Welcome to another edition of Emma’s Anticipated Treasures. Somehow, it’s time for May’s edition. I swear time speeds up with every passing year!
May is another brilliant month for books. There’s some exciting debuts such as Orphia and Eurydicius, Fyneshade, The Cassandra Complex, Psyche and Eros, The Curse of Saints, and Yellowface, and then there are new releases by some of my favourite authors such as Polly Crosby, Joanne Harris, A. A. Chaudhuri, Will Dean, Mark Edwards, and A. J. Pearce.
So, withouth further ado, here are the books I’m most looking forward to being released in May:
Orphia and Eurydicius by Elyse John
Published May 3rd, 2023 by Harper Collins Australia
Fairy Tale, Mythology, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, LGBT Literature
A stunning, enthralling story about unconventional love, the power of creativity and the courage of women who struggle to make their voices heard – for fans of Jennifer Saint, Madeline Miller and Pat Barker.
Their love transcends every boundary. Can it cheat death?
Orphia dreams of something more than the warrior crafts she’s been forced to learn. Hidden away on a far-flung island, her blood sings with poetry and her words can move flowers to bloom and forests to grow … but her father, the sun god Apollo, has forbidden her this art.
A chance meeting with a young shield-maker, Eurydicius, gives her the courage to use her voice. After wielding all her gifts to defeat one final champion, Orphia draws the scrutiny of the gods. Performing her poetry, she wins the protection of the goddesses of the arts: the powerful Muses, who welcome her to their sanctuary on Mount Parnassus. Orphia learns to hone her talents, crafting words of magic infused with history, love and tragedy.
When Eurydicius joins her, Orphia struggles with her desire for fame and her budding love. As her bond with the gentle shield-maker grows, she joins the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece. Facing dragons, sirens and ruthless warriors on the voyage, Orphia earns unparalleled fame, but she longs to return to Eurydicius.
Yet she has a darker journey to make – one which will see her fight for her love with all the power of her poetry.
Pre order here
Honeybees and Distant Thunder by Riku Onda
Published May 4th, 2023 by Doubleday UK
Literary Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
OVER A MILLION COPIES SOLD IN JAPAN
WINNER OF THE NAOKI PRIZE AND THE JAPAN BOOKSELLERS’ AWARD
The Night Circus meets Lonely Castle in the Mirror in this million-copy multi-awardwinning Japanese bestseller, available finally in an English translation by Philip Gabriel, a translator of Murakami
‘A pitch-perfect, vivid masterpiece’ Nick Bradley, author of The Cat and The City
‘Propulsive and poetic’ Kirkus Reviews
Welcome to a magical world of music, friendship and rivalry …
In a small coastal town just a stone’s throw from Tokyo, a prestigious piano competition is underway. Over the course of two feverish weeks, three friends will experience some of the most joyous – and painful – moments of their lives. Though they don’t know it yet, each will profoundly and unpredictably change the others, for ever.
Aya was a piano genius, until she ran away from the stage and vanished; will the tall and talented Makun bring her back? Or will it be child of nature, Jin, a pianist without a piano, who carries the sound of his father’s bees wherever he goes? Each of them will break the rules, awe their fans and push themselves to the brink. But at what cost?
Tender, cruel, compelling, HONEYBEES AND DISTANT THUNDER is the unflinching story of love, courage and rivalry. Most of all, it shows how three young people reconcile with the highs and lows of what it means to truly be a friend.
The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu
Published May 4th, 2023 by Allen & Unwin
Contemporary Fiction, Humorous Fiction
***’A refreshing perspective on mourning, as well as a moving tale of a social outcast’ – i-D Magazine***
An Yu’s Braised Pork meets Flaubert’s Madame Bovary in this unforgettable, tragi-comic tale of one woman’s mid-life re-awakening in contemporary rural China.
The Funeral Cryer long ago accepted the mundane realities of her life: avoided by fellow villagers because of the stigma attached to her job as a professional mourner and under-appreciated by The Husband, whose fecklessness has pushed the couple close to the brink of break-up. But just when things couldn’t be bleaker, The Funeral Cryer takes a leap of faith – and in so doing things start to take a surprising turn for the better . . .
Dark, moving and wry, The Funeral Cryer is both an illuminating depiction of a ‘left behind’ society – and proof that it’s never too late to change your life.
Sparrow by James Hynes
Published May 4th, 2023 by Picador
Historical Fiction, Romance Saga, Coming-of-Age Story, Lesbian Literature
‘Masterful in its portrayal of love, sex and friendship’ – The Observer
‘Utterly engrossing, vivid and honest’ – Emma Donoghue
Raised in a brothel at the edge of a dying empire, a boy of no known origin creates his own identity. He is Sparrow, who sings without reason and can fly from trouble. His world is a kitchen, a herb-scented garden, a loud and dangerous tavern, and the mysterious upstairs where the ‘wolves’ – prostitutes and slaves from every corner of the empire – conduct their business.
He spends his days listening to stories told by his beloved ‘mother’ Euterpe, running errands for her lover the cook, and dodging the blows of their brutal overseer and the machinations of the chief wolf, Melpomene. A hard fate awaits Sparrow, one that involves suffering, murder, mayhem, and the scattering of the women who have been his whole world.
Through meticulous research and bold imagination, James Hynes brings the entirety of the Roman city of Carthago Nova – its markets, temples, taverns of the lowly and mansions of the rich – to vivid, brutal life. Walking through lost places, hearing forgotten voices, this story belongs to the slave class that made an infamous empire function.
