Prepub Alert: The Complete List | July 2023

The July 2023 Prepub Alert posts are also available as a downloadable spreadsheet of titles.








The July 2023 Prepub Alert posts are also available as a downloadable spreadsheet of titles. 

Colson Whitehead’s Crook Manifesto

Whitehead, Colson. Crook Manifesto. Doubleday. Jul. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780385545150. $30. lrg. prnt. CD. LITERARY

Furniture store owner and ex-fence Ray Carney returns after the sensational Harlem Shuffle, trying to stay on the straight and narrow and not quite succeeding. In 1971, he needs Jackson 5 tickets for his daughter and approaches old police contact Munson, who wants a favor in return. In 1973, Ray’s partner-in-crime, Pepper, takes a side job doing security on a Blaxploitation shoot in Harlem and manages to best the hustlers he meets. By 1976, while storeowner Ray finds his way around raging bicentennialism, he asks Pepper to help discover who’s behind a fire that injured one of Ray’s tenants. Again, Whitehead delivers the portrait of one struggling community and roughed-up but durably endearing 1970s New York.

Literary Fiction

Bilal, Aaliyah. Temple Folk. S. & S. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781982191818. $26.99. CD. SHORT STORIES

Blum, Hila. How To Love Your Daughter. Riverhead. Jul. 2023. 240p. tr. from Hebrew by Daniella Zamir. ISBN 9780593539644. $27. Downloadable. LITERARY

Chau, C.K. Good Fortune. HarperVia. Jul. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780063293762. $29.99. CD. LITERARY

Chin-Tanner, Wendy. King of the Armadillos. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250843005. $28.99. LITERARY

deWitt, Patrick. The Librarianist. Ecco. Jul. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063085121. $30. lrg. prnt. CD. LITERARY

García, Cristina. Vanishing Maps. Knopf. Jul. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9780593534748. $28. LITERARY

Hornsby, Daniel. Sucker. Anchor. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593469675. $27. LITERARY

From a daughter revealing her hair in public when she suspects her father of infidelity to a mother reflecting on a near-death experience, Bilal’s debut collection, Temple Folk, illuminates the lives of contemporary Black American Muslims in the Nation of Islam and Sunni Orthodox communities. A woman thousands of miles from home secretly watches the grandchildren she’s never met, still struggling to understand why she and her beloved daughter have become estranged in How To Love Your Daughter, from Israeli best-selling author Blum. Debuter Chau’s Good Fortune sets Pride and Prejudice in contemporary New York’s Chinatown, with Elizabeth Chen suspicious of Darcy Wong, the wealthy young Hong Kong man who just bought the neighborhood’s rundown community center (50,000-copy first printing). Chin-Tanner draws on family history for her debut, King of the Armadillos, in which 15-year-old New Yorker Victor Chin is sent to quarantine in 1950s Louisiana owing to Hansen’s disease, otherwise known as leprosy (100,000-copy first printing). DeWitt’s Librarianist is retired Bob Comet, who has always lived through books but whose life—and complicated past—open up after he begins volunteering at the local senior center. Cristina García’s Vanishing Maps tells the story of Cuban matriarch Celia del Pino family's, scattered to the United States, Germany, and Russia. In Hornsby’s second novel, following the attention-getting Via Negativa, a putative Sucker named Chuck Gross, the errant son of a rich, exploitative industrialist, tries to make his own way by joining a medical startup that’s promising to sell immortality.


Blanchard, Alice. The Shadow Girls: A Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Natalie Lockhart, Bk. 4). Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250783080. $28. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

In remote Burning Lake, where witches dwell and curses are carved on trees, Det. Natalie Lockhart wrestles with long-standing cases—her sister’s murder, a close friend’s disappearance, and the murder of the town’s leading witch—even as Lt. Luke Pittman lies in a coma. From the multi-award-winning Blanchard (e.g., Darkness Peering, a Barnes & Noble Best Mystery); a 35,000-copy first printing.

