I can’t pretend I wasn’t dreading this post given the number of titles reportedly being published this week. With an anticipated 600+ titles I was wondering how many this post would stretch too. Well, the answer is, not as many as I expected. I can only assume that the titles being published included a large number of non-fiction titles and/or genres that are not my bag. If that is not the case, then I’ve clearly looked in the wrong places and missed a whole load of eligible titles. Hopefully that is not the case, but I’ll no doubt soon find out. So sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that this post isn’t the danger to your bank balance that it might have been.
(NB purchase links are affiliate links which could earn me a small commission, but this will not be at any extra cost to you).
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
Giovanna’s pretty face has changed: it’s turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself? She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.
Elena Ferrante is unsurpassed in her ability to draw readers into her books from the very first page and she proves this again with The Lying Life of Adults, pulling us into what the Italian trade magazine Il libraio described as ‘not a mere story but an entire world.’ The millions of readers who found themselves addicted to My Brilliant Friend and the Neapolitan quartet will find that this new novel has the same addictive, do-not-disturb-I’m-reading qualities.
The Dickens Boy by Thomas Keneally
In 1868, Charles Dickens dispatches his youngest child to Australia. Like his brother Alfred before him, sixteen-year-old Edward is expected to learn to apply himself in what his father considers to be the new land of opportunity.
Posted to a remote sheep station in New South Wales, Edward discovers that Charles Dickens’ fame has reached even there, as has the gossip about his father’s scandalous liaison with an actress. Amid colonists, ex-convicts, local tribespeople and a handful of eligible young women, Edward strives to be his own man – and keep secret the fact that he’s read none of his father’s novels.
Conjuring up a life of sheep-droving, horse-racing and cricket tournaments in a community riven with tensions and prejudice, the story of Edward’s adventures also affords an intimate portrait of Dickens’ himself. This vivacious novel is classic Keneally: historical figures and events re-imagined with verve, humour and compassion.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.
But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.
Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?
The Point of No Return by Neil Broadfoot
How far would you go to find the truth?
After more than a decade of being in prison for the brutal murder two Stirling University students, Colin Sanderson has been released after his conviction was found to be unsafe.
Returning home to a small village not far from Stirling, Sanderson refuses police protection, even in the face of a death threat. But the PR firm that has scooped him up to sell his story does know of a protection expert in Stirling. They want Connor Fraser.
Connor reluctantly takes the assignment, partly as a favour to DCI Malcolm Ford, who is none too keen to have Sanderson on the loose, particularly as he was involved in the original investigation that saw him imprisoned.
When a body is found, mutilated in the same way as Sanderson’s victims were, all eyes fall on the released man. But how can he be the killer when Connor’s own security detail gives him an alibi?
As Connor races to uncover the truth, he is forced to confront not only Sanderson’s past but his own, and a secret that could change his life forever.
The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
Driving home during a swirling blizzard, Vera Stanhope’s only thought is to get there quickly.
But the snow is so heavy, she becomes disoriented and loses her way. Ploughing on, she sees a car slewed off the road ahead of her. With the driver’s door open, Vera assumes the driver has sought shelter but when she inspects the car she is shocked to find a young toddler strapped in the back seat.
Afraid they will freeze, Vera takes the child and drives on, arriving at Brockburn, a run-down stately home she immediately recognizes as the house her father Hector grew up in.
Inside Brockburn a party is in full swing, with music and laughter to herald the coming Christmas. But outside in the snow, a young woman lies dead and Vera knows immediately she has a new case. Could this woman be the child’s mother, and if so, what happened to her?
A classic country house mystery with a contemporary twist, Ann Cleeves returns with a brilliant Vera novel to savour.
House of Correction by Nicci French
She’s a murderer.
Everyone knows she killed Stuart Rees – why else would his dead body be found in her shed?
So now Tabitha is in prison, awaiting trial.
