A Resolution at Midnight (Lady Dunbridge Mystery #3, by Shelley Noble
It’s Christmas in Gilded Age Manhattan.
And for the first time ever an amazing giant ball will drop along a rod on the roof of the New York Times building to ring in the New Year. Everyone plans to attend the event.
But the murder of a prominent newsman hits a little too close to home. And when a young newspaper woman, a protégé of the great Jacob Riis and old Vassar school chum of Bev’s, is the target of a similar attack, it is clear this is not just a single act of violence but a conspiracy of malicious proportions. Really, you’d think murderers would take a holiday.
Unbound: A Tale of Love and Betrayal in Shanghai, by Dina Gu Brumfield
Mini Pao lives with her sister and parents in a pre-war Shanghai divided among foreign occupiers and Chinese citizens, a city known as the “Paris of the East” with its contrast of vibrant night life and repressive social mores. Already considered an old maid at twenty-three, Mini boldly rejects the path set out for her as she struggles to provide for her family and reckons with her desire for romance and autonomy. Mini’s story of love, betrayal, and determination unfolds in the Western-style cafes, open-air markets, and jazz-soaked nightclubs of Shanghai—the same city where, decades later, her granddaughter Ting embarks on her own journey toward independence.
Ting Lee has grown up behind an iron curtain in a time of scarcity, humility, and forced-sameness in accordance with the strictures of Chairman Mao’s cultural revolution. As a result, Ting’s imagination burns with curiosity about fashion, America, and most of all, her long-lost grandmother Mini’s glamorous past and mysterious present. As her thirst for knowledge about the world beyond 1970s Shanghai grows, Ting is driven to uncover her family’s tragic past and face the difficult truth of what the future holds for her if she remains in China.
The Mighty Oak, by Jeff W. Bens
Tim O’Connor is paid to be violent. He plays for the El Paso Storm in the West Texas Hockey League. People call him Oak. He’s been an enforcer for longer than his hip or shoulder or back have been able to hold together. He is a broken machine of gristle and rage. And he has been away from home for too long.
He’s called back to Boston by his mother’s death. There he confronts a life he failed to live, a daughter he doesn’t know, and a body that is quickly breaking down. Still, he can’t conceive of a future without hockey, even as he chews oxycodone and Adderall to numb his injuries and steady his brain. When a brutal encounter with the police places him in the path of Joan Linney, a haunted public defender, and Kip, a boy with a brave face, Oak and his chance companions roam cold streets from Castle Island to Quincy Point, struggling to believe in a different future.
Plain Bad Heroines, by Emily M. Danforth
Our story begins in 1902, at The Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir.
To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it The Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, The Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.
Over a century later, the now abandoned and crumbling Brookhants is back in the news when wunderkind writer, Merritt Emmons, publishes a breakout book celebrating the queer, feminist history surrounding the “haunted and cursed” Gilded-Age institution. Her bestselling book inspires a controversial horror film adaptation starring celebrity actor and lesbian it girl Harper Harper playing the ill-fated heroine Flo, opposite B-list actress and former child star Audrey Wells as Clara. But as Brookhants opens its gates once again, and our three modern heroines arrive on set to begin filming, past and present become grimly entangled—or perhaps just grimly exploited—and soon it’s impossible to tell where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins.
The Book of Lamps and Banners (Cass Neary #4 ), by Elizabeth Hand
Cass Neary needs cash to get home to New York, and she’s already sold her camera-like losing a limb, for a photographer of her experience. Her best chance is to get in on the deal that Griffin, an old flame, is about cut with a notoriously particular bookseller for a gorgeous, ancient illuminated manuscript: The Book of Lamps and Banners. This Book is more than just a beautiful object-its text and images are said to have a powerful magic capable of life-changing effects on anyone who reads it.
But before the sale can be completed, an intruder brazenly steals the Book out from under the dealer’s nose. Cass and Griff are the only suspects. To clear their names, and keep the missing text out of dangerous hands, Cass plunges into a curious underworld at the intersection of antiquarian books, cutting-edge software, and modern nationalist politics. This breathless psychological thriller, featuring one of the greatest amateur sleuths of the past decade, could only come from the mind of Elizabeth Hand.
A Deception at Thornecrest (Amory Ames #7), by Ashley Weaver
Amory Ames is alone at her country house Thornecrest, enjoying her last few weeks of peace and quiet as she prepares for the imminent arrival of her baby. Her husband, Milo, is in London on business, and Amory is content to catch up on her correspondence, organize the nursery, and avoid the well-meaning if rather overbearing company of the ladies in the village as they prepare for the Springtide Festival. But then a woman appears on her doorstep, also claiming to be Mrs. Ames, Milo’s wife.
Amory’s marriage has had its ups and downs in the past, but her faith in her husband has been restored, and Milo has been nothing but thrilled about becoming a father. Though the supposed second Mrs. Ames seems earnest, Amory is convinced she must be mistaken, a belief that Milo confirms upon his homecoming. However, when a second unexpected visitor arrives at Thornecrest, secret identities and whirlwind romances appear to be becoming par for the course.
It’s not until the day of the festival, when Milo’s stable hand Bertie is found dead, that the strange characters appearing in town begin to seem more sinister, and Amory is determined to uncover the killer in the crowd.
