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Episode Thirteen

In this subversion of the classic haunted-house/found-footage story, DiLouie demonstrates his ability to toy with and eventually upend readers’ expectations. What could have been a story full of the typical tropes becomes an unsettling exploration into what lies beyond life, death, and reality itself.
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The Spite House

One part road trip, one part family relationships, and one part haunted house, serve this update on genre staples to showcase the voice of a rising new writer to an audience that adores the classics.
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Queen of Dust

Dare, who also writes contemporary romance as Hanna Earnest, here pens a science-fiction romance that leans heavily into its tropes and brings forth a successful story. Fans of enemies-to-lovers will be thrilled with this book.
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The Cradle of Ice

Recommended where the first book was popular.
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The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi

An energetic start to a pirate fantasy trilogy, filled with magic, mayhem, and self-reflection. Fans of Jenn Lyons’s storytelling will want to pick up Chakraborty’s (“Daevabad Trilogy”) new series.
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Death and Croissants

The charming mystery, released in 2021 in the UK, is a fast-paced, witty story for those who enjoy dry British humor.

Stone Cold Fox

This is excellent writing for a debut author and is a must-read for fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl or Lisa Unger’s Confessions on the 7:45.

Some Desperate Glory

The first novel from Tesh (“Greenhollow” novellas) is an intriguing space opera and study of radicalization, indoctrination, and what happens when one breaks free in the most absolute way.
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Murder by Definition

Lehane’s complex follow-up to Murder Off the Page will interest fans of the bleak series and readers who enjoy cold-case stories.

The Golden Spoon

With meticulous plotting and the grand backdrop of a country home, this is a thoroughly entertaining, well-crafted read. Highly recommended for all mystery collections and for those who appreciate an ensemble cast in their whodunits.
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Bitter Medicine

Urban fantasy readers will appreciate the well-crafted hidden world, and lovers of bad boy or Mafia romances will see Luc as their darkly delicious type, all while Elle’s long sacrifice will break readers’ hearts. Fans of Sarah J. Maas’s epic paranormal fantasies will also find much to savor in Tsai’s debut.
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Mastering the Art of French Murder

Agatha Christie meets cozy mystery in this fun tale from Cambridge (“Phyllida Bright” mysteries). Historical fiction readers and fans of cozy suspense will want to add this mystery to their to-be-read pile.

One Last Secret

Readers will race through the pages of this serpentine psychological thriller only to find a shocking, dramatic conclusion no one saw coming.

Murder Your Employer: The McMasters Guide to Homicide

An amusing and cheeky tale with excellent pacing replete with droll observations.
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Blown by the Same Wind

This book could serve as a stand-alone novel, but readers who enjoyed the first three novels in the series will like catching up with Ellie, Slip, and the other unusual characters in Cold Storage.
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The Kind Worth Saving

Psychological thriller fanatics will scramble to complete this satisfyingly twisty novel.
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VAMPS: Fresh Blood

Arend creates an exciting world of civilized vampires that hold power and weight even inside the human hierarchy. It’s an alluring and fast-paced read for fans of The Atlas Six, A Deadly Education, and True Blood.
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A Wealth of Deception

Esden’s background in and extensive knowledge of antiques is evident in the follow-up to The Art of the Decoy. The complex story will appeal to fans of Jane K. Cleland’s “Josie Prescott Antiques” mysteries.

It’s One of Us

Ellison (Her Dark Lies) spotlights the issue of infertility, based on her own experiences, then adds betrayal, obsession, and familial ties that bind to create a tension-filled story with an intriguing theme. Readers will race through the pages to an end they didn’t see coming.

The Devil You Know

The series protagonist is a wonderfully complex and likable character, as are the supporting cast. Tracy’s ability to weave multiple plots into a satisfying story makes this a must-read for mystery lovers.

A Small Affair

Collins avoids the sophomore slump with her second novel, a big win that positions her as an up-and-coming author with more tech-savvy stories to tell.

The Scourge Between Stars

Brown’s debut novella is highly recommended for readers who like their science-fictional thrills to be both real and out of this world at the same time.

A Sinister Revenge

The best-selling author of Killers of a Certain Age brings her trademark humor to this compelling historical mystery.
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World Running Down

Engaging prose and compelling dialogue make this novel an easy read that will appeal to teen and adult readers who enjoy sci-fi that addresses social justice issues. This is the traditionally published debut novel from Hess, who has previously written the self-published “Travelers” and “Hep Cats of Boise” series.
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Vinyl Resting Place

Will appeal to cozy mystery readers, fans of family-centered small-town mysteries, and music lovers.
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Off the Deep End

This is a well-done mystery with a plausible yet surprising ending.
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Karma of the Sun

For readers of post-apocalyptic cli-fi who enjoy magic-infused stories that don’t center Western cultures.
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Critical Mass

This is a fantastic tech-minded sci-fi in the vein of Kim Stanley Robinson.