Coming back to the remote coastal village where she grew up was a mistake. She didn’t fit in then, and she doesn’t fit in now.
That day is such a blur, she can’t remember clearly what happened. There is something she is missing, something important… She only knows one thing. She is not capable of murder.
And the only one she can trust to help her out of this situation is herself.
So she must fight. Against the odds.
For her life.
All the Devils are Here by Louise Penny
On their first night in Paris, the Gamaches gather for a family dinner with Armand’s godfather, the billionaire Stephen Horowitz. But the evening ends in horror when Stephen is knocked down and critically injured in what Armand is convinced is no accident, but a deliberate attempt on an elderly man’s life.
When a strange key is found in Stephen’s possession it sends Armand on a desperate search for the truth that will take him from the top of the Tour Eiffel, to the bowels of the Paris Archives.
And as Armand begins to uncover the secrets his godfather has kept hidden for decades, he finds himself ensnared in a web of lies and deceit that threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – he holds dear.
For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in that darkness devils hide . . .
After the Silence by Louise O’Neill
Nessa Crowley’s murderer has been protected by silence for ten years.
Until a team of documentary makers decide to find out the truth.
On the day of Henry and Keelin Kinsella’s wild party at their big house a violent storm engulfed the island of Inisrun, cutting it off from the mainland. When morning broke Nessa Crowley’s lifeless body lay in the garden, her last breath silenced by the music and the thunder.
The killer couldn’t have escaped Inisrun, but on-one was charged with the murder. The mystery that surrounded the death of Nessa remained hidden. But the islanders knew who to blame for the crime that changed them forever.
Ten years later a documentary crew arrives, there to lift the lid off the Kinsella’s carefully constructed lives, determined to find evidence that will prove Henry’s guilt and Keelin’s complicity in the murder of beautiful Nessa.
How to Raise an Elephant by Alexander McCall Smith
As the temperature rises in Gaborone, Precious Ramotswe, founder of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, wonders whether the heat could be the reason that business is particularly slow. Luckily, a slower pace in life is her natural preference, unlike her colleague Mma Makutsi, who is alert to every passing observation and inclined to making snap decisions. With fewer cases to handle, Precious has time to contemplate her new neighbours, a couple who, by the sounds of it, have a rather volatile relationship . . .
But then a distant cousin of Mma Ramotswe’s comes to the agency with a plea for help, and the ladies decide to pursue the issue together. Armed with Mma Ramotswe’s circumspection and Mma Makutsi’s sharp eye, they proceed with confidence and open hearts. What, after all, could be more straightforward than a family matter?
Meanwhile, their colleague Charlie is behaving oddly, borrowing Mma Ramotswe’s van and returning it in an unusual condition. Digging a little deeper, the explanation is both strange and extraordinary, and takes Charlie, along with Mma Ramotswe’s husband, Mr J. L. B. Matekoni, on a hair-raising night-time expedition.
In the end, Precious is reminded of the need to view a picture from every angle, to accept the imperfections in people and situations, and then find a solution – preferably over a delicious slice of her friend Mma Potokwani’s fruit cake.
Hermit by S. R. White
HE DISAPPEARED FOR 15 YEARS…SHE HAS 12 HOURS TO FIND OUT WHY.
After a puzzling death in the wild bushlands of Australia, detective Dana Russo has just hours to interrogate the prime suspect – a silent, inscrutable man found at the scene of the crime, who disappeared without trace 15 years earlier.
But where has he been? Why won’t he talk? And exactly how dangerous is he? Without conclusive evidence to prove his guilt, Dana faces a desperate race against time to persuade him to speak. But as each interview spirals with fevered intensity, Dana must reckon with her own traumatic past to reveal the shocking truth . . .
