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PREMIUM

Fortuna

Merbeth’s space opera takes off in new directions after her previous postapocalyptic books (Bite; Raid). High energy, high stakes, and lots of high notes will give readers who enjoy Catherynne M. Valente’s Space Opera a new volume on which to crash-land.
PREMIUM

The True Bastards

French’s sequel to The Grey Bastards, a 2018 LJ Best Book, continues the half-orcs’ penchant for rough rides, foul language, and heady action sequences. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.]
PREMIUM

One Dark Wish

Danger abounds in this steamy second entry in Wray’s “Deadly Force” series (after Every Deep Desire) that is unfortunately marred by too many plot twists, making it difficult even for familiar readers to keep everything straight.
PREMIUM

Watt O’Hugh and the Innocent Dead: Being the Third Part of the Strange and Astounding Memoirs of Watt O’Hugh the Third

Genre mashup devotees should get some good laughs and thrills from this Western/adventure/sf/fantasy blend. Fans of Doctor Who may adapt easily to the timey-wimeyness, and readers of Richard Kadrey’s “Sandman Slim” series who long for more atypical excursions to hell will enjoy as well.
PREMIUM

The Rise of Magicks

The final volume of “The Chronicles of the One” (Of Blood and Bone; Year One) is a full fantasy, postapocalyptic version of Roberts’s tried and true storytelling mastery. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

Lies in White Dresses

For those who enjoyed the author’s previous novels, as well as readers of women’s fiction and fans of Melanie Benjamin, Jennifer Chiaverini, and Meg Waite Clayton.
PREMIUM

She Was Like That: New and Selected Stories

These stories from National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist Walbert are poignant and compelling; each is complete in itself but will leave the reader wanting more. Recommended for all short story readers. [See Prepub Alert, 3/15/19.]

PREMIUM

The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr

Readers misled by the title to expect a less disturbing love story will certainly be disappointed.
PREMIUM

Fly Already

Originally written in Hebrew, the pieces in this fine collection lose nothing in translation; the wit and humanity of each tale survive intact. Ideal reading for short bursts of time or short attention spans. [See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]

PREMIUM

Here I Am!

A wide range of readers from late adolescence on will find this compelling story of one youngster’s adventure full of psychological depth and rich characterization.

Frankissstein: A Love Story

As the subtitle declares, this is a love story, paralleling the relationship between Mary Shelley and Percy Shelley and that between Ry and Victor. The forthright description of nonbinary choice forms a replete example of embracing transgender experience, and both Victor Stein and Victor Frankenstein are finally shown to be illusory characters, adding spookiness. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]
PREMIUM

The Stylist Takes Manhattan

An excellent addition to library collections, especially where the first book was popular.
PREMIUM

Paper Chains

By turns delightful and heartrending, this is a lovely read for fans of Marian Keyes and Jane Green.
PREMIUM

The Lady and the Highwayman

Eden’s latest entry in the “Victorian” series (after Ashes on the Moor) is a joy to read, filled with adventure, suspense, two characters longing for love but protective of their secrets. Two original penny dreadfuls interspersed throughout make this story even more impressive.
PREMIUM

How To Cross a Marquess

Ashford’s third book in the series (after A Lord Apart) reveals that distance and time and perhaps a nudge from the right person at the right moment can set us on a new path toward happiness. Plenty of peril and intrigue keep the pages of this satisfying Regency romance turning.
PREMIUM

No Judgments

As in Cabot’s previous adult romances (e.g., The Boy Is Back), our heroine’s wit and humor and determination to stay the course shines through in this breezy story that is a pure delight to read.
PREMIUM

Well Met

DeLuca turns in an intelligent, sexy, and charming debut romance sure to resonate with Renaissance Faire enthusiasts and those looking for an upbeat, lighter read.
PREMIUM

The Scotsman Who Swept Me Away

Series fans will appreciate this next chapter in the adventures of the seven MacEnroy brothers and the women who love them, especially as Howell (“Murrays” series) moves the story to a New England coast setting.

