So to the next culprits to cause the TBR pile to sway precariously. Little, Brown publish under a number of imprints including Corsair, Constable. Blackfriars, Sphere, Abacus, Atom, Piatkus, Piaktus Entice, Virago, Orbit and Little, Brown. Lets take a look at the treats they have lined up for the first half of 2016.
The New Year brings with it new books including The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee. Set in Hong Kong, this is the story of three women, Mercy, Margaret and Hilary. The individual stories of the three women, living in the expatriate community, intertwine and are brought together when tragedy strikes. They find themselves outside of the world they know and into one where the rules they lived by before no longer apply. (Little, Brown).
Save some of your sales money for Black Widow by Chris Brookmyre. Diana Jager is a skilled surgeon and an active blogger about sexism. Her world comes crumbling down around her when her personal details are released in a revenge attack on her blog comments. She then meets Peter and within six months they marry. Six months later, Diana is on trial for Peter’s murder. Peter’s sister Lucy ask reporter Jack Parlabane to find the truth about Diana, dubbed the Black Widow. (Little, Brown)
Blueprints by Barbara Delinksy tells the story of Jamie MacAfee. She loves her fiancé (she thinks), knows she loves her job and works with her mother Caroline on a TV programme, Gut It! When there are plans for Caroline to be replaced as host by Jamie she is left feeling betrayed. And when tragedy strikes and Jamie is left guardian of her young step-brother tensions run deep with her fiancé, who doesn’t want the boy. (Piatkus)
Mr Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt is also out this month. Orphans Nat and Ruth run away from their orphanage with a travelling con-man. Decades later Cora is visited by her mute Aunt Ruth and decides to join her on a mysterious mission. They travel across New York. Where are they going and what has Ruth hidden in the woods at the end of the road? (Corsair)
Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce tells the story of Marie, a waitress and struggling single mother. She looses her self in a self-destructive path of sexual encounters as she battles between the desire to obliterate her life and the will to survive. (Corsair)
The City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong is a standalone thriller. Detective Casey Duncan is looking to avoid her past. Her best friend Diana is seeking solace from an abusive ex. When Casey hears that Rockton, a hidden town almost impossible to reach, is looking for a new detective she knows where to go. But not long after they arrive they find a body. The town is full of secrets and Casey’s boss has his own agenda. Without help from the outside world, Casey is on her own to find a killer who will strike again if not stopped. (Sphere)
Also out this month is Alex Kava’s Silent Creed, (Sphere), The Chelsea Strangler by Susanna Gregory, (Sphere), If They Could See Me Now by Denise Welch, (Sphere). The Philosopher Kings by Jo Walton, (Corsair), Hostage by Jamie Doward, (Constable), A Master of Corruption by L.C. Tyler. (Constable), The Counterfeit Heiress, Death in the Floating City and Behind the Shattered Glass by Tasha Alexander, (Constable), Who’s Afraid? by Maria Lewis, (Piatkus), The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward, (Piatkus), My American Duchess by Eloisa James, (Piatkus), Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones, (Piatkus), City of Light by Keri Arthur, (Piatkus), Spider Game by Christine Feehan, (Piatkus) and Changers Book One: Drew by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper.(Atom)
On to February and Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa. It is 1999 and Victor, homeless, wanders the streets of Seattle. His father is the Chief of Police and in charge of dealing with one of the largest protests ever seen. The protest turns ugly; two armed officers try to keep the calm, a protester with murder in their past makes a mistake and there’s a Sri-Lankan delegate who will do all that is possible to get to a meeting, one which could change the fate of his country. These stories and the story of Victor and his father combine into a collision course. (Little, Brown)
Rush Oh! is also published this month. Mary Davidson, the eldest daughter in a whaling family, decides to chronicle the whaling season of 1908. There’s a lack of whales, changes in weather and the arrival of John Beck, a whaler with a murky past and Mary is quick to develop a crush on him. Other romance is also on the cards and a relationship to be formed with a killer whale called Tom. (Virago)
