New Books Released 2022: Best new fiction this month
With countless new books released each month, it can be hard for a book lover to keep up with all that is shiny and new in fiction. But, I love scouring the upcoming book releases lists, searching for those special gems, whether exciting new novels from bestselling authors or the next breakout debuts – whatever is likely to make our book-loving hearts sing.
Related Reading: New Books Released 2023: Best books this month
Our leisure reading time is precious… Why just pick good books to read, when you can find the best books to read in 2022!
🔍To help narrow down your book selection, I will share my top picks of the new fiction releases in 2022 across several genre. Links in this article will take you to more detail about each new book, and when I have been lucky enough to read it, open up my full review in a new tab.
So without further ado, read on to see which 2022 book releases have caught my attention so far… and which have already earned a spot on my Best Books 0f 2022 list!
Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.
New Books Released and Upcoming in 2022
November & December Book Releases
After the avalanche of highly anticipated new releases from big-name authors in September & October (see further below), there are less books to get excited about in November & December 2022. However, there will always be some titles that catch my attention.
New Release Literature
Now Is Not the Time To Panic by Kevin Wilson (Nothing To See Here) is a bold coming-of-age story spanning 20 years. An exploration of young love, identity, the power of art; the secrets that haunt us—and, ultimately, what the truth will set free. Find out more >>
We Are the Light by Matthew Quick (Silver Linings Playbook) is described as an illuminating epistolary novel about a grieving widower Lucas Goodgame who takes in an ostracized teenager and inspires a magical revival in their small town. Find out more >>
New Release Mystery Novels
Day’s End by Garry Disher – I really enjoyed Consolation (the third novel starring Paul Hirschhausen) so I was eager to ride shotgun again, as this rugged small-town cop with a good heart, gets to the bottom of more mysteries. In short – arson, a missing backpacker, and another body in a burnt suitcase… Read my review >>
Death on a Winter Stroll by Francine Mathews – The closest thing to a Christmas novel on this new books list. No-nonsense Nantucket detective Merry Folger grapples with the aftermath of the pandemic and two murders as the island is overtaken by Hollywood stars and DC suits for the holidays. Find out more >>
But, if ever there was a season to add a fun, heart-filled fantasy novel to your reading pile, it is the festive one.
Keeper of Enchanted Rooms by Charlie N Holmberg – Mid-1800s Rhode Island (land of sentient dwellings): When down-on-his luck inheritor Merritt Fernsby finds himself trapped in Whimbrel House, Hulda Larkin a trained “housekeeper” knows just what to do. But neither expects the surprises, danger, and attraction they find as they uncover the house’s secrets together. Find out more >>
The Bookstore Sisters by Alice Hoffman – A novella about an almost bankrupt family bookstore, two sisters not on speaking terms, and the arrival of a mysterious letter. Read my review >>
Best New Book Releases 2022: September & October
It has been far too long since I read a Kate Atkinson title, and her latest standalone historical novel Shrines of Gaiety sounds too good to miss. Set in the roaring ‘20s in the clubs of Soho, London where royalty rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, this novel’s star is this glittering underworld’s notorious queen Nellie Coker. This ruthless and ambitious mother of six soon learns that success breeds enemies, and her empire faces threats from without and within.
Books by bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible) are never short on ambition, with her latest release Demon Copperhead no exception. Inspired by Charles Dicken’s David Copperfield but translated to a modern southern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia setting, it tells of a boy’s journey to maturity after being born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer with no assets beyond his dead father’s copper coloured hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival.
Crime-Detective New Book Releases
The Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (yes, we know it’s Rowling) has a well-earned and evergrowing fanbase due to its fabulous TV-adaptation, and the much anticipated super chunky sixth title The Ink Black Heart is finally on bookstore shelves. The co-creator of a popular cartoon, The Ink Black Heart, Edie is murdered just days after begging for Robin and Cormoran’s help to uncover the true identity of Anomie – a mysterious online figure who had been persecuting him.
I have enjoyed every book I have read by Chris Hammer, but particularly so his last novel Treasure & Dirt which introduced the detective pairing Nell Buchanan and Ivan Lucic. Thankfully they are back in a new novel Tilt. Nell is assigned an unsolved murder that occurred decades ago in her hometown. But this is no ordinary cold case, as the discovery of more bodies triggers a chain of escalating events in the present day, and Nell begins to question how well she truly knows those closest to her.
