90.9 Cape Girardeau | 88.9-HD Ste. Genevieve | 88.7 Poplar Bluff
There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: 'The Marsh Queen'

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“A body of approximately 150 pounds plunging into deep water from a height of approximately two feet above the surface, if weighted with an extra 15 to 20 pounds of, say, lead weights, will sink at the rate of approximately one foot per second. That person, regretting the lead weights, might thrash and struggle, or, not regretting, might succumb to the rate of sinkage until the dark and cold of the water takes over.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are the opening lines to the second chapter of Virginia Hartman’s novel The Marsh Queen. The body that succumbed was that of Loni Murrow’s father, Boyd. A fish and game warden, Boyd was fishing on his day off when he allegedly committed suicide. Loni was twelve at the time.

The story takes place ten years later when Loni is working in her dream job as a bird artist for the Smithsonian Natural History museum in Washington, D.C. Her dad named her the Marsh Queen because of her fascination with the marsh and the animals that lived in it.

When her mother falls and is relocated to a nursing home, Loni’s brother Philip calls her to come home to Florida to help get their mother’s house ready for renters. Sorting through her mother’s possessions brings back memories and questions about her father’s death. When too many people shy away from talking about it, Loni begins a full scale investigation.

There’s a lot to this novel — a mystery to solve, family secrets, interesting facts about birds and even a love story. The book jacket says, ”Atmospheric and deeply moving, The Marsh Queen explores what it means to be a daughter and how we protect the ones we love.”

If you’re looking for an engrossing read, then you must read The Marsh Queen by Virginia Hartman.

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Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.