Royal Holiday

Filled with delightful, swoon-worthy dates and many laughs, this affectionate, cross-continent holiday romance is perfect for cozying up with on a cold winter’s night. Fans of this popular series will be clamoring for this latest entry.
PREMIUM

The Blacksmith Queen

This new series opener from Aiken (“Dragon Kin” series) is a bit bumpy in its worldbuilding, but readers looking for a fantasy romance that doesn’t take ­itself too seriously will enjoy.
PREMIUM

The First Lady and the Rebel

This page-turner will please those who enjoy Civil War–era settings. This may also appeal to readers of Higginbotham’s previous historicals (Margaret Pole: The Countess in the Tower), though they are set much earlier and for the most part in England.
PREMIUM

More to Life

NAACP Award–winning Billingsley returns to the characters of her 2003 debut, My Brother’s Keeper, with this engaging and relatable story of one woman’s midlife realization that it’s never too late to live your best life.

The Giver of Stars

Rich in history, with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place, this book will fit well in any library’s fiction collection. For fans of Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants or Catherine Marshall’s Christy. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/19; “Fall Fireworks,” LJ 8/19.]
PREMIUM

The Sisters of Summit Avenue

Cullen’s (Mrs. Poe) complex story of a family torn apart by jealousy, betrayal, and misunderstanding will resonate with all readers. Courageous and heart-wrenching, it is a tribute to mothers, daughters, and sisters that’s not to be missed.
PREMIUM

Lost in the Spanish Quarter

By focusing on Heddi’s relationship with Neapolitan language and culture, the book is similar to Ben Lerner’s Leaving the Atocha Station in suggesting that while immersion in a different environment can be challenging, it facilitates growth and change. While the narrative could have used some tightening and more editing, it will appeal to students and adults interested in all that college, first love, and new experiences bring to one’s life.
PREMIUM

The Sacrament

Olafsson deftly braids present and past events as Sister Marie Joseph grapples with her recollections of Halla while ensnaring herself in the investigation. The sister’s first-person voice seems dry and dispassionate, but the novel confounds our expectations, sifting through memory, as it evolves into a low-simmering psychological thriller. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 6/10/19.]

PREMIUM

Reinhardt’s Garden

Subverting the conventions of the late 19th–early 20th century novel of the obsessed European venturing into the jungle, Haber (Deathbed Conversions) has crafted a knowing (and perhaps at times too knowing) parody of the genre. Combine its brevity with its main character’s mania and almost religious elevation of melancholy, and the book might best be described as Heart of Darkness viewed in a fun house mirror.

PREMIUM

Nothing To See Here

Wilson further cements himself as a chronicler of peculiar families while reminding us that, then again, aren’t they all? [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

Husband Material

A story for chick lit fans looking for something a bit different and more serious than the usual offerings. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/19.]
PREMIUM

Never Too Soon

The second title in Christy’s “Anaya’s World” series (after Anytime Soon) has a solid, relatable, character-driven story of the emotional dynamics within family and friends.
PREMIUM

The Innocents

Similar to Crummey’s Sweetland as it delves into the minutiae of life on a northerly island, this novel can be tough going at times, but fans of narrative travel writing will appreciate Crummey’s descriptive flourishes. The relentless bleakness is alleviated by the cinematic depiction of the surrounding wilderness, with Crummey’s prose recalling that of Jim Crace in its strange, archaic terminology and sense of timelessness, and the conclusion is strangely moving. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]

PREMIUM

On Swift Horses

Debut novelist Pufahl’s sharp, gritty details of 1950s San Diego and Las Vegas effectively draw the reader into her protagonists’ struggles to bring meaning to their lives, however different their experiences. [See Prepub Alert, 11/5/19.]
PREMIUM

