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PREMIUM

An Irish Country Family

Taylor’s fans will need no convincing, but also suggest this warm story to those who enjoy novels by Maeve Binchy.
PREMIUM

The Wrong Girl

Old Hollywood, silent film stars, the Jazz Age, and strong female characters all combine to create a solid read for crime fiction fans of all stripes.

A Conversation with Afia Atakora, Author of Conjure Women

Women’s, SF/Fantasy, Historical: Top Pop Fiction Previews, Apr. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Barbara’s Picks (Ishmael Beah, Christina Dalcher, Paulette Jiles, & Ian McGuire), Plus More Titles with Literary–Popular Crossover: Fiction Previews, Apr. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Code of Conduct

In a pulse-pounding story featuring a captivating interracial couple paired with a riveting adventure, this strong series launch from White (An Urchin of Means) casts equally original and intriguing supporting characters, who will hopefully headline future entries. A thrill for readers of Sandra Brown or Kristen Ashley.
PREMIUM

The Girl at the Door

In a story reminiscent of The Scarlet Letter but with a more salacious vocabulary, emotional polarities abound while the accused expresses no remorse, only self-interest. Provocative reading for the brave. [See Prepub Alert, 2/4/19.]
PREMIUM

The Nanny

Macmillan (What She Knew) is a master of suspense, and this latest engrossing tale does not disappoint. Stock up on multiple copies. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/19.]
PREMIUM

Murder Off the Page

Lehane successfully manufactures drama and intrigue and offers up plausible red herrings, surprising readers as often as bewildering them with questionable character choices, but this quick read is mostly for patrons who enjoy modern murder mysteries and can withstand some well-worn tropes and stereotypes. [See Prepub Alert, 4/22/19.]
PREMIUM

The Bodies in the Library

The heroine of this new series from Wingate (“Potting Shed” series) is a pushover for anyone with more confidence, including her daughter, her boyfriend, the secretary at the library, and the writers. Owing to her lack of knowledge and insecurity, the book feels too long. Fans of Golden Age mysteries would do better to read the authors themselves.

Little Voices

Fast paced and psychologically complex, this debut mystery has plenty of twists and turns that will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Megan Abbott.
PREMIUM

Bound in Flame

More of a coming-of-age tale than a romance, this debut’s lush early 1900s Hawaiian setting fails to overcome a meandering story full of details but lacking in focus. Magic is used as a convenient plot device to prop up a heroine of color who deserves to be extraordinary in her own right. Issues of racism, colonialism, and sexism are handled clumsily. Not recommended

71 Superb Titles | Starred Reviews, October 2019

A Conversation with Lara Prescott, Author of The Secrets We Kept

Barbara’s Picks (Julia Alvarez, Sebastian Barry, Dalia Sofer), Plus Debuts & Diversity: Literary Fiction Previews, Apr. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

All About Evie

Lamb (The Man She Married) offers an uproarious yet tender story of belonging and identity. Touching on issues of adoption, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and harassment, this is an endearing expression of trust, love, and what it means to be a family.
PREMIUM

Storm of Secrets

Marion’s strong second installment in this series (after House of Ashes) will draw in readers with a penchant for mysteries with a supernatural twist and great characters cast in a fascinating setting.

The Night Fire

Fans of this prolific author of crime dramas and either series will find this best-seller-list-bound novel hard to put down. Though it reads well as a stand-alone, this series is best read in order. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Dead Blow: A Horseshoer Mystery

Preston’s second “Horseshoer” mystery (after The Clincher) is another refreshing change from grim mysteries about serial killers and political plots. Readers of contemporary Westerns, horse fiction, and light mysteries will like this one.
PREMIUM

The Lying Room

This well-written, psychological thriller has a gripping plot that will satisfy fans of Val McDermid and Sharon J. Bolton. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

The Stranger Inside

Readers captivated by the works of B.A. Paris and Gillian Flynn will relish this psychological thriller. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/19.]
PREMIUM

A Distance Too Grand

Set against the backdrop of an expanding American West, this first in a new series from Scott (Never Doubt a Duke) will satisfy readers looking for a gentle love story and a gumption-filled heroine ready to explore the world.

