HomeBooksSummer 2024 Reading List

Summer 2024 Reading List

28 of the latest beach reads, new fiction, mysteries, family sagas and a rogue shark memoir from down South.

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The Great State of West Florida by Kent Wascom

It’s 2026, and Rally is 13 years old. The long, hot Louisiana summer looms before him like a face-melting stretch of blacktop, and the country is talking civil war while his adoptive family acts more vicious than ever. Rally spends his days wondering about his dead father’s people, the Woolsacks of West Florida, who long ago led a failed rebellion to carve their own state from the swamp and sugar-sand of the coast. That family might have been his too—if his mother and a crew of vigilantes hadn’t tried to kill them all back when he was a baby. Rally lives in the shadow of guilt and in fear of the only other survivors: his uncle Rodney, now a professional gunfighter on the app DU3L, where would-be shooters square off in armed combat; and his mysterious cousin Destiny, whereabouts unknown, whose own violence brought the massacre to an end.

When the Woolsacks’ legacy is co-opted by Troy Yarbrough, a far-right politician leading a movement to turn the Florida panhandle into a white Christian ethnostate, Rodney bursts into Rally’s life, taking him on a journey into the wild heart of West Florida, where they join forces with a woman known only as the Governor—part prophet, part machine, with her own blazing vision for West Florida. Soon Rally will learn what West Florida means to the Woolsacks and the lengths they will go to protect it, all while he falls for the machine-gun-toting, ATV riding girl next door.

Indian Burial Ground by Nick Medina

All Noemi Broussard wanted was a fresh start. With a new boyfriend who actually treats her right and a plan to move from the reservation she grew up on—just like her beloved Uncle Louie before her—things are finally looking up for Noemi. Until the news of her boyfriend’s apparent suicide brings her world crumbling down. But the facts about Roddy’s death just don’t add up, and Noemi isn’t the only one who suspects that something menacing might be lurking within their tribal lands.

After over a decade away, Uncle Louie has returned to the reservation, bringing with him a past full of secrets, horror and what might be the key to determining Roddy’s true cause of death. Together, Noemi and Louie set out to find answers … but as they get closer to the truth, Noemi begins to wonder whether it might be best for some secrets to remain buried.

 
 

Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Don’t let the white man take the house. These are the last words King Solomon says to his son before he dies. Now all four Solomon siblings must return to North Carolina to save the Kingdom, their ancestral home and 200 acres of land, from a development company, who has their sights set on turning the valuable waterfront property into a luxury resort.

While fighting to save the Kingdom, the siblings must also save themselves from the secrets they’ve been holding onto. Junior, the oldest son and married to his wife for 11 years, is secretly in love with another man. Second son, Mance, can’t control his temper, which has landed him in prison more than once. Cece, the oldest daughter and a lawyer in New York City, has embezzled thousands of dollars from her firm’s clients. Youngest daughter, Tokey, wonders why she doesn’t seem to fit into this family, which has left an aching hole in her heart that she tries to fill in harmful ways. As the Solomons come together to fight for the Kingdom, each of their façades begins to crumble and collide in unexpected ways.

Pretty by KB Brookins

“I should be able to define myself, but I am not. Not by any governmental or cultural body,” Brookins writes. “Every day, I negotiate the space between who I am, how I’m perceived and what I need to unlearn. People have assumed things about me, and I can’t change that. Every day, I am assumed to be a Black American man, though my ID says ‘female,’ and my heart says neither of the sort. What does it mean – to be a girl-turned-man when you’re something else entirely?”

Informed by KB Brookins‘s personal experiences growing up in Texas, those of other Black transgender masculine people, Black queer studies and cultural criticism, Pretty is concerned with the marginalization suffered by a unique American constituency—whose condition is a world apart from that of cisgender, non-Black and non-masculine people. Here is a memoir (a bildungsroman of sorts) about coming to terms with instantly and always being perceived as “other.”

SHAE by Mesha Maren

When 16-year-old Shae meets Cam, who is new to their small town in West Virginia, she thinks she has found someone who is everything she has ever wanted in a companion. The two become fast friends, and then more. And when Shae ends up pregnant, Cam begins a different transition—trying on clothes that Shae can no longer fit into and using female pronouns. Shae tries to be fully supportive as Cam becomes the person she wants and needs to be.

