The LibraryReads list for the month of March came out on Wednesday. There are some pretty good titles on there and some I personally am not excited about but maybe you will be. The lead vote getter for the month is......
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson. This is Simonson's second book after the popular Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. She writes with a strong sense of place and time and in this case that is the small town of Rye in Sussex right before World War I. Beatrice Nash's father dies, leaving her alone in the world and penniless. She takes the position as a Latin teacher in Rye and is the first woman to do so. Her sponsor, the strong willed Agatha is aunt to Hugh (a doctor in training) and Daniel (a poet). You follow these 4 characters and see how the war changes their lives.
And the rest:
Lyndsay Faye's Jane Steele made the list. Faye writes kind of like Charles Todd or for those that remember her Mistress of the Art of Death series, Ariana Franklin. She specializes in historical mysteries that have a strong sense of place and are richly detailed. This one is a mixture of a Jane Eyre remake and a serial killer story. Jane Steele receives cruel treatment from her aunt and schoolmaster so she kills them. Then she ends up on the run. Eventually she applies for a position as governess and falls in love with the head of the house.
Lisa Lutz is one of my favorite authors. She has always made me laugh out loud although this is a stand alone that definitely doesn't have a funny premise. The Passenger, a standalone made the list.
Leaving her husband's body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois takes off leaving everything behind. She meets a female bartender and the both of them take off on the run. This is not the first time Tanya has been on the run. Can she outrun her past? Really very fast paced with a lot of action but a fun trip.
Next comes Anne Bishop's Marked in Flesh. Bishop writes sensual, urban fantasy kind of like Laurell K. Hamilton. This title is the fourth in the Courtyards of the Others series. This series features Meg Corbyn who is a blood prophet (she sees prophecies when she cuts herself) and chronicle the conflict between the human world and the Others. Here, a group of radical humans seek to take control with a series of attacks on the Others. Some are willing to do anything to protect what is theirs.
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney has The Nest on the list. This is a debut novel for Sweeney and is the story of a dysfunctional family. The Plumb family consists of 2 sisters and 2 brothers who will share in their deceased fathers trust fund if one of the brothers drunk driving accident doesn't destroy it. They have to grow up fast and learn about the value of family.
Ahhhh - another favorite author. One I spoke of last week as a matter of fact. Harlan Coben's Fool Me Once made the list. Joe Burkett has been murdered in front of his wife, Maya. Then, after Maya returns to work, she sees on the nanny cam a scene of Joe playing with their daughter. What the heck is happening???!!!! Get ready to find out.
Then, The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell, another debut novel. Samantha Whipple is the sole remaining descendant of the Bronte family. Her recently deceased father sends her on a literary scavenger hunt to find the family's secret literary estate. She is helped in her quest by a young, handsome professor.
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn is next. This is the first in a prequel series to Quinn's Bridgerton series. Quinn specializes in Regency romance written with humor and also slightly more explicit that you might expect. Billie Bridgerton has always played with the neighboring Rokesbys and it was always assumed that she would marry one of them. There was one though that she despised and he seemed to despise her too. Wouldn't you know that that is the one who see finds herself attracted too. If you like the Regency romances with snappy dialogue, this is for you.
Lee Smith is a true Southern author. Many of her titles have been extremely popular. Dimestore: A Writer's Life has made the list. Lee Smith life in the mountains of Virginia was not always easy, that is for sure. This book is about her life and also about how writing has saved her. Reviewers have praised this highly.
Lastly, Elizabeth Brundage has All Things Cease to Appear on the list. Brundage writes psychological suspense novels and this is one of them. The Clares buy a farmhouse at a foreclosure auction and move into it in a small tight knit town. George Clare takes the position as an Art History Professor at a small private college. One winter afternoon, George comes home to find his wife murdered and their 3 year old daughter alone. The town and police immediately suspect him but can't prove it. It is more than 20 years before justice is finally served.
OK - there you go. Some sound pretty good. Hope there is something here for all of you.