“The Cold Blue Blood,” by David Handler, is the first of a series featuring widowed movie critic Mitch Berger and Lt. Desiree Mitry. In this book, Mitch’s boss sends him on a different kind of assignment, in hopes it will help him recover from the loss of his wife. Mitch finds a cottage to rent on Big Sister, an exclusive private island outside the town of Dorset. The beautiful ocean setting is idyllic, until a body is dug up in the process of gardening and the privileged residents of the island come under suspicion.

There is a puzzling connection with another previous murder that Mitry has been investigating. Des is young, the only black woman in homicides, and dedicated to her job. Mitch soon discovers she also is a closet artist and enthusiastic about rescuing stray cats. They both find themselves quite surprised about their attraction to each other. Smart and sassy dialogue keeps this light mystery moving apace.

“The Yard,” a first novel by Alex Grecian, describes the beginnings of forensics in London at a time when detectives have impossible odds stacked against them. With the sheer number of crimes and the lack of knowledge and resources to solve them, their work is daunting to say the least. They also are hampered by a public that does not respect them since Jack the Ripper was never brought to justice.

When a murdered detective is discovered in a trunk at the train station, the squad’s newest employee, Walter Day, is assigned to the case. He finds an unlikely ally in the Yard’s first forensic pathologist, Dr. Bernard Kingsley, who is learning about the use of fingerprinting. Meanwhile, Constable Hammersmith is haunted by the death of a young child, who is found stuck in a chimney. More historical crime fiction than mystery, this was still an interesting and enjoyable read.

In “Black Fridays,” by Michael Sears, Jason Stafford once was a top Wall Street trader living the high life, until he got in over his head with falsified profits and fraudulent trades. Now he has no money and no prospects upon his release after a two-year jail sentence. Jason accepts when the CEO of a large Wall Street firm unexpectedly asks Jason to investigate the trades of a junior trader who recently died in a boating accident.

Meanwhile, Jason is anxious to contact his former wife, an alcoholic model, and check on his autistic son. Risking his parole, Jason flies to Louisiana to seek custody of “the kid.” When Jason returns to New York, son in tow, Jason is forced to reevaluate his life, and learn to live with his unique son.

The NPR audience nominated some 600 novels to their “Killer Thrillers” poll and cast more than 17,000 ballots to come up with their top 100 list. The results are diverse, ranging in style and period from “Dracula” to “The Da Vinci Code” and “Presumed Innocent” to “Pet Sematary.” Come in and pick some of these great reads from our display. Find the whole list at http://www.npr.org/2011/06/13/128718927/audience-picks-top-100-killer-thrillers

Join us for the Ottawa Library 5K Run/Walk Oct. 13. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the race begins at 9 a.m. We will have prizes for a variety of age groups. Kids can even be pushed in strollers and you can bring the dog on your walk or jog.

Rosemary Honn is a librarian in the circulation department at the Ottawa Library.