New Fiction Round-up, June 2023

Whether you’re traveling this summer or staying close to home, these new novels coming out in June will keep you busy with summer reading.

6/6: All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby
Former FBI agent Titus Crown is one year into his tenure as the first Black sheriff in Charon County, Virginia, when a murder leads to an investigation that uncovers a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight. From the author of Razorblade Tears. (thriller) A Peak Pick!

6/6: And Then He Sang a Lullaby by Ani Kayode Somtochukwu
In this exploration of love and freedom in a deeply homophobic society, August leaves his hometown of Enugu City, Nigeria, for university, and finds himself attracted to an openly gay man who works at a local café – just as Nigeria passes antigay laws. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

6/6: Between Two Moons by Aisha Abdel Gawad
In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn’s Arab immigrant enclave, three siblings come of age over the course of one Ramadan, navigating family dynamics even as violence against their Arab community comes close to home. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

6/6: A Botanist’s Guide to Flowers and Fatality by Kate Khavari
In 1923 London, Saffron Everleigh has given upon on the aristocracy in order to study botany. She’s swiftly recruited to consult on a set of murders in which strange bouquets may have played a part. Sequel to A Botanist’s Guide to Parties and Poisons. (historical mystery)

6/6: Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See
In 15th century China, Tan Yunxian is born into an elite family and pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable for a woman of her class by pursuing medical knowledge, balancing her passion for helping women alongside her duties as a wife and mother. (historical fiction)  A Peak Pick!

6/6: Mortal Follies by Alexis Hall
A young noblewoman finds her entry into high society hindered by a curse, and seeks help from another noblewoman rumored to be a witch. As the pair seek the root of these malign magic attacks, a romance blooms. (fantasy historical romance)

6/6: Open Throat by Henry Hoke
A queer mountain lion in the Hollywood hills navigates loneliness, human contact, and a fire that forces them into the streets of LA. (general fiction)

6/6: Relentless Melt by Jeremy P. Bushnell
In 1909, Artie Quick works as a salesgirl at Filene’s in Boston; at night she dresses as a man in order to study criminal investigation. Joined by her friend Theodore, who studies magic and the occult, they discover a series of abductions that may just take them face-to-face with an ancient evil. (fantasy historical mystery)

6/6: Such Kindness by Andre Dubus
One fall from a roof – and the chronic pain that results – is enough to sever Tom Lowe from his work and identity as a craftsperson. Living in subsidized housing, he struggles to find his footing. (general fiction)

6/6: Translation State by Ann Leckie
A translator, a diplomat, and a mechanic individually rebel against their prescribed futures and find their paths colliding as they search for a fugitive translator missing for 200 years, with consequences that may threaten the treaty between humans and the alien Presger. By the author of Ancillary Justice. (science fiction)

6/6: We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian
In 1950s New York, Nick Russo has scrapped his way to a job as a newspaper reporter. Andy Fleming, the newspaper-tycoon’s son, agrees to work for a year in the newsroom, where he and Andy find an unexpected relationship, in an era hostile to gay men. (romance)

6/13: 8 Lives of a Century-Old Trickster by Mirinae Lee
One woman adopts many different personas – among them murderer, spy, mother, slave, escape-artist, and more – in order to survive a life of turbulent times in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea. (historical fiction)

6/13: Be Mine by Richard Ford
In this fifth and final novel featuring Frank Bascombe (first seen in The Sportswriter), Frank continues to search for meaning in life, from a new romance to a road trip with his son to Mount Rushmore. (general fiction)

6/13: The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson
In the wake of World War I, a magical, time-traveling circus is a safe haven for magical misfits and outcasts. But even as they bring joy to the towns they visit, darkness follows and threatens to catch them. (fantasy)

6/13: Maddalena and the Dark by Julia Fine
In 18th-century Venice, two girls at a prestigious music school are drawn together by a dangerous wager, and must decide what they’re willing to pay to achieve the futures they desire. (historical fiction)

6/13: The Puzzle Master by Danielle Trussoni
An expert puzzle maker offers to solve an enigmatic puzzle created by an inmate in prison for murder, only to be pulled into an ancient mystery. (thriller)

6/20: I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore
A novel of love and death, grief, and being haunted by the past, from a hospice in the Bronx, to an 1800s boardinghouse, to the afterlife. (general fiction)

6/13: Loot by Tania James
In 18th century India, young woodcarver Abbas creates a giant tiger automaton for a sultan’s sons, travels to France as the apprentice to a clockmaker, and must steal his tiger back from an English countryside estate. (historical fiction)

6/13: Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara
A riotous adaptation of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche. (fantasy romance)

6/20: The Brightest Star by Gail Tsukiyama
A fictionalized memoir of real-life actress Anna May Wong, the first Asian American movie star, beginning in the silent film era, who faced overt racism at every turn. (historical fiction)

6/20 The Three Deaths of Willa Stannard by Kate Robards
Sisters Willa and Sawyer may not have been close lately, but when Willa is found dead and the police rule it a suicide, she knows with absolute certainty it isn’t true. Saywer delves deeper into her estranged sister’s life to find the truth, but risks getting caught up in the same web of secrets that may have killed her sister. (mystery/thriller)