This is one of the most powerfully affecting and memorable characters of recent fiction.
This is Sparrow.
Our Hideous Progeny by C.E. McGill
Published May 4th, 2023 by Doubleday UK
Fairy Tale, Thriller, Historical Fiction, Gothic Ficiton, Supernatural Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Science Ficiton, LGBT Literature
‘Compelling and utterly absorbing … an artfully crafted debut that echoes the dark essence of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN while maintaining a fascinating originality all of its own’ Susan Stokes-Chapman, author of PANDORA
‘A gripping Gothic tale of grief and ambition, passion and intrigue’ Jess Kidd, author of THE NIGHT SHIP
Mary is the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein. She knows her great uncle disappeared in mysterious circumstances in the Arctic but she doesn’t know why or how…
The 1850s is a time of discovery and London is ablaze with the latest scientific theories and debates, especially when a spectacular new exhibition of dinosaur sculptures opens at the Crystal Palace. Mary, with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue, is keen to make her name in this world of science, alongside her geologist husband Henry, but without wealth and connections, their options are limited.
But when Mary discovers some old family papers that allude to the shocking truth behind her great-uncle’s past, she thinks she may have found the key to securing their future… Their quest takes them to the wilds of Scotland, to Henry’s intriguing but reclusive sister Maisie, and to a deadly chase with a rival who is out to steal their secret…
Grave Expectations by Alice Bell
Published May 4th, 2023 by Corvus
Mystery, Ghost Story, Contemporary Horror
‘Fast, funny and furious, this book has bags of humour, bags of heart and a proper murder mystery at its core’ Janice Hallett
Claire and Sophie aren’t your typical murder investigators . . .
When 30-something freelance medium Claire Hendricks is invited to an old university friend’s country pile to provide entertainment for a family party, her best friend Sophie tags along. In fact, Sophie rarely leaves Claire’s side, because she’s been haunting her ever since she was murdered at the age of seventeen.
On arrival at The Cloisters it quickly becomes clear that this family is hiding more than just the good china, as Claire learns someone has recently met an untimely end at the house.
Teaming up with the least unbearable members of the Wellington-Forge family – depressive ex-cop Basher and teenage radical Alex – Claire and Sophie determine to figure out not just whodunnit, but who they killed, why and when.
Together they must race against incompetence to find the murderer – before the murderer finds them… in this funny, modern, media-literate mystery for the My Favourite Murder generation.
The Nursery by Szilvia Molnar
Published May 4th, 2023 by Oneworld Publications
Pyschological Thriller, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
‘I was blown away by this book… At once somber and joyful, sly and earnest, nimble and painstaking, perverse and profoundly invigorating.’ Lydia Kiesling, award-winning author of The Golden State
The baby I hold in my arms is a leech, let’s call her Button. Button is crying.
There is a before, and there is an after.
In her cramped Brooklyn apartment, a mother wilts beneath the intense August heat, struggling to adapt to her role as the silent interpreter of her newborn baby’s needs. She is not the first woman to give birth, to hold and carry and soothe and cradle. But the walls of her home seem to press ever closer as she balances on the fragile tightrope between maternal instinct and the longing for all she has left behind.
A lifeline emerges in the unexpected form of Peter, her ailing upstairs neighbour, who hushes the baby with his oxygen tank in tow. They are both confined to this oppressive apartment building, and they are both running out of time. Something is soon to crack.
In this mesmerizing portrait of the first days of motherhood, Szilvia Molnar lays bare the strength it takes to redefine who you are, and rediscover the simple pleasures of life along the way.
The Last Passenger by Will Dean
Published May 11th, 2023 by Hodder & Stoughton
Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller
A luxury cruise liner, abandoned with no crew, steaming into the mid-Atlantic.
And you are the only passenger left on board.
‘Astonishing’ IAN RANKIN
‘Expect not just the unexpected but strokes of genius’ IMRAN MAHMOOD
‘Thrilling and terrifying in equal measure with a brilliantly heart-stopping ending. So good!’ B.A. PARIS
Caz Ripley, a cafe owner from a small, ordinary town, boards the RMS Atlantica with her boyfriend Pete and a thousand fellow passengers destined for New York.
The next morning, she wakes to discover that everyone else on board has disappeared.
And that’s just the beginning. Caz must prepare for a crossing that will be anything but plain sailing …
With the drama of The Woman in Cabin 10 and the tension of And Then There Were None , The Last Passenger is a psychological thriller set aboard a cruise ship about a woman whose seemingly ordinary life is suddenly thrown dramatically off course. Will Dean is The Master of Intense Suspense and this novel is full of his trademark twists and turns.
This Family by Kate Sawyer
Published May 11th, 2023 by Coronet
Literary Fiction, Domestic Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
An ambitious new novel of family life past and present from the author of the Costa Book Awards shortlisted The Stranding.
