As usual, the new year greets us with a deluge of exciting new books. Looking at the entire year ahead is a bit overwhelming, so I want to focus on the first quarter of 2023. Here are some upcoming titles garnering a lot of buzz that have release dates in the first three months.
- Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor (January 3): New Delhi, 3 a.m. A speeding Mercedes jumps the curb, and in the blink of an eye, five people are dead. It's a rich man's car, but when the dust settles there is no rich man at all, just a shell-shocked servant who cannot explain the strange series of events that led to this crime. Nor can he foresee the dark drama that is about to unfold.
- Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo (January 10): Galaxy "Alex" Stern is determined to break Darlington out of hell-even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale. But Alex is playing with forces far beyond her control, and when faculty members begin to die off, she knows these aren't just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if Alex is going to survive, she'll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university's very walls.
- How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix (January 17): When Louise finds out her parents have died, she dreads going home. Most of all, she doesn't want to deal with her brother, Mark, who never left their hometown, gets fired from one job after another, and resents her success. Unfortunately, she'll need his help to get the house ready for sale because it'll take more than some new paint on the walls and clearing out a lifetime of memories to get this place on the market. But some houses don't want to be sold, and their home has other plans for both of them...
- Maame by Jessica George (January 31): It's fair to say that Maddie's life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson's. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. But it's not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils--and rewards--of putting her heart on the line.
- Exiles by Jane Harper (January 31): Federal Investigator Aaron Falk is on his way to a small town deep in Southern Australian wine country for the christening of an old friend's baby. But mystery follows him, even on vacation. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Kim Gillespie's disappearance. One year ago, at a busy town festival on a warm spring night, Kim safely tucked her sleeping baby into her stroller, then vanished into the crowd. No one has seen her since. Between Falk's closest friend, the missing mother, and a woman he's drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge. What would make a mother abandon her child? What happened to Kim Gillespie?
- Don't Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones (February 7): Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho. Dark Mill South's Reunion Tour began on December 12th, 2019, a Thursday. Thirty-six hours and twenty bodies later, on Friday the 13th, it would be over.
- Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey (February 7): Hallie Welch fell hard for Julian Vos at fourteen, after they almost kissed in the dark vineyards of his family's winery. When Hallie is hired to revamp the gardens on the Vos estate, she wonders if she'll finally get that smooch. But the grumpy professor isn't the teenager she remembers and their polar opposite personalities clash spectacularly. One wine-fueled girls' night later, Hallie can't shake the sense that she did something reckless--and then she remembers the drunken secret admirer letter she left for Julian.
- I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai (February 21): A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past--the family tragedy that marred her adolescence, her four largely miserable years at a New Hampshire boarding school, and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. But when the Granby School invites her back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent ﬂaws.
- A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon (February 28): Tunuva Melim is a sister of the Priory. To the north, in the Queendom of Inys, Sabran the Ambitious has married the new King of Hróth. Their daughter, Glorian, trails in their shadow - exactly where she wants to be. Dumai has spent her life in a Seiikinese mountain temple. When the Dreadmount erupts, bringing with it an age of terror and violence, these women must find the strength to protect humankind from a devastating threat.
- The Angel Maker by Alex North (February 28): Katie Shaw lived a charmed life until the day a violent stranger changed the fate of her family forever. Years later, still unable to live down the guilt surrounding what happened to her brother, Chris, she gets the phone call: Chris has gone missing and needs his big sister once more. Meanwhile, Detective Laurence Page is facing a particularly gruesome crime. All the leads point back to two old cases: the gruesome attack on teenager Christopher Shaw, and the despicable crimes of a notorious serial killer who, legend had it, could see the future.
- Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson (March 7): Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected old money Stockton family, followed her heart, trading her job and her inheritance for motherhood but giving up far too much in the process; Sasha, a middle-class New England girl, has married into the Brooklyn Heights family, and finds herself cast as the arriviste outsider; and Georgiana, the baby of the family, has fallen in love with someone she can't have, and must decide what kind of person she wants to be.
- What Have We Done by Alex Finlay (March 7): Twenty five years ago, Jenna, Donnie, and Nico were the best of friends, having forged a bond through the abuse and neglect they endured as residents of Savior House, a group home for parentless teens. When the home was shut down--after the disappearance of several kids--the three were split up. They haven't seen one another since they were teens but now are reunited for a single haunting reason: someone is trying to kill them.
- Hello, Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (March 14): William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him--so when he meets the spirited and ambitious Julia Padavano in his freshman year of college, it's as if the world has lit up around him. With Julia comes her family, as she and her three sisters are inseparable. But then darkness from William's past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia's carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters' unshakeable devotion to one another.
- The London Seance Society by Sarah Penner (March 21): 1873. Vaudeline D'Allaire is known worldwide for her talent in conjuring the spirits of murder victims to ascertain the identities of the people who killed them. Lenna Wickes has come to Paris to find answers about her sister's death. When Vaudeline is beckoned to England to solve a high-profile murder, Lenna accompanies her as an understudy. But the women begin to suspect that they are not merely out to solve a crime, but perhaps entangled in one themselves...
- Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls (March 28): Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out. Nine years later, she returns, determined to reclaim her place in the family.