A Million Reasons Why, by Jessica Strawser
When two strangers are linked by a mail-in DNA test, it’s an answered prayer―that is, for one half-sister. For the other, it will dismantle everything she knows to be true. But as they step into the unfamiliar realm of sisterhood, the roles will reverse in ways no one could have foreseen.
Caroline lives a full, happy life―thriving career, three feisty children, enviable marriage, and a close-knit extended family. She couldn’t have scripted it better. Except for one thing: She’s about to discover her fundamental beliefs about them all are wrong.
Sela lives a life in shades of gray, suffering from irreversible kidney failure. Her marriage crumbled in the wake of her illness. Her beloved mother and lifelong best friend passed away. She refuses to be defined by her grief, but still, she worries about what will happen to her two-year-old son if she doesn’t find a donor match in time. She’s the only one who knows Caroline is her half-sister. That Caroline may be her best hope for a future. But Sela’s world isn’t as clear-cut as it appears―and one misstep could destroy it all. After all, would you risk everything to save the life of the person who turned yours upside down?
The Dictionary of Lost Words, by Pip Williams
In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.
Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the ‘Scriptorium’, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.
Over time, Esme realizes that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.
The Art of Losing, by Alice Zeniter
Naïma knows Algeria only by the artifacts she encounters in her grandparents’ tiny apartment in Normandy: the language her grandmother speaks but Naïma can’t understand, the food her grandmother cooks, and the precious things her grandmother carried when they fled. Naïma’s father claims to remember nothing; he has made himself French. Her grandfather died before he could tell her his side of the story. But now Naïma will travel to Algeria to see for herself what was left behind–including their secrets.
Malice (Malice Duology #1), by Heather Walter
Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after. Utter nonsense.
Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.
Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.
But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world. Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—
A Tourist’s Guide to Murder (Mystery Bookshop #6), by V.M. Burns
Sam joins Nana Jo and her Shady Acres Retirement Village friends Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae on a weeklong trip to London, England, to experience the Peabody Mystery Lovers Tour. The chance to see the sights and walk the streets that inspired Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle is a dream come true for Sam—and a perfect way to celebrate her new publishing contract as a mystery author.
But between visits to Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel district and 221B Baker Street, Major Horace Peabody is found dead, supposedly of natural causes. Despite his employer’s unfortunate demise, the tour guide insists on keeping calm and carrying on—until another tourist on their trip also dies under mysterious circumstances. Now it’s up to Sam and the Shady Acres ladies to mix and mingle among their fellow mystery lovers, find a motive, and turn up a murderer . . .
The Tubman Command, by Elizabeth Cobbs
It’s May 1863. Outgeneraled and outgunned, a demoralized Union Army has pulled back with massive losses at the Battle of Chancellorsville. Fort Sumter, hated symbol of the Rebellion, taunts the American navy with its artillery and underwater mines.
In Beaufort, South Carolina, one very special woman, code named Moses, is hatching a spectacular plan. Hunted by Confederates, revered by slaves, Harriet Tubman plots an expedition behind enemy lines to liberate hundreds of bondsmen and recruit them as soldiers. A bounty on her head, she has given up husband and home for the noblest cause: a nation of, by, and for the people.
The Son of Mr. Suleman: A Novel, by Eric Jerome Dickey
It’s the summer of 2019, and Professor Pi Suleman is a Black man from Memphis with a lot to endure—not only as a Black man in Trump’s America but in his hard-earned career as an adjunct professor. Pi is constantly forced to bite his tongue in the face of one of his tenured colleague’s prejudices and microaggressions. At the same time, he’s being blackmailed by a powerful professor who threatens to claim he has assaulted her, when in fact the truth is just the opposite, trapping him in a he-said-she-said with a white woman that, in this society, Pi knows he will never win.
When he meets Gemma Buckingham, a sophisticated entrepreneur who has just moved to Memphis from London to escape a deep heartbreak, things begin to look up. Though Gemma and Pi hail from separate cultures, their differences fuel a fiery and passionate connection that just may consume them both.
