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Africaville

Excellent reading that revives our sense of community while revealing North America’s racial complexity in a new light. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/19.]
PREMIUM

An Old Man’s Game

The character of the unassuming retired PI will appeal to fans of Naomi Hirahara’s “Mas Arai” mysteries, another series with an elderly investigator. The quiet story puts an interesting spin on Jewish history.
PREMIUM

The Other People

The latest page-turner from Tudor (The Hiding Place) contains elements of the supernatural within a thriller, but the true mystery lies in dark secrets kept and the lengths that some will go for justice and revenge. Plot twists and revelations will keep readers guessing to the last page. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Wolves at the Door

Although this 20th “Varg Veum” mystery (after Wolves in the Dark), only some of which are available in English, stands alone, reading the backstory from its predecessor would be helpful. Action takes place primarily in the denouement, but the series’ signature strengths of well-developed characters and a engaging story line are on full display.

Run Me to Earth

Essential reading as Americans continue to grapple with its Asian adventure and for anyone interested in top-drawer literature. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]

Give the Devil His Due

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Australian author Gentill’s seventh installment featuring Rowland Sinclair (after A Murder Unmentioned) is as fun and consuming as his previous novels. The writing is superb, providing fascinating historical context as well as depth in his characters. Highly recommended for fans of the series and historical crime mysteries.

Barbara’s Picks (Coetzee, Doyle, Lansky, McPhee, Massini, Spencer, & Tobar), Plus More Big-Picture Novels: Literary Fiction Previews, Jun. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Almost Just Friends

Fans of the TV drama series This Is Us as well as love stories ripe with secrets waiting to be spilled will devour Shalvis’s latest in the series (after The Lemon Sisters).
PREMIUM

Forever My Duke

American and English cultures clash in the parlor and the bedroom in Drake’s latest outing (after The Duke I Once Knew). Readers looking to cheer on two unlikely lovers will gravitate to this title.
PREMIUM

Much Ado About a Widow

Firmly grounded in richly told historical details, this proves a true screwball romantic comedy, perfect for anyone seeking a love story rife with fun and adventure. A successful continuation of Jaxon’s “Widow’s Club” series (after What a Widow Wants).
PREMIUM

Anyone But a Duke

RITA Award-winning author Krahn (The Girl with the Sweetest Secret) provides just the right amount of suspense and tenderness; readers will be charmed by this attractive couple.
PREMIUM

A Cowboy To Remember

Readers who enjoy the soap opera–like drama of an amnesia story will immediately be intrigued by Weatherspoon’s (“FIT” trilogy) new series launch. The emotionally satisfying tale of forgiveness and reconciliation gives Evie’s story broad appeal.
PREMIUM

Love Her or Lose Her

The story is strongest when delving into communication and vulnerability but occasionally gets bogged down by repetitive writing and a too-predictable plot. Still, fans of Lyssa Kay Adams’s The Bromance Book Club or Farrah Rochon’s Cherish Me will be glad to discover another contemporary marriage-in-trouble romance.
PREMIUM

A Girl’s Guide to the Outback

Kate (Love and Other Mistakes) brings the outback to life in this stand-alone Christian romance that features two people struggling to figure out what they want.
PREMIUM

Risk It All

This fast-paced romance is laced with humor and a bit of heat. Fans of Janet Evanovitch’s “Stephanie Plum” series will enjoy the interplay between Cara and Henry but will find more grit and less slapstick humor.
PREMIUM

Cold Nose, Warm Heart

In this delightful debut novel, Wells sets the stage for a warm-hearted series with a twosome who just can’t seem to hate each other.

The Prince of Broadway

Shupe (A Scandalous Deal) continues her lusciously detailed Gilded Age–set series with a dynamic duo determined to get what they want at any cost. Sensual and passionate and with an unconventional, intriguing story line, this second in the series (after The Rogue of Fifth Avenue) is one readers will clamor for.

The Secret Guests

This elegant novel will satisfy all readers who appreciate a good story, well told. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]
PREMIUM

Adequate Yearly Progress

This novel provides an entertaining and humane story of what it’s like to teach high school. Already a hit with teachers when it was self-published in 2018, it will appeal to anyone who enjoys humorous workplace narratives.
PREMIUM

Mama Hissa’s Mice

Unfortunately, the social disorder experienced by the main characters is mirrored in the plot, complicating an already complex story, and uneven pacing detracts from the novel’s exploration into whether friendships can overcome generations of religious and ethnic differences. No match for Alsanousi’s well-received debut.