New Books – Thrillers & Suspense
I was blown away by Helen Fields’ novel One for Sorrow, and her new release The Last Girl to Die, set on the ocean-battered Isle of Mull off the coast of Scotland sounds equally riveting. When 17-year-old Adriana Clark goes missing her desperate parents turn to private investigator Sadie Levesque. She finds her seaweed-crowned body in a cliffside cave, but the deeper she digs into the island’s secrets the closer danger gets.
I enjoyed Kris Waldherr’s poetic gothic novel debut The Lost History of Dreams, and so her new book about the line we cross for loyalty and love, Unnatural Creatures is likely worthy of book lover attention. Apparently, the untold story of the three women closest to Victor Frankenstein – his mother, his bride and his servant – is revealed in this dark and sweeping, atmospheric reimagining of Mary Shelley’s beloved gothic classic.
Fantasy Book Releases
Described as vintage Stephen King, the bestselling author’s latest offering Fairy Tale stars Charlie Reade, a lonely seventeen-year-old boy who befriends an old recluse Howard Bowditch and his dog Radar. But, when Howard dies Charlie inherits the keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war, and the stakes could not be higher – for their world or ours. A young hero with a canine sidekick? Count me in.
Bestselling YA author Veronica Roth (Divergent) is releasing a thought-provoking adult dystopian mystery titled Poster Girl that explores the expanding role of surveillance on society. It tells the story of a woman’s desperate search for a missing girl after the collapse of an oppressive dystopian regime–and the dark secrets about her family and community she uncovers along the way.
Literary Fiction New Releases
I am not often in agreement with book award judges but the ironic and quirky narrative in Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Less certainly won me over. So, I am eager to accompany his hapless protagonist Arthur Less on his next adventure in Less is Lost – a literary road trip with a human-like black pug, Dolly, and a rusty camper van nicknamed Rosina.
I found the spiky, quirky narrative in Lucy Ives’ Impossible Views of the World fascinating, and her new book release Life is Everywhere sounds equally intriguing. It’s about one person, a young writer, on one evening, reckoning with heartbreak–a story that, to be fully told, unexpectedly requires many others, from the history of botulism to an enigmatic surrealist prank.
More new book releases from bestselling authors:
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Best New Book Releases 2022: July & August
I found The Bone Code #20 a quality addition to Kathy Reichs’ iconic Temperance Brennan series, so am looking forward to her 2022 new book release Cold Cold Bones #21. When quality time with her daughter is interrupted by the discovery of a human eyeball etched with GPS coordinates on their back porch, this leads Tempe on a dangerous pursuit of someone scarily familiar with her past cases and hellbent on revenge. This instalment also stars fan fave beau Andrew Ryan.
Screenwriter Greg Woodland’s debut crime novel The Night Whistler set in 1970s rural small town Australia was one of my Best Books of 2020 and shortlisted for a Ned Kelly Award. In his new book release, a sequel The Carnival is Over, teenager Hal and Sergeant Mick Goodenough are older but have past events made them wiser? When gruesome accidents keep occurring in Moorabool and someone close to Hal goes missing they begin to suspect something more sinister is going on.
Also, Denise Mina fans will be pleased to know the sequel to Conviction, her thrilling modern spin on mystery metafiction starring Anna and Fin, will be titled Confidence and released early July 2022.
New release romance
Dead Romantics has been named one of the northern Summer’s Hottest Reads (Entertainment Weekly). A disillusioned millennial romance ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this adult debut from national bestselling YA author Ashley Poston. Florence believes real romance is dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories!
Love this title! Of Alicia Thompson’s debut, Ali Hazelwood has said, “Love in the Time of Serial Killers is to die for… Let Phoebe and Sam’s hilarious interactions and blazing chemistry suck you in.” PhD candidate Phoebe has always been obsessed with true crime. She thinks her new neighbour, Sam, could be a serial killer. But it’s not long before she realizes that Sam might be something much scarier–a genuinely nice guy who can pierce her armour to reach her vulnerable heart.
New thriller novels
The setting of Allie Reynolds’ new release standalone psychological thriller The Swell (aka The Bay) is a far cry from her snowbound breakout debut Shiver, but the plot sounds no less chilling. Described as Point Break meets Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, this novel explores the dangerous ties between a group of elite surfers who are determined to find the perfect waves at any cost… even murder. The waves are to die for.