All the Better Part of Me

This honest coming-of-age romance will resonate with those who are discovering their own sexual identity, while Sinter and Andy’s flirtatious, tentative romance should please all lovers of the genre.
PREMIUM

Restless Rancher

Series fans will enjoy this look into Austin’s life, along with more appearances from Noah, Roxy, and other residents of Wild Rose Ranch. Ryan delights with exciting twists and one hot, protective cowboy. Readers may struggle to believe how easily this couple overcomes each hurdle set in their way, but if they hang on, they will be eager to return to Wild Rose Ranch. Especially recommended for fans of Linda Howard.
PREMIUM

Wolf Rebel

Exceptional worldbuilding and a thriller atmosphere will appeal to paranormal readers of Jennifer Ashley and Stephanie Tyler. Romantic suspense fans will be drawn to the ardent relationship between the reformed werewolf hunter and SWAT officer fighting the demons of her past.
PREMIUM

Don’t You Forget About Me

McFarlane (After Hello) uses Georgina’s voice to explore how humor is used to mask pain as well as to help understand and get through it. Successful as both a romantic comedy and an insightful look into finding one’s voice, this is a story readers will flock to for the laughs and remember for its realness.
PREMIUM

The Merry Viscount

What begins as a typical snowbound-at-Christmas tale evolves into an emotionally driven reflection on how love can help overcome past traumas. Perfect for readers looking for a more thoughtful holiday story.

Aurora Blazing

This second book in the “Consortium Rebellion” trilogy (after Polaris Rising) is another exciting, action-driven read. Strong female characters, a slow-burn romance, and interplanetary adventures will draw in both sf and romance readers, especially fans of Ilona Andrews, Becky Chambers, and Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Lady Astronaut” series.

The Killing Light

This final volume of the “Sacred Throne” trilogy (after Queen of Crows) will wreck your emotions in the worst and best ways. Writing intelligent, intense prose, Cole delivers vivid worldbuilding in a story brimming with religious and military fervor and ruthless action, offering a stunning conclusion to Heloise’s journey.

Hex Life: Wicked New Tales of Witchery

Wickedness and white magic, edgy prose, and celebrated authors make this a magical volume that twists and shapes the witch archetype into fascinating, dark tales.

The Deep

This slim story packs a huge punch. Beautiful and stark in its pain, this emotional journey is one that all readers should take, in order to remember the atrocities of slavery. [See “Fall Fireworks,” LJ 8/19.]

The Impossible Contract

Doore’s second novel (after The Perfect Assassin) continues the lush worldbuilding and inclusive characters of the first, while establishing exciting action- and emotion-filled sequences that will keep readers engaged.

The Name of All Things

The second of Lyons’s “Chorus of Dragons” series (after The Ruin of Kings) carries on the epic settings, memorable characters, and broad mythological foundations. Lyons is creating a complex and wonderful series that will immerse and delight.
PREMIUM

Murder at Whitby Abbey

Although set centuries apart, Clark’s tenth medieval mystery (following Murder at Meaux) and Cora Harrison’s 1920s-set “Reverend Mother” series share similarly rich details of religious and political life. Readers who favor the political tensions and historical aspects of Ellis Peters’s “Brother Cadfael” mysteries will further appreciate this leisurely paced story.
PREMIUM

Olive, Again

Strout, who won the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge (2008), wrote that Olive forced her way back into Strout’s consciousness long after the author thought she was done with her. Olive demanded Strout write these new stories. Of course Olive did that. It’s so…Olive. Thank goodness Olive prevailed. Exquisite. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]

The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols: Adapted from the Journals of John H. Watson, M.D

Director and author Meyer puts his own stamp on the Holmes and Watson tradition, basing his story on historic events with contemporary relevance, as lies become accepted as truth by means of willful ignorance. Holmes enthusiasts will relish this well-crafted novel.
PREMIUM

A Bitter Feast

This superbly entertaining crime novel will delight mystery fans who crave character-rich, classically composed mysteries in the style and manner of those written by the late, great P.D. James. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]

Bringing Down the Duke

Dunmore’s debut is chock-full of verve, history, and passion, introducing a heroine who knows her worth and is determined not to be held back by her past. This series opener provides many opportunities for future installments, which will comfort readers as they reach the enthralling denouement.

