Most bookworms have that list of authors that are their go-to “must buy.” It took me a while to have such a dedicated list since I was burned by book hype and reads that disappointed me. Also, I tend to read a lot of classics, so contemporary authors never met my interests or radar.
That is until I encountered the following authors.
I fell in love with their books, and I haven’t looked back. The authors have introduced me to new ideas and fantastic storytelling, and I consider them the best of the best. I have a rule where I have to read at most three books by the same author for me to think of them to be part of my must-buy crew. So, if you are looking for a new author to add to your TBR pile, the following ones will lead you in the right direction.
Don’t worry. This is always an ever-growing list. The next time around, you will see a new group of authors that make the list. So keep on the lookout!
Catherine Ryan Howard
After reading 56 Days, I was captivated by how twisty and engrossing the books was. I knew that had to look to see what other books she has written and since then, I always on the look for new titles by Ryan.
I credit Barnard for getting me interested in rereading YA. After reading Goodbye Perfect, I discovered that YA can be written beautifully and realistically. Barnard doesn’t try to sound like a teenager; she writes from the heart. And it made me I believe that there could be believable YA out there.
The first book I read by Bates was Everyday Sexism, and from then on, I had to get my hands on everything she had written. The way she writes, whether it is an essay or fiction book, the way she writes is so insightful and enlightening that you can’t help but Feel empowered by her words. If am you haven’t read anything by Laura Bates, now is the perfect time to begin.
Sara Barnard got me rereading YA fiction, and Holly Jackson got me rereading YA mysteries. A Good Girls Guide To Murder series was exciting and completely different from what I’ve previously read before and from then on. Every book in the series didn’t disappoint, so I am always anticipating what latest thriller she comes up with, and so far, like with A Good Girls Guide…, Jackson hasn’t disappointed.
It’s so rare to read a BIPOC main character in a mystery, let alone by a BIPOC author. So, discovering Nadine Matheson was a godsend for me. Not only reading the Inspector Anjelica Henley series was exciting and new , it was also compelling and suspenseful to read and its been awhile for me to be excited for a mystery series. Matheson has created a series that is both realistic and thrilling that makes you want more after you hit the last page.
Run Rebel left an emotional punch, The Crossing had me enthralled. Every book that I buy from her has always been a winner and has left me with a different outlook on life. The innovative way she wrote The Crossing cemented Mann for me as one of my favorite authors.
Giant Days was one of the books, in this case, series, that saved me during the COVID lockdown. When there wasn’t anything on TV, reading this series in one sitting was like having a TV show in my head! After reading the last issue, Giant Days, I couldn’t get enough of John Allison’s wit, humor, and creative storytelling. I had to read everything that he had created. If I am ever in a funk or need a break from reading dark and mysterious stories, Allison’s comics are always a good pick-me-up.
Agatha Christie is the Queen of Mystery, and Laura Purcell is the Queen of Gothic Fiction. Purcell has the gift of creating dark and atmospheric gothic stories that are not only profoundly researched but also enriched with captivating storytelling and mysterious writing with stories that leave you with a satisfying chill down your spine.
I consider Crossan to be the Queen of Novels in Verse. The reason that I now read novels in verse. Crossan’s work is always so captivating and emotional that towards the end of her novels, eyes are always left with tears. If you are not a fan of novels in verse, then you should definitely pick up one of Crossan’s award -winning novels to change your perspective.
Another award-winning author that leaves such an emotional impact through their writing. Haig creates inspirational writing through both fiction and nonfiction works. You always find yourself rereading it over and over because you need to read something moving and uplifting to get you through the rest of the day. That is what Matt Haig’s works does for me.
I was never a big poetry person. That is until I read Nikita Gill’s works. She took poetry (and combine it with a beautiful artwork) to a whole different level. Here is another author who provides inspirational and motivational words that are helpful when dealing with mental health issues and matters. If you are having trouble reading poetry, I highly recommend reading Gill’s beautiful work.
