New books for January

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This month’s new books list is choc full of crowd pleasers, including a handful of love stories and family sagas from Fern Britton, Dilly Court, Mollie Walton and Miranda Dickinson. There’s also a hilarious romantic comedy from the ever-popular Sophie Kinsella. Can you Keep a Secret? (14370) features Emma, a girl with quite a few secrets (from her mother, her boyfriend and her work colleagues) who divulges them all to a stranger on a plane. It transpires that the stranger is none other than her company’s new CEO. There’s a moral in there somewhere!

On the thriller/crime front there are books from hard-hitters Clive Cussler, Jeffrey Deaver and Patricia Cornwall. But my personal top of the list is Still Life (14383) by Val McDermid - the latest instalment in the DI Karen Pirie series set in Edinburgh. Pirie is drawn into a decade-old investigation into the disappearance of a prominent civil servant.

The Val McDermid is closely followed by Black Water Rising (14369) written by Attica Locke, an author new to the Calibre library and lauded by none other than Val McDermid. This is the first of a series featuring African-American lawyer Jay Porter; here his heroic rescue of a drowning woman lands him in the middle of a murder investigation that could cost him everything.

Our non-fiction offering is Shakespeare In A Divided America (14382) by James Shapiro. This is a truly novel approach to the work of The Bard looking at why his popularity, and cultural influence throughout American history endures, especially as his work portrays interracial marriage, cross-dressing, same-sex love, tyranny and assassination. We also learn how the staging of his work has provoked threats of violence in Trump’s America and has become a battleground for freedom of speech.

Last, but never least, some poetry from the celebrated poet and TV personality Pam Ayres. Down the Line (14381) is, unsurprisingly, a hilariously funny collection of poems which demonstrate her sharp wit and comic observations on everyday life, plus some more reflective poems such as the title poem that was written to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War 1.