Borgos, Bruce. The Bitter Past: A Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250848079. $28. MYSTERY/POLICE PROCEDURAL

In Nevada’s achingly beautiful high desert, Porter Beck serves as sheriff (as his father once did), and not much happens until a retired FBI agent is found tortured to death. Clues point to the 1950s Soviet infiltration of a nearby nuclear testing site and the hunt for a long-missing individual crucial to events. A series start-up; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Davis, Lindsey. Fatal Legacy. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Flavia Albia, Bk. 11). Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250799906. $28. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

First, Aunt Junia asks Flavia Albia to locate some lowlifes who owe her money. Then the lowlifes ask her to locate paperwork proving that an ancestor was properly freed from enslavement—or they’ll lose everything—and past murder results in present bloodshed. Next in a long-running series; with a 30,000-copy first printing.

McGarrity, Michael. The Long Ago. Norton. Jul. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780393541656. $28.95. MYSTERY

In a departure from his popular “Kevin Kerney” and “American West” series, McGarrity sends Ray Lansdale from 1960s Vietnam to his Montana home and eventually Hollywood’s faux-golden streets as he searches for missing sister Barbara. He fears she fled there in search of the Long Ago—their imagined place of escape from a cruel family life—and found something else entirely.

Massey, Sujata. The Mistress of Bhatia House. Soho Crime. (Perveen Mistry, Bk. 4). Jul. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781641293297. $27.95. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

Burned when rescuing her young charge when he’s maliciously set afire, an ayah named Sunanda is then falsely accused of criminal behavior by an unidentified stranger and taken on as a client by Perveen Mistry, 1920s Bombay’s only female solicitor. Inviting Sunanda into her already tumultuous household does cause problems, but tension really ratchets up when Sunanda and Jewish-Indian obstetrician Miriam Penkar are suspected of murdering the hospital’s chief donor. Next in Massey’s multi-award-winning series.

Montclair, Allison. The Lady from Burma. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Sparks & Bainbridge, Bk. 5). Jul. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781250854193. $28. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL

Proprietors of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau, Miss Iris Sparks (with unspoken past in British intelligence) and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge (a war widow with a child) have a new sort of client: a woman who wants to find the perfect wife for her eccentric academic husband because she herself is dying of cancer. Then she’s found dead in Epping Forest—apparently a suicide, but Iris and Gwendolyn aren’t so sure. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Rosenfelt, David. Flop Dead Gorgeous. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Andy Carpenter, Bk. 27). Jul. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250828903. $28.

Lawyer Andy Carpenter has already gifted celebrated actress (and high school girlfriend) Jenny Nichols with Miniature French Poodle Mamie from his Tara Foundation, and Mamie has her own fan following. Now he’s got to help Jenny when she’s accused of murdering her costar. More big barks from the Edgar-nominated Rosenfelt; with a 60,000-copy first printing.

Walker, Martin. A Chateau Under Siege. Knopf. (Bruno, Chief of Police, Bk. 16). Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593319819. $28. MYSTERY/INTERNATIONAL

During the reenactment of a French town’s liberation from the British during the Hundred Years' War, the actor playing the hero is stabbed, perhaps fatally. What’s more, the victim is second-in-command in French intelligence, and this could be an assassination attempt. Bruno, St. Denis’s chief of police, must eventually deal with Russia, China, Silicon Valley, and (what’s toughest) the French government to solve this case.


Burdah, Farhan. A Dangerous Book. Grand Central. Jul. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781538724125. $28. THRILLER/ESPIONAGE

On a top-secret job protecting a Saudi prince, Desi Muslim Irfan Mirza learns that his estranged wife is in so-called protective custody in Karachi, Pakistan, after uncovering a terrible secret. He knows he must break her out—for her sake and for their daughter’s—but it’s not as simple as it seems. From Pakistan-born, U.S.-based Burdah, currently a practicing attorney.

Freeman, Brian. Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Defiance. Putnam. Jul. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780593419885. $29. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/ESPIONAGE

Treadstone agents worldwide are being hunted down and killed as a U.S. government official seeks to erase all evidence of a fraught mission called the Defiance, and Jason Bourne is on the list. That puts him in opposition to an archenemy assassin known as Lennon. Next in Ludlum’s New York Times best-selling series, taken over by ITW/Macavity winner Freeman.