Back to School by Jack Sheffield
The year is 1969 and Jack Sheffield is a young teacher in need of a job. In a room full of twenty-nine other newly qualified teachers, he’s overjoyed when he’s appointed to Heather View Primary. Jack is excited to start his first year there and to begin shaping young minds in a beautiful new location on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
But Heather View isn’t as idyllic as it first sounds. In fact, it looks more like a prison than a primary school. With less than adequate funding and a head teacher who doesn’t seem to care, it’s no easy task to give the kids the education they deserve. But Jack’s determined to do just that.
Full of warmth and good humour, Back to School is like taking a nostalgic walk through the past to a simpler time…
Death with a Double Edge by Anne Perry
It is May 1911 when Daniel Pitt is summoned to a murder scene in the slums of London’s East End. He fears the victim is his friend Toby Kitteridge, but relief is quickly followed by dismay when Daniel identifies the dead man as Jonah Drake, a distinguished senior barrister who has been killed with a double-edged sword. But what was Drake doing in Mile End? And does their head of chambers, Marcus fford Croft, know more than he is willing to admit . . . ?
With the police holding out little hope of finding Drake’s killer, Daniel and Kitteridge rise to the challenge. Within days, they have leads that take them from the underbelly of the East End to the very highest echelons of society. Then Daniel’s father, Thomas Pitt, receives a warning from Special Branch to cease the investigation. But Daniel and his father will not be deterred – despite the risks involved in the pursuit of justice . . .
Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris
When you can find me an acre of land,
Every sage grows merry in time,
Between the ocean and the sand
Then will you be united again.
(Inspired by The Child Ballads 2 & 19)
So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.
But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or herfreedom itself . . .
Beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins, this is a stunning and original modern fairytale.
Girl Gone Mad by Avery Bishop
They say everything is fun and games until someone gets hurt. Well, someone did—and now the game has changed…
Emily Bennett works as a therapist in Pennsylvania, helping children overcome their troubled pasts—even as she struggles to forget her own. Once upon a time, Emily was part of a middle school clique called the Harpies—six popular girls who bullied the new girl to her breaking point.
The Harpies took a blood oath: never tell a soul what they did to Grace Farmer.
Now, fourteen years later, it seems karma has caught up to them when one member of that vicious circle commits suicide. But when a second Harpy is discovered dead shortly after, also from apparent suicide, the deaths start to look suspicious. And when Emily starts seeing a woman who looks a lot like Grace Farmer lurking in the shadows, she’s forced to wonder: Is Grace back for revenge? Or is Emily’s guilt driving her mad?
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but the Harpies are about to find out just how much words can hurt you.
Love at the Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot
St Aidan: a cosy Cornish village where friendships are made for life and it’s always cocktail hour somewhere…
It’s the most romantic day of the year but the girls aren’t just gearing up for Valentine’s Day and a busy wedding season ahead, it’s also the 10 year anniversary of their beloved shop!
Jess is planning the party of the decade and with the champagne and cocktails flowing, sparks are going to fly…and not just from the fireworks display!
The Other Girl by C D Major
They thought she was insane. But what if she was telling the truth?
1942, New Zealand. Edith’s been locked away for a long time. She was just five years old when she was sent to Seacliff Lunatic Asylum. Fifteen years later, she has few memories of her life before the asylum, but longs for one beyond it.
When she survives a devastating fire that destroys her ward, Edith is questioned by the police and a young doctor, Declan Harris. Intrigued by his beautiful patient, Declan begins to doubt the official reasons for her incarceration. Is she truly mad—or could the impossible stories she told as a child actually be true?
Time is running out. With Edie awaiting a new and permanent treatment, soon there will be little of her left to save. Meanwhile intrigue has tipped into obsession—Declan needs to uncover the truth, but in doing so he will risk losing everything. As he sets out to save her mind, will he lose his own?
Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh
Two sisters on trial for murder. They accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?
‘911 what’s your emergency?’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
One of them is a liar and a killer.
But which one?
Us Three by Ruth Jones
Friends forever is a difficult promise to keep…
Meet Lana, Judith and Catrin. Best friends since primary school when they swore an oath on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would always be there for each other, come what may.
