Coming this week – my fiction picks to 24th April

Here’s this week’s list of new fiction titles. These are titles appearing in hardback/paperback for the first time. In some cases the ebook might already be available. All titles are based on the listings found in The Bookseller, so I’m not working from a list of all titles being published.

Just a reminder I don’t see any advance copies, my choices are based on the blurb, gut instinct and what takes my fancy at the time.

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

Index

Crime, Thriller and Mystery

General Fiction

Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)

Crime, Thriller & Mystery

The Beach House by Beverley Jones

The beach house was the perfect place to hide. Or so she thought . . .

When Grace Jensen returns to her home one day, she finds a body in a pool of blood and a menacing gift left for her.

The community of Lookout Beach is shocked by such a brutal intrusion in their close-knit neighbourhood – particularly to a family as successful and well-liked as the Jensens – and a police investigation to find the trespasser begins.

But Grace knows who’s after her. She might have changed her name and moved across the world, deciding to hide on the Oregon coast, but she’s been waiting seventeen years for what happened in the small Welsh town where she grew up to catch-up with her.

Grace might seem like the model neighbour and mother, but nobody in Lookout Beach – not even her devoted husband Elias – knows the real her. Or how much blood is on her hands.


Murder at Claridge’s by Jim Eldridge

One of the Claridge’s kitchen porters is found dead – strangled. He was a recent employee who claimed to be Romanian, but evidence suggests he may have been German. Detective Chief Inspector Coburg has to find out exactly who he was, and what he was doing at Claridge’s under a false identity. Once he has established those facts, he might get an insight into why he was killed, and who by.

Coburg’s job is complicated by the fact that so many of the hotel’s residents are exiled European royalty. King George of Greece is registered as ‘Mr Brown’ and even the Duke of Windsor is staying, though without Wallis Simpson. Clandestine affairs, furtive goings-on and conspiracies against the government: Coburg must tread very lightly indeed .


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General/Contemporary Fiction

Recipe for Mr Right by Anni Rose

A sprinkle of luck and a dollop of fate …Ruby Brooks is a little sceptical when her horoscope say she’s going to have a fabulous year – especially when she loses a boyfriend and a job in quick succession. Plus, a rogue kitchen fitter has run off and taken everything, including the kitchen sink!So, Ruby takes luck and fate into her own hands with an unusual resolution – she’ll enter ten competitions a day, whether they’re for her dream Japanese holiday or a year’s supply of dog food (she doesn’t have a dog), and win her way to happiness.But when a Valentine’s Day prize from a local restaurant results in chef Adam Finder (and his dog, Brutus) appearing in her life, is that luck or fate? And will Ruby ultimately find out that true happiness doesn’t need to be won?


One Day I Shall Astonish the World by Nina Stibbe

Susan and Norma have been best friends for years, at first thrust together by force of circumstance (a job at The Pin Cushion, a haberdashery shop in 1990s Leicestershire) and then by force of character (neither being particularly inclined to make friends with anyone else). But now, thirty years later, faced with a husband seeking immortality and Norma out of reach on a wave of professional glory, Susan begins to wonder whether she has made the right choices about life, love, work, and, most importantly, friendship.

Nina Stibbe’s new novel is the story of the wonderful and sometimes surprising path of friendship: from its conspiratorial beginnings, along its irritating wrong turns, to its final gratifying destination.


The Odyssey by Lara Williams

Meet Ingrid. She works on a gargantuan luxury cruise liner, where she spends her days reorganizing the merchandise and waiting for long-term guests to drop dead in the changing rooms. On her days off, she disembarks from the ship and gets blind drunk on whatever the local alcohol is. It’s not a bad life. And it distracts her from thinking about the other life she left behind five years ago.

Until one day she is selected for the employee mentorship scheme – an initiative run by the ship’s mysterious captain and self-anointed lifestyle guru, Keith, who pushes Ingrid further than she thought possible. But sooner or later, she will have to ask herself: how far is too far?

Utterly original, mischievous and thought-provoking, The Odyssey is a merciless takedown of consumer capitalism and our anxious, ill-fated quests for something to believe in. And as its title suggests, it is a voyage that will eventually lead its unlikely heroine all the way home. Though she’d do almost anything to avoid getting there…


The Little French Bookshop by Cecile Pivot

A letter writing workshop.
Five strangers.
Countless secrets bursting in between the pages.

When French bookseller Esther loses her father, she decides to place an ad in a newspaper, inviting struggling readers to join her secret letter writing workshop.

To Esther’s surprise, applications pile in by the dozens – and before long, an elderly lady, a disillusioned businessman, a disheartened couple and an awkward teenager find themselves sharing stories, seeking advice, and forging new friendships.

As Esther’s students uncover the hopes, dreams and fears that were hiding behind the pen, Esther, too, finds herself thrown into a new world full of unexpected adventures.


Fossils  by Alison Armstrong

When twelve-year-old Sherrie-Lee witnesses a failed bank robbery in her neglected town, she seizes an opportunity to claim a new identity for herself. Escaping her troubled home life, she tries out a new name and invents stories and personas to cover her tracks.

Sherrie-Lee finds both possibility and loneliness in this new freedom, as well as an unusual friendship which she nurtures. But harsh realities close in, and she’s plagued with foreboding – from her vulnerable brother at home to the climate crisis. While she dreams of a kinder world, it won’t be long before her own deceits start catching up with her.

This arresting debut challenges assumptions and captures the powerless yearning of adolescence with a voice that is fresh, magnetic and often funny – one that pulls you in and won’t let go.


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Historical

The Stone Rose by Carol McGrath

London, 1350. Agnes, daughter of a stonemason, is struggling to keep her father’s trade in a city decimated by plague. And then she receives a mysterious message from the disgraced Queen Isabella: mother of King Edward III, and widow of Edward II. Isabella has a task that only Agnes can fulfil. She wants her truth to be told.

Much has been whispered of the conflicts in Isabella and Edward’s marriage. Her greed and warmongering. His unspoken love for male favourites. But as Agnes listens to Isabella, she learns that she can be of help to the queen – but can either woman choose independence, follow her own desires, and survive?

The sweeping third instalment of Carol McGrath’s acclaimed She-Wolves Trilogy: the gripping series exploring the tumultous lives and loves of three queens of England – and of three women who lived in their shadow.

Based on the extraordinary true story of the female stonemason who carved a queen’s tomb!


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So that’s all for this week.

Happy Reading!

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