A tender yet vivid novel in both form and voice, its threads as bright as the tapestry of life it depicts. I lived, laughed and ached for these characters throughout. A superb accomplishment.’ WIZ WHARTON
‘Subtle, intelligent, and so deeply moving … people who just feel so achingly real. Extraordinary.’ A.J. WEST
‘Lyrical, literary and luminous … buy it and treat yourself to writing at its finest.’ BETHANY CLIFT
‘Intriguing, gripping, moving – this deserves to be HUGE.’ MARIAN KEYES
‘Messy, complicated joyful characters and relationships that sneak into your heart and make you care … a bittersweet, deftly woven, captivating portrayal of a mother and daughters.’ JENNIFER SAINT
‘Unfolds like a great piece of theatre… The more I read, the harder it became to put down.’ BOBBY PALMER
It is my dearest wish, that after so long apart, I am able to bring this family together for my wedding day.
This house. This family.
Mary has raised a family in this house. Watched her children play and laugh and bicker in this house. Today she is getting married in this house, with all her family in attendance.
The wedding celebrations have brought fractured family together for the first time in years: there’s Phoebe and her husband Michael, children in tow. The young and sensitive Rosie, with her new partner. Irene, Mary’s ex-mother-in-law. Even Emma, Mary’s eldest, is back for the wedding – despite being at odds with everyone else.
Set over the course of an English summer’s day but punctuated with memories from the past forty years of love and loss, hope and joy, heartbreak and grief, this is the story of a family. Told by a chorus of characters, it is an exploration of the small moments that bring us to where we are, the changes that are brought about by time, and what, despite everything, stays the same.
Broken Light by Joanne Harris
Published May 11th, 2023 by Orion
Thriller, Supernatural Fiction, Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller
‘I inhaled this book in one long breath. It’s addictive – profound, moving and utterly unforgettable. Bernie Moon will live in my imagination for a long time to come.’ – CATRIONA WARD, Bestselling author of Sundial and The Last House on Needless Street
A bold and timely novel from #1 bestselling author Joanne Harris that explores how women can feel invisible as they grow older – and what happens when they decide to take back control…
Have you ever felt invisible?
Bernie Moon has given her life to other people: her husband, her son, her friends (who are these days, mostly online). At nineteen she was full of dreams and ambitions; now almost fifty, and going through the menopause, she’s fading, fast. Heartbroken and hormonal, she often feels like she’s losing her mind.
But when a young woman is murdered in a local park, it sparks a series of childhood memories in Bernie and with them, a talent that has lain dormant most of her adult life.
She promised herself she’d never think of it again. When she was a teenager, it almost destroyed her. But now she’s older, could it be the power she’s been missing?
Could it be the chance to, finally, make them look?
The Cassandra Complex by Hollly Smale
Published:May 11th, 2023 by Century
Romance Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Magical Realism, Contemporary Romance, Time Travel Ficiton, Disability Fiction
‘This book is a treasure … Everyone should read it and everyone will love it’ Lindsey Kelk
‘Sharp, funny, quirky, insightful and so very, very relatable’ Joanne Harris
‘Deeply human, wildly original, and gut-warmingly funny. Holly Smale is a GENIUS’ Emma Jane Unsworth
‘A brilliantly clever, twisty story that dazzles with its wit whilst touching our hearts’ Sarah Haywood
Cassandra Penelope Dankworth is a creature of habit.
She likes what she likes (museums, jumpsuits, her boyfriend Will) and strongly dislikes what she doesn’t (mess, change, her boss drinking out of her mug). Her life runs in a pleasing, predictable order. Until now.
She’s just been dumped.
She’s just been fired.
Her local café has run out of banana muffins.
Then, something truly unexpected happens: Cassie discovers she can go back and change the past.
Now, Cassie should be able to find a way to fix the life she accidentally obliterated. And with time on her side, how hard can it be…?
The hotly anticipated adult novel from the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Geek Girl, Holly Smale.
The Curse of Saints by Kate Dramis
Published: May 11th,2023 by Michael Joseph
Fantasy Fiction, Gothic Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy
PRE-ORDER THE SPELL-BINDING NEW FANTASY DEBUT THAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT!
Has she been sent to save the realm or destroy it?
As Spymaster to the Queen, Aya’s blood oath ensures she protects those she fights alongside – including Will, the Queen’s Enforcer and Aya’s bitter rival.
When rumors of dark magic rise in a nearby kingdom, both are sent to investigate.
But when Aya’s power acts beyond her gods-given affinity, she risks being turned into a weapon in a war she doesn’t know how to win.
And when her relationship with Will unexpectedly shifts, neither knows the danger that will follow . . .
Thirty Days of Darkness by Jenny Lund Madsen
Published:May 11th, 2023 by Orenda
Mystery, Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Hardboiled, Translated Fiction
Atmospheric, dramatic and full of nerve-jangling twists and turns, Thirty Days of Darkness is a darkly funny, unsettling debut Nordic Noir thriller that marks the start of a breath-taking new series.
A Danish literary author is challenged to write a crime novel in thirty days, travelling to a small village in Iceland for inspiration, and then a body appears … an atmospheric, darkly funny, twisty debut thriller, first in an addictive new series.
Copenhagen author Hannah is the darling of the literary community and her novels have achieved massive critical acclaim. But nobody actually reads them, and frustrated by writer’s block, Hannah has the feeling that she’s doing something wrong.
When she expresses her contempt for genre fiction, Hanna is publicly challenged to write a crime novel in thirty days. Scared that she will lose face, she accepts, and her editor sends her to Húsafjöður – a quiet, tight-knit village in Iceland, filled with colorful local characters – for inspiration.
But two days after her arrival, the body of a fisherman’s young son is pulled from the water … and what begins as a search for plot material quickly turns into a messy and dangerous investigation that threatens to uncover secrets that put everything at risk … including Hannah.