After the trip of a lifetime, the three girls are closer than ever. But an unexpected turn of events shakes the foundation of their friendship to its core, leaving their future in doubt – there’s simply too much to forgive, let alone forget. An innocent childhood promise they once made now seems impossible to keep . . .
Packed with all the heart and empathy that made Ruth’s name as a screenwriter and now author, Us Three is a funny, moving and uplifting novel about life’s complications, the power of friendship and how it defines us all.
Prepare to meet characters you’ll feel you’ve known all your life – prepare to meet Us Three.
We are Family by Nicola Gill
You can’t choose your family…
Jess and Laura might be sisters, but they’re very different people. Laura is laid-back, eats cheese in bed, and takes life as it comes. Jess, meanwhile, is the classic overachiever: Chief of Chivvying, Queen of all WhatsApp groups. They’re family, but they’re not exactly friends.
…but you can let them in.
When their mum dies, the sisters struggle to agree on anything, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is an acceptable term. But as life forces them together, Laura and Jess realise: the only way through this is as a team. After all, they’re stuck with each other – and drinking wine is more fun as a pair…
For When I’m Gone by Rebecca Ley
Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…
Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.
So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.
But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…
Long Hand by Andy Hamilton
Malcolm George Galbraith is a large, somewhat clumsy, Scotsman. He’s being forced to leave the woman he loves behind and needs to explain why.
So he leaves her a handwritten note on the kitchen table (well, more a 300-page letter than a note). In it, Malcolm decides to start from the beginning and tell the whole story of his long life, something he’s never dared do before.
Because Malcolm isn’t what he seems: he’s had other names and lived in other places. A lot of other places. As it gathers pace, Malcolm’s story combines tragedy, comedy, mystery, a touch of leprosy, several murders, a massacre, a ritual sacrifice, an insane tyrant, two great romances, a landslide, a fire, and a talking fish.
Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
Journalist Janey Everett arrives at a remote village on the island of Kauai, determined to solve one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Ten years earlier, renowned pilot Sam Mallory left to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He never returned.
Now Janey has tracked down the woman she believes to be Mallory’s former flying partner, the legendary Irene Foster, and the one person who might know what really happened to him.
But Irene is hiding a story of her own. The story of an extraordinary life and a secret love she’s not quite ready to reveal…
The Wreck by Meg Keneally
I will go with the men when they rise. Women hunger, and women die, so women must also fight.
Sarah McCaffrey, fleeing arrest for her part in a failed rebellion, finds herself alone and on the run. She boards the Serpent, bound from London to the colony of New South Wales – and when the captain’s reckless actions lead the ship to be dashed onto Sydney’s notorious rocks, Sarah is the only survivor.
Adopting a false identity, Sarah determines to make a new life for herself. She takes the first work she can find, under the formidable Molly Thistle, who runs a sprawling trade empire. Sarah begins to see that there is more than one way of changing the world, but her new life is thrown into chaos when her past follows her across the seas.
A Girl Made of Air by Nydia Hetherington
This is the story of The Greatest Funambulist Who Ever Lived…
Born into a post-war circus family, our nameless star was unwanted and forgotten, abandoned in the shadows of the big top. Until the bright light of Serendipity Wilson threw her into focus.
Now an adult, haunted by an incident in which a child was lost from the circus, our narrator, a tightrope artiste, weaves together her spellbinding tales of circus legends, earthy magic and folklore, all in the hope of finding the child… But will her story be enough to bring the pair together again?
The Night of the Flood by Zoe Somerville
An atmospheric literary thriller set during the devastating North Sea flood of 1953, in which a love triangle turns murderous.
Her heart beat hard. There was a crazed beauty to the storm. It was almost miraculous, the way it took away the mess of life, sweeping all in its path…
No-one could have foreseen the changes the summer of 1952 would bring. Cramming for her final exams on her family’s farm on the Norfolk coast, Verity Frost feels trapped between past and present: the devotion of her childhood friend Arthur, just returned from National Service, and her strange new desire to escape.
