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. Also in keeping with my support for the #RespectRomFic campaign I’ve added a Romance category. This might be hit and miss as to whether I categorise correctly but hope it helps.
(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 Hike by Lucy Clarke
THE PERFECT DAY FOR A HIKE
Leaving behind their everyday lives, four friends hike out into the beautiful Norwegian wild – nothing between them and the mountain peak but forest, sea and sharp blue sky.
THE PERFECT PLACE TO DISAPPEAR
But there’s a darker side to the wilderness. A woman went missing here one year ago, scarring the mountain with suspicion and unanswered questions.
Now, the friends are hiking into the heart of the mystery. And waiting on the trail is someone who’d do anything to keep their secrets buried – and to stop the group walking away alive . . .
The Monk by Tim Sullivan
To find a murderer, you need a motive . . .
DS George Cross has always wondered why his mother left him when he was a child. Now she is back in his life, he suddenly has answers. But this unexpected reunion is not anything he’s used to dealing with. When a disturbing case lands on his desk, he is almost thankful for the return to normality.
The body of a monk is found savagely beaten to death in a woodland near Bristol. Nothing is known about Brother Dominic’s past, which makes investigating difficult. How can Cross unpick a crime when they don’t know anything about the victim? And why would someone want to harm a monk?
Discovering who Brother Dominic once was only makes the picture more puzzling. He was a much-loved and respected friend, brother, son – he had no enemies. Or, at least, none that are obvious. But looking into his past reveals that he was a very wealthy man, that he sacrificed it all for his faith. For a man who has nothing, it seems strange that greed could be the motive for his murder. But greed is a sin after all…
The Maiden by Kate Foster
“In the end, it did not matter what I said at my trial. No one believed me.”
Edinburgh, October 1679. Lady Christian is arrested and charged with the murder of her lover, James Forrester. News of her imprisonment and subsequent trial is splashed across the broadsides, with headlines that leave little room for doubt: Adulteress. Whore. Murderess.
Only a year before, Lady Christian was newly married, leading a life of privilege and respectability. So, what led her to risk everything for an affair? And does that make her guilty of murder? She wasn’t the only woman in Forrester’s life, and certainly not the only one who might have had cause to wish him dead . . .
Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater
Roach – bookseller, loner and true crime fanatic- is not interested in making friends. She has all the company she needs in her serial killer books, murder podcasts and her pet snail, Bleep.
That is, until Laura joins the bookshop.
With her cute literary tote bags and sunny smile, she’s everyone’s favourite bookseller. But beneath the shiny veneer, Roach senses a darkness within Laura, the same darkness Roach possesses.
And as curiosity blooms into morbid obsession, Roach becomes determined to be a part of Laura’s story – whether Laura wants her in it or not.
What’s the Matter with Mary Jane? by Candas Jane Dorsey
When childhood friend Pris breezes back into her life begging for help with a dangerous stalker, our heroine is thrust suddenly into the world of the Canadian uber-rich. And when Pris’s stalker is then murdered outside her book launch, the case is seemingly closed.
But something still doesn’t feel right, so our nameless heroine delves into her old friend’s past, seeking the mastermind behind Pris’s troubles before it’s too late. Bunnywit does his level best to warn them, but no one else speaks Cat, so background peril soon becomes foreground betrayal and murder.
Our detective walks a dangerous path in a world where money is no object and the stakes are higher, and more personal, than ever.
The Rabbits by Sophie Overett
How do you make sense of the loss of those you love the most?
Delia Rabbit is already struggling to juggle three wayward children, a damaged relationship with her mother and an ill-advised affair with one of her students. Then her sixteen-year-old son Charlie vanishes in the middle of a blistering Brisbane heatwave. The family reels from the loss, as twenty-year-old Olive descends into hedonism and eleven-year-old Benjamin clings ever tighter to his superhero obsession.
