From Brunonia Barry to Beatriz Williams | Pop Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 4

Barry, Brunonia. The Fifth Petal. Crown. Jan. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781101905609. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101905616. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. WOMEN’S
Author of the New York Times best-selling The Lace Reader, Barry returns to spooky Salem for barryba 25-year-old triple homicide now being reinvestigated by Chief of Police John Rafferty, husband of lace reader Towner Whitney. He’s helped by Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims, who were all descendants of accused Salem witches and were brutally knifed to death one cold Halloween. Callie’s shivery premonitions and attraction to a man who might be connected to the murders make things far from routine. Big interest at ALA; with a 150,000-copy first printing.

Garber, Stephanie. Caraval. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jan. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781250095251. $18.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250095275. CD: Macmillan Audio. YA FANTASY
A veritable carnival of enthusiasm (and promotion) surround this YA fantasy debut, a likely crossover title pitched as having a Night Circus–like atmosphere amplified by romance, sisterly bonds, and a competition worthy of The Hunger Games. Scarlett, who lives on a small island with her sister and icily domineering father, finally receives an invitation to Caraval, a fabled audience-participation performance that takes place once a year on a faraway isle. It’s shortly before her arranged marriage to a mysterious count, but Scarlett finds a way to attend. With sales to 25 territories and preempted by Twentieth Century Fox.

Gilman, Laura Anne. The Cold Eye. Saga: S. & S. Jan. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781481429719. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781481429733. FANTASY/HISTORICAL
In Nebula-nominated Gilman’s sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is riding circuit through the Territory, serving as the Left Hand of a man called the Devil who protects residents of that wild and waywardly magical place. Alas, with mentor Gabriel, she’s discovering that something is coldeyekilling the Territory’s livestock and compromising its magic.

Gladstone, Max. Bookburners. Saga: S. & S. Jan. 2017. 800p. ISBN 9781481485579. $34.99; pap. 9781481485562. $21.99. FANTASY/URBAN
A year ago, “Craft Sequence” author Gladstone created “Bookburners,” a weekly online fantasy series featured on Serial Box, written with other authors, e.g., Margaret Dunlap and Mur Lafferty, and starring female detective Sal Brooks. Sal belongs to a Vatican-backed black-ops antimagic squad tasked with destroying ancient texts whose magic threatens to burst forth and sorely damage the world. Now, for the first time, here’s the series in old-fashioned print.

Guinn, Jeff. Silver City: A Novel of the American West. Putnam. Jan. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9780399165436. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101623268. WESTERN
Still in the saddle after Glorious and Buffalo Trail, Cash McLendon travels to Mountain View in the Arizona Territory to persuade Gabrielle Tirrito to come away with him. Mission accomplished, but then his former father-in-law, who blames Cash for his daughter’s death, seeks vengeance by sending along a bad guy who kidnaps Gabrielle. A popular series with the jingling-spurs crowd.

McVeigh, Jennifer. Leopard at the Door. Putnam. Jan. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9780399158254. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399575174. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORICALmcveigh
Having debuted with The Fever Tree, a warmly reviewed work set in 19th-century South Africa, McVeigh now visits Kenya at the waning of the British Empire. Rachel returns there from England to find both family and country changed; her father’s new companion is a rigidly unpleasant woman, and political unrest presages the coming Mau Mau rebellion. A big book-club push.

Martin, Demetri. 19 1/2 Stories. Grand Central. Jan. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781455512027. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455512034. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579594. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HUMOR
Besides being a New York Times best-selling author (e.g., This Is a Book), Martin is comedian who’s claimed awards at the Edinburgh Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy festivals, hosts his own show on Comedy Central, and acts and directs as well. This collection is BISACed as humor but described as a collection of high-concept short stories. Your call on shelving.

Messineo, Teresa. The Fire by Night. Morrow. Jan. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062459107. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062459121. lrg. prnt. HISTORICAL
As evidenced by the 100,000-copy first printing, there are great expectations for this debut novel about two American military nurses during World War II. In France, Brooklyn-born Jo McMahon tends to six badly wounded soldiers, including a Scottish officer she is beginning to regard tenderly, even as a convoy bringing her medical supplies is lost to enemy fire. Meanwhile, best friend Kay endures imprisonment in a Japanese POW camp in Manila by recalling the charming flyer she dated while stationed in Hawaii before Pearl Harbor. Booming promotion.

Moning, Karen Marie. Feversong. Delacorte. Jan. 2017. 512p. ISBN 9780425284353. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780425284360. PARANORMAL FANTASY
Following Feverborn, which debuted at No. 2 on the New York Times best sellers list in ebook feversongformat and No. 10 in hardcover, this ninth book in the “Fever” series wraps up the thread that wove through Iced, Burned, and Feverborn. Two more Fever books already contracted by the publisher will spin a whole new thread. Meanwhile, sidh-seer MacKayla Lane, Jericho Barrons, and the rest of the Fever troupe are all here.

Moriarty, Nicola. The Fifth Letter. Morrow. Jan. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9780062413567. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062413581. WOMEN’S
Best friends Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have stayed together through teenage turmoil and the swing to young adulthood, but family and careers are chipping away at their enthusiasm for taking a yearly vacation together. Joni stirs things up by proposing that each woman write an anonymous letter sharing a dark secret, but a rancorous letter she later finds half-burnt in the fireplace suggests that one of the friends has long felt bitterly vindictive toward the others. Like Messineo’s The Fire by Night, previewed above, a great-expectations debut with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Rosenfeld, Lucinda. Class. Little, Brown. Jan. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780316265416. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316265423. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316269469. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. WOMEN’S
Rosenfeld has had strong reviews and steady sales for her previous titles (e.g., The Pretty One), but the publisher expects her to break out with this new work, which raises crucial social issues. Karen Kipple is so imbued that she works full-time for a nonprofit and sends daughter Ruby to an integrated public school in their Brooklyn neighborhood. Then a student from the nearby projects starts bullying his classmates, and Karen can’t gloss over socioeconomic tensions anymore.

Steel, Danielle. The Mistress. Delacorte. Jan. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780345531117. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780425285350. WOMEN’
In classic glittery Steel, the lovely young mistress of a Russian oligarch learns to think for herself mistresswith the help of a famed painter’s artist son and his restaurateur mother, once the painter’s muse. Echoes of Picasso and La Colombe d’Or in St-Paul-de-Vence, France, and the setting—London, Paris, and the south of France—cannot be beat.

Williams, Beatriz. The Wicked City. Morrow. Jan. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780062405029. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062405036. lrg. prnt. HISTORICAL
In 1924, flaming-haired, flaming-mouthed flapper Geneva “Gin” Kelly gets tangled up in a raid at a Greenwich Village speakeasy she frequents called the Christopher Club. Never mind the high-society Princeton lad who’s proposing marriage, she also gets tangled up with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who wants her help in cornering her Appalachian bootlegger stepfather. In the present day, Ella Hawthorne discovers Gin’s story when she moves into the building that housed the Christopher Club and is told to avoid the basement, from whence the sound of clinking glasses and laughter emanate at night. More historical fiction from Williams, both mystical and exactly rendered; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.