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)
Historical (I tend to take this as pre 1960’s ie not in my lifetime!)
Crime, Thriller & Mystery
A Heart Full of Headstones by Ian Rankin
John Rebus had been in court plenty of times, but this was his first time in the dock…
John Rebus stands accused: on trial for a crime that could put him behind bars for the rest of his life. Although it’s not the first time the legendary detective has taken the law into his own hands, it might be the last.
What drove a good man to cross the line? Or have times changed, and the rules with them?
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke faces Edinburgh’s most explosive case in years, as a corrupt cop goes missing after claiming to harbour secrets that could sink the city’s police force.
But in this investigation, it seems all roads lead to Rebus – and Clarke’s twin loyalties to the public and the police will be tested to their limit.
A reckoning is coming – and John Rebus may be hearing the call for last orders…
When Christmas Comes by Andrew Klavan
After a horrific murder, a sleuthing English teacher will need a Christmas miracle to prove a condemned man innocent.
Colourful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan – how could a beloved son of this tight-knit community commit such a grisly deed?
Sweet Haven is a community of military families, so no one wants to investigate a war hero. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder echoes a horrific Yuletide memory from Winter’s youth, and he knows the case is even darker than it seems. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons too.
Deeds of Autumn by Anders de la Motte
ONE TRAGIC NIGHT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING
SOUTHERN SWEDEN, 1990
Five lifelong friends gather for a last farewell to their childhoods and each other at an abandoned quarry. The mood is effervescent, but under the surface tensions run deep as not everyone is ready to let go – or be left behind. When dawn breaks, only four remain alive. The police rule the death a tragic accident, but not everyone is convinced, and the incident remains an open wound in the community.
When the old chief of police is replaced by Anna Vesper, a newly arrived detective from Stockholm, whispers and rumours about that night can no longer be silenced. Soon Anna is left with no choice but to ignore all warnings and reopen the case – while hoping her own sins won’t catch up with her.
BUT SOMEONE WILL DO ANYTHING TO HIDE THE TRUTH . . .
The Winter Killer by Alex Pine
Christmas has arrived in Cumbria, and wedding bells are ringing.
But an ice-cold killer is waiting in the fells…
As the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, DI James Walker receives a phone call that puts paid to his Christmas break. During the wedding of the year at a lakeside hotel, the bride’s sister has vanished.
When Rachel left the wedding breakfast before her speech, newly-wed Libby was furious. But as the night went on with no sign of her maid-of-honour, Libby started to realise something was very, very wrong…
Before the wedding night is out, the lake is being searched for a body.
Something old, something new. One guest is a killer. The question is: who?
Red as Blood by Lilja Sigurdardóttir
Áróra becomes involved in the search for an Icelandic woman who disappeared from her home while making dinner, as she continues to hunt for her missing sister. The second breathtaking instalment in the chilling, addictive An Áróra Investigation series…
When entrepreneur Flosi arrives home for dinner one night, he discovers that his house has been ransacked, and his wife Gudrun missing. A letter on the kitchen table confirms that she has been kidnapped. If Flosi doesn’t agree to pay an enormous ransom, Gudrun will be killed.
Forbidden from contacting the police, he gets in touch with Áróra, who specialises in finding hidden assets, and she, alongside her detective friend Daniel, try to get to the bottom of the case without anyone catching on.
Meanwhile, Áróra and Daniel continue the puzzling, devastating search for Áróra’s sister Ísafold, who disappeared without trace. As fog descends, in a cold and rainy Icelandic autumn, the investigation becomes increasingly dangerous, and confusing.
Chilling, twisty and unbearably tense, Red as Blood is the second instalment in the riveting, addictive An Áróra Investigation series, and everything is at stake…
The Choice by PD Viner
To save your life
You must kill the one you love
Can you do it?
Sarah is madly in love with boyfriend Theo, and can’t wait to go on their first weekend away.
But by the end of the first night, Theo is dead. And Sarah has killed him. But she swears she had no choice.
She was forced to kill Theo because of something that happened a lifetime ago … something buried in her past.
Now, Sarah has one week to find the truth of what happened back then and prove her innocence, before she’s turned over to the police.