The Girl with the Red Hair by Buzzy Jackson
Published May 11th, 2023 by Michael Joseph
Historical Fiction, War Story
The greatest hero of the Second World War . . . is a girl you’ve never heard of
Pre-order the blazing debut novel based on the unsung true story of Hannie Schaft, a young-woman-turned-Dutch-Resistance-fighter in Nazi-occupied Netherlands
‘Inspiring, empowering, and timely, compellingly detailed and impressively researched, but better still, it’s an immersive story of a terrifying warren of history through which our guide is the sort of hero we all need right now: relatable and resolute and absolutely right’ Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS
You’re nineteen years old. The war has stolen your future and your country is under siege. The people you love are no longer safe.
Will you stand aside as the menace of Nazi evil tightens its grip on your homeland? Or do you unleash your fury, joining forces with your enemies’ enemies, plotting to strike?
Because if not you, then who?
You’re drawn deep into a web of plots, disguises and assassinations. The Resistance trained you for this. You flash your enemies a smile and beckon them closer.
Little do they know you’ve grown used to the weight of a gun in your hand…
Soon they will all know your name.
You’re “the Girl with the Red Hair.” A match for any Nazi soldier, a true threat, a target.
Verge by Nadia Attia
Published May 11th, 2023 by Serpent’s Tail
Contemporary Horror, Horror Fiction, Myths, Fairy Tales
‘Had me gripped from start to finish … timely, horrifying, and hugely entertaining’
– Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Dance Tree and The Mercies
The day Rowena Murray was born, 250 starlings fell like stones from the sky. Ever since, she has been marked by Death. First the visions; then her boyfriend died suddenly; now her father, too.
Salvation, Rowena is told, lies to the North: in Culcrith, where her grandmother can save her from the curse. Her mother’s farmhand, a young Egyptian man named Halim, is to drive her.
The trip isn’t easy. Rowena is rebellious, spiky, and sees bad omens everywhere; Halim is reserved, quiet and prefers to play by the rules; the land is mysterious and treacherous, with people who have married old traditions with new prejudices. The pair’s battle of wills may yet develop into an alliance, if they can only let their guards down and let the wild in.
Exploring belief, loyalty and legacies beyond our control, Nadia Attia’s thrilling debut is as magnetic and unpredictable as the curse Rowena is racing to escape.
Scarlet (The Scarlet Revolution 1) by Genevieve Cogman
Published May 11th, 2023 by Tor
Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale, Historical Fantasy, Paranormal Ficiton, Paranormal Fanatsy
Revolution’s a bloodthirsty business . . . Scarlet is a thrilling reinvention of the tale of The Scarlet Pimpernel with the addition of magic and even more mayhem.
Revolutionary France is no place to be, especially for aristocrat vampires facing the guillotine. But the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel are determined to rescue them. And they have an ace up their sleeve: Eleanor, a lowly maid from an English estate with a striking resemblance to French royalty.
For Eleanor, the League and their legendary deeds are little more than rumour – until she’s drawn into their most dangerous plot yet. The mission? Travel to France in disguise, impersonate Queen Marie Antoinette and rescue the royal family. If they succeed, it’ll be the heist of the century.
But there’s more to fear than ardent Revolutionaries. For Eleanor stumbles across a centuries-old war between vampires and their fiercest enemy. And they’re out for blood . . .
Scarlet is the first book in the Scarlet Revolution trilogy, set during the turbulent French Revolution, and featuring all of Genevieve Cogman’s trademark wit and fast-paced plotting. It’s perfect for fans of The Invisible Library series, Kim Newman and Gail Carriger.
The Book That Wouldn’t Burn (The Library Trilogy Book 1) by Mark Lawrence
Published May 11th, 2023 by Harper Voyager UK
Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Fantasy Series
All books, no matter their binding, will fall to dust. The stories they carry may last longer. They might outlive the paper, the library, even the language in which they were first written.
The greatest story can reach the stars . . .
This is the start of an incredible new journey from the internationally bestselling author of Prince of Thorns, in which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned…
Evar has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.
Livira has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.
The world has never noticed them.
That’s about to change.
As their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time, each will unlock vast secrets about the world and themselves. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another.
The Ghost Theatre by Mat Osman
Published May 11th, 2023 by Bloomsbury Publishing
BOOK OF THE YEAR – EVENING STANDARD, THE OBSERVER and THE TIMES
‘Beautifully written and completely convincing’ The Observer
TO LOVE IS TO FALL . . .
On a rooftop in Elizabethan London two worlds collide. Shay is a messenger-girl and trainer of hawks who sees the future in the patterns of birds. Nonesuch is the dark star of the city’s fabled child theatre scene, as famous as royalty yet lowly as a beggar.
Together they create The Ghost Theatre: a troupe staging magical plays in London’s hidden corners. As their hallucinatory performances incite rebellion among the city’s outcasts, the pair’s relationship sparks and burns against a backdrop of the plague and a London in flames. Their growing fame sweeps them up into the black web of the Elizabethan court, where Shay and Nonesuch discover that if they fly too high, a fall is sure to come.
Fantastical and captivating, The Ghost Theatre charts the rise and dramatic destruction of a dream born from love and torn apart by betrayal.
The Lake House by Sarah Beth Durst
Published May 11th, 2023 by Harper Teen
Thriller, Romantic Mystery, Paranormal Fiction, Fantasy Ficiton, Young Adult Fiction
Yellowjackets meets One of Us Is Lying in this masterful survival thriller from award-winningauthor Sarah Beth Durst.