6/20: Lucky Red by Claudia Cravens
In 1877, 16-year-old redhead Bridget washes up in Dodge City, Kansas, where she takes work at the Buffalo Queen, the only brothel run by women. There she finds tolerable work, good pay, and a family of sorts, including a relationship with another woman. When her stability and happiness are threatened, Bridget must forge her own destiny. (historical fiction)

6/20: Unnatural Ends by Christopher Huang
In the wake of Sir Lawrence Linwood’s murder, his three adopted children – an archeologist, an engineer, and a journalist – gather at his estate, only to learn that receiving their inheritance hinges on solving his murder. (mystery)

6/27: Banyan Moon by Thao Thai
Three generations of Vietnamese American women grapple with the death of their family matriarch and the buried secrets that come to light in a story spanning decades, from 1960s Vietnam to Florida. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

6/27: The Road to Roswell by Connie Willis
Attending a UFO-themed wedding in Roswell, New Mexico, Francie finds herself abducted by aliens, alongside a motley crew of other humans. Were they abducted because the alien needs help, and how will they figure that out and get home? (romantic comedy)

~ Posted by Andrea G.

Don’t Go Down That Causeway: Island Mysteries

One of my favorite takes on the locked room mystery is the island mystery, where characters are trapped on an inaccessible island with a murderer and must solve the mystery to save themselves.

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves
For 50 years, a group of friends has reunited on Holy Island every five years. This year, though, one among them announces he’s writing a tell-all novel. The next morning, he is found dead in his room. Detective Vera Stanhope arrives to investigate and begins probing at another death within the group, 45 years prior.

The Club by Ellery Lloyd
Island Home is set to be the most luxurious spot yet in a string of lavish resorts, built on an island off the coast of Britain and only accessible via causeway at low tide. It’s a getaway only for the most elite A-listers. But what should be the grand opening party of the year turns into a scandalous murder mystery as the bodies begin piling up.

Continue reading “Don’t Go Down That Causeway: Island Mysteries”

New fiction roundup, May 2023

May brings a bounty of summer reads, with novels about dance and other art forms, historical sagas, several books about books, and much more!

5/2: Chain Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
In a near-future United States, two women convicts are the top gladiators in the Chain-Gang All Stars reality TV death matches, competing for a chance of freedom. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

5/2: The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese
Over 75 years in Kerala, South India, three generations of one family seek the answers to a strange affliction in which at least one person in each generation dies by drowning. By the author of Cutting for Stone. (historical fiction)

5/2: The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
On the idyllic archipelago of Prospera, Proctor Bennett works as a ferryman, taking those at the end of their lives to an island where their memories are wiped and their bodies restored, ready to start again. But when Proctor ferries his father and hears his last words, he begins to realize all is not as it seems. (sci-fi/thriller)

5/2: The Half Moon by Mary Beth Kean
A couple living in a small town grapples with the complexities of marriage and dreams both realized and deferred over one dramatic week as they’re trapped in place by a blizzard. (general fiction)

5/2: Homebodies by Tembe Denton-Hurst
After Mickey, a young Black journalist, is laid off, she pens a scathing online letter about the magazine and then flees to her Maryland hometown to take stock and find a way forward. (general fiction)

Continue reading “New fiction roundup, May 2023”

Let’s Garden!

Spring is here! With flowers, rain, bees, and a sense of hope. Whether you’re planting a vegetable garden or flowers, working in a large yard or making the most of a small paved space, gardening inspiration awaits with these titles and more.

Pacific Northwest Native Plant Primer by Kristin Currin and Andrew Merritt
Discover the benefits of native plants, including reduced maintenance, lower water usage, and support of pollinators such as birds, butterflies and bees. Then proceed on to the profiles of 225 flowers, grasses, ferns, shrubs and trees native to Washington, Oregon, and southern British Columbia, including all the info you need to get planting.

The Urban Garden: 101 Ways to Grow Food and Beauty in the City by Kathy Jentz and Teri Speight
Make the most of small spaces! Explore different small space gardening styles, for both flowers and vegetables; discover a variety of containers; learn how to maximize space – including vertically; and consider how your garden can be used for entertaining, maintaining privacy, or supporting urban wildlife.

Continue reading “Let’s Garden!”

New fiction roundup, April 2023

Take your pick of excellent fiction this April, with enticing romance, thriller, horror, and general fiction offerings.

4/4: Ana María and the Fox by Liana de la Rosa
In Victorian London, Ana María Luna Valdés – heiress to the powerful Mexican Luna family – catches the eye of Gideon Fox, a shrewd British politician with a pauper past and a determination to end the transatlantic slave trade. (romance) A Peak Pick!

4/4: Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling
In 2049, climate change has displaced much of the North American population, with the rich living on islands and the live in the Canadian north, if they’re lucky enough to get a spot. Rose goes undercover as a sex worker in a camp still under construction, spying on the architect in exchange for future housing for herself and her mother. Nearby, a group of female soldiers and scientists work to create their own sanctuary. (science fiction/dystopian) A Peak Pick!

4/4: House of Cotton by Monica Brashears
Down on her luck, 19-year-old Magnolia Brown accepts an offer from a stranger to work as a “model” at his family’s funeral home. The money is good, but the requests are increasingly strange, and her dead grandmother has also started to speak to her. (gothic fiction) A Peak Pick! Continue reading “New fiction roundup, April 2023”