An Emotion Of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

The Blurb On The Back:

I’d always carried with me a burden of conviction I could not set down.  I could not deny the beliefs that shaped me any more than I could deny the colour of my eyes.

It made for a lonely life.

It’s been several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the world has evolved.  Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever.  Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.  SHe’s too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.

Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by the loss of family and friendship.  And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart – it’s broken.  Trying to navigate her crumbling work by soldiering through, Shadi says nothing, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.

She explodes.

An Emotion Of Great Delight is a searing look into the world of a single Muslim family in the wake of 9/11.  It’s about a child of immigrants forging a blurry identity, falling in love, and finding hope in an ever-changing world … 

AN EMOTION OF GREAT DELIGHT was released in the United Kingdom on 10th June 2021.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order AN EMOTION OF GREAT DELIGHT by Tahereh Mafi from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay

The Blurb On The Back:

See, the Tree of Bones calls.  Can you see?

More than a hundred years ago, a boy called Samkad thinks he knows everything about the world.  He knows the mountains he lives in.  He knows his people.  He knows his blood enemy, the Mangili.  And he wants to become a man, to be given his own shield, spear and axe to fight with.  His best friend, Luke, wants all the same things – except she is a girl, and no girl has ever become a warrior

But everything changes when a new boy arrives in the village.  He calls himself Samkad’s brother, yet he knows nothing of the ways of the mountain.  And he brings news of a people called ‘Americans’, who are bringing war and destruction right to his home …

You can buy BONE TALK by Candy Gourlay from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Way Of The Waves by Janina Ramirez

The Blurb On The Back:

Alva clings to her sleeping wolf as the Viking longship pitches and rolls over the North Sea’s crashing waves.  Soon she will reveal herself as a secret stowaway, but only when there’s no chance of turning back.  This is her opportunity to put her shield maiden spirit to the test – exploring strange new ands, solving mysteries, and most importantly finding her father … 

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Riddle Of The Runes by Janina Ramirez

The Blurb On The Back:

Alva rushes through the trees in the dead of night with her sniffer wolf, Fen.  Being out alone when there’s a kidnapper on the loose is reckless, but if she ever wants to be an investigator like her Uncle Magnus, she’ll need to be first to the crime scene.

But what Alva discovers raises more questions than it answers, drawing her into a dangerous search for truth, and for treasure … 

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Money In The Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy

The Blurb On The Back:

It’s business as usual for Mr Glossop as he does his regular rounds delivering wages to the government buildings scattered across New Zealand’s desolate Canterbury plains.  But when his car breaks down he is stranded for the night at the lonely Mount Seaver Hospital, with the telephone lines down, a storm on its way and the nearby river about to burst its banks.

Trapped with him at Mount Seager are a group of quarantined soldiers with a serious case of cabin fever; three young employees embroiled in a tense love triangle, a dying elderly man, an elusive patient whose origins remain a mystery … and a potential killer.

When the payroll disappears from a locked safe and the hospital’s death toll starts to rise faster than normal, can the appearance of an English detective working in counterespionage be just a lucky coincidence – or is something more sinister afoot? 

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The Widows Of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

The Blurb On The Back:

Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India’s first female attorney, The Widows Of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India.  Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes women’s legal rights especially important to her.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind.  But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity.  What will they live on?  Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X – meaning she probably couldn’t even read the document.  The Farid widows live in full purdah – in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men.  Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian?  Perveen tries to investigate, and realises her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder.  Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger. 

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The Blood by E. S. Thomson

The Blurb On The Back:

I know the smell of death well enough.  But here the sweetness of decay was tainted with something else, something new and different.  It was a curious, moist smell: a smell that spoke of the ooze and slap of water, of gurgling wet spaces and the sticky, yielding mud of low-tide.

Summoned to the riverside by the desperate, scribbled note of an old friend, Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain board the seaman’s floating hospital, an old hulk known only as The Blood, where prejudice, ambition and murder are rife.

Embroiled in a dark and terrible mystery, Jem and Will embark on a quest to find the truth – but can they uncover the ship’s secrets?  

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He: A Novel by John Connolly

The Blurb On The Back:

An extraordinary imagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake …

And whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe.

he is Stan Laurel.

