Single Black Female, by Tracy Brown
Ivy Donovan is a successful stylist, entrepreneur, and single mom who has been loyal to her sons’ father, Michael, who’s serving a lengthy prison sentence. But life has gotten lonely over the years, and Ivy wants more for herself. Michael, however, isn’t about to lose his family.
Coco Norris is well-off, single, childless, and struggling with her allegiance to emotionally unavailable men. When she finds a man who seems like he can give her everything she has ever wanted, Coco soon discovers that she has taken on more than she can possibly handle.
Deja Maddox is a real estate agent who is married to Bobby, a police sergeant with the NYPD. They have assimilated, looking down on anything that doesn’t fit their buttoned-up, polished life. But Deja isn’t as satisfied as she would like everyone to believe. When Deja’s past returns with a vengeance, she’s forced to face herself as her “perfect” life begins to crumble.
Nikki Diamond is a savvy, self-made businesswoman and social media darling who lives large and with no regrets. She’s also Deja’s little sister and thinks her sister can have so much more than her ho-hum marriage. And Nikki is all too happy to lend a “helping” hand to make that happen.
Things come to a head when Ivy’s youngest son, Kingston, is caught up in a polarizing encounter with the NYPD. Everyone must figure out where they stand, including Bobby, who suddenly has to decide if his “blue life” matters more to him than his Black life and the Black lives of those he loves.
Once Upon a Wardrobe, by Patti Callahan
“Where did Narnia come from?”
The answer will change everything.
Megs Devonshire is brilliant with numbers and equations, on a scholarship at Oxford, and dreams of solving the greatest mysteries of physics.
She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the younger brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a copy of a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse.
Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, imploring them for answers. What she receives instead are more stories . . . stories of Jack Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George.
Why won’t Mr. Lewis just tell her plainly what George wants to know? The answer will reveal to Meg many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.
The Morning Star, by Karl Ove Knausgård, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Martin Aitken
It’s a normal night in August. Literature professor Arne and artist Tove are with their children at the resort in southern Norway. Their friend, Egil, a driver by day, is staying in a cabin nearby. Kathrine, a priest, is on her way home from a seminar, the journalist Jostein is out on the town, and his wife Turid, who is an assistant nurse, has a night shift.
Above them all, a huge star suddenly appears in the sky. No one, not even the astronomers, knows for sure what kind of phenomenon it is. Is there a star burning itself out? Why then has no one seen it before? Or is it a brand new star? Slowly the interest in the news subsides, and life goes on, but not quite as before, for unusual phenomena begin to occur on the fringes of human existence.
A Prince and a Spy: A Novel (Tom Wilde #5), by Rory Clements
Two old friends meeting in a remote castle in Sweden. They are cousins.
One is Prince George, brother of the king of England, and the other Prince Philipp von Hesse, a close friend of Adolf Hitler and a committed Nazi. Days later Prince George is killed in a plane crash and the country weeps, but not everyone believes that it was an accident.
When FDR, who happens to be a good friend of the prince, hears the tragic news, he wants to find out exactly what happened. The American OSS doesn’t believe the story that MI5 are pedalling. The situation is delicate. Professor Tom Wilde, Cambridge don, is called in to uncover the truth—but what he discovers is far more than he bargained for.
It Started with a Dog (Lucky Dog #2), by Julia London
All Harper Thompson wants for Christmas is the huge promotion she’s worked so hard for–which she should get, as long as her launch of the hip new coffeehouse, Deja Brew, goes according to plan. Jonah Rogers is trying to save his family’s coffee shop, Lucky Star, from going out of business, which will be tough with the brand-new Deja Brew opening across the street.
When Jonah and Harper meet for the first time after accidentally swapping phones, their chemistry is as electric as a strand of Christmas lights. He’s a tall, handsome, compassionate hunk of engineer, and she’s an entrepreneur whose zest for life is very sexy. They love all the same things, like scary movies, greasy food–and most of all, dogs. It’s a match made in heaven…until Jonah finds out that Harper’s the one about to put him out of business.
Only one coffee shop likely can survive, and a competition of one-upmanship ensues in a battle of the brews. The paws really come out when the local rescue shelter has a fundraiser where local businesses foster dogs, and patrons vote with their dollars for their favorite pup. Harper takes in an adorable old bulldog on behalf of Deja Brew, while Jonah fosters a perky three-legged dachshund for Lucky Star. As the excitement builds for who will be crowned King Mutt and king of the coffee hill, Harper and Jonah must decide if their connection was all steam or if they are the perfect blend.
When Christmas Comes, by Andrew Klavan
Colorful Christmas lights dapple the family homes in the idyllic lakeside town of Sweet Haven when Jennifer Dean, a young librarian at the local elementary school, is brutally murdered. There are witnesses and her boyfriend Travis Blake confesses to the crime… but something doesn’t quite add up. Blake is a third generation Army Ranger, awarded the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan—how could a beloved son of this tight-knit burgh commit such a grisly deed?
