I'm not sure how many of these books I'll have a chance to read since I'm moving in January, but I certainly want to share them with you, so you have the chance to pick up the ones that interest you.
Jessica Beck's Illegally Iced kicks off the list. Donut shop owner Suzanne Hart's spat with a local blackmsith puts her in a sticky mess when he ends up dead. Now, everyone in town has their eyes on her, and she has to solve the case and save her business.
Elizabeth Black takes readers to Galveston, Texas in her complex debut novel, The Drowning House. Photographer Clare Porterfield jumps at the chance to escape to Galveston, leaving behind a marriage that's falling apart after a family tragedy. Soon she finds herself caught up in a century-old mystery, the secret of the death of Stella Carraday, supposedly drowned in her family's house during the Great Hurricane of 1900. How was Clare's family involved in the tragedy? Black's novel tells of two families linked by tragedy and time.
Paula Brackston, author of The Witch's Daughter, returns with The Winter Witch. Morgana is a mystery to her small Welsh town. She's never spoken, and can't control her magic. Her mother worries about her safety, so she arranges a marriage for her to a widower who knows nothing about the rumors about Morgana. Once they are married, Morgana learns to love her new home and her husband. But, someone starts rumors even here, and Morgana must learn to harness her powers to save her new home, her love, and herself.
Gwen Cooper, author of the nonfiction bestseller, Homer's Odyssey, turns to a fictional cat with Love Saves the Day. It isn't just chance when Prudence the cat adopts an owner, Sarah. But, Sarah doesn't come home one day, and Prudence is uprooted, taken to live with Sarah's daughter, Laura, and her new husband. Prudence searches for her owner, while Laura's past reveals the difficulties of any mother-daughter relationship. It's Prudence who tells the heartwarming story.
Ruth Downie's latest novel of the Roman Empire, Simper Fidelis, brings back Gaius Petreius Ruso. The Emperor Hadiran is coming to Britannia, and the army must get its affairs in order. Mysterious injuries, even deaths, have been piling up. Ruso's questions are unwelcome, and his wife is named a security risk. The fates of the legion, as well as that of Ruso and his wife, are in danger.
In Just One Day by Gayle Forman, a sheltered American good girl follows a Dutch actor to Paris, only to wake up one day to find him gone. Her upended life turns into a year of self-discovery as Allyson embarks on a journey to break free from a lifetime of limits in order to find her true passions.
Journalist and storyteller Susan Froetschel brings the rugged beauty of Afghanistan to life in Fear of Beauty. When a battered body of an Afghan body is found at the base of a cliff, some villagers believe he fell, and others blame American soldiers training nearby. Sofi, the boy's mother, secretly learns to read, and defies her husband and societal pressures to investigate her son's death.
A newspaper man and his family engage in a full-scale psychological battle with an unidentified stalker in George Harrar's Reunion at Red Paint Bay. The dramatic, suspenseful story spurs readers into examining the limits of responsibility for one's actions.
Liz Jensen's The Uninvited is called part psychological thriller, part dystopian nightmare. Across the world, children are killing their families. While anthropologist Hesketh Lock studies a scandal in the Taiwan timber industry, he doesn't realize something connects with the atrocities back home. But, with his talent for spotting behavioral patterns, and a fascination with group dynamics, he is forced to acknowledge possibilities that defy rational thought.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is Ayana Mathis' debut novel. Hattie Shepherd is shattered when she flees Georgia for Philadelphia in 1923, only to watch her twin babies die from an illness that could have been prevented. She goes on to raise nine children without an ounce of tenderness, wanting them to be prepared for difficult lives. This is the story of Hattie, her children, her tribes, and the children of the Great Migration, told in twelve distinct narrative threads.
In Aloha, Baby Blue, Charley Menninger combines a cast of quirky, sometimes dangerous island characters, with a mystery. The crime debut introduces Stryker McBride, who lives on a three hundred thousand dollar houseboat at a small yacht club in Hawaii. The former crime reporter has been keeping a low profiel since being shot by a cop while investigating police corruption. But a phone call from a beautiful former classmate draws him into the investigation of a death, and a deadly secret buried deep in the heart of Hawaii.
Zygmunt Miloszewski, a rising star in crime fiction in Poland, brings back maverick prosecutor Teodor Szacki in A Grain of Truth. To portray the climate of Anti-Semitism in modern day Poland, the author sends Szacki from Warsaw, and follows his investigation into a streak of murders in the small town of Sandomierz. Soon Szacki discovers that the murders all bear the hallmarks of a legendary Jewish ritual and he becomes entrenched in an investigation leading to a love triangle, an ancient Jewish ritual and Nazi symbols.
Nele Neuhaus' international bestseller, Snow White Must Die, comes to American audiences in January. Police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein's investigation into a mysterious traffic accident leads them to a small German village where two seventeen-year-old girls vanished eleven years earlier. A young man was convicted, and has served his sentence and returned home. When another girl disappears, the police investigation becomes a race against time and the villagers, who are determined to take matters into their own hands.
In Lynne Raimondo's Dante's Wood, psychiatrist Mark Angelotti turns investigator when a young patient confessWes to murder. Charlie is mentally handicapped, but he confesses to a teacher's murder. And, Mark has to prove Charlie's innocence in a case where nothing is as first meets the eye.
Can New Orleans survive Charlie Fox, former special forces soldier-turned bodyguard? Zoë Sharp's Die Easy takes Charlie and her lover, Sean Meyer, to New Orleans. After Sean's gunshot wound, their relationship is in ruins. Charlie is willing to take things nice and slow, but they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a war zone on their latest job. When a robbery explodes into a deadly hostage situation, Charlie finds herself facing a nightmare from her own past. And, she realizes that she can't rely on Sean to watch her back. But, no matter what, Charlie is never going to die easy.
Haywood Smith takes on the health insurance industry in her latest hilarious and heartwarming novel, Out of Warranty. When medical costs eat up all of Cassie Jones' money, the widow decides she must remarry for health insurance. When her fix-ups and e-dates are unsuccessful, she comes up with a pragmatic but unconventional solution.
In The History of Us, Leah Stewart's latest novel, three grown siblings return to their childhood home and face a family secret that forces them to reexamine their relationships to each other - and to the aunt who took them in as children.
Front Page Fatality is LynDee Walker's debut mystery, featuring Nichelle Clarke, a gutsy crime reporter who turns a routine assignment into a remarkable game changer. An ordinary accident story turns extraordinary when evidence goes missing, a prosecutor anishes, and a sexy Mafia boss shows up with the headline tip of a lifetime.
It might be hard to think of January already. Is there anything here that tempts you?