Death in Focus: An Elena Standish Novel

Obvious comparisons to Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford and Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs are warranted, but this novel also hearkens back to Helen MacInnes’s classic spy thrillers and Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense novels. At turns heartbreaking and action-packed, this gripping and superbly written story proves Perry still has what it takes. [See Prepub Alert, 2/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Ain’t Nobody Nobody

This debut novel is most notable for Ellett’s supremely witty prose and the oddball but deeply relatable characters. Readers looking for a fresh, offbeat voice in the mystery genre will find it here.
PREMIUM

Iced in Paradise

Featuring family loyalties, surfing, and a distinct lifestyle, this character-driven, atmospheric mystery may appeal to new adults and those readers interested in Hawaiian culture.

Ice Cold Heart

The tenth Monkeewrench novel is as intense and fast paced as its predecessor, The Guilty Dead, and includes the best elements for crime fiction readers: an intricate plot weaving multiple story lines. Though the backstory is disturbing, fans of the compelling series will appreciate the focus on Roadrunner and a glimpse of his past.
PREMIUM

The Man That Got Away

The precise wordplay and convoluted crime plot of this 1950s British blackish comedy will please fans and attract more readers to the series.
PREMIUM

Remembering the Dead

With a mystery involving a poet’s chair and Irish Travelers, the award-winning author of Murder on the Hour focuses on the culture of Wales in her latest cozy. The charming characters will appeal to Jane K. Cleland’s readers.
PREMIUM

Pretty Guilty Women

Readers searching for their next binge read or book club selection will want to seek out this title from “Hex Files” series author LaManna.
PREMIUM

Missing Person

Lotz’s (The White Road) clever novel includes a judicious use of formats such as messaging transcripts and web comments to move along the plot while providing insights into the Missing-Linc.com crew. Suggested for fans of authors such as Ruth Ware, Jennifer McMahon, Gillian Flynn, and Nic Joseph.

Elevator Pitch

Fans of psychological thrillers and the author’s previous books will love this. Warning: it might leave some readers a bit uncomfortable next time they enter an elevator. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/19.]
PREMIUM

A Legacy of Murder

The serious tone of the mystery is alleviated by the humor of an ongoing feud among local pubs in this second “Kate Hamilton” mystery (A Dream of Death). Readers will appreciate Kate’s growth as a character in this atmospheric story. Fans of Jane K. Cleland’s books featuring another antiques dealer involved with a police officer will want to try this series.

Nothing Ventured

Following the success of the historical “Clifton Chronicles,” Archer launches a series set in the 1980s. As he says, it’s the story of a detective, not a detective story. Archer’s numerous fans will appreciate another dramatic, character-driven mystery set in the world of art, police work, and court trials. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/19.]
PREMIUM

Death of a Gigolo

There’s a solid mystery buried in the over-the-top humor in this sequel to Death of a Neighborhood Scrooge. Fans of Mary Daheim and Tamar Myers will appreciate the comedy.

Barbara’s Picks (Chris Bohjalian, Hendricks/Pekkanen, Phillip Margolin, Peter Swanson), Plus More Tales of Disappearance and Death | Thriller Previews, Mar. 2020, Pt.2 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Opioid, Indiana

Like his all-knowing young protagonist, Carr (Slip; Vampire Conditions) is a writer of modern, crisp, and quick prose. This latest novel presents a fresh twist on today’s teenager in a wasteland of drugs and economic hardship.
PREMIUM

Campusland

With one-dimensional, highly stereotypical characters and narratives plucked straight from conservatives’ talking points or ranting tweets, this reads less as a skewering and more of a meanspirited, right-wing screed. Disappointing at best.
PREMIUM

The Glass Woman

Readers with a high tolerance for terror and despair or an interest in Icelandic history and lore are the most likely audience for this dark novel.