After a traumatic C-section and the birth of their daughter, Eva, Shae is given opioids to manage the intense pain. During the first year of Eva’s life, Shae’s dependence shifts from pain management to addiction, and her days begin to revolve around getting more pills. In the heart of West Virginia, opioids are dispensed as freely as candy, and Shae is just one of many to fall victim to addiction. Meanwhile, as Cam continues to transition, she embraces new relationships and faces the reality of being a trans woman in rural America.

Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help— including the daughter of her estranged best friend—Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place and maybe even to find a new romance along the way.

Troubled Waters by Mary Annaïse Heglar

The world is burning, and Corinne will do anything to put out the flames. After her brother died aboard an oil boat on the Mississippi River in 2013, Corinne awakened to the realities of climate change and its perpetrators. Now, a year later, she finds herself trapped in a lonely cycle of mourning both her brother and the very planet she stands on. She’s convinced that in order to save her future, she has to make sure that her brother’s life meant something. But in the act of honoring her brother’s spirit, she resurrects family ghosts she knows little about—ghosts her grandmother Cora knows intimately.

Cora’s ghosts have follower her from her days as a child desegregating schools in 1950s Nashville to her new life as a mother, grandmother and teacher in Mississippi. As a child of the Civil Rights movement, she’s done her best to keep those specters away from her granddaughter. She faced those demons, she reasons to herself, so that Corinne would never know they existed. Cora knows what it feels like to carry the weight of the world—and that it can crush you. When Corinne’s plan to stage a dramatic act of resistance peels back the scabs of her family wounds and puts her safety in jeopardy, both grandmother and granddaughter must bring their secrets into the light to find a path to healing and wholeness.

What the Mountains Remember by Joy Callaway

April 1913 – Belle Newbold hasn’t seen mountains for seven years—since her father died in a mining accident and her mother married gasoline magnate, Shipley Newbold. But when her stepfather’s business acquaintance, Henry Ford, invites the family to one of his famous Vagabonds camping tours, she is forced to face the hills once again—primarily in order to reunite with her future fiancé, owner of the land the Vagabonds are using for their campsite, a man she’s only met once before. It is a veritable arranged marriage, but she prefers it that way. Belle isn’t interested in love. She wants a simple life, a family of her own and the stability of a wealthy man’s pockets. That’s what Worth Delafield has promised to give her and it’s worth facing the mountains again, the reminder of the past, and her poverty, to secure her future.

But when the Vagabonds are invited to tour the unfinished Grove Park Inn and Belle is thrust into a role researching the building of the inn—a construction the locals are calling the Eighth Wonder of the World—she quickly realizes that these mountains are no different from the ones she once called home. As Belle peels back the facade of Grove Park Inn, of Worth, of the society she’s come to claim as her own and the truth of her heart, she begins to see that perhaps her part in Grove Park’s story isn’t a coincidence after all. Perhaps it is only by watching a wonder rise from ordinary hands and mountain stone that she can finally find the strength to piece together the long-destroyed path toward who she was meant to be.

When Cicadas Cry by Caroline Cleveland

Zach Stander, a lawyer with a past, and Addie Stone, his indomitable detective and lover, find themselves entangled in secrets, lies and murder in a small Southern town. A high-profile murder case: A white woman has been bludgeoned to death with an altar cross in a rural church on Cicada Road in Walterboro, South Carolina. Sam Jenkins, a Black man, is found covered in blood, kneeling over the body. In a state already roiling with racial tension, this is not only a murder case, but a powder keg.

A haunting cold case: Two young women are murdered on quiet Edisto Beach, an hour southeast of Walterboro, and the killer disappears without a trace. Thirty-four years later the mystery remains unsolved. Could there be a connection to Stander’s case? A killer who’s watching: Stander takes on Jenkins’s defense, but he’s up against a formidable solicitor with powerful allies. Worse, his client is hiding a bombshell secret. When Addie Stone reopens the cold case, she discovers more long-buried secrets in this small town. Would someone kill again to keep them?

JUNE 1

Lake County by Lori Roy

Desperate to break free of small-town Florida, Addie Anne Buckley dreams of following in the path of her glamorous aunt Jean—known to the world as Marilyn Monroe. When Aunt Jean plans a trip to Hollywood for Addie’s 18th birthday, Addie sees her chance to escape.

One thing stands in her way: her boyfriend. Truitt Holt is Addie’s first and only love and will be joining her in California. But days before Addie’s due to leave, Truitt does an about-face and gives her a painful ultimatum: stay and marry him, or they’re through. Addie chooses her dream. Hurt and angry, Truitt unwillingly exposes the illegal bolita game he’s been running in mob territory. Now the Tampa mafia is after him, and he has until midnight to cut a deal that will save his life and Addie’s. What he doesn’t know … his trouble with the mob has already found Addie and her family. She’s already in a fight for her life.