Remembrance

This book deserves to be a breakout hit. Woods’s magical realist take on the black female experience will have huge appeal to readers of Marlon James and Tara Conklin.

Conjure Women

Atakora effectively handles the before-during-and-after structure, enriching her story. If its center is the vibrant Rue, the entire community finally feels like the main character. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 9/9/19.]
PREMIUM

In Five Years

The story has a strong New York setting and sympathetic characters. Emotional hooks alongside moments of humor and self-awareness will remind readers of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You or Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Maybe in Another Life. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
PREMIUM

The German House

Fans of Kate Quinn will enjoy this historical fiction tale for the strong female character and rich details. Recommended for additional purchase, as there are better historical fiction choices.tate Lib., Argos

American Dirt

Here, it’s the journey rather than the arrival on American dirt that counts, and readers will wonder whether they could ever have survived such a trek even as they realize that this could happen to them. An important book. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/19.]
PREMIUM

On the Corner of Hope and Main

Readers new to the series may grow confused with characters from earlier volumes popping into scenes without backstory. Jenkins’s easygoing tale takes time to warm up to its somewhat exciting ending, which promises another addition to the series. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
PREMIUM

Holly Banks Full of Angst

Perfect for fans of Laurie Gelman’s “Class Mom” series and the TV show Desperate Housewives.
PREMIUM

Westering Women

Though the dialog can be stilted at times, Dallas (The Bride’s House) has written an engaging historical fiction about the strength of women in times of adversity. Though the women were all intended to be brides, we see each as much more than her connection to a man

Long Bright River

In her fourth novel (following The Unseen World), Rome Prize–winning author Moore blends the reality of today’s deadly opioid crisis with a complicated family dynamic to create an intense mystery with stunning twists and turns. Impossible to put down, impossible to forget. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]
PREMIUM

And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges

Each story is vivid, unexpected, and satisfyingly weird. Darkly comic and whip-smart, this collection is recommended for readers of Aimee Bender and Alexandra Kleeman.

Dreamland

This fast-paced, engrossing novel from Bilyeau (“Joanna Stafford” mysteries) gives readers an up-close and personal view of New York’s Gilded Age, from the flash and glamour of the decadently wealthy to the hardscrabble conditions of newly arrived immigrants.
PREMIUM

Been There, Married That

The level of Hollywood narcissism shown in Levangie’s (The Starter Wife; The After Wife) novel is astounding and makes it hard to empathize with or even believe the characters in this marital farce. For fans of the Kardashians, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and frothy celebrity memoirs.
PREMIUM

The Illness Lesson

Bard Prize winner Beams (We Show What We Have Learned) successfully shapes the characters who tell the story, capturing the mores of the times and delving deeply into the psychological aspects of the situation. The underlying secret creates a tension that is resolved only in the final pages. Readers of general fiction will enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 8/5/19.]

A Good Neighborhood

Fowler skillfully renders her characters and their experiences into an unforgettable, heartbreaking story. Great for book clubs and fans of Tayari Jones and Jodi Picoult. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]

The Yellow Bird Sings

Memoirist and award-winning children’s author Rosner challenges the Holocaust with a touch of magic (the yellow bird appears throughout), clarifying a dangerous time and place even as she offers a vibrant, affecting portrait of the mother-daughter relationship. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/19.]
PREMIUM

The Exhibition of Persephone Q

Percy’s perspective is so limited and her world so small that readers who don’t identify with her may lose patience. This book’s primary audience will be those interested in the ruminations of an insecure young woman trying to find her way in the world.

