Check out these new arrivals at the Astoria Public Library:

In "Some Danger Involved," a debut novel by librarian Will Thomas, detective Cyrus Barker and his assistant Thomas Llewelyn must solve a murder. On the streets of Victorian London, in its dark alleys and darker establishments, the two must find the fiend who killed a student by crucifixion.

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Audrey Unger has never gotten over being abandoned by her father for the professional poker playing circuit. At 33 years old, she decides to find him and know once and for all why. With Big Louie, a man who can take her into her father's world, Audrey finds out just how alluring high-stakes gambling can be. "The Perfect Play" is a new novel by Louise Wener.

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Dennis McFarland chose an explosive decision in the history of the nation for his historical novel, "Prince Edward." It is August 1959, and the Supreme Court has ordered school desegregation. Ben knows that blacks and whites live in different worlds, but he is unprepared the climactic opening of school that September. And he cannot truly define his loyalties, which are split between his white family and his friendship with a black boy.

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"Doubt: A History," by Jennifer Michael Hecht, celebrates challenge. Along with those who believed so passionately in one view that they did change their worlds, there are also those who have changed the world by doubting, by challenging certainty, by looking for the alternatives. Among them are Emily Dickinson, Marie Curie, Socrates and others who sought new answers for the questions we all ask about life.

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Two women forge a close bond only to question the boundaries later in "Symptomatic," by Danzy Senna. A young journalist in New York City for an internship learns of an apartment that is temporarily available. The apartment belongs to a mysterious woman named Vera Cross who has left some things behind.

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"Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined its Citizens and Privatized its Public," by Matthew A. Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg, analyzes the loss of vitality in today's democracy. The authors argue that in the 19th century, citizens could effect change by mobilizing politically. Now that contract for change pushes its individual citizenry aside through litigation, lobbying and mandatory taxation to fund military ends.

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Defining the environmental imagination as one's attempt to communicate with nature and landscape, Richard W. Judd and Christopher S. Beach wrote "Natural States: The Environmental Imagination in Maine, Oregon and the Nation." In the years following World War II, the states of Maine and Oregon recognized this need in people and the competing ideals that bring about environmental tension.

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Social critic Curtis White attributes societal change to a force he describes as mediocrity in his new book, "The Middle Mind: Why Americans Don't Think for Themselves." While White is not writing about political left or right, educated or pop culture, he does decry the loss of imagination, creativity and depth in our media, politics, education, art, technology and religion.

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The life and times of Woody Guthrie are described in "Ramblin' Man," by Ed Cray. Guthrie came of age just after the Great Depression, in Oklahoma. He joined thousands of others who left looking for work. The discrimination and exploitation he witnessed became a part of him and of the music he left America.

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From the 16th century to the early 19th century, the disease of scurvy reigned. More sailors were lost to this illness, mysterious at the time, than in all the sea battles combined. James Lind, a surgeon, James Cook, a mariner and Gilbert Blane, a gentleman, are credited with eliminating scurvy. "Scurvy" was written by Stephen R. Bown.

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