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
Run to Ground by Stuart Johnstone
Don Colyear has made the transition from his role as a Community Police Sergeant to a new position in Edinburgh’s CID, but the adjustment has not been easy. The workload and paperwork are one thing but being micro-managed by DCI Templeton as well is more than testing.
And when Colyear’s investigation into a mysterious death spirals into a complicated case centred on a massive consignment of Class A drugs, a double murder and a clash between low-level and professional criminals, his instincts are put to the test.
If They Knew by Sophie Flynn
What would you hide to get everything you ever wanted?
After years of infertility and heartbreak, Hannah and Charlie are finally going to get their dream family. Two-year-old Isabelle is a week away from being theirs; they just have to get through the final adoption approval process.
But when a global popstar is found murdered at the celebrity members’ club in their sleepy Oxfordshire village, Hannah fears her past is finally catching up with her. Exposing the truth could see her lose everything… her husband, Isabelle – perhaps even her life.
But Hannah doesn’t realise that Charlie has his own secrets, and, in trying to save her, has put them more at risk than she ever thought possible. As the couple get drawn in further to the murky world of celebrity and murder, they soon find themselves caught in a nightmare, forced to make terrible choices.
How many bad things will a good person do to hold onto what they love?
Murder at Aldwych Station by Jim Eldridge
December 1940. With the Luftwaffe pounding the city nightly, Londoners seek refuge in underground stations. Aldwych has been taken out of service to provide shelter for the British Museum’s priceless Elgin Marbles, as well as civilians escaping the bombing. When the body of a young man is discovered on the tracks, wearing evening dress but barefoot, Detective Chief Inspector Coburg and Sergeant Lampson are on the case.
Before long, more bodies are discovered, and Coburg’s wife Rosa becomes a target for the
brutal killer. Caught up in a world of underground jazz clubs, abandoned tube stations and looters, Coburg and Lampson must track down the ruthless murderer before it’s too late …
The Sanctuary by Emma Haughton
Very few people get to stay here. And some don’t get to leave …
Zoey doesn’t remember anything about last night. But she knows something went badly wrong. For she is no longer in New York. She’s woken up in the desert, in a white building she doesn’t recognise, and she’s alone.
When she discovers she’s been admitted to The Sanctuary, a discreet, mysterious, isolated refuge from normal life, to avoid jail, she is stunned. She knows she has secrets, troubles, but she thought she had everything under control. But as she spends more time with other residents, she begins to open up about what she’s running from. Until she realises that not everyone in The Sanctuary has her best interests at heart, and someone might even be a killer . . .
Suicide Thursday by Will Carver
Eli Hagin can’t finish anything.
He hates his job, but can’t seem to quit. He doesn’t want to be with his girlfriend, but doesn’t know how end things with her, either. Eli wants to write a novel, but he’s never taken a story beyond the first chapter.
Eli also has trouble separating reality from fiction.
When his best friend kills himself, Eli is motivated, for the first time in his life, to finally end something himself, just as Mike did…
Except sessions with his therapist suggest that Eli’s most recent ‘first chapters’ are not as fictitious as he had intended … and a series of text messages that Mike received before his death point to something much, much darker…
The Bachelorette Party by Carissa Ann Lynch
New Orleans: live music, endless drinks, brightly-coloured attractions, the perfect place for a party…
The best friend
The groom’s friend
The bachelorette begins on a Friday night; all six women are excited for a chance to escape their everyday lives. But then friendly rivalries turn vicious, and a game of truth or dare turns deadly.
By the end of the weekend one of them will be dead…
Seen to be Believed by Louisa Scarr
Nothing is as it seems, for Butler and West.
One spring evening, a mother and her children are brutally attacked in their home. The unprovoked and violent assault leaves DS Robin Butler and DC Freya West in the dark – the luxury items were left untouched and there is no apparent motive.
The investigation’s only lead is Andrew Grace, the husband who was not home at the time. He and his business partner have created unique virtual reality software which is valuable and extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. Robin and Freya are stonewalled by uncooperative witnesses at every turn but when a woman linked to the work of Andrew and his co-founder is kidnapped, the need for progress becomes critical.