My top pick of the August new book releases in this genre is a locked-room mystery, Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney (Rock Paper Scissors). Daisy Darker is arriving at her grandmother’s crumbling Cornish house perched on its own tiny private island to celebrate her eightieth birthday and Halloween. It’s over a decade since her family have all been in the same place. When the tide comes in they’ll be cut off from the world, with a killer.
New Book Releases – Literary historical fiction
Mercury Pictures Presents from award-winning author Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena) is one of the most anticipated fiction book releases of 2022 — an epic tale of a brilliant woman who must reinvent herself to survive, from Mussolini’s Italy to 1940s LA—a timeless story of love, deceit, and sacrifice.
Maria Lagana arrived in Hollywood hoping to outrun her past. Born in Rome, where every Sunday her father took her to the cinema instead of church, Maria immigrates with her mother after a childhood transgression leads to her father’s arrest. Fifteen years later, Maria is an associate producer at Mercury Pictures, trying to keep her personal and professional lives from falling apart. As the world descends into WWII, she rises through a maze of politics, divided loyalties, and jockeying ambitions. But the arrival of a stranger from her father’s past threatens her carefully constructed facade, and she must finally confront her father’s fate, and her own.
Kate Forsyth (Bitter Greens, The Wild Girl) is known for her impeccably researched fiction romantically weaving history, fable and myth. Her new book release The Crimson Thread is another epic and enchanting tale. Set in WWII Crete, Alenka, a young woman who fights with the resistance against the brutal Nazi occupation finds herself caught between her traitor of a brother and the man she loves, an undercover agent working for the Allies.
Jessie Burton’s debut The Miniaturist earned the now bestselling author a legion of fans and a TV series. Its sequel The House of Fortune is now being released. Set in 1705 Amsterdam, Thea Brandt is turning 18, her father Otto and Aunt Nella argue endlessly, they are selling furniture to buy food. Nella is desperate to find Thea a husband to guarantee their future, but when she feels a strange prickling sensation on the back of her neck, she wonders if the miniaturist has returned for her.
More Literary & Fantasy new book releases
Fantasy horror novel The Book Eaters is Sunyi Dean’s debut. Hidden across England and Scotland live six old Book Eater families. The last of their lines, they exist on the fringes of society and subsist on a diet of stories and legends. When Devon Fairweather’s second child is born a dreaded Mind Eater, she flees before he can be turned into a weapon for the family… or worse. Living among humans and finding prey for her son, Devon seeks a cure for his hunger. But time is running out…
In R. F. Kuang’s chunky new release Babel, in 1828, Robin Swift is brought from Canton to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell, training for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation (and magic) – Babel. Manifesting the meaning lost in translation using enchanted silver bars has made the British unparalleled in power, as its knowledge serves the Empire’s quest for colonization.
More literary fiction new releases that have caught my eye:
- Bobby Palmer’s peculiarly titled whimsical debut novel, Isaac & the Egg has been described as ‘Truly one of the most beautiful stories you’ll ever read’ by Joanna Cannon – an endorsement hard to ignore.
- Fellow fans of Jess Walter’s writing (Beautiful Ruins, The Financial Lives of the Poets) will be pleased to hear he’s just released his second story collection, The Angel of Rome & Other Stories.
- The Queen of Dirt Island is a new release from award-winning Irish author Donal Ryan (The Spinning Heart).
New Book Releases in May & June 2022
It seems fitting that I start this best new book releases list with the highly anticipated and aptly titled Book Lovers by Emily Henry. The queen of the vacation rom-coms, she’s back with: One summer in small town North Carolina. Two rivals – cuthroat literary agent Nora Stephens and Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor that Nora has seen quite enough of back in the city thank you very much. A plot twist neither saw coming…
In her new book This Time Tomorrow Emma Straub asks, what if you could take a vacation to your past? On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, she’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels like something is missing. Then she wakes up the next morning back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday.
