Time for another entry in this incredibly popular feature here at BOLO Books – The APB (All Points Bulletin).
As always, competition for these slots was tough. Which books are generating that elusive buzz in the publishing industry? Which are books that I personally have been waiting for? As always, I try to keep this a mixture of books from heavy-hitters and those newer to our genre – and across all sub-genres and with some expression of the diversity that exists in our literary community.
For the APB, the format is simply to present a gallery featuring the covers, the official release date of each book, and a brief explanation of why I am anticipating the title.
A full review will often follow closer to the release date.
Rachel Howzell Hall wrote my favorite book of 2020 – And Now She’s Gone, so it should be no surprise that I was excited for her next release. These Toxic Things is a unique take on the serial killer trope and features Hall’s authentic characterizations and unexpected plot twists. While the official release date is September 1, the Kindle e-book is now available via the Kindle First program.
When William McIlvanney died in 2015, readers thought they had seen the last of his iconic character DC Jack Laidlaw, but it turns out there was a partial manuscript for a prequel novel, taking fans back to Laidlaw’s first case. Another legendary Scottish writer, Ian Rankin, stepped up to finish that book and anticipation (and buzz) is off the charts.
I have been a fan of Julia Dahl since her incredible debut, Invisible City, so when I heard she had a new standalone coming out, I was very excited. Turning her insightful gaze to some of society’s most hot-button topics – privilege, consent, and sexual violence – Dahl creates an unforgettable tapestry of words and actions.
Val McDermid is a crime fiction legend. A new series from her would always be something to celebrate, but here she is promising five books (each set a decade apart) that will document changes in society, politics, crime, and journalism from 1979 to 2019. It is no accident that the series ends just before the pandemic allowing Val McDermid to continue writing without having to engage with that worldwide event until we can all better understand it.
John Copenhaver’s Dodging and Burning was an incendiary debut that marked the start of a new historical crime fiction writer’s career. The story of two girls and their English teacher, this one sounds like it’s going to stray into the territory most associated with Megan Abbott. It will be interesting to see a gay man’s take on this trope and I am here for it.
I would allow Lori Rader-Day to lead me anywhere with her writing; she never disappoints and always surprises. This new release, her first historical is almost certain to approach this sub-genre from a unique and unexpected angle. Placing the action in Agatha Christie’s summer home is a sure-fire way to get crime readers salivating.
Jess Lourey has found her niche in crime fiction, a void that only she can fill. By using true crimes as the inspiration for her last few novels, Lourey has taken her already skilled writing to new heights, releasing books that will be considered classics in the years to come. By allowing her novels to be inspired – but not adhere – to these real crimes, Lourey is able to explore topics that are meaningful to her in unexpected ways.
One of my most anticipated reads of the year, this debut legal thriller will examine race, crime, and justice through the eyes of a Black, female lawyer…but one with secrets of her own. Buzz has been building since the reveal of this stunningly beautiful cover and I have a feeling we will all be talking about this one into the Winter months.
Without a doubt, the creation of the Crime Writers of Color collective was a long overdue event, designed to bring attention to this vastly under-represented (and under-appreciated) community of writers. Here is a one-of-a-kind anthology featuring short stories – many of them future award-winners – by some of the hottest names in crime fiction today. A perfect way to sample new writers, but be prepared to consume all their other writing once you have gotten a glimpse at what they have to offer.
Sarah Strohmeyer is the author of the humorous cozy series featuring the unforgettable Bubbles Yablonsky. Despite coming out in the early 2000s, I can still remember these books and they put a smile on my face. Now Strohmeyer is turning her pen towards suspense and I can’t wait to give it a try. Featuring a lead character who is a “super recognizer,” this one sounds twisty and exciting.
Checking back over the Fall to read the full reviews of these titles, but for now, be sure to add all of these books to your towering TBR piles. And remember that the pandemic is still causing financial hardships for our Independent Bookstores, so please buy local (or Indie) whenever you can.