 

 

JUNE 4

The Pecan Children by Quinn Connor

In a small Southern pecan town, the annual harvest is a time of both celebration and heartbreak. Even as families are forced to sell their orchards and move away, Lil Clearwater, keeper of a secret covenant with her land, swears she never will. When her twin Sasha returns to the dwindling town in hopes of reconnecting with the girl her heart never forgot, the sisters struggle to bridge their differences and share the immense burden of protecting their home from hungry forces intent on uprooting everything they love.

But there is rot hiding deep beneath the surface. Ghostly fires light up the night, and troubling local folklore is revealed to be all too true. Confronted with the phantoms of their pasts and devastating threat to their future, the sisters come to the stark realization that in the kudzu-choked South, nothing is ever as it appears.

 

 

JUNE 15

The Curators by Maggie Nye

A dark, lyrical blend of historical fiction and magical realism, The Curators examines a critically underexplored event in American history through unlikely eyes. All of Atlanta is obsessed with the two-year-long trial and subsequent lynching of Jewish factory superintendent Leo Frank in 1915. None more so than 13-year-old Ana Wulff and her friends, who take history into their own hands—quite literally—when they use dirt from Ana’s garden to build and animate a golem in Frank’s image.

They’ll do anything to keep his story alive, but when their scheme gets out of hand, they must decide what responsibility requires of them. This novel tells the story of five zealous girls and the cyclonic power of their friendship as they come of age in a country riven by white supremacy.

 

JUNE 25

A Happier Life by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Present day: Keaton Smith is desperate for a fresh start. So, when her mother needs someone to put her childhood home in Beaufort, North Carolina, on the market–the home that Keaton didn’t know existed until now—she jumps at the chance to head South. But the moment she steps foot inside the abandoned house, she’s confronted with secrets about grandparents who died in a car accident before she was born. And as she gets to know her charming next-door neighbor, his precocious 10-year-old son and a flock of endearingly feisty town busybodies, she soon finds she has more questions than answers.

1976: After meeting her adoring husband Townsend, Rebecca “Becks” Saint James abandoned the life she knew and never looked back. Forty years later, she’s made a name for herself as the best hostess North Carolina has ever seen. Her annual summer suppers have become the stuff of legend, and locals and out-of-towners alike clamor for an invitation to her stunning historic home. But she’s struggling behind the façade. Becks strives to make the lives of those around her as easy as possible, but this summer she is facing a dilemma that even she can’t solve. And as the end of the season looms, she is brought to a decision she never wanted to make. As both Keaton and Becks face new challenges and chapters, they are connected through time by the house on Sunset Land, which has protected the secrets, hopes and dreams of the women in their family for generations.

JULY 1

Broken Bayou by Jennifer Moorhead

Dr. Willa Waters is a prominent child psychologist at the height of her career. But when a viral video of a disastrous television interview puts her reputation on the line, Willa retreats to Broken Bayou, the town where she spent most of her childhood summers. There she visits her aunts’ old house and discovers some of her unstable mother’s belongings still languishing in the attic—dusty mementos harboring secrets of her harrowing past. Willa’s hopes for a respite are quickly crushed, not only by what she finds in that attic but also by what’s been found in the bayou.

With waters dropping due to drought, mysterious barrels containing human remains have surfaced, alongside something else from Willa’s past, something she never thought she’d see again. Divers, police and media flood the area, including a news reporter gunning for Will and Travis Arceneaux, a local deputy and old flame. Willa’s fate seems eerily tied to the murders. And with no one to trust, she must use her wits to stay above water and make it out alive.

JULY 2

Cinnamon Beach by Suzanne Kamata

In 2021, Olivia Hamada, a newly unemployed American living in Japan, is grieving the loss of her brother, Ted, and hiding her divorce from everyone—including the 18-year-old twins whom she had with her Japanese ex-husband. It’s been more than a year since Ted’s unexpected death and pandemic travel restrictions have lifted, allowing Olivia, a former English-language writing instructor, and her children to travel to the United States to spread the last of Ted’s ashes and spend the summer with his widow, Parisa Hubbard, at her idyllic South Carolina beach house. Parisa, a successful fashion designer whose creations are inspired by her South Asian heritage, is ready to embrace a fresh chapter, but, fearing that she’ll upset Ted’s family, she keeps her big plans to herself.

