Here’s my pick of forthcoming publications. 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. This harks back to my library days when the arrival of the biannual The Bookseller heralded a weekend of filling in reservation cards for my forthcoming reading.
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 Only Suspect by Louise Candlish
There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most extrovert guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
It still isn’t.
Fatal Proof by John Fairfax
The Hither Green murder…
William Benson knows what it’s like to be accused of something you didn’t do – the fear, the vulnerability and the nightmare of watching your life unravel. Now he speaks on behalf of those who have no voice, defending anyone who claims to be innocent. This time, it’s Karmen Naylor, estranged daughter of a south London crime boss, fighting a murder charge and desperate to be believed. But Benson becomes trapped into a grudge match between two rival clans, endangering himself and those he loves.
Tess de Vere is by Benson’s side but she’s keeping something from him. A stranger on the trail of a secret death squad operating in Northern Ireland during the Troubles brings a terrible secret into the heart of her own life. And he won’t go away.
Can Tess and Will find their way through all the secrets and the lies? Should justice always be served – and if so, at what cost?
The Last Remains by Elly Griffiths
When builders renovating a café in King’s Lynn find a human skeleton behind a wall, they call for DCI Harry Nelson and Dr Ruth Galloway, Head of Archaeology at the nearby University of North Norfolk. Ruth is preoccupied with the threatened closure of her department and by her ever-complicated relationship with Nelson. However, she agrees to look at the case.
Ruth sees at once that the bones are modern. They are identified as the remains of Emily Pickering, a young archaeology student who went missing in the 1990s. Emily attended a course run by her Cambridge tutor. Suspicion falls on him and also on another course member – Ruth’s friend Cathbad, who is still frail following his near death from Covid.
As they investigate, Nelson and his team uncover a tangled web of relationships within the student group and the adults leading them. What was the link between the group and the King’s Lynn café where Emily’s bones were found?
Then, just when the team seem to be making progress, Cathbad disappears. Was it guilt that led him to flee?
The trail leads Ruth and Nelson to the Neolithic flint mines in Grimes Graves which are as spooky as their name. The race is on, first to find Cathbad and then to exonerate him, but will Ruth and Nelson uncover the truth in time to save their friend?
Exiles by Jane Harper
Critically acclaimed international bestseller Jane Harper returns.
A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night.
Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes.
A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family.
Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems.
As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears.
Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth…
The Murder Game by Tom Hindle
One house. Nine guests. Endless motives for murder…
In the seaside town of Hamlet Wick, nine guests assemble for a New Year’s Eve party to remember.
The owner of Hamlet Hall has organised a murder mystery evening with a 1920s twist, and everyone has their own part to play.
But the game has barely begun when one guest is found dead – killed by a fatal injury to the head.
With no phone signal and no way out of the house, the others are trapped with a killer in their midst.
Someone is playing by their own rules. And in a close-knit community, old rivalries run deep…
The Broken Afternoon by Simon Mason
A SHOCKING DISAPPEARANCE
A four-year-old girl goes missing in plain sight outside her nursery in Oxford, a middle-class, affluent area,
her mother only a stones-throw away.
A TRIGGERING RESPONSE
Ryan Wilkins, one of the youngest ever Detective Inspectors in the Thames Valley force, dishonourably discharged three months ago, watches his former partner DI Ray Wilkins deliver a press conference, confirming a lead.
A DARK WEB
Ray begins to delve deeper, unearthing an underground network of criminal forces in the local area. But while Ray’s investigation stalls Ryan brings his unique talents to unofficial and quite illegal inquiries which will bring him into a confrontation with the very officials who have thrown him out of the force.
Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead
1936, London. A celebrity psychiatrist is discovered dead in his locked study. There seems to be no way a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, Inspector Flint, the Scotland Yard detective on the case, calls on retired stage magician turned part-time sleuth Joseph Spector.
Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colourful cast of suspects, they uncover no shortage of dark secrets… or motives for murder. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realize the crime wave will become even more deadly unless they can catch the culprit soon.
The Whispering Muse by Laura Purcell
Be careful what you wish for… it may just come true.
At The Mercury Theatre in London’s West End, rumours are circulating of a curse.
It is said that the lead actress Lilith has made a pact with Melpomene, the tragic muse of Greek mythology, to become the greatest actress to ever grace the stage. Suspicious of Lilith, the jealous wife of the theatre owner sends dresser Jenny to spy on her, and desperate for the money to help her family, Jenny agrees.