Koryta, Michael. An Honest Man. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Jul. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780316535946. $29. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Regarded fearfully on Salvation Point Island for having killed his father a decade previously, lobsterman Israel Pike is an obvious suspect when he discovers seven murdered men (including two feuding senators) aboard a yacht. Meanwhile, 12-year-old Lyman Rankin seeks shelter from an alcoholic father in a seemingly empty house where he encounters a scary woman with a hatchet. Watch the masterly Koryta pull those plotlines together. With a 60,00-copy first printing.

Patterson, James & Brian Sitts. Circle of Death. Grand Central. Jul. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9781538711118. $32; pap. ISBN 9781538711101. $18.99. CD/downloadable. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

It’s 2088, and with the Command, aka, the World Destroyer, running amok, people are dying en masse. It looks like the end of the world, but not if the Shadow and his allies can help it. With a 250,000-paperback and 75,000-copy hardcover first printing; the publisher has had success with its trade paperback original program and will be expanding it.

Patterson, James & James O. Born. Obsessed: A Michael Bennett Psychological Thriller. Little, Brown. Jul. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780316499576. $30. CD/downloadable. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

A killer is targeting young women in every New York borough, and Det. Michael Bennett has just discovered the latest victim floating in the Hudson. It’s especially scary that Bennett’s eldest daughter seems to fit the victims’ pattern. With a 350,000 first printing.

Rimmer, Kelly. The Paris Agent. Graydon House: Harlequin. Jul. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9781525805080. $30; pap. ISBN 9781525826689. $18.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/HISTORICAL

Helping her former SOE operative father discover who saved his life in World War II France, Charlotte Ainsworth uncovers two women, codenamed Chloe and Fleur, who were deployed to France by the SOE in 1943 and took huge risks to support Allied troops. She also learns that there was a double agent in their midst, threatening their operations—and their lives. With a 200,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing.

Sims, Laura. How Can I Help You. Putnam. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593543702. $27. SUSPENSE

Margo works inconspicuously at a small-town public library, hiding her past as a nurse whose patients sometimes met suspicious deaths. But newbie staffer Patricia thinks there’s something off about Margo and becomes especially alert when a patron dies at the library. From the author of the multi-best-booked Looker, who works part-time as a reference librarian.

Tapper, Jake. All the Demons Are Here. Little, Brown. Jul. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780316424387. $29. THRILLER/POLITICAL

Son of a senator, Ike Marder joins Evel Knievel's pit crew in 1977 after a terrible experience as a U.S. Marine and ends up hiding from neo-Nazis with a bunch of Vietnam vets. Meanwhile, sister Lucy is a star journalist getting too cozy with a British family launching a tabloid in Washington, DC. Their stories cross at a political retreat in Georgia that turns violent. From CNN anchor Tapper, following the New York Times best-selling The Hellfire Club.

Genre-Splicing Chills 

Baker, Chandler. Cutting Teeth. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jul. 2023. ISBN 9781250839787. $27.99. CD. THRILLER/DOMESTIC

Darby, Mary Beth, and Rhea are worried that motherhood is subsuming them, body and soul, and at last they have a distraction: their four-year-olds’ schoolteacher has been murdered. Unfortunately, both mothers and children are seen as suspects by the police, and it appears that the children aren’t just sucking their mothers dry—they have become literally bloodthirsty. Both creepy thriller and motherhood manifesto; with a 250,000-copy first printing.

Burke, James Lee. Flags on the Bayou. Atlantic Monthly. Jul. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780802161697. $28. CD. THRILLER/HISTORICAL

In 1863 Louisiana, with the Confederate army in disarray and the Union army occupying most of the state, a formerly enslaved woman named Hannah Laveau who works on the Lufkin plantation is accused of murder and goes on the run with an abolitionist schoolteacher. Meanwhile, Wade Lufkin, horrified by what he has seen as a battlefield surgeon, returns to his uncle’s plantation and becomes entranced by Hannah.

