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Spring Reads: 14 of the best new books to read this month

Spring Reads: 14 of the best new books to read this month

Despite the decidedly un-springlike weather, summer is only a few months away. But before we get to those long, sunny days, there’s still a month of peonies, frolicking lambs and cheerful dawn chorus to enjoy. There’s also a whole heap of new and unputdownable books to fill your shelves with. From sapphic fantasy to twisty suspense to witty murder mysteries, here’s our pick of the best recently released and upcoming books to read in May.

Listen For The Lie by Amy Tintera

Amy Tintera’s debut adult novel might have been published back in March but it’s one of those novels that lingers in your head long after you finish reading it. It follows Lucy Chase – a woman suspected of killing her best friend, though she was never charged for the crime and has no memory of what happened that fateful night. Five years later, a true-crime podcast gives her the opportunity to find out if she’s the murderer everyone thinks she is. But if she’s not, it might make her the real killer’s next target. A sharp plot and a compelling protagonist make this book one of the smartest and most entertaining whodunits you’ll read all year. (14 March, Bantam)

How To Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin

Another fun and inventive murder mystery is Kristen Perrin’s How To Solve Your Own Murder, which sees the deceased Frances Adams playing detective years before her murder has even happened. Having been told by a fortune teller that one day she’d be murdered, Frances spent sixty years compiling an eccentric library of clues, motives and potential suspects. Now it’s up to her great-niece Annie to unravel the mystery of what really happened to Frances and why. Interspersed with Frances’ diary entries from 1966, this is a cosy crime novel that draws you in and keeps you guessing. (26 March, Quercus)

As Young As This by Roxy Dunn

If you’re seeking a novel that delves into the complexities of womanhood with a unique and immersive narrative voice, then you’ll find exactly that and more with Roxy Dunn’s debut. It takes readers through the relationships of Margot’s life since she was seventeen, with each chapter dedicated to a different man and the influence each has on Margot’s future. From her first kiss to her first time to her first love to the messy, complicated adult experiences that shape her life, Margot’s story is one that will feel relevant and relatable to young women of her generation. It’s the perfect read for fans of Dolly Alderton or David Nicholls’ One Day. (4 April, Fig Tree)

The Comeback by Ella Berman

Ella Berman’s second novel centres on a young Hollywood actress and the secret that led to her disappearance on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination. Now, a year later, she’s back in Los Angeles and ready to reclaim her life on her own terms. But when she’s asked to present a lifetime achievement award to the man who controlled her every move for eight years, Grace knows it’s her chance for retribution. At once a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the darker side of the entertainment industry and an unflinching delve into a former child-star’s troubled psyche, The Comeback is a story of power, manipulation and redemption that really gets under your skin. (11 April, Aria)

A Clock Stopped Dead by J. M. Hall

Reuniting readers with unlikely sleuths Pat, Liz and Thelma, the third book in J. M. Hall’s cosy crime series sees the retired school teachers delving into a mystery involving a strange charity shop that disappears overnight. Over coffee and cake at their regular garden centre haunt, the three women find themselves embroiled in a race against the clock to uncover the secrets surrounding the shop and how it connects to a car accident on the same night it purportedly vanished. A Clock Stopped Dead is a delightfully Midsummer Murders-esque story full of small-town drama and a touch of the supernatural. (11 April, Avon)

Sweetness In The Skin by Ishi Robinson

Fourteen-year-old Pumkin lives in a two-room house in Kingston, Jamaica with her devoted grandmother, her beloved Aunt Sophie and her neglectful mother Paulette. Her family is complicated, something that’s made worse when her estranged father returns. When Aunt Sophie moves to France, she promises to send for Pumkin as soon as she can afford to. But as her home life worsens, Pumkin decides to use her talent for baking to raise the travel money herself. Sweetness in the Skin is a beautiful celebration of the Jamaican culture and people, as well as an uplifting coming-of-age tale about a brave, resilient and resourceful young girl who refuses to let anything hold her back. (11 April, Michael Joseph)

A Lesson In Cruelty by Harriet Tyce

A Lesson in Cruelty tells the stories of three women. Anna has spent three years behind bars and she’s ready for a fresh start, even if she doesn’t believe she deserves it. Lucy is infatuated with her married Oxford professor and she’s desperate to gain his attention. Then there’s Marie, who’s been living a strange, reclusive life in Scotland for too long. The novel revolves around how Anna, Lucy and Marie are all connected, and how their fractured lives collide as their secrets unfold. Tyce expertly explores the psychological turmoil of these damaged characters, building suspense as the puzzle pieces slowly and satisfyingly slot into place. (11 April, Wildfire)

