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The Secret Staircase

The final installment in Connolly’s series wraps up the mystery of the Barton family. Connolly died in 2020, before she could write books about renovations of the house and village. The descriptions of the house and family life are slow-paced, but the author’s fans will want to finish the series.

The Survivors

Recommended for public libraries where Harper’s books are popular.

The Postscript Murders

Reminiscent of the work of Golden Age writers like Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers, Griffiths’s latest will be a hit with listeners who enjoyed Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club or Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders.

Dust to Dust

The follow-up to Murder at Hotel 1911 is a slow-moving, character-driven story. Keown has created sympathetic, realistic characters, including a young boy on the autism spectrum, and portrays Ivy’s struggles with anxiety. It takes a while for the story to unwind, with all the background Keown reintroduces, so this mystery is suggested only for those who read the series’ first book.

Crown of Cinders

The sequel to Wings of Fury centers Hera as the mastermind of the battle between the Titans and Olympians. King’s feminist retelling broadens myth with family, fury, and power.


Themes that Onuzo visited in 2018’s Welcome to Lagos, including unscrupulous politicians, irresponsible journalism, and the yawning gap between rich and poor, feel deeply personal as Anna’s journey unfolds. Though the quest for identity has become a conventional staple of contemporary fiction, it feels fresh and new in Onuzo’s capable hands.


Few things are more intimate (and terrifying) than the act of being in the world, and Kitamura’s evocative interrogation of our ability to know ourselves and others is reinforced by the strength of her spare, haunting prose.

The Singing Trees

Ideal for book groups and for readers who enjoyed Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Daisy Jones & the Six, Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Dance Away with Me, or Nicholas Sparks’s novels.

You Can Run

Cleveland weaves technology, motherhood, and spydom’s skullduggery into a taut, alluring web. Acclaimed for fiendishly clever plotting, she whips up the story to a breakneck pace, then rewards readers with a knockout ending. Fans of Stella Rimington’s series about MI5 agent Liz Carlyle will thrill to the steely grit and brave hearts of Jill and Alex.

Another Kind of Eden

Dark backstories linger behind each complex character in this action-packed novel. Readers who first meet Aaron here will want to read previous novels in Burke’s “Holland Family” saga.

Cajun Kiss of Death

The seventh “Cajun County Mystery” (after Murder in the Bayou Boneyard) wraps up the award-winning series. Fans will want to read this final volume, which resolves the futures of Maggie, Bo, and the other beloved characters from a comforting series that brings Cajun food, culture, and music together.

The Shaadi Set-Up

Vale’s bittersweet, slow-burn story of lost love and difficult choices is lightened by plenty of humor and charming characters. It will please fans of Jasmine Guillory, Sonali Dev, or Tessa Bailey’s “Hot & Hammered” series of renovation-themed romances.

Jade Legacy

Blood, loyalty, and lives are gained and lost in the powerful finale of the “Green Bone Saga.” Lee’s series will stand as a pillar of epic fantasy and family drama.

Sisters in Arms: A Novel of the Daring Black Women Who Served During World War II

Based on the true story of the 6888th, Alderson’s debut tells of the first women officers in the armed services (also the first Black women to serve, and the only all-Black, female U.S. battalion deployed overseas in World War II). For fans of Hidden Figures and untold stories of heroes and heroines of World War II.

When Sparks Fly

Readers looking for a good friends-to-lovers or forced-proximity romance will enjoy. Recommended for general purchase.

Love in Color

A must have for library audiobook collections.

Mom Jeans and Other Mistakes

Readers of this hilarious, heartfelt novel will feel like they’re chatting with their BFF. It dives deep into family issues but keeps readers on their toes as Jude and Lauren deal with what life throws at them.

What’s Mine and Yours

Recommend to listeners who enjoy family sagas.

Gone by Morning

Miller’s background as a lawyer in New York brings an authenticity to this intense, intricately plotted thriller. The politics and menacing atmosphere combine in a promising debut.

The Quicksilver Court

Caruso’s follow-up to The Obsidian Tower expands the detailed worldbuilding and imperial machinations of this magic-steeped empire, while Ryxander continues to grow as a diplomat and heroine.

