Poor Richard's Book Shoppe staff picks

Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, the staff from Poor Richard’s Books & Gifts in Colorado Springs recommends a thriller, an exploration of nature’s sounds and a political mystery.

Dead Man’s Wake

By Paul Doiron
Minotaur Books
June 2023


From the publisher: On the evening of their engagement party, Maine Game Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch and Stacey Stevens witness what seems to be a hit-and-run speedboat crash on a darkened lake. When they arrive at the scene, their spotlight reveals a gruesome sight: a severed arm floating just beneath the surface. As day breaks, the warden dive team recovers not one but two naked corpses: a dismembered man and the married woman with whom he was having an affair. Mike begins to suspect the swimmers’ deaths were not a senseless accident but a coldly calculated murder. 

From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: One of my favorite things about reading a mystery series from the very beginning is to see how the author’s writing and, hopefully, capability evolves. Paul Doiron (one day I will figure out how to say his name correctly…) does not disappoint with his latest installment of the Mike Bowditch chronicles. The characters have become more real and relatable. The narrative is compelling, entertaining and there is actually a surprise ending on this one I didn’t see coming. Kudos Mr. Doiron.

Sounds Wild and Broken

By David George Haskell
March 2023


From the publisher: We live on a planet alive with song, music, and speech. David Haskell explores how these wonders came to be. In rain forests shimmering with insect sound and swamps pulsing with frog calls we learn about evolution’s creative powers. From birds in the Rocky Mountains and on the streets of Paris, we discover how animals learn their songs and adapt to new environments. Below the waves, we hear our kinship to beings as different as snapping shrimp, toadfish, and whales. In the startlingly divergent sonic vibes of the animals of different continents, we experience the legacies of plate tectonics, the deep history of animal groups and their movements around the world, and the quirks of aesthetic evolution. 

Starting with the origins of animal song and traversing the whole arc of Earth history, Haskell illuminates and celebrates the emergence of the varied sounds of our world.

From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: Summer evenings in Colorado: Thunder rumbling, crickets screeching, clamorous winds through trees. Sounds…and for those of us who have hearing challenges, sonic vibrations, that we often take for granted. Haskell opens up our view, our listening and consciousness of the waning landscape of nature’s melody and tone. Take this book out on your next hike or walk around the park, sit down, then take notice of what you have been missing.

Storm Watch

By C. J. Box
February 2023


From the publisher: When a prominent University of Wyoming professor goes missing, authorities are stumped. That is, until Joe Pickett makes two surprising discoveries while hunting down a wounded elk on his district as an epic spring storm descends upon him. First, he finds the professor’s vehicle parked on a remote mountainside. Then Joe finds the professor’s frozen and mutilated body. When he attempts to learn more, his investigation is obstructed by federal agents, extremists, and Governor Colter Allen. 

Nate Romanowski is rebuilding his falconry company–and financing this through crypto mining with the assistance of Geronimo Jones. He’s then approached by a shadowy group of local militant activists that is gaining in power and influence, and demanding that Wyoming join other western states and secede from the union–by force, if necessary. They ask Nate to throw in with them, but he’s wary. Should he trust them, or is he being set up? 

From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: Who doesn’t need/love a good summer read? Recalcitrant Joe Pickett stumbles, once again, into mystery and murder(s). One of our favorite characters, Nate, is there stirring up trouble and leading us astray with his hardened, myopic view of the world. This book is fast-paced and gripping, I doubt one will be able to put it down after reading the first two chapters. Prepare yourself for a long night. 


Poor Richard’s Books

320 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs


As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. Read more.

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