I credit Jojo Moyes for getting me out my reading funk years ago. After reading Me Before You, I not only wanted to read everything else by Moyes, but this was also a time where I fell in love reading British and Irish contemporary books. Moyes doesn’t just write romantic stories. She writes stories that are seeped with emotional and realistic storytelling that just stay with you always. I always feel enriched when I read another Moyes novel and in awe of the different stories that she can tell. That’s why she is one of my favorite authors of all time.
- Problems of an Overworked Librarian #258
When it’s hard to weed your branch collection…
- Quote of the Day – December 6, 2023
- Quote of the Day – December 5, 2023
- Books to Read This Month: December Edition
Where has the year gone? It feels like it was only yesterday that we were ringing in 2023. Alas, we have come to the end of 2023 and there is no better way to cap off the year than with a selection of fantastic reads. There are not that many new releases in December compared to previous months. However, that does not mean you will not find an enjoyable. touching. chilling and hilarious book in any of this highlighted list. Remember, you have to get gift for yourself this season…
Featured Book of the Month
Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman
Expected Publication Date: December 19
Nick and Charlie are very much in love. They’ve finally said those three little words, and Charlie has almost persuaded his mum to let him sleep over at Nick’s house… but with Nick going off to university next year, is everything about to change?
By Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, Heartstopper encompasses all the small moments of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. (Credit: Graphix)
The Great British Bump-Off by John Allison and illustrated by Max Sarin
When she enters her country’s most beloved baking competition, Shauna Wickle’s goal is to delight the judges, charm the nation, and make a few friends along the way. But when a fellow contestant is poisoned, it falls to her to apprehend the culprit while avoiding premature elimination from the UK Bakery Tent…and being the poisoner’s next victim! (Credit: Dark Horse Comics)
Medusa by Jessie Burton
Exiled to a far-flung island after being abused by powerful Gods, Medusa has little company other than the snakes that adorn her head instead of hair. Haunted by the memories of a life before everything was stolen from her, she has no choice but to make peace with her present: she is Medusa the Monster. But when the charmed and beautiful Perseus arrives on the island, her lonely existence is blown open, unleashing desire, love–and betrayal.
For readers of Circe and Ariadne, Medusa is an astonishing reinvention that brings to vivid life a heroine history has set in stone. (Credit: Bloomsbury Publishing)
Tag, You’re Dead by Kathryn Foxfield
When teen social media influencer Anton Frazer stages a live-streamed, citywide game of Tag where the prize is to become one of his live-in personal assistants, his fans go wild.
Outfitted with body cams, GPS trackers, and pressure sensors to keep tally of who’s disqualified, contestants are split into Chasers and Runners then let lose into the night-covered urban jungle to hunt each other down. While the whole world watches.
Four contestants, however, have alternative motives for joining the game, secret reasons to want to win despite the risk: money, obsession, fame…and revenge. One of them will stop at nothing to be the victor at the end of this adrenaline- and fear-fueled night. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)
For The Last Time by Heidi Perks
When Erin and Will walk into Maggie’s office for a marriage counseling session, Maggie believes they are an ordinary couple with ordinary problems: communication, intimacy, the usual. But as Maggie struggles to get the couple to open up about what brought them here, she begins to sense that not all is as it seems.
When Erin mentions something connected to Maggie’s past that she couldn’t possibly know, Maggie is disturbed and confused. Why does Erin know anything about Maggie’s long-missing sister? Erin is connected to her somehow, and Maggie is no longer trying to fix the couple’s marriage-she’s trying to uncover her own truth. Maggie knows her code of ethics as a therapist should immediately stop her working with this couple, but she’s desperate for answers about her sister’s disappearance, and she can’t resist using her position to delve deeper into Erin’s memories and what she might know. Erin and Will might not be what they seem-but neither is Maggie. (Credit: Crooked Lane Books)
Murder Crossed Her Mind: A Pentecost and Parker Mystery by Stephen Spotswood
Vera Bodine, an elderly shut-in with an exceptional memory, has gone missing and famed detective Lillian Pentecost and her crackerjack assistant Willowjean “Will” Parker have been hired to track her down. But the New York City of 1947 can be a dangerous place, and there’s no shortage of people who might like to get ahold of what’s in Bodine’s head.
