This hot and humid August weather had us posted up by our AC unit as we flipped through page after page of our favorite reads. Despite the heat, we shared a broad range of enticing books with our fellow readers. This month, we were poring over twisty historical thrillers and classic poolside beach gems. Here are the most popular reads we’ve been stacking on our TBRs. Have you added any to your own shelf?
Elizabeth Fremantle presents an incredible, well-researched look into a strange murder amongst the court of King James I—a real unsolved murder case of one of James’s prodigies. Frances Howard and Robert Carr attempt to prove their loyalties to the suspicious king. Who really committed the crime? And who has the most to lose?
A spellbinding thriller set in the Jacobean Court of 1615 surrounding a famed couple imprisoned on suspicion of murder—but was it Lord Robert or Lady Frances who committed the crime?
A marriage. A murder. One of them did it. Which of them will die for it?
In the autumn of 1615, scandal rocks the Jacobean court, when a celebrated couple, Robert and Frances Carr, are imprisoned on suspicion of murder. Frances is young, captivating, and from a notorious family. She has been rescued from an abusive marriage by Robert, and is determined to make a new life for herself. Whatever the price.
Robert is one of the richest and most famous men in the kingdom. He has risen from nothing to become one of the country’s most powerful men. But to get to the top, you cannot help making enemies.
Some believe she is innocent; others think her wicked or insane. He claims no knowledge of the murder. The king suspects them both, though it is his secret at stake. Now a man is dead. And someone must pay with their life.
Who is telling the truth? Who has the most to lose? And who is willing to commit murder?
In this astounding multigenerational saga, the four Piper sisters grapple with the one secret at the center of their family that threatens to destroy them all. Beginning on the windswept coast of Nova Scotia at the start of the century, the story of these four sisters spans across decades and oceans. From the coal-mining communities of their home country to the war-torn battlefields of World War I, and finally to the glittering streets of 1920s New York City, follow along as the sisters struggle to hold on to one another.
Set on stormy Cape Breton Island off Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is an internationally acclaimed multigenerational saga that chronicles the lives of four unforgettable sisters. Theirs is a world filled with driving ambition, inescapable family bonds, and forbidden love.Compellingly written, by turns menacingly dark and hilariously funny, this is an epic tale of five generations of sin, guilt, and redemption. An Oprah Book Club Pick!
The first book in Kristy Woodson Harvey’s Peachtree Bluff series beautifully displays a serene beach cover with an engaging and emotional drama between its pages. Following her father’s death, Caroline Murphy’s mother, Ansley, selfishly moved her family to Peachtree Bluff during the middle of Caroline’s senior year of high school. Although Caroline swore that she would never return, years later her marriage with a New York high-society heir has fallen apart, leaving her with no other choice but to move her pregnant self and nine-year-old daughter back in with her mother. But when a secret from Ansley’s past resurfaces, the powerful bond between sisters, mothers, and daughters is tested as their whole life is put out in the open.
Set in 1793 Stockholm, where violence crackles in the air, several unlikely characters become entwined. After an ex-soldier and former night watchman finds a mutilated body in a lake, he feels compelled to provide a proper burial for it. He teams up with a brilliant lawyer and consulting detective in order to figure out the man’s identity. Meanwhile, a young woman forced into the workhouse by her priest has been marked by a sadistic guard as his next victim.
THE DOLL FACTORY dives deep into obsession and possession of the Victorian art world. THE DOLL FACTORY follows Iris, an aspiring artist who has a chance encounter with a man named Silas. Iris forgets about him when she is given the opportunity to model and learn to paint with Louis Frost—a dream come true. But of course, Silas has not forgotten about Iris, and his obsession with her turns dark.
The #1 international bestseller and The New York Times Editor’s Choice
“As lush as the novels of Kate Morton and Diane Setterfield, as exciting as The Alienist and Iain Pears’ An Instance of the Fingerpost, this exquisite literary thriller will intrigue book clubs and rivet fans of historical fiction.” —A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
“A lush, evocative Gothic.” —The New York Times Book Review
“This terrifically exciting novel will jolt, thrill, and bewitch readers.” —Booklist, starred review
Obsession is an art.