However, Charlie’s disappearance is stranger than it seems. And while his family search desperately for him, he may be closer than they think . . .
A multigenerational tale of motherhood, grief and the tribulations of adolescence, The Rabbits weaves a thread of magic into a classic family drama novel.
Crossing Over by Ann Morgan
Edie finds the world around her increasingly difficult to comprehend. Words are no longer at her beck and call, old friends won’t mind their own business and workmen have appeared in the neighbouring fields, preparing to obliterate the landscape she has known all her life. Rattling around in an old farmhouse on the cliffs, she’s beginning to run out of excuses to stop do-gooders interfering when one day she finds an uninvited guest in the barn and is thrown back into the past.
Jonah has finally made it to England – where everything, he’s been told, will be better. But the journey was fraught with danger, and many of his fellow travellers didn’t make it. Sights firmly set on London, but unsure which way to turn, he is unprepared for what happens when he breaks into Edie’s barn.
Haunted by the prospect of being locked away and unable to trust anyone else, the elderly woman stubbornly battling dementia and the traumatised illegal immigrant find solace in an unlikely companionship that helps them make sense of their worlds even as they struggle to understand each other. Crossing Over is a delicately spun tale that celebrates compassion and considers the transcendent language of humanity.
The North Shore by Ben Tufnell
You don’t pass through the North Shore on the way to anywhere else: it is the end of the road. The village was like many along that wild coast; inhabited by those who had always lived there, and always would.
The residents know nature’s tempestuous ways. They batten down the hatches when the storms rip through, and they clear the debris together in the aftermath.
But the morning after one particularly ferocious storm, something is washed up on the beach that has never appeared before. Something that opens the question of what nature, and the North Shore, are truly capable of.
Preloved by Lauren Bravo
Gwen is coasting through life. She’s in her mid-thirties, perpetually single, her friends are busy procreating in the countryside and conversations with her parents seem to revolve entirely around the council’s wheelie-bin timetable.
And she’s lonely. But then, isn’t everyone?
When she’s made redundant from a job she hardly cares about, she takes herself out for a fancy dinner. There she has the best sticky toffee pudding of her life and realises she has no one to tell. She vows to begin living her life fully, reconnect with her friends and family, and finally book that dentist’s appointment.
Gwen decides to start where all things get a second chance: her local charity shop. There, with the help of the weird and wonderful people and donated items bursting with untold stories, Gwen will find a way to move forward with bravery, tenacity, and more regular dental care.
Dazzlingly witty, Preloved is a tale about friendship, loss and being true to yourself no matter the expectations. Lovingly celebrating the enduring power and joy of charity shops.
Hotel 21 by Senta Rich
‘I have a first-day rule. Any sign of trouble, even a whiff of a problem, and I walk.’
Noelle is an efficient and friendly hotel cleaner, a model employee. Or so she’d have you think. The trouble is that she can’t help taking little ‘souvenirs’ as she cleans. Nothing of value, just tokens of happy, normal lives: a lipstick, a hair clip, some tweezers. And by the time the guest has noticed, she’s long gone.
As she starts at her 21st hotel, she’s determined to beat her record of one month in a five star hotel before suspicion falls on her. But when she meets her new colleagues, her plans are complicated. These women aren’t just hands pushing carts down lonely hotel corridors: they are women with lives full of happiness and worry, pain and joy. The kind of lives Noelle has never known how to live. They make her wonder what it might be like to have real friends, people to stick around for…
Will the women at Hotel 21 give her the courage to claim the life she deserves, or will her old habits come back to haunt her?
The Daughters of Madurai by Rajasree Variyar
‘A girl is a burden. A girl is a curse.’
Madurai, 1992. A young mother in a poor family, Janani is told she is useless if she can’t produce a son – or worse, bears daughters they can’t afford. They let her keep her first baby girl but the rest are taken away as soon as they are born. The fate of her children has never been in her hands. But Janani can’t forget the daughters who weren’t allowed to live.
