Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

I’m always adding new books to my TBR list, but most of them have already been published. I only really look forward to books by authors that I have read before and REALLY REALLY liked. I had to dig a bit for this list, because I don’t often pay attention to release dates. When a book comes into my store, then I know it’s available. I feel like I sound like the worst bookseller ever right now, but it’s the truth. 🙂


The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson (Jan 21) – Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . . She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century. At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect.

The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams (Jan 28) – As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixty-something Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store. But amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action.

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (Jan 7) – When Jack left Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister–whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice–back to their home on the Moors. But death in their adopted world isn’t always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

False Value by Ben Aaronovitch (Feb 20) – Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up—the Serious Cybernetics Company. Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son. Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological—and just as dangerous.

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn (Mar 10) – Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian colleague Stoker are asked by Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk to help with a potential scandal so explosive it threatens to rock the monarchy. Prince Albert Victor is a regular visitor to the most exclusive private club in London, known as the Club de l’Etoile, and the proprietess, Madame Aurore, has received an expensive gift that can be traced back to the prince. Lady Wellie would like Veronica and Stoker to retrieve the jewel from the club before scandal can break. Worse yet, London is gripped by hysteria in the autumn of 1888, terrorized by what would become the most notorious and elusive serial killer in history, Jack the Ripper–and Lady Wellie suspects the prince may be responsible. Veronica and Stoker reluctantly agree to go undercover at Madame Aurore’s high class brothel, where another body soon turns up. Many secrets are swirling around Veronica and the royal family–and it’s up to Veronica and Stoker to find the truth, before it’s too late for all of them.

Murder in the Storybook Cottage by Ellery Adams (Apr 28) – Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a top travel destination for book lovers and the perfect spot for literary events. But as a children’s book publisher hosts a gathering there, some folks aren’t going to live—happier ever after or otherwise . . . Jane Steward’s resort is hopping—not only is Peppermint Press’s conference in full swing, there are also lots of families staying on the premises, bringing their kids to events like a scavenger hunt through the Fairy Tale Forest. Then a woman dressed like Little Red Riding Hood is found dead from a plot device straight out of a fairy tale—with a rare and valuable copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales in her basket. Not long after, a second victim is killed, with yet another treasure—a volume by Hans Christian Andersen worth thousands of dollars—nearby. It looks like a big bad wolf may be lurking among the guests, and Jane can’t just wait for a handsome prince to come to the rescue . . . 

The Stolen Letter by Paige Shelton (Apr 7) – Just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, Delaney Nichols is eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus, she collides with Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them. But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident.

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner (May 26) – Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable. One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy.

Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine (May 12) – With the future of the Great Library in doubt, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone must decide if it’s worth saving in this thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series. The corrupt leadership of the Great Library has fallen. But with the Archivist plotting his return to power, and the Library under siege from outside empires and kingdoms, its future is uncertain. Jess Brightwell and his friends must come together as never before, to forge a new future for the Great Library . . . or see everything it stood for crumble.

By the Book by Amanda Sellet (May 12) – As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about “Mistakes That Have Been Made”, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand (June 2) – Welcome ​to 1876 and a rootin’-tootin’ America bursting with gunslingers, outlaws, and garou. Jane Calamity, Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler, and Annie Oakley team up to go on a garou hunt that goes south. When Jane finds a suspicious-like bite on her arm, she turns tail for Deadwood, where there’s been talk of a garou cure. But things ain’t always what they seem—meaning the gang better hightail it after her before they’re a day late and a Jane short.


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new Top Ten list for anyone to answer. Just add a link to them on your post, and add your name to the weekly linky!

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