With the commencement of August, it seemed an appropriate time to take a glance back at some of our books that have been published this year and shine a light on some of the publicity they’ve received.
Kicking off with the amazing THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon, published at the start of February by Head of Zeus. Charlotte might be more familiar to readers as Charlotte Duckworth, writer of crime and thriller. Under Rixon, she wrote her debut romance. The ‘beautifully crafted dark love story’ [Louise Fein] secured deals in Portugal, Russia, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY made an August appearance on the US Today Show, receiving praise from Brad Thor. The US edition is set to be published on August 15th.
Staying on the romance train, Miranda Dickinson’s ‘post-it note’ workplace love story ALL MY LOVE was published by HQ on the same day as Rixon’s. Magazine Weekly said ALL MY LOVE was ‘full of warmth and love…the perfect comforting read to bring some sparkle to a cold winter’s day’. Dickinson also writes crime under the name of MJ White – her third book, LEAVE NO TRACE, was published in April.
Turning towards non-fiction publications, HAGS: THE DEMONISATION OF MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN by feminist writer Victoria Smith was published by Fleet at the start of March to heaps of praise. Featured in the Observer, Spectator, The Times and Mail on Sunday, HAGS was described as ‘eloquent, clever’ and ‘impossible to read without rage’. It charted at number 15 in Sunday Times Hardback non-fiction.
Also in March, UPROAR! SATIRE, SCANDAL & PRINTMAKERS IN GEORGIAN LONDON by historian and History Hit TV co-presenter Alice Loxton was published by Icon. UPROAR! follows satirists and looks at their prints and illustrations to explore the social and political landscape of Georgian London. Reviews appeared in the Mail on Sunday and in the New Statesman.
Onto the Crime front, we’ve had new Helen Fields, Michael Jecks, Victoria Walters, and as previously mentioned, MJ White, publications. Helen Fields’ THE INSTITUTION is her latest psychological thriller, with the Perfect series speaking to excellence of her crime writing, and this latest book being incredibly well received.
Michael Jecks’ PORTRAIT OF A MURDER is the latest in his list of books, following an art historian turned accidental sleuth in new THE ART OF MURDER series.
On the cosier side of things, Victoria Walters’ MURDER AT THE VILLAGE CHURCH came out in April as the final book in THE DEDLEY END MYSTERIES.
THE SECRET SISTER by Liz Trenow graced bookshop shelves in April. The gripping and uplifting WWII story was described by a reader as a ‘heart-warming novel full of love, romance, sadness…’.
As we moved into Spring and Summer, we had several more non-fiction publications including THE BLEEDING TREE by Hollie Starling (published by Rider) and MOTHER TONGUE: THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF WOMEN’S WORDS by Jenni Nuttall (published by Virago). Moving into June with two more feminist non-fiction publications, S&S published WITCHCRAFT: A HISTORY IN 13 TRIALS by Marion Gibson, and Forum published UNFAIR PLAY: THE BATTLE FOR WOMEN’S SPORTS by Sharon Davies. Starling’s work was mentioned in the Irish Times, with her account of family life ‘riveting and narrated with grace and honesty.’ Jenni Nuttall, academic and lecturer, received much praise for MOTHER TONGUE: ‘wonderful’ in the Daily Telegraph, ‘required reading for logophiles, feminists and history buffs’ in Publishers Weekly, and listed as 11 Must-Read Books Written by Inspiring Female Voices. MOTHER TONGUE publishes in the US on August 29th.
Marion Gibson’s WITCHCRAFT, which has now secured deals in Estonia, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the US, was described by field expert Malcolm Gaskill as ‘a nightmarish exploration of the uncomfortably human habits of paranoia and persecution…true and vividly told…’. In The Times, Jessie Childs says this is a ‘timely history of witch trials’, and that Marion is a ‘sensitive and empathetic guide.’.
The ’thrillingly fearless’ [The Times] UNFAIR PLAY by Sharon Davies, published in June, looks at the sexism that women’s sport is still battling. The Times described it as ‘hard-hitting, important, scientifically rigorous polemic.’
