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Our staff reader’s advisory book discussion this month featured a local writer, Lesley Kagen and her first book, Whistling in the Dark.  This book is about a young girl named Sally O’Malley, her long dead father, her vamp of a mother, her younger step-sister Troo, and an entire cast of characters who populate Vliet Street in Milwaukee during the summer of 1959. 

Having been born and raised in Milwaukee about this same time, I will give personal testimony that it is a perfect rendition of life in my home town at that time. 

Does that really matter to your book discussion group?  Yes, because this book has a sense of time that should appeal to all readers no matter where they grew up.  If you need a comparison, I would say it has the same appeal as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in the sense that we all feel like we could have acted just like these 10-year-olds did back in 1959.

If I have not spiced this book up enough for you, it even has a dead body.

For our region, and to continue with the theme of the last few postings, this book would make a great community wide read.  In fact, we just might get back to on that as it is on our short list for the fall Greendale Reads. 

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About the Author:

Gary Niebuhr is the author of Make Mine a Mystery (2003), Caught up in Crime (2009), and other readers' guides to mystery and detective fiction. He was a Booklist contributor from 2008-2014.

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