Also out in February is The Same Sky by Amanda Eyre Ward which tells the tale of Alice who runs a barbeque restaurant, happy with her life except for the one thing that is missing, a child. Also running alongside her story is the story of Carla, tasked with looking after her six year old brother when her mother makes the illegal trip to Texas from Mexico. When Carla’s grandmother dies she decides to take the same trip as her mother, taking her brother with her. (Blackfriars)
When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid tells the story of Jude, who is also called Judy. School is like a movie set, no one is real. Jude only has eyes for Luke but Jude’s dream for them turns into a nightmare. (Atom)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen tells the story of a Vietnamese Captain who has ‘escaped’ to the US with compatriots, who are unaware he is spying on them and reporting back to the Viet Cong. (Corsair)
Jenny Colgan fans won’t be disappointed in February. The Little Shop of Happy Ever After sees Nina loose her job at the Birmingham Library when it is turned into a retail complex. Spotting a tiny bookshop bus available in the Highlands she decides to take the risk. There’ll be no computers, she’ll be out all hours driving in the wilderness and there will be only a tiny amount of stock to sell but Nina is up for the challenge. (Sphere)
Also out this month is The Promise featuring DC Gary Goodhew, by Alison Bruce, (Constable) and Acts of Violence featuring Inspector John Carlyle by James Craig. (Constable), Brotheerhood in Death by J.D. Robb, (Piatkus), The House of Eyes by Kate Ellis, (Piatkus), Tread Softly, Alice by Jessica Blair, (Piatkus), Crosstown Crush by Cara McKenna, (Piatkus), Getting Rough by C.L.Parker, (Piatkus), The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott, (Piatkus), The Lazarus War by Jamie Sawyer, (Orbit), Queen of Fire by Anthony Ryan, (Orbit) and Speak by Louisa Hall. (Orbit)
The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor is out in March. Six years ago Norah walks out on her family. She’s now back and finds another woman in her place. Fay has replaced her in the marital bed and Norah’s daughter now calls Fay ‘mummy’. Where has Norah been? Why has she returned now? and what happens to the one who stayed when the one who went returns? (Sphere)
In Kate O’Riodan’s Penance Rosie and Maddie meet Jed at Bereavement Counselling where they attend as Maddie holds herself accountable for her brother’s tragic drowning accident. Soon Jed moves in with Rosie and Maddie. On the outside everything seems perfect but hidden away a deadly triangle is emerging. When Rosie commits an unspeakable act the truth about Jed, and the death of her son begins to emerge. (Constable).
Beloved Poison by E.S. Thomson is also published in March. St Saviour’s Infirmary is waiting to be demolished. Six tiny coffins are found, each containing dried flowers and mouldering rags. Apothecary Jem Flockhart is determined to find out the truth about the coffins with the trail taking her to the operating room, dissection table. the infamous Newgate and the gallows. Some will go to any lengths to keep the truth a secret, including murder. (Constable)
Thin Ice by Quentin Bates is the latest instalment featuring Inspector Gunna. Two crooks have robbed Reykjavik’s leading drug dealer and taken two women hostage, escaping to a remote hotel. Meanwhile Gunna and her team investigate a seemingly unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car, and the death of a thief in a house fire. How will this investigation and the two desperate robbers collide? (Constable)
An Unrestored Woman by Shoba Rao is also published in March. This collection of short stories spanning the Indian subcontinent includes the tale of an old woman who recollects the murder of her most precious thing, a girl who uses patience as a weapon and escapes her life of prostitution and a servant who spins a web of deceit after falling in love with his employer. (Virago)
In The Painted Ocean by Gabriel Packard Shruti’s mother is under pressure to return to India and remarry, meaning she would have to leave Shruti behind. When Meena arrives at school she puts a stop to the bullying Shruti is enduring. Shruti attaches herself to Meena in an obsessive way, following her through High School and University. When she follows her to India the obsession turns dangerous. (Corsair)
