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The Last Time I Saw You

Sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine, under the pseudonym Liv Constantine (The Last Mrs. Parrish), have crafted another clever whodunit jam-packed with enough twists, turns, and secrets to keep avid thriller readers second-guessing until the bitter end. [See Prepub Alert, 11/5/18.]

One Small Sacrifice

Fans of Karin Slaughter, Tana French, and Lisa Gardner will devour this new police procedural, which boasts a strong female detective and an intriguing antagonist. Sheryn will draw in readers, and Davidson’s (Blood Always Tells) complex storytelling will keep them wanting more.

The Never Game

This is a sure bet for fans of suspense and will find a home with those who like their protagonists to be a central part of the mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/18.]

Antiques Ravin’

Fans of J.C. Eaton’s “Sophie Kimball” books may want to try this series with another hapless daughter seeking to control her mother’s eccentricities.

The Scholar

The competition rife in academia is a major theme of this delightful and unexpected tale, making it one to suggest to fans of M.D. Lake and Susan Holzer.

Sunshine State

This attractive PI thriller should appeal to lovers of detective fiction.

All the Lost Things

This relatively short novel will keep readers hooked from the first sentence to the last. Sacks’s use of Dolly’s voice as narrator allows events to unfold from a child’s perspective and encourages readers to try to piece together the secret behind the “big adventure,” which is ultimately unexpected for readers and life-changing for Dolly.

Almost Midnight

Though newcomers will be better served by starting at the beginning of the series, fans will be satisfied hearing of Mike’s latest exploits.

Gone Too Long

This compelling, issue-oriented story by Edgar Award–winning author Roy (Bent Road) is a creepy, eerie account of a young girl and a community held hostage by the Klan. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/18.]

If She Wakes

Fans of Koryta’s previous works, especially Those Who Wish Me Dead, will greatly enjoy this exciting story. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/18.]

A Golden Grave

If Amy Stewart’s adventures featuring Miss Kopp married an episode of TV’s Murdoch Mysteries, it would become this book’s balanced blend of mysticism and mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 2/25/19.]

Into the Jungle

With so much fierce realism, it comes as a distraction when Ferencik (The River Night) incorporates elements of magical realism. However, readers who accept Lily’s telepathic link with the village’s shaman will be turning pages eagerly to see what exhilarating adventure awaits her next.

At Home in the Dark

While the selection of authors is appealing, readers and libraries may balk at the price. Because the quality varies, and there are only 17 stories, the Akashic “Noir” collections may be preferable.

The Body Lies

Longbourn author Baker’s foray into suspense contains some beautifully written passages, but it is mostly told from the perspective of the protagonist, and at times it’s hard to grasp the young woman’s motivations or emotions. Regardless, this book is recommended for readers who enjoy psychological thrillers that focus on women protagonists such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, or Paula Hawkins’s Girl on the Train. [See Prepub Alert, 12/6/18.]

The Body in the Wake

Traditional yet timely, this mystery also confronts the opioid crisis head-on in a dramatic, disturbing way. [See Prepub Alert, 11/5/18.]

Breaking the Dance

While the first in the series was fast paced and charming, this second entry drags. The two amateur spies are lovable, but only readers determined to keep up with Finn and Hollis will finish this long-winded book.

Night Watch

Fans of James R. Benn’s “Billy Boyle” novels will appreciate this fast-paced, intense story by the Edgar Award–nominated author of Night Life and Night Work. The action-packed account of investigations into the controversial CIA experiments is suspenseful and frightening.

The Stone Circle

Fans of the series will be delighted to catch up with Ruth and Nelson as the mysteries wind their way to satisfying solutions. [See Prepub Alert, 11/5/18.]

Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James

St. Louis comes to life in this sequel to Mayhem at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. However, Jemmy is too young, makes too many mistake s as an amateur sleuth, and isn’t even sure she wants to be a reporter. Readers looking for historical mysteries featuring young women striving to make it in the newspaper world may want to try Alyssa Maxwell’s “Emma Cross” stories set in the same time period.

The Summer of Ellen

Friis, coauthor with Lene Kaaberbøl of the “Nina Borg” mysteries, excels in her second solo novel (after What My Body Remembers). Readers of Nordic noir literature will appreciate the setting, social critique, and the classic whodunit story. Fans of Henning Mankell’s “Wallander” series will enjoy the excellent character development with twists and turns throughout. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/18.]

Sconed to Death

The most intriguing aspect of this story is the writers’ retreat itself. Although the writers themselves are not suspect, they add freshness and new relationships to the series. Fans of Lucy Arlington’s “Novel Idea” mysteries may want to enter the writing world from another angle.

Dusk Along the Niobrara

The frontier mystery fits the Western trope of the stranger who rides into town, cleans it up by defeating the bad guys, and moves on. This atmospheric tale can be shared with fans of Westerns and the movie Shane.

