books, previews

Out Today: No Life for Lady

The stats are coming tomorrow, but I just wanted to flag a new book that’s out today. Hannah Dolby’s debut, No Life for a Lady is about a 28 year old woman in 1896 who is trying to find her mother, who disappeared ten years earlier, whilst also trying to avoid her father’s efforts to marry her off before it is too late. The Amazon blurb says “perfect for fans of Dear Mrs Bird, The Maid and Lessons in Chemistry” which as you know would suggest that it is right in my wheelhouse in terms of reading tastes. I’ve started it (because I have it via NetGalley) and so far I’m really enjoying it, not least because it’s not set in London, which so many novels set in a similar setting are. I will report back when I finish it I’m sure, but I thought it was worth mentioning today because Hannah Dolby has a zoom event with a Northumbria libraries this lunchtime but it’s also been getting quite a lot of buzz as one of the interesting debuts of 2023 so I think you’ll be spotting it in bookshops all over over the next few months.

And just before I go – I’ve already mentioned it once in this post but Bonnie Garmus’s Lessons In Chemistry is out in paperback today. I loved it when I read it, everyone who I’ve loaned my copy to has loved it to, and it made all of the end of year lists too.

Run don’t walk everyone.


Out Today: Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes

Out today is The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes by Dr Kate Strasdin which examines what we can learn about Victorian life through one woman’s textile scrapbook. I’m always fascinated by the clothes people are wearing in portraits and I love a costume museum/exhibition as well so this sounds like it’s going to be my sort of thing. Coincidentally I was following the author on Twitter before I’d even heard of the book because as well as interesting historical stuff she also posts pictures of gorgeous dresses from history. And I do like a look at history through the medium of something mundane/normal.

A couple of years ago, I read The Button Box by Lynn Knight, which looked at the changing lives of women in the twentieth century by looking at the contents of a box of buttons that has been passed down through her family. I have a copy of The Dress Diary… so I intend to report back, but given how easily I get distracted by cozy crime or romance, I thought I probably ought to give it a mention today before I suddenly realise it’s three years later and I still haven’t read it. Which is basically what happened with The Button Box…

new releases, previews

Out Today: new Amy Lea

Actually this is another of those strange split releases that we seem to be getting so much now as the Kindle edition was out on the 10th, but the paperback is out today. Exes and O’s is the next book in the series that started with Set On You last year. This features unlucky in love Tara, who is revisiting her exes to try and find her shot at a second chance romance with her new flatmate Trevor as her sidekick. I have this on the to-read pile, but haven’t got to it yet, because: Meg Langslow binge, although writing this has reminded me why I really wanted to read it. It’s blurbed by Beth O’Leary and Ali Hazelwood if that helps you make your decision in the absence of a review from me!


Out this week: New Olivia Dade

The third book in Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert series came out on Tuesday so I couldn’t help myself but post about it. I wrote about All The Feels last year and I can’t remember why I didn’t make Spoiler Alert book of the week, although I did also write about 40-Love so that might be why. Anyway this is a story about two actors who had a one night stand and then end up working together on a fantasy TV show (think Game of Thrones) for six years. But one the last night of filming that one night stand thing happens again and this time he doesn’t want to let her go. And that’s all I know – because my copy is a hard copy and it’s arrived at home after I have left for nights away. But we all know what I’m going to be reading when I get home later in the week. And the only reason I’m not reading the kindle sample in the mean time is because I know it’ll annoy me that I can’t carry on reading – and I really can’t justify buying the kindle edition when I have the paperback at home!

previews, romantic comedy

New this week: Better Than Fiction

Well it was a delightful treat from Past Verity when this dropped onto my Kindle on Tuesday morning – because I had completely forgotten that I had preordered the new Alexa Martin novel! I’ve recommended her football romances before, but I think her last novel and this are moving more towards the Rom com than the straight Rom. I shall report back. This promises a reluctant bookstore owner being converted to book lover by a best selling romance author. I can’t wait!

books, previews

New Phryne Fisher…

As the title says – there is a new Phryne Fisher book! Murder in Williamstown came out in Australia and New Zealand this week. It doesn’t have a UK release date yet – in fact doesn’t even admit it exists at the moment, but it’s a great opportunity to remind you of how much I love Kerry Greenwood’s 1920s Lady Detective via my recent Phryne reread post as well as my original series I love post. Enjoy!