With her 2021 debut novel The Love Hypothesis Ali Hazelwood staked her claim on the STEM rom-com. Fans will be pleased to see she is releasing a STEMinist novella series, one a month (May, June and July 2022), in the lead up to the release of her next full length novel, Love on the Brain in August 2022. Find out more >>
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) is best known for her darkly witty essay writing. Those talents have now been invested into her new fiction release Cult Classic – a story of ghosts of boyfriends past, romantic carnage, a hipster cult experimenting with mind control and social media’s influence on our modern lives. Find out more >>
New release Fantasy & Gothic suspense
Bestselling YA author Holly Black (The Cruel Prince) makes her adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of betrayals, cabals, and a dissolute thief of shadows, in the vein of Neil Gaiman and Erin Morgenstern. Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or bad decision she wouldn’t make. Now she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but her magic obsessed sister, shadowless boyfriend, and return of a terrible figure from her past mean getting out isn’t easy…
Isabel Canas’ debut supernatural suspense novel The Hacienda is being described as Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence. Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. But when Rodolfo returns to the capital, she begins experiencing a malevolent presence…
Action-Thriller new fiction
I’ve long been a fan of Adrian McKinty’s Sean Duffy crime series, and while less impressed with his first foray into the action-thriller genre, The Chain, the synopsis for his May 2022 new release The Island definitely has my attention. Small-town girl Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. It was just supposed to be a family vacation. Then a terrible accident changed everything. You don’t know what you’re capable of until they come for your family… A good book to read if you enjoy relentless suspense, and have a strong stomach!
Isabella Maldonado wore a gun and badge in real life before turning to crime writing, so it is no surprise her 2020 release The Cipher starring FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera was a bestseller and now Jennifer Lopez is reportedly producing/starring in a feature film version. Book 2 in the series A Different Dawn was released in 2021 and in June 2022 comes Book 3 The Falcon. A serial killer wants to play, but Nina has no time for games. Six female undergrads at an elite university vanish. The media descends. The families demand action.
Crime Mystery new book releases
Another of my favourite authors is Tara Moss. Why? Because she uses her platform to speak out on important issues in real life, and in her fiction she writes kick-arse leading ladies. I adored The War Widow (aka Dead Man Switch) starring new character private investigator Billie Walker. A former war reporter, she’s world-wise and resourceful; staunchly independent, stylish, sharp of mind and brave of heart. So am very excited to see Billie’s story continue in her latest release The Ghosts of Paris.
When a wealthy client hires Billie and her assistant Sam to track down her missing husband, the trail leads Billie back to post-war London and Paris, where her own painful memories of her wartime lover and briefly, husband Jack Rake, also lurk.
While best known for her Rowland Sinclair series, Sulari Gentill’s highly-anticipated June 2022 release The Woman in the Library is a standalone crime novel. Set in the ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library, this unexpectedly twisty literary adventure examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.
May new release Metropolis by B.A. Shapiro (The Art Forger) is a novel of psychological suspense involving six mysterious characters who rent units in, or are connected to, the Metropolis self-storage facility and whose lives intersect after a harrowing accident occurs there. But was it really an accident? Was it suicide? A murder? It’s a catalyst to reevaluate their lives.
New Release Literature
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks (March, Year of Wonders, People of the Book) spends years researching and crafting her novels, so each new book release is long anticipated. This one, simply titled Horse, sounds like another thoroughly immersive and captivating read, in a similar vein to Dominic Smith’s The Last Painting of Sara de Vos.
Spanning three timelines – pre-Civil War Kentucky, 1950s New York and 2019 Washington, DC – it is the story of Lexington, the fastest horse in nineteenth-century America, his black groom, and the white abolitionist who painted him, of the woman in the WWII’s New York Art scene who went on to own the horse’s famous painting, and of Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian now unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse.
In Steve Toltz’ new novel Here Goes Nothing, Angus has been murdered. He feels humiliated – he’s never even believed in an afterlife – and he misses his audacious and fiery wife, Gracie, who’s expecting their first child. The only upside is that he’s found a way to see what his murderer is up to, and how Gracie is faring. The downside: Gracie and his murderer are getting uncomfortably close. Find out more >>
The critics are raving over this one. At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, TRUST engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts. Find out more >>
New in Fiction – March & April 2022
In Helen Fields’ latest release One for Sorrow a lone bomber is targeting victims across Edinburgh, and no one is safe. In their jobs, DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach deal with death every day. But when it becomes clear that every bomb is a trap designed to kill them too, the possibility of facing it themselves starts to feel all too real. With the body-count rising daily and the bomber’s methods becoming ever more horrifying, Ava and Luc must race to find out who is behind the attacks – or pay the ultimate price. One of my best books of 2022.