What Jenny finds is a woman as astonishing in her performance as she is provocative in nature. On stage, it’s as though Lilith is possessed by the characters she plays, yet off stage she is as tragic as the Muse who inspires her, and Jenny, sorry for her, befriends the troubled actress. But when strange events begin to take place around the theatre, Jenny wonders if the rumours are true, and fears that when the Muse comes calling for payment, the cost will be too high.
Someone Else’s Shoes by Jo Jo Moyes
Who are you when you are forced to walk in someone else’s shoes?
Meet Sam . . .
She’s not got much, but she’s grateful for what she has: a job she’s just about clinging on to and a family who depend on her for everything. She knows she’s one bad day away from losing it all – and just hopes today isn’t it . . .
Meet Nisha . . .
She’s got everything she always dreamed of – and more: a phenomenally rich husband; an international lifestyle; and . . . she’s just been locked out of all of it after her husband initiates divorce proceedings . . .
Sam and Nisha should never have crossed paths. But after a bag mix-up at the gym, their lives become intertwined – even as they spiral out of control.
Each blames the other as they feel increasingly invisible, forgotten, lost – and desperately alone.
But they’re not.
No woman is an island. Look around. Family. Friends. Strangers.
Even the woman you believe just ruined your life might turn out to be your best friend.
Because together you can do anything – like take back what is yours . . .
The Fires by Sigríður Hagalín Björnsdóttir
After an eight-hundred-year slumber, the volcanoes in Iceland’s most populated region are showing signs of life. Earthquakes dominate the headlines. Echoes of the devastating eruptions in the past stir unease in the people.
Volcanologist Anna Arnardóttir has spent her entire life studying the volcanic powers under the earth’s crust, but even she cannot fathom the catastrophe at hand.
As a series of eruptions threaten most of Iceland’s population, she’s caught off her rational guard by the most terrible natural disaster of all—love. The world as she knows it is about to fall apart, and so is her heart.
Caught between the safety of a nation and her feelings for her children, her lover, and her past, Anna embarks on a dangerous journey to save the lives of the people she loves—and her soul.
History Keeps Me Awake at Night by Christy Edwall
Margit is at the point in life when things should have cohered. She’s married, she’s got a degree, she’s got friends who throw good parties, and yet she’s still adrift, moving from one precarious job to the next. One day, a picture of some Mexican students catches her eye in a newspaper. The group of 43 had been ambushed by police in 2014 while travelling on a bus and disappeared without a trace. And so begins Margit’s obsession with the ‘desaparecidos’. As she heads off down the rabbit holes and cul-de-sacs of Google Maps, her idiosyncratic quest to uncover the truth of what happened begins to eclipse pretty much everything else.
From a sharp and singular new literary voice, this is a novel that captures the texture of life in a frictionless city with drop-pin accuracy, while asking: is it possible to recover what is lost without losing oneself?
Weyward by Emilia Hart
Kate flees London – abandoning everything – for Cumbria and Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great-aunt. There, a secret lurks in the bones of the house, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.
Violet is more interested in collecting insects and climbing trees than in becoming a proper young lady. Until a chain of shocking events changes her life forever.
Altha is on trial for witchcraft, accused of killing a local man. Known for her uncanny connection with nature and animals, she is a threat that must be eliminated.
But Weyward women belong to the wild. And they cannot be tamed…
Weaving together the stories of three women across five centuries, Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.
Queen Bee by Ciara Geraghty
She’s earned her stripes.
But the hive’s misbehaving . . .
How do I have three extra adult males – and a small yappy dog – living in my house when I need to grow into a graceful and sexual midlife woman?
What’s going to happen to my career if I can’t get out of this rut?
What is happening to me?
Fifty-year-old Agatha Doyle loves her empty nest – until hot flushes, a pair of killer heels and an overbearing man who won’t stop talking conspire to change her life. In one moment of madness, she unwittingly becomes a heroine to women everywhere.
But can she become the heroine of her own life?
Sometimes you just have to wing it.
In Little Stars by Linda Green
Two families divided by hate
A love that will not die.
Sylvie and Donna travel on the same train to work each day but have never spoken. Their families are on different sides of the bitter Brexit divide, although the tensions and arguments at home give them much in common.
