Central Places by Delia Cai
In this debut novel, a young woman’s past and present collide when she brings her white, Manhattan-born fiancé home to meet her Chinese immigrant parents. Audrey Zhou returns to her tiny hometown in Illinois for the first time since high school, and as she reunites with old friends and especially an old crush, she is forced to consider whether the choices she made that put her where she is today were the right ones.
Nocturne by Alyssa Wees
Grace Dragotta is an orphan, living a hard-scrabble life in 1930 Chicago when she gets the chance to achieve her life-long dream of becoming a prima ballerina. Unfortunately, that chance comes with a catch involving a mysterious patron in this loose retelling of Beauty and the Beast, with hints of Phantom of the Opera. Set in winter, this fairytale-like story is magical, atmospheric and haunting.
Our Best Intentions by Vibhuti Jain
High school student Angie Singh, only child of an immigrant single father, is walking home from the high school pool in their affluent community when she finds a wealthy white classmate, stabbed and bleeding on the football field. The prime suspect is a runaway black girl. Told through multiple points of view, this debut novel is both an examination of the effects of privilege and racial bias on a community and a riveting thriller.
Secrets Typed in Blood by Stephen Spotswood
The year is 1947, the place is New York City. A serial killer is imitating fiction, that of crime magazine writer Holly Quick. Reluctant to go to the police, Holly calls in the private eye team of Willowjean “Will” Parker and her boss, Lillian Pentecost. The wisecracks and plot twists fly as the detectives narrow in on the killer in this cozy mystery, the third book in the Nero Award-winning “Pentecost and Parker” series.
Two Wars and a Wedding by Lauren Willig
Betsy and her friend Ava struggle to make their way in a man’s world in this story set in the Greco-Turkish and Spanish-American wars. Betsy is an aspiring archeologist, visiting Athens when she is thrust into nursing. Returning to the U.S., she wants nothing further to do with wartime but is drawn back into nursing when she follows Ava to Cuba, along with Clara Barton and Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. With history, romance, intrigue and adventure, this story has something for everyone.
What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall
“They were eleven when they sent a killer to prison. They were heroes…but they were liars.” Naomi Shaw and her best friends Cassidy and Olivia were playing in the woods when Naomi was attacked. The girls’ testimony sent a man to jail, a man wanted for murdering six women. Twenty-two years later, that man has died in prison, and Naomi travels back to her hometown to reunite with her old friends and uncover what really happened in the woods that day.