It’s a new month and there are new books! Get your “to be read” list out and start adding a few of these titles to it.
The Passenger by Lisa Lutz (March 1): This one seems an interesting change of pace from an author who had previously established herself with the light-hearted Spellman Files series, humourous mysteries in the vein of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels. The Passenger embraces a current trend in fiction — the domestic thriller (variously called the Marriage Thriller, Chick Lit Noir and other names — think Gone Girl or Girl on The Train): “48 hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time. She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. An uneasy – and dangerous – alliance is born.”
Still Mine by Amy Stuart (March 1): “What happens if you vanish from your life and leave no story behind”. In case you need more proof of the popularity of the domestic thriller, here’s another much-hyped addition to the genre released this March and billed as “Girl on the Train meets the Silent Wife”. “Clare is on the run. From her past, from her husband, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she’s hiding. As it turns out, she’s hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place.”
Love, Loss and What We Ate by Padma Lakshmi (March 8): I have very few reality TV guilty-pleasures, but the one I do have is a love of Bravo’s Top Chef – a competitive cooking show hosted by Padma Lakshmi. Now Lakshmi brings us a memoir that dishes on her childhood and path to success in America: “a vivid memoir of food and family, survival and triumph, Love, Loss, and What We Ate traces the arc of Padma Lakshmi’s unlikely path from an immigrant childhood to a complicated life in front of the camera—a tantalizing blend of Ruth Reichl’s Tender at the Bone and Nora Ephron’s Heartburn.”
As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner (March 15): A novel from an author who is also a poet whose reviews and jacket quotes praise its lush prose and beautiful description. “In 1948, a small stretch of the Woodmont, Connecticut shoreline, affectionately named “Bagel Beach,” has long been a summer destination for Jewish families. Here sisters Ada, Vivie, and Bec assemble at their beloved family cottage, with children in tow and weekend-only husbands who arrive each Friday in time for the Sabbath meal. When tragedy strikes, a summer of hope, freedom and self-discovery for each family member transforms into a lifetime of atonement.” Elizabeth Strout (author of Olive Kitteridge) has called this “a lovely, lovely book” and Edward P. Jones (author of The Known World and All Aunt Hagar’s Children) has said that that Poliner is “”a wonderful talent [who] should be read widely”.
Midwife and the Assassin by Sam Thomas (March 15): It’s not all domestic thrillers in the world of genre fiction these days: anyone who is a fan of historical mysteries with a strong sense of place will want to know about this title in the 17th-Century-set Midwife Mysteries. This latest instalment sees midwife Bridget Hodgson traveling to London where she is forced into work under Oliver Cromwell’s spy chief. Thus-far the series hasn’t gained a lot of popular attention, readers looking to dip into a well-researched past with a bit of mystery may want to go back and start with the first book in the series The Midwife’s Tale.
Also Releasing this month:
Some Rain Must Fall, the fifth book in the My Struggle series by Karl Ove Knaussgard (March 15), Waters of Eternal Youth, the new Commissario Guido Brunetti novel by Donna Leon (March 8) and Journey to Munich, the new Maisie Dobbs mystery by Jacqueline Winspear (March 28).