Gibbs, Amiee. Carnivale of Curiosities. Grand Central. Jul. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9781538723937. $29. Downloadable. FANTASY/HISTORICAL

Victorian England is dazzled by shady Southwark-based Ashe and Pretorius Carnivale of Curiosities, whose proprietor, Aurelius Ashe, is said to have the ability to make any wish come true. Now odious Odilon Rose has approached Ashe with a proposition regarding his young charge that he can’t refuse, lest members of the troupe come to harm. Bookstore sales manager Gibbs debuts with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Siddiqi, Ayesha Manazir. The Centre. Gillian Flynn: Zando. Jul. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781638930549. $28. THRILLER/SPECULATIVE

Anisa Ellahi survives by subtitling Bollywood movies, but she wants to translate great literature. So she’s thrilled to learn about an invitation-only school for translators in language that assures complete fluency in any language in just 10 days. She’s able to wangle an invite—and discovers that there’s a dangerous price to pay for her attendance. The first book in Gillian Flynn’s imprint for Zando, and Flynn herself will be promoting; with a 150,000-copy first printing.

Winning, Josh. Burn the Negative. Putnam. Jul. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780593544662. $28. HORROR

Journalist Lauren is in Hollywood visiting the set of new streaming horror series based on a cult classic that she appeared in as a child, playing a character who could tell people exactly how the Needle Man would kill them. It wrecked her life and spookily cost eight members of the cast and crew their own, and now Lauren and her aspiring actress sister must figure out how to break the curse. From a senior film writer at Radio Times whose The Shadow Glass has a following; in-house excitement.

Historical Fiction 

Cantor, Rachel. Half-Life of a Stolen Sister. Soho. Jul. 2023. ISBN 9781641294645. $26. HISTORICAL

Cantor, who’s won good attention for her two previous novels, e.g., Good on Paper, enters wholeheartedly into the novelist’s game with a new work about the Brontë sisters. Partly fact-based, partly wildly inventive, it varies in setting and style to bring us three different sisters and their writing processes.

Hay, Alex. The Housekeepers. Graydon House. Jul. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781525805004. $30. HISTORICAL

Housekeeper at one of the grandest houses in Edwardian Mayfair, Mrs. King is shocked when she is inexplicably dismissed from her position. But she quickly rallies, calling on the smarts she acquired from growing up among con artists and thieves, and puts together a plan for revenge that will take place on the night of the house’s eagerly anticipated costume ball. A debut with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Lockhart, Zelda. Trinity. Amistad: HarperCollins. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780063160958. $27.99. CD. HISTORICAL

A Hurston-Wright finalist for The Fifth Born, Lockhart returns with the story of Lottie Rebecca Lee, a North Carolina Black girl born as her family’s daughter-spirit and primed both to plumb the suffering of her grandfather and father and to heal all three generations of her family. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Lynch, Lindsay. Do Tell. Doubleday. Jul. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780385549370. $28. HISTORICAL

Hollywood’s Golden Age is fast dimming for character actress Edie O'Dare, who’s gotten nowhere and has just a year left on her contract. Then she helps a rising starlet publish her accusations about an A-list actor’s assault, and she’s got a new career as a gossip columnist. But her old friends don’t like the secrets she’s sharing, and soon she’s in the midst of a trial with big choices to make. From debuter Lynch, a longtime indie bookseller.

Mosse, Kate. The Ghost Ship. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. (Burning Chambers, Bk. 3). Jul. 2023. 480p. ISBN 9781250202208. $29. HISTORICAL

The New York Times best-selling Mosse’s “Burning Chambers” series concerns the Joubert family and opened during the religious wars–wrought 1500s. Now it’s 1628, and Louise Joubert has disguised herself as a man to escape a longstanding family feud. With Anna Van Raay, also disguised and running from an unjust accusation that would mean death, she’s hiding aboard a vessel that’s become a “ghost ship,” its guns silenced and many of its crew dead as it drifts off the Barbery Coast. With a 40,000-copy first printing.

Friends & Family 

Brodeur. Adrienne. Little Monsters. Avid Reader: S. & S. Jul. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982198107. $28. FAMILY

Brodeur authored the fraught family memoir Wild Game, best-booked by NPR and the Washington Post and being developed by Netflix, so it’s no surprise that her fiction debut is a fraught family tale. After their mother’s death, siblings Ken and Abby Gardner were raised single-handedly on Cape Cod by their oceanographer father. Now, Ken is a successful businessman and Abby a gifted artist still financially dependent on her brother, and they’re competing to come out first with an aging, still ambitious father.