Cartier’s Hope

A must-read for lovers of atmospheric historical fiction heavy with facts, as well as fans of strong female protagonists, the prolific author, and Lauren Willig.
PREMIUM

Now You See Them

The fifth in Griffiths’s “Magic Men” series (The Vanishing Box) is written with a lighter touch and quirkier characters than her “Ruth Galloway” archaeological mysteries. Nevertheless, it’s a highly entertaining read with a spot-on portrayal of the manners and mores of the 1960s. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]
PREMIUM

Lost Tomorrows

Coyle’s sixth “Rick Cahill” novel (following Wrong Light) will please noir enthusiasts with its staccato prose, evocative descriptions, and hard-nosed protagonist. Readers new to the series can still enjoy this book as a compelling stand-alone mystery, and enticingly vague references to previous books make a strong case for checking out Rick’s past adventures.
PREMIUM

The Missing American

This promising series debut from the acclaimed Quartey (“Darko Dawson” mysteries) introduces the formidable Emma, and most important, the culture and politics of Ghana. Recommended for readers of mystery, African American and African fiction, and international crime/mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]
PREMIUM

If She Were Dead

For readers seeking an unsympathetic portrayal of “the other woman,” but with the ample offerings of domestic thrillers available, this is an optional purchase.
PREMIUM

Good Girls Lie

Ellison (Tear Me Apart) has created a complex, convoluted plot that mystery fans will savor.

Hide Away

Pinter’s (The Darkness) outstanding series launch is a deft combination of domestic suspense and police procedural that recalls the works of Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay. Both an unstoppable force of nature and painfully human, Rachel is a heroine readers will not soon forget.
PREMIUM

Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour

Fowler’s 17th installment in the series (following Hall of Mirrors) has all the idiosyncrasies and dark humor of its predecessors but stands alone well. Perfect for fans of police procedurals with nontraditional, especially older, detectives.
PREMIUM

Pretty As a Picture

Little (Dear Daughter) once again delivers a dark, witty thriller. Movie fans will be delighted with the behind-the-scenes setting and the numerous cinematic references. While there are some twists, this character-driven whodunit is mainly propelled by Marissa, an intelligent, charming protagonist whose neurodiversity is well portrayed. Recommended for mystery fans drawn to amateur sleuths and quirky, realistic protagonists.
PREMIUM

The Attempted Murder of Teddy Roosevelt

Solomon incorporates many historically accurate events, details, and characters into this engaging story, based on an actual incident. Historical mystery fans who relish rich period details will be eager to see Hay again.
PREMIUM

How the Dead Speak

The 11th in McDermid’s series (Insidious Intent) is chock-full of crime and yet not as compelling as past installments. Regardless, fans and newcomers to the series will enjoy the twists and turns.

Into the Fire

Another exceptional installment in the “Orphan X” series, full of action, excitement, and adventure. A must-read for thriller fans. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]
PREMIUM

Murder in Rat Alley

The seventh “Sam Blackman” mystery (Hidden Scars) has the right amount of action, humor, and intrigue. Fans of the humor of Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” series with some North Carolina history thrown in will enjoy Sam’s relentless pursuit of the truth.

Everything Old Is New Again | Sf/Fantasy Preview 2019

Q&A: Liz Gorinsky, Erewhon Books | SF/Fantasy Preview 2019

Q&A: S.L. Huang | SF/Fantasy Preview 2019

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Barbara’s Picks (Jessica Barry, John Connolly, John Hart, Sandie Jones, & Denise Mina), Plus Big-Stakes Debuts, Big-Name Veterans, Domestic Chills, & More: Thriller Previews, Jun. 2020, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Club Culture | Mystery & Suspense, Dec. 2019

A Conversation with Ann Napolitano, Author of Dear Edward

PREMIUM

The Beast of Beswick

Having penned several historical romances with Angie Morgan (e.g., “Tartans & Titans” series), Howard strikes out on her own in this thoroughly enjoyable stand-alone that perfectly captures the badly behaved beast in a clever Regency retelling of the classic Beauty and the Beast.
PREMIUM

The Wives

This domestic suspense is recommended for fans of Louise Jensen’s The Surrogate or Carol Goodman’s The Other Mother. The language is edgy, but readers eager for a new thriller release will most likely snap this up.
PREMIUM

Deep State: A Thriller

Will appeal to lovers of spy fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]
PREMIUM

The Wicked Redhead

A few tense moments of suspense and high-seas adventure liven up an otherwise lethargic plot in this sequel to the first book in the series, The Wicked City. [See Prepub Alert, 5/20/19.]

