April 18– Killer of the Flower Moon: The Osage Mur-ders and Birth of the FBI by David Gann

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world
were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered
beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions,
and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, they began to be
killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was
murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And
it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious
circumstances. In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P.
Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the
Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the
killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than
twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became
one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau
was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the
young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom
White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team,
including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They
infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of
detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most
sinister conspiracies in American history.

May 16– Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley
Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome
Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the
so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent,
she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding
friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she
yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued
by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable
happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the
Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking
coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us
that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all
subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.