Claire’s grown up triple-checking locks. Counting her steps. Second-guessing every decision. It’s just how she’s wired—her worst-case scenarios never actually come true.
Until she arrives at an off-the-grid summer camp to find a blackened, burned husk instead of a lodge—and no survivors, except her and two other late arrivals: Reyva and Mariana.
When the three girls find a dead body in the woods, they realize none of this is an accident. Someone, something, is hunting them. Something that hides in the shadows.
Something that refuses to let them leave.
Stealing by Margaret Verble
Published May 11th, 2023 by Mariner Books
Historcial Fiction, Coming-of-Age Fiction
“This powerful novel should join classics like Ernest J. Gaines’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Helena Maria Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.”—New York Times Book Review
A gripping, gut-punch of a novel about a Cherokee child removed from her family and sent to a Christian boarding school in the 1950s—an ambitious, eye-opening reckoning of history and small-town prejudices from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble.
Kit Crockett lives on a farm with her grief-stricken, widowed father, tending the garden, fishing in a local stream, and reading Nancy Drew mysteries from the library bookmobile. One day, Kit discovers a mysterious and beautiful woman has moved in just down the road.
Kit and the newcomer, Bella, become friends, and the lonely Kit draws comfort from her. But when a malicious neighbor finds out, Kit suddenly finds herself at the center of a tragic, fatal crime and becomes a ward of the court. Her Cherokee family wants to raise her, but the righteous Christians in town instead send her to a religious boarding school. Kit’s heritage is attacked, and she’s subjected to religious indoctrination and other forms of abuse. But Kit secretly keeps a journal recounting what she remembers—and revealing just what she has forgotten. Over the course of Stealing, she unravels the truth of how she ended up at the school and plots a way out. If only she can make her plan work in time.
In swift, sharp, and stunning prose, Margaret Verble spins a powerful coming-of-age tale and reaffirms her place as an indelible storyteller and chronicler of history.
The Serial Killer’s Sister by Alice Hunter
Published May 11th, 2023 by Avon
Psychological Thriller, Crime Series
‘Completely unpredictable and OMG THAT ENDING!!!!’ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
She thought she’d left her past behind.
She was wrong…
Despite a childhood in the care system, Anna Price has beaten the odds and built for herself the perfect life, complete with beautiful seaside home, devoted husband and a job she loves.
Then a policeman appears at Anna’s door: her estranged brother Henry is a wanted serial killer, and the police need Anna’s help to catch him before he strikes again.
When an envelope turns up on her doorstep, Anna suddenly finds herself caught in a sick game. One that she remembers all too well from childhood – one that, this time, she must win at all costs…
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
Published May 16th, 2023 by Piatkus
Contemporary Romance, Romance Novel, Holiday Fiction
The True Love Experiment, the next escapist romance from Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of TikTok favourite, The Unhoneymooners, is the book their fans have been waiting for, ever since Fizzy’s debut in The Soulmate Equation!
‘My favourite kind of book to devour: something that manages to be hot and intense, yet still the very best comfort food’ JODI PICOULT
They’re crafting the perfect Hollywood romance for the screen.
But the chemistry behind the camera might be the real story.
Felicity ‘Fizzy’ Chen is lost. Sure, she has an incredible career as a beloved romance novelist with numerous bestsellers to her name, but when she’s asked to give a commencement address, it hits her: she hasn’t been practising what she’s preached.
She hasn’t been in love. In lust? Sure. But that swoon-worthy, can’t-stop-thinking-about-him, all-encompassing feeling? Nope. And suddenly the optimism she’s encouraged in her readers starts to feel like a lie.
Connor Prince, documentary filmmaker and single father, loves that his work allows him to live near his daughter. Then his profit-minded boss orders him to create a reality TV show, putting it all in jeopardy. Desperate to find his romantic lead, a chance run-in with an exasperated Fizzy offers Connor the perfect solution. What if he could show the queen of romance herself falling head-over-heels? But when production on The True Love Experiment begins, Connor wonders if that perfect match will ever be in the cue cards for him too.
Fyneshade by Kate Griffin
Published May 18th, 2023 by Viper Books
Gothic Fiction, Historical Mystery, Suspense, Supernatural Fiction, Mystery
‘I was entranced from the first page to the last’ – ANTONIA HODGSON
‘A new standout voice in gothic fiction’ – SUSAN STOKES-CHAPMAN
‘A highly original work of dark gothic brilliance’ – JANICE HALLETT
Many would find much to fear in Fyneshade’s dark and crumbling corridors, its unseen master and silent servants. But not I. For they have far more to fear from me…
On the day of her beloved grandmother’s funeral, Marta discovers that she is to become governess to the young daughter of Sir William Pritchard. Separated from her lover and discarded by her family, Marta has no choice but to journey to Pritchard’s ancient and crumbling house, Fyneshade, in the wilds of Derbyshire.
