One Last Stop by Casey McQuinston (St. Martin's Griffin)

Sometimes you want a fun, slightly angsty novel with a little bit of magic sprinkled in for a pleasant afternoon read. If that is the case, this is the sapphic romance novel you were looking for.

- C.B.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (Penquin Books)

In Amor Towles' early novel we are transported to the decadent sometimes debauched New York City of the year 1938. The sassy tone and staccato style of Katie Kontent's narrative reminds one of Fitzgerald's world of music and late nights in neighborhood decades from gentrification. The sweet finale of friends claiming friends, saying their name at the start of each day, however, recalls a more gentle voice and reminds us all that a photograph is just the first line of the story.

- H.S.

Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead (Random House)

Whitehead’s colorful cast of characters come to life in 1960s Harlem. Ray is a furniture salesman with a criminal past that keeps in the shadows of his present life.

- K.F.

The Push by Ashley Audrain (Penguin Books)

This book has both suspense and depth, as Audrain explores the complex emotions of motherhood when there is a bond with one child and not with another. The reader is left to wonder whether her daughter is truly evil or if the narrator is losing her mind.

- K.F.

Malice by Heather Walter (Del Rey Books)

What if the villain fell in love with the princess? That is the story Walter tells in this queer retelling of Sleeping Beauty. An incredibly intense fantasy romance you’ll thank for breaking your heart.

- C.B.

Something Wicked by E.X. Ferras (Felony & Mayhem)

OK, it is cozy, but a deftly written cozy set in the winter in an English village. Right up my alley with a retired professor seeking respite from the redecorating of his London digs (wonderfully described) in his nephew’s all-electric cottage. The hot murder mystery contrasts with the ice of the power outage. Something Wicked by E. X. Ferras (Felony & Mayhem) is waiting for those seeking schadenfreude while living in very icy NE Ohio.

- M.W.

Owls of the Eastern Ice by Jonathan C. Slaught (Picador)

A story of a man’s 5-year journey to devise a plan to save the world’s most mysterious owls in one of the remotest parts of the world. A fascinating view of nature and the work and life of a scientist doing field research.

- L.Q.

The Lost Apothecary - Sarah Penner (Park Row)

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

Meanwhile, in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate–and not everyone will survive.

The Vanishing Half - Brit Bennett (Riverhead Books)

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed - Helene Tursten (Soho Crime)

Just when things have finally cooled down for 88-year-old Maud after the disturbing discovery of a dead body in her apartment in Gothenburg, a couple of detectives return to her doorstep. Though Maud dodges their questions with the skill of an Olympic gymnast a fifth of her age, she wonders if suspicion has fallen on her, little old lady that she is. The truth is, ever since Maud was a girl, death has seemed to follow her.

In these six interlocking stories, memories of unfortunate incidents from Maud’s past keep bubbling to the surface. Meanwhile, certain Problems in the present require immediate attention. Luckily, Maud is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands . . . even if it means she has to get a little blood on them in the process.