So the next publishers likely to cause the collapse of my TBR pile is Harper Fiction. Publishing under a number of imprints including Harper Voyager, Harper Fiction, Borough Press they have a bevvy of beautiful sounding books to tempt us with in the first half of 2016. Here I’ve highlighted a few, though a full list will be available on the What’s out when page.
January sees the publication of The Trouble With Goats and Sheep, the debut novel of Joanna Cannon. In the heatwave of 1976 1o year old Grace Bennett and her friend Tilly are searching for God, and the missing Mrs Creasy, amongst the residents of their street. Unwittingly their investigation reopens old secrets to the surface. What will the amateur detectives find out? Already generating great reviews on social media this is one to look out for. It also happens to be my current read at the time of writing this post so keep a look out for my review in the near future. (Borough Press)
Fans of Stuart MacBride will be pleased to hear that January also brings with it the publication of his latest novel to feature Duty Sergeant Logan McRae. In the Cold, Dark Ground sees McRae finds himself commandeered onto the Major Incident Team’s murder investigation by his former boss, DCI Steel. McRae soon realises not all is as it seems and then personal issues start to impinge the investigation. (Harper)
Fire Damage by Kate Medina, is the first in a new series. Featuring psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn, she joins forces with Captain Ben Callan when a body is found on the Sussex coast. What is the link between Jessie’s four year old client and the suspicious death of an officer in Afghanistan that Ben is investigating? (Harper)
If you like classic crime fiction then keep a look out for titles from The Detective Story Club. Established in 1929, this was the forerunner to Collins Crime Club. Titles to be reissued and published include: The House Opposite by J. Jefferson Farjeon, The Ponson Case by Freeman Wills Croft, The Mystery of Stow by Vernon Loder, The Crime Club by Frank Froest and George Dilnot, The Blackmailers by Emilie Gaboreau, The Terror by Edgar Wallace and The Leavenworth Case by Anna K. Green. (Harper)
In The Invisible Garden the body of a teenage girl is linked to that off another killing a month earlier. Is it the work of a killer or the Basajuan, a creature of Basque mythology? This is the first in the Baztan Trilogy by Dolores Redono. (Harper)
January will also bring with it new titles from Josephine Cox, Amanda Brooke, Debbie Johnson, Jonathan Freedland and Peter V. Brett.
February sees the publication of Missing, Presumed. Susie Steiner’s novel tells the story of Edith Hind who has suddenly vanished, leaving behind a streak of blood and her coat hanging up. DS Manon Bradshaw listening to the police radio at night hears of her disappearance and sees the case as her way of making her mark. (Borough Press)
The Woman Who Ran by Sam Baker sees Helen Graham arrive at a tiny Yorkshire village. Her evasive behaviour attracts the attention of the villagers, the last thing she wants. Trying to bring memories to the surface to piece together her past, Helen doesn’t know who she can trust or what she can believe. (Harper)
Judith Allnatt’s The Silk Factory was inspired by a mysterious soot smell in a friend’s newly built home, one with no open fireplaces and the later discovery that the house was built on the site of an old silk factory. A story of how memories can bind people, The Silk Factory tells the stories of Rosie Milford who discovers a shocking secret from her childhood on inheriting a house and of Beulah Fiddemont, in 1812, who has secrets her master Septimus Fowler would do anything to obtain. (Borough Press)
The Dressmaker of Dachau by Mary Chamberlain is set during World War II. Ada Vaughan is ambitious and keen to escape family life. Stanislaus von Leiben is her chance to leave them behind. Persuading her to move to Paris. she is blind to the imminent threat of the Nazis. When they invade, Stanislaus abandons her. She is captured and forced to survive as a dressmaker. Her decision will come to haunt her. (Borough Press)
Lovers of the Bronte sisters will not be disappointed by Harper Collins titles in 2016. In February the paperback edition of Nelly Dean by Alison Case is published. A reimagination of Wuthering Heights, the story of Cathy, Heathcliffe and the other characters is told from the viewpoint of servant Nelly Dean. (Borough Press)
Also published this month are books from Dilly Court, Francesca Haig, Kimberley Chambers, Peter Newman and Harry Sidebottom. Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien have a trio of treats with A Secret Vice and Beowulf (including the short story Sellic Spell) by the author and The Middle-Earth Location Guide Book by Ian Brodie.
March has another instalment for Bronte lovers. Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier is an anthology of 20 short stories from writers such as Lionel Shriver, Sarah Hall, Helen Dunmore, Salley Vickers and Tessa Hadley. Using Jane Eyre’s famous line as a springboard the stories cover a wide range of tales including stories from Mr Rochester’s point of view and how Jane’s life continues after the closing pages. (Borough Press)
Tracy Chevalier’s At the Edge of the Orchard, also out in March tells the tale of James and Sadie, moving to Black Swamp, Ohio in 1838. Swamp Fever has killed 5 of their 10 children. This is the story of their life, the struggles they endure and also the story of their youngest son, who 15 years later is forced to confront the reason he left his life behind. (Borough Press)
Also published this month are books from Wilbur Smith, Mhari McFarlane, Camilla Lackberg, Ben McPherson, Brian Aldiss, Emmi Itaranta, Joe Abercrombie, Freya North, Kathleen Alcott and Sabaa Tahir.