When Verity meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, he seems to offer the glamour and adventure she so craves, and Arthur becomes determined to uncover the dirt beneath his rival’s glossy sheen.
As summer turns to winter, a devastating storm hits the coast, flooding the land and altering everything in its path. In this new, watery landscape, Verity’s tangled web of secrets, lies and passion will bring about a crime that will change all their lives forever.
The Queen’s Rival by Anne O’Brien
One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…
England, 1459: Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, is embroiled in a plot to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne. But when the Yorkists are defeated at the Battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.
Cecily can only watch as her lands are torn apart and divided up by the ruthless Queen Marguerite. From the towers of her prison in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit – one that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.
This is a story of heartbreak, ambition and treachery, of one woman’s quest to claim the throne during the violence and tragedy of the Wars of the Roses.
The Cyclist by Tim Sullivan
A demolition site. A body, wrapped in plastic sheeting, is unearthed in the bucket of a mechanical digger. Could Cross’ sudden, abrupt U-turn in the middle of this investigation be the biggest mistake of his career?
Odd tanning lines on his body and scars on his forearms enable DS George Cross to narrow down his search for the man’s identity.
Has the victim’s illicit side business led to his death or is it a simple case of jealousy and ambition? Cross’ relentless pursuit of the the truth leads to some awkward choices.
The Stepdaughter by Georgina Cross
It’s a normal afternoon when I walk out the patio doors of our kitchen to check on Mia, my stepdaughter, who is swimming in our backyard pool. But she’s gone. My heart stops when I see the back gate is open, her pink, fluffy towel lying folded on a chair. I was just feet away. Why didn’t I hear her scream? Who took our little girl?
My husband can’t understand how I could have let his daughter disappear. And when the police come asking questions, I wish I could wind back time to that normal afternoon when I was cooking lasagna for my family, Mia’s favorite. I can tell the officers don’t believe me: they’ve cast me as the evil stepmother.
I just wish I could understand the messages I’ve found from my husband on Mia’s phone: I’m so sorry, I still love you. And why his wedding ring is found at the bottom of the pool after Mia disappeared. He never told me it was missing. What else is he hiding?
But the detective keeps asking me where I was during those ten minutes when Mia vanished. And I can’t tell her my secret. From the way she’s looking at me, I know she thinks I did something to my stepdaughter. Mia and I haven’t always been that close and sometimes she drives me nuts, just like any normal teenager, but I would never hurt her.
I just need you to believe me.
The Wolves of Venice by Alex Cross
The city has secrets kept in the shadows.
Venice, 16th century.
The staggering wealth of Venice contrasts the brutal lives of those in the ghetto. Opportunistic merchants arrive to make their fortune. Deception, malice and perversion thrive, leading to the emergence of a dark society: The Wolves of Venice.
Drawn into the Wolves’ plots are the innocents – including Marco Gianetti, assistant to Tintoretto; Ira Tabat, a Jewish merchant; Giorgio Gabal, an artist’s apprentice; and Giovanni Spoletto, the doomed castrato – all manipulated by the likes of Pietro Aretino, the courtesan Tita Boldini and the spy Adamo Baptista.
The lives of these characters criss-cross one another. Their destinies intermingle in a Venice corrupted by spies lingering in the shadows, working for paymasters that change allegiance with the wind. As the betrayals, murders and tragedies continue, will anyone be able to bring the Wolves of Venice to justice?
The Paris Children by Gloria Goldreich
Inspired by the true story of one woman’s fight to survive during the 20th century’s darkest hour–World War II–Gloria Goldreich presents a story of love and resistance against all odds.