In Crongton Knights by Alex Wheatle, McKay has strayed from his turf and finds himself facing a friend’s crazy ex-boyfriend, hood-rats and a violent gangster with a vendetta that will hit close to home. Added into the mix is the fact that his father is working all hours to deep the bailiffs at bay and his brother is riding the streets at night, looking for trouble. (Atom)
Also out this month is The Predictions by Bianca Zander, (Blackfriars), A Brief Affair by Margaret Leroy, (Sphere), The Darkest Goodbye by Alex Gray, (Sphere), The House of Moriarty by Sam Christer, (Sphere) and The Primrose Path by Rebecca Griffiths. (Sphere), Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente, (Corsair), Dilly’s Lass by Rosie Goodwin (Corsair), Wraths of the Furies by Steven Saylor, (Constable), Scarred Souls by Tillie Cole, (Piatkus), Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, (Piatkus), Maid of Oaklands Manor by Terri Nixon, (Piatkus), Play to Win by Tiffany Snow, (Piatkus), Dark Promises by Christine Feehan, (Piatkus), The Spider’s War by Daniel Abraham, (Orbit), Snakeworld by Adrian Selby, (Orbit), Shadow and Flame by Gail Z Martin, (Orbit) and The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home by Catherynne M. Valente. (Atom)
April and The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent is published. Frances awakes one night to the sound of her baby crying. She finds she is alone in bed. She finds him in the garden, murdered. As Frances tries to unravel his death she finds out nothing in their marriage was as it seemed. (Sphere)
Relativity by Antonia Hayes is also out in April. Ethan is a talented, science loving, 12 year old who has been raised in a loving home, in Sydney by his mother Claire. However he is now curious about his father. When Ethan falls ill, linked to a tragic event when he was a baby, Claire contacts Mark, Ethan’s father. Intercepting a letter from Mark, Ethan sets in motion a chain of events that pull the three of them together again. (Corsair)
Another Australian set book out in April is Mazine Beneba Clarke’s Foreign Soil. This collection of short stories covers a range of stories about the disenfranchised, lost and mistreated. (Corsair)
Already gathering praise on social media is Alex Marwood’s The Darkest Secret is published in April. Three year old Coco goes missing at a family event. Her family and their friends are rich and influential. Told over the weekend Coco goes missing and the weekend of her father’s funeral secrets of the past are revealed. (Sphere)
Fellside by M.R. Carey, author of the bestselling The Girl With All the Gifts, is out in April. Jess has been convicted of a murder she can’t remember committing. She’s transferred to Fellside, the biggest women’s prison in Europe, located in the bleak Yorkshire Moors. But Jess isn’t alone in her cell. There’s the ghost of a ten year old boy who wants Jess’ help. And who won’t take no for an answer. (Orbit)
Also published this month is The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding by Carole Matthews, (Sphere), Operation Goodwood by Sara Sheridan, (Constable), May Day Murder by Julie Wassmer, (Constable), Her Royal Spyness, A Royal Pain and Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen (Constable), The Lazarus Curse by Tessa Harris, (Constable), The Obsession by Nora Roberts, (Piatkus), ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Amanda Quick, (Piatkus), Inspector Singh Investigates: A Frightfully English Execution by Shamini Flint, (Piatkus), Nearly Always by Ken McCoy, (Piatkus), Fire Bound by Christine Feehan, (Piatkus), Burned by Benedict Jacka, (Orbit), Bloodmage by Stephen Aryan, (Orbit), The Fall of the Dagger by Glenda Larke, (Orbit), Consumed by Abbie Rushton, (Atom), The November Criminals by Sam Munson, (Atom), Invasion by Sherrilyn Kenyon, (Atom), The New Order by Chris Weitz, (Atom) and Forest of Ruin by Kelley Armstrong. (Atom)
May and Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman is published. Already gathering high praise on social media, Girls on Fire is the tale of Hannah Dexter. Bullied by Nikki at school she soon becomes friends with Lacey, sharing a hatred of Nikki, who’s boyfriend shoots himself in High School. Lacey has an effect on Hannah, changing her from good girl , to ‘Dex’ who will face any challenge Lacey throws at her. Their trail of chaso and rebellion has an effect on the town they live in. And Lacey has a secret, one that once revealed, will change everything. (Little, Brown)
