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Best of 2022: Our 15 Most Popular Books of the Year

December 6 2022
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As “end of year” lists continue to dominate the online conversation, we wanted to do our part to give story lovers like you all of the recommendations that you need to satiate your appetite. Which is why we’ve sifted through all of the 2022 data to find the fifteen most popular books of the year, according to our dedicated readers. 

Whether you’re gifting or adding to your own reading lists, these works will not disappoint as they have kept us entertained all year long.

The Cloisters
by Katy Hays

I was instantly drawn to THE CLOISTERS when I saw the beautiful cover, and when I heard the story line I thought, “It’s a witchy Da Vinci Code.” I was not wrong and I was not disappointed (I loved THE DA VINCI CODE). Set in the Metropolitan Museum's gothic Cloisters exhibit, this occult thriller begins with Ann Stilwell almost losing her summer job opportunity at the Met, but miraculously securing a last-minute position at the Cloisters. However, her colleagues clearly have some secrets and as Ann develops relationships with each one, truths and outrageous theories begin to emerge. Ann tries to stay rooted, but her work is directing her onto a cryptic path of spiritual and psychological exploration as her research into the history of divination begins to uncover some incredible possibilities. Every chapter in THE CLOISTERS creates a new revelation, leaving you hooked to the very end and making sure you don't miss a single detail.

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The Cloisters
Katy Hays

The Secret History meets Ninth House in this sinister, atmospheric novel following a circle of researchers as they uncover a mysterious deck of tarot cards and shocking secrets in New York’s famed Met Cloisters.

When Ann Stilwell arrives in New York City, she expects to spend her summer working as a curatorial associate at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead, she finds herself assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden renowned for its medieval art collection and its group of enigmatic researchers studying the history of divination.

Desperate to escape her painful past, Ann is happy to indulge the researchers’ more outlandish theories about the history of fortune telling. But what begins as academic curiosity quickly turns into obsession when Ann discovers a hidden 15th-century deck of tarot cards that might hold the key to predicting the future. When the dangerous game of power, seduction, and ambition at The Cloisters turns deadly, Ann becomes locked in a race for answers as the line between the arcane and the modern blurs.

A haunting and magical blend of genres, The Cloisters is a gripping debut that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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The Foundling
by Ann Leary

From the New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD HOUSE, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate. Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, THE FOUNDLING offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”

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The Foundling
Ann Leary

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate.

It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel.

Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care.

Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all.

Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”

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Iron Lake (20th Anniversary Edition)
by William Kent Krueger

Cork O’Connor is struggling after a messy divorce sees him separated from his children, but soon a case that shocks the small town of Aurora, Minnesota, will keep him busy. The veteran Chicago cop turned small-town sheriff thought he’d seen it all, until a brutal murder of the town’s judge and a missing Eagle Scout captures his attention and forces him to reconsider. Now this jaded sheriff must take on this complex case of conspiracy and corruption in IRON LAKE by William Kent Krueger.

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Iron Lake (20th Anniversary Edition)
William Kent Krueger

The 20th anniversary edition of the first novel in William Kent Krueger’s beloved and bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series—includes an exclusive bonus short story!

“A brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate.” —Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Glass Houses

“A master craftsman [and] a series of books written with a grace and precision so stunning that you’d swear the stories were your own.” —Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire series

“Among thoughtful readers, William Kent Krueger holds a very special place in the pantheon.” —C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Disappeared

In eighteen novels over twenty years, William Kent Krueger has enthralled readers with the adventures of P.I. Cork O’Connor, former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota—selling more than 1.5 million copies of his books and winning the Edgar Award, Minnesota Book Award, Northeastern Minnesota Book Award, Dilys Award, Lovey Award, and Anthony Award along the way. Now, in this special anniversary edition, longtime fans and new readers alike can read the novel that first introduced Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor to the world.

Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Cork is having difficulty dealing with the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children, getting by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on this complicated and perplexing case of conspiracy, corruption, and a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

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It Starts with Us
by Colleen Hoover

From the moment IT STARTS WITH US was announced on Colleen Hoover’s Instagram page, I was stoked. Lily and Atlas’s story is something I’ve wanted to read more of for years, so the chance to not only get more of them but also hear Atlas’s perspective is more than I could have dreamed of. This follow-up story to IT ENDS WITH US picks up right where the story left off and follows Lily and Atlas as they try and navigate their way into each other’s lives again. I know Colleen Hoover’s books will always send me on an emotional rollercoaster and I can’t wait to see where this one takes me.

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It Starts with Us
Colleen Hoover

Before It Ends with Us, it started with Atlas. Colleen Hoover tells fan favorite Atlas’s side of the story and shares what comes next in this long-anticipated sequel to the “glorious and touching” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestseller It Ends with Us.

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The School for Good Mothers
by Jessamine Chan

It’s a tall order to compare a book to THE HANDMAID’S TALE, but I’m going to do it. THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD MOTHERS is for fans of THE HANDMAID’S TALE the TV show Westworld, and Naomi Alderman’s THE POWER. It’s for anyone who likes dystopian stories that reflect real issues we’re facing today. This book is so compelling it’s hard to put down, and even harder to stop talking about it. Our main character, Frida, had a very bad day, and as a result is sent to a government facility where the goal is to teach women how to be good mothers. But she soon finds that the standards of the program are incredibly high and the prospect of losing custody of her daughter adds pressure. This exploration of motherhood is so witty and emotional, you won’t be able to put it down.

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The School for Good Mothers
Jessamine Chan

In this taut and explosive debut novel, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance.

Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

A searing page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of “perfect” upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.

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The Appeal
by Janice Hallett

If you’ve ever likened yourself to a detective, you can live out that fantasy through THE APPEAL, a narrative that is told in snippets of clues and puzzles that allow for full “detective immersion.” When theater director Martin Hayward’s granddaughter is diagnosed with cancer, Martin’s castmates rally to raise money for experimental treatments. Tensions and suspicions arise, however, over the legitimacy of both the cancer treatment and the intentions of those involved, and, soon enough, a dead body is found. Get out your magnifying glass—there’s a killer to be uncovered and a mystery to be solved!

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The Appeal
Janice Hallett

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

“[W]itty, original…a delight.” —Th​e New York Times

Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell, this international bestseller and “dazzlingly clever” (The Sunday Times, London) murder mystery follows a community rallying around a sick child—but when escalating lies lead to a dead body, everyone is a suspect.

The Fairway Players, a local theatre group, is in the midst of rehearsals when tragedy strikes the family of director Martin Hayward and his wife Helen, the play’s star. Their young granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, and with an experimental treatment costing a tremendous sum, their castmates rally to raise the money to give her a chance at survival.

But not everybody is convinced of the experimental treatment’s efficacy—nor of the good intentions of those involved. As tension grows within the community, things come to a shocking head at the explosive dress rehearsal. The next day, a dead body is found, and soon, an arrest is made. In the run-up to the trial, two young lawyers sift through the material—emails, messages, letters—with a growing suspicion that the killer may be hiding in plain sight. The evidence is all there, between the lines, waiting to be uncovered.

A wholly modern and gripping take on the epistolary novel, The Appeal is a “daring…clever, and funny” (The Times, London) debut for fans of Richard Osman and Lucy Foley.

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The It Girl
by Ruth Ware

I love Ruth Ware, so, of course, her latest read had to make my summer thriller list! I’m also huge fan of dark academia and this sounds like an exceptional Oxford murder mystery. Hannah Jones met April Coutts-Cliveden during her first semester at Oxford and was drawn to her personality, popularity, and elegant lifestyle. The two hit it off and, by the end of the first term, they’ve developed a strong group of friends. But by the end of the second, April is dead. Ten years later, Hannah is married to Will, a member of their friend group, and expecting a baby when they learn that the man convicted of killing April—the man Hannah helped put behind bars—has died. At first, she is relieved that they can finally move on from the horrible experience but all that changes when a reporter arrives with new evidence that suggests the man was innocent. As she digs into the mystery, Hannah realizes that all the friends she thought she knew so well have something to hide.