As a long-time fan of Emma Viskic’s Caleb Zelic PI series, I cannot wait to dive into Those Who Perish (Book 4). This deaf PI’s perspective is always fascinating to read, and unlike in the past, he now has much to lose! But when he receives a message that his brother, Anton, is in danger, Caleb sees it as a chance at redemption. He tracks Anton down to a small, wind-punished island, where secrets run deep and resentments deeper. When a sniper starts terrorising the isolated community, the brothers must rely on each other like never before.
Benjamin Stevenson’s March book release Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone has received lots of buzz, with film/TV rights already sold to HBO and publication/translation rights sold across the world. Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle meet Knives Out and The Thursday Murder Club in this fiendishly clever blend of classic and modern murder mystery. It’s already being hailed as one of the best books of 2022.
I was dreading the Cunningham family reunion even before the first murder. Before the storm stranded us at the mountain resort, snow and bodies piling up. The thing is, us Cunninghams don’t really get along. We’ve only got one thing in common- we’ve all killed someone.
Another notable new release: Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment (my review)
Drama & Romance Book Releases
Sarah Lotz’ new book Impossible (aka The Impossible Us) is being praised for its ‘zingy dialogue’ and compared to one of my favourite romantic comedy novels One Day. Meet Nick: Failed writer. Failed husband. Dog owner. Meet Bee: Serial dater. Dressmaker. Pringles enthusiast. One day, their paths cross over a misdirected email. The connection is instant, electric. Nick buys a suit, gets on a train. Bee steps away from her desk, sets off to meet him under the clock at Euston station. But there’s a twist…
Beth O’Leary is the author of some of my favourite rom-coms of all time – The Flatshare, The Switch -and her fourth novel The No-Show is being described as brilliantly funny, heart-breaking and joyful, her most ambitious novel yet. It is a story about three women and three dates on Valentines Day. And one man Joseph Carter who made plans with all- Siobhan for breakfast, Miranda for lunch and Jane for the evening – but fails to show for all of them. Where is he? Can they find him?
I just love Toni Jordan’s fun and intelligent take on relationship fiction – Our Tiny, Useless Hearts, Fall Girl, Addition – so am excited about her latest offering, Dinner with the Schnabels.
You can marry into them, but can you ever really be one of them? Things haven’t gone well for Simon Larsen lately. He adores his family, but he’s having a hard time doing anything right in the eyes of his larger-than-life in-laws, the Schnabels. To keep everyone happy, Simon needs to do one little job: he has a week to landscape a friend’s backyard for an important Schnabel family event. But as the week progresses he is derailed by the arrival of an unexpected guest. Then he discovers his wife is keeping a secret. As his world spins out of control, who can Simon really count on?
More new dramatic fiction: The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegal
New Historical Fiction Releases
Kate Quinn’s The Diamond Eye is a timely fiction release based on a true story of a quiet bookworm who became a heroine as history’s deadliest female sniper. In the snowbound city of Kyiv, history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son–but Hitler’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper–a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death.
Bonnie Garmus’ debut novel Lessons in Chemistry has been recommended for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Set in 1960s California it features the singular voice of unconventional, uncompromising Elizabeth Zott, a chemist whose career takes a detour when she becomes the star of a beloved TV cooking show. As her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Dominique Wilson’s Orphan Rock is a richly detailed story of secrets and heartbreak that takes readers from historical Sydney’s slums to the wide avenues of the City of Lights.
The late 1800s was a time when women were meant to know their place. But when Bessie starts to work for Louisa Lawson at The Dawn, she comes to realise there’s more to a woman’s place than servitude to a husband. Years later her daughter Kathleen flees to Paris to escape a secret she cannot accept. But World War I intervenes, exposing her to both the best and the worst of humanity. A powerful story about how women and minorities fought against being silenced.
New Book Releases – Fantasy & Science Fiction
John Scalzi’s adventure thriller The Kaiju Preservation Society sounds like lots of fun. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble. But it’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society who have found their way to this alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.