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Hope For The Best by Jodi Taylor

The Blurb On The Back:

You can’t change History.  History doesn’t like it.  There are always consequences.

Max is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands.  Especially when she’s had A Brilliant Idea.  Yes, it will mean breaking a few rules, but – as Max always says – they’re not her rules.

Seconded to the Time Police to join in the hunt for the renegade Clive Ronan, Max is a long way from St Mary’s.  But life in the future does have its plus points – although not for long.

A problem with the Time Map reveals chaos in the 16th century and the wrong Tudor queen on the throne.  History has gone rogue, there’s a St Mary’s team right in the firing line and Max must step up.

You know what they say.  Hope for the best.  But plan for the worst. 

You can order HOPE FOR THE BEST by Jodi Taylor from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis

The Blurb On The Back:

When Semira discovers a diary written by Hen, a girl living over one hundred years ago, she finds the friend she has been desperately seeking. A friend who reaches through time to bring not just comfort but inspiration to be brave, to fight for her place in the world, and maybe even to uncover the secrets of her own past …

Writing the diary changed one girl’s life. Reading it changes another’s. 

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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

The Blurb On The Back:

They were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who in the mid-1970s achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. That is, until the magic decided to disappear one night, live in front of millions on national television.

We encounter this long-forgotten family two decades on, when grandson Matty, born long after the public fall from grace, discovers a little magic in himself and begins to suspect his hugely deflated, heavily indebted family truly are amazing. 

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A Very Large Expanse Of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

The Blurb On The Back:

When you’re hiding from a world that hates you, who would make you risk everything to be seen again?

It’s the year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another new high school.  It’s a difficult time, but especially so for a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who wears hijab.  Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be.

She hides away, drowning her frustrations in music, and spending her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.  But then Shirin meets Ocean James.  He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know her – and it terrifies her.  He’s not like everyone else – but Shirin has had her guard up against the world for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down … 

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War Is Over by David Almond and David Litchfield

The Blurb On The Back:

”I am just a child,” says John.  “How can I be at war?”

It’s 1918, and war is everywhere.  John’s dad is fighting in the trenches far away in France. His mum works in the munitions factory just along the road.  His teacher says that John is fighting too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany.

One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a meeting with a German boy named Jan.

John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can come together, and scatter the seeds of peace. 

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The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman

The Blurb On The Back:

Bath, December 1812.

Lady Helen Wrexhall is finalising the preparations for her wedding, but her focus is on the Dark Days Club.  Time is running out to find the vital answers needed to defeat their unknown foe, the Grand Deceiver.

Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are also struggling to control their new dyad bond, and their illicit feelings for one another. As Helen tries desperately to juggle the demands of her double life, an old enemy arrives in Bath, bringing death and deceit. 

You can order THE DARK DAYS DECEIT by Alison Goodman from Amazon USA Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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Yellowhammer by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

July 1983, Essex.  Fox Farm is, thanks to two corpses, neither picturesque nor peaceful. The body in its kitchen belongs to eminent historian Christopher Cliff, who has taken his own life with an antique shotgun.  The second, found on the property boundary, remains unidentified.

DI Nick Lowry’s summer is neither sleepy nor serene. And the two deaths are just the half of it.  The fact County Chief Merrydown was a college friend of Cliff’s means Lowry is now, in turn, under scrutiny from his severely stressed and singularly unsympathetic boss, Sparks.

To catalyse his investigation, Lowry enlists the services of DC Daniel Kenton and WPC Jane Gabriel.  Gabriel needs direction, if she is to begin a career as a detective.  While Kenton, who appears solely focused on beginning a relationship with Gabriel, needs distraction.

Both the heat and the investigation soon intensify. The team find themselves interrogating enigmatic neighbours, shady businessmen, jilted lovers and wronged relatives; all the while negotiating the caprices of Sparks – whose attitudes remain as dated as Fox Farm’s antiques.

Only when they fully open their eyes and minds will they begin to see a web of rural politics, dodgy dealings and fragmented families – one that they must unpick before it ensnares them.  

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Blackwater by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

January 1983, Colchester CID

A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague’s reckless driving.

If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton’s orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads.

WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain’s oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel’s striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she’s not there.

January 1983, Blackwater Estuary

A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester – 100 kilograms of power that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace.

Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain’s oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy. 