But Pi’s whirlwind romance is interrupted when his absentee father, a celebrated writer, passes away and Pi is called to Los Angeles to both collect his inheritance and learn about the man who never acknowledged him. With the complicated legacy of his famous father to make sense of, Gemma’s visa expiration date looming, and the threats of his colleague becoming increasingly intense, Pi must figure out who he is and what kind of man he will become in his father’s shadow.
Georgana’s Secret, by Arlem Hawks
1811, HMS Deborah
Georgana Woodall dreams of freedom—freedom from her past and freedom from her secret. She has been living on her father’s ship for years, disguised as a cabin boy named “George.” But hiding her true self is becoming more difficult, and she yearns to break free of her life on the sea.
Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the boy under his wing.
Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.
Sparks Like Stars, by Nadia Hashimi
Kabul, 1978: The daughter of a prominent family, Sitara Zamani lives a privileged life in Afghanistan’s thriving cosmopolitan capital. The 1970s are a time of remarkable promise under the leadership of people like Sardar Daoud, Afghanistan’s progressive president, and Sitara’s beloved father, his right-hand man. But the ten-year-old Sitara’s world is shattered when communists stage a coup, assassinating the president and Sitara’s entire family. Only she survives.
Smuggled out of the palace by a guard named Shair, Sitara finds her way to the home of a female American diplomat, who adopts her and raises her in America. In her new country, Sitara takes on a new name—Aryana Shepherd—and throws herself into her studies, eventually becoming a renowned surgeon. A survivor, Aryana has refused to look back, choosing instead to bury the trauma and devastating loss she endured.
New York, 2008: Thirty years after that fatal night in Kabul, Aryana’s world is rocked again when an elderly patient appears in her examination room—a man she never expected to see again. It is Shair, the soldier who saved her, yet may have murdered her entire family. Seeing him awakens Aryana’s fury and desire for answers—and, perhaps, revenge. Realizing that she cannot go on without finding the truth, Aryana embarks on a quest that takes her back to Kabul—a battleground between the corrupt government and the fundamentalist Taliban—and through shadowy memories of the world she loved and lost.
The Ruthless (Bruno Johnson #8), by David Putnam
Pushed to his emotional limit, Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Bruno Johnson struggles to hold his family together while immersed in his unrelenting career. His daughter, Olivia, is a teen mom to twin toddlers; her common-law husband, Derek Sams, is a thug; and one of their little boys has disappeared under his care.
The overwhelming intensity demanded of Bruno on this personal level is compounded by the brutal shotgun murder of a superior court judge and his wife, both friends of his. Bruno cannot ignore these violent crimes even though he’s supposedly off the law enforcement grid—undercover—working an illegal gun sting.
Tragedy strikes Bruno’s life on all fronts: family, friends, and professional—however, none of these colossal forces can match the unthinkable catastrophe that will forever dominate Bruno’s life.
The Stills (Kinship #3), by Jess Montgomery
Ohio, 1927: Moonshining is a way of life in rural Bronwyn County, and even the otherwise upstanding Sheriff Lily Ross has been known to turn a blind eye when it comes to stills in the area. But when thirteen-year-old Zebediah Harkins almost dies after drinking tainted moonshine, Lily knows that someone has gone too far, and—with the help of organizer and moonshiner Marvena Whitcomb—is determined to find out who.
But then, Lily’s nemesis, the businessman George Vogel, reappears in town with his new wife, Fiona. Along with them is also her former brother-in-law Luther Ross, now an agent for the newly formed Bureau of Prohibition. To Lily, it seems too much of a coincidence that they should arrive now.
As fall turns to winter, a blizzard closes in. Lily starts to peel back the layers of deception shrouding the town of Kinship, but soon she discovers that many around her seem to be betraying those they hold dear—and that Fiona too may have an agenda of her own.
