Meme

Saturdays at the Café


Saturdays at the Café
is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.



In New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s ingenious fourth literary whodunit following The Word is Murder, The Sentence is Death, and A Line to Kill, Horowitz becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation—and only one man can prove his innocence: his newly estranged partner in solving crime, Detective Hawthorne.

“I’m sorry but the answer’s no.” Reluctant author, Anthony Horowitz, has had enough. He tells ex-detective Daniel Hawthorne that after three books he’s splitting and their deal is over.

The truth is that Anthony has other things on his mind.

His new play, a thriller called Mindgame, is about to open at the Vaudeville Theater in London’s West End. Not surprisingly, Hawthorne declines a ticket to the opening night.

The play is panned by the critics. In particular, Sunday Times critic Margaret Throsby gives it a savage review, focusing particularly on the writing. The next day, Throsby is stabbed in the heart with an ornamental dagger which turns out to belong to Anthony, and has his fingerprints all over it.

Anthony is arrested by an old enemy . . . Detective Inspector Cara Grunshaw. She still carries a grudge from her failure to solve the case described in the second Hawthorne adventure, The Sentence is Death, and blames Anthony. Now she’s out for revenge.

Thrown into prison and fearing for both his personal future and his writing career, Anthony is the prime suspect in Throsby’s murder and when a second theatre critic is found to have died in mysterious circumstances, the net closes in. Ever more desperate, he realizes that only one man can help him.

But will Hawthorne take the call?

My friend Marialyce @ yayareads is back! I rely on her comments to these posts for new title recommendations and this is one of them. I’m collecting the series and this is a library audiobook hopeful.


A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind, from the ‘New York Times’ best-selling author of ‘Wish You Were Here’ and the best-selling author of ‘She’s Not There’.

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life – living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher – was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.

Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.

And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely….

Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Another title I added from Marialyce’s comments last week. This sounds like classic Picoult and is a library audiobook hopeful, scheduled for release in October.



A perfectly wicked debut thriller about an ambitious woman who, after a lifetime of conning alongside her mother, wants to leave her dark past behind and marry the heir to one of the country’s wealthiest families.

Like any enterprising woman, Bea knows what she’s worth and is determined to get all she deserves—it just so happens that what she deserves is to marry rich. Filthy rich. After years of forced instruction by her mother in the art of swindling men, a now-solo Bea wants nothing more than to close and lock the door on their sordid partnership so she can disappear safely into old-money domesticity, sealing the final phase of her escape.

When Bea chooses her ultimate target in the fully-loaded, thoroughly dull and blue-blooded Collin Case, she’s ready to deploy all of her tricks one last time. The challenge isn’t getting the ring, but rather the approval of Collin’s family and everyone else in their 1 percent tax bracket, particularly his childhood best friend, Gale Wallace-Leicester. Going toe-to-toe with Gale isn’t a threat to an expert like Bea, but what begins as an amusing cat-and-mouse game quickly develops into a dangerous pursuit of the grisly truth. Finding herself at a literal life-and-death crossroads, with everything on the line, Bea must finally decide who she really wants to be. Like mother, like daughter?

NetGalley emails strike again! A library audiobook hopeful, it got my attention because this woman sounds diabolical. I’ll need some popcorn to go along with this one, scheduled for release in February.


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER John Grisham is the acknowledged master of the legal thriller. In his first collection of novellas, law is a common thread, but America’s favorite storyteller has several surprises in store.

Homecoming takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham’s unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he’s not in the courtroom. He’s called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again—until now. Now Mack is back, and he’s leaning on his old pals, Jake and Harry Rex, to help him return. His homecoming does not go as planned.

In Strawberry Moon, we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can’t save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request.

The Sparring Partners are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe each other, and speak to each other only when necessary. As the firm disintegrates, the resulting fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time in her career and try to save herself?

By turns suspenseful, hilarious, powerful, and moving, these are three of the greatest stories John Grisham has ever told.