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The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

The Blurb On The Back:

A city torn apart.

Glasgow, 1969.  In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker.  He takes his next victim – the third woman from the same nightclub – and dumps her in the street like rubbish.

A detective with everything to prove.

The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey.  DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation.  But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair. Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.

When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over.  From ruined backstreets to the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever … 

You can order THE QUAKER by Liam McIlvanney from Amazon USAAmazon UKWaterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Goose Road by Rowena House

The Blurb On The Back:

While the soldiers are fighting on the Front, Angélique has her own battle to fight.

1916: When news arrives of her father’s death on a distant battlefield, 14-year-old Angélique Lacroix makes herself a promise: she will keep the family farm running until her brother returns from the war.

But she doesn’t realise that to keep her promise she will have to embark on a long and arduous journey across France, accompanied by a flock of magnificent Toulouse geese.

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The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Blurb On The Back:

After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads.  It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice.  They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination.  One is well-documented – the other untested, but rumoured to be short.  His decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him

The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the brink of madness, the ill-fated group struggles to survive and minor disagreements turn into violent confrontations.  Then the children begin to disappear. As the survivors turn against each other, a few begin to realise that the threat they face reaches beyond the fury of the elements to something more primal, and far more deadly …  

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Under The Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng

The Blurb On The Back:

Catherine Helstone’s missionary brother, Laon, has disappeared while bringing the Gospels to the Dark Continent – not Africa, but Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae.

Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey to that extraordinary land, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane.  At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.  

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A Treachery Of Spies by Manda Scott

The Blurb On The Back:

An elderly woman of striking beauty is found murdered in Orleans, France.  Her identity has been cleverly erased but the method of her death is very specific: she has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War Two.

Tracing down her murderer leads police inspector Inès Picaut back to 1940s France where the bravest of men and women are engaged in a desperate fight for survival against the Nazi invaders.

To find answers in the present, Inès must discover what really happened in the past, untangling a web of treachery and intrigue that stretches back to the murder victim’s youth.

The past is about to be exposed, but there are those in the present who will kill to keep it buried …

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Taylor & Rose Secret Agents: Peril In Paris by Katherine Woodfine

The Blurb On The Back:

ALL ABOARD THE TRAIN TO PARIS!

It’s 1911, and the young detectives of Taylor & Rose are turning their talents to espionage.

On a case for the mysterious Secret Service Bureau, the daring Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lillian Rose must leave London for the boulevards and grand hotels of Paris.

But danger lurks beneath the bright lights of the city – and intrigue and murder lie in store.  As aeroplanes soar in the skies overhead, our heroines will need to put all their spy skills to the test to face the peril that awaits them …

Join Sophie and Lil on their first secret agent adventure!

You can pre-order TAYLOR & ROSE SECRET AGENTS: PERIL IN PARIS by Katherine Woodfine from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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The Joneses & The Pirateers: Search For The Phantom Lady by S. L. Westgate

The Blurb On The Back:

Nine-year-old James and his sisters come from a family with a proud history of never having done anything exciting or adventurous, much to James’s annoyance.

He longs for adventure but gets more than he bargained for when a ruthless pirate captures his father.  James, Elizabeth and Emily find themselves stranded on the enchanted island of Tortuga – where the children of pirates live while their parents are off roaming the high seas.

The siblings must band together with a motley crew of orphan pirates-in-training to plan a dangerous rescue mission that takes them from shark-infested waters to explosive ocean battles to the brink of Davy Jones’s Locker … not to mention a sneaky search for the most legendary pirate treasure of all time.

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The Woman In The Mirror by Rebecca James

The Blurb On The Back:

1947

Governess Alice Miller loves Winterbourne the moment she sees it towering over the wild Cornish cliffs.  The house promises refuge from her past – and her charges, motherless twins Constance and Edmund, are angelic.

2018

Adopted at birth, Rachel’s roots are a mystery. So, when a letter brings news of the death of an unknown relative, Rachel travels to Cornwall, vowing to uncover her family’s secrets.

With each new arrival, something in Winterbourne stirs.  It’s hiding in the paintings.  It’s sitting on the stairs.  It’s waiting in a mirror, behind a locked door … 

You can order THE WOMAN IN THE MIRROR by Rebecca James from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

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