Cynthia Johnson

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Hotel Laguna

Harrison’s third historical (after The Show Girl) is a fascinating story that would benefit from further explorations of her characters’ motives. In the end, it is Laguna Beach itself that becomes the protagonist, thus the novel will appeal mostly to people who love this region and reading about the immediate postwar era.

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle

With its wealth of historical detail, Ryan’s latest historical novel (The Kitchen Front) will appeal to World War II buffs as well as lovers of cozy English village novels.

The War Librarian

Armstrong’s dark and disturbing tale of prejudice, discrimination, determination, and bravery will resonate with readers caught up in the same issues today.

The Rose Code

Quinn (The Huntress; The Alice Network) writes with an immediacy and level of detail that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Her latest is a deft blend of romance, mystery, and suspense that will appeal to lovers of those genres, and to her many fans.

Annie and the Wolves

Romano-Lax’s (Plum Rains) brilliantly conceived characters, delicate exploration of abuse and childhood trauma, and examination of vengeance and its power to heal will entrance from the very first page. Her latest is a tour de force that will appeal to a wide variety of readers,

The Last Garden in England

Kelly’s (Whispers of War) decades-spanning story will appeal to gardeners and lovers of Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs, though readers may find that the shortness of the chapters in each character’s voice detracts from rather than adds to the narrative tension.


The Children’s Train

Ardone’s first English-language translation is recommended to fans of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels and for libraries where those are popular.

The Wonderful

Sarginson’s (The Stranger) darkly atmospheric style evokes the mystery and tension at the heart of the Cold War, appealing to enthusiasts of Richard Condon’s The Manchurian Candidate and other Cold War–era thrillers.

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.

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