A Dangerous Collaboration

As there's little substance to the mystery, readers can concentrate on the slowly developing relationship between the fiercely independent Veronica and Stoker, who is still reeling from his wife's betrayal. Those new to the series should read the books in order. [See Prepub Alert, 9/10/18.]

Trouble on the Books

Lang has written previous cozies as Linda Wiken (Roux the Day) and Erika Chase. In this new series, the setting is more enticing than the sleuth. Shelby lacks people skills, hasn't become part of the community, and is uptight and nosy. Readers looking for book-centric mysteries featuring more likable sleuths should be steered toward Eva Gates or Jenn McKinlay.

Sea Monsters

Written by a young and highly regarded Mexican American author whose debut novel, Book of Clouds, won a major prize in France, this work deftly communicates the wonder and amazement of discovery characterizing Luisa's inner and outer worlds. Aridjis is an accomplished wordsmith, and readers will find themselves rereading many passages in this wise, marvelous novel.


Thompson's (The Murders of Molly Southbourne) intriguing Afrofuturistic tale features an incredible mashup of alien contact and human-centered power, delivering a stark and gritty story that will keep readers engaged.

Certain American States: Stories

Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 2/12/18.]

A Writerly Pastiche | "LibraryReads" Spotlight, July 2018



A hard-edged, though elusive return to form from the Pulitzer Prize winner. [See Prepub Alert, 8/14/17.]

Between Earth and Sky

Toggling her plot between two time lines and drawing on the experiences of a close relative, a member of the Ojibwe tribe, who attended such a boarding school in the 1950s, first novelist Skenandore unfolds a heartbreaking story about the destructive legacy of the forced assimilation of Native American children. Historical fiction readers and book discussion groups will find much to ponder here.

I'll Stay

Clare's inability to understand her own motivations make this layered look at imperfect characters a book club-ready page-turner, as readers will have plenty to discuss, whether they use the included questions or come up with their own.

The Last Time I Lied

Having made a strong showing with last year's Final Girls, the pseudonymous Sager returns with another edgy thriller featuring young women in trouble...

The Perfect Mother

For lovers of cunning narrative suspense in the vein of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, this debut novel, which is being adapted for the screen by actress Kerry Washington, will keep readers turning the pages, sending chills to mothers everywhere. [See Prepub Alert, 11/21/17.]

Life in the Garden

"To garden is to elide past, present, and future; it is a defiance of time...

Going Places

Recommended as an additional purchase.

Quincy: The Chameleon Who Couldn't Blend In

A beautiful story about being true to yourself, suitable for storytime or one-on-one sharing.

Hunger: A Tale of Courage

Give this book to fans of Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's The War That Saved My Life. A good addition to libraries where historical fiction is popular.

A Day with Pepe & Millie

Toddler-PreS—Tots will delight in reading about the day-to-day happenings of the cat and dog pair...

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!

PreS—"There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick! …But she didn't get sick!" So begins this cumulative rhyme based on the classic children's song...

Tiny Infinities

An interesting, if uneven, story. A secondary purchase for most libraries.


Collections looking to add pure escapism to their shelves will find this an adequate title. It is not a standout debut.

The Window

This fast-paced suspense novel is unfortunately marred by its problematic handling of mental health topics; a secondary purchase.

Where's the Hen?

Toddler-PreS—Felt flaps conceal a pig, cow, sheep, and a hen in a series of colorful farmyard scenes that have viewers searching for animals...

I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't

This inspiring selection will appeal to both kids and teachers who are looking for a book with a message of empowerment. A useful addition to picture book collections.

Live in Infamy: A Companion to The Only Thing To Fear

This is a good introduction to historical reimagining for middle grades; all readers will be engaged with the handling of social issues as well as revelations about the secret pockets of resistors, their plots, and their battles with authorities.

The Glass Ocean

Admired in historical and women's fiction circles, these best-selling authors create an absorbing tale interlaced with espionage, secrets, romance, and historic detail. Both witty and urbane despite the ultimate tragedy, this is a beautifully rendered retrospective. For all historical fiction devotees. {See Prepub Alert, 4/9/18.]

The Dakota Winters

Barbash (The Last Good Chance) has written a beautiful, evocative novel of family devotion, celebrity, downfall, and survival, framed by the political and cultural upheavals of America on the cusp of a new decade. Irresistibly tender. {See Prepub Alert, 6/21/18.]

The Water Thief

While the use of italics can be somewhat confusing, as they represent more than one voice, this is an unpredicatable and compelling work that will generate many conversations.

The Cats Came Back

Fans of Jenn McKinlay's and Dean James's library mysteries may appreciate this series. However, with its large cast of characters, this latest entry is definitely for those who have already read the other books in this heartwarming series.

Washington Black

Edugyan, whose Half Blood Blues was a finalist for the Orange and Man Booker prizes and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, delivers a vibrant, poignant tale of a man's search for selfhood in a world where some see him as less than whole. {See Prepub Alert, 3/26/18.]

