Now Reading
Spring Reads: 18 of the best new books to add to your TBR pile

Spring Reads: 18 of the best new books to add to your TBR pile

After what’s felt like the longest winter, spring has finally sprung and there’s much to look forward to. Lighter days, blankets of bluebells scattered on roadside banks, and so many new books that you’ll never find yourself without something good to read. If you’re seeking recommendations, here’s a selection of recent and upcoming releases to take you through the spring season and into the even brighter days of summer.

The Magician’s Daughter by H. G. Parry

Orphaned as a baby, Biddy has never known another home other than Hy-Brasil, a mysterious island hidden by magic. She lives a quiet life with her guardian Rowan, a mercurial magician who disappears to the mainland every night, but Biddy is stifled by her solitude. When Rowan fails to return from his travels, Biddy must venture into the outside world for the first time and face the powerful enemy forces who’ve set their sights on the magician’s many secrets. Set in the early twentieth century, The Magician’s Daughter is an enchanting and imaginative coming-of-age tale that blends myth, magic and miracles. It’s a historical fantasy you can truly lose yourself in. (2 March, Orbit)

Eleven Liars by Robert Gold

Journalist Ben Harper is on his way home when he sees flames in the churchyard. Someone is trapped inside the derelict community centre and Ben helps them escape, only for them to subsequently flee the scene. When a skeleton is found in the burnt-out foundations, the town of Haddley is abuzz with rumours. And when the victim is revealed, Ben uncovers a web of deceit and destruction that goes back decades. Eleven Liars has everything a small-town thriller should have: a close-knit community, carefully plotted twists, clever red herrings, and a tangle of secrets and lies. It’s a must-read for fans of Twelve Secrets – the first book in the Ben Harper series. (30 March, Sphere)

A Pen Dipped In Poison by J. M. Hall

The second book in J. M. Hall’s cosy mystery series reunites readers with retired schoolteachers Liz, Pat and Thelma as they try to uncover the identity of someone who’s sending damning letters to friends and neighbours. When curious white envelopes containing people’s deepest secrets begin to circulate, the three unlikely sleuths take matters into their own hands. But just how far will someone go to silence the pen dipped in poison? This is a thoroughly entertaining story with a trio of loveable characters. It’s the perfect read for fans of Midsummer Murders and Richard Osmond’s The Thursday Murder Club series. (30 March, Avon)

Sounds Like Fun by Bryan Moriarty

When Eoin’s steady and dependable long-term boyfriend Rich announces that he wants an open relationship, Eoin reluctantly agrees to the new arrangement. He moved from Dublin to London for Rich, and he’d rather share him than lose the man he loves entirely. Stumbling into the confusing world of no strings attached dating, Eoin gradually learns more about himself and what actually makes him happy. Bryan Moriarty’s debut explores modern dating and the loneliness that people in their twenties feel as they try to make their way in the world. It’s a witty, wise and sincere novel that offers a fresh take on queer life and open relationships. (30 March, Hodder Paperbacks)

Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang

In Ling Ling Huang’s sharp and unsettling debut, an unnamed narrator begins working at Holistik – a mysterious high-end wellness store in New York City known for extravagant and unusual treatments. Falling deeper into the store’s surreal world and the people who inhabit it, the narrator grows increasingly suspicious of something sinister lurking under Holistik’s shiny façade of perfection and privilege. Dark, dreamlike and eerily thought provoking, Natural Beauty explores consumerism, identity and the ugly side of our cultural obsession with beauty. You’ll feel shaken when you reach the end. (4 April, Dutton)

A House With Good Bones by T. Kingfisher

Samantha Montgomery pulls into the driveway of her North Carolina family home to find a massive black vulture perched on the mailbox, staring at the house. Inside things are even stranger. It’s not just the atmosphere and decor that’s odd, but Sam’s mother too. The longer Sam stays, the eerier things get, and as more vultures circle overhead, she’s determined to discover what’s making her mum so jumpy in her own home. A House With Good Bones is a wickedly unique mix of southern gothic vibes, haunted house scares and dark humour (something T. Kingfisher is so good at). It’s also filled with creepy imagery and a palpable sense of unease, making it an ideal read for paranormal horror fans. (5 April, Titan Books)

