Books to Love: See What's Coming...
Like the anticipation that builds after you watch the trailer to a movie that you really want to see, the expectation of a new novel can make a devoted reader giddy. Some people have favorite actors whose films they will not miss. I have favorite authors whose books I MUST buy. Here are a few books dropping in 2019 that I’m eager to get my hands on.
How’s that for a hook? Ever since reading Kate Quinn’s ancient Rome series, she is an author on my radar. I have in my possession The Alice Network (see post here for more about this one), but have not read it as yet (even though that was a definitive goal of 2018- it just didn’t happen). Ms. Quinn has dropped another book that follows in the footsteps of The Alice Network. While it’s not in the theme of Bletchley Circle, The Huntress deals with the aftermath of World War II. Featuring an English journalist coming to terms with the horrors he faced during the war and a female Russian bomber pilot (a character based upon a real life woman, no less), The Huntress is the story of their journey to America to ferret out the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal. So, you see, the Huntress has become the hunted. But it’s more complex than these two veterans chase down a lead. There’s another person involved. Jordan McBride, a 17-year old aspiring photographer, becomes increasingly suspicious of her soon-to-be stepmother, a quiescent German widow. So, armed with her trusty camera and embolden by her youthful curiosity, she starts on her own investigation which soon threatens the unraveling of her entire world as she unwittingly dredges up family secrets she wishes she never knew before…
The Huntress was released last week on February 26th, which means Ms. Quinn is still on her book tour. So, depending on where you live, you might be able to score a copy and get it signed by the author. In fact, if you find yourself in Nashville today (March 4th), Parnassus Bookstore is hosting a Q&A and book signing with Ms. Quinn. She’ll be there at 6:30 p.m. I hope to see you there!
Coming to book shelves on March 12th, A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth installment in the Veronica Speedwell series. First off, I need to point out one very important aspect of this impending novel: it’s setting. That would be Cornwall. (See post Books to Love: Gothic Goodness to read why I love Cornwall so.) The second boon for this book is the fact that its plot makes me think of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None- sometimes called Ten Little Indians or Ten Little Soldiers. After returning to England again from her five months abroad doing all things lepidopteran, Veronica accepts her colleague Stoker’s brother’s invitation to travel to a house party off the coast of Cornwall; Tiberius lures Veronica with promises of acquiring rare butterflies, and since butterflies are the woman’s Achilles heel, she accepts regardless of how miffed it makes Stoker. However, as is her way, Veronica stumbles into the middle of a very chilling mystery involving the host’s wife. Rosamund Romilly disappeared three years ago on the very day she married her husband, Malcolm. Now, Malcolm is hosting this get together on the anniversary and every person in attendance has some connection to Rosamund. Veronica, whose curious nature prohibits her from staying out of things, begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance. However, in the unraveling, as is the way, things start to fall apart.
I am very excited for this release as I am confident that Ms. Raybourn is delivering another home run. If you want to get yourself a copy of this book, it’s available for pre-order at all the customary places- Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. But, if you’d like to get a signed copy, head over to Fountain Bookstore. If you pre-order your copy before midnight on the 11th, they’ll send you an autographed copy. And, Ms. Raybourn will be gracing Parnassus Bookstore with her presence on March 19th, so if you’re in the Nashville area that evening, make this Q&A and book signing a priority.
AND stay tuned later this month for a surprise regarding this one here at Whiskers On Kittens. *Hint-hint, ahem, giveaway….*
I appreciate truly great murder mystery series with intriguing characters. The Lady Darby series by Anna Lee Huber is one such series. Though I have not read through the entire series yet, it will not be a difficult task for me to catch up in order to be ready for the seventh installation. I find that I read through Huber’s books at a clipped pace, often starting and finishing them in one day, two at the most. They are exceptionally paced novels that keep me on the edge of my seat the entire way though. Plus, Lady Darby is an accomplished painter with an affinity for cats with fabulous names- case and point her gray cat names Earl Grey. I also happen to enjoy the developing relationship between Keira Darby and her unlikely investigative partner Gage. Sebastian Gage is a great character in his own right, and Huber has fleshed him out superbly, slowly unraveling the secrets surrounding his character. He’s a man of mystery, and those sorts of men as so delightful to read about, especially when the heroines happens to unsettle them. Which is exactly what Keira does. She topples all of Gage’s defenses, until he finds himself proposing marriage. Now, newly married, Keira has returned to London with her husband. However, her dark and horrid past is nipping at her heels. Burkers- named after one of the the Scottish body snatching duo Burke and Hare- are running rampant in London. Society is whipped into a tizzy and eager to blame the first person that seemingly fits the guilty bill. Keira’s re-entrance into London society couldn’t have come at worser time. All the horrors of her past- most notably her marriage to the esteemed and now disgraced anatomist husband- come hurdling to the forefront, not only threatening her newfound happiness, but her life, as well. What will Gage and Keira do?