Barbara’s Picks (Ragnar Jónasson, Susie Steiner), plus Series Starts, British-Set, and More Top Titles: Mystery Previews, Jun. 2020, Pt. 1 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

Oppo

Rosenstiel (Shining City) crafts a book that offers the double pleasure of an exciting story and new knowledge--how vetting is carried on in today’s supercharged political world. Will appeal to all lovers of quality political thrillers. [See Prepub Alert, 6/10/19.]
PREMIUM

Reputation

Shepard is very well known for her “Pretty Little Liars” series. Fans of the book and adapted television show will most likely enjoy her latest.
PREMIUM

A Madness of Sunshine

Fans of Lisa Gardner, Michael Connelly, and of both crime dramas and romantic suspense will find this novel hard to put down. [See Prepub Alert, 6/10/19.]
PREMIUM

Hi Five

With a convoluted plot that is hard to keep straight, as well as numerous overt political screeds against the current administration, Ide’s fourth IQ novel (Wrecked; Righteous) forsakes a winning cast and excellent storytelling for something less satisfying than a compelling mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 7/8/19.]

Seven Letters

Some of the language in the sex scenes is rather banal, but overall this is an enjoyable read for fans of Nicholas Sparks who want to experience another culture along with their romance. A worthy purchase for general fiction shelves.

Shelton's Pick of the Month, de Castrique, Ellison, Griffiths, McDermid, Pinter, Quartey, & More | Mystery & Suspense, Dec. 2019

A Letter to Librarians from Rufi Thorpe, Author of The Knockout Queen

Barbara’s Picks (Brooks, Moore, Mosse, & Straub, Plus Fiction Newcomers Burns and Serritella), with Historicals, Beach Reads, and Love/Family/Friends: Pop Fiction Previews, May 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

PREMIUM

The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel

Recommended for general fiction collections and Austen fans eager to revisit the popular characters and places in Pride and Prejudice.

PREMIUM

Smoke Screen

Plot twists and likable characters light up this latest romantic suspense from best-selling author Blackstock (“Run” series). Themes of redemption and grace mark this love story that will be a hit among fans of Christian fiction and clean romantic suspense.
PREMIUM

The Heap

Adams’s debut is an effective, jolting dystopic novel that should appeal widely. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/19.]

PREMIUM

Protecting Tanner Hollow

Gripping and fast-paced romantic suspense recommended for readers of Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey, and Colleen Coble.

The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West

Western literature has passed in and out of fashion; at present there’s a movement toward openness and candor regarding the U.S. march to the west. This compilation provides an excellent starting point for book club discussions of Americans in these times.
PREMIUM

Dirty Letters

Readers who can overlook a few stretched plot points in order to enjoy the sizzling chemistry will gravitate to the latest entry from acclaimed writing duo Keeland and Ward (Hate Notes; “Rush” series).

Barbara’s Picks (Ackerman, Ford, Lacey, McBride, Marcom, Mason, Millet, Shriver), Plus Writers on the Rise: Literary Fiction Previews, May 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Barbara’s Picks (Gaige, Gye, Levin, Swift, Tyler): Literary Fiction Previews, Last-Minute April Titles | Prepub Alert

A Conversation with Kiley Reid about Such a Fun Age

PREMIUM

Gun Island

Reality and illusion collide in this mythic, fluidly written work, which will appeal to readers who will appreciate being carried along by Ghosh’s imaginative prose and occasionally disconnected story lines.[See Prepub Alert, 3/4/19.]
PREMIUM

When Silence Sings

Fans of historical Southern fiction will be drawn to this title, as will readers of Lisa Wingate and Karen Witemeyer. The author’s followers will find this latest offering comparable to her previous work.
PREMIUM

Grand Union: Stories

The caliber of these pieces varies, but Smith’s keen intellect shines through them all. Both her fans and readers who enjoy smart fiction with an up-to-the-minute sensibility, will find much to like. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]
PREMIUM

A Dream Come True: The Collected Stories of Juan Carlos Onetti

The haunting yet engaging stories in this comprehensive collection will expose Onetti to a much broader readership than has heretofore existed.
PREMIUM

The Sweetest Fruits

Containing minimal dialog, this work is rich in descriptive detail that some readers will enjoy, though others who prefer more character-driven interaction may be daunted. Nevertheless, those who follow the work through to the end will discover three fascinating women whose stories clarify the life of a man just as remarkable in his time. [See Prepub Alert, 3/11/19.]
PREMIUM