Failure to solve the case will result in murder. Meanwhile, Robin and Freya’s unresolved feelings have come to the surface and they must finally face facts. But is it too late? In a case where nothing is as it seems, are Robin and Freya doomed to never find the truth?
Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade
Maria‘s one-night-stand – the thick-thighed, sexy Viking of a man she left without a word or a note – just reappeared. Apparently, Peter‘s her surly Gods of the Gates co-star, and they’re about to spend the next six years filming on a desolate Irish island together. She still wants him . . . but he now wants nothing to do with her.
Peter knows this role could finally transform him from a forgettable character actor into a leading man. He also knows a failed relationship with Maria could poison the set, and he won’t sabotage his career for a woman who’s already walked away from him once. Given time, maybe they can be cooperative colleagues or friends – possibly even best friends – but not lovers again. No matter how much he aches for her.
For years, they don’t touch off-camera. But on their last night of filming, their mutual restraint finally shatters, and all their pent-up desire explodes into renewed passion. Too bad they still don’t have a future together, since Peter’s going back to Hollywood, while Maria’s returning to her native Sweden. She thinks she needs more than he can give her, but he’s determined to change her mind, and he’s spent the last six years waiting. Watching. Wanting. His shipwrecked Swede doesn’t stand a chance.
The Best Thing That Can Happen by Alain Gillot
Antoine is a script doctor: a high-flying consultant hired to cut the script of a movie before it’s green-lighted. Called to a film set on the Côte d’Azur, he casually cancels the role young hopeful Emma was cast in.
When she confronts him, her words – and actions – impart a few home-truths. Antoine chases after Emma to apologise. Little does he know that from then on, he won’t be able to return to his old colourless life.
At Emma’s side, Antoine embarks on an unexpected journey through a provincial France he’s never seen before, right into the bizarre, exciting world of her eccentric family and the itinerant theatre company she belongs to.
A love story and a road movie, this charming tale proclaims the need to overcome our fears and reach out to others.
Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fall by Ashley Herring Blake
An interior designer who is never without the perfect plan learns to renovate her love life without one in this new romantic comedy by Ashley Herring Blake, author of Delilah Green Doesn’t Care. Perfect for fans of Alexandria Bellefleur, Casey McQuiston and Rosie Danan.
For Astrid Parker, failure is unacceptable. Ever since she broke up with her fiancé a year ago, she’s been focused on her career. So when Pru Everwood asks her to be the designer for the Everwood Inn’s renovation, which will be featured on a hugely popular home makeover show, Astrid is thrilled. Not only will the project distract her from her failed engagement and help her struggling business, but her perpetually displeased mother might finally give her a nod of approval.
However, Astrid never planned on Jordan Everwood, Pru’s granddaughter and the lead carpenter for the renovation, who despises every modern design decision Astrid makes. Jordan is determined to preserve the history of her family’s inn, particularly as the rest of her life is in shambles. When that determination turns into some light sabotage to ruffle Astrid’s perfect little feathers, the showrunners ask them to play up the tension. But somewhere along the way, their dislike for each other evolves into something quite different, and Astrid must decide what success truly means. Is she going to pursue the life that she’s expected to lead or the one that she really wants?
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West
In 1960s Memphis, a young mother finds refuge in a boardinghouse where family encompasses more than just blood and hidden truths can bury you or set you free.
Sara King has nothing, save for her secrets and the baby in her belly, as she boards the bus to Memphis, hoping to outrun her past in Chicago. She is welcomed with open arms by Mama Sugar, a kindly matriarch and owner of the popular boardinghouse The Scarlet Poplar.
Like many cities in early 1960s America, Memphis is still segregated, but change is in the air. News spreads of the Freedom Riders. Across the country, people like Martin Luther King Jr. are leading the fight for equal rights. Black literature and music provide the stories and soundtrack for these turbulent and hopeful times, and Sara finds herself drawn in by conversations of education, politics and a brighter tomorrow with Jonas, a local schoolteacher. Romance blooms between them, but secrets from Mama Sugar’s past threaten their newfound happiness and lead Sara to make decisions that will reshape the rest of their lives.
The Man I Never Met by Elle Cook
Two lives are about to be changed by one phone call…
When Davey misdials Hannah’s number, at first they think nothing of it.