Paris, 1935. A dark shadow falls over Europe as Adolf Hitler’s regime gains momentum, leaving the city of Paris on the brink of occupation. Young Madeleine Levy–granddaughter of Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish World War I hero–steps bravely into a new wave of resistance women and becomes the guardian of lost children.
When Madeleine meets a small girl in a tattered coat with the hollow look of one forced to live a nightmare–a young Jewish refugee from Germany–she knows that she cannot stand idly by. Madeleine offers children comfort and strength while working with other members of the resistance to smuggle them out of Paris and into safer territories.
As the Paris Madeleine loves is transformed into a theater of tension and hatred, many are tempted to abandon the cause. Amidst the impending horror and doubt, Madeleine and Claude, a young Jewish Resistance fighter who shares her passion for saving children, are drawn fiercely together. With a questionable future ahead of them, all Madeleine can do is continue fighting and hope that her spirit–and the nation’s–won’t be broken.
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
The Paris Model by Alexandra Joel
A lush debut novel in the vein of Kathleen Tessaro’s international bestseller, Elegance, about a beautiful woman working as a model for Christian Dior in postwar Paris, who discovers astonishing secrets about herself and the fabulous people around her.
Raised on a vast Australian sheep farm, the beautiful Grace Woods is compelled to travel to tumultuous, postwar Paris in order to start a new life. While working as a glamorous model for Christian Dior, the world’s newly acclaimed emperor of fashion, Grace mixes with counts and princesses, authors and artists, diplomats and politicians. Amongst those she befriends are Pablo Picasson, Julia Childs, and the future Jackie Kennedy.
But when Grace falls in love with the handsome Phillippe Boyer, she doesn’t know that he is leading a double life, nor that his past might hold secrets and lies that will turn her life upside down.
Based on a true story, The Paris Model by debut fiction author Alexandra Joel, is an unforgettable tale of glamour, family secrets, and heartbreak.
Jenna Takes the Fall by A. R. Taylor
Twenty-four years old and newly employed in Manhattan, Jenna McCann agrees to place herself under the dead body of a wealthy, prominent New Yorker—her boss—to hide the identity of his real lover. But why?
Because she is half in love with him herself; because her only friend at Hull Industries asked her to; because she feared everyone around her; because she had no idea how this would spin out into her own, undeveloped life; because she had nothing and no one?
Or just because?
Deftly told and sharply observed, Jenna Takes the Fall is the story of someone who became infamous . . . before she became anybody at all.
Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan
From the widely renowned author Andrew O’Hagan, a heartbreaking novel of an extraordinary lifelong friendship.
Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life.
In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently. Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news.
Mayflies is a memorial to youth’s euphorias and to everyday tragedy. A tender goodbye to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.
Anyone for Edmund? by Simon Edge
They dug up his bones. They didn t know he had a mind of his own
Under tennis courts in the ruins of a great abbey, archaeologists find the remains of St Edmund, once venerated as England s patron saint, but lost for half a millennium.
Culture Secretary Marina Spencer, adored by those who have never met her, scents an opportunity. She promotes Edmund as a new patron saint for the United Kingdom, playing up his Scottish, Welsh and Irish credentials. Unfortunately these are pure fiction, invented by Mark Price, her downtrodden aide, in a moment of panic.
The only person who can see through the deception is Mark s cousin Hannah, a member of the dig team. Will she blow the whistle or help him out? And what of St Edmund himself, watching through the prism of a very different age?
Splicing ancient and modern as he did in The Hopkins Conundrum and A Right Royal Face-Off, Simon Edge pokes fun at Westminster culture and celebrates the cult of a medieval saint in another beguiling and utterly original comedy.
The Diver and the Lover by Jeremy Vine
Soaked in sunlight, love and the mysteries surrounding a famous artist The Diver and the Lover is a novel inspired by true events.
It is 1951 and sisters Ginny and Meredith have travelled from England to Spain in search of distraction and respite. The two wars have wreaked loss and deprivation upon the family and the spectre of Meredith’s troubled childhood continues to haunt them. Their journey to the rugged peninsula of Catalonia promises hope and renewal.