As a community of military families a few miles down the road from an Army base, no one in Sweet Haven wants to investigate a war hero like Blake, not even the top brass at the police department. In steps Cameron Winter, a rugged and lonesome English professor haunted by the ghosts of his own Christmas past, whose former lover asks him to prove Blake innocent. The Sweet Haven murder reverberates in his mind, echoing a horrific yuletide memory from his youth, and Winter knows there are darker powers at play here than a simple domestic dispute. If he can solve this small-town mystery, just maybe he can find peace from his inner demons as well.
The Passing Storm, by Christine Nolfi
Early into the tempestuous decade of her thirties, Rae Langdon struggles to work through a grief she never anticipated. With her father, Connor, she tends to their Ohio farm, a forty-acre spread that itself has enjoyed better days. As memories sweep through her, some too precious to bear, Rae gives shelter from a brutal winter to a teenager named Quinn Galecki.
Quinn has been thrown out by his parents, a couple too troubled to help steer the misunderstood boy through his own losses. Now Quinn has found a temporary home with the Langdons—and an unexpected kinship, because Rae, Quinn, and Connor share a past and understand one another’s pain. But its depths—and all its revelations and secrets—have yet to come to light. To finally move forward, Rae must confront them and also fight for Quinn, whose parents have other plans in mind for their son.
Anticipation, by Melodie Winawer
After the death of her beloved husband and becoming a single parent to her nine-year-old son Alexander, overworked scientist Helen desperately needs an escape. So when Alexander proposes a trip to Greece—somewhere he’s always dreamed of visiting—Helen quickly agrees.
After spending several days exploring the tourist-filled streets, they stumble upon the ancient city of Mystras and are instantly drawn to it. Its only resident is Elias, a mysterious tour guide living on the city’s edges…both physically and temporally.
In 1237, Elias’s mother promised his eternal service to the Profitis Ilias in Mystras in exchange for surviving a terrible illness. But during his 800 years of labor, he’s had one common enemy: the noble Lusignan family. The Lusignan line is cursed by a deadly disease that worsens with each generation, and a prophecy hints that Elias’s blood is their only hope for a cure. He has managed to survive throughout the centuries, but the line has dwindled down to the last Lusignan and he is desperate to avert his family’s destiny.
When Elias runs into Helen, he meets his match for the first time—but he unwittingly puts both her and her young son in danger as a result. With time running out and an enemy after them, Elias and Helen are forced to choose between the city they love, and each other.
The Deadliest Sin (Crispin Guest Medieval Noir #15), by Jeri Westerson
1399, London. A drink at the Boar’s Tusk takes an unexpected turn for Crispin Guest, Tracker of London, and his apprentice, Jack Tucker, when a messenger claims the prioress at St. Frideswide wants to hire him to investigate murders at the priory. Two of Prioress Drueta’s nuns have been killed in a way that signifies two of the Seven Deadly Sins, and she’s at her wits end.
Meanwhile, trouble is brewing outside of London when the exiled Henry Bolingbroke, the new Duke of Lancaster, returns to England’s shores with an army to take back his inheritance. Crispin is caught between solving the crimes at St. Frideswide’s Priory, and making a choice once more whether to stand with King Richard or commit treason again.
The Silent Conversation (Anderson & Costello #13), by Caro Ramsay
It’s been four years since four-year-old Johnny Clearwater disappeared without trace one hot summer afternoon. Now, a new TV documentary series is revisiting the case, dredging up memories perhaps best left forgotten.
On the night the TV show is broadcast, detectives Anderson and Costello are called out to investigate the murder of a female police officer. On arriving at the scene, they discover that nothing about this death is as straightforward as it would appear. What was the victim doing in the garden of the exclusive gated residence where she was found? How did she die? Why is the key witness so reluctant to speak to them? Even the off-duty police officer who was first on the scene isn’t telling them everything.
The pressure intensifies when a link is discovered between the dead woman and the disappearance of Johnny Clearwater four years earlier. What secrets are lurking behind the closed doors of this small, exclusive community . . . and what really happened to little Johnny Clearwater?
The Ghosts of Thorwald Place, by Helen Power
Rachel Drake is on the run from the man who killed her husband. She never leaves her safe haven in an anonymous doorman building, until one night a phone call sends her running. On her way to the garage, she is murdered in the elevator. But her story doesn’t end there.
She finds herself in the afterlife, tethered to her death spot, her reach tied to the adjacent apartments. As she rides the elevator up and down, the lives of the residents intertwine. Every one of them has a dark secret. An aging trophy wife whose husband strays. A surgeon guarding a locked room. A TV medium who may be a fraud. An ordinary man with a mysterious hobby.
Compelled to spend eternity observing her neighbors, she realizes that any one of them could be her killer.
The Island of Missing Trees, by Elif Shafak
Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he’s searching for lost love.
Years later a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited— her only connection to her family’s troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world.