Hazard Night by Laura Vaughan

If you’re after a tense and absorbing psychological thriller with a dark academia edge, look no further than Laura Vaughan’s murder mystery set within the world of a prestigious boarding school. When Eve’s husband is appointed housemaster at Cleeve College, she gives up her life in London to join him. But the isolation and lack of autonomy threatens both her happiness and her marriage. The arrival of Fen, an enigmatic and rebellious artist, offers a welcome distraction. As the two women enter into a game of escalating dares, the eve of Hazard Night – a night of supposedly harmless pranks – fast approaches. And the next morning a body will be discovered… (6 April, Corvus)

Stars And Smoke by Marie Lu

Billed as The Hating Game meets Mission: Impossible, the latest YA novel from the author of the bestselling Legend and Young Elites series has action, high-stakes romance and a whole load of witty banter. With a dual narrative, Stars and Smoke follows whip-smart, no-nonsense spy Sydney Cossette and charming, adored pop star Winter Young as they team up to infiltrate the inner circle of an infamous criminal tycoon. With Sydney posing as Winter’s bodyguard, these unlikely partners could just be the heroes the world needs – if they can survive each other first. This is a fun, romantic and sparky enemies-to-lovers story with a heart-stealing central duo. (6 April, Penguin)

Go As A River by Shelley Read

17-year-old Victoria Nash runs the household on her male-dominated family’s peach farm in the small town of Iola, Colorado, nestled in the foothills of the Elk Mountains. But the arrival of a young drifter with a mysterious past puts into motion an unstoppable chain of tragic events that forces her to flee into the harsh wilderness, leaving the life she’s always known behind. Spanning four decades, from 1948 to 1971, this emotional story is as much about the rural location and bigoted attitudes of its community as it about one woman’s soaring journey of survival and redemption. It’s a tremendous debut, lyrically written, with an atmospheric sense of time and place. (13 April, Doubleday)

Arthur And Teddy Are Coming Out by Ryan Love

After a lifetime in the closet, 79-year-old Arthur Edwards gathers his family together and tells them that he’s gay. Arthur’s 21-year-old grandson, Teddy, is also gay but he’s not ready to following in his grandfather’s footsteps – particularly as not everyone in their family reacts well to Arthur’s announcement. Arthur and Teddy have always been close, and now they must navigate love and heartbreak as they learn to accept who they truly are. Told through Arthur and Teddy’s alternating perspectives, Ryan Love’s debut is a tender and heart-warming novel that celebrates love, family and being who you are. If you enjoyed The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle, you’ll love this. (13 April, HQ)

Homecoming by Kate Morton

On Christmas Eve, 1959, a delivery man makes a terrible discovery in the grounds of a grand mansion. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tumbilla becomes involved in one of the most perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia. Sixty years later, London journalist Jess is summoned back to Sydney when her beloved grandmother, Nora, is raced to hospital. It’s whilst rummaging in Nora’s house that Jess discovers a true crime book that brings a historical cold case – a case that connects to her own family – back into the present. In true Kate Morton style, this is an immersive and intricately plotted intergenerational historical mystery that weaves themes of love, family and secrets. (13 April, Mantle)

Hang The Moon by Jeanette Walls

Set in Prohibition-era Virginia, Jeannette Walls’ latest novel centres on the indomitable and sharp-witted Sallie Kincaid, who’s born into a life of comfort and privilege courtesy of her charismatic father, Duke. Nine years after an accident saw her cast out of the family, Sallie returns to her small hometown determined to reclaim her place in the family business – a difficult task when there are secrets, scandals and rifts to navigate. But if anyone’s up to the challenge of becoming a bold bootlegger, it’s the damaged yet fearless Sallie Kincaid. Walls’ bold and relatable heroine truly makes this book and the family drama at the heart of the story is easy to invest in. It’s also a deeply atmospheric and well-researched novel, taking inspiration from real places and people, amongst them the Tudor dynasty, which gives it a really authentic feel. (13 April, Scribner UK)