Sydney, 2019. Nila has a secret, one she’s been keeping from her parents for far too long. Before she can say anything, her grandfather in India falls ill and she agrees to join her parents on a trip to Madurai – the first in over ten years. Growing up in Australia, Nila knows very little about where she or her family came from, or who they left behind. What she’s about to learn will change her forever…
Found in a Bookshop by Stephanie Butland
Loveday Cardew’s beloved Lost for Words bookshop, along with the rest of York, has fallen quiet. At the very time when people most need books to widen their horizons, or escape from their fears, or enhance their lives, the doors are closed. Then the first letter comes.
Rosemary and George have been married for fifty years. Now their time is running out. They have decided to set out on their last journey together, without ever leaving the bench at the bottom of their garden in Whitby. All they need is someone who shares their love of books.
Suddenly it’s clear to Loveday that she and her team can do something useful in a crisis. They can recommend books to help with the situations their customers find themselves in: fear, boredom, loneliness, the desire for laughter and escape.
And so it begins.
The Forgotten Garden by Sharon Gosling
Budding landscape architect Luisa MacGregor is stuck in a rut – she hates her boss, she lives with her sister, and she is still mourning the loss of her husband many years ago. So when she is given the opportunity to take on a parcel of land in a deprived area, she sees the chance to build a garden that can make the area bloom.
Arriving in the rundown seaside town of Collaton on the north-west coast of Cumbria, she realises that her work is going to be cut out for her. But, along with Cas, a local PE teacher, and Harper, a teen whose life has taken a wrong turn, she is determined to get the garden up and running.
So when the community comes together and the garden starts to grow, she feels her luck might have changed. Can she grow good things on this rocky ground? And might love blossom along the way…?
The Trip by Rebecca Ley
One last chance to become who we were supposed to be…
The trip was supposed to be the perfect holiday. Six friends, reuniting after two decades, spending the weekend in a beautiful riad in Marrakesh.
Only, these friends are linked by more than their university days. Together, they’ve kept a dark secret that changed the course of all their lives forever.
And as the truth threatens to surface in the stifling Morrocan heat, they all begin to question what really happened that terrible night twenty years ago…
The Woman on the Bridge by Sheila O’Flanagan
Dublin. The 1920s. As war tears Ireland apart, two young people are caught up in events that will bring love, tragedy – and the hardest of choices.
In a country fighting for freedom, it’s hard to live a normal life. Winnie O’Leary supports the cause, but she doesn’t go looking for trouble. Then rebel Joseph Burke steps into her workplace. Winnie is furious with him about a broken window. She’s not interested in romance. But love comes when you least expect it.
Joseph’s family shelter fugitives and smuggle weapons. Joseph would never ask Winnie to join the fight; but his mother and sisters demand commitment. Will Winnie choose Joseph, and put her own loved ones in deadly danger? Or wait for a time of peace that may never come?
Foxash by Kate Worsley
Worn out by poverty, Lettie Radley and her miner husband Tommy grasp at the offer of their very own smallholding – part of a Government scheme to put the unemployed back to work on the land. When she comes down to Essex to join him, it’s not Tommy who greets her, but their new neighbours. Overbearing and unkempt, Jean and Adam Dell are everything that the smart, spirited, aspirational Lettie can’t abide.
As Lettie settles in, she finds an unexpected joy in the rhythms of life on the smallholding. She’s hopeful that her past, and the terrible secret Tommy has come to Foxash to escape, are far behind them. But the Dells have their own secrets. And as the seasons change, and a man comes knocking at the gate, the scene is set for a terrible reckoning.
The Lost Wife by Susanna Moore
Summer, 1855. Sarah Brinton sets out from Rhode Island, leaving an abusive husband and child behind to head west across the country, looking for a refuge where nobody knows her history – or cares to discover it.
