A Tidy Ending by Joanna CannonWhat it's about: British housewife Linda Hammett lives a quiet if unfulfilling life with her husband Terry in a house she keeps spotless. Things get messy when she receives a fancy catalog addressed to the home's previous owner, her husband starts working odd hours, and local women start to disappear.
For fans of: unreliable narrators, suburban malaise, and sardonic humor.
Reviewers say: A Tidy Ending is "sublimely structured and darkly witty" (Publishers Weekly) and "chock-a-block with punch-in-the gut twists, wry humor, tragedy, and heartbreak" (Booklist).
Three Assassins by Kōtarō IsakaWhat it is: a fast-paced and compelling story of revenge served very, very cold.
The premise: Former math teacher Suzuki takes a job at a front company owned by the organized crime syndicate responsible for killing his wife. He gets pulled into Tokyo's criminal underworld and meets two assassins whose personalities are as surprising as their professional skills are deadly.
About the author: Award-winning Japanese writer Kōtarō Isaka is best known in the English speaking world for Bullet Train, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Brad Pitt.
Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala'Tis the season for trouble: When her prodigal cousin returns to Shady Palms, Illinois, to start a winery with two friends, it isn't long before a murder occurs. To clear her Filipino American family's name, young cafe owner Lila Macapagal must find the killer, but she also needs to make treats for the town's big Winter Bash.
Series alert: This 3rd in a fun series once again offers a smart mystery and a tantalizing look at Filipino cooking (recipes are included).
Read this next: For another family-centric culinary mystery series, try Vivien Chien's Noodle Shop mysteries.
Witchful Thinking by Celestine MartinJust a girl who can't say no: After an accidental hex renders her incapable of refusing any request, Lucy Caraway (reluctantly) agrees to help her high school crush, Alexander Dwyer, lift the curse on his house.
The one who got away: Lucy knows that Alex has only returned to town so that he can unjinx and unload the house. Which means it's pointless to confess her feelings, right?
Series alert: Witchful Thinking kicks off the Elemental Love series, about the magical town of Freya Grove, New Jersey, and its supernatural inhabitants.
The Belle of Belgrave Square by Mimi MatthewsAn immodest proposal: Desperate to escape her controlling parents, heiress Julia Wychwood approaches the infamous Captain Jasper Blunt with an unconventional offer: her entire dowry in exchange for a marriage in name only, and the freedom to live her life as she pleases.
Read it for: a heroine with severe social anxiety, a hero with a bad reputation, and a positively Gothic country estate containing a locked room that must never be opened.
Series alert: This Victorian romance marks the 2nd book in the Belles of London series, which begins with The Siren of Sussex.
Sacrificio by Ernesto Mestre-ReedWhen it's set: during Cuba's "special period" after the fall of the Soviet Union when the country's economy faltered and there were desperate shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities.
What it's about: Newly arrived in Havana, country boy Rafa begins an on-again, off-again relationship with Nicolás, who the government later forces into a sanatorium for HIV positive people. Then Rafa learns that Nicolás was one of "los injected ones," who intentionally infected themselves with the virus out of despair and protest.
To learn more: check out the episode of NPR podcast Radio Ambulante called "The Survivors," about the members of Cuba's persecuted punk rock scene, some of whom infected themselves with the virus to live in the relative freedom and comfort of the sanitariums after years of ostracism and poverty.
Lavender House by Lev AC RosenSan Francisco, 1952: After being found in a gay bar during a raid, Andy Mills has lost his job as a cop and is thinking of jumping into the bay.
What happens: He's offered PI work investigating the death of matriarch Irene Lamontaine, head of a famous soap empire. Irene's wife thinks it might be murder, but can't call the cops because almost everyone who lives at remote Lavender House is queer, including the servants.
Read this next: For other historical novels featuring LGBTQIA characters, try Nicola Upson's Josephine Tey mysteries, Stephen Spotswood's Pentecost and Parker novels, or Nekesa Afia's Harlem Renaissance mysteries.
To Win a Prince by Toni ShilohThe downfall: Prince Ekon Diallo, who plotted against the new queen of the fictional African nation of Ọlọrọ Iléwho, is stripped of his title by the royal council, and of his servants, car, and home by his father.
Redemption: Iris Blakely, the queen's best friend, starts a fashion business to help create jobs. As part of his punishment, a remorseful Ekon acts as her business consultant, drawing the two together.
Series alert: This charming, faith-filled royal romance follows In Search of a Prince, where an American teacher learns she's African royalty.