If Ms. Huber’s past offerings are anything to go by, this latest offering, which drops on April 2nd, will be fraught with peril, full of suspense and near death experiences, and massively satisfying in the end.
After the October 2018 book giveaway of the first three books in the Jane Hawk series, it should be no surprise that I am awaiting the conclusion of the Jane Hawk series in this fifth novel with something akin to baited breath. While world domination is the goal of the Arcadians, there is trouble afoot within the ranks. The serum has been modified and updated, but there’s problems in the coding which has resulting in anomalies, meltdowns, and malfunctions from high ranking Arcadians down to the low-level rayshaws. Jane Hawk has been fighting an uphill battle. With what she knows and what’s she done, she should be dead. She’s living on borrowed time. However, that borrowed time just got a new lease, or at least, she hopes it has. While she might have started this journey all on her own, Jane has slowly amassed a group of people as dedicated to Arcadia’s demise as herself. This fifth installment is the climax and conclusion to her quest. I can honestly say that I don’t know how she’s going to win this one, but I am certain that Mr. Koontz’s prizing of good triumphing over evil will find its way onto this book’s final pages. At least, I hope it will.
If you don’t think you can hold out until The Night Window’s May 14th release, there is this pre-Arcadian case file that will be released in April that should tide you over. Or whet your appetite. One or the other: The Bone Farm: A Jane Hawk Case File by Dean Koontz
I’ve had the privilege of hearing Lauren Willig talk about the progression of this novel on several occasions. It takes place in Barbados, shifting back and forth between two time periods- as is one of her hallmarks. She herself received the inspiration for this novel years back when she was on a girls holiday in Barbados and they toured a plantation. Hearing the history of what happened on said plantation, Ms. Willig pocketed the history and stored it up for just the right novel. The Summer Country is that novel.
When poor relation Emily Dawson unexpectedly inherits Peverills, her grandfather’s sugar plantation in Barbados, she travels there with her cousin Adam and his new wife to find out why she is the recipient and not her cousin, who was a shoe in for such an inheritance. She arrived to find the burned out remains of the planation house. Worse, it was burnt to the ground nearly fifty years ago during a slave rebellion. Why would her grandfather bequeath her such a place? And why are her new neighbors so eager to get their hands on the property. Mysteries abound in this book, and, if Willig is staying true to form, they will include epic discoveries hidden in Emily Dawson’s family. Secrets, intrigues, mysteries, and perhaps a murder or two. All set the sultry, tropical backdrop of one of the most beautiful places in the world. Now, that sounds like perfection in my book.
The Summer Country will be released on June 4th, and is available for pre-order.
All that glisters is not gold, often have you heard it told… Those words uttered by the Prince of Morocco in The Merchant of Venice come to life in Beatriz Williams’ newest novel, The Golden Hour. It’s 1941 and newly widowed Leonora ‘Lulu’ Randolph is on assignment to shadow the Duke and Duchess of Windsor as they seek refuge from prying eyes and wagging tongues in the Bahamas. Having abdicated and upset the head that wears the crown, Edward VIII has married Wallis Simpson and taken her to the Bahamas where he is the acting governor. Lulu infiltrates Wallis and Eddy’s inner circle, and as is the way with all things political, she begins to uncover a slew of secrets, one so damning it points to treason. Lulu quickly learns that while the world is deceived by ornament, the outward shows are least themselves. And, just to makes everything a little murkier, enter Benedict Thorpe, a charismatic scientist with whom Lulu has instant chemistry. Knowing what I do about Beatriz Williams’ books, The Golden Hours promises to be chock full of bitter griefs, insidious secrets, multi-level intrigues, and poignant love all unfolding against a stunningly researched historical backdrop.
So, if Willig’s 1850s Barbados isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always 1940s Bahamas. Available for pre-order, The Golden Hour shines on July 7th- just in time to slip into your beach bag.
There are several more I could add to this list, but I’ll save that for another day. But, now’s your time to chime in, dear readers. What books are coming out this year that you’re excited to be get your hands on?