November fiction forage

A busy month, November, heaps of new stuff crowding the shelves. Let’s wade in and have a browse, shall we?

The Prague Cemetery, by Umberto EcoThis month Steve Berry releases his new title The Jefferson Key, full of the promise of secret histories and conspiracy theories. Unfortunately for Steve, The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco is also out this November. Umberto’s book looks like a cracking multi-layered thriller; entertaining, epic, intelligent, challenging… PLUS you can go swanking about asking everyone if they’ve read the latest Umberto Eco. “Oh, it’s marvellous, simply marvellous…”

The Christmas Wedding, by James PattersonGetting geared up for the holidays, here’s The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson, a rash of horrifying weddings tears through the city, throwing it into complete chaos and appalling everyone living there. Immediately, it becomes clear that they are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, efficient, and deadly mastermind (I think that’s right…?). Patterson also lets us have lashings of lost diamonds, guns and revenge in Kill Me If You Can.

Zero day, by David BaldacciChristmas Magic by Cathy Kelly contains stories to make you laugh, cry and nod in recognition… apparently. Michael Crichton’s Micro sees a gang of nerds destroy a terrifying hive-mind nanotechnology with some wood. Meanwhile, David Baldacci’s Zero Daystarts with a brutal murder and then rapidly becomes more unpleasant.

A very murdering battle, by Edward MarstonPerfect People by Peter James sounds extremely creepy, being about bereaved parents and tweaked genes, and there’s more historical warfare from the Railway Detective guy, Edward Marston, in A Very Murdering Battle. What next? Simon Scarrow, Praetorian. Rome, treachery, sandals, courage…

Whispers, by Rosie GoodwinHmmm…

The jacket on Rosie Goodwin’s Whispers looks like it’s for an Aga Saga, but the woman on the cover has her back to us, implying mystery, I suppose… Or maybe she’s an estate agent?
Promises some pretty low-voltage shocks.

Shadowstory, by Jennifer JohnstonIn Death in Siberia, the KGB and the CIA have a covert punch-up about Arctic oil. That’s by Alex Dryden. Jennifer Johnston’s Shadowstory promises a complicated Irish love affair with added bombs. Or perhaps you’d like Thomas E. Kennedy’s Falling Sideways? It has office politics and corporate backstabbing.

Justice, by Karen RobardsKaren Robards has a new book out this month, called Justice. Karen Robards has her name printed in bold, sans-serif uppercase across the middle of her books. This tells us something about her, but… Karen Robards also has little jaggy bits sticking up out of the top of some of the letters in her name. I think that makes her a little bit special.

If we are going to judge books by their covers, the new Erica James is called The Real Katie Lavender. It has little pink stars and bubbles on the cover and some clinky champagne glasses. Lovely – take a look for yourself.

11.22.63, by Stephen KingStephen King appears to be on reliable form with 11.22.63, a JFK-assassination, time-travelling, What-If. And Diana Gabaldon reveals further tales of Lord John Grey in Lord John and the Scottish Prisoner. Lord John’s world is one of mystery and menace, in case you were wondering. Also, this November you’ll find She’s Leaving Home by Joan Bakewell on our shelves. Okay, it’s a saga. But, it’s by Joan Bakewell, what can possibly go wrong?

Here’s how the publisher’s blurb described All About My Mothers by Kate Long: “…the bonds of love that tie these three women together will be tested to the max. Can they finally let go of the past, and pull together in order to withstand the toughest challenge life could throw them?” ‘To the max.’ They actually said that in the publisher’s description. ‘To the max.’ Good grief…

The next always, by Nora RobertsHow It All Began by Penelope Lively sounds good, if you like that sort of thing. You know, relationships, rifts, resolutions… emotions. The cover looks a bit like an illustration from a Habitat catalogue. You’re in safe hands. Speaking of which, Nora Roberts fans will be looking forward to The Next Always.

Highly inappropriate tales for young people, by Douglas CouplandDouglas Coupland does satirical hipster fairytales in Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People, while Don DeLillo’s The Angel Esmeralda contains nine shorts by one of the modern American heavyweights.
In crime, Jacqueline Winspear unveils a new Maisie Dobbs mystery, The Mapping of Love and Death.

I am half sick of shadows, by Alan C BradleyAnne Perry gets all festive with A Christmas Homecoming, wherein someone gets murdered. Just imagine murdering someone at Christmas. That’s pretty low, isn’t it?
Coincidentally, I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan C. Bradley sounds very similar to the Anne Perry, concerning as it does a festive thespian slaying. So, maybe it’s more common than I thought…

Red mist, by Patricia CornwellExplosive Eighteen is the new Janet-Evanovich-New-Jersey-comedy-thriller, and Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell sounds terrifically unpleasant and is sure to be a stormer.

Winter at Death’s Hotel by Kenneth M. Cameron sounds amusing: Arthur Conan Doyle’s missus does a bit of sleuthing in fin-de-siecle New York.
The House of Silk, by Anthony HorowitzAnthony Horowitz has a crack at Holmes too in The House of Silk.

Finally, A Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke demonstrates awful timing by being set at Easter.

Something for everyone, I’m sure you’ll agree.



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