Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the 10 titles that our editors are most excited to add to their TBR shelves. For even more hot new releases, check out our Spring Previews for the best books coming out this season.
Laurie R. King has been entertaining mystery readers for years with her Sherlock Holmes stories that feature the famous detective and his sharp wife Mary Russell. Together they’ve solved countless cases, but the latest may be their most dangerous yet. When Mary answers a knock at their farmhouse door, she finds herself face to face with a man who claims to be the long-lost son of their housekeeper, Clarissa Hudson. The man pulls a gun and, as Mary’s life hangs in the balance, the novel then leaps back in time to introduce readers to Clarissa’s parents. Readers will love piecing together the history of this beloved housekeeper. This is the 14th installment in this series and both long-time readers and Sherlockians will find themselves turning pages until they learn Mary’s fate.
Jamie Pyke, the son of a plantation owner and a slave, leaves everything he knows behind after he kills his father. When he arrives in Philadelphia, he begins passing as white and starts to build a new free life for himself. He becomes a wealthy silversmith and falls passionately for a married woman named Caroline. But the fragile peace he’s found doesn’t last. Caroline becomes pregnant, and Jamie fears that the truth of his heritage will come out and ruin them both. Then his servant is captured and sold into slavery. Once again, Jamie decides to risk everything he has. He travels south to rescue his servant Pan, and hopes he can make things right with Caroline when he returns. This is a stand-alone novel, but fans of Kathleen Grissom’s The Kitchen House will especially appreciate the chance to read about beloved characters like Jamie again.
At the age of 30, journalist Joanna Connors was raped at knifepoint while on assignment. Her attacker was jailed and died years later, though Connors still suffered from PTSD and felt no sense of resolution or closure. Twenty-one years after the attack, she decided to learn more about the man who had targeted her. She interviewed his family and friends, slowly piecing together the image of a man raised in a violent household, and the judicial system that fails families like his. This book is at times harrowing, tragic, and moving. Connors bravely recounts the challenges she faced after the rape and the steps she needed to personally take to begin overcoming the experience.
Dominic Smith’s latest novel tells the story of two women separated by centuries. The first is Sara de Vos, the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke’s in Holland. The other is Ellie Shipley. As a young grad student, Ellie made the mistake of agreeing to paint a forgery of Sara’s only surviving work. Years later, Ellie is curating an exhibit based around the very artist she copied and both the original and the fake painting are en route to be showcased together. Partially inspired by the life and work of Sarah van Baalbergen, this is a perfect book for fans of historical fiction.
It’s 1980 and the streets of SoHo are bursting with artists, writers, and dreamers—all searching for success in New York City. James Bennett is a synesthetic art critic for The New York Times, and Raul Engales is a painter who escaped from his war-torn country of Argentina. They arrive in the city filled with hopes, but tragedy strikes them both and creates a divide between them and their dreams. Then Lucy Olliason walks into their lives and changes everything. Debut novelist Molly Prentiss delivers a tale of inspiration, loss, and love set in an unforgettable era.
Readers who don’t know the first thing about geobiology or geochemistry, don’t fret, just sit back and let Hope Jahren be your guide. In this debut memoir, Jahren shares with readers her budding passion for plants and how it grew into a thrilling and fulfilling career. Along the way, she meets a man named Bill who goes from student to lab partner to best friend. This is not only a tale of a young scientist finding her calling; it’s a story about the unbreakable bonds of friendship and the great things that can be achieved together.
Diviner Alex Verus is back in another thrilling urban fantasy read. Danger is practically Alex’s middle name, and he isn’t overly concerned about having to outwit a vengeful mage who is demanding his head on a platter. But when he learns that the kill order also includes his three dependents (young magicians Luna, Anne, and Vari), he knows he’s going to need to call in a few favors to keep them all safe. Publishers Weekly has nothing but high praise for Benedict Jacka’s Vaerus series: “consistently outstanding… deeply intelligent, morally complex, and action-packed series.”
A merciless king is ruling over Arden in this series opener from Cinda Williams Chima. Set in the same universe as her Seven Realms series, this novel follows Ash, a trained healer who begins to wonder if his powers can be used to kill rather than save, and Jenna, an orphan being hunted by the king due to a magemark on her neck. Their lives become intertwined as they attempt to overthrow the king. The first of four books, Flamecaster is packed with enough action, adventure, and thrills to have readers counting down the days until the next installment.
In Jonathan Auxier’s latest middle grade tale, 12-year-old Sophie Quire works as a bookmender in her father’s bookstore. She spends her days surrounded by volumes of adventures, and desperately wishes to have one of her own. So when Peter Nimble walks into her life and tells her that he’s on the hunt for a rare book, Sophie leaps at the chance to join him. Along the way, she discovers that she’s much more extraordinary than she ever could’ve imagined. Kirkus says it best: “This novel should be in the hands of every human young enough at heart to be enchanted by the written word.”
One day, while wandering through the forest, a little bear comes across a large piano. Every day he returns and tests the different keys, teaching himself to play over the course of several years. When he’s discovered by a father and son out on a picnic, he’s whisked away to New York City where he performs in a tuxedo for adoring fans. He’s achieving his dream of sharing his beautiful music with the world, but the bear also finds that he’s quite lonely. He misses the friends and family he left in the forest, and he worries that they might be mad at him for leaving home. David Litchfield’s debut picture book is one that readers will cherish for years to come as they too venture out into the world in the hopes of following their hearts to do what they love.