Also published this month is Now and Again by Charlotte Rogan, which sees Maggie expose a high-level cover up. Getting the taste for doing good she soon sees injustice everywhere. As she gathers her proof she must decide how far to go for the truth. Meanwhile in Iraq Captain Penn Sinclair’s orders end in disaster. He reunites with survivors to expose the truth about the war. How does his story and Maggie’s connect? (Virago)
Fans of The Fifteen Lives of Harry August will be pleased to hear that the as yet untitled new novel from Claire North is published in May. Hope Ardern is being forgotten. Her father forgets to collect her, her mother doesn’t set her a place at dinner and her teacher doesn’t chase her missing homework. No matter what Hope does she is still forgotten. It makes her life tricky, but it also makes her dangerous. (Orbit)
Also out in May is Furious Rush by S.C. Stephens, (Sphere), Blood Torment by T.F. Muir (Constable), The City in Darkness by Michael Russell, (Constable), The Nearness of You by Sareeta Domingo, (Piatkus), The Lazarus War: Legion by Jamie Sawyer, (Orbit), A Blade of Black Steel by Alex Marshall, (Orbit), The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod, (Orbit) and The Summon Stone by Ian Irvine. (Orbit)
June and fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s Mma Ramotswe will be pleased to hear that a new story featuring the eponymous detective is published. The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine sees Mma Ramotswe on a reluctant holiday. However, she can’t resist looking into cases which causes her to look into the past of a man with a questionable reputation and an orphan called Samuel. Whilst all this goes on the arch enemy of Mma Makutsi, the co-director of the agency, has set up a rival secretarial college. Will she get her comeuppance? (Abacus)
Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher tells the tale of the wife of Van Gogh’s doctor. Finding herself drawn to the artist, she soon is banned from visiting him so takes to sneaking in his garden to visit him. Her actions have unforeseen, far reaching effects. (Virago)
Stephen Booth fans will be able to get The Secrets of Death this month. DI Ben Cooper and his team look into a series of suicides. What connects them and was one of them not a suicide at all? (Sphere)
If you are a fan of Lisa Dickenson then you’ll be pleased to know that the complete version of You Had Me At Merlot is out in June. Elle and Laurie head off to Italy for a singles holiday, Elle being the reluctant one. There they meet a mismatched band of tourists looking for love amongst the vineyards. Except Elle of course… You can read my review of this very funny and entertaining book here.
Also out this month is Summerlong by Dean Bakopoulos, (Blackfriars), A Grave Concern by Susanna Gregory, (Sphere), Cleopatra’s Shadows by Emily Holleman, (Sphere), Burned and Broken by Mark Hardie, (Sphere), The War Against the Assholes by Sam Munson (Corsair), Flameout by Keri Arthur, (Piatkus), Death Rider by Christine Feehan, (Piatkus), The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross, (Orbit), Babylon’s Ashes by James S.A. Corey, (Orbit), Changers Book Two: Oryon by T Cooper and Allison Glock-Cooper, (Atom) and My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger. (Atom)
Virago Modern Classics are reissuing whole host of titles this year. Patricia Highsmith is the first to have titles published in 2016 as Virago Modern Classics with Small g: A Summer Idyll, A Game for the Living, A Dog’s Ransom, Strangers on a Train and Found in the Street are all out in January. April sees the reissue of Dunedin and The Orchard on Fire by Shena Mackay as Virgo Modern Classics whilst in May its the turn of Daphne Du Maurier following on from the reissue of Frenchman’s Creek (you can see my review here), Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. This time The House on the Strand, My Cousin Rachel and The Loving Spirit all get the Virago makeover. Angela Thirkell’s Before Lunch and Northbridge Rectory are also reissued in May. Patricia Highsmith’s This Sweet Sickness is published in June.
Corsair are publishing six books by Seanan McGuire with An Artificial Light in January, Late Eclipses in February, One Salt Sea in March, Ashes of Honor in April, Chimes at Midnight in May and The Winter Long in June.
So there you have it , a gigantic list of bookish treats for us in the first half of 2016. I know what I have my eye on. What about you?