She’s spent years running from the truth – but now the choices of her past might destroy her future.
A fast-paced, addictive thriller that fans of Gillian McAllister and Linwood Barclay won’t be able to put down.
Love in the City by the Sea by Lilac Mills
Sometimes crossing the finish line is only the first step
Tess Barton is stuck in a rut. Her dream of becoming an artist has stalled as she works three jobs just trying to survive. She’s barely got time to sleep and now her sister, Emma, is signing her up for a marathon…
But it’s not just any marathon. It’s the Barcelona marathon and they’d be running in memory of their late sister. When disaster strikes and Emma can’t make it, Tess finds herself facing a new city and daunting challenge all alone. That is, until an unexpected rendezvous in a little tapas bar with gorgeous local, Roberto.
Soon Tess finds that the fast-paced city isn’t so intimidating – and the marathon not quite so terrifying – with someone by her side. As she races towards the finish line, Tess starts to realise all the things she’s been running away from. But is it too late for her to chase dreams after all this time heading in the wrong direction?
The Player Next Door by Elizabeth Davis
Logan Walsh doesn’t do relationships.
Clare Thompson doesn’t do casual.
What could possibly bring them together?
Finance bro Logan and tabletop game designer Clare couldn’t be more different. They know this because their apartments face each other, and they’ve noticed. But not, you know, in a creepy way.
Still, when they get stuck in the elevator together, sparks fly and they each see an opportunity: Clare needs her co-workers to believe that she is capable of a one-night stand to get them to buy into her new role-play character, and Logan needs a steady girlfriend to prove his maturity to his boss.
After one night together, they’re keen to get on with their respective plans. Except Clare can’t understand why her hook-up seems to want to date her, and Logan is confused that Clare isn’t responding to his flirting.
A kiss in the rain might clear up any confusion over their chemistry, but this whole ‘relationship’ thing is a two-player game, and both want to win. With their hearts and their pride on the line, could the prize be love?
Merrily Ever After by Cathy Bramley
Two strangers. One big secret. And a Christmas to remember . . .
Merry has always wanted a family to spend Christmas with, and this year her dream comes true as she says ‘I do’ to father-of-two Cole. But as she juggles her rapidly-growing business, wedding planning and the two new children in her life, her dream begins to unravel.
Emily is desperately waiting for the New Year to begin, so she can finally have a fresh start. She has always put her family first, leaving little time for happiness and love. When her beloved father Ray moves into a residential home, she discovers a photograph in his belongings that has the potential to change everything.
As past secrets come to light, will this be a magical Christmas for Emily and Merry to remember?
Good Taste by Caroline Scott
Good taste is in the eye of the beholder…
England, 1932, and the country is in the grip of the Great Depression. To lift the spirits of the nation, Stella Douglas is tasked with writing a history of food in England. It’s to be quintessentially English and will remind English housewives of the old ways, and English men of the glory of their country. The only problem is –much of English food is really from, well, elsewhere . . .
So, Stella sets about unearthing recipes from all corners of the country, in the hope of finding a hidden culinary gem. But what she discovers is rissoles, gravy, stewed prunes and lots of oatcakes.
Longing for something more thrilling, she heads off to speak to the nation’s housewives. But when her car breaks down and the dashing and charismatic Freddie springs to her rescue, she is led in a very different direction . . .
Santa Maybe by Mary Jayne Baker
It’s going to be a holly jolly Christmas…
Toy Store owner Elodie Martin is not one to get into the festive spirit but nothing gets her fired up more than the chance to get one over on her nemesis, Callum Ashley – the frosty, infuriatingly handsome owner of the local department store.
Christmas is the only time she can compete thanks to her grandad Jim, everyone’s favourite Santa Claus. But when he has to unexpectedly hang up his red suit, Elodie is at risk of losing the business for good and has no choice but to rely on last-minute replacement out-of-work actor Nick Winter.
Can a sprinkling of Christmas magic warm Callum’s heart and help Elodie find her happily-ever-after? Or is it just possible that love is to be found a little bit closer to home?