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth

Rescued from their respective family tragedies, Jessica, Norah and Alicia were raised by a loving foster mother on an idyllic farming estate. But their happy family life wasn’t quite as perfect as everyone thinks it was and when a body is discovered under their childhood home twenty-five years later, the three foster sisters become key witnesses in a murder case. The question is: are they innocent victims or prime suspects? Split between the sisters’ perspectives, Darling Girls is a thoughtfully written, slow-burn mystery about sisterhood, secrets and foster system failures. (25 April, Pan)

Unsteady by Peyton Corinne

Fans of contemporary sports romance had likely heard all about Peyton Corinne’s Unsteady long before it was officially published. Now it’s time to fall in love with figure skater Sadie and hockey captain Rhys, the struggling central characters at the heart of this deliciously tropey romance. Drowning in debt and custody hearings for her younger brothers, Sadie is just trying to get through each day. When she witnesses Rhys having a panic attack, the two are drawn to each other. Cue all the emotional drama and sizzling chemistry you could want in a college romance book. The important inclusion of mental health issues and PTSD adds extra depth to the story too. (25 April, Simon & Schuster)

Displeasure Island by Alice Bell

See Also

The follow-up to Grave Expectations sees medium-turned-detective Claire, her ghost sidekick Sophie and their pals enjoying a much-needed holiday on an island off the West Coast of Ireland. It’s there that Claire is asked by the local ghost of a pirate captain to investigate the theft of treasure from a shipwreck several hundred years ago. But as Claire closes in on a culprit, she and her friends become the chief suspects in a murder. To clear their names, they must solve the crime and recover the treasure before it’s too late. Contrary to its title, Alice Bell’s second novel is a complete pleasure to read, full of witty writing, loveable characters and page-turning twists. (2 May, Corvus)

Can’t Spell Treason Without Tea by Rebecca Thorne

Reyna is an elite bodyguard to a vengeful queen. Kianthe is the most powerful mage in existence. Together they dream of opening a cosy book shop together – a place warmly lit with firelight and decorated by plants, where they can serve comforting tea and cake. Fleeing to a town nestled in the icy peaks of dragon country, their dream becomes a reality. But opening the bookstore is just the start of a new adventure for the duo – one filled with mishaps, mysteries and a wildly temperamental queen. The first instalment in Rebecca Thorne’s Tomes & Tea series is a charming sapphic fantasy that’s perfect for fans of Travis Baldree’s Legends & Lattes. (9 May, Tor)

The Puzzle Wood by Rosie Andrews

The highly anticipated follow-up to Rosie Andrew’s debut, The Leviathan, is set against the backdrop of an isolated forest. When Catherine Symonds takes up the position of governess at Locksley Abbey in the remote foothills of the Black Mountains, she’s instantly on edge. The empty house is unsettling in itself but there’s something more personal driving Catherine, who’s travelling in disguise to investigate the tragic fate of the last governess – Catherine’s sister Emily. It’s a particularly unnerving turn of events, given Catherine believed her sister had died many years before when they were children… A tale steeped in myth, memory and a pervading sense of gothic menace, The Puzzle Wood is a truly dark and atmospheric historical novel. (9 May, Raven Books)

Lavash At First Sight by Taleen Voskuni

In the mood for an LGBTQ+ rom-com inspired by Romeo and Juliet? Look no further than Lavash At First Sight, which sees sparks fly between the daughters of two rival companies. Both vying for the prestigious Superstars award at the food packaging conference in Chicago they’re attending, Ellie and Vanya must keep their eyes on the prize, whilst simultaneously hiding their growing feelings for each other from their warring parents. Taleen Voskuni’s novel is one of love, identity, family loyalty and delicious Armenian food. It’s funny and sweet and a genuine joy to read. (9 May, Pan)

The Theatre Of Glass and Shadows by Anne Corlett

Inspired by the immersive productions of the Punchdrunk theatre company, The Theatre of Glass and Shadows takes place in an alternate London. Within the city’s walled Theatre District runs ‘the Show’, a lavish production that’s open to anyone who can afford a ticket. When her father passes away and she learns that her birth was registered in the District, nineteen-year-old Juliet arrives in London, hoping to unearth the truth of her identity. But in a world where powerful men control the narrative, some people will go to great lengths to ensure certain stories remain a mystery. As vividly told and imaginative as a piece of immersive theatre, this is the kind of spellbinding historical novel that you can completely lose yourself in. (23 May, Black & White Publishing)

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