Sophie, Olivia’s deaf daughter, who attends a specialized high school with only 12 students and is craving new experiences has her wish granted when she meets the eye-catching Dante, sparking a sweet summer romance. Sophie vows to keep the relationship hidden, but this proves to be surprisingly difficult. When Olivia has a run-in with Devon Richards, a now-famous country singer from her past, she’s unable to resist their sizzling mutual attraction, which they must keep secret.

The Night the River Wept by Lo Patrick

Arlene has lived in a small town on the edge of nowhere Georgia her whole life. Now married to her long-time high school sweetheart, Tommy, Arlene is itching to start a family and become the mother she always dreamed of being. But that’s proving more difficult than she thought, and Arlene is desperate to find something to do to keep her mind off things. And get some distance from her husband, who is increasingly getting on her nerves.

As the summer gives way to a chilly, lonesome fall in the mountains of Northern Georgia, she takes a part-time job bagging evidence at the local police department, which involves about 20 minutes of actual work, and the rest of her shift she reads old cold cases. One in particular fascinates her: the mysterious deaths of three young brothers murdered on Deck River, followed by the suicide of Mitchell Wright, the prime murder suspect. With the help of the police department’s receptionist and a family friend of the Wrights, Arlene sets out on discovering the truth. She can’t help but feel that if she solves the cases of the Broderick boys’ deaths, she’ll find her footing in her young marriage and maybe find what she’s looking for all along.

 

JULY 9

Atchafalaya Darling by Shome Dasgupta

“There’s so much tenderness in these stories, all wrapped in vibrantly bubbling scenes and conversations. Dasgupta cares about all these characters and it shows all over the pages and pulls a reader in,” says author Aimee Bender about Shome Dasgupta’s latest collection of stories. In Atchafalaya Darling, the dream-like world of South Louisiana shimmers through one of its most original voices.

This collection contains local music scenes, crumbling homes and creature comforts amid the convergence of wild hopes and rural spaces. Each story navigates the nature of memory, lost or found, sprinkled like spice into the red of the crawfish. While this collection often portrays immense grief—whether from hurricane winds or splintered dreams—​each character clings to a love for place and the people who make it home. Atchafalaya Darling is an homage to Cajun culture, providing 10 glimpses into this region like a series of faded Polaroid pictures held under the sun.

 

Grown Women by Sarai Johnson

Erudite Evelyn, her cynical daughter Charlotte and Charlotte’s optimistic daughter Corinna see the world very differently. Though they love each other deeply, it’s no wonder that their personalities often clash. But their conflicts go deeper than run-of-the-mill disagreements. Here, there is deep, dark resentment for past and present hurt. When Corinna gives birth to her own daughter, Camille, the beautiful, intelligent little girl offers this trio of mothers something they all need: hope, joy and an opportunity to reconcile. They decide to work together to raise their collective daughter with the tenderness and empathy they missed in their own relationships. Yet despite their best intentions, they cannot agree on what that means.

After Camille eventually leaves her mother and grandmother in rural Tennessee for a more cosmopolitan life in Washington, D.C., with her great-grandmother, it’s unclear whether this complex and self-contained girl will thrive or be overwhelmed by the fears and dreams of three generations she carries. As she grows into a gutsy young woman, Camille must decide for herself what happiness will look like.

The Sirens of Soleil City by Sarah C. Johns

West Palm Beach, 1999. A phone call summons 58-year-old Cherie Anderson from a frozen Minnesota to help her two mothers: Dale, the mother who left her when she was five and is facing eviction from her budget-apartment complex, Soleil City; and Marlys, the mother who raised her from that moment on and who’s now dying, but won’t admit it to her daughter. Cherie seeks a reason to stay in town long enough to give Dale the help she’s finally asked for and Marlys the help she clearly needs. And she much find a project to distract her pregnant daughter, Laura, whose marriage has fallen apart just weeks before her due date.

The South Florida Synchronized Swimming Competition seems to be the answer. The publicity from winning the contest, along with the $10,000 prize money, could help save Soleil City. With Laura, who used to captain a dance team, as their coach, they’ve got a fighting change. And with everyone else preoccupied by the competition, Cherie can focus on saving Marlys before it’s too late. Over the course of a month in an apartment complex filled with feisty, funny, strong-willed women in their seventies, four women who make up an uneasy family will realize that in life, and motherhood, there isn’t good and bad. There’s only trying to get it right.