April titles include Andrew Taylor’s Ashes of London. It is 1666. The Great Fire has consumed London, taking St Paul’s Cathedral in its destructive wake. A mummified body has been found in a tomb that should be empty, mutilated and with his thumbs tied behind his back, the sign of Regicide. Richard Marwood, government informer has been tasked with finding the killer. (Harper)
In Rob Ewing’s The Last of Us, a pandemic has wiped out the entire adult population of a Scottish Island. With only the children remaining, 8 year old Rona tells their tale of survival. (Borough Press)
Jax Miller’s Freedom’s Child sees it’s paperback incarnation being released in April. Freedom Oliver is a murderer, drunk, cop killer and fugitive. But she is also a mother, one who will stop at nothing to see the daughter she only knew for two minutes 17 seconds. (Harper)
Also published this month are new titles from Fern Britton, Lucy Foley, Jason Gurley, Kathleen Tessaro, Lucy Holliday, Bernard Cornwell and Robert Karjel.
May sees another re-imagination. Continuing with The Austen Project, Curtis Sittenfield turns her hand to a modern re-working of Pride and Prejudice, in Eligible. Lizzy Bennet is a magazine editor in New York. When her father falls ill she returns home with her sister Jane, to the family home in Ohio they thought they had left forever. They find a family in chaos, Kitty and Lydia are wild over a new fitness program, Mary is studying yet again and Willie, their creepy cousin, paying the sisters far more attention than is comfortable. Then comes along reality TV star Chip Bingley and his prickly friend Fitzwilliam Darcy…(Borough Press)
A Hanging at Cinder Bottom, by Glenn Taylor is set in West Virginia in 1910. Abe Baach and his lover, Goldie Toothman are to be hanged and the townsfolk gather to watch. Abe had left 7 years ago but returned to find his brother dead and his father’s saloon in shambles. He believes the same men may be behind both incidents. (Borough Press)
Solomon Creed is published in paperback in May. Simon Toyne’s new series starts with a bang as Solomon Creed flees the burning wreckage of a plane. He has no memories but has one name seared into his brain – James Coronado. Solomon has to save him, but how can he save a man who is already dead? (Harper)
Alexandra Brown fans will be pleased to hear that the inhabitants of Tindledale return in The Mystery of Orchard Cottage. April goes to Tindledale to stay with her great aunt Edith. She is dismayed to find the cottage and orchard that attaches it are in a sad state of repair, abandoned by Edith who is more concerned finding out the truth about the disappearance of her sister during WWII. April sets about righting this. With help from the inhabitants of Tindledale she begins to unravel the mystery and bring the house and orchard back to glory. (Harper)
Also published this month are titles from Lionel Shriver, S.J. Parris, Charles Cumming, Rosie Thomas, Neal Stephenson. Cynthia D’Apriz Sweeney, Tilly Bagshawe, Martin Edwards and Bonnie MacBird.
Finally we come to June. Louisa Young’s third novel to feature Riley and Nadine, Devotion, set in the 1930’s during the spread of Fascism, follows on from My Dear I Wanted to Tell You and The Heroes’ Welcome. (Borough Press)
The Marble Collector is the new book from best selling author Cecelia Ahern. Sabrina Boggs thought her life was ordinary until the day she finds her father’s collection of marbles. Fergus Boggs can remember little of day to day living but has vivid child-hood memories. As Sabrina pieces together how her father’s collection came into being she learns how little she really knew of him. (Harper)
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is out in paperback in June. In the after effects of the Great Depression Elsie Lavender’s sole memento of her glory days is her pet alligator, Albert. One day though her husband Homer issues an ultimatum, it is either him or Albert. And so they begin an epic trip to return Albert to his home in Florida. There follows an epic journey where they encounter everything from revolutionaires to Ernest Hemmingway. (Harper)
The Wolf Road is the debut novel of Beth Lewis. Set in a remote land all Elka has ever known is what she has learned from Trapper, a man who has looked after her since she was seven. Her world is shattered when she finds out Trapper is wanted for murder. And Magistrate Lyon wants to talk to Elka…(Harper)
Also published this month are books from Lauren Weisberger, Barbara Taylor Bradford, S.K. Tremayne, Mark Lawrence, Fionnuala Kearney, Lars Kepler, Jilliane Hoffman, Beatriz Williams, Natasha Walter and George MacDonald Fraser.
So there we have it, the first half of 2016 in books from Harper Collins. I know which ones I am eagerly awaiting. Which ones catch your eye?