PREMIUM

When Hell Struck Twelve

The action starts on the first page and doesn’t slow down, unfortunately sacrificing backstory in the process. Readers of World War II fiction and those who enjoy plot-driven stories will find much to love; however, Benn assumes a level of war knowledge that might leave some readers frustrated and confused. Purchase where previous volumes circulate, but new readers should start with the first in the series, Billy Boyle.
PREMIUM

Murder at Kensington Palace

Penrose deftly intertwines the politics of navigating Regency-era society, scientific progress, and the deepening relationship between the protagonists. Series fans will enjoy revisiting the lively cast of characters, while historical fiction readers will be satisfied by the immersive, richly detailed mystery.
PREMIUM

The Paris Orphan

Those who appreciate historical novels and female leads who break out of the traditional mold will find this tale worth their time.

Travel the World via Translated Lit | Wyatt's World

Barbara’s Picks (Jussi Adler-Olsen, Donna Leon), plus Chills on the Road: Mystery Previews, Mar. 2020, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

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PREMIUM

Say Say Say

First novelist’s Savage’s lesson in the complexity of caring is carefully detailed and graced with a quiet drama that will be appreciated by readers not looking for fireworks. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]
PREMIUM

A Prayer for Travelers

A fine character study of a struggling young woman, set in an arid Southwest that comes alive; gorgeous if relentless and heart-ripping. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]
PREMIUM

The World Doesn’t Require You

In a narrative playing fast and loose with grammatical convention, Scott offers a strongly developed sense of place that, fantastical though it may be, is evocative of Anderson and Faulkner. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]
PREMIUM

Beirut Hellfire Society

Hage’s dark, episodic tale of bomb-stunned Beirut bites down unrelentingly on the less pleasant aspects of human behavior, with Pavlov observing that “humans deserved their burials, their darkness and their extinction.” Not easy reading, but the important truths, untrammeled honesty, and fire-bright defiance keep one engrossed. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/19.]
PREMIUM

Marilou Is Everywhere

Unexpectedly hard-edged, this engrossing story from first novelist Smith feels lived-in and real. In the end, what happens to both Jude and Cindy comes as a surprise, teaching us what we can and can’t escape and what it means to remake ourselves despite the past. [See Prepub Alert 1/23/19.]
PREMIUM

Under the Water

This twisted tale of infidelity and revenge demonstrates how fragile family life can be. An optional purchase best for fans of racy suspense novels.
PREMIUM

Buried in the Stacks

Brook follows Read and Gone with another mystery focused on the library, the resident cat, and library issues, but emotionally insecure Carrie puts herself in jeopardy too often. Fans of library-set mysteries may prefer books by Jenn McKinlay or Dean James.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

As Lefteri particularizes the terrible plight of refugees today, there’s no overloading the deck with drama; this story tells itself, absorbingly and heartrendingly. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 2/18/19.]

Fatal Ally

Former Moscow correspondent for the BBC and award-winning author Sebastian (Exit Berlin; Saviour’s Gate) delivers a gripping spy thriller. Fans of Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, Charles Cumming, and John LeCarré will enjoy the well-developed characters and riveting twists that keep the pages turning.

Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage

The third Mycroft tale (after Mycroft and Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes) from coauthors Abdul-Jabbar and Waterhouse is another winner. The Victorian setting is well drawn, the dialog rings true, the period details, both factual and fictive, support a labyrinthine plot including race and class distinctions. It all meshes into a fine tale set prior to the Sherlockian stories we know so well. Highly recommended, as are its two predecessors.
PREMIUM

The Rogue To Ruin

This third and final book in the series (after Ten Kisses to Scandal) is filled with delicious, fiery dialog between Ainsley and Reed, making readers who enjoy smart and witty historicals such as Tessa Dare’s “Spindle Cove” series long for that first kiss and our enemies-to-lovers’ happily ever after. This makes up for some of the secondary characters and plot points that occasionally fall a bit flat comparatively, resulting in a satisfying conclusion to a clever and engaging series.