Murder in Postscript

The atmosphere of Victorian London with its class differences are essential elements in this delightful character-driven historical mystery for fans of Katharine Schellman or Dianne Freeman.

Assassin of Reality

As with the previous book, inventive storytelling delves into philosophical concepts such as time, meaning, and language. This is a novel that transcends genre and will astound readers looking for serious, contemporary fiction.

The Lies of the Ajungo

This short but deeply affecting parable will unveil new perspectives to readers long after it’s done. Highly recommended.
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Threadneedle

Already a bestseller in the UK, Thomas launches an engrossing, magic-filled series that follows the coming-of-age of a witch against the backdrop of modern London.
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The Scarlet Circus

This fourth volume in a series of short fictions and poetry from multiple award-winning Yolen (The Midnight Circus) showcases her enchanting storytelling and lyrical voice.
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The Curator

King’s (Double Feature) latest is a masterpiece of storytelling to be enjoyed by readers who love language and the fantastical.
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Three Can Keep a Secret

Readers who enjoy the library and community connections in Victoria Gilbert’s “Blue Ridge Library” mysteries will want to try this mystery that hints at future answers to the ongoing story line of the murder of Greer’s husband.

The Ferryman

The velvety prose, the creepy heart-clenching suspense, and the meaning and emotion layered into every word all give rise to an incredibly thought-provoking sci-fi thriller from Cronin (The City of Mirrors).
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Lost in Paris

The compelling story, filled with actual artists, models and writers, will appeal to readers who enjoy fact-based mysteries involving history, racism, and conditions in post-war Paris.
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Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun

The plot moves fast, with lots of action and moments where readers will wonder how a situation will end. This book is the third in a series and relies a lot on the events of previous books. Readers who love fast-paced, action-packed mysteries should pick this up.

Furious Heaven

The second “Sun Chronicles” book (after Unconquerable Sun) continues the complex action and intrigue from the first volume. Expansive space opera at its finest.
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The Last Tale of the Flower Bride

Chokshi’s (Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality) adult debut is recommended for lovers of gothic romance, magical realism, and stories where fairy tales come true, especially when they shouldn’t.

A Killing of Innocents

Crombie is as skilled as Louise Penny or J.D. Robb in developing characters while entwining personal lives with riveting police investigations. With four years since A Bitter Feast, the previous book in the series, the author’s fans will be eager to catch up with her characters.

Hell Bent

Fans of the series will be thrilled to reenter the world of Lethe house, and the current popularity of dark academia will send it to the top of TBR piles.
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The Nightmare Man

Markert’s (Midnight at the Tuscany Hotel, published under the name James Markert) first horror novel is both a literary thrill ride and a supernaturally satisfying guilty pleasure.
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In Her Highlander’s Bed

Fans of historicals, especially those featuring kind and handsome Highlanders, will find a lot to love in this latest from Sands (Highland Wolf).
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10 Signs You Need To Grovel

Suggest that fans of Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Lucy Score add Siskind’s latest to their to-be-read piles.
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The Rose and the Thistle

Readers who love Celtic settings will rejoice over this offering featuring bonny Scotland. For fans of historical fiction from the likes of Jocelyn Green, Michelle Griep, and Elizabeth Camden.
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Ellie Is Cool Now

A solid addition to any public library romance collection.

Cold-Blooded Liar

Fans of strong female protagonists, titillating crime dramas, and the novels of Lisa Gardner, Lisa Jackson, and Rose herself will find this unputdownable.
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Showstopper

The twisting plot keeps the story entertaining. Much as Clea Simon does in Hold Me Down, Lovesey makes the violence clear but does not place it front and center in the manner of grittier writers such as John Grisham or Michael Connelly. Fans of English detective stories will enjoy this novel and will want to read more books by Lovesey.
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The Resemblance

The fast pace is counterbalanced by paint-by-numbers characters, an overstuffed narrative, and an unbelievable finale. This debut is a bumpy ride.
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A Fashionable Fatality

Readers with an eye for fashion will enjoy the detailed descriptions of 1920s clothing and accessories while fans of the series will be excited to return to Phoebe and Eva’s world as they navigate a new mystery and ongoing relationships.
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Reef Road