Black Skinhead: Reflections on Blackness and Our Political Future by Brandi Collins-DexterWhat it's about: how the Democratic Party alienates Black voters.
What's inside: an incisive and accessible mix of memoir, reportage, and pop culture analysis that explores how politicians' empty gestures have damaged their relationship with increasingly disillusioned constituents.
Book buzz: Black Skinhead was named one of "15 Works of Nonfiction to Read This Fall" by The New York Times.
Indigenous Continent: The Epic Contest for North America by Pekka HämäläinenWhat it is: a sweeping, revisionist American history that centers Indigenous agency and resistance.
Why you should read it: Finnish scholar Pekka Hämäläinen's well-researched chronicle eschews traditional narratives that portray Native populations solely as colonized people doomed to extinction.
Try this next: For another compelling corrective to Eurocentric histories, read The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by Ojibwe historian David Treuer.
Bridge To The Sun: The Secret Role of the Japanese Americans Who Fought in the... by Bruce B. HendersonWhat it is: a richly detailed history that spotlights the role Japanese American soldiers played in the Pacific Theater in World War II.
Read it for: a moving chronicle of wartime courage in the face of racism both at home and abroad.
Further reading: Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown.
Stay True: A Memoir by Hua HsuWhat it's about: New Yorker staff writer Hua Hsu's life-changing, opposites-attract college friendship with Ken, who was murdered when the pair were students at UC Berkeley in the 1990s.
Read it for: a lyrical coming-of-age tale of guilt, grief, and things left unsaid.
Reviewers say: "Exploring identity, authenticity, and nostalgia as concepts and as feelings, this is an absolute stunner" (Booklist).
Preppy Kitchen: Recipes for Seasonal Dishes and Simple Pleasures by John KanellWhy you might like it: Organized by season, this inspiring debut by an ex-math teacher turned social media star offers yummy recipes, fun projects, lush photos, and personal stories.
Recipes include: Apple Butter, Spring Greens Soup with Parmesan-Kale Crisps, Herb-Stuffed Roast Pork, Chorizo-Beef Burgers with Queso and Avocado, Orange Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, Maple Pumpkin Pie.
Projects include: Setting a Special Table, Decorating with Nature.
The Getaway by Lamar GilesIt's a small, small world: Jay and his family have it pretty good living and working at Karloff Country. It's an exclusive mountaintop theme park resort billionaires created to isolate themselves from climate change disasters ravaging the rest of the country.
What happens: Jay's friend Connie and her family mysteriously disappear just as wealthy visitors start moving in permanently. And Jay realizes this isn't paradise at all.
For fans of: compelling dystopian stories and Jordan Peele's thought-provoking horror movies.
Two Degrees by Alan GratzWhat it's about: Climate crisis hits home for four North American kids: Natalie is swept into a hurricane storm surge in Florida; Akira and her horse try to outrun a wildfire in California; George and Owen are stalked by hungry polar bears in Manitoba.
Why you might like it: The desperate, dangerous, all-too-real situations in this survival thriller will make you think even as they get your adrenaline pumping.
Sparrows in the Wind by Gail Carson LevineWhat it is: the story of the Trojan War, told from the point of view of two girls trying to stop the war and save the city of Troy.
Starring: Trojan princess Cassandra, cursed to have nobody believe in her gift of true prophecy, and Amazon princess Rin, the powerful friend who might help prevent a grim fate for Troy...as well as for herself and Cassandra.
Read it for: a fascinating, vivid blend of mythology and history.
Firefighter Flo! by Andrea Zimmerman; illustrated by Dan YaccarinoWhat it's about: With flashing lights and clanging bells, Flo and her diverse team of firefighters rush to douse a burning building with their firehouse, rescuing everyone (dogs and all) from the blaze.
How you should read it: OUT LOUD and with LOTS of EMPHASIS, letting kids get the full impact of the rhyming onomatopoeia, as well as pore over the crisp, retro-modern illustrations.
Series alert: Flo's bravery kicks off the new Big Jobs, Bold Women series.
Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud AnyabwileAn Olympic moment: On the podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, gold medalist Tommie Smith and his teammate, bronze medalist John Carlos, raise their fists in protest of racial injustice in the United States.
A lifetime of resistance: In this compelling graphic memoir, author Tommie Smith shares his story of courage and dedication, from facing racism as a child to experiencing harsh repercussions from this iconic act of protest.
Reviewers say: "Authentic and inspiring" (Kirkus Reviews).
Contact your librarian for more great books!
McFarland E.D. Locke Public Library
5920 Milwaukee St.
McFarland, Wisconsin 53558