The Body in the Perch Pond, by Copley resident Douglas Ewan Cameron, is an “Up North Mystery.” “Up North” is Northern Michigan, where, like many others, Dugal and Earleen McBruce have bought a retirement home on scenic Hibbard Pond. As Dugal and some other men are working on a dam that will provide a fish hatchery, a backhoe reveals a human skeleton.
Nathanial Jefferson, the acting sheriff investigating the discovery, proves to be a college friend of the McBruces. The small town buzzes with speculative gossip about the identity of the remains, and Dugal does his own research. There are many more secrets hiding in the woods, like an unnamed and dangerous survivalist — and another body. The clock is ticking on the upcoming election for the sheriff’s job, and Jefferson’s opponent is making much of his failure to close the case.
The Body in the Perch Pond (190 pages, softcover) costs $15.99 from online retailers. Douglas Ewan Cameron, a retired professor of mathematics from the University of Akron, vacations on Michigan’s Hubbard Lake in the “Up North” setting of Body.
‘Bears and the Baby’
Chocolate Truffles and Binkley are two of the bears in The Bears and the Baby, a storybook by sisters P.J. McLean of Barberton and C.S. Jenkins of Wadsworth. They join bears Miss Darjeeling, Shipwreck and sleepy Twinkle after a bear-collecting couple come to Toodle-Lou’s Toy Store and buy them from the “Vintage Toys” display, and they live happily in their new home until they hear about the new baby that will be coming to stay.
The bears panic about the possibility of being stored in boxes in the attic. But when the baby arrives, they realize all their fears were for naught.
The variety of personalities Jenkins imagines for the bears is delightful. In addition to pink-ribboned Chocolate Truffles, Binkley wears a jester’s cap and collar; Captain Pickles, with his nautical dress jacket and bicorn hat, and lofty Baxter with top hat, monocle, wing collar and spats, are rendered in colored pencil.
The Bears and the Baby (44 pages, softcover) costs $17.44 from online retailers.
John Randall Howard isn’t a newspaper columnist, but he writes columns anyway — a year’s worth of weekly columns in My First Year as a Newspaper Columnist, in which Howard takes a funny look at the things that bug him, like yard sales, expired coupons and pencil sharpeners that don’t work.
Among the best are a pseudo-petulant tirade about the distribution of peanuts and “premium” nuts that Howard claims he assays on a “specially designed tray,” a look into the family junk drawer and a trip to the warehouse store for an uncomfortable meeting with a stock clerk.
Attention from a proficient editor would be welcome, especially with the excessive use of quotation marks.
My First Year as a Newspaper Columnist (217 pages, softcover) costs $24.95 from online retailers. Medina author John Randall Howard’s 2008 novel The Fuel Cube was a satire on oil dependency.
Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler by Paul J. Bauer and Mark Dawidziak tied for a Silver Medal in the Biography category at the Independent Publisher Book Awards presentation June 4 in New York. Richland County photographer and writer David FitzSimmons won a Gold Medal in the Best First Book (Children/Young Adult) category for Curious Critters, a picture book with close-up photographs of North American animals.
Visible Voice Books (1023 Kenilworth Ave., Cleveland) — Robert Loewendick signs the guide Best Tent Camping: Ohio, 1 to 3 p.m. today; poets Gail Bellamy and Diane Vogel Ferri read from their works, 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Stark County District Library (Lake Community branch, 11955 Market Ave. N., Uniontown) — Hudson resident Sharon Kreighbaum speaks and signs her book Is Your House Overweight? Recipes for Low-Fat Rooms, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers (28801 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere) — Sean Meshorer talks about and signs The Bliss Experiment: 28 Days to Personal Transformation, 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Dover Public Library (525 N. Walnut St.) — Linda Castillo talks about Gone Missing, fourth in her Holmes County-set Kate Burkholder thriller series, and the upcoming TV-movie adaptation of Sworn to Silence, the first book in the series. Lunch, $6, is optional. 1 p.m. Saturday.
Learned Owl Book Shop (204 N. Main St., Hudson) — Michele Gianetti signs I Believe in You: A Mother & Daughter’s Special Journey, 1 p.m. Saturday.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Beachwood branch, 25501 Shaker Blvd.) — Author Erin O’Brien discusses and signs her novel The Irish Hungarian Guide to the Domestic Arts, 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Registration requested; call 216-831-6868.
Cuyahoga County Public Library (Parma Heights branch, 6206 Pearl Road) — Beacon Journal food writer Lisa Abraham talks about the Western Reserve School of Cooking and signs Famous Chefs & Fabulous Recipes: Lessons Learned at One of the Oldest Cooking Schools in America, 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Registration requested; call 440-884-2313.
— Barbara McIntyre
Special to the Beacon Journal
Send information about books of local interest to Lynne Sherwin, Features Department, Akron Beacon Journal, P.O. Box 640, Akron, OH 44309 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Event notices should be sent at least two weeks in advance.