See Also

Somewhere In The Crowd by Katrina Logan

The weirdest and most wonderful song contest is Europe is just around the corner and what better way to get you in the mood than with an uplifting Eurovision themed book? Katrina Logan’s Somewhere in the Crowd centres on four friends who meet in Oslo in 2010 and make a deal to reunite for the final of every song contest for the rest of their lives. For twelve years, the unlikely quartet reunites to celebrate Eurovision in different countries across Europe. But as real life gets in the way, taking them down increasingly different paths, it becomes harder and harder to keep their pact alive. This is a sweet and joyful book full of the ups and downs of life, love, friendship and, of course, Eurovision fever. (20 April, Hodder Paperbacks)

The Second Lady Silverwood by Emma Orchard

Here’s one for all you Bridgerton fans. Kate Moreton is an impoverished spinster and Italian teacher. She’s certainly not a viable prospect for Sir Benedict Silverwood, who she’s been hopelessly in love with for years. But widower Benedict is on a mission to find a new wife and practical Kate, who teaches his daughter, fits the bill. Sparks fly after the wedding and Benedict begins to fall for his new bride, but secrets threaten their new life together. Wearing its Georgette Heyer influences firmly on its sleeve, this is a wonderful Regency romp with added spice. Kate and Benedict are fantastic characters and you can easily see Orchard’s sizzling historical romance becoming a series. (20 April, Allison & Busby)

Hotel 21 by Senta Rich

Having worked as a cleaner at twenty hotels, Noelle is a model employee. The only trouble is, she can’t help stealing tokens from the guests. She’s quite the expert in it too, never sticking around long enough to get the blame. As she starts her 21st hotel, she’s determined to beat her record of one month in a five star hotel before suspicion falls on her. But her new colleagues are good, hard-working women; women Noelle not only likes but respects too. They make her wonder what it might be like to make friends, put down roots and overcome her kleptomania. Moving between the past and the present to give an insight into why Noelle is the way she is, Hotel 21 is the kind of poignant, thought-provoking page-turner you can fly through in a day. (27 April, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Prize Women by Caroline Lea

Inspired by true historical events and film footage of the Great Stork Derby, Caroline Lea’s third novel is set in Toronto during the Great Depression. It follows the lives of Lily di Marco and Mae Thibault, two women from very different worlds who form a close bond and subsequently find themselves pitted against each other when a childless millionaire leaves his fortune to the woman who can bear the most children over ten years. This is a story that sounds stranger than fiction and Lea handles it with the utmost compassion for the central characters and the difficult choices they have to make as women and mothers. Like Lea’s previous novels, The Glass Woman and The Metal Heart, it’s wonderfully researched and full of evocative historical detail. (27 April, Michael Joseph)

Found In A Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

Stories about the comfort and escape that books bring are always going to resonate with readers, but Stephanie Butland’s Found in a Bookshop is a particularly lovely novel for the sheer warmth and heart it delivers too. We first met Loveday Cardew in 2018’s Lost for Words and she returns here to help the customers of her beloved bookshop in a time of crisis (it’s set during the pandemic when shops/libraries were closed and people needed human connection more than ever). As well as being a story about a shared love of books, it’s also about love, loss, loneliness and the restorative power of community spirit. You don’t have to have read the book that came before but that’s definitely worth a read too. (27 April, Headline Review)

Our Hideous Progeny by C. E. McGill

C. E. McGill’s inventive debut pays homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein without being a typical retelling. It imagines a gothic world in which Victor Frankenstein’s great-niece decides to follow in the doctor’s footsteps after his disappearance. Along with her husband, Mary is a scientist struggling to make her mark in the world of palaeontology in 1850’s London. Success requires money and connections – neither of which they have. But when Mary discovers some old papers that allude to her uncle’s macabre attempts to create a living being, it could be their salvation. Transporting readers to the wilds of Scotland, this is a tale of ambition, discovery and obsession that masterfully blends history and science fiction. (4 May, Doubleday)

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.