Inspired by an actual murder, this title by actress and author Royce (Ruby Falls) will be appreciated by fans of psychological thrillers and stories of traumas affecting multiple generations.
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Stranded with My Forbidden Billionaire

King’s (Undone by Her Ultra-Rich Boss) skillfully written words flow effortlessly off the page, quickly drawing the reader in.
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Under the Mistletoe

These stories are perfect for curling up in front of a fire with a hot cup of cocoa.
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Rules of Their Royal Wedding Night

Smart (Pregnant Innocent Behind the Veil) entertains readers throughout this novel with a well-told story line and delightfully written love scenes. Fans of slow-burn romance novels will eagerly pull this off the library shelves.
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The Wife the Spaniard Never Forgot

Readers will be quick to pick this one off the shelf. Recommend to fans of Anita Shreve, Kate Morton, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
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Colton’s Ultimate Test

Readers who have gotten this far in the series will appreciate the everyone-lives-happily-ever-after-with-a-wedding epilogue they’ve been waiting for, but the story itself, with implausible investigative work and a lukewarm romance, doesn’t have too much to recommend it to newcomers.
PREMIUM

The Cost of Cinderella’s Confession

James (Destitute Until the Italian’s Diamond) writes a skilled and delightful story that will keep readers wondering what is in this couple’s future. Fans of Maya Banks, Lynne Graham, and Sarah Morgan will be drawn to this quick read.
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Danger in Big Sky Country

Van Meter (Colton’s Amnesia Target) starts her “Big Sky Justice” series off on a strong note. Relatable characters and a solid mystery combine with a nicely paced romance to make this a book fans of the genre are sure to appreciate, and the unanswered questions at the end about Luna’s family history will ensure that they come back for future series installments.

Foster

Keegan offers further evidence of her facility at imbuing short fiction with immense feeling and invoking a deceptively grand scale; a rich, compassionate work that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
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The Italian’s Bride Worth Billions: An Uplifting International Romance

Graham (The King’s Christmas Heir) delivers a delectable story in this marriage-of-convenience novel.
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His Pregnant Desert Queen

Readers fascinated with royal stories will be interested in this fairy tale.
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Secret Alaskan Hideaway

Unfortunately, neither the dynamics of village life nor the threats to the protagonists’ lives feel particularly grounded in reality here, and the romance between the two leads lacks substance.

How To Survive a Scandal

A romp full of intrigue, spice, and mystery.
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The Accidental Accardi Heir

Fans of happily-ever-after stories will enjoy this read.
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A Baby Scandal in Italy

Shaw (Her Secret Royal Dilemma) writes this highly entertaining and sensual story with great ease and precision. Add this title to shelves for fans of Colleen Hoover, Jojo Moyes, and Penelope Douglas.
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Booked To Kill

Ultimately, this stand-alone romantic suspense story winds up being fairly forgettable. The speed with which Jack goes from suspicion of to fascination with Olivia strains credulity, and though readers may initially be drawn into the mystery, the final reveal of an almost cartoonish villain fails to satisfy in the end.

Read-Alikes for ‘Desert Star’ by Michael Connelly | LibraryReads

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Cinderella’s Second Chance in Paris

Renae’s (When Angus Met Zayla) debut Harlequin novel is a later-in-life romance that’s sure to tug at readers’ heartstrings.
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Their Wildest Safari Dream

A second-chance romance with a beautiful setting and palpable tension, this book is sure to please.

Demon Copperhead

Kingsolver has successfully created an authentic voice for her teenage protagonist, a voice at once heartbreaking, humorous (often at his own expense), and ultimately resilient. This highly recommended work is an excellent read in conjunction with Beth Macy’s Dopesick and J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy (both nonfiction) and novels like Tess Gunty’s The Rabbit Hutch and Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone.
PREMIUM

Isha, Unscripted

The romance between Isha and Tarik the bartender is sweet, but much of the rest of the story feels clunky. Recommended for libraries where Patel’s (First Love, Take Two) previous works are popular.
PREMIUM

The Twyford Code

Hallett (The Appeal) creates a unique and imaginative mystery utilizing both an unreliable narrator and mainly epistolary format. The tale spins wildly, and readers are never certain regarding the facts. It’s tough going at first but worth sticking with for Smithy.
PREMIUM

The Maid’s Diary

Libraries with large thriller collections, or where other titles by White (The Patient’s Secret) are popular, may want to consider it, but most can skip.

