Pop Fiction for Fall | Fiction Previews, Nov. 2018

Archer, Jeffrey. Heads You Win. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9781250172501. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250172518. CD. HISTORICAL
In 1968, after his father is assassinated by the KGB, Russian teenage Alexander Karpenko flips a coin to decide whether he and his mother should emigrate (desperately) to London or to New York. Readers get two versions of what might have happened, depending on that flip. Major promotion.

Berg, Elizabeth. Night of Miracles. Random. Nov. 2018. 288p. ISBN 9780525509509. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780525509516. lrg. prnt. WOMEN’S
Familiar to fans of best-selling/Oprah Pick author Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv, Lucille Howard is enjoying her waning years by giving baking classes. She’s also reaching out by hiring a new resident as her assistant and helping the folks next door with their son when something awful happens. Warm and satisfying as Lucille’s cookies.

Bradford, Barbara Taylor. Master of His Fate. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781250187390. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250187413. CD. HISTORICAL
In this first in a new historical fiction series from a master of the form, charming, self-assured James Lionel Falconer rises from assistant at his father’s market stall in Camden to a high position at the classy Malvern & Malvern Company. Tragedy nearly undoes him and his family, but a royal summons gives him the chance to prove what he’s worth.

Braithwaite, Oyinkan. My Sister, the Serial Killer. Doubleday. Nov. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9780385544238. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385544245. Downloadable. WOMEN’S
Korede is dreamy-eyed about the charming doctor at the hospital where she works, so when he falls for her sister, Ayoola, she knows she must act fast—just not for the reasons you would expect. It seems that Ayoola has the unfortunate habit of knocking off her boyfriends, with Korede heretofore cleaning up the mess. A pungently dark and funny story from a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Carey, M.R. Someone Like Me. Orbit: Hachette. Nov. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780316477420. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316477444. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316477451. CD/downloadable. SUPERNATURAL THRILLER
From the author who broke out big with The Girl with All the Gifts, this supernatural thriller stars Liz Kendall, whom everyone considers a sweetheart. But she has a dark and dangerous side that is taking her over. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

George, Margaret. The Splendor Before the Dark: A Novel of the Emperor Nero. Berkley. Nov. 2018. 592p. ISBN 9780399584619. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399584633. lrg. prnt. Downloadable. HISTORICAL
Nero Augustus, who became emperor in the New York Times best-selling author’s The Confessions of Young Nero, now responds to the burning of Rome by rebuilding on an even grander scale. But he’s suspected of wanting the glory for himself, not the city, and who goes up must come down.

Harman, Patricia. Once a Midwife: A Hope River Novel. Morrow. Nov. 2018. 512p. ISBN 9780062869333. $26.99. Morrow Paperbacks. ISBN 9780062825575. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062825582. lrg. prnt. HISTORICAL
First seen in the New York Times best-selling The Midwife of Hope River, Patience Hester faces trouble during World War II when husband Daniel refuses to fight, having seen too much bloodshed in the first world war. That earns him his neighbors’ scorn and a prison sentence from the government, with Patience fighting to support the family.

McCarthy, Kevin. Wolves of Eden. Norton. Nov. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780393652048. $25.95.
HISTORICAL/LITERARY
Acclaimed for the historical crime novel Peeler, Irish author McCarthy returns with the story of two Irish immigrant brothers facing violence in the post–Civil War American West. Reenlisting, they end up battling Red Cloud’s coalition of Indian tribes even as a fellow soldier tracking a murdered runs afoul of Irish nationalist rebels and anti-immigrant nativists.

Moriarty, Liane. Untitled. Flatiron: Macmillan. Nov. 2018. 432p. ISBN 9781250069825. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250069849. CD. WOMEN’S
No word on plot, but as Moriarty is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author whose Big Little Lies was made into a hit HBO series, there will be demand.

Smith, Michael Marshall. Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence. HarperVoyager. Nov. 2018. 364p. ISBN 9780008300159. pap. $15.99. FANTASY
Hannah thinks she’s truly ordinary, but then she learns about a shadow world where mushrooms can talk, there’s a machine for converting evil deeds into energy, and her grandfather is buddies with the Devil. From the Philip K. Dick Award winner, whose Spares and One of Us have been optioned for film; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Steel, Danielle. Beauchamp Hall. Delacorte. Nov. 2018. 288p. ISBN 9780399179297. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780399179303. lrg. prnt. WOMEN’S
Sounds like the perfect fun-time blend of Steel heart and British class: a young American woman finds personal satisfaction and, yes, love when she gets involved in a Downton Abbey–style TV show in England. Swinging between small-town Michigan and somewhere near London

Suri, Tasha. Empire of Sand. Orbit: Hachette. Nov. 2018. 480p. ISBN 9780316449717. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316449694. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316449700. FANTASY
Nomads descended from desert spirits, the Amrithi are reviled throughout the Empire yet sought for the magic in their blood—and now a mystic close to the emperor has his eye on Mehr, the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother. With a 50,000-copy first printing; London-born and -bred Suri, of Punjabi heritage, is a librarian.

Thompson, Victoria. City of Secrets. Berkley. Nov. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780451491619. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780451491633. HISTORICAL
In this second in a new series from the Edgar and Agatha Award–nominated author of the “Gaslight Mysteries,” Elizabeth Miles is still trying to outrun her past as a con woman while trying to help Priscilla Knight, a young suffragist who has been twice widowed. Widowed once was a tragedy but twice is a scandal—and Priscilla is also left with no money

Tilly, Meg. Solace Island. Berkley. Nov. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780440000525. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780440000532. Downloadable. ROMANCE
Abandoned by her fiancé directly before their wedding, Maggie seeks comfort with sister Eve on Solace Island in the Pacific Northwest. She resists Eve’s pleas to relocate so they can open a bakery together and to consider dating handsome neighbor Luke, but things start changing when he rescues her from a sinister near hit-and-run. First in a series from the Golden Globe–winning and Oscar-nominated actress.

Trigiani, Adriana Tony’s Wife. Nov. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780062319258. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062319272. lrg. prnt. CD. HISTORICAL
It’s the 1940s, Big Band music is in the air, and Chi Chi Donatelli and Saverio Armandonada fall in love one summer at the Jersey shore. Both dream of singing with the likes of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman, but when they marry, the question soon arises: which will put aside those dreams to raise a family? With a 150,000-copy first printing and a ten-city tour.

Veletzos, Roxanne. The Girl They Left Behind. Atria. Nov. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781501187681. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501187704. HISTORICAL
Born in Romania and an immigrant to America as a young teenager, Veletzos here bitingly portrays Bucharest during World War II and the subsequent Soviet occupation. Natalia, a little Jewish girl found abandoned in 1941, is adopted by loving parents and as she grows up becomes involved with the serious Victor. An opportunity to escape oppression arise, and Victor wants to help, but can she leave him and her adoptive parents behind? A heartbreaker with an intriguing backstory.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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.

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