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By Dan DeNeve and Maggie Villalobos with the Dana Point Library

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Why, it’s elementary, Watson; it was the butler. Our reviews this month range from the serious mystery to something a bit more unusual and unworldly.

Octobia May is a young girl who has too many questions for a child, much less a girl, of her time. When her Auntie convinces Octobia’s parents to let Octobia live with her, Octobia finds the freedom she needs to discover not only who she is, but if a vampire really does live in the upstairs room of her Auntie’s boarding house. Sharon G. Flake’s Unstoppable Octobia May is set in the 1950s and blends history, race, culture, family and mystery. This book is great for late elementary school students. It is available at the Dana Point Library.

Older students may find themselves drawn to The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason. Miss Evaline Stoker, sister of Bram Stoker, and Miss Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock Holmes, are called upon to solve why one young society girl is dead and another is missing. Oh, and did I mention there are vampires and steampunk elements in this exciting adventure? The Clockwork Scarab is the first of the Stoker & Holmes books. The Dana Point Library has the first two volumes available for borrowing.

With the new season of the BBC’s Sherlock complete, this month is a good time to revisit Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous sleuth in print with a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. This tome has it all: more than 40 of the smaller adventures, as well as the longer stories, including: A Study in Scarlet, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Sign of the Four. Depending on the edition, this item is either one or two volumes. While many have enjoyed Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on television, reading the stories is just as enjoyable, especially since many of the stories are referenced in some way in the BBC’s popular drama. While the complete Sherlock Holmes is more than 900 pages, it is well worth the time and effort. There are many reasons Doyle’s work has survived and been enjoyed by countless readers. Although Dana Point Library does not own a copy, we can place a hold on the book and have it brought to the branch. 

The Seaside Book Club meets every fourth Monday of the month from 10:30-11:30 a.m. All are welcome. We will be discussing Without Reservations by Alice Steinbach. For a list of future featured titles, call the library at 949.496.5517.

For more information about upcoming events across the Orange County Public Libraries system, visit The site also provides access to online research tools, digital magazines, PDF copies of historical sheet music, ebooks, eaudiobooks, jobseeker resources, and more.

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