JULY 16

Sharks Don’t Sink: Adventures of a Rogue Shark Scientist by Jasmin Graham

Sharks have been on this planet for over 400 million years, so there is a lot they can teach us about survival and adaptability. For example: how do sharks, which unlike other fish are denser than water, stay afloat? They keep moving. When Jasmin Graham, an award-winning young shark scientist, started to feel that the traditional path to becoming a marine biologist was pulling her under, she remembered this important lesson: keep moving forward.

If navigating the choppy waters of traditional academic study was no longer worth it, then that meant creating an ocean of her own. Jasmin joined with three other Black women to form Minorities in Shark Sciences (MISS), an organization dedicated to providing support and opportunities for other young women of color. She became an independent researcher: a rogue shark scientist, seeking ways to keep these extraordinary endangered creatures swimming free—just like her.

Stories from the Attic by William Gay

From a celebrated master of the Southern Gothic comes a last collection of hard-hitting short fiction, his final posthumous work. Beloved for his novels Twilight, The Long Home and The Lost Country and his groundbreaking collection I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down, William Gay returns with one final posthumous collection of short stories Stories from the Attic, adapted from the archive found after his death in February 2012. In addition to previously unpublished short stories, Stories from the Attic includes fragments from two of the unpublished novels that were works in progress at the time of his death.

Marked by his signature and bare-knuckled insight, this collection (now in paperback) is a must-read for William Gay devotees and fans of Southern short fiction.

 

JULY 23

 

A Certain Kind of Starlight by Heather Webber

Everyone knows that Addie Fullbright can’t keep a secret. Yet, 12 years ago, as her best friend lay dying, she entrusted Addie with the biggest secret of all. One so shattering that Addie felt she had to leave her hometown of Starlight, Alabama, to keep from revealing a devastating truth to someone she cares for deeply. Now she’s living a lonely life, keeping everyone at a distance, not only to protect the secret but also her heart from the pain of losing someone else. But when her beloved aunt, the woman who helped raise her, gets a shocking diagnosis and asks her to come back to Starlight to help run the family bakery, Addie knows it’s finally time to go home again.

Tessa Jane Wingrove-Fullbright feels like she’s failing. She’s always been able to see the lighter side of life but lately darkness has descended. Her world is suddenly in shambles after a painful breakup, her favorite aunt’s unexpected health troubles and because crushing expectations from the Wingrove side of her family are forcing her to keep secrets and make painful choices. When she’s called back to Starlight to help her aunt, she’s barely holding herself together and fears she’ll never find her way back to who she used to be. Under the bright side of the stars, Addie and Tessa Jane come to see that magic can be found in trusting yourself, that falling apart is simply a chance to rise up again, stronger than ever, and that the heart usually knows the best path through the darkness.

The Dissonance by Shaun Hamill

A Cosmology of Monsters author Shaun Hamill returns with more fantastical horror set in Clegg, Texas. “You can never go home again,” the saying goes—but Hal, Athena, and Erin have to. In high school, the three were students of the eccentric Professor Marsh, trained in a secret system of magic known as the Dissonance, which is built around harnessing negative emotions: alienation, anger, pain. Then, 20 years ago, something happened that shattered their coven, scattering them across the country, stuck in mundane lives, alone.

But now, terrifying signs and portents have summoned them back to Texas, where their paths collide with Owen, a closeted teenager from Alabama whose aborted cemetery seance with his crush summoned something far worse: a murderous entity whose desperate, driving purpose includes kidnapping Owen to serve as its Renfield. As Owen tries to outwit his new master, and Hal, Athena and Erin reckon with how the choices they made as teens might connect to the apocalyptic event unfurling over the Lone Star State, shocking alliances form, old and new romances brew, and three unsuccessful adults and one frightened teen are all that stand between reality and oblivion.

The Faculty Lounge by Jennifer Mathieu

It all starts when an elderly substitute teacher at Baldwin High School is found dead in the faculty lounge. After a bit of a stir, life quickly returns to normal—it’s not like it’s the worst (or even most interesting) thing that has happened within the building’s walls. But when, a week later, the spontaneous scattering of his ashes on the school grounds catches the attention of some busybody parents, it sets in motion a year that can only be described as wild, bizarre, tragic, mundane, beautiful and humorous all at once.

In the midst of the ensuing hysteria and threats of disciplinary action, the novel peeks into the lives of the implicated adults who, it turns out, actually have first names and continue to exist when the school day is done. We meet: A former punk band front man, now a middle-aged principal who must battle it out with the school board to keep his job; a no-nonsense school nurse willing to break the rules, despite the close watch on their campus, when a student arrives at her office with a dilemma; and a disgruntled English instructor who finds himself embroiled in even more controversy when he misfires a snarky email. Oh, and there’s also a teacher makeout session in a supply closet during a lockdown. As these people continue to manage the messiness of this school year, there is the looming threat of what will become their beloved Baldwin High.