A Slow Fire Burning

Hawkins (The Girl on the Train; Into the Water) returns with another novel of psychological suspense, sure to top best-seller lists. She takes seemingly ordinary characters and peers deeply into their complicated lives, skillfully building tension and keeping readers guessing.

The Free Bastards

A satisfactory conclusion to French’s trilogy, full of all the blood, battles, and profanities readers expect from the Bastards.

You Sexy Thing

Rambo (Tabat Quartet) launches a delightful, action-filled space jaunt, packed with engaging alien species, a bioship that learns emotions, and witty references.

Be My Ghost

Perry (“Witch City” series) kicks off a character-rich series with this installment, which leaves unresolved Maureen’s mysterious connection to Penelope Gray, for future books. Readers of E. J. Copperman’s “Haunted Guesthouse” mysteries will enjoy this title.

Freedom’s Song

Sawyer (“Heart of the Prairie” series) captures a yearning spirit associated with the American West in hardworking, earnest characters who strengthen their faith through song and personal introspection. There are few surprises here, but fans of traditional Christian fiction will find much to like.

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes

Recommended for fans of heartfelt, slow-burn contemporary romances and listeners interested in rock band storylines, strong women characters, and second-chance love.

While Justice Sleeps

This title is sure to be a hit with library users and is a recommended first purchase.

56 Days

Howard crafts likable characters, witty banter, and clever POV shifts throughout, but readers may need a strong neck to withstand the whiplash of frequent time jumps. This quibble aside, Howard has written an eerie, twisty story ripped from current headlines, in which a global pandemic becomes the foreboding hypotenuse of a dangerous love triangle.

A Certain Appeal

Readers who enjoy sexy contemporary romance will be charmed by King’s light, irreverent retelling of Pride and Prejudice, set in the New York City burlesque scene.

Her Perfect Life

Ryan has a sure hand with her page-turning, twisty plotting and complex, multifaceted characters. Readers looking for a fast, thrilling read will love this one.

Red Island House

Listeners expecting a traditional novel may not have the patience for Lee’s nonlinear narrative, but those who do will long remember the characters that Lee and Turpin have brought to life.

I Couldn’t Love You More

The story of unwed Irish mothers losing their babies to forced adoptions is similar to books and films like Philomena, but Freud’s (Mr. Mac and Me) telling is fresh and moving. The mystery of whether the three women will ever reconnect gives the novel urgency.

Men Are Frogs

Suggest this Fairy Godmothers, Inc. sequel to fans of Hallmark movies who want something a little risqué.

The Seventh Queen

A satisfying conclusion that showcases intriguing characters, epic worldbuilding, and all the political and personal scheming a reader could want.


MacLean’s dedicated fan base will be eagerly awaiting this novel, but it will also appeal to other romance readers who are unfamiliar with her body of work. Highly recommended for general purchase.

The Light of Luna Park

This moving debut showcases the power of storytelling behind historical fiction. Armstrong highlights the novelty, frustration, and strength of rebellious action behind a medical marvel we take for granted today. For fans of Kate Moore’s The Radium Girls and Emma Donoghue’s The Pull of the Stars.

All Her Little Secrets

In her debut thriller, corporate attorney Morris deftly combines a creepy Nazi-esque sect with a murderous plot and rounds out the intrigue with a striking commentary on racism, sexual assault, and misogyny.

Graveyard Fields

The unconventional heroes of this debut are exaggerated, awkward characters in a story that progresses from tragedy to dark humor. Fans of irreverent crime novels with flawed protagonists will appreciate it.

See Jane Snap

Crandell’s (The Jake Ryan Complex) second adult novel is a fast-paced, thought-provoking, often humorous look at the choices we make and their effects on us and the people we care about. For fans of women’s fiction focusing on self-worth and family.

All the Feels

Highly recommended for public libraries.

Between Tides

Khoury based her debut novel on a true story recorded in historical newspaper accounts. Readers will enjoy her slow-paced emotional historical fiction about the pain inflicted by the Civil War on soldiers and their families.

Who Is Maud Dixon?

