Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch

First in a series about Peter Grant, a mixed-race London constable who seems doomed to a life of low-stakes departmental paperwork…until he interviews a murder witness who just happens to be a ghost.  Before he knows it, he finds himself apprenticed to Scotland Yard’s resident wizard, learning magic, and mediating disputes between the city’s gods. […]


Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton

Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton

Walton takes the Victorian social novel to new levels by making dragons the main characters. Suddenly, all of the social conventions of the age are backed by biological necessities – the need to have gold for one’s hoard, the need to have a parent’s estate (that is, their body…) divided fairly so one can eat […]


This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

Back and forth in time, back and forth between narrators, this tale of guilt and redemption gradually reveals secrets, humor, scandals, love. Maggie O’Farrell’s books are always surprising and unpredictable, leaving the reader to make her own discoveries. What happens when a famous actress vanishes? When a language-loving linguist finds that words don’t always serve […]


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A delightful concept, wonderfully executed. Kell is a magician, one of the last with the power to jump between different versions of London, one of which exists in each different world. The three Londons we see (and the one we don’t) are all beautifully brought to life, as are the characters who inhabit them. Plus, […]


Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

Flesh and Spirit by Carol Berg

Really wonderful! Stick with this one – it starts slow, the main character seems arrogant and unlikable, and the setting familiar. As the book continues, though, it becomes apparent that this was all intentional, and the gradual revelations about the characters, their world, and the mystery at the heart of it are all masterfully done. […]


The Purple Swamp Hen by Penelope Lively

The Purple Swamp Hen by Penelope Lively

In this collection of finely crafted short stories, Lively displays her wit and wisdom and some very nicely honed insights into complicated human relationships. The title story is set back in ancient times on the eve of Mt. Vesuvius’s spectacular eruption. The swamp hen–a very reliable narrator as it turns out–exposes the flawed Pompeius family which […]


The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

Get in on the ground floor of a new, epic fantasy series! Brandon Sanderson has created a unique world – rocky, swept by magical storms, and populated by unique people and animals adapted to their harsh environment. The story follows the lives of three different characters, whose lives are slowly converging due to forces beyond […]


Lotus by Lijia Zhang

Lotus by Lijia Zhang

As the rich get richer in the new China, the lives of the impoverished peasants are frozen in time. Uneducated and unsophisticated, with country accents and habits, they migrate to the cities for better lives. Without any education or connections, they become underpaid factory labor or fall into petty thievery or into prostitution. Lotus is […]


City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

City of Friends by Joanna Trollope

Four London women, friends since college, are now forty-seven and have it all-or all they want. Until, bite by bite, each one’s contented life is nibbled away. Questioning what went wrong, who they have become, who they ultimately want to be, while juggling children, aging parents, partners and work, leads to self-discovery and life changes. […]


Cleopatra’s Sister by Penelope Lively

Cleopatra’s Sister by Penelope Lively

Fate. Karma. Kismet. B’schert (Yiddish). Do you believe in it? Lively’s engaging novel poses this question by creating a tale that knits three storylines. Howard, a paleontologist, Lucy, a free-lance journalist, and the ficticious nation of Callimbria all have histories that culminate in a situation best described by the phrase “wrong place, wrong time,” or, […]