Does her disappearance have to do with the high-profile law firm whose secrets she still keeps; the violent murder of a young woman, with which Bodine had lately become obsessed; or is it the work she did with the FBI hunting Nazi spies intent on wartime sabotage? Any and all are on the suspect list, including their client, Forest Whitsun, hotshot defense attorney and no friend to Pentecost and Parker.
The clock is ticking to get Bodine back alive, but circumstances conspire to pull both investigators away from the case. Will is hot on the trail of a stickup team who are using her name–and maybe her gun–for their own ends. While Lillian again finds herself up against murder-obsessed millionaire Jessup Quincannon, who has discovered a secret from her past–something he plans to use to either rein the great detective in . . . or destroy her.
To solve this mystery, and defeat their own personal demons, the pair will have to go nose-to-nose with murderous gangsters, make deals with conniving federal agents, confront Nazi spies, and bend their own ethical rules to the point of breaking. Before time runs out for everyone. (Credit: Doubleday Books)
The Gentleman’s Gambit by Evie Dunmore
Bookish suffragist Catriona Campbell is busy: An ailing estate, academic writer’s block, a tense time for England’s women’s rights campaign–the last thing she needs is to be stuck playing host to her father’s distractingly attractive young colleague.
Deeply introverted Catriona lives for her work at Oxford and her fight for women’s suffrage. She dreams of romance, too, but since all her attempts at love have ended badly, she now keeps her desires firmly locked inside her head–until she climbs out of a Scottish loch after a good swim and finds herself rather exposed to her new colleague.
Elias Khoury has wheedled his way into Professor Campbell’s circle under false pretenses: he did not come to Oxford to classify ancient artefacts, he is determined to take them back to his homeland in the Middle East. Winning Catriona’s favor could be the key to his success. Unfortunately, seducing the coolly intense lady scholar quickly becomes a mission in itself and his well-laid plans are in danger of derailing…Forced into close proximity in Oxford’s hallowed halls, two very different people have to face the fact that they might just be a perfect match. Soon, a risky new game begins that asks Catriona one more time to put her heart and wildest dreams at stake. (Credit: Berkley Books)
Dissolved by Sara Blaedel and Mads Peder Nordbo
Everything is peaceful in Tommerup, Denmark, until a young mother disappears in the middle of an idyllic summer day. There’s no trace of the missing woman when Chief Superintendent Liam Stark and Superintendent Dea Torp are called to investigate. The small town is on edge, rumors begin to fly, and blame is cast on Charlotte’s husband, who was the last to see her. When another person goes missing and Liam and Dea find a strange note linking the second missing person to the first crime, they suspect the disappearances may be the work of a serial killer.
As the investigation continues, dark secrets about the victims from the past are revealed. Is someone targeting them because of this? As more people vanish, it’s a race against time for Liam and Dea, who find themselves face-to-face with horrifying footage that reveals what is happening to the victims–and what will happen to future targets if they can’t stop the killer. (Credit: Crooked Lane Books)
The Couple In The Photo by Helen Cooper
Be careful who you sleep with…They’ve already made their bed.
Lucy and her husband, Adam, have been best friends with another couple, Cora and Scott, for years. The four are practically family–they vacation together, co-own a beach cottage, and their children are inseparable. So Lucy is devastated when, while looking at a colleague’s photos of a trip to the Maldives, she spots a picture of Scott, apparently on vacation with another woman.