Even with some predictable twists and coincidences that defy credibility, fans of thrillers and bad decisions won’t be able to stop listening until the end.

Rules for Heiresses

This steamy historical romance is recommended for general purchase.

Grave Reservations

Priest, the Locus Award–winning author of Boneshaker, is known for writing horror and steampunk. Her witty mystery has a likable amateur sleuth and a strong supporting cast. For fans of Wendall Thomas’s offbeat travel agent Cyd Redondo.

Hello, Transcriber

Former police transcriber Morrissey brings her expertise to this suspenseful debut. The story of an introverted, troubled woman, isolated in a bleak small town, will appeal to fans of Jess Lourey’s atmospheric books.

Among Thieves

Kuhn’s debut is full of magic and mystery, plus a group of delightful, morally challenged misfits who are looking for freedom, no matter the cost.

When a Duke Loves a Governess

Pirate treasure maps, trips to the circus, and genealogical mysteries make this an exciting third entry in Drake’s “Unlikely Duchesses” series (after Forever My Duke).

So We Meet Again

This engaging romance (Park’s second, after Loathe at First Sight) with great characters is highly recommended for fans of Jayci Lee’s A Sweet Mess.

The Heron’s Cry

Matthew Venn, introduced in The Long Call, is the primary detective in this installment, but Cleeves uses multiple voices, including those of Matthew’s team members, to show the personal effects of this troubling case. Fans of Cleeves’s “Vera Stanhope” and “Shetland” mysteries will be eager for her latest novel, where a police team struggles to cope with professional and personal lives.

Mrs. March

Feito’s debut can be classified as a literary psychological thriller, but it doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. Fans of novels about psychological degeneration will be satisfied.

Ice and Stone

A must-read for Sharon McCone fans; the series should also be explored by any fan of strong women detectives.

The Eternal Audience of One

Another sparkling new talent emanating from the African continent, Rwandan Namibian Ngamije has been honored with the 2021 Regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize. With the broad release of this 2019 debut novel, he can now be embraced by the wider audience he so deserves.

The Orphan House

Bennett’s (The Runaway Sisters) new novel is predictable; readers will quickly put together the central mystery, and while the characters are all sympathetic, they’re two-dimensional. However, this book fits neatly into the recent trend of historical fiction exploring past adoptions and orphanages, such as Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours.

The Last House on Needless Street

A perfect marriage of pacing from both the plot and the narrator gives listeners a thrilling experience that will shock them until the end.

Harlem Shuffle

Another can’t-miss from the versatile Whitehead, for readers who loved James McBride’s Deacon King Kong.

The Stone Face

Far more than his contemporaries Richard Wright, Chester Himes, and James Baldwin, Smith (1927–74) parlayed his experiences in Paris into universal explorations of race, caste, and colonialism, earning him a place alongside them on library shelves.

Mrs. Spring Fragrance

Combining quaintness with flashes of subversion, this collection is both a vital historical snapshot and a depressingly timely reminder of fundamental human dignity across race and culture.

Address Unknown

At perhaps no time since its initial publication has this stunning evocation of extremism and intolerance felt more chilling. As the foreword to the 1938 edition suggested, this story deserves a permanent place on the country’s bookshelf.

The Hanging on Union Square

Redolent of the creative and political ferment of Depression-era New York, this transgressive mashup of Karl and Groucho Marx resurrects a marginalized Asian American provocateur far fresher and more entertaining than most of his contemporaries. A revelation.

Rhode Island Red

Centered on the perils and amours of a strong and sophisticated Black woman, this stylish, melodic mystery and its two newly reissued sequels, Coq au Vin and Drumsticks, will be broadly appealing additions to any mystery collection.

More Than I Love My Life

A visceral dissection of what we choose to protect and neglect in striving for moral clarity.


Winner of the Finlandia Prize, this novel by the Kosovo-born Finnish author Statovci (Crossing) vividly describes the devastating effects of war. A harrowing and breathtaking book about abandonment, cruelty, and desire.

