If you’re looking for standard Valentine’s fare, even the local gas station can load you up with something resembling a rose and passable chocolate. Instead, show your readers some love with an assortment of sweet reads that explore lives and loves with a tinge of mystery and darkness. Check out these six acclaimed releases, starting with a bit of self-love, a debut called “a valentine to librarians that doesn’t shy away from their dark sides” (Kirkus Reviews on The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk). Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Eva Jurczyk
Indie Next Pick
“Filled with characters that resonate, glimpses into the reality of libraries and academia, and enchanting descriptions of rare books, this debut from a librarian will captivate bibliophiles.” ― Library Journal
“The perfect gift for librarians and those who love them.” — Kirkus Reviews
Liesl Weiss works in the rare books department of a university. When her boss has a stroke and she’s left to run things, she discovers that the library’s most-prized manuscript is missing. Liesl tries to inform the police about the missing priceless book but is told to keep quiet. Then a librarian unexpectedly stops showing up to work. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, and what she discovers shakes the foundation on which she has built her life.
The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
Indie Next Pick
On over 14 Most Anticipated Book Lists
“A clever, highly original, mesmerizing tale filled with strange and unexpected turns . . . concludes it in an unexpected but wholly satisfying manner. With its superb writing, strong characterizations, and wonderfully imaginative plot, this is a must-read.” — starred, Booklist
London, 1925. In a world of townhomes and tennis matches, socialites and shooting parties, Miss Nan O’Dea became Archie Christie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted and well-known wife, Agatha Christie. The question is, why? Why destroy another woman’s marriage, why hatch a plot years in the making, and why murder? How was Nan O’Dea so intricately tied to those 11 mysterious days that Agatha Christie went missing?
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho
Indie Next Pick
On over 6 Most Anticipated Book Lists
“Ho excels at creating characters whose struggles feel deeply human. This packs in plenty of insights about love and friendship.” — Publishers Weekly
Best friends Fiona Lin and Jane Shen explore the lonely freeways and seedy bars of Los Angeles together through their teenage years, surviving unfulfilling romantic encounters and carrying with them the scars of their families’ tumultuous pasts. When Fiona moves to New York and cares for a sick friend through a breakup with an opportunistic boyfriend, Jane remains in California and grieves her estranged father’s sudden death, in the process alienating an overzealous girlfriend. Strained by distance and unintended betrayals, the women float in and out of each other’s lives, their friendship both a beacon of home and a reminder of all they’ve lost.
A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
Goodreads — One of the Readers’ Most Anticipated Mysteries of 2022
Crime by the Book — One of the Most Anticipated Early 2022 Crime Books
SIBA — One of the “Read This Next!” Picks of the Month
Deep South Magazine — Fall/Winter Reading List
“Atmospheric prose and abundant red herrings amplify the tale’s intensity. Willingham is a writer to watch.” ― Publishers Weekly
When Chloe Davis was 12, six teenage girls went missing in her town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life. Twenty years later, Chloe is a psychologist in Baton Rouge. When a local girl goes missing, that terrifying summer comes crashing back. Is she paranoid, or for the second time in her life is Chloe about to unmask a killer?
The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Instant New York Times Bestseller
Oprah’s Book Club Selection
Longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel, National Book Award for Fiction, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize
Finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Ailey Pearl embarks on a journey through her family’s past, uncovering the shocking tales of generations of ancestors in the deep South. In doing so, Ailey must learn to embrace her full heritage, a legacy of oppression and resistance, bondage and independence, cruelty and resilience that is the story—and the song—of America itself.
Death at Greenway by Lori Rader-Day
Indie Next Pick
“Rader-Day nicely evokes the isolation and dislocations of people in WWII Britain while revealing her characters’ complexities.” — starred, Publishers Weekly
Bridey Kelly has come to Greenway House—the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie—in disgrace. A terrible mistake at St. Prisca’s Hospital in London has led to her dismissal as a nurse trainee, and her only chance for redemption is a position caring for children evacuated to safety from the Blitz. Greenway is a beautiful home full of riddles, but the biggest mystery might be the other nurse, Gigi. When a body washes ashore near the estate, Bridey is horrified to realize this is a victim of a brutal killing. With a mystery writer’s home as their unsettling backdrop, Bridey and Gigi must unravel the truth before their safe haven becomes a place of death.
Find these titles (and more!) through Thorndike Press and all major wholesalers.