Then she learns that the woman in the photo has gone missing. Lucy can’t help but fear that Scott was involved. But searching for answers might uncover secrets about Scott, Cora, and even her own husband that could destroy the picture-perfect lives they have built together. Or maybe she was never part of the picture at all. Is it possible everyone knows more than they are letting on? If so, what are the consequences of exposing the truth? (Credit: G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Curse of Penryth Hall: A Mystery by Jess Armstrong
After the Great War, American heiress Ruby Vaughn made a life for herself running a rare bookstore alongside her octogenarian employer and house mate in Exeter. She’s always avoided dwelling on the past, even before the war, but it always has a way of finding her. When Ruby is forced to deliver a box of books to a folk healer living deep in the Cornish countryside, she is brought back to the one place she swore she’d never return. A more sensible soul would have delivered the package and left without rehashing old wounds. But no one has ever accused Ruby of being sensible. Thus begins her visit to Penryth Hall.
A foreboding fortress, Penryth Hall is home to Ruby’s once dearest friend, Tamsyn, and her husband, Sir Edward Chenowyth. It’s an unsettling place, and after a more unsettling evening, Ruby is eager to depart. But her plans change when Penryth’s bells ring for the first time in thirty years. Edward is dead; he met a gruesome end in the orchard, and with his death brings whispers of a returned curse. It also brings Ruan Kivell, the person whose books brought her to Cornwall, the one the locals call a Pellar, the man they believe can break the curse. Ruby doesn’t believe in curses–or Pellars–but this is Cornwall and to these villagers the curse is anything but lore, and they believe it will soon claim its next victim: Tamsyn.
To protect her friend, Ruby must work alongside the Pellar to find out what really happened in the orchard that night. (Credit: Minotaur Books)
Fall by Tracy Clark
The Chicago PD is on high alert when two city aldermen are found dead: one by apparent suicide, one brutally stabbed in his office, and both with thirty dimes left on their bodies–a betrayer’s payment. With no other clues, the question is, Who else has a debt to pay?
Detective Harriet Foster is on the case before the killer can strike again. But even with the help of her partner, Detective Vera Li, and the rest of their team, Harriet has little to go on and a lot at risk. There’s no telling who the killer’s next target is or how many will come next.
To stop another murder, Harriet and her officers will have to examine what the victims had going on behind the scenes to determine who could be tangled up in this web of betrayal…and who could be out for revenge. (Credit: Thomas & Mercer)
The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner
When a young nanny is found dead in mysterious circumstances, new mom, Tash, is intrigued. She has been searching for a story to launch her career as a freelance journalist. But she has also been searching for something else–new friends to help her navigate motherhood.
She sees them at her son’s new playgroup. The other mothers. A group of sleek, sophisticated women who live in a neighborhood of tree-lined avenues and stunning houses. The sort of mothers Tash herself would like to be. When the mothers welcome her into their circle, Tash discovers the kind of life she has always dreamt of–their elegant London townhouses a far cry from her cramped basement flat and endless bills. She is quickly swept up into their wealthy world via coffees, cocktails, and playdates.
But when another young woman is found dead, it’s clear there’s much more to the community than meets the eye. The more Tash investigates, the more she’s led uncomfortably close to the other mothers. Are these women really her friends? Or is there another, more dangerous reason why she has been so quickly accepted into their exclusive world? Who, exactly, is investigating who? (Credit: Gallery Books)
No Way Out by Cara Hunter
Expected Publication Date: December 12
It’s one of the most disturbing cases DI Adam Fawley has ever worked.
It’s Christmas in Oxford, and firefighters have pulled two children from the smoking ruin of their home. The mystery deepens when it becomes clear that the parents are nowhere to be found. Why were the children left in the house alone? Why is neither parent answering their phone? Were they kidnapped? Murdered? From the start, DI Fawley–still reeling from his own personal tragedy–knows that this house fire is the scene of a crime, not an accident.