The Girl with No Face

Fans of urban fantasy, Chinese martial arts, magic, and elements of the supernatural will enjoy this second series installment, which captivates readers from the opening pages. The many characters, both human and animal, may at first confuse those unfamiliar with the first book, but the author introduces and develops each of their personalities skillfully so that there is soon no difficulty. A true page-turner not to be missed.
PREMIUM

The Art of Theft

RITA Award–winning author Thomas (The Burning Sky) weaves a masterly plot with a hint of romance and plenty of brilliance on the part of her Holmesian heroine to craft a thoroughly delightful Sherlockian novel. Well done!
PREMIUM

The Scent of Buenos Aires: Stories by Hebe Uhart

These stories cover a broad spectrum of situations and will appeal to a wide range of readers. A remarkable introduction to one of the unsung women writers of Argentine letters.
PREMIUM

Kitchen Curse

Despite possible disappointment, Kurniawan groupies won’t be deterred; for newbies, go to the novels for greater fictional satisfaction.

All This Could Be Yours

Contemporary family sagas don’t get much better than this novel, which should appeal to fans of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections or Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Beside Herself

This book begins quickly with an intriguing premise that slows down significantly partway through. LaBan gives voice to the conflicting thoughts and emotions spouses experience following infidelity, but some of the characters feel underdeveloped as the plot takes off.

Threshold

Confidently told, this second long-form work from Doyle (after Here Are the Young Men) alternates 11 vignettes with letters to an anonymous correspondent as the masterly narrative pacing brilliantly counterbalances lurid episodes and sometimes terror with devastating wit and epiphany. As ever, Doyle’s prose is compulsively readable, and his insights always credible and occasionally astonishing.
PREMIUM

This Is Not How It Ends

Weinstein’s (Somebody’s Daughter; What We Leave Behind) story alternates between the present and two years earlier as Charlotte and Philip first meet. With hints that all is not well with Philip from the beginning, the reader is never really rooting for them to stay together. However, the journey to the inevitable ending still manages to take some fascinating turns along the way.
PREMIUM

Dear Edward

The painfully vivid story of one boy’s coming of age redirected by tragedy.
PREMIUM

The Cheffe: A Cook’s Novel

Despite its holes, this is a finely constructed work with a surprising and satisfying ending, like a fine meal leading up to a delicious dessert. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Pain

Essentially a midlife crisis novel with a lot of meditation over choice and chance and how they impact what follows, this story by Shalev (The Remains of Love) effectively depicts contemporary Israeli life but is a bit of a downer.
PREMIUM

The Body Politic

An inherently character-driven tale, beautifully written, and a fine example of a long, strange trip. Note: pro-Trumpers would be well advised not to pick this up.

The Poppy Wife

British historian Scott’s first novel is a beautifully evocative reminder of what it means to come back from war and to face the age-old question of whether it is better to have survived or to have died. Highly recommended.

The Bear

Poignant but not tragic, this end-of-civilization story shows that there’s no loneliness in this world when we are one with nature. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]
PREMIUM

A Dog’s Promise: A Dog’s Purpose Novel

Fans of Cameron’s previous dog stories (A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey, both made into films) will enjoy the further adventures of these wonderful animals and their people. Newcomers will also be charmed by a farm family’s story told from a canine perspective. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/19.]
PREMIUM

Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen

Drawing on a true incident, Palmer (The Dream of Perpetual Motion) pits the age-old human desire to believe the miraculous against the emerging rationalism of the scientific community in Mary’s time. In this yearning to believe what we’d like to be true over the facts, the novel perhaps offers some parallels to our own time. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/19.]

Everywhere You Don’t Belong

With deft writing and rat-a-tat, laugh-until-you-gasp-at-the-implications dialog, Bump delivers a singular sense of growing up black that will resonate with readers. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]

It Would Be Night in Caracas

Extremely well written, beautifully translated, and graphic enough to make the reader feel afraid of the knocking on the door, this debut novel offers a heartfelt, personal story told without sentimentality while offering keen insight into the everyday fight for survival in a place that is still very much a failed state.
PREMIUM

Freedom Lessons

Debut novelist Sanchez has crafted a moving and timely story, based on her own experiences, about school integration in the South in 1969 and the issues that still linger today. This powerful tale offers a beacon of hope that individuals can inspire change.