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The It Girl
Ruth Ware

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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Greenwich Park
by Katherine Faulkner

True plot twists feel few and far between these days for many readers as we’ve gotten so good at picking up on clues and figuring out the big reveal before it happens in the book. GREENWICH PARK by Katherine Faulkner will have your jaw dropping with all the twists and turns. The novel follows Helen who seems to have the perfect life when she meets Rachel, an erratic, soon-to-be mother, who draws Helen’s attention like a moth to a flame. While Helen and Rachel might appear to be opposites at first, they soon strike up a friendship that begins to take a strange turn related to a past crime. Make sure you pick up a copy immediately before the twist is spoiled for you!

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Greenwich Park
Katherine Faulkner

“A twisty, fast-paced” (The Sunday Times, London) debut thriller, as electrifying as the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, about impending motherhood, unreliable friendship, and the high price of keeping secrets.

In this “gloriously tangled game of cat and mouse that kept the twists coming until the very last moment” (Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class.

There, she meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be who doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.

But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.

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Dancing on Broken Glass
by Ka Hancock

Lucy and Mickey had both given up on finding functional long-term relationships: Mickey, because of his bipolar diagnosis, and Lucy, because of her intense family history of breast cancer. But when they find each other, they can’t deny the bond they share. After years of making their marriage work—and making the tough decision not to have children—one routine doctor’s appointment changes everything. DANCING ON BROKEN GLASS is a poignant portrait of a marriage.

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Dancing on Broken Glass
Ka Hancock

A powerfully written novel offering an intimate look at a beautiful marriage and how bipolar disorder and cancer affect it, Dancing on Broken Glass by Ka Hancock perfectly illustrates the enduring power of love.

Lucy Houston and Mickey Chandler probably shouldn’t have fallen in love, let alone gotten married. They’re both plagued with faulty genes—he has bipolar disorder, and she has a ravaging family history of breast cancer. But when their paths cross on the night of Lucy’s twenty-first birthday, sparks fly, and there’s no denying their chemistry. 

Cautious every step of the way, they are determined to make their relationship work—and they put it all in writing.  Mickey promises to take his medication. Lucy promises not to blame him for what is beyond his control. He promises honesty. She promises patience. Like any marriage, they have good days and bad days—and some very bad days. In dealing with their unique challenges, they make the heartbreaking decision not to have children. But when Lucy shows up for a routine physical just shy of their eleventh anniversary, she gets an impossible surprise that changes everything. Everything. Suddenly, all their rules are thrown out the window, and the two of them must redefine what love really is.

An unvarnished portrait of a marriage that is both ordinary and extraordinary, Dancing on Broken Glass takes readers on an unforgettable journey of the heart.

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You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty
by Akwaeke Emezi

Artist Feyi is just beginning to think that she might be ready for love again after the death of her partner five years ago. During one whirlwind summer, Feyi finds herself on a dream vacation to a tropical island and with connections to a curator who could change her art career forever. But while she’s started dating the seemingly perfect guy, she can’t stop thinking about the one person she shouldn’t want: his father. Akwaeke Emezi is constantly switching up genres, but they never fail to produce beautiful writing and add their own twist to all their projects.

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You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty
Akwaeke Emezi

A New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and “one of our greatest living writers” (Shondaland) reimagines the love story in this fresh and seductive novel about a young woman seeking joy while healing from loss.

Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again.

It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio, and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.

She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the dangerous thrill Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits. This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. Who is she ready to become? Can she release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all—how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love? ​

Akwaeke Emezi’s vivid and passionate writing takes us deep into a world of possibility and healing, and the constant bravery of choosing love against all odds.

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The Paris Library
by Janet Skeslien Charles

Few love words as uniquely as librarians. And, as THE PARIS LIBRARY depicts, it is a profession that seemingly has the books to answer just about any question or solve any problem there is. For Odile Souchet, newly appointed library assistant at the American Library in Paris in 1939, the problem is that of an impending war and an evil force. When Nazis take over Paris and capture her brother, she seeks to join the fight, transporting books to Jewish patrons who are no longer allowed to visit the library. She and her fellow librarians survive the war but are met with betrayal. Meanwhile, in 1983 Montana, a lonely teen named Lily looks to distract herself from her mother’s illness by befriending her elderly next-door neighbor, Odile. Sharing a love of language, Lily and Odile become inseparable, with Odile sharing her incredible past and a dark secret that seemingly connects them. Perfect for book lovers and those who live in the library stacks, THE PARIS LIBRARY is the quintessential piece of fiction that embodies the power of the written word. 