Out Today: Christmas Sarah Morgan!

Yes, it came out in the US last month, but here in the UK today is the day for the Christmas Sarah Morgan novel – this year’s is called Snowed in for Christmas. This is somewhere between a contemporary romance and a women’s fiction novel – yes I know, I’m not a fan of that as a term, but I don’t think there’s another shorthand that works as well – it has a romance at the heart of it but it’s not just a romance, and it feels like it’s not quite the same as Morgan’s previous romances – although you’re still going to get a happy ending. Or at least I hope you are – I haven’t finished it yet!


New arrival: Carrie Soto is Back

Is this the book I have written about the most this year before it even came out? Probably. And it came out on Tuesday so this is a couple of days late because I’ve only just got home from a couple of nights in London to get my hands on it. But I have already read all of the Kindle preview while I was away and I’m ready to dig in to the rest. I don’t think I had appreciated that the release date coincided with the US Open, which would have been a nice touch but is now an excellent touch as Serena Williams is currently competing in her (probably) final tournament – and this is a book about a female tennis great coming out of retirement to reclaim her crown…


Half year lookahead!

I did a post at the start of the year with my most Anticipated Books of 2022 so I thought I would revisit and update for the midway point – when we have more details about the releases in the later bit of the year.

As you can see from the photo, I’ve actually read quite a lot of the anticipated stuff that I have copies of from the first half of the year (stuff with a blue line through it means I’ve read it!) and the whole list is quite first half of the year heavy still.

So, what’s on the preorder list at the moment? Well the third (and final?) Vera Kelly book – Vera Kelly: Lost and Found which is out in September. I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in the series which has seen Vera junketing around Argentina and also a children’s home in upstate New York. This one sees Vera heading off to Los Angeles and sees her trying to track down her missing girlfriend. The Kindle is actually already available apparently, but I have the others in this series in paperback and I want them to match…

The next in Olivia Dade’s Spoiler Alert series is out in November – Shipwrecked is about actors who had a one night stand years ago and are now co-stars in an epic to series. And somehow linked in my head, but for reasons I can’t understand is Jen DeLuca’s Ren faire series – I did mention Well Travelled in the first post but it has slipped back further in the year and is now out in December and features the Duelling Kilts band that we’ve met in earlier books.

I’ve also got my eye on Vacationland by Meg Mitchell Matthews, which looks like it could be quality Rich People Problems stuff – with a wife in Maine for the summer with the kids and her husband in Brooklyn looking for funding for his start up. That’s out in August, but it’s a £20 hard back so I’m hanging fire on a preorder at the moment because that’s a lot for a new to me author.

On the non fiction front, I have my eye on Sarah Churchwell’s The Wrath to Come exploring modern America through the myth of Gone with the Wind. I haven’t preordered it yet because the pile is so big and I read hardback none fiction so slowly, but it looks really good.

And finally then there is Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde, which retells and reimagines the story of Marilyn Monroe and is not new at all – it’s about to be a movie for goodness sake but appears to be out of print in English so I’ve bunged a preorder in for the rerelease in September in case I don’t find a second hand copy sooner!

That’s it for now on the upcoming, but here are links to the posts where I’ve talked about some of my anticipated releases from the first half of the year: The Christie Affair, The Maid, Fatal Crossing, Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting, Attack and Decay, Amongst Our Weapons and The Prize Racket. And finally here’s my favourite new books of the first half of 2022.