AUGUST 13

A Great Marriage by Frances Mayes

Dara Wilcox, in New York for a weekend, meets Austin Clarke at an art gallery. If love at first sight can happen, it happens to them. These two vivid, ambitious people are on different courses—he’s British, working temporarily in New York. She’s from North Carolina, set on law school. They don’t care. They will make their lives together happen. At their April engagement dinner at Dara’s family home, her mother, Lee, sets a beautiful table, and the family and close friends gather to celebrate. Rich, Dara’s father, raises a toast. Suddenly, Lee spills the wine, a brilliant red stain splashing onto the tablecloth and onto Austin.

Days later, Austin hears unsettling news from London that wrecks their plans. Dara abruptly cancels the wedding. She refuses to reveal the reason, not even to her best friends or her parents or her grandmother, disrupting the family tradition of openness. As everyone knows, Lee and Rich have a great marriage, and Charlotte, her grandmother, had a colossal one, to the late Senator Mann. Charlotte literally wrote the book on the subject: She’s the author of international bestsellers on what makes a good or possibly a great marriage. While Dara escapes to California and Indigo Island, South Carolina, Austin, back in London, faces a major tragedy, the consequences of which are life-altering. But it’s Lee, Dara’s mother, whose impulsive visit to London alters their fate.

The Queen City Detective Agency by Snowden Wright

Meridian, Mississippi—Once known as the Queen City for its status in the state—has lost much of its royal bearing by 1985. Overshadowed by more prosperous cities such as New Orleans and Atlanta, Meridian attracts less-than-legitimate businesses, including those enforced by the near-mythical Dixie Mafia. The city’s powerbrokers, wealthy white Southerners clinging to their privilege, resent any attempt at change to the old order.

Real estate developer Randall Hubbard took advantage of Meridian’s economic decline by opening strip malls that catered to low-income families in Black neighborhoods—until he wound up at the business end of a .38 Special. Then a Dixie Mafia affiliate named Lewis “Turnip” Coogan, who claims Hubbard’s wife hired him for the hit, dies under suspicious circumstances while in custody for the murder. Ex-cop turned private investigator Clementine Baldwin is hired by Coogan’s bereaved mother to find her son’s killer. A woman struggling with her own history growing up in Mississippi, Clem braves the Queen City’s corridors of crime as she digs into the case, opening wounds long forgotten. She soon finds herself in the crosshairs of powerful and dangerous people who manipulate the law for their own ends—and will kill anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets.

AUGUST 20

Hollow Out The Dark by James Wade

A loose retelling of Cain and Abel, betrayal abounds in a Depression-era Texas town as James Wade’s characters must choose whether they are obligated to try and make the world a better place—or if the right thing to do is simply protect their own loved ones at any cost.

A small, economically-depressed Texas town must face the challenges that come as the local mill—their primary source of income—is shuttered, and crime begins to flourish in its shadow by way of an underground whiskey war. While set in the 1930s, the themes and events explored in Hollow Out The Dark ring eerily similar to today’s headlines: the country has just endured a pandemic, a war and a devastating economic downturn; corruption seems widespread and people can’t always trust elected officials, law enforcement or the rich corporate interests that control the world around them. In this powerful new novel by the author of Beasts of the Earth and River, Sing Out, narrative prowess and atmospheric prose echo the works of Ron Rash and Cormac McCarthy, resulting in a rich, character-driven story.

SEPTEMBER 3

Lowcountry Lost by T.I. Lowe

Sometimes what haunts you most is wondering what could have been. Avalee Elvis prides herself with being able to fix just about anything … except her past. Unable to put the puzzle of her life together, she pours heart and soul into making neglected places whole again. As the owner of Lowcountry Lost, Avalee spends her days in hot-pink Carhartt overalls and a tool belt reclaiming Lowcountry properties. Making them beautiful again releases the deep sigh that soothes the hurt she holds.

Avalee’s latest project takes her to tiny Somewhere, South Carolina, a long-abandoned town. She ignores its ghostly folklore but can’t miss the shock of hearing the familiar Irish brogue that materializes on the job site—the voice of the man she never wanted to see again.

Wading Through Knee-
Unlocking the Secret
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