Harris, Terah Shelton. One Summer in Savannah. Sourcebooks Landmark. Jul. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9781728283975. $29.99; pap. ISBN 9781728265742. $16.99. FAMILY

When Sara Lancaster heads home to Georgia to care for her father, she’s returning to the place where she was raped eight years previously—and with the brilliant, beloved little girl who was subsequently born. She wants to keep her daughter’s identity hidden from the powerful family of the man who attacked her, but his identical twin brother, Jacob, has also returned home to seek the reason why his family is tumbling apart. Inevitably, he and Sarah meet. A debut from collection development librarian Harris.

Myers, Kate. Excavations. HarperVia. Jul. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063304512. $27.99. CD. FRIENDS

Accomplished excavator Elise. Art historian Kara, about to break off her engagement. Floundering undergrad Patty. And Z, who can’t seem to keep a boyfriend or a job. They’re all together at an archaeological dig in Greece, and against the odds, they all become friends. Fittingly, the excavation revolves around the question (actually debated by scholars) whether sports were invented by women. A debut with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Nguyen, Mai. Sunshine Nails. Atria. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 5. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9781668011256. $17.99. CD. FAMILY

When the Toronto-based family nail salon of Vietnamese refugees Debbie and P978166801049hil Tran is threatened by the fancy chain salon that pops up across the street, it’s the younger generation to the rescue. Daughter Jessica returns home after mishaps in work and love and joins with hard-driving brother Dustin and recent immigrant cousin Thuy to find a way to undermine the competition. Eventually, the parents question whether this scheming is right and whether it’s worth undermining the family to save the salon.


Howe, Neil. The Fourth Turning Is Here. S. & S. Jul. 2023. 608p. ISBN 9781982173739. $34.99. Downloadable. HISTORY

Love Hardin, Lara. The Many Lives of Mama Love: A Memoir. S. & S. Jul. 2023. 304p. ISBN ‎9781982197667. $28.99. MEMOIR

Ramsey, Donovan X. When Crack Was King: A People’s History of a Misunderstood Era. One World: Ballantine. Jul. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9780525511809. $30. Downloadable. HISTORY

Wickens, Kim. Lexington: The Extraordinary Life and Turbulent Times of America’s Legendary Racehorse. Ballantine. Jul. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780593496701. $28.99. SPORTS/HORSERACING

Yurkiewicz, Ilana. Fragmented: A Doctor’s Quest to Piece Together American Health Care. Norton. Jul. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780393881196. $30. HEALTHCARE

Zambreno, Kate. The Light Room. Riverhead. Jul. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9780593421062. $28. MEMOIR

In 1997's best-selling The Fourth Turning, Howe and the late William Strauss theorized that in the last 500 years, history has moved into 80- to 100-year cycles divided into four 20ish-year turnings, with the fourth turning a period of civic unrest; now, says, Howe, The Fourth Turning Is Here. Having funded her heroin addiction by stealing the credit cards of neighbors in her posh cul-de-sac, soccer mom Love Hardin wound up in jail, then conquered shame when she emerged by reinventing herself, becoming a ghostwriter, literary agent, and Dayton/NAACP nominee—and now author ofThe Many Lives of Mama Love. Reconsidering When Crack Was King and the consequences for social justice issues today, journalist Ramsey focuses on four individuals—former crack user Lennie Woodley; former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke, an advocate of decriminalization; businessman Elgin Swift, whose father turned their home into a crack house; and Shawn McCray, community activist, basketball coach, and former drug trafficker. The subject of Geraldine Brooks’s LJ-starred Horse and progenitor of 12 of 13 Triple Crown winners, racehorse Lexington gets his own life-and-times treatment from former lawyer and dressagist Wickens. What’s the real problem with healthcare today? It’s Fragmented, says Stanford physician Yurkiewicz, with lapses in data sharing and roadblocks to patient-doctor communication built into the system. With The Light Room, novelist/essayist Zambreno offers a memoir of parenting young children during a time of pandemic and climate crisis, examining moments of both scary isolation and gentle joy.

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