All is not well at Fyneshade. Marta’s pupil, little Grace, can be taught nothing, and Marta takes no comfort from the silent servants who will not meet her eye. More intriguing is that Sir William is mysteriously absent, and his son and heir Vaughan is forbidden to enter the house. Marta finds herself drawn to Vaughan, despite the warnings of the housekeeper that he is a danger to all around him. But Marta is no innocent to be preyed upon. Guided by the dark gift taught to her by her grandmother, she has made her own plans. And it will take more than a family riven by murderous secrets to stop her…
Perfect for readers of Laura Purcell, Jessie Burton and Stacey Halls, Fyneshade is a dark and twisted gothic novel unlike any you’ve read before…
The Last Word by Taylor Adams
Published May 18th, 2023 by Hodder & Stoughton
Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Contemporary Horror
If you give this book a one-star review, you might end up dead.
Emma is house-sitting on the rainy Washington coast with only her golden retriever for company. She likes the isolation, the peace and quiet, and the opportunity to read.
But her latest pick, a poorly written and gruesome horror novel, is disappointing and Emma leaves a one-star review. A message dings back – the author, H.G. Kane, has replied and he’s furious. Emma brushes it off, until disturbing incidents start to occur. Scratches in the night. A figure crawling around in the shadows.
Kane has written sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. He knows he’s a brilliant writer – he just needs to make Emma understand…
Expect the unexpected in this pulse-pounding novel of psychological suspense and terror from the critically acclaimed author of the TikTok sensation No Exit.
Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
Published May 18th by Faber & Faber
Litearary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Humorous Fiction
** SOON TO BE A MAJOR HBO SERIES STARRING JODIE COMER **
‘Made me laugh and think too much (the right amount?) about sex and death and honesty.‘ MONICA HEISEY
‘Utterly addictive. . . I laughed so hard it ached.’ GILLIAN ANDERSON
‘Juicy, salacious and compelling. Trauma shouldn’t be this fun.’ SARA PASCOE
Greta liked knowing people’s secrets. That wasn’t a problem. Until she met Big Swiss.
Big Swiss. That’s Greta’s nickname for her – she is tall, and she is from Switzerland. Greta can see her now: dressed top to toe in white, that adorable gap between her two front teeth, her penetrating blue eyes. She’s a head-turner: including the heads of infants and dogs.
Well that’s how Greta imagines seeing her; they haven’t actually ever met in person. Nor has Greta actually ever been to Switzerland.
Greta and Big Swiss are not in the same room, or even the same building. Greta is miles away, sitting at a desk in her own house, wearing only headphones, fingerless gloves, a kimono, and legwarmers, transcribing this disembodied voice.
What Greta doesn’t know is that she’s about to bump into Big Swiss in the local dog park. A new – and not entirely honest – relationship is going to be born.
A relationship that will transform both of their lives. . .
The Guest by Emma Cline
Published May 18th, 2023 by Chatto & Windus
Literary Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Thriller
***HARPER’S BAZAAR BEST NEW FICTION BOOKS IN 2023***
A young woman pretends to be someone she isn’t in this stunning novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Girls
Summer is coming to a close on Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome…
One misstep at a dinner party and the older man she’s been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city. With few resources, but a gift for navigating the desires of others, Alex stays on the island. She drifts like a ghost through the gated driveways and sun-blasted dunes of a rarefied world, trailing destruction in her wake.
Taut, sensual and impossible to look away from, The Guest captures the latent heat and potential danger of a summer that could go either way for a young woman teetering on the edge.
Vita and the Birds by Polly Crosby
Published May 25th, 2023 by HQ
Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Romance Novel, Lesbian Literature
A haunting mystery for fans of Eve Chase, Kate Morton and Kate Mosse.
’Hugely evocative and beautifully written’ Anna Mazzola, author of The Clockwork Girl
‘A thoroughly compelling mystery meets a poignant love story, all wrapped up in beautifully lyrical writing’ Frances Quinn, author of The Smallest Man
‘A beguiling mystery from a gifted storyteller’ Louise Fein, author of People Like Us
1938: Lady Vita Goldsborough lives in the menacing shadow of her controlling older brother, Aubrey. But when she meets local artist Dodie Blakeney, the two women form a close bond, and Vita finally glimpses a chance to be free.
1997: Following the death of her mother, Eve Blakeney returns to the coast where she spent childhood summers with her beloved grandmother, Dodie. Eve hopes that the visit will help make sense of her grief. The last thing she expects to find is a bundle of letters that hint at the heart-breaking story of Dodie’s relationship with a woman named Vita, and a shattering secret that echoes through the decades.
What she discovers will overturn everything she thought she knew about her family – and change her life forever.
‘Luminous and captivating … Polly Crosby’s shimmering writing veils a dark hint of the gothic’ Kate Griffin, author of Fyneshade
Mrs Porter Calling (The Emmy Lake Chronicles Book 3) by A.J. Pearce
Published May 25th, 2023 by Picador
Historical Ficiton, Historical Romance, Humorous Fiction, Romance Novel, Coming-of-Age Story
THE FEEL-GOOD NOVEL OF THE SUMMER
A heart-warming, heart-wrenching new wartime story from The Sunday Times bestselling author of Dear Mrs Bird, AJ Pearce.
Emmy Lake is the much-loved agony aunt at Woman’s Friend magazine, relied upon by readers across the country as they face the challenges of life on the Home Front. With the problem page thriving and a team of fantastic women behind her, Emmy finally feels she is Doing Her Bit.
But when a glamorous new owner arrives, everything changes. As the Honourable Mrs Porter tries to charm her way around the rest of the team, Emmy realises that she plans to destroy everything readers love about the magazine.
With happiness quickly turning to heartbreak and war still raging in Europe, will Emmy and her friends find the inner strength they need to keep keeping on – and save the magazine they love?
Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang
Published May 25th, 2023 by The Borough Press
Litearary Fiction, Satire, Suspense, Humorous Ficiton
The new book from the no. 1 New York Times and no. 2 Sunday Times bestselling author R.F. Kuang
‘A riot’ PANDORA SYKES
‘Satirical and humorous’ COSMOPOLITAN
Athena Liu is a literary darling and June Hayward is literally nobody.
When Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it as her own under the ambiguous name Juniper Song.
But as evidence threatens June’s stolen success, she will discover exactly how far she will go to keep what she thinks she deserves.
What happens next is entirely everyone else’s fault.
The Final Party by A. A. Chaudhuri
Published May 25th, 2023 by Canelo Hera
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Domestic Fiction, Urban Ficiton, Coming-of-Age Story
In a luxury villa set high in the hills above the glamorous town of Sorrento, southern Italy, three couples gather for the perfect 40th birthday celebration.
Before the week is out, one of them is dead.
Their perfect reunion quickly becomes the holiday from hell when one of the group starts receiving anonymous messages, threatening to expose a dark secret from their university days.
As old friendships are tested to the limit, it’s clear that what happens in the dark past won’t stay buried…
A heart-racing psychological thriller that will hook you from the very first page, with twist after twist that will make your jaw drop. Fans of B.A. Paris, My Husband’s Killer and Lucy Foley won’t be able to put this down. If you were hooked by The White Lotus or The Watcher, you’ll love this.
Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara
Published May 25th, 2023 by Orion
Mythology, Fairy Tale, Romantic Fantasy, Greek Mythology, Literary Fiction, Historical Romance, Coming-of-Age Story
A stunning, exciting and hotly-anticipated feminist retelling of one of the greatest love stories in Greek mythology!
The greatest love story ever told…
Born into an era of heroes, a prophecy claims that Psyche – Princess of Mycenae – will defeat a monster feared even by the gods themselves. Rebelling against society’s traditions, she spends her youth mastering blade and bow, preparing to fulfil her destiny.
But she is soon caught up in powers beyond her control, when the jealous Aphrodite sends the God of Desire, Eros, to deliver a fatal love-curse. The last thing Eros wants is to become involved in the chaos of the mortal world, but when he is pricked by the very arrow intended for Psyche, he is doomed to love a woman who will be torn from him the moment their eyes meet.
Thrown together by fate, headstrong Psyche and world-weary Eros will face challenges greater than they could have ever imagined. And as the Trojan War begins and the whole of the heavens try to keep them apart, will they find their way back to each other… before it’s too late?
Luna McNamara’s exquisitely written debut will appeal to fans of Madeline Miller, Jennifer Saint and Susan Stokes-Chapman.
Savage Beasts by Rani Selvarajah
Published May 25th, 2023 by One More Chapter
Historical Ficiton, Mythology, Fairy Tale, Domestic Ficiton, Greek Mythology, Coming-of-Age Story
‘A beautiful and unique retelling of Medea. I loved it!’ Sunday Times bestselling author Sophie Irwin
‘Absorbing and thoughtful…full of page-turning drama and vibrantly drawn characters. Bold and illuminating’ Claire Heywood, author of Daughters of Sparta
A propulsive retelling inspired by the Greek myth of Medea
A woman wronged will shake an empire
Bengal is on the brink of war. The East India Company, led by the fearsome Sir Peter Chilcott, are advancing and nobody is safe. Meena, the Nawab’s neglected and abused daughter, finds herself falling under the spell of James Chilcott, nephew of Sir Peter, who claims he wants to betray the company . . . for a price.
Caught between friend and foe, Meena and James escape Calcutta, their hands stained in blood and pockets filled with gold. In Ceylon, they’re cleansed of their sins by Meena’s beloved aunt Kiran, before the young lovers set sail for the Dutch controlled Cape of Good Hope, with the promise of a new life.
Yet past resentments and present betrayals begin to pile up as they struggle to overcome their differences. And as Meena yet again finds herself in a foreign land without anyone to turn to, she is forced to find out what she is willing to sacrifice when love turns to hate.
The perfect read for fans of The Song of Achilles, Ariadne and Pandora
The Girls of Summer by Katie Bishop
Published May 25th, 2023 by Bantam Press
Psychological Thriller, Literary Fiction, Coming-of-Age Story
Destined to be THE dark book-club debut of 2023. A compulsive and timely exploration of the complicated nature of memory and trauma, power and consent, victimhood and shame.
‘A mesmerising, unsettling and gripping debut’ CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD, author of RUN TIME
‘Thought-provoking, timely. The book of the summer’ SARAH TURNER, author of STEPPING UP
Rachel has loved Alistair since she was seventeen.
Even though she hasn’t seen him for sixteen years and she’s now married to someone else.
Even though she was a teenager when they met.
Even though he is almost twenty years older than her.
Now in her thirties, Rachel has never been able to forget their golden summer together on a remote, sun-trapped Greek island. But as dark and deeply suppressed memories rise to the surface, Rachel begins to understand that Alistair – and the enigmatic, wealthy man he worked for – controlled much more than she ever realized.
Rachel has never once considered herself a victim – until now.
Now You See Us by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Published May 25th, 2023 by Harper Collins UK
Mystery, Literary Fiction, Humorous Ficiton
We are invisible: we clean your houses, we look after your children, we know your secrets.