I’d ignored this book initially until one of my Goodreads friends reviewed it and pointed out it was a collection of short stories. The deal was sealed when I took a look at the narrators: Jeff Daniels, Ethan Hawke and January LaVoy! Thanks to my library for coming through with the audiobook.



A romance novel-obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You.

Romance book connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men—all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead, thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.

Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.

The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily ever after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?

Another title added because of a NetGalley email. I can’t wait to listen to this story, another library audiobook hopeful scheduled for release in January.


A woman hires a housekeeper to care for her aging parents—only to watch as she takes over their lives in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author called “an ingenious master of domestic suspense” (Samantha M. Bailey).

In the end, I have only myself to blame. I’m the one who let her in.

Jodi Bishop knows success. She’s the breadwinner, a top-notch real estate agent. Her husband, Harrison . . . not so much. Once, he had big dreams. But now, he’s a middling writer who resents his wife’s success.

Jodi’s father, Vic, now in his late seventies and retired, is a very controlling man. His wife, Audrey, was herself no shrinking violet. But things changed when Audrey developed Parkinson’s ten years ago, and Vic retired to devote himself to her care. But while still reasonably spry and rakishly handsome, Vic is worn down by his wife’s deteriorating condition.

Exhausted from trying to balance her career, her family, and her parents’ needs, Jodi starts interviewing housekeepers to help care for Audrey and Vic. She settles on Elyse Woodley, an energetic and attractive widow in her early sixties, who seems perfect for the job. While Vic is initially resistant, he soon warms to Elyse’s sunny personality and engaging ways.

And Jodi is pleased to have an ally, someone she can talk to and occasionally even confide in. Until….

She shuts Jodi out. And Audrey’s condition worsens—rapidly. Who is this woman suddenly wearing her mother’s jewelry? What is she after? And how far will she go to get it?

Sometimes it’s just kismet! At the same time this showed up at my library and I was hemming and hawing about whether to add it, the review by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books popped up. Of course I grabbed the audiobook and am squeezing it in next month.



From the author of The Matzah Ball comes a pitch-perfect rom-com following a third-generation Jewish matchmaker who unwittingly finds her own search for love thrust into the spotlight….

The perfect Jewish husband should be:

A doctor or lawyer (preferably a doctor)
Baggage-free (no previous marriages, no children)
And of course—he must be Jewish

As the creator and CEO of the popular Jewish dating app J-Mate, matchmaker Dara Rabinowitz knows the formula for lasting love—at least, for everyone else. When it comes to her own love life, she’s been idling indefinitely. Until her beloved bubbe shares Dara’s checklist for “The Perfect Jewish Husband” on national television and charming news anchor Chris Steadfast proposes they turn Dara’s search into must-see TV.

As a non-Jewish single dad, Chris doesn’t check any of Dara’s boxes. But her hunt for Mr. Perfect is the ratings boost his show desperately needs. If only Chris could ignore his own pesky attraction to Dara—a task much easier said than done when Dara starts questioning if “perfect on paper” can compete with how hard she’s falling for Chris….

This also showed up at my library and I loved the story premise but wasn’t sure. I grabbed the audiobook after reading the review by Carla @ Carla Loves to Read.


This emotional novel from a New York Times bestselling author follows four lifelong friends as each faces a crisis in family, love, and forgiveness. 

Serena, Michelle, Kenya, and Lynette have been best friends since they were small children. And as sister friends forever, they have always been there for one another, through good times and bad, no matter what.

This year is a crucial turning point for each woman. Serena, still single, is questioning why love hasn’t found her yet. Michelle is engaged and ready to walk down the aisle—until an old flame strolls back into her life. Kenya is happily married, but at the same time, her husband’s ex-wife won’t allow them or their family to live in peace. And Lynette’s divorce from her cheating husband has her nervously dating for the first time in well over a decade.