The Last Graduate

Sardonic students, gruesome monsters, growing friendships, and a touch of romance create a highly readable story. Some questions remain to be answered in the trilogy’s last volume. The end of this installment ensures that book three can’t come fast enough.

Burly Tales: Fairy Tales for the Hirsute and Hefty Gay Man

Highly recommended for all public libraries.

My Sweet Girl

In her debut novel, Sri Lanka–based Jayatissa is a master of first-person narration as she delves into questions of identity--how individuals perceive themselves, and the tendency not to see others for who they really are. Her fast-paced mystery, with an unreliable but sympathetic narrator, will hook readers from the very beginning, but the twist ending might leave them disappointed and unsatisfied; the frequent profanity may also be problematic for some readers.


Well Matched

Readers won’t want to put this novel down once they start and will clamor for more as soon as they finish. Recommended for public libraries.

Butcher Pen Road

A quick-read police procedural that is aided by knowledge and context of the setting while highlighting the challenges of law enforcement in rural Oklahoma. For fans of Kent Anderson, Danny Gardner, and Lisa Sandlin.

Delia Suits Up

This clever and funny first-person “I woke up like this!” novel is Aksel’s first for a major publisher. Although the wrap-up is too tidy, and she spends too much time describing what it’s like to be a man in the physical sense, her descriptions of Delia’s experiences as a man in the workplace are thought-provoking. For fans of chick lit who are able to majorly suspend their disbelief.

All Fired Up

A sure bet for Burke’s fans that would also be a good fit for readers who enjoy Annabeth Albert’s “Hotshots” series.


Camilleri’s series finale busts out of the traditional mystery genre to give fans an inspiring, thoughtful, and humorous farewell to a beloved character.

The Dating Playbook

Highly recommended for all collections.

John Eyre

Readers who crave a paranormal twist to their romances will find this a mesmerizing story.

All the Tommys in the World

Suggest Joe McKinney’s Dead World Resurrection or Shawn Chesser’s The Promise instead.

The Devil Comes Courting

A must-have on historical romance shelves.

Dare To Live, Dare To Love

Recommended for libraries where childhood sweetheart romances are popular.

Safe in My Arms

In the spirit of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, a fancy California preschool is the perfect stomping ground for intrigue. Lies, jealousy, sex, and money swirl together in this lively escapade.


Fans of Showalter will be delighted.

Subtle Blood

Charles (The Gentle Art of Fortune Hunting) fills the final installment in her “Will Darling Adventures” trilogy with more daring exploits, in addition to the characteristic wit, sexiness, humor, and heart. Highly recommended, but readers should start with the first in this compelling series, Slippery Creatures.

L.A. Weather

Novelist and screenwriter Escandón (Esperanza’s Box of Saints) depicts many cultural layers of Los Angeles through its variety of food, unique architecture, and rich local history. Broader topics of immigration, climate change, gender identity, and the effects of gentrification come up throughout the novel. Most of all, Escandón celebrates family: sometimes joyous, sometimes infuriating, but always bonding together to meet life’s tempestuous challenges.

A Lot Like Adiós

This sparkling and steamy follow-up to Daria’s You Had Me at Hola is a delicious second-chance romance featuring two bisexual leads. A must-read for those who love contemporary queer, family-focused romances like Adriana Herrera’s American Sweethearts and Alexandria Bellefleur’s Hang the Moon. Recommended for all public library collections.

Breaking Badger

Laurenston expands her “Honey Badger Chronicles” series to the friends of the MacKilligan sisters with her trademark snark and over-the-top humor. Fans will be screaming to read this entry, but it’s not a good jumping-on point for new readers due to the overwhelming number of characters involved; readers will need to know some of the backstory to fully enjoy it. However, Laurenston should be a required purchase for public libraries.

A Touch of Jen

This is an original, genre-bending story that morphs from social commentary into something violent and fantastical, reminiscent of the television series Black Mirror. Recommended for readers looking for something surprising to spice up their summer reading.


Sharp as a dog’s teeth and twice as ferocious, Yoder’s novel is a searing indictment of the way mothers are undervalued and ignored and expected to conform to one way of being. Not for the faint of heart (but then again, neither is motherhood), this debut’s prose pulses with energy and wit. Highly recommended for all literary fiction collections.