But now you know one of ours…
Rules for being a maid:
• No smoking
• No boyfriends
• No visitors
• And most importantly: be invisible…
Corazon, Angel and Donita have all come to Singapore to work for a living. The thing that unites them? Their labour must remain unseen.
But when a friend is accused of murdering her employer, everything changes. The accused could be any of them; they all know the stories of women who were scapegoated or even executed for crimes they didn’t commit.
Each woman has secrets to keep, yet they must gather every ounce of bravery, fearlessness and complete audacity to clear the name of one of their own.
After all, no-one knows the secrets of Singapore’s elite quite like the women who work in their homes…
Seven Exes by Lucy Vine
Published May 25th, 2023 by Simon & Schuster UK
Romance Novel, Contemporary Romance, Humorous Fiction, Urban Fiction
‘Seven Exes made me laugh out loud. It’s fresh, fast-paced and joyous. Lucy Vine’s writing is so warm and funny – her books are the literary equivalent of an amazing girls’ night out.’ Beth O’Leary
Esther is out with her two friends, bemoaning her lack of relationship, when she finds a magazine from the noughties. Seeking comfort – and a laugh – she turns to the dating advice only to find an article that feels a little too close to home. According to the journalist, there are seven people a woman will date before finding the one:
The First Love, The Work Mistake, The Friend with Benefits, The Overlap, The Missed Chance, The Bastard and The Serious One.
Her friends laugh but Esther realises each of her exes fits these roles perfectly. Deciding that she’s mistaken her true love in the reject pile she decides to contact each of her exes to find out which is the one that got away…
The Last Dance (Detective Miller Book 1) by Mark Billingham
Published May 25th, 2023 by Sphere
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Crime Series
THE FIRST NEW SERIES FROM #1 BESTSELLER MARK BILLINGHAM IN 20 YEARS.
‘Readers rejoice! A captivating new series from Mark Billingham, the very best in the business’ — RICHARD OSMAN
Meet Detective Miller: unique, unconventional, and criminally underestimated…
He’s a detective, a dancer, he has no respect for authority - and he’s the best hope Blackpool has for keeping criminals off the streets. Meet Detective Declan Miller.
A double murder in a seaside hotel sees a grieving Miller return to work to solve what appears to be a case of mistaken identity. Just why were two completely unconnected men taken out?
Despite a somewhat dubious relationship with both reality and his new partner, can the eccentric, offbeat Miller find answers where his colleagues have found only an impossible puzzle?
Keep Her Secret by Mark Edwards
Published May 25th, 2023 by Amazon Publishing
Thriller, Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller
In this sinister tale from 4 million copy bestselling author Mark Edwards, a deadly secret turns a couple’s new romance into a nightmare. And they’re not the only ones who know the truth…
After twenty years apart, Matthew and Helena have rekindled their college romance and are away in Iceland on their first holiday together. Swept up in the romance on a mountain hike, one moment they are taking the perfect photo, the next Helena is hanging from the cliff edge…
Terrified, Matthew almost misses Helena’s sudden and shocking confession―but what he hears chills him to the bone. And when Helena reveals the full truth Matthew is horrified, not only by what she’s done, but why she did it. Does he really know her at all?
His shock turns to horror when, back in England, they discover that someone not only overheard Helena’s confession but plans to blackmail her. Now Matthew must decide whether to go to the police or help Helena keep her secret―and as events spiral out of control, how far is Matthew willing to go to protect his ‘perfect’ girlfriend?
The Benevolent Soceity of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman
Published May 30th, 2023 by Piatkus
Historical Fiction, Regency Romance, Mystery, Historical Mystery, Romantic Comedy
‘Goodman’s ladies are the undercover Regency heroes we’ve been waiting for! This is sparkling, thrilling, romantic fun’ TONI JORDAN
A high society amateur detective at the heart of Regency London uses her wits and invisibility as an ‘old maid’ to protect other women in a new and fiercely feminist historical mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman.
Lady Augusta Colebrook, ‘Gus’, is determinedly unmarried, bored by society life, and tired of being dismissed at the age of forty-two. She and her twin sister, Julia, who is grieving her dead betrothed, need a distraction. One soon presents itself: to rescue their friend’s goddaughter, Caroline, from her violent husband.
The sisters set out to Caroline’s country estate with a plan, but their carriage is accosted by a highwayman. In the scuffle, Gus accidentally shoots the ruffian, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who was charged with murder and exiled to Australia twenty years ago. With Lord Evan injured and unconscious, the sisters have no choice but to bring him on their mission to save Caroline. What follows is a high adventure full of danger, clever improvisation, heart-racing near misses, and a little help from a revived and rather charming Lord Evan.
Back in London, Gus can’t stop thinking about her unlikely (not to mention handsome) comrade-in-arms. She is convinced Lord Evan was falsely accused of murder, and she is going to prove it. She persuades Julia to join her in a quest to help Lord Evan, and others in need-society be damned! And so begins the beguiling secret life and adventures of the Colebrook twins.
A rollicking and joyous adventure, with a beautiful love story at its heart, about two rebellious sisters forging their own path in Regency London.
‘If you love Georgette Heyer, you’ll love [this]. Smart and sassy and featuring heroines of a certain age, this is the Regency I’ve been waiting for. Adventure! Mystery! A touch of romance!’ JENN MCKINLAY
Thanks for reading Bibliophiles xxx
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