Step by Bloody Step

An emotionally nuanced, action-packed, absolutely astonishing feat of graphic narrative.
PREMIUM

Their Icelandic Marriage Reunion

A cozy second-chance romance with a wonderful cast of secondary characters, a pinch of humor, and a couple whom readers will be truly rooting for. This one from Pembroke (Baby on the Rebel Heir’s Doorstep) should not be missed.
PREMIUM

Snowed In with the Billionaire

Purchase where second-chance romances are popular.

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr

A passionate and refreshingly unsentimental fable that suggests every aspect of the human experience is vital and worthy of celebration.

The Nice House on the Lake, Vol. 1

A deeply unsettling, breathlessly thrilling, uncommonly engrossing horror story, rendered in exquisitely atmospheric illustration, and a provocative meditation on what it takes to stay alive, and to stay human, in a collapsing world. This volume collects the first six issues of a 12-issue story.
PREMIUM

Out of Aztlan

Colorful and complex language paired with an edgy tone and mystical plotlines make this an easy choice for acquisition departments. Some good suggestions for read-alikes include Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado, Other Terrors: An Inclusive Anthology edited by Vince A. Liaguno and Rena Mason, and Both Sides: Stories From the Border edited by Gabino Iglesias.

Read-Alikes for ‘Going Rogue’ by Janet Evanovich | LibraryReads

LJ Talks to SFF Writer Denise Crittendon About ‘Where It Rains in Color’

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Now Is Not the Time To Panic

Highly recommended as a sincere, sometimes brutal, but always sturdy study of the burden of both art and adolescence and a wonderfully evocative treatise on how we imprint ourselves on the world and learn to survive in that tumultuous wake.
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The Fireballer

Readers looking for sports fiction heavy on the baseball will enjoy this book.
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Ruby Spencer’s Whisky Year

Food writer Bilow’s (The Call of the Farm) debut romance is just as charming as its Scottish village setting.

Murder at an Irish Castle

There’s a strong sense of place in Brannigan’s debut, a well-written cozy mystery series launch. Will appeal to fans of Sheila Connolly and Carlene O’Connor.

The Portrait of a Duchess

Peckham (The Rakess) sensitively introduces a heroine battling prejudice and censure, while also delivering a romance full of political machinations, surprises, and steamy sex scenes. A captivating sequel guaranteed to thrill.
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Sleep No More

Krentz (Lightning in a Mirror) infuses gripping romantic suspense with the metaphysical in this novel that will delight long-time fans and new readers alike. A few unanswered questions create an intriguing set-up for the next book in this new series.
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Untethered Sky

This slim novella packs a punch as it explores the emotional journey of one woman’s feelings of vengeance and devotion, as wild as the creatures that she must face.
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The Backup Plan

A solid story perfect for readers who enjoy introspection, emotional resolution, and found-family alongside their romance. Though this is the third installment in Shalvis’s “Sunrise Cove” series (after The Friendship Pact), it stands alone, without crossover characters.

Ana Takes Manhattan

It’s clear from the outset that veteran reality TV producer Decos knows her subject matter, and Ana is a likable, fun character who will make readers laugh and believe in finding true love.
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Alligator Alley

This is an easy entry to the Joe DeMarco series and will win Lawson some new fans.
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The Magic Kingdom

The narrative moves slowly, but copious detail of Shaker life and the philosophy of utopian communities that have largely disappeared from the American landscape, are well depicted. Well-researched historical fiction from a skilled novelist.
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Frontier

This western-inspired, post-apocalyptic tale is an adventurous science-fiction story, filled with a high-action quest and intimate looks at what people will do to survive.
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For Her Consideration

YA novelist Spalding’s (We Used To Be Friends) adult debut is an optimistic, empathetic choice for readers, which highlights queer women pursuing creative careers and showcases a strong emotional growth arc.
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Aesthetica

Rowbottom’s focus on second chances, true love, and self-awareness rings true as she calls out the image making and image makers of social media, and readers of a broad range of contemporary fiction will enjoy. Highly recommended.
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Hopeland

An eccentric and adventurous love story mixed with a rich and picturesque family saga. The popping action sequences reinforce McDonald’s (The Menace from Farside) swift and distinctive writing style. Perfect for fans of Stephen Baxter.
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Daughters of Victory

Reminiscent of Janet Fitch’s novels about the Russian Revolution, Saab’s book indulgently lingers too long in several plot complications.
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Cinderella and the Duke

A well-done debut that once again proves that reformed rakes make the best husbands. Regency romance fans will look forward to more from this new author.
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A Fire Endless

Ross (A River Enchanted) creates a magical story with lyrical prose that draws the reader into the tale and its setting. Recommend this series to fans of Jeffe Kennedy, Susanna Clarke, and Terry Brooks.
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