On a lighter note, a feel-good summery romance, perfect as a quick holiday read, FIVE DAYS IN FLORENCE by Lorraine Brown, was published by Orion in July. Caroline Khoury, author, described it as ‘deliciously escapist’, a story that will make you want to ‘book that Italian holiday straight away.’ Brown, known for her successful PARIS CONNECTION has provided yet another escapist, summery, romance.
In the months to come before the year comes to a close, there have a number of titles that we are looking forward to being published. This August 2023, two crime books – THE RECKONING by Martina Murphy, and THE FAMILY ON SMITH STREET by Elisabeth Carpenter, will be available. THE RECKONING, the third and final instalment in the DS Lucy Golden series, will be available in paperback in Ireland, and in Ebook for UK readers on August 10th. Carpenter’s THE FAMILY ON SMITH STREET is a psychological thriller set on a picture-perfect street where nothing bad ever happens. This ‘compelling and haunting’ book will hit shelves on August 14th.
On the non-fiction side, REBOOT: RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE IN A TECH-OBSESSED WORLD is out August 31st. Patrick Stokes, author of Digital Souls says REBOOT is ‘witty, bracingly honest, deeply humane and piercingly insightful.’ REBOOT is ‘a call to take back our digital agency and an empowering toolkit for helping us to do so.’
Caroline Davison’s THE CAPTAIN’S APPRENTICE: RALPH VAUGHN WILLIAMS AND THE STORY OF A FOLK SONG will be available in paperback on August 31st, initially published in August 2022. The book has been read on BBC Radio 4, exploring Edwardian folk music and its influence on Vaughan Williams.
As mentioned, US readers will be able to purchase THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon (August 15th) and MOTHER TONGUE by Jenni Nuttall (August 29th).
Heading into the autumn, September 14th is a heavy publication date for us with three new publications landing on that day, as well as one paperback edition becoming available. Dinah Jefferies’ latest and third instalment in the Daughters of War series, NIGHT TRAIN TO MARRAKECH, will be available. Set in 1966, the latest in this historical family saga is set in Morocco, following Vicky as she looks for the grandmother she has never met. Gill Paul says NIGHT TRAIN TO MARRAKECH is ‘a book to lose yourself in, a sensory immersion in a world of stunning beauty and extreme danger.’
On the cosy crime front, Helen Cox’s latest in the Kitt Hartley mysteries, A BODY IN THE BORDERLANDS, follows Kitt and her growing investigations team as they try to solve the mystery of a man gone missing that the police refuse to investigate.
Finally, the second book in Carrie Hope Fletcher’s Double Trouble Society series: THE DOUBLE TROUBLE SOCIETY AND THE WORST CURSE will be out in hardback on September 14th.
Helen Fields’ INSTITUTION will be available in paperback on September 14th.
The Do Book Company is publishing DO HOPE: WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE UP by Gail Muller, a writer, speaker, and chronic pain sufferer. It explores her story of survival and her own personal journey with hope. This will be available on October 3rd in paperback.
October 26th will see TOXIC: WOMEN, FAME AND THE NOUGHTIES by Sarah Ditum published in hardback. Helen Lewis, author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights says Toxic is ‘an incendiary page-turner that will make you reconsider the price of fame…and your opinion of Kim Kardashian.’. Ditum looks at nine iconic female celebrities including Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian and the price of their fame in the early noughties.
As we move into a more festive time of year, Ali McNamara’s IT ALWAYS SNOWS ON MISTLETOE SQUARE is to be published by Sphere on 26th October. Ali’s books are often described as enchanting, escapist, irresistible and easy, and this book is no exception. Continuing with cosy and romantic festive reads, Isla Gordon’s A NEW YORK WINTER is out a month later on 23rd November, following Ashling on her 90-day trip to NYC where she tries to live out her dreams and goals she set for herself ten years earlier. Also on 23rd November, Miranda Dickinson’s debut, FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK is being reissued. This follows Rosie who is running away from England (and heartbreak), ending up in Manhattan. She makes new friends but can’t escape her past forever!
Finally, ending with a dark and suspenseful thriller, B P Walter’s NOTES ON A MURDER is set to be available from 23rd November. It has already received immense praise, with John Boyne declaring it as ‘one of the most unsettling novels of recent years.’.