First Cosmic Velocity

An impressively realized work that will be welcomed by those interested in literary fiction, Cold War history, and early space programs.
PREMIUM

Exquisite Mariposa: A Novel

As metafiction, this work will ultimately disappoint those seeking (if not longing for) a discernible, less self-conscious narrative, but it’s a provocative, original, and even chaotic understanding of reality and the rapid social, technological, and economic changes facing everyone, not just millennials.
PREMIUM

Best Lesbian Erotica of the Year

The stories in this volume have strong themes of explicitly negotiated kink, as well as more subtle forms of power play among partners; readers who enjoy erotica with these elements will likely find this latest in the long-running series especially delicious reading.
PREMIUM

Black Forest

While the novel is “certainly not for members of the cult of the carefree,” as Assef wryly notes, internationally-savvy seekers will undoubtedly be intrigued.
PREMIUM

Galway Girl

For fans of the series and its protagonist, and readers who admire Jack’s devious ways of making things right.

Secret Service

Bradby’s journalistic and screenwriting background is fully evident, as the story is well researched, compellingly complicated, and perfectly paced. Fans of Stella Rimington and Olen Steinhauer will love this offering. [See Prepub Alert, 5/13/19.]

The Glass Thief

Charming and eclectic characters populate this Indiana Jones-esque adventure, which comes highly recommended for fans of locked-room mysteries in the manner of Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Peters.
PREMIUM

The Visitor

This could be a breakout book for Miller (A House Full of Secrets). Although the ending is a bit pat, the story still presents well-drawn characters in a tale of romantic suspense with a feminist twist.
PREMIUM

Paw of the Jungle

While part of a series, this cozy can be read as a stand-alone and will be appreciated by animal lovers. Recommended for readers of Spencer Quinn’s “Chet and Bernie” books.
PREMIUM

Brooklyn Legacies

This fifth book in the “Erica Donato” series (after Brooklyn Wars) is fascinating primarily for the history of Brooklyn aspect. Erica is not a particularly endearing character, nor is she an astute detective—she acts before she thinks and fails to see evident facts. While this installment stands on its own, the series will attract Brooklynites and those interested in its history.
PREMIUM

Tell Me No Lies

Wonderful period detail and clever humor combine with the delicious romantic tension between Phil and both Mr. X and Atkins to create a tasty recipe for fun reading. Historical mystery buffs and fans of amateur sleuths will eagerly await the next Lady Dunbridge adventure. [See Prepub Alert, 4/22/19.]
PREMIUM

Murder, She Wrote: A Time for Murder

Although there are so many implausible elements, including the startling climax with a freighter and a lighthouse, fans of the cozy mystery series will be eager to pick up this latest book. [See Prepub Alert, 4/22/19.]
PREMIUM

Winter Grave

A solid purchase for collections in which Nordic noir circulates regularly, though Tursten’s novels aren’t nearly as bleak or as humorless as others in the genre. [See Prepub Alert, 6/3/19.]
PREMIUM

Blind Search

Returning readers will celebrate this sequel; those new to Mercy and Elvis will be delighted to catch a solid series in its early days. All will look forward to more.
PREMIUM

Lethal Redemption

Fans of military and private security series with brave and vulnerable men and women will enjoy this gritty romantic suspense, which features levity and a tight-knit group of characters.
PREMIUM

Hidden Cove

Tilly continues to play in the foggy shadows of charming Solace Island (after Cliff’s Edge), giving fans the intriguing combination of a hot romance and a disturbing crime spree.

Angel in a Devil’s Arms

With a sizzling romance, an intriguing revenge plot, and a cast of quirky Palace guests, this next installment of Long’s luscious new series is smart and deliciously sensual. Fans will devour this title, while newcomers will immediately want to track down the first book (Lady Derring Takes a Lover).
PREMIUM

American Love Story

Herrera returns to her “Dreamers” series with a sexy romance that explores stereotypes and racial injustice. While this stands alone, characters from American Dreamer and American Fairytale make appearances, so libraries owning these first two books in the series will want to purchase. Recommended for all libraries.
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