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The Paris Library
Janet Skeslien Charles

An instant New York Times, Washington Post, and USA TODAY bestseller—based on the true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War II—The Paris Library is a moving and unforgettable “ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both” (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet seems to have the perfect life with her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into the city, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.

“A love letter to Paris, the power of books, and the beauty of intergenerational friendship” (Booklist), The Paris Library shows that extraordinary heroism can sometimes be found in the quietest places.

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We Are the Light
by Matthew Quick

This is the story of Lucas Goodgame, who loses everything that he ever held dear in a matter of seconds through unimaginable tragedy. Lucas’s pain and grief come through in the letters he writes to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. The letters detail Lucas’s search for answers that don’t seem to exist as he comes to grips with the loss of his wife, Darcy (who visits him every night in the form of an angel). But Lucas’s life begins to turn around when he befriends Eli, an eighteen-year-old boy dealing with his own pain, and the pair begin working together to try to bring healing to their town. An emotional, beautifully written story of loss, grief, love, and healing, WE ARE THE LIGHT is an easy choice for most popular of the year.

Read more of 10 Life-Affirming Reads for Fredrik Backman Fans

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We Are the Light
Matthew Quick

From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook—made into the Academy Award–winning movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper—comes a poignant and hopeful novel about a widower who takes in a grieving teenager and inspires a magical revival in their small town.

Lucas Goodgame lives in Majestic, Pennsylvania, a quaint suburb that has been torn apart by a recent tragedy. Everyone in Majestic sees Lucas as a hero—everyone, that is, except Lucas himself. Insisting that his deceased wife, Darcy, visits him every night in the form of an angel, Lucas spends his time writing letters to his former Jungian analyst, Karl. It is only when Eli, an eighteen-year-old young man whom the community has ostracized, begins camping out in Lucas’s backyard that an unlikely alliance takes shape and the two embark on a journey to heal their neighbors and, most importantly, themselves.

From Matthew Quick, whose work has been described by the Boston Herald as “like going to your favorite restaurant. You just know it is going to be good,” We Are the Light is an unforgettable novel about the quicksand of grief and the daily miracle of love. The humorous, soul-baring story of Lucas Goodgame offers an antidote to toxic masculinity and celebrates the healing power of art. In this tale that will stay with you long after the final page is turned, Quick reminds us that life is full of guardian angels.

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The Patron Saint of Second Chances
by Christine Simon

THE PATRON SAINT OF SECOND CHANCES is the funniest book I read and edited during the recent pandemic years. Although the novel takes place in Calabria—and the setting is important—depicting the accuracy of the village life is not really the aim in this brilliant and delightful farce. The novel follows Signor Speranza (“Mister Hope”), a vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of his small hometown. In a bid to boost tourism, he invents a rumor that a famous Italian film star is shooting his next movie in town. The only problem is, there is no such film. Soon the entire town becomes involved in its creation, believing the star will soon show up. But whether or not he ever does is almost an afterthought in this fun, brisk, lighthearted novel about the power of community.

Read more of 7 Dreamy Novels Set in Italy

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The Patron Saint of Second Chances
Christine Simon

The self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village is determined to save his hometown no matter the cost in this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming debut novel.

Vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of Prometto, Italy (population 212) Signor Speranza has a problem: unless he can come up with 70,000 euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water commission will shut off the water to the village and all its residents will be forced to disperse. So in a bid to boost tourism—and revenue—he spreads a harmless rumor that movie star Dante Rinaldi will be filming his next project nearby.