What they don’t know is that their eldest children, Rachid and Jodie, are about to meet for the first time and fall in love. Aware that neither family will approve, the teenagers vow to keep their romance a secret.
But as Sylvie’s family feel increasingly unwelcome in England, a desire for a better life threatens Rachid and Jodie’s relationship. Can their love unite their families – or will it end in tragedy?
Fling by Joseph Murray
Having an affair might not always mean being unfaithful . . .
Tara loved Colin at first sight. Colin loved Tara at first fight. That’s when they knew they were meant for each other.
But after six years, their marriage has started to crumble. Unable to recapture the spark they once had, it seems it’s all over. Until they meet their 100% match on a controversial new dating app – Fling.
At once heartfelt and hilarious, Fling by Joseph Murray is the story of a fateful – and faithful – affair to remind us all that sometimes, what you’re looking for might just be closer than you think.
The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon
Two years together. Twenty years apart. One day to change their story.
Benjamin’s world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the events of one devastating night will take their lives in very different directions.
20 years later, a bombing is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of silence is about to end.
But is it too late to put right what went wrong?
This is not a love story. But it is a story of first love, of the mistakes people make, and the lengths they’ll go to put things right.
All My Love by Miranda Dickinson
Sometimes love can be staring you in the face . . . and you don’t even know it
By day, Archie works tirelessly as assistant to the editor of a local newspaper.
By night, Esther works after hours cleaning the rows of office desks with the help of her trusty sidekick, Fred the trolley.
Their paths have never crossed, until one discarded Post-it note unexpectedly brings them together.
Because they share one thing in common . . . they’re both secretly in love with someone else.
And they might just be the two people who can help each other find the courage to confess their feelings and write the perfect love letter.
But what if they’re falling for the wrong person?
A Mother’s Heart by Carmel Harrington
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
While Rachel Butler likes her life in a pretty Dublin coastal village, her heart lies in Hawke’s Bay, where she grew up. Visiting for the first time since tragedy tore her family apart, she and her stepchildren fall for its beauty and outdoor lifestyle.
As Rachel picks up the threads of her life as a single parent, she can’t shake off the memories of her loving family in New Zealand – and her dream house, the villa on the bay. But it’s time to move forwards with their life in Ireland, close to the children’s grandparents, amid the familiar surroundings they all know well.
Until the children’s grandmother, still grieving, starts to interfere, questioning Rachel’s position as stepmother.
Until Rachel’s attempts to strengthen the family she loves so dearly backfires, pitting everyone against each other.
And until her late husband’s parents mend the rift that has existed as long as she’s been married – bringing with them an explosive secret . . .
People Change by Sara Jafari
When Shirin bumps into Kian at a house party in Brixton, she is taken aback by the feelings that resurface.
They last saw one another ten years ago as sixteen-year-olds at school in Hull. And the weight of everything left unsaid since then still hangs between them.
But now they’re back in each other’s lives, it’s harder to run from the past.
There’s nothing worse than losing the person you trust with your deepest secrets.
Can it be different second time around?
People Change is a moving and thought-provoking exploration of two people overcoming the past, re-finding each other and discovering their place in the world.
The Last First Date by Hayley Quinn
At 31-years-old, Helen Pines is far from where she thought she would be. Whilst her ex-boyfriend is now engaged, Helen’s ordering Deliveroo for one, dreaming of her last first date.
Determined to give online dating a go, she matches with drop-dead gorgeous Brody… One date later, Helen’s heart is still singing. Brody’s sexy, charismatic, and the perfect gentleman. But then she receives an error message on the app… all her contacts have been deleted.
With nothing but Brody’s name and job title to go on, Helen is determined to track him down.
But despite the initial chemistry, Helen knows surprisingly little about her mystery man… Was it really love-at-first like, or will she find a new love along the way?
Sorry, Bro by Taleen Voskuni
From new best friend to girl of her dreams . . .
When Nar’s boyfriend gets down on one knee and proposes to her a San Francisco bar, she realises it’s time to find someone who shares her idea of romance.
Enter her mother who wants Nar to settle down with a nice Armenian boy. Armed with a spreadsheet of Facebook-stalked men, she convinces Nar to attend ‘Explore Armenia’, a month-long festival of events in the city. But it’s not the parentally-approved playboy doctor or wealthy engineer who catches her eye – it’s Erebuni, a cool and intriguing young woman fully intouch with her heritage. Suddenly, with Erebuni as her guide, the events feel like far less of a chore, and much more of an adventure.