Find Me

Aciman gifts readers with a beautiful 21st-century romance that reflects on the remembrance of things past and the courage to embrace the future. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]
PREMIUM

The Waters and the Wild

Some logical inconsistencies are distracting, such as Livy repeatedly mentioning moving to San Diego to attend college in Long Beach (they are 100 miles apart). New readers might welcome this coming-of-age fairy tale, but existing fans will be underwhelmed.
PREMIUM

The Vanished Birds

The boy is reminiscent of Amy Bellafonte from Justin Cronin’s The Passage, yet the journey itself evokes Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One, creating crossover appeal for readers who enjoy a bit of emotional attachment with their time travel.
PREMIUM

Imaginary Friend

This epic tale of ultimate good vs. evil is a bit long-winded but still impressive in scope and truly scary.
PREMIUM

Faker

Fans of Sally Thorne’s The Hating Game will find that this delightful debut from #ownvoices author Smith has great potential, as long as they can overlook a few missteps.
PREMIUM

Forever and a Duke

The passion is strong in Burrowes’s latest entry in this new series. Yet with the Wentworths, who were central to the first book, playing a smaller part and a rather convoluted financial mystery, this may be in less demand by all but Burrowes’s devoted fans. The bonus novella from Kelly Bowen is a delight.
PREMIUM

Christmas with a Cowboy

For a relationship that starts with such passion, it fizzles as the pair are suddenly forced to form a family. The inclusion of familiar characters from previous books in the series, however, make this latest from Brown (Cowboy Rebel) a must-read for her fans. Includes a bonus novella by Sara Richardson.
PREMIUM

Wish upon a Cowboy

Readers of Marts’s “Cowboys of Creedence” series (Caught Up in a Cowboy) will devour this latest installment, as will fans of both holiday and Western-themed romances, who will also find much to love in Harper and Logan’s journey.
PREMIUM

The Christmas Keeper

A delightful supporting cast of friends and family members round out this sequel to The Good Ones, which is as cozy as the hero’s favorite Christmas sweater, with a warm, home-for-the-holidays feel.
PREMIUM

Would Like To Meet

While this debut doesn’t break new ground, Winters offers a relatable take on modern dating, writing, and working. Movie aficionados, in particular, will enjoy references to iconic rom-com moments as lovable, overworked Evie navigates her own series of meet-cute mishaps. Recommend to readers of Helen Fielding and Lucy Parker.
PREMIUM

This Earl of Mine

Bateman applies subtle twists on favorite tropes in a story filled with humorous banter and unexpected plot turns. An exciting series opener.
PREMIUM

An Alaskan Christmas

This latest series launch from Snow (“Colorado Ice” series) is a sexy and swift read enhanced by the beauty and perils of the Alaskan landscape. A great addition to romance shelves, both for the holidays and as a kickoff for future installments.
PREMIUM

Right Beside You

Monroe (“God” series) presents a tender, charming holiday romance that addresses serious issues such as loneliness, single parenting, and being attracted to a coworker. Perfect for fans of heartwarming holiday reads à la Fern Michaels and ReShonda Tate Billingsley.
PREMIUM

The Cost of Honor

Fans may enjoy this fast-paced latest entry in the “Black Ops Confidential” series (after The Price of Grace). Readers who are sensitive to mentions of sex trafficking, child abuse, and child sexual assault might want to look elsewhere.
PREMIUM

Heiress Gone Wild

The latest in Guhrke’s “Dear Lady Truelove” series has heat but struggles to show the depth of Jonathan and Marjorie’s connection. Still, series fans will tune in, thanks to the endearing characters whose stories continue here.

Cilka’s Journey

Fans of Pam Jenoff will enjoy Cilka’s incredible story of bravery and love.
PREMIUM

The Topeka School

Readers seeking the wry humor for which MacArthur fellow Lerner is noted will find it in short supply here. This exploration of the angst-filled road to manhood is recommended for fans of Jonathan Franzen. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]

A House of Ghosts

Already published in the UK, this haunting story was a finalist for the NBA Irish Book Awards Crime Fiction Book of the Year. Readers willing to accept the existence of ghosts will appreciate the atmospheric mystery, which seems designed for fans of Charles Todd’s “Ian Rutledge” books.
PREMIUM

Drowning with Others

This captivating page-turner will have readers wondering till the end what motivates people to do what they do.
PREMIUM

Sorry for the Dead

A challenging murder mystery, a look at the social pressures on those who were nonconformists, and a strong sense of place combine to make this a fascinating read. Fans of historical British mystery series and Tey’s books will find much to enjoy.
PREMIUM

Cold Country

Fans of regional mysteries will find this delightful.
PREMIUM

Baby

The pace is a shade too slow in the beginning, but soon this debut develops into a troubling and tense thriller. The writing style is sparse, powerful, and effective. Although this book may not appeal to a mainstream audience, New Zealander Jochems’s startling and award-winning portrait of the postmillennial generation will cause readers to sit up and take notice.
PREMIUM