In this “sharp, scary, gorgeously evocative tale of love, art, and obsession” (Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of The Girl on the Train), a beautiful young woman aspires to be an artist, while a man’s dark obsession may destroy her world forever.
Obsession is an art.
In 1850s London, the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and, among the crowd watching the dazzling spectacle, two people meet by happenstance. For Iris, an arrestingly attractive aspiring artist, it is a brief and forgettable moment. But for Silas, a curiosity collector enchanted by all things strange and beautiful, the meeting marks a new beginning.
When Iris is asked to model for Pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly, her world begins to expand beyond her wildest dreams—but she has no idea that evil is waiting in the shadows. Silas has only thought of one thing since that chance meeting, and his obsession is darkening by the day.
“A lush, evocative Gothic” (The New York Times Book Review) that is “a perfect blend of froth and substance” (The Washington Post), The Doll Factory will haunt you long after you finish it and is perfect for fans of The Alienist, Drood, and Fingersmith.
After Eva is struck by lightning, she wakes to discover that her mother has been murdered and she’s a suspect. She has no memory of her mother’s death, but police have evidence that she was with her mother when she was killed. In trying to clear her own name, Eva stumbles upon decades of secrets that will change her understanding of her family and herself. Told from Eva’s perspective, as well as that of her mother in the years leading up to her own murder, this story has so many surprises that you won’t be able to stop reading.
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell—an “emotionally charged mystery” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author)—comes a thrilling new suspense novel about the insidious nature of family secrets…and their deadly potential.
If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?
Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street. She can’t remember what happened but the police are highly suspicious of her.
Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.
Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell’s I Found You and Karin Slaughter’s Pieces of Her, Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets.
After moving to Tangier with her new husband, the last person Alice Shipley expects to see is Lucy Mason, her once inseparable but now estranged college roommate. Perhaps they can put the terrible incident in their past behind them—but when Alice’s husband goes missing, she begins to question everything.
In THE DEAD CAN WAIT, Robert Ryan excellently brings this famous character into WWI to solve a deadly mystery without the help of his friend Sherlock Holmes. After returning from Flanders Fields, Watson is tasked with helping to rehabilitate shell-shocked soldiers, but the government is keeping a secret. In a hidden corner of England, they’re building landships that could win the war for Britain. But after a disastrous training exercise that leaves seven men dead and eight who won’t talk, John Watson is brought on to solve this military mystery.
From the author of Dead Man’s Land comes a gripping thriller featuring beloved Dr. John Watson who must solve another case. Deep within England’s green and lush countryside, something evil lurks…
Dr. John Watson is back home, recovering from his time in the trenches of Flanders Fields. The horrors of war weigh heavy on his mind, and now his task is to help rehabilitate soldiers suffering from the crippling effects of shellshock.
But the war is not yet over and in one corner of England lies a secret, one that the establishment is determined to keep under wraps. For in the woodlands of the lush countryside, the government is building the secret weapon which will win the war for Britain. Here, they are developing the never-before-seen tanks which the army is convinced will end the stalemate on the Western Front.
But then disaster strikes. After a training exercise in one of the tanks, eight men are mysteriously struck down, seven of them dead. There is just the one survivor, and he’s not talking. It is clear something is horribly wrong, and the army calls in the only man who will know how to solve the mystery: Dr John Watson.
The Mulvaneys seem to have it all, but after one unthinkable incident in 1976, the family splinters. Years later, the family’s youngest son attempts to piece the family back together in order to trace and reveal the secret that pulled them all apart. A moving and hopeful portrait of a family in ruins, WE WERE THE MULVANEYS is an American classic from the prolific and unmatched writer Joyce Carol Oates.
THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON is a compelling look at the darkest channels of history. Frannie, a former sugar-plantation slave and now servant to a scientist and his wife, has just been accused of murdering her employers. While it is true that Frannie’s relationship with Marguerite was passionate and complicated, she does not believe she committed the crime. Unfortunately, she can only recall pieces of that night and was found next to Marguerite’s body, covered in blood. While Frannie doesn’t know what happened to her employers, she does have a story to tell and from her cell, in Newgate Prison, she begins to tell it.
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