself at the center of a devious scheme that is weaving its way through the village. 

In “The Hunter,” Tana French’s latest suspense driven novel, what appears to be a quaint village is harboring a dangerous secret. Cal’s troubled young protégé, Trey, is on the right path when her long absent father blows into town, with big city drama trailing behind him. He’s also brought a fantastic sounding money-making plot that could change everyone’s life – for better or worse. 

The plot twists of “The Hunter” were wonderfully perplexing. I found myself eager to pause and retrace my steps when a new secret or motive was revealed. Readers will also be captivated by the bevy of local characters, from the boisterous regulars at the local pub, to the shopkeeper who knows more about each villager than they know about themselves. 

Before you delve into “The Hunter,” you will want to immerse yourself in “The Searcher,” another book by French featuring the village of Ardnakelty. “The Hunter” can be read independently, but the experience will be enhanced if you have background knowledge. For readers who enjoy an all-consuming mystery, I suggest you search – and even hunt – for these titles. 


Thanks, Danielle! The gorgeous descriptions of Ireland might just entice you to take a trip there. 

Next, let’s dive into the New York theater world with Rebekah, library associate at the Camano Island Library. Take it away, Rebekah. 


Love a good, meaty historical fiction with flawed but beautiful characters and settings that are so wonderfully written, you can feel yourself being swept easily away to a completely different time and place? If so, “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert might be the perfect read for you! 

The story kicks off as our elderly narrator Vivian looks back on her long and storied life. She starts things off in the early 1940s when she is a young college student from an affluent family. Frustrated with her lack of scholastic achievement, her parents send her off to live with her eccentric Aunt Peg. Peg owns and operates a run-down theater in New York City and young Vivian quickly makes friends that her parents surely wouldn’t approve of as she continues to love the boisterous city and a more unconventional lifestyle. As her story continues, Vivian recalls the horror and loss of war, looks back fondly at the non-traditional family and career she created and reflects with aching tenderness on her one great love.  

I savored this book which, at its core, is a story of a woman spurring societal norms, living her life on her own terms, and having a lovely time along the way. Readers familiar with Gilbert’s writing will not be surprised to know that this book manages to be funny, tragic, poignant, and wise all at once. 


Thanks, Rebekah! This is another example of Gilbert’s expert ability to write compelling female characters. 

Our recommendations this week are: “The Hunter” by Tana French and “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert. 

Join us next time, when we’ll explore more great reading recommendations — interesting books you can find at your favorite local bookstore or at your local library.   

Until then, I’m Jessica Russell from Sno-Isle Libraries.  

Thanks for joining us for Book Buzz on KSER. 

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