Run Your Week: Big Books, Sure Bets, & Titles Making News, Aug. 12, 2019 | Book Pulse

Barbara’s Picks Liu, Rothschild, & Debuters Morrey & Staples, Plus Women’s, Historicals, SF/Fantasy, & More: Pop Fiction Previews, Feb. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Ruby & Roland

Sullivan (Goodnight, Mr. Wodehouse) creates a story worthy of comparison to Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome. Recommended for historical and women’s fiction fans
PREMIUM

The Shape of Night

Fans of multiple genres will follow Gerritsen’s meandering story through the realms of mystery, paranormal romance, erotica, and psychological suspense to its compelling conclusion. [Prepub Alert, 4/28/19.]
PREMIUM

Polite Society

In his American debut (the author’s award-winning The Smoke Is Rising and One Point Two Billion were previously released in the UK), Rao delivers a story deserving of the same popularity as Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians. A great choice for Austenites, fans of classic retellings, and general fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]
PREMIUM

The Last Post

Readers of Carlino’s previous works (Blind Kiss; Wish You Were Here) will find this a satisfying, romantic novel, and though the story is rather unlikely, it is hopeful and heartfelt
PREMIUM

The Best Horror of the Year. Vol. 11

A must-have volume for horror aficionados and a solid starter for readers looking to discover new authors in the genre.
PREMIUM

Hold Back the Dawn

Paranormal romance fans looking for variety will find Ashley’s (When Twilight Falls) vampire novels a good starting point, as this newest title once again sees her characters finding balance between their otherwordly inclinations and human desires.
PREMIUM

The Reckless Oath We Made

Themes of chivalry, loyalty, family, and personal responsibility, along with a recognition that people don’t need to be perfect to be worthy of love, make this latest from Greenwood (All the Ugly and Wonderful Things) a good fit for those looking for gritty contemporary realism in their romance novels.
PREMIUM

Three Part Harmony

Those who enjoyed the previous book in the series will find a similar string of messy relationship decisions, culminating in an eleventh-hour resolution, for this related trio.
PREMIUM

On the Corner of Love and Hate

The main characters take some time to warm up to, but the fun story eventually carries readers along. Fans of enemies-to-lovers rom-coms (such as Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game) will enjoy, as will political junkies.

The Right Swipe

Best-selling author Rai (“Forbidden Hearts” series) taps into the modern dating-app scene with hilarious, horrifying, and relatable results, blending contemporary social issues, such as sexual harassment in the workplace and CTE brain injuries in sports, into the story. For all libraries.
PREMIUM

Sidelined

Enthusiasts of Baltsar’s first novel, Trouble Brewing, will be excited to see many familiar characters here, but the chemistry between Charlie and Connor isn’t strong enough to make the transition from enemies to lovers a smooth one.
PREMIUM

Just His Luck

Veteran author Daniels’s latest (after Luck of the Draw) has a bit of a slow start, but once the action picks up, it doesn’t stop.
PREMIUM

Immortal Born

The latest installment in Sands’s long-running “Argeneau” vampire series (after The Trouble with Vampires) can stand alone. Paranormal romance fans will definitely enjoy this tale of immortal love and devotion.

Climate Crisis in Fiction | Collection Development, August 2019

Top Picks Including Aboulela, Adiga, Tuck, & Yuknavitch, Plus Rising Stars: Literary Fiction Previews, Feb. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Fall Fireworks: 36 Titles That Shine Bright | Editors' Fall Picks 2019

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69 Stellar Titles | Starred Reviews, August 2019

Summer Thrills & Scary Travels

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