Lots More Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing

This is a light and enjoyable picture book with the takeaway that animals are better off just the way they are—without clothing! Recommended for fans of the first book and anyone who likes to laugh.

Tiny and the Big Dig

An additional purchase with a solid message. For the classic story of determination in the face of adversity The Little Engine That Could is still a crowd-pleaser.

Hello Lighthouse

A lovely picture book, recommended for all libraries. A delightful bedtime read perfect for one on one sharing.

Heart of Ash

For hard-core fans of the first book; purchase where the previous volume is popular.

Blood Water Paint

A thrilling portrait of a woman of character who refused to be dismissed; this belongs on every YA shelf.

Things That Happened Before the Earthquake

Though sex, drugs, and alcohol figure prominently, this novel brilliantly portrays the teen experience—perfect for those who love coming-of-age stories.

Someday, Somewhere

Add this music-themed YA to shelves needing more romance.

Let Me Lie

Though the plot is engaging, this would be a better choice in print. ["While not as gripping as Mackintosh's previous books, there is an innate need in this novel to know what happens. Readers will also draw parallels to other authors famous for their plot twists, such as Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn": LJ Xpress Reviews 2/2/18 review of the Berkley hc.]


With a great premise and solid writing, this should be a popular addition to the middle grade collections.

We Love Dinosaurs

Though the somewhat generic title could potentially doom it to obscurity in a herd of other prehistoric picture books, Volpin's clever vocabulary and endearing watercolors make this a satisfying addition to the storytime canon.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Pura Belpré—winning author Medina cruises into readers' hearts with this luminous middle grade novel. A winning addition to any library's shelves.

Fania's Heart

An additional purchase, perhaps of special interest to those with access to the Montreal Holocaust Museum.

100 Sideways Miles


The Funeral Owl: A Philip Dryden Mystery

Dagger Award-winning Kelly's seventh series entry (after Nightrise) showcases his trademark multiple plotlines to perfection. Newcomers to the series will be delighted by this discovery.

The Ghost Apple

Essayist Thier's (The Nation; New Republic) novel satirizes higher education, big business, slavery, medicine, and teenage angst with a razor-sharp wit. Readers will enjoy this complex story.

The Elixir of Immortality

Gleichmann, whose family immigrated to Scandinavia from Hungary, has penned a massive multigenerational saga reminiscent of works by two other Hungarian novelists: Péter Nàdas (Parallel Stories) and Miklós Vàmos (The Book of Fathers). With its graphic depictions of torture and dismemberment, this book is not for the squeamish reader. However, the panorama of history refracted through the lens of Europe's Jewish community is breathtaking and heartbreaking in turn.

Jump the Gun: An Annabelle Starkey Mystery

Quickly paced and so clever, Burke's debut is a winning semi-cozy caper, perfect for movie fans. She never misses a beat with her light rom-com banter, multigenerational ensemble, and sense of fun. This title makes a nice pairing with Diane Vallere's "Mad for Mod" series.

Along Came Trouble

A terrific read for anyone with a soft spot for bodyguard romances and a delightful example of the kind of contemporary romance that Knox has made her own. Highly recommended. [Xpress Reviews, 1/11/13.]

The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen

Well written and enjoyable, the book uses ample quotes from Amundsen to give readers a sense of the man. However, Bown adds nothing new to the information already in print. A great title for collections that don't own Amundsen's own books or previous biographies, this volume is recommended for readers high school-age and up who are interested in polar exploration.

The Sadness of the Samurai

As Árbol's first novel to be translated into English, this historical thriller does not disappoint. Readers who enjoy detective fiction, historical fiction, and psychological thrillers will find plenty to engross them.

I Am I Am I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. digital download.

Immediate, irreverent, riveting, O'Farrell's mortal escapes emerge as illuminating, inspiring affirmation of everyday life. [“A heartfelt meditation on the fragility and wonder of life”: LJ 3/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc.]

Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage To Lead. 8 CDs.

Richards's reading pulls listeners deeper into the narrative. The tempo and emotion in her delivery give them front-row seats to key events in recent history and will inspire them to stand up, speak out, and lead. [“Documenting an inspiring life and offering a call to action, this timely volume is for all readers”: LJ 4/15/18 review of the Touchstone hc.]

There There: 7 CDs.

While bearing witness to history (his piercing preface fiercely encapsulates a half-millennium of Native experiences), Orange commands urgent, immediate attention in this masterly montage of voices, lives, visions, tragedies, and dreams. [“A broad sweep of lives of Native American people in Oakland and beyond”: LJ 4/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc; a June LibraryReads pick.]

Voyage of the Dogs.

A fun and heartwarming tale, good for dog lovers and science aficionados alike.

The Right Hook of Devin Velma.

A wholesome, appealing, and fast-paced friendship tale.

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