Shelf Seeking is a series of weekly posts highlighting the best books releasing that week. Psychological horror, historical whodunit, a collection of stories, feminist history, and a thrilling romantic fantasy!

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The Nightingale Affair, Tim Mason – 1867, A historical whodunit where a London-based private investigator, while working for a Tory MP who suspects his wife is having an affair with his political rival, discovers her strangled corpse in a manner that was once the trademark of a serial killer who targeted nurses. He must now catch the killer while the narration jumps between past and present, heightening the tension of a case one thought was closed years ago.

The Tiffany Girls, Shelley Noble – 1899, Three women working in a company famous for making glass want more in their lives: one wants to escape her home in Paris and her art-forger father; other wants to be a writer in a world where women aren’t generally hired; and another desires to be a designer —obsessed with a dragonfly lamp. Brought together by chance and driven by desire to be artists, these girls break the glass ceiling of their era.

Western Lane, Chetna Maroo – Late 1980s, In England, after death of their mother, the father of three daughters decides to dedicate their lives to squash as a way to channel grief. The youngest is soon obsessed with the sport, the oldest takes on household duties, and the middle child tries holding onto everything about her mother. As a broken family tries to heal, language struggles and culture barricades and the drama of tournaments unfolds.

The Sorrows of Others, Ada Zhang – A collection of stories centred around Chinese American families: an art student talks of her roommate, an elderly Chinese woman; a wife makes an effort to assimilate —like listening to rock music— after emigrating from China; a husband who had left his family in the US two decades ago to live with another woman in China returns to get a cancer treatment. Human nature and ethnic empathy drive these tales spanning across cities and towns.

Graveyard of Lost Children, Katrina Monroe – A contemplation of postpartum depression in the form of a suspenseful, thrilling horror where a new mother is struggling to care for and connect with her needy infant while her own mother’s story is shared through journal entries —recounting how she tried to kill her baby. With grotesque descriptions of giving birth and an unsettling dual narration, the psychological horror follows a spiralling mother.

The Book That Wouldn’t Burn, Mark Lawrence – In a prejudiced city of knowledge surrounded by vastness of dust, a refugee makes place for herself as an aspiring librarian. In a mysterious library choked with towers of books, four siblings are trapped after being spat out from an intriguing machine that had them for decades, one of them —the only who didn’t return with any particular skill— feels an urge to find “her”. A thrilling romantic fantasy that unravels a clear war between knowledge and ignorance.

One thought on “Shelf Seeking: A Mysterious Library, Postpartum Depression, and A Dragonfly Lamp — Best New Books Out This Week

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