In The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd Nell Young’s father, one of the most respected cartographers in the world, is found dead – or murdered? – in his office at the New York Public Library. They hadn’t spoken in years, ever since they argued and he fired her over a seemingly worthless highway roadside map, every copy of which is now being destroyed. Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to discover why, the secrets behind her family, and the true power that lies in maps…
A new book from award-winning author Emily St John Mandel (Station Eleven, The Glass Hotel) is always highly anticipated, with Sea of Tranquility no exception. This slim epic (272 pages) about art, time travel, love, and plague, takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space. Three people from three different time periods, in a tale that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.
Kingfisher’s April book release Nettle & Bone is a subversive fantasy adventure. This isn’t the kind of fairytale where the princess marries a prince. It’s the one where she kills him. Marra never wanted to be a hero but she’s done watching her sister suffer at the hands of a powerful, abusive prince. Hero or not―now joined by a disgraced ex-knight, a reluctant fairy godmother, an enigmatic gravewitch and her fowl familiar―Marra must muster the courage to save her sister, and topple a throne.
New in Literature
A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon (The Trouble With Goats & Sheep, Breaking & Mending) is a delightfully sinister novel about Linda, a married woman living a nice, quiet suburban life – if she doesn’t think about what her husband might be up to? It’s certainly a far cry from the glamorous lifestyle she sees in the glossy magazines coming through the mail slot addressed to the previous occupant, Rebecca. A darkly funny and compulsive read, full of twists – and twists on twists – that keeps readers guessing until the last page.
In Annie Hartnett’s April release Unlikely Animals, med-school dropout Emma arrives home knowing she must face her dad’s terminal brain disease causing him to hallucinate, her mom’s judgement, and her younger brother’s recent stint in rehab, but she’s unprepared to find that her former best friend is missing, with no one bothering to look for her. A tragicomic novel about familial expectations, imperfect friendships, and the possibility of resurrecting that which had been thought irrevocably lost.
What’s New in Books – January & February 2022
Nita Prose’ debut novel The Maid is one of the most buzzworthy early 2022 new releases, with book rights sold in 29 territories and the film rights snapped up by Universal, with Florence Pugh set to play the title character. One of the best books to read to kick start your reading year.
I am your maid. I know about your secrets. Your dirty laundry. But what do you know about me?
Molly is all alone in the world, used to being invisible in her job as a maid at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows and wiping away the grime, dust and secrets of the guests passing through. But she’s thrown into the spotlight when she discovers an infamous guest dead in his bed. This isn’t a mess that can be easily cleaned up. As Molly becomes embroiled in the hunt for the truth, she discovers a power she never knew was there. What can she see that others overlook? A story about everyone deserving to be seen.
Victoria Brookman’s debut novel Burnt Out is described as a warm and witty story for our times. Calida Lyons is having a very bad week. She’s long past deadline for her still unwritten second novel and her husband has just left her. Then she loses everything in a bushfire, becomes the celebrity face of climate change and is offered a harbourside refuge by Arlo Richard, handsome tech billionaire. But things aren’t as they seem… Is fame and living with a billionaire all it’s cracked up to be?
I often find myself drawn to quirky characters. The Competition by Katherine Collette (The Helpline) is set at the SpeechMakers annual national conference. For the first time ever, there is a $40,000 prize on offer for whomever wins the public-speaking competition. Frances, Keith, Neil and Rebecca all want to win, but for very different reasons… A heartfelt comedy of manners featuring a cast of loveable underachievers headed for self-improvement despite themselves.
More new book releases with strong female protagonists: The Department of Rare Books & Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano.
Brendan Slocumb’s debut thriller The Violin Conspiracy strikes me as a page-turner with uncommon depth.
Growing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian’s life is already mapped out. If he’s lucky, he’ll get a job at the hospital cafeteria. But Ray’s determined to become a world-class professional violinist, and nothing will stand in his way. Not his mother, who wants him to stop making such a racket; not the fact that he can’t afford a violin suitable to his talents; not even the racism inherent in the world of classical music. When he discovers that his great-great-grandfather’s beat-up old fiddle is actually a priceless Stradivarius, all his dreams suddenly seem within reach. Together, Ray and his violin take the world by storm. But on the eve of the renowned and cutthroat Tchaikovsky Competition–the Olympics of classical music–the violin is stolen, a ransom note for five million dollars left in its place. Ray will have to piece together the clues to recover his treasured Strad . . . before it’s too late.