My Policeman

Like Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, this latest novel by Roberts (The Pools) teems with sexual tension and the innocence and ignorance that caused so much heartache in the intolerant era just before the sexual revolution. This story is beautifully written and ineffably sad.

The Devil You Know

This series entry begins to peel back the layers of the characters that make up the Mercenary Librarians and the Silver Devils, while giving hints to deeper secrets and conspiracies of the corrupt TechCorps and its plans for control.

Once There Were Wolves

Another win for McConaghy that weaves together various modes and creates something that will be immediately appealing to a diverse spate of readers.

The Minister Primarily

Killens casts a broad net, skewering everything from the heady early days of African independence to the pan-Africanism of the period among Black Americans, and, most sharply, race relations in the United States. This is a brilliantly scathing, outrageous satire as important today as when it was written.

The Stone Loves the World

Hall’s latest novel about these brilliant characters, who are all tangled up in multiple battles between their off-the-charts IQs and their uncomfortable but determined need to find meaningful relationships, will lead readers on a glorious literary ride. Prepare for demand for his 1996 prequel The Saskiad, about 12-year-old Saskia’s life on a commune.

The Hollywood Spy

Longtime fans of the series will savor the perfectly calibrated mix of intriguing plot and engaging characters in the latest “Maggie Hope” mystery, and the impeccably written book should also work as a good introduction to the series for newcomers.


Oates has dedicated the novel to her late husband, Charlie Gross, who passed away in 2019. While the characters here are decades younger than Oates and Gross, one can speculate that she drew upon her own grief in crafting this novel, which is gut-wrenching and devoid of sentimentality. Oates doesn’t pander to the reader and leaves Michaela’s duality open to interpretation. Recommended.

The Council of Animals

Both wildly imaginative and surprisingly funny, with (mostly) endearing characters, this thinly veiled metaphor offers what feels like an appropriate outcome. Tabbutt’s drawings of the animals add to the whimsy and interest of the tale by McDonell (An Expensive Education; The Bodies in Person), which readers of all ages will enjoy. Highly recommended.

The Guide

Heller’s chilling tale of twisted minds playing on pandemic fears is all too realistic. One heckuva read; don’t miss it.

China Room

In descriptive but never flowery prose, Sahota (The Year of the Runaways) intersects the two stories in clever and unexpected ways, reminding readers how they are connected to those who came before. Readers of literary historical fiction will enjoy this powerful, evocative novel.

Children of Demeter

A book that dares you to turn out the light or put it down, this psychedelic dive into cults, monsters, and rebirth will blow your mind.


This noir thriller with horror elements strongly calls to mind the work of Hank Early crossed with Cormac McCarthy. It is a slow burn that takes its time to unfurl but makes a lasting impression. Fans of the first and third seasons of the television series True Detective will also enjoy this dark, somber tale with all of its sinister elements.

August’s Eyes

This creepy-crawly feast for the senses is a must for any fans of King and would be a particularly great read-alike suggestion for IT, Insomnia, or Dreamcatcher.

The Human Zoo

As Ting’s unwritten book morphs into the very one we are reading, the author (Murray, a PEN/Faulkner Award winner for The Caprices) expands the original critique of the human zoo to include multiple zoos and multiple victimized humans, thus examining broad issues of culture, race, gender, sexuality, and politics against a global backdrop. Highly recommended.

The Garden House

For readers who will enjoy an emotionally complex story that asks the question: Who across the generations has the right to find love and be happy?

Island of Thieves

Hamilton has written his best “Van Shaw” book to date with this slow-burn tale that takes his main character in unexpected directions. Van is torn between wondering whom he can trust and keeping his known allies safe. High stakes, a genuinely complex plot, compelling characters, and excellent writing make this another winner from Hamilton. Fans of Daniel Silva and Gregg Hurwitz should add Van Shaw to their list of go-to characters.

The Lighthouse Witches

Told in alternating perspectives that jump back and forth between decades, this chilling tale weaves a web of superstition and truth that fans of Gothic horror won’t want to miss.

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