Sarah’s journey ends at a small frontier post in Minnesota Territory, on lands claimed both by white settlers and Native Americans. There she finds herself another husband, a Yale-educated doctor who serves the nearby Sioux reservation, and settles into a new life.
Her days on the edge of the prairie are idyllic if tough, as Sarah befriends and works with the Sioux women. But trouble is brewing in the territories. The Sioux tribes are wary of the white settlers and resent the rampant theft of their land.
When the tribes take their fate into their own hands – knowing that death will be the only outcome, Sarah’s loyalties are split between the Sioux and her fellow white settlers. As the conflict rages, she finds herself lost to both worlds.
Falling Hard for the Royal Guard by Megan Clawson
Love is in the heir in this royally good rom com – perfect for anyone who likes relatable heroines (with great hair), hot and aloof book boyfriends (with great hats), near misses, almost kisses and a corgi or two.
Despite living in an actual castle, happily ever after is evading Margaret ‘Maggie’ Moore.
From her bedroom in the Tower of London, twenty-six-year-old Maggie has always dreamed of her own fairy-tale ending.
Yet this is twenty-first century London, so instead of knights on white horses, she has catfish on Tinder. And with her last relationship ending in spectacular fashion, she swears off men for good.
And then a chance encounter with Royal Guard Freddie forces Maggie to admit that she isn’t ready to give up on love just yet… But how do you catch the attention of someone who is trained to ignore all distractions?
Can she snare that true love’s first kiss… or is she royally screwed?
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Two exes. One pact.
Could this holiday change everything?
Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple – they go together like bread and butter, gin and tonic, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.
Every year, they take a holiday from their lives to drink far too much wine with their favourite people in the world.
Except this year, they are lying through their teeth, because Harriet and Wyn broke up six months ago. And they still haven’t told anyone.
But the cottage is for sale so this is the last time they’ll all be here together. They can’t bear to break their best friends’ hearts so they’ll fake it for one more week.
But how can you pretend to be in love – and get away with it – in front of the people who know you best?
Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell by Taj McCoy
Savvy Sheldon spends a lot of time tiptoeing around the cracks in her life: her high-stress and low-thanks job, her clueless boyfriend and the falling-apart kitchen she inherited from her beloved grandma-who taught her how to cook. But when Savvy’s world starts to crash down around her, she knows it’s time for some renovations.
Starting from the outside in, Savvy tackles her crumbling kitchen, her relationship with her body, her work-life balance (or lack thereof) and, last but not least, her love life.
But as any home-renovation-show junkie can tell you, something always falls apart during renovations. First, Savvy passes out during hot yoga. Then it turns out that the contractor she hires is the same sexy stranger she unintentionally offended by judging based on appearances. Worst of all, Savvy can’t seem to go anywhere without tripping over her ex and his latest “upgrade.”
Maybe Savvy should’ve started her renovations the other way around: beginning with how she sees herself before building a love that lasts . . .
Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paige Toon
Neither of them expected to fall in love. But sometimes life has other plans.
When Wren realises her fiancé is in love with someone else, she thinks her heart will never recover.
On the other side of the world, Anders lost his wife four years ago and is still struggling to move on.
Wren hopes that spending the summer with her dad and step-family on their farm in Indiana will help her to heal. There, amid the cornfields and fireflies, she and Anders cross paths and their worlds are turned upside-down again.
But Wren doesn’t know that Anders is harbouring a secret, and if he acts on any feelings he has for Wren it will have serious fall-out for everyone.
Walking away would hurt Wren more than she can imagine. But, knowing the truth, how can she possibly stay?
So that’s all for this week.
I just finished The Maiden over the weekend and it’s brilliant! Got a few of the others coming up on my reading list over the next week or so.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I fancy that one too. Looks like you’ve got some great reads coming up x
LikeLiked by 1 person
Fab list Jill! I like the look of The Maiden. The cover is gorgeous and the story looks good as well! 😂
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’ve got my eye on that one too x
LikeLiked by 1 person