As booksellers we get advance copies/notice of books soon to be published. Here is a preview of some of the coming attractions. If you click on the images, you can buy theses titles through Kobo.com, our ebook supplier.
Down the Hatch: An Agatha Raisin Mystery
by M. C. Beaton with R. W. Green
Pub. Date 26 Oct 2021
Agatha Raisin made her debut as a PR agent/amateur sleuth in Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death in 1992. That book was the first of M. C. Beaton’s 30 Agatha Raisin novels. Marion Chesney (Beaton’s real name) was a prolific author who wrote several series of books under her own name and a number of pen names.
Chesney’s Agatha Raisin books were classic cozies but she herself was perhaps more down to earth and practical about the business of writing and the relationship between author and readership than most. She, unlike many other authors, had reached out and identified another author to pick up the pen/typewriter after she was unable to carry on her work. R. W. Green took over writing the Raisin books with Hot to Trot which was finished before Chesney died and published in 2020.
Down the Hatch is Green’s second Raisin book. His writing style and plotting isn’t quite the same as Beaton’s but this reader (and many others) find his work to be quite similar to Beaton’s. Beaton will never write another Agatha Raisin book, but for those who want to follow Agatha as she stumbles upon murders (as she seems fated always to do) to watch her ongoing relationship with James develop, watch her ever continuing battle with Detective Chief Inspector Wilkes, Green tells a good, one might even say, a cozy murder story.
True Crime Story: A Novel
by Joseph Knox
Pub. Date 07 Dec. 2021
This isn’t a nonfiction book about true crime, this is a novel, a story constructed not using the routine narrative pattern rather those of the true crime nonfiction books. The reader learns about Zoe Nolan, a young girl who walks out of her apartment one night and is never seen again. The story is told through interviews and stories about her family, her friends, her flatmates and a broad swathe of others with whom she was in contact in her life. On one level, thus, the book is about the attempts to solve a crime while on another level discussion of the crime is a tool to give us more insight into these people, these places this time. The book is designed to appeal both to those who are interested in character driven narratives and those who truly do enjoy true crime stories.
Do You Speak Fish?
By DJ Corchin, illustrated by Dan Dougherty
Pub. Date 05 Oct. 2021
Recommended for ages 4 and up.
As it says on the cover, this is “a story about communicating and understanding”. The tale is about a boy who tries in vain to communicate with a fish, a lion and a bee. When the fish doesn’t respond he initially jumps to the conclusion that the fish was being rude. But then he encounters a talking tree who asks the boy if he speaks Fish. As the boy talks with the tree the boy realizes that different animals and people have different ways of communicating so the fish wasn’t really being rude after all. In the end the kid, fish, lion and bee all learn each others’ languages and as a result of making that effort they now enjoy sitting under the talking tree having fun telling stories. The message is easily understood by the target audience; the book does an excellent job of communicating about communicating. It teaches children that their first impressions may not be correct, and may in fact get in the way of enjoyable experiences. Finding out where others are coming from can be beneficial for everyone, a good thing for young children to learn given how naturally inward-focused young children inevitably are. The illustrations are good, the tone is light-hearted, and there is enough humour to sustain interest.
Dark Night: A Mystery
by Paige Shelton
Pub. 07 Dec. 2021
From the Publisher: The third book in the gripping, atmospheric Alaska Wild series by beloved cozy author Paige Shelton…..
For the reader who has not read any other books in the Alaska Wild series, don’t worry. You don’t need to read either of those books to follow and enjoy Dark Night. Shelton provides enough contextual backstory and explanation to make the book understandable to those beginning the Alaska Wild series with book 3 without falling into the trap of repeating so much from earlier books that it turns off those who have read those books. This is actually a modified (loosened) locked room story. Benedict, Alaska is never completely cut off from the outside world although there are periods of time during which travel is almost impossible and it is clear that this isolation is both an attraction and a problem for different residents of the town. This doesn’t read as the typical ‘cozy,’ perhaps because of its setting. Alaska in general and Benedict in particular become characters in the story and when you reach the last page, murder having been solved, you will still find yourself hoping that Shelton has already started to write the fourth book in series. Beth Rivers (our protagonist) still has personal mysteries to be solved and Benedict and its inhabitants are far to complex and realized not to be worthy of yet another story.
The Grimrose Girls
by Laura Pohl
Pub. Date. Nov. 2. Sourcebooks Fire
LGBTQUIA, Teens & YA There is magic as well as mysterious death afoot at the Grimrose Académie. Like Hogwarts, the Grimrose is a residential boarding school with students who are predominantly teenagers. But there the likenesses between to the two schools disappears Without there being a suggestion of ‘token individuals’ Pohl presents the reader with a cast of characters who differ in social backgrounds financial standing, home environments, racial identification, ethnic identification, gender identification and gender orientation. There are mysteries, deaths and dangers, and throughout the book the characters respond in ways that are true to young adults struggling with questions of their own identities, their relationships with friends and family and, indeed, with themselves.
The mystery plot is both fresh and deeply intertwined with more traditional stories of youngsters, primarily female. Indeed the reader will likely finish the book with an appetite to learn more about old European folk tales. The multiple protagonists have clear and clearly individual voices. The ending both delivers on the quest of uncover the reasons so many students at the Grimrose are dying and leaves the reader hoping that Pohl has already written the next book, the book that takes us even deeper into the magic of the Grimrose and the lives of the characters we have met.
I am NOT the intended audience of this book but it won me over. How much more would a member of that intended audience enjoy the book? There is only one way of finding out.