Blue Moon

Some villains are dispatched too neatly and some allies are found too rapidly, but it doesn’t matter. Reacher’s plans of attack and wry observations are what fans come for and what they get here. Child touches lightly on current issues—corrupt tech entrepreneurs, economic disparity—but keeps the action flowing in this satisfying entry. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

The Books of the Dead

Bernhard’s second series mystery (after Death in Paris) is another charming amateur investigator tale. For readers for Bernhard’s previous novel and fans of Mary Kay Andrews or Laura Childs.
PREMIUM

The Body Outside the Kremlin

Solovetsky Island is where many of the techniques used in the Soviet labor camp system were developed to murderous effect. May’s writing seamlessly integrates his detailed research into this experimental prison camp with the intrigues of criminals intent on looting religious treasures. Tolya relates his terrible story years later, during Khruschev’s era of the thaw. May, the author of short fiction and reviews, has made this debut novel a masterful historical detektiv tale.
PREMIUM

One Night Gone

Laskowski addresses social inequality while providing a fast-moving plot. Both sides of the tracks, as well as the weather, take on almost personal characteristics. This is one for those who love twisty thrillers mixed with historical perspectives in striking locales.

Sarah Jane

Sallis (Drive) has a quiet way of narrating a powerful story of accidents and death. The lyrical language and ambiguous ending is reminiscent of the best of Craig Johnson’s “Longmire” stories.
PREMIUM

Tracking Game

This is compelling and twisty mystery in a well-described location. Fans of Western mysteries as well as those featuring dogs will enjoy this latest entry in the series.
PREMIUM

A Cruel Deception

The 11th “Bess Crawford” historical mystery, following A Forgotten Place, will appeal to readers of the series and possibly fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s “Maisie Dobbs” books. However, most readers will find it slow going and plodding with little mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 2/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Beyond a Reasonable Stout

Family is an essential element in this character-driven cozy series following The Pint of No Return. While the primary mystery is solved in each book, the ongoing story line of Sloan’s search for her own family story draws readers back. Fans of Ellery Adams’s “Books by the Bay” mysteries will recognize Sloan’s need for answers.
PREMIUM

Under Occupation

This is not the master spy novelist at his finest, which may disappoint his many fans. While die-hard devotees will probably want to read it, newcomers should start with his earlier works. [See Prepub Alert, 4/28/19.]
PREMIUM

Good Man Gone Bad

Following 2000’s All the Lucky Ones Are Dead, this latest in the series brings back a dogged PI determined to find the truth. A Shamus Award winner for Fear of the Dark, the mystery that introduced Gunner, Haywood reminds readers of our complex motives and the possibility of violence always present in noir books. Tracy Clark’s readers will want to rediscover a master.
PREMIUM

Takes One To Know One

Isaacs’s (Compromising Positions) latest suburban novel starts out as a low-key story of a wife looking for a diversionary project for herself and her father, a retired cop, then escalates into action requiring all of her skills as a trained FBI agent. For fans of Kate White and the movie True Lies. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]

Bloody Genius

Sandford’s readers will welcome the 12th book in the best-selling “Virgil Flowers” series, following Holy Ghost. The irreverent humor and language is perfect for the unconventional law officer in the darkly entertaining series. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Revolution

This supernatural spy thriller, sequel to Breach, can easily be read as a stand-alone and hits all the right notes. The fun and thrilling fantasy/thriller mashup will remind readers of Jim Butcher or Lev Grossman with a little Robert Ludlum or John le Carré thrown in.
PREMIUM

Sisters of the Vast Black

Rather’s lean prose works, but the characters, along with readers, arrive at the end with some of the same unanswered questions. Overall, an intriguing debut that touches on philosophical ideas of war, faith, and individuality.

Realm of Ash

Suri’s companion to Empire of Sand continues to expand on the stark beauty and power of this magical realm. With striking characters and court intrigue, this story is dark, melodious, and memorable. [See Prepub Alert, 5/5/19.]

Synapse

James (Every Wicked Man) delivers a thought-provoking look at the definitions of humanity, belief, and faith in this timely near-future sf thriller.
PREMIUM

Ivory Apples

The cheery red cover belies the dark, sometimes bleak story contained within. While the writing is beautiful, the story is uneven and told in fits and starts. For true fans of the author.