While there they discover the artist Salvador Dali is staying in nearby Port Lligat. Meredith is fascinated by modern art and longs to meet the famous surrealist.
Dali is embarking on an ambitious new work, but his headstrong male model has refused to pose. A replacement is found, a young American waiter with whom Ginny has struck up a tentative acquaintance.
The lives of the characters become entangled as family secrets, ego and the dangerous politics of Franco’s Spain threaten to undo the fragile bonds that have been forged.
A powerful story of love, sacrifice and the lengths we will go to for who – or what – we love.
A Year at Appleyard Farm by Emma Davies
Down a winding lane lined with strawberry trees and wildflowers lies Appleyard Farm, a beautiful orchard in the English countryside. And in a little farmhouse in the furthest corner, a young woman has a difficult decision to make…
Life on Appleyard Farm is all Freya Sherbourne has ever known. Having spent her childhood playing in the emerald green meadows and berry picking until sunset, Freya intends to call the farmhouse home forever. But when her father suddenly passes away and Appleyard Farm goes up for sale, Freya’s world comes crashing down.
Holding back the tears, she starts packing boxes while waiting for a buyer. Now the river no longer sparkles, and the apples taste a little less sweet. Until Freya learns the exciting news that her best friends Merry and Willow are moving nearby to open a local shop. And when someone from her past re-emerges, handsomer than ever and offering to mend the cracks in her broken heart, Freya’s eyes begin to twinkle once again.
But falling in love is scary, especially when you don’t know what the future holds. And when Freya discovers that her new love has been keeping a secret, one that threatens both their fragile relationship and the farm, she risks losing everything.
With the clock ticking, will Freya choose to follow her heart or save the farm? Or can she find a way to do both?
Three Single Wives by Gina Lamanna
None of them came to book club with a plot to murder . . .
So when the discussion unexpectedly turns to the appropriate revenge for a philandering husband, nobody takes it seriously. It’s all hypothetical and anyway, what woman hasn’t dreamed about killing the man she loves occasionally? That doesn’t mean she’d actually do it.
But the very next day a man is dead.
And now three women have some explaining to do . .
The Country Escape by Jane Lovering
Welcome to the idyllic country retreat of Christmas Steepleton, and let Jane Lovering whisk you away with the most heart-warming, romantic and comforting read of the year.
Leaving London and her ex-husband Luc behind, Katie and her 14-year-old daughter Poppy move into their very own, very ramshackle cottage near the village of Christmas Steepleton on the Dorset coast.
Harvest Cottage has been unloved for many years, so the job of bringing it back to life is a slow and expensive one. So, with funds running low, Katie jumps at the chance when a film company asks to use the cottage as a location. But even as things are looking up, as harvest time passes and autumn chill starts to bite, the prospect of a cold winter in the country is daunting.
Some light relief comes from new friend Gabriel, so different from Katie’s exuberant but arrogant ex Luc. Will their friendship blossom into something more romantic, or will the reality of a tough country winter send her and Poppy scurrying back to the comforts of town?
The Good Samaritan by C J Parsons
HE FOUND YOUR MISSING CHILD. YOU CAN TRUST HIM. . . CAN’T YOU?
When her five-year-old daughter disappears from the park, Carrie’s world shatters. She is tortured with worry and she blames herself. What if her inability to read facial expressions has put her child in danger?
But just days later, a stranger finds Sofia and brings her home.
Carrie should be relieved, but the abductor is still out there, still unknown. Still after her child.
And are those who have offered their help really the good Samaritans they seem… or has Carrie missed the warning signs?