Then new evidence comes to light and confirms the team’s worst suspicions. The blaze was arson. Who would have torched a seemingly happy family’s home on Christmas?
As DI Fawley and his team of detectives sift through the evidence, old tensions and new problems in the family are slowly revealed. Something terribly out of the ordinary has happened, and the truth slowly begins to reveal itself… (Credit: William Morrow and Company)
Her Dark Wings by Melinda Salisbury
Expected Publication Date: December 12
For all of Corey’s life, it’s been Bree and Corey, Corey and Bree. Best friends, the girls are inseparable–until a devastating betrayal leaves Corey shattered and alone. Corey is sure nothing could hurt more, until Bree suddenly dies. Now Corey is heartbroken and furious. How can she mourn her one-time friend when she is still so angry at her?
Yet Corey and Bree’s tale is far from finished. When Corey accidentally catches a glimpse of Bree’s spirit passing into the afterlife, she finds herself face to face with a god pulled from the darkest myths of her girlhood: Hades, lord of the dead.
Turns out, the legends are real. But Hades is different from what Corey imagined–and so are the Furies, terrifying and beautiful creatures who encourage Corey to embrace her rage. The more Corey discovers about the Underworld, the more her own power stirs. But can she resist the lure of the darkness within? (Credit: Delacorte Press)
The Weekend Retreat by Tara Laskowski
Expected Publication Date: December 26
Every year, the illustrious Van Ness siblings, heirs to a copper fortune, gather at their secluded winery estate for a joint birthday celebration. It’s a tradition they’ve followed nearly all their lives, and now they are back with their significant others for a much-needed weekend of rest and relaxation, away from the public spotlight.
With lavish comforts, gorgeous scenery, and indulgent drinking, the trip should be the perfect escape. But it soon becomes clear that even a remote idyllic getaway can’t keep out the problems simmering in each of their lives. As old tensions are reignited, the three couples are pushed to the edge. Will their secrets destroy them, or will they destroy each other first? And who’s been watching them from beyond the vineyard gates?
When a torrential rainstorm hits, plunging them into darkness, the answers prove all too deadly…(Credit: Graydon Books)
Two Dead Wives by Adele Parks
Expected Publication Date: December 26
Lost. Missing. Murdered? How do you find a woman who didn’t exist?
It’s a case that has gripped a nation: A woman with a shocking secret is missing, presumed dead. And her two husbands are suspects in her murder.
DCI Clements knows the dark side of human nature and that love can make people do treacherous things. You can’t presume anything when it comes to crimes of the heart. Until a body is found, this scandalous and sad case remains wide open.
Stacie Jones lives a quiet life in a small village, nursed by her father as she recovers from illness, and shielded from any news of the outside world. But their reclusive life is about to be shattered.
How are these families linked, and can any of them ever rebuild their lives in the wake of tragedy? (Credit: Mira Books)
Coconut Drop Dead by Olivia Matthews
Expected Publication Date: December 26
Brooklyn’s annual Caribbean American Heritage Festival is finally here, and Spice Isle Bakery is thrilled to be one of the event’s food vendors. After all, the Murrays have been attending the festival for years. Co-owner Lyndsay Murray hopes their West Indian pastries and finger foods draw people back to the bakery in Little Caribbean. She’s looking forward to having fun, connecting with customers, and celebrating with her family.
The day’s festivities are cut short when Camille, lead singer of an up-and-coming reggae band, dies. The police think it may be a tragic accident. But Lyndsay’s cousin Manny was close to Camille, and he believes someone cut her life short. Now Manny needs Lyndsay’s help to make sure a killer faces the music. (Credit: Minotaur Books)
That’s Not My Name by Megan Lally
Expected Publication Date: December 26
It was a mistake to trust him.
Shivering and bruised, a teen wakes up on the side of a dirt road with no memory of how she got there–or who she is. A passing officer takes her to the police station, and not long after, a frantic man arrives. He’s been searching for her for hours. He has her school ID, her birth certificate, and even family photos.
