Once Upon a Seaside Murder by Maggie Blackburn

Summer Merriweather finds herself dealing with many of the same issues she faced the last time I checked in with her. She’s slowly coming to turn with her mother Hildy’s death. She’s debating her future, and whether it involves returning to academia or staying in Brigid’s Island and running her newly inherited store, Beach Reads Bookshop. And oh yeah. Murder and mystery are lurking around every corner.

The Orphan Witch by Paige Crutcher

Anyone who gets too close to Persephone May winds up hurt. After yet another workplace accident, she finds herself at a crossroads, unable to stay where she is yet not knowing where she should go. It’s fortunate, then, that she receives an email from her friend Hyacinth, inviting her to the mysterious Wile Isle. While she originally accepts with ideas of insulating herself from the outside world, she soon finds a land filled questions, but also just maybe the answers she’s been looking for.

How Magicians Think by Joshua Jay

Growing up, I had a little obsession with magic. Making flowers appear with the wave of a hand, sawing an assistant in half, pulling a rabbit out of a hat—anytime a magician popped up on TV, I was riveted. Well, the animal acts generally made me uncomfortable, but the rest of it—bending the rules of reality—was fascinating. More than anything, I wanted to know how they did what they did. Not so much the secrets behind their illusions, but how they were crafted and how magicians can captivate an audience almost entirely through mild deception.

The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

So often I read reviews where the reviewer says they don’t want to give too much of the plot away. That it would be a detriment to the reading experience if you know too much going in. And usually I just sort of nod along while thinking, ‘Well, probably not, but sure.’

On Borrowed Crime by Kate Young

The cozy mystery is a continually evolving genre, but in author Kate Young’s series debut, she proves exactly why that’s so important. It seems lately whenever I’m writing about cozies, I’m always talking about the idea of “freshness”—and really, what I mean is whether a book feels like every other one on the shelf … not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, when an author offers up something different—fresh—I find myself sitting up a little straighter. Paying a little more attention. Falling in love with the genre all over again.

Meet Isabel Puddles by M.V. Byrne

Isabel Puddles would like to tell you some things. She’d like to tell you about being a widow and retired and living in a small Michigan town. She’d like to tell you how she became an octogenarian who avoids cell phones and just how she makes her famous pot roast. She’d especially like to tell you about the nail she found jammed into the skull of Earl Johnson while filling in as a funeral home beautician. It’s kind of a long story.