Of the many new books out in January and February 2022 in the commercial thriller genre, these next two synopses particularly caught my eye:
You Can Run is the first title in a brand new romantic suspense series from bestselling novelist Rebecca Zanetti.
What happens when your demons can’t be outrun? FBI Special Agent Laurel Snow, a rising star profiler, strives to stay one step ahead of the criminal mind. Then there’s her attraction to Huck Rivers, the fish and wildlife officer (and former soldier and trained sniper) that is guiding her to the crime scene—and into the wilderness…
The Overnight Guest is the upcoming release from bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf. True-crime writer Wylie Lark is snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s writing her new book. Decades earlier, two people were murdered there in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace. As the storm worsens, Wylie is haunted by secrets of the house and her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow outside. Bringing them inside, it becomes clear the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.
New historical fiction novels
The early 2022 book releases include new novels from some big-names in historical fiction. But, firstly, how gorgeous are the book covers? Luckily, the stories behind them sound just as compelling.
Violeta by Isabel Allende (Of Love and Shadows) tells the epic story of Violeta Del Valle, a woman whose life spans one hundred years. In a letter to someone she loves above all others, she recounts devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy, and a life shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women’s rights, the rise and fall of tyrants and, ultimately, not one but two pandemics.
Similar read: The Return by Victoria Hislop
The Magnolia Palace by Fiona Davis (The Lions of Fifth Avenue) is a novel about secrets, betrayal, and murder. In 1920s New York City, a grieving artist’s model accepts a job as private secretary to the daughter and heiress of industrialist and art patron Henry Clay Frick. She finds herself in a tangled web of romantic trysts, stolen jewels, and family drama that runs so deep, the stakes just may be life or death. At a Vogue photoshoot nearly 50-years later, model Veronica Weber and charming intern Joshua stumble on a series of hidden messages in the museum that was once the Frick mansion.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Sequoia Nagamatsu’s debut How High We Go in the Dark is receiving early high praise… apparently, a good book to read if you enjoyed David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas and Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven. From funerary skyscrapers to hotels for the dead to interstellar starships, Nagamatsu takes readers on a wildly original and compassionate journey, spanning continents, centuries, and even celestial bodies to tell a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, our infinite capacity to dream, and the connective threads that tie us all together in the universe.
Best known for his The Dublin Trilogy comic crime thrillers, C K McDonnell is now penning a comic fantasy series set in the offices of The Stranger Times, the weekly go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable. In Book 2 This Charming Man, vampires start popping up around Manchester. Throw in someone trying to kidnap staff, a plumbing situation, gambling debts, an entirely new way of swearing, and a DI with a lot of baggage and it’s a hectic week at the newspaper committed to reporting the truth that nobody else will touch. But I urge you to start by reading Book 1 – it is so much fun!
Romantic fiction releases
Lots of new release romantic fiction on offer as we head towards Valentine’s Day. Here are my top picks, both out in February 2022.
Kimberley Allsopp’s debut novel Love and Other Puzzles is being marketed as an “astringently refreshing rom-com that reads like you’re inhaling a zingy citrus cocktail made by Nora Ephron, at a party thrown by Dolly Alderton and Beth O’Leary“. Rory’s life is perfectly predictable and ordered – but deep down she knows her career and her relationship are going nowhere. So, she decides to let the clues of The New York Times crossword puzzle dictate all her decisions for a week. Just for a week, she reasons. Just to shake things up a bit. What’s the worst that could happen?
One Night on the Island by Josie Silver (One Day in December) – Cleo writes about love stories every day. She just isn’t living one of her own. When the editor of her dating column asks her to marry herself on a remote Irish island – a sensational piece to mark Cleo’s thirtieth birthday – Cleo agrees. She can handle a solo adventure. Cleo arrives at her luxury cabin to find a tall, dark, stubborn American who insists it’s actually his. Mack refuses to leave, and Cleo won’t budge either. With a storm fast approaching, they reluctantly hunker down together. It’s just one night, after all…
January Rom-Com Releases: Safety in Numbers by Sophie Penhaligon (links to my review) and Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Related reading: My Top Intelligent Romantic Comedy Novels
Recent New Fiction Books
If you cannot wait for these new books to be published, then check out the November and December 2021 new release fiction you may have missed and/or my Best Books of 2021.