He is her father. Her name is Mary. Or so he says.
When Lola slammed the car door and stormed off into the night, Drew thought they just needed some time to cool off. Except Lola disappeared, and the sheriff, his friends, and the whole town are convinced Drew murdered his girlfriend. Forget proving his innocence, he needs to find her before it’s too late. The longer Lola is missing, the fewer leads there are to follow…and the more danger they both are in. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Expected Publication Date: December 26
What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?
Frances has always been a study machine with one goal: elite university. Nothing will stand in her way. Not friends, not a guilty secret–not even the person she is on the inside.
But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favorite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.
Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’s dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…
She has to confess why Carys disappeared…
Meanwhile at university, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.
It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.
Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has. (Credit: HarperTeen)
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- Quote of the Day – December 4, 2023
- Book Review: The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
Pages: 368 pages
Published: May 21, 2024
Publisher: Thomas and Mercer
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Suspense, Sci-fi & Fantasy
Solve the murder to save what’s left of the world.
Outside the island there is nothing: the world was destroyed by a fog that swept the planet, killing anyone it touched.
On the island: it is idyllic. One hundred and twenty-two villagers and three scientists, living in peaceful harmony. The villagers are content to fish, farm and feast, to obey their nightly curfew, to do what they’re told by the scientists.
Until, to the horror of the islanders, one of their beloved scientists is found brutally stabbed to death. And then they learn that the murder has triggered a lowering of the security system around the island, the only thing that was keeping the fog at bay. If the murder isn’t solved within 92 hours, the fog will smother the island–and everyone on it.
But the security system has also wiped everyone’s memories of exactly what happened the night before, which means that someone on the island is a murderer–and they don’t even know it.
And the clock is ticking.
Readers were engrossed in The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Readers were chilled with The Devil and the Dark Water. And now Stuart Turton has returned with a new, mind-bending mystery that intrigues and excites any mystery fan. It is safe to say that The Last Murder at the End of the World is one of the highly anticipated books of 2024.
The island is an idyllic place to live. The 142 villagers and three scientists live on this island in harmony. However, outside the island, there is nothing. The entire world was destroyed by a fog, killing everyone it touched. But the villagers create a well-working society by obeying their nightly crew and doing what the scientists tell them. Until one of the scientists is found brutally murdered, this dreadful murder also triggers a switch in their security system, the one thing keeping the deadly fog encompassing the island. And if the murder is not solved in the next 92 hours, the fog will smother the island and kill everyone on it. Easier said than done. The security system also wiped everyone’s memory of what happened the night before, which means they are on the same island with a murderer, and they don’t even know it.
After reading The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and The Devil and the Dark Water, I anxiously anticipated what creative tale Turton came up with. Lo and behold, Turton, once again, did not disappoint. From the first page, I was hooked, curious, shocked and amazed. Just a rush of emotions came at me at once! I knew I was in for an exciting ride. I don’t see how Turton created such an innovative story. It had all the elements of making a great mystery. Realistic characters and well-written storytelling…it just ticked all the boxes. What surprised me even more was the science-fiction aspect of the book. I am not a big fan of science fiction; however, how Turton incorporated it into the story made me forget that it was even the story. The fact that it just flowed so well made this book fascinating.
What I also love about Turton’s books is that he inputs concepts of morality and social commentary along with his stories. It’s not bogged down, but it makes you think outside your world and truly reflect on how society is run. I don’t want to go into many details because that will reveal spoilers, but it is vital to highlight one of the many things that makes this one astonishing read.
Looking for an exciting thriller that is a perfect genre blend of mystery and science fiction? Then look out for The Last Murder at the End of the World, one of the highly anticipated books of 2024, which must be on your TBR today. This edge-of-your-seat thriller is by far one of the best Turton has come up with, and I can’t wait to see what more creative madness she comes up with.
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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