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
The Prisoner by BA Paris
Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.
Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?
Her Husband’s Murder by Jaime Lynn Hendricks
‘I do’ is about to become a death sentence…
When five friends arrive in Miami for a destination wedding, they appear excited for the forthcoming celebration as their friend, Fiona, is about to become a wife. No one would guess that each of them has a reason to want the groom dead.
Trevor wooed his bride-to-be by bonding with her close-knit friends. But Trevor’s intentions weren’t honourable. He uncovered each of the group’s darkest secrets and used them as blackmail to get their help in persuading Fiona to say ‘yes’ to his proposal.
Trevor has his own reasons for wanting to marry Fiona, and he’ll stop at nothing to make his plan a reality. But when he dies at the wedding, surrounded by enemies, the possibility of murder isn’t far behind. The pool of suspects is wide, but who was desperate enough to kill?
The Mitford Secret by Jessica Fellowes
THE MITFORDS AT WAR
It’s 1941, and the Mitford household is splintered by the vicissitudes of war. To bring the clan together – maybe for one last time – Deborah invites them to Chatsworth for Christmas, along with a selection of society’s most impressive and glamorous guests, as well as old family friend Louisa Cannon, a private detective.
One night, a psychic arrives, and to liven things up Deborah agrees she may host a séance. But entertainment turns to dark mystery as the psychic reveals that a maid was murdered in this very same house – and she can prove it.
Louisa steps forward to try to solve the cold case. But with a house full of people who want nothing more than to bury their secrets, will she be able to unmask the murderer? And how deep does the truth lie?
Auld Acquaintance by Sofia Slater
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Millie Partridge desperately needs a party. So, when her (handsome and charming) ex-colleague Nick invites her to a Hebridean Island for New Year’s Eve, she books her ticket North.
But things go wrong the moment the ferry drops her off. The stately home is more down at heel than Downton Abbey. Nick hasn’t arrived yet. And the other revellers? Politely, they aren’t exactly who she would have pictured Nick would be friends with.
Worse still, an old acquaintance from Millie’s past has been invited, too. Penny Maybury. Millie and Nick’s old colleague. Somebody Millie would rather have forgotten about. Somebody, in fact, that Millie has been trying very hard to forget.
Waking up on New Year’s Eve, Penny is missing. A tragic accident? Or something more sinister? With a storm washing in from the Atlantic, nobody will be able reach the group before they find out.
One thing is for sure – they’re going to see in the new year with a bang.
A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams
‘Tis the season to take out the mistletoe – and for a second chance at love.
Country music’s golden boy Colton Wheeler felt the most perfect harmony when he was with Gretchen Winthrop. But for her, it was a love-him-and-leave-him situation. A year later, Colton is struggling to make music, with only the Bromance Book Club standing between him and self-pity.
It’s hard for immigration attorney Gretchen not to feel a little Scrooge-ish about the excess of Christmas when her clients are scrambling to pay rent. So when her estranged, wealthy family makes her an offer that could help, she can’t say no. She just needs to convince Colton to be the new face of their whiskey brand. No big deal . . .
Colton agrees to consider Gretchen’s offer in exchange for three dates before Christmas. With the help of the Bromance Book Club, he’s determined to prove there’s still a spark between them. But can Gretchen and Colton overcome the ghosts of Christmas past to build a future together?
Strictly Christmas Spirit by Helen Buckley
From disco balls to Christmas baubles …
Ex-dancer Emily Williams turned her back on the sparkle of popular dancing show Strictly Dancing with Celebs to help those in need. Now the only dancing she does is teaching lonely pensioners to waltz, and the closest she gets to disco balls is making baubles with the homeless people in her Christmas crafts class.
She’s certainly not star-struck when Hollywood heart-throb Blake Harris is sent to her at short notice for community service, and has no desire to babysit the arrogant actor with his bad boy antics and selfish ways. Christmas might be a time for miracles, but Blake seems to be a lost cause.
But Emily’s reasons for abandoning her dancing passion means she understands the Hollywood wild child more than she’d like to admit. Could their time together, coupled with a dash of Christmas spirit, lead to a miracle change of heart for them both?
Ghost Music by An Yu
A gorgeous Beijing-set novel of music, secrets and self-discovery
For three years, Song Yan has filled the emptiness of her Beijing apartment with the tentative notes of her young piano students. With her marriage, she gave up on her own career as a concert pianist, but her husband Bowen has long rebuffed her desire to have a child.
Instead, she must accommodate her mother-in-law, newly arrived from the province of Yunnan and bringing with her long-buried family secrets. Soon strange parcels start to show up on the doorstep and Song Yan’s dreams become troubling and claustrophobic. Striking out alone through the winter city, she finds herself pulled into the ancient hutongs to confront the source of her unease.
In a silent room within a timeless house, can she find the notes she needs to make sense of all the pain and beauty in her life?
Bourneville by Jonathan Coe
In Bournville, a placid suburb of Birmingham, sits a famous chocolate factory. For eleven-year-old Mary and her family in 1945, it’s the centre of the world. The reason their streets smell faintly of chocolate, the place where most of their friends and neighbours have worked for decades. Mary will go on to live through the Coronation and the World Cup final, royal weddings and royal funerals, Brexit and Covid-19. She’ll have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Parts of the chocolate factory will be transformed into a theme park, as modern life and the city crowd in on their peaceful enclave.
As we travel through seventy-five years of social change, from James Bond to Princess Diana, and from wartime nostalgia to the World Wide Web, one pressing question starts to emerge: will these changing times bring Mary’s family – and their country – closer together, or leave them more adrift and divided than ever before?
Bournville is a rich and poignant new novel from the bestselling, Costa award-winning author of Middle England. It is the story of a woman, of a nation’s love affair with chocolate, of Britain itself.
So that’s all for this week.