Erebuni helps Nar see the beauty of their shared culture and makes her feel understood in a way she never has before. But there’s one teeny problem: Nar’s not exactly out as bisexual.
Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
After five years’ marriage they’re about to have their first date . . .
Eliza and Graham’s marriage is quietly failing. With their five-year anniversary approaching, neither of them are thrilled about the weeklong getaway they’ve been gifted. The luxury retreat prides itself on being a destination for those in love and those looking to find it – but for Eliza and Graham it’s the last place they want to be.
After a well-meaning guest mistakes Eliza and Graham as being single and introduces them at the hotel bar, they don’t correct him. Suddenly, they’re pretending to be perfect strangers and it’s unexpectedly fun. Eliza and Graham find themselves flirting like it’s their first date.
Everyone at the retreat can see the electric chemistry between Eliza and Graham’s alter egos. But as their game continues they realize this performance could be the very thing that saves their marriage . . .
Looking Out for Love by Sophia Money-Coutts
… But is she searching in the right places?
Stella Shakespeare isn’t having a good day, or month come to think of it. She’s been unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend,cut off from the bank of dad and at thirty-two years old, she doesn’t know what she’s doing with her life.
What Stella really wants is to find love. She wants all-consuming, can’t-think-about-anything-else, can’t-even-manage-to-eat kind of love. What she found beside her in bed that morning wasn’t love. But when a tall, handsome man in a well-fitting suit walks into a Notting Hill pub, she thinks she’s finally found The One.
Everything seems to be falling into place now Stella has met the man of her dreams and has an actual job working with a private investigator nicknamed ‘The Affair Hunter’. Although sadly, life is never that straightforward and Stella starts to question whether she’s been looking for love in the wrong places all along…
The Disenchantment by Celia Bell
Everyone connected to the court of Louis XIV has something to hide. For the Baroness Marie Catherine, it is the pleasures she seeks outside of her unhappy marriage, indulging in a more liberated existence of decadent salons and discussions with writers and scholars. At the centre of her illicit freedom is her lover Victoire Rose de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Conti, the androgynous, self-assured countess.
When Victoire’s devotion results in an act of murder to save Marie Catherine, the pair must escape from the clutches of Paris’ overzealous chief of police. As they attempt to outwit him, they are led to the darkest corners of Paris and Versailles, discovering lies, mysticism, and people with secrets they too would kill to keep. Fast-paced, opulent and hypnotically absorbing, Celia Bell’s debut is a love story to die for.
The Lost Daughter of Venice by Charlotte Betts
Come to Venice. Please, Phoebe, do not fail me.
Seventeen years ago, the grand Venetian Palazzo degli Angeli was Phoebe Wyndham’s home; now, the neglected walls of the palazzo are just a haunting reminder of all she has lost.
Arriving back in Italy after a plea from her estranged relative, the Contessa di Sebastiano, the recently widowed Phoebe is shocked to discover her aunt is dead and the palazzo now belongs to her.
All she wants to do is sell the property and return home. However, when a dark family secret is exposed, the shocking deception rocks Phoebe to her very core, and she vows not to leave the City of Water without first unravelling the truth from the lies.
As Phoebe searches for answers, she finds herself growing closer to two very different men. But, when her camera catches something more sinister than the faded grandeur of Venice, Phoebe begins to question who she can really trust and whether her aunt’s death was truly an accident after all . . .
Mrs Van Gogh by Caroline Cauchi
She’s been painted out of history…until now
Who tells her story?
In 1890, Vincent Van Gogh dies penniless, unknown, a man tortured by his own mind.
Eleven years later his work is exhibited in Paris and his unparalleled talent finally recognised. The tireless efforts of one woman gave the world one of its greatest creative minds.
But twenty-eight year old Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger, Vincent’s sister-in-law and the keeper of his immense collection of paintings, sketches and letters, has, until now, been written out of history. This beautiful, moving novel finally gives this extraordinary woman a voice…
So that’s all for this week.
I’m looking forward to a few of these Jill! x
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Me too, I’ve bookmarked my faves for price drops x
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That is a whole lot of picks.
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There are a lot this week x
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