After all, Davey lives in Texas and Hannah lives in London.
But when Davey gets a job in London, their paths are sure to cross. As messaging turns to video calling, this feels like the start of something.
Weeks later, Hannah is waiting for Davey at the airport, but he never walks into Arrivals.
When Hannah finds out why, her world is turned on its head. And with their future so uncertain, each must pick up the pieces of their lives.
Will fate intervene once more to bring them together? Or will Davey always be the man that Hannah never met?
Lily Bennett’s Bucket List by Katherine Dyson
What would Lily Bennett do?
This is the question Lydia Grey finds herself repeatedly asking ever since she discovers Lily’s bucket list at the bottom of her shopping trolley. Lily clearly knows how to live life and it’s about time Lydia started to live hers. And what better start than to tick off all Lily’s life-long dreams . . .
1. Ride a horse
2. Jump off the 10m diving board
3. Climb a mountain
4. Go camping
5. Ride a rollercoaster
6. Learn to surf
7. Go stargazing
8. Get a tattoo
9. Do the scariest thing you can think of
After all, how hard can it be to complete the list? Except number nine means that Lydia must open herself up to her past to move on with her future . . .
A Snowfall by the Sea by Isla Gordon
Cleo loves winter in Wavebreak Bay. The tourists leave as the temperatures drop, the fairy lights go up and it really starts to feel like home again. It also happens to be the time of year that her best friend Eliot comes back from San Francisco.
Though the seasons change, not much else in Cleo’s life does. She’s in a people-pleasing rut taking the worst shifts at the family restaurant, pet-sitting for her parents and making little time for herself. Cleo has spent so long thinking about everyone around her that she’s lost sight of what she wants. And she wants Eliot. And she’s decided that, this year, she’s finally going to tell him.
But as the snow settles on Wavebreak Bay, Cleo’s Christmas-for-two is disrupted by the arrival of her entire family – and more guests keep arriving. As Cleo works hard to make sure everyone else is having the most wonderful time of the year, will she finally pluck up the courage to stand up for herself . . . and to follow her heart?
All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox
Will they hit the right notes this holiday season?
When Sadie and Max are selected as contestants on the famed reality singing show STARMAKER’s special festive season, Sadie thinks she’s finally gotten her big break – and Max sees a chance to step out of his megastar father’s shadow. But then they’re paired up for duet week and stun the world with their onstage chemistry…
With fans going wild for #Saxie, the judges demand they remain a duo – on and offstage – or exit the competition. Faking a relationship shouldn’t be too hard, except for one small problem: Sadie and Max can’t stand each other.
But with their dreams just within reach, they agree to the ruse. Will their relationship lie be exposed before they can win? Or might their fake connection turn real by the Christmas finale?
Just for December by Laura Jane Williams
Evie Bird is a romance writer whose latest bestseller is being made into a Christmas movie.
Duke Carlisle is a world-famous actor who has landed the role of leading man.
When Evie and Duke meet on set, it’s a frosty encounter – even icier than the cobbled Bavarian streets they’re filming on.
But after images of them arguing leak to the press and put the movie in jeopardy, they are left with no choice but to fake date until the cameras stop rolling.
As the pair start to put their differences aside, their feelings gradually begin to thaw… But can sparks ever really fly in a snowstorm?
The Dazzle of the Light by Georgina Clarke
A sparkling new historical novel set in the 1920s, inspired by the notorious all-female crime syndicate known as the Forty Thieves who operated out of the slums of south London.
Ruby Mills is ruthlessly ambitious, strikingly beautiful – and one of the Forty Thieves’ most talented members.
Harriet Littlemore writes the women’s section in a local newspaper. She’s from a ‘good’ London family and engaged to an up-and-coming Member of Parliament – but she wants a successful career of her own.
After witnessing Ruby fleeing the scene of a robbery, Harriet develops a fascination with the elusive young thief that extends beyond journalistic interest. As their personal aspirations bring them into closer contact than society’s rules usually allow, Ruby and Harriet’s stories become increasingly intertwined.
Their magnetic dynamic, fraught with envy and desire, tells a compulsive, cinematic story about class, morality and the cost of being an independent woman in 1920s London.
So that’s all for this week.