The Secrets of Winter (Josephine Tey #9), by Nicola Upson
December 1938, and storm clouds hover once again over Europe. Josephine Tey and Archie Penrose gather with friends for a Cornish Christmas, but two strange and brutal deaths on St. Michael’s Mount–and the unexpected arrival of a world famous film star, in need of sanctuary–interrupt the festivities. Cut off by the sea and a relentless blizzard, the hunt for a murderer begins.
Pivoting on a real moment in history, the ninth novel in the Josephine Tey series draws on all the much-loved conventions of the Golden Age Christmas mystery, while giving them the contemporary twist which has come to distinguish the books so far.
Ridgerunner (The Boultons #2), by Gil Adamson
November 1917. William Moreland is in mid-flight. After nearly twenty years, the notorious thief, known as the Ridgerunner, has returned. Moving through the Rocky Mountains and across the border to Montana, the solitary drifter, impoverished in means and aged beyond his years, is also a widower and a father. And he is determined to steal enough money to secure his son’s future.
Twelve-year-old Jack Boulton has been left in the care of Sister Beatrice, a formidable nun who keeps him in cloistered seclusion in her grand old house. Though he knows his father is coming for him, the boy longs to return to his family’s cabin, deep in the woods. When Jack finally breaks free, he takes with him something the nun is determined to get back — at any cost.
Set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and a rapidly changing landscape in the West, Gil Adamson’s follow-up to her award-winning debut, The Outlander, is a vivid historical novel that draws from the epic tradition and a literary Western brimming with a cast of unforgettable characters touched with humour and loss, and steeped in the wild of the natural world.
Imhotep (Imhotep #1), by Jerry Dubs
“Imhotep” is the first book in a four-novel series about the ancient Egyptian architect.
Stumbling in the dark of an unfinished tomb beneath the sands of Saqqara, American tourist Tim Hope unknowingly passes through a time portal that leads to ancient Egypt — a time before the Sphinx, before the great pyramids of Giza, and long before the loss of his beloved Addy.
When he discovers that two other Americans preceded him through the time portal, Tim immerses himself in the ancient world to search for them. As he becomes more comfortable with the simpler, more immediate land, he finds himself irresistibly attracted to the delicate Meryt, a wbt-priestess for the god Re.
Learning that a seven-year famine has led to a plot to overthrow King Djoser, Tim discovers that his fate, the lives of the two Americans and the future of Egypt rest in the hands of the legendary Imhotep, master architect of the Step Pyramid, renowned physician and intimate adviser to King Djoser.
Downloaded by more than 100,000 readers, “Imhotep” is the first book in an acclaimed four-book series about the ancient Egyptian architect Imhotep. The second book in the series is “The Buried Pyramid.” The third book is “The Forest of Myrrh.” The fourth book is “The Field of Reeds.”
The Girls in the Stilt House: A Novel, by Kelly Mustian
Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her unbearable life on the swamp, and to her harsh father in Mississippi. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.
Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she’s holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see.
Dance with Death (Barker & Llewelyn #12), by Will Thomas
In June of 1893, the future Nicholas II travels to London for a royal wedding, bringing with him his private security force and his ballerina mistress, Mathilde Kchessinska. Rumored to be the target of a professional assassin known only as La Sylphide, and the subject of conspiracies against his life by his own family who covet his future throne, Nicholas is protected by not only private security, but the professional forces of both England and Russia.
All of these measures prove inadequate when Prince George of England is attacked by an armed anarchist who mistakes him for Nicholas. As a result, Barker and Llewelyn are brought in to help track down the assassin and others who might conspire against the life of the tsesarevich . The investigations lead them down several paths, including Llewelyn’s old nemesis, the assassin Sofia Ilyanova. With Barker and Llewelyn both surviving separate attempts on their lives, the race is on to find both the culprit and the assassin they hired. Taking them through high society (including a masked ball at Kensington Palace) and low, chasing down motives both personal and political, Barker and Llewelyn must solve the case of their life before the crime of the century is committed.