Unfortunately, the plan works a little too well, and soon everyone in town wants to be a part of the fictional film—the village butcher will throw in some money if Speranza can find roles for his fifteen enormous sons, Speranza’s wistfully adrift daughter reveals an unexpected interest in stage makeup, and his hapless assistant Smilzo volunteers a screenplay that’s not so secretly based on his undying love for the film’s leading lady. To his surprise—and considerable consternation, Speranza realizes that the only way to keep up the ruse is to make the movie for real.

As the entire town becomes involved (even the village priest invests!) Signor Speranza starts to think he might be able to pull this off. But what happens when Dante Rinaldi doesn’t show up? Or worse, what if he does?

A “hilariously funny and beautifully written” (Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Better Luck Next Time) novel about the power of community, The Patron Saint of Second Chances is perfect for fans of Fredrik Backman and Maria Semple.

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The Butterfly Cabinet
by Bernie McGill

It is 1892 on a vast estate in the north of Ireland and Harriet, an aristocratic mother of nine who has managed to beat eight of her children into a form of submission, is losing the battle to control her youngest daughter, Charlotte. Unable to cope with Charlotte’s stubbornness, Harriet locks her in a cabinet, a common enough punishment in the household, and one all the girl’s brothers have endured more than once. Hours later, having been forgotten, Charlotte’s lifeless body is found in the cupboard by her distraught mother and a housemaid. Harriet is subsequently arrested for causing her death. The story of Charlotte and what happened that day is told in the alternating voices of Harriet, in diary entries she made during the year she spent in jail for the murder, and Maddie, the housemaid turned nanny whose part in the death is not revealed until the final pages.

This is the kind of book you read and have to talk to someone about immediately. It is a perfect book club book or one to pass around during vacation—the only drawback is that you will hound the other reader to find out when they will finish.

Read more of Suzanne’s review

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The Butterfly Cabinet
Bernie McGill

When former nanny Maddie McGlade receives a letter from the last of her charges, she realizes the time has come to unburden herself of a secret she has kept for more than seventy years: the truth behind the death of Charlotte Ormond, the four-year-old daughter of the wealthy household where Maddie was employed as a young woman. Based on chilling events that actually took place in the north of Ireland in 1892, this is a dark, emotionally complex novel that explores the dark side of turn-of-the century aristocracy. Charlotte's mother, Harriet Osmond, is violent, abusive, and (what else?) an avid lepidopterist.

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Last One Alive
by Amber Cowie

Who doesn’t love a good research trip? When author Penelope is looking for some inspiration for her new book, she decides to investigate a witch on Stone Point, a small outpost on the coast of the Pacific Northwest. The legends are too juicy to ignore—the cabin at Stone Point was the site of a gruesome murder and disappearance, left abandoned until a young couple tried to renovate it, only for them to disappear as well. Penelope drags along her boyfriend and a thoroughly motley crew to see what they can find, but she’s going to get a lot more murder and mystery than she bargained for. LAST ONE ALIVE is a gripping tale of legends come to life, and how the small sparks of animosity and bitterness can set off a full-blown fire.

Read more of 7 Locked-Room Mysteries That’ll Keep You in Suspense

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Last One Alive
Amber Cowie

A team of researchers exploring the myth of a witch find their numbers mysteriously dwindling in this irresistible psychological thriller for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari Lapena, and Lucy Foley.

Bestselling debut novelist Penelope Berkowitz is desperate for inspiration for a second book. With the help of her new boyfriend, she embarks on a research trip with a Clue-like team of professionals, ex-lovers, and estranged family members to investigate the myth of a witch on Stone Point, a remote coastal outcropping in the Pacific Northwest.

For over a century, the cabin on the point stood vacant after the violent death of the original owner and the disappearance of his wife—until a young couple decided to turn it into an eco-lodge. Shortly after starting renovations, however, they suddenly ceased all contact with others and were never heard from again.

Given the area’s mysterious history, Penelope is certain there’s a story to be found in the isolated region. But soon after arriving on the point’s wind-whipped shores, things begin to go awry for the team. Storms blow in. Tempers flare. The satellite phones stop working and no boats are due for days. Then people begin to disappear. When bodies turn up, it’s up to Penelope and the remaining members of the team to solve the mystery of the Stone Witch before the killer is the only one left alive.

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Photo credit: iStock / Smitt

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