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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: 'Mad Honey'

“On the eighth of May 2017, I woke from a strange dream in which I was writing a novel with Jodi Picoult. There were three characters in the dream: a girl who had died; her boyfriend, who had been accused of her murder; and the boy’s mother, who was torn between the compelling evidence of her son’s guilt and the love she bore for him in her heart.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from Jennifer Finley Boylan’s author’s notes for Mad Honey, the novel she co-wrote with Jodi Picoult. Full disclosure: in order not to spoil a revelation that appears midway through the book I left a word out of that quote.

When Olivia’s son, Asher, was young she left her abusive husband and returned to her childhood home in Adams, New Hampshire, to take over her father’s beekeeping business. Lily and her mother relocate to Adams when she’s a senior hoping for a fresh start. Lily and Asher fall in love but struggle coming to terms with secrets.

The story begins on the day that Asher finds Lily dead in her home. Evidence seems to point to Asher as Lily’s killer. He’s arrested and put on trial. As the novel progresses chapters fill in the details of their lives and the trial. There’s also quite a bit of information about bees and their habits.

Boylan was the voice of Olivia and Picoult was that of Lily, but the writing is seamless. If you’ve ever read a book by Jodi Picoult you know that she does not shy away from difficult topics and this book is no exception. Early in the novel the authors address spousal abuse and later in the book they address another issue very much in today’s news. Again, I don’t want to spoil the book for you.

If you’re looking for a well written book that might help you think through one of the controversial issues of today ,then you must read Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finley Boylan.

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.