In The Clearing, by J.P. Pomare
Amy has only ever known what life is like in the Clearing. She knows what’s expected of her. She knows what to do to please her elders, and how to make sure life in the community remains happy and calm. That is, until a new young girl joins the group. She isn’t fitting in; she doesn’t want to stay. What happens next will turn life as Amy knows it on its head.
Freya has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’. In fact, if you saw her go about her day with her young son, you’d think she was an everyday mum. That is, until a young girl goes missing and someone from her past, someone she hasn’t seen for a very long time, arrives in town.
As Amy and Freya’s story intertwines the secrets of the past bubble up to the surface. This rural Aussie town’s dark underbelly is about to be exposed and lives will be destroyed.
The Sowing Season, by Katie Powner
After he’s forced to sell the family farm he’s labored on his whole life, 63-year-old Gerrit Laninga doesn’t know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for the land–his time, his health, his family–with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.
Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters has growing doubts and fears about The Plan–the detailed blueprint for high school that will help her follow in her lawyer father’s footsteps. She’s always been committed to The Plan, but now that the pressure to succeed is building, what was supposed to unite her family in purpose, may end up tearing it apart.
When their paths cross just as they each need a friend the most, Gerrit’s and Rae’s lives begin to change in unexpected ways. Can they discover together what really matters in life and learn it’s never too late for a second chance?
Murder at Queen’s Landing (Wrexford & Sloane #4), by Andrea Penrose
When Lady Cordelia, a brilliant mathematician, and her brother, Lord Woodbridge, disappear from London, rumors swirl concerning fraudulent bank loans and a secret consortium engaged in an illicit—and highly profitable—trading scheme that threatens the entire British economy. The incriminating evidence mounts, but for Charlotte and Wrexford, it’s a question of loyalty and friendship. And so they begin a new investigation to clear the siblings’ names, uncover their whereabouts, and unravel the truth behind the whispers.
As they delve into the murky world of banking and international arbitrage, Charlotte and Wrexford also struggle to navigate their increasingly complex feelings for each other. But the clock is ticking—a cunning mastermind has emerged . . . along with some unexpected allies—and Charlotte and Wrexford must race to prevent disasters both economic and personal as they are forced into a dangerous match of wits in an attempt to beat the enemy at his own game.
Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house—a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
500 Miles from You (Scottish Bookshop #3), by Jenny Colgan
Lissie, is a nurse in a gritty, hectic London neighborhood. Always terribly competent and good at keeping it all together, she’s been suffering quietly with PTSD after helping to save the victim of a shocking crime. Her supervisor quietly arranges for Lissie to spend a few months doing a much less demanding job in the little town of Kirrinfeif in Scottish Highlands, hoping that the change of scenery will help her heal. Lissie will be swapping places with Cormack, an Army veteran who’s Kirrinfeif’s easygoing nurse/paramedic/all-purpose medical man. Lissie’s never experienced small-town life, and Cormack’s never spent more than a day in a big city, but it seems like a swap that would do them both some good.
In London, the gentle Cormack is a fish out of the water; in Kirrinfief, the dynamic Lissie finds it hard to adjust to the quiet. But these two strangers are now in constant contact, taking over each other’s patients, endlessly emailing about anything and everything. Lissie and Cormack discover a new depth of feeling…for their profession and for each other.
But what will happen when Lissie and Cormack finally meet…?
The Silence of the White City (Trilogía de la Ciudad Blanca #1), by Eva García Sáenz de Urturi
Inspector Unai López de Ayala, known as “Kraken”, is charged with investigating a series of ritualistic murders. The killings are eerily similar to ones that terrorized the citizens of Vitoria twenty years earlier. But back then, police were sure they had discovered the killer, a prestigious archaeologist who is currently in jail. Now Kraken must race to determine whether the killer had an accomplice or if the wrong man has been incarcerated for two decades. This fast-paced, unrelenting thriller weaves in and out of the mythology and legends of the Basque country as it hurtles to its shocking conclusion.
Lone Jack Trail (Neah Bay #2), by Owen Laukkanen
A body washes up on the shore near Deception Cove. It belongs to “Bad” Brock Boyd, a disgraced former professional athlete from Makah County who recently finished a prison sentence for dogfighting. Marine veteran Jess Winslow, now a trainee deputy in Deception Cove, is assigned to help investigate the suspicious death. But when it comes out that her friend, ex-convict Mason Burke, had a run-in with the victim on the day of his death, she’s forced to question whether everything she thinks she knows about Burke is wrong.
The Three Mrs. Wrights, by Linda Keir
Lark has good things coming: a career as a board-game designer and a whirlwind romance with a handsome investor. Trip is so compassionate and supportive, he’s almost too good to be true.
Jessica has always been cautious, but she can’t resist Jonathan. The brilliant TED-talking visionary has big plans for his inspiring medical start-up. Now Jessica is invited to be part of the team—and to partner with the founder outside the office.
Holly has settled into a comfortable life with Jack, her husband of nearly twenty years. They’ve raised three children, they own a beautiful home, and they’ve founded a worthy charity. She’s proud of building a marriage that has endured—she just doesn’t want to look too closely at the cracks.
Lark, Jessica, and Holly are three strangers with so much in common it hurts. Their one and only is one and the same.