5 seriously suspenseful books, according to BCPL staff

Suspense novels and thrillers are two of the most popular genres for readers because of their fast pace, plot twists and emotional appeal. These books suggested by BCPL staff are sure to have you on the edge of your seat until you get to the very last page.

1.Circulation Assistant Suzanne Yowler shares: “One of my favorite thrillers is The
Shining Girls
by Lauren Beukes. It definitely thrilled me and kept me in suspense. The book incorporates a different twist by including a sci-fi aspect. The story involves a serial killer who uses an old house that allows him to time travel in order to escape detection. One of his victims survives and is determined to stop him.”

2. Community Events Liaison Kate Sowada says “The one that still sticks in my head is The Silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. An intense, chilling story that begins when a yacht arrives in the Reykjavik harbor without the crew or family aboard. The story kept me on edge as I stayed up late trying to figure out what happened to everyone. Although I remember being a little disappointed with the ending, the gripping story made reading it worthwhile and memorable.”

3. Circulation Associate Nadine Swinford just finished The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd and she says, “I think it may be my favorite. Normally in teen books you can predict how it’ll end, but this one had many twists in it. It’s a very Halloween-y book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Definitely a page turner!”

4.Youth Services Manager Angie Grandstaff recommends Crooked House by Agatha Christie because, “Agatha is the master of suspense.  This story is set in England at the end of World War II.  It had me guessing to the very end because everyone had a motive.  The killer was such a surprise.  A very creepy, twisted ending.”

5. Public Service Associate Karen Helmle shares, “My favorite thriller is The Eight by Katherine Neville. She was doing Dan Brown style of books before anyone even heard of Dan Brown. The main character is on a search for a chess set once owned by Charlemagne. The novel jumps back and forth in time blending adventure, romance, history and mystery. I was so involved in the story, I felt like I was part of it! I was biting my nails til the very last page.  I looked forward to reading it and couldn’t wait to find out what the characters were doing.”



Tim’s Cincinnati Chili Adventure

A Cleveland native, Reference Librarian Tim Chatlos has always been fascinated by regional food such as Cincinnati chili. When he relocated to the Cincinnati region, he promptly tried the chili chain restaurants. Tim weighs in on the eternal Skyline versus Gold Star debate by recommending Skyline for the three-ways and Gold Star for the coneys.

After dining at the chains, he then realized other restaurants also featured the chili and was curious to find out how many there were. Through his research, he found three helpful, but now inactive, blogs:

Although these blogs haven’t been updated in a while, they still provide a good source
of restaurant names and reviews. Through his research, he discovered over 50 places in the area serve Cincinnati chili and this inspired his quest to visit as many chili restaurants as possible. Between 2011 and 2013, Tim traversed the region, sampling restaurants offering Cincinnati Chili. He was impressed by how many restaurants are dedicated to the chili, as well as the consistency of the chili across the region, down it being served on oval plates. Approximately 75% of the restaurants use oval plates to serve the chili, which Tim found to be a unique, but unifying, way to display the chili.

His chili adventure not only allowed him to enjoy eating his way across the region, but helped him to learn the city inside and out as he traveled to restaurants located in all nooks and crannies of the city. He was also happy to find a way to help support local businesses and is grateful to have never gotten sick or gained weight during his Cincinnati chili adventure. As of this post, Tim has visited around 60 unique chili places. Since it’s been a few years, unfortunately some of the restaurants have since closed. However, each year more new chili places are discovered, so the adventure continues!

Tim’s Chili Tips:

  • Stick to places with three-ways. He didn’t seek out restaurants serving only coneys, which usually meant the chili was coming out of a can.
  • Order the regular with the maximum number of ways available (up to a 7-way at some places) along with a coney or chili cheese sandwich for fun.
  • Order a chili cheese sandwich in lieu of a coney when an option. Dropping the hot dog allows for the chili to stand out more. Not all restaurants offer the chili cheese sandwich option, but most are willing to make one if you ask.
  • Always bring cash because not all of these mom & pop places accept credit cards.
  • Always have spare change because you’ll often have to park on the street and feed the meter.
  • Be mindful of the hours. Many of the mom-and-pop places are closed on Sundays or only open for breakfast and lunch.
  • At some restaurants, the chili is considered a special and is only offered on certain days.
  • Not every restaurant has chili in its name. For example, the Greek places often don’t include it. As you may or may not know, Cincinnati chili was originally created by Greek immigrants who used Mediterranean spices to create a meat sauce similar to some lamb stews.
  • It is noticeable what restaurants freshly shred the cheese. Pre-shredded cheese from a bag just isn’t the same.

Tim’s Favorites:

  • Price Hill Chili –It has a large menu with a lot of variety in case you aren’t in the mood for chili.
  • Camp Washington– Not a chain, accessible area, distinct vibe with its diner theme.
  • The Silver Ladle – Unique variation on Cincinnati chili made with chicken instead of ground beef
  • Dixie Chili – NKY represent! Home to one of the rare 6-ways (5-way plus garlic).

Below is the Google map Tim created when he planned his chili sampling trips. The map was created several years ago and since then some of the places on it have closed, so please check on availability before you visit.