A Ritchie Boy by Linda Kass
1938. Eli Stoff and his parents, Austrian Jews, escape to America just after Germany takes over their homeland. Within five years, Eli enlists in the US Army and, thanks to his understanding of the German language and culture, joins thousands of others like him who become known as Ritchie boys, young men who work undercover in Intelligence on the European front to help the Allies win World War II. In A Ritchie Boy, different characters tell interrelated stories that, together, form a cohesive narrative about the circumstances and people Eli encounters from Vienna to New York, from Ohio to Maryland to war-torn Europe, before he returns to the heartland of his new country to set down his roots.
Set during the dawn of World War II and the disruptive decade to follow, A Ritchie Boy is the poignant, compelling tale of one young immigrant’s triumph over adversity as he journeys from Europe to America, and from boyhood to manhood.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
As a child Gifty would ask her parents to tell the story of their journey from Ghana to Alabama, seeking escape in myths of heroism and romance. When her father and brother succumb to the hard reality of immigrant life in the American South, their family of four becomes two – and the life Gifty dreamed of slips away.
Years later, desperate to understand the opioid addiction that destroyed her brother’s life, she turns to science for answers. But when her mother comes to stay, Gifty soon learns that the roots of their tangled traumas reach farther than she ever thought. Tracing her family’s story through continents and generations will take her deep into the dark heart of modern America.
The Town Crazy by Suzzy Roche
The Town Crazy is set in the sleepy town of Hanzloo, Pennsylvania, a suburban Catholic community in 1961. A single father moves into town with his young son, which arouses suspicion from the husbands and the interest of the wives, but at the same time, one of the wives seems to be losing her mind, and no one knows what to do. A contemporary, often humorous take on a bygone era, The Town Crazy also delves into the terror and cruelty of childhood, the dangerous loneliness of failing marriages, sexual repression and desire, and the intersection of art and religion, all culminating in a tragedy for which everyone in the town bears some responsibility.
The Fragile Heart by Kate Hewitt
“Isobel, you are not thinking clearly. You are not considering all you would be sacrificing, all you would endure! And to be the wife of a stranger…”
1838, Boston: Once upon a time Isobel Moore was thought to be one of Boston’s most eligible young women. But, after a marriage proposal gone wrong, she is now at threat of being labelled a spinster. And, though her work at a small school for impoverished immigrants brings her great joy, she can’t help but wish for more in life.
When her dream of finding love fails to come true, she knows—if she’s to have the family she dreams of—it will take desperate measures.
Her parents wish for nothing more than Isobel to find happiness too. But when she announces she’s traveling to Burma to meet and marry a missionary she’s never met, they think she must have taken leave of her senses.
Isobel believes fate will guide her to a man she could one day love. But the paths we take do not always lead us where we expect… And Isobel’s dream of true love may be more fragile than she had ever imagined.
So there we have it, my pick of the mexa list of titles published this week. The eagle eyed among you might have spotted that there have been no Christmas titles included in my lists – yes I know it’s still August, but they are out there! As regular readers will know, I produce a mammoth Christmas list each year and consequently festive titles will appear on that list later in the year.
Having said at the start of the post that my lists are restricted to fiction titles, there is one non fiction title that will either have been eagerly awaited, or will now come as a happy surprise. So for all of The Salt Path I leave you with this.
The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn
Nature holds the answers for Raynor and her husband Moth.
After walking 630 miles homeless along The Salt Path, the windswept and wild English coastline now feels like their home.
And despite Moth’s terminal diagnosis, against all medical odds, he seems revitalized in nature – outside, they discover that anything is possible.
Now, life beyond The Salt Path awaits. As they return to four walls, the sense of home is illusive and returning to normality is proving difficult – until an incredible gesture by someone who reads their story changes everything:
A chance to breathe life back into a beautiful but neglected farmhouse nestled deep in the Cornish hills; rewilding the land and returning nature to its hedgerows becomes their new path.
Along the way, Raynor and Moth learn more about the land that envelopes them, find friends both new and old, and, of course, embark on another windswept adventure when the opportunity arises.
The Wild Silence is a story of hope triumphing over despair, of lifelong love prevailing over everything