Someone for Everyone by Tracy Corbett
A surprise inheritance and a failing care home might hold the unlikely makings for true love…
Kate’s husband has not only left her, he’s also left her tons of debt and she now risks losing her career as a lawyer if she can’t find a way to pay it back.
Overnight, Calvin’s life changed when he signed for a major football team, and then again when injury forced him into early retirement. His life is once more about to be shaken up after he inherits his great-uncle’s estate.
Kate needs a job and Calvin needs someone to manage the care home he now owns – if it doesn’t turn a profit in the next three months, it will be shut down and the residents forced out. Can the two work together to save Rose Court, and each other?
Home Sweet Christmas by Susan Mallery
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to fall in love
Coming home for Christmas
Returning to her home town of Wishing Tree is definitely temporary for Camryn. She can’t wait to leave and get back to her ‘real life’. Until she meets Jake. Suddenly Camryn starts to see the town, and it’s Christmas traditions, differently. She thought she’d put her future on hold…but maybe her real life was here all along, waiting for her to come home.
New in town, River is charmed by Wishing Tree’s Christmas traditions and warm-hearted people, especially Dylan Tucker whose snow melting kisses bring her to the brink of love. But Dylan has a secret and River can’t risk falling for him until she uncovers it, even if that means losing him forever.
Both women find themselves faced with difficult decisions. But if they are prepared to risk their hearts, they might find they are about to have a Christmas to remember…
One Last Gift by Emily Stone
‘Will you be brave enough to follow your heart?
For as long as Cassie can remember, it had been the three of them: Cassie, her big brother Tom, and Tom’s annoying best friend Sam.
Now, Tom is sorted, Sam is flying high, and Cassie thinks she’s figured it all out. Then tragedy happens and three become two.
For Cassie picking herself up seems unimaginable. Until she finds an envelope addressed to her, asking her to follow the trail to one last gift…
And suddenly what seems like an ending leads Cassie to something unexpected, beautiful and new…
Take an unforgettable journey from London to the Hamptons to the south of France…
A Christmas Celebration by Heidi Swain
When Paige turns up unannounced at Wynthorpe Hall, she discovers the place she knew when she was growing up has changed beyond all recognition. She’s only planning to stay for a short time, but is quickly pulled into local life.
One night while driving home after delivering library books and shopping to residents she stumbles across an isolated cottage and meets Albert, its elderly and rather grumpy owner. She quickly realises there’s more to Albert than meets the eye and the same can be said for the other man she can’t seem to help running into, handsome but brooding Brodie.
All three of them have a secret and a desire to hide away from the world, but with Christmas on the horizon, is that really the best way to celebrate the season?
Keeping a Christmas Promise by Jo Thomas
One Icelandic Christmas holiday. One snowstorm. An adventure they’ll never forget!
Twenty-five years ago, Freya and her three best friends created a bucket list. The future seemed bright, full of hope . . . But now they are travelling to Iceland in memory of the friend they’ve lost, determined to fulfil her dream of seeing the Northern Lights at Christmas.
They didn’t count on an avalanche leaving them stranded! Handsome local, Pétur, comes to the rescue, showing them how the community survives the hard winter. With Christmas approaching, Freya and her friends throw themselves into the festivities, decorating and cooking for the villagers using delicious local ingredients.
But will they manage to see the Northern Lights? And can Freya’s own dreams come true, this Christmas?
From Now On by Amelia Henley
A heartbreaking tragedy.
Charlie left his hometown behind years ago and hasn’t looked back since. These days, with a successful career and a beautiful soon-to-be fiancée, he couldn’t be happier. But when he receives some unexpected news, his life is forever changed.
A life-changing choice.
Suddenly things are falling apart, and now Charlie has to care for his family. How is he supposed to look after a heartbroken little brother and a sullen teenage sister who want nothing to do with him? He’s completely at a loss and knows he can’t do it alone – not without the help of his oldest friend, Pippa.
The chance to start afresh.
As Charlie steps back into his old life, he soon realises it’s only his family who needs fixing, there’s also his relationship with Pippa too. But returning home is a painful reminder of all that he lost and tried so hard to forget. And if Charlie is to fight for what he wants, first he must face up to his own past and decide whether he is ready to let go…
So that’s all for this week.