The New Voices of Science Fiction

While readers may be familiar with many of the names and individual works here, having them together in one volume creates a stunning set of sf shorts. Highly recommended for all collections.
PREMIUM

The Lights Go Out in Lychford

Another entertaining and imaginative entry in Cornell’s “Witches of Lychford” series. A quick read with an interesting town full of characters, but readers may want to start at the beginning of the series to fully understand the story.
PREMIUM

The Rosewater Redemption

Thompson’s smart series end (after The Rosewater Insurrection) is at once intricate and accessible. Readers will loathe saying goodbye to the vibrant people they meet.

Down Among the Dead

Wager’s follow-up to There Before the Chaos is action- and emotion-packed, folding political tension, personal relationships, and trauma into a vivid space opera that does not pull any punches.
PREMIUM

The Blue Eye

Fans of Saladin Ahmed’s Middle Eastern fantasy worlds will appreciate this series for its non-European flavor; those who enjoy Katherine Kurtz’s “Deryni” books will savor its detailed worldbuilding and shifting alliances. [See Prepub Alert, 4/1/19.]
PREMIUM

The Candy Cane Caper

Kilpack represents a nice range of ages in this story, and the relationships feel both real and aspirational. The clues and solution are complex enough to keep readers guessing. Recipes are included and also available as a PDF, making this a fun choice for cookbook discussion groups as well as general readers. Twelve previous “Culinary Mystery” titles precede this entry, which can be read on its own.
PREMIUM

The Christmas Boutique

The charm of the setting and characters is as strong as ever, with nicely dramatic highs and lows. New readers will be as happy to find a long backlist as longtime readers will be to spend time with old friends.
PREMIUM

Christmas in Austin

Markovits’s second title featuring the Essinger family will find an audience with readers looking for a holiday story that’s light on the Christmas merrymaking and more focused on the complex dynamics at work in relationships among adult siblings, their spouses and children, and their aging parents.
PREMIUM

An Amish Second Christmas

A strong sense of family, community, and respect for the Amish way of life is present on every page. Germanic words and phrases appear naturally, adding a realistic touch to the dialog. These stories will please readers looking for a quiet interlude during a season that can feel overwhelming.
PREMIUM

A Mrs. Miracle Christmas

This latest sweet, inspirational story from Macomber has enough dramatic surprises to keep pages turning. Likable characters and a satisfying ending make this a great choice for readers who enjoy sentimental, holiday-themed TV movies.
PREMIUM

The Last Christmas

Partial truths and shifting loyalties keep the drama level high, while bold actions build suspense. For readers looking for something unexpected as their holiday season story selection.
PREMIUM

A Noël Killing

Longworth’s lovingly rendered small town of Aix-en-Provence and its charming characters create a mellow tone, while the murderous actions provide compelling drama. This is the latest in a long-running series but can be read as a stand-alone.
PREMIUM

25 Days ’Til Christmas

Pseudonomous author Alexander’s poignant story of loss and grief also hints at hope for future happiness. Reading about characters getting what they deserve is satisfying, and it’s easy to imagine this book as the next megahit holiday film.
PREMIUM

A Very Scalzi Christmas

Longtime Scalzi readers will be justifiably thrilled and new fans will be created by the variety offered in this book.
PREMIUM

The Art of Possession

A satisfying romantic thriller from Z (Handle with Care) that settles into its happily ever after with a hum of contentment. [Previewed in Eve Stano’s “Love for All,” p. 16–23.]
PREMIUM

Slow Dating the Detective

Brown’s third entry in her “Cowboys & Angels” series (after Secretly Dating the Lionman) works well as a stand-alone, but fans of the series will enjoy revisiting characters from the first books. Recommended for libraries that own the series.
PREMIUM

Leave Me Breathless

Fans of Malpas’s previous book, The Protector, will appreciate seeing those characters playing minor roles here, but for anyone who enjoys Sleeping with the Enemy–style stories, this is a perfect choice.
PREMIUM

Christmas Angels.

Libraries looking for holiday romances that are sweet rather than passionate will want to snag this title for their collections.

Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight

This stunning collection showcases de Bodard’s lush worldbuilding, meticulous research, and emotional prose. Whether fans of sf or fantasy, readers will find something to dive into here.
PREMIUM

Shattered Bonds

Hunter delivers another solid volume in Jane’s story (after Dark Queen), as her worldbuilding, character development, and action sequences continue to capture readers’ attention.
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