During this difficult period, their friendship will be tested like never before. Yet it is that sisterly love that they will need . . . more than ever.

When this showed up at my library, the cover was the first thing that got my attention because it so beautifully fits the title and description. Though a new-to-me author, the promise of the story more than outweighs the risk. And, it’s got separate narrators for each friend.



He’s in it to win it

Until he falls under his neighbor’s spell.

Bram Larkspur’s rugged, sexy looks belie his fear of all things horrifying. But as Casper Road’s newest resident, he’s excited to join the annual Halloween decorating contest. The competition is keen, especially from six-time champion, architect Zachary Glass. But when enigmatic Zachary sparks a prank war, it’s game on—until one sizzling kiss turns these rivals into allies. Now only one thing scares Bram: how quickly he’s losing his heart to Zachary.

I’m loving this series and was happy to see this next book, scheduled for release next month, show up in another NetGalley email. It’s an audio review hopeful.


Set in a Harlem high rise, a stunning debut about a tight-knit cast of characters grappling with their own personal challenges while the forces of gentrification threaten to upend life as they know it.

Like Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place and Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights, Sidik Fofana’s electrifying collection of eight interconnected stories showcases the strengths, struggles, and hopes of one residential community in a powerful storytelling experience.

Each short story follows a tenant in the Banneker Homes, a low-income high rise in Harlem where gentrification weighs on everyone’s mind. There is Swan in apartment 6B, whose excitement about his friend’s release from prison jeopardizes the life he’s been trying to lead. Mimi, in apartment 14D, who hustles to raise the child she had with Swan, waitressing at Roscoe’s and doing hair on the side. And Quanneisha B. Miles, a former gymnast with a good education who wishes she could leave Banneker for good, but can’t seem to escape the building’s gravitational pull. We root for these characters and more as they weave in and out of each other’s lives, endeavoring to escape from their pasts and blaze new paths forward for themselves and the people they love.

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs brilliantly captures the joy and pain of the human experience and heralds the arrival of a uniquely talented writer.

I failed to consider this title when it was offered for audio review (I’d reached my personal limit) but it also showed up at my library. I still didn’t pay much attention until I got a publisher newsletter promoting the book and I looked at it more closely. Shades of Rear Window! Yes, I grabbed it and am in a short library queue for the audiobook.



A heartwarming novel about hope after loss as a young widow receives mysterious messages of love from the “must-buy author” (Jodi Picoult) of Eight Perfect Hours.

Sparkly and charming Natalie Fincher has it all—a handsome new husband, a fixer-upper cottage of her dreams, and the opportunity to tour with the musical she’s spent years writing. But when her husband suddenly dies, all her hopes and dreams instantly disappear.

Two and a half years later, Natalie is still lost. She works, sleeps (well, as much as the sexually frustrated village foxes will allow), and sees friends just often enough to allay their worries, but her life is empty. And she can only bring herself to play music at a London train station’s public piano where she can be anonymous. She’s lost motivation, faith in love, in happiness…in everything.

But when someone begins to mysteriously leave the sheet music for her husband’s favorite songs at the station’s piano, Natalie begins to feel a sense of hope and excitement for the first time. As she investigates just who could be doing this, Natalie finds herself on an unexpected journey toward newfound love for herself, for life, and maybe, for a special someone.

Thanks to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for featuring  this upcoming December release in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post. I became a fan of the author after her last book, Eight Perfect Hours. It’s an audio review hopeful.



What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

 

14 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. So glad you added the first two book and I am looking at the Felding book to add, plus a few others!

    This week I added, The Lost Girls of Willowbrook (audio) by Ellen Marie Wiseman, The Maze by Nelson de Mille, Lovely Girls by Margot Hunt, Horse by Geraldine Brooks, and The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell.

    Hope you have a great rest of the weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, a delightful mix of books. I have the Lia Louis book, but not the audiobook, so I will read this one. Some of the others are calling to me as well. Thanks for the shout out, Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

Comment anyone?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s