Time to talk about the interesting collection of books in my closet with April release dates.
It's a translation, Selcuk Altun's The Sultan of Byzantium, that kicks off the list. Called a "symbiosis of story and history and a homage to Byzantine civilization," it's the story of a young professor living in Istanbul who is contacted by three mysterious men and told he is the next Byzantine emperor, but he must carry out the last wishes of Emperor Constantine XI, who disappeared in 1453.
A second debut finds a modern sleuth taking on the darkness below L.A.'s surface. Steph Cha introduces Juniper Song in Follow Her Home. Noir fiction was Juniper's favorite escape, and Phillip Marlowe has always been her literary love. When a friend wants her to investigate his father, she jumps at the chance to play detective in the streets of L.A. But, when she's knocked out, and finds a body in her trunk, Song realizes crime isn't the same in real life as it is on the page.
There Was an Old Woman is Hallie Ephron's latest novel of psychological suspense. A young woman becomes entangled in a terrifying web of deception and madness involving her elderly neighbor.
Sara Hoskinson Frommer brings back Joan Spencer in Her Brother's Keeper. Just days before her daughter's wedding, Joan has to handle her black sheep brother, family secrets, and crime when her mother-in-law lands smack in the middle of a murder.
In A Dual Inheritance, Joanna Hershon follows the lives of two men who meet during their senior year, a Jewish kid on scholarship and a Boston Brahmin with the world at his feet. They develop an intense friendship, but it ends abruptly several years later with only one of them understanding why. Over the next several decades, the two men find their paths crossing while they seem strangely connected.
Douglas Kennedy explores love in Five Days. In her job at a small Maine hospital, Laura sees the random unfairness of life every day. Now, as her family life falls apart, she jumps at the chance to go to a conference in Boston where she meets a man who is also pondering his own life, and wondering if he should choose desire.
Brian Kimberling grew up in southern Indiana. Now, he introduces Nathan Lochmueller in his debut novel, Snapper. These are Nathan's recollections, the story of the bird researcher in Backwater Indiana as he goes through a disastrous but humorous love affair with Indiana and its people.
I'm noticing a pattern here. Sara Hoskinson Frommer, Brian Kimberling, and, now Ted Kosmatka are from Indiana. Kosmatka's Prophet of Bones introduces Paul Carlsson, a brilliant young scientist. He's sent to a remote Indonesian island to collect DNA samples from the bones of a strange, new species of tool user. There are implications that could shake the foundation of modern science, but the dig is shut down by paramilitaries, and Paul and his colleagues are attacked. When Paul tries to piece together the puzzle, he faces powerful forces who want to silence him.
Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs is the story of a woman awakened, transformed, and ultimately betrayed by passion when she rebels against her ordinary life.
Modern day India is the setting of Lavanya Sankaran's The Hope Factory. A newly industrialized city shapes the dreams and aspirations of two very different families, that of a successful man with a little factory, and his maid's family. There's a murky world where crime and land and politics meet, and it's a dangerous place for a good man.
Jennie Shortridge brings us the story of a woman searching for answers as to who she is, and who she was in Love Water Memory. Lucie Walker has to adjust to life with amnesia, but is not happy with the clues that she was a selfish, guarded person in the past. Can her husband adjust to the easygoing Lucie, not the once who was once controlling? Lucie herself has to search for answers to her life in repressed childhood memories.
How can I resist Sheila Simonson's Beyond Confusion? A Columbia Gorge librarian falls to her death, and the head of the library, Meg McLean, is a murder suspect since the victim was her enemy. And, the library itself is under attack with a violent assault on the bookmobile.
Shadows on a Cape Cod Wedding is the latest Antique Print Mystery by Lea Wait. Antique print dealer Maggie Summer is visiting Cape Cod to help with her best friend's wedding preparations. The murder of a neighbor is unexpected, but Maggie is soon involved in the investigation. Is she really needed, or is avoiding the man she loves? Another murder and a hurricane allow her to continue to avoid the subject. Then Maggie becomes a target.
April looks like a terrific month for reading. Is there anything here that appeals to you?