May has flown by, dropping off some brilliant books as it passed through. Still catching up after the bank holidays? Don't fret, we've got a summary of our top book recommendations here. Keep scrolling to see what we've loved this month, add them to your wishlist to save for later by clicking the heart on each book, or add your favourites to your basket and grab them now.
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Dearest gentle reader, this month saw us return to the realm of Bridgerton with the release of Star Book Queen Charlotte but we also had the opportunity to get keen eyes on addictive new crime, fabulously readable paperbacks and outrageously flirty new romances. Refresh your mind, and your bookshelf by taking a look at our May fiction picks.
The Last Dance by Mark Billingham - "An addictive and oh-so smart start to a new crime series by one of the best."
Wild Things by Laura Kay - "Heady, giddy, and outrageously flirty, Wild Things is the perfect escapist queer romcom for anyone longing to move to the country with their best friends (and hopeless crush)."
The Man in the Corduroy Suit by James Wolff - "Written with a knowing eloquence, this joyfully smart and sly novel deep-dives into the murky world of UK intelligence."
Summer People by Julie Cohen - "A startling beautiful firework of a novel proving that it’s never too late to work out who you truly are."
The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman - "The third Thursday Murder Club Mystery now out in paperback is just as fabulously readable as the first two, and comes as highly recommended by our team."
Her Majesty's Royal Coven by Juno Dawson - "With a diverse cast of powerful women, this is a world of witches I want to exist in. For Gaia's sake, get me a spot in this sacred sisterhood."
Nightwork by Nora Roberts - "Facing ghosts from the past and finding present-day solace - this suspenseful, character-driven page-turner reels with on-the-run tension and life-changing romance."
Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn - "The most wonderfully fiery and provocative relationship story focusing on Bridgerton’s Queen Charlotte and King George III."
Killing Jericho by William Hussey - "A striking and addictive start to a new series, where disgraced former detective Scott Jericho meets a deadly foe."
The Three Dahlias by Katy Watson - "A thoroughly entertaining and oh-so tricky murder mystery set in a stately home as a weekend convention celebrates the literary, film and TV creation of Dahlia Lively."
Dark Mode by Ashley Kalagian Blunt - "Drawn from real life cases, this brilliantly chilling thriller exposes the grimmest recesses of the dark web through a disturbing story of murder, misogyny and sickening surveillance."
Whether you're seeking achievements, endings or possibilities, our non-fiction selections this month are here to offer inspiration, intrigue and balance.
Fearless by Louise Minchin - "Louise reminds us of the bravery inside us all, and how essential it is to celebrate women's achievements. Prepare to be touched and inspired by these fearless women."
The Real Prime Suspect by Jackie Malton, Hélène Mulholland - "In 1971, Jackie Malton was a no-nonsense girl from Leicestershire who joined a police force where women worked mostly to support the men. Feisty and determined, she became one of the UK’s first female detectives, serving on the Met Flying Squad and eventually becoming a Detective Chief Inspector and Hostage Negotiator."
The Last Days of Roger Federer by Geoff Dyer - "An intriguing memoir of endings."
The Witch's Survival Guide Spells for Stress and Burnout in a Modern World by Jennifer Lane - "Full of potential and possibilities, this guide to using magical ways bonded with a love of the natural world creates a healing balance against stress."
This month's debut recommendations deliver the best of history, fantasy, and Irish myth, blended and now available in paperback as well as unsettling mysteries, terrifying tales of survival, immersive YA and more. Keep scrolling to discover a new author, and shop knowing you're making a difference to schools in your local area and across the UK.
One Puzzling Afternoon by Emily Critchley - "An intriguing, unsettling mystery told over a dual timeframe by one of the most endearing lead characters you’ll come across this year."
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley - "Told in searingly beautiful style, this exceptional debut blazes with truths about social, sexual and racial injustices through the agonising experiences of a Black American teenager."
The Children of Gods and Fighting Men by Shauna Lawless - "The best of three worlds as history, fantasy, and Irish myth are blended into the most stimulating and fascinating tale set in 981AD."
The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath - "Sparkling with glamour and tainted by murder and desire – this twisted mystery centred on a secretive family and their clifftop mansion must be one of the summer’s hottest reads."
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher - "The path to true love is looking far from straight..."
The Uncaged Sky by Kylie Moore-Gilbert - "At times amusing, at times terrifying, this is an account of a remarkable woman's survival as the hostage of an evil regime."
Weak Teeth by Lynsey May - "Comparing a story to toothache might not seem like a compliment, but for this debut coming-of-age novel about finding yourself after heartbreak, it really is"
What Walks These Halls by Amy Clarkin - "This debut has all the ingredients that fans of the genre will love- an eerie, abandoned mansion, a truly malevolent spirit, family secrets and a team of young paranormal investigators."
Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher - "An immersive and powerful verse novel about terrifying county lines child exploitation"
The May picks by Editorial Expert Liz Robinson include elegant and eloquent tales, glorious fantasy adventures and intoxicating historical novels as well as a few familiar picks now out in paperback.
Vita and the Birds by Polly Crosby - "An elegant yet earthy tale dancing between two timelines and two women trapped within the memories of the past."
That Bonesetter Woman by Frances Quinn - "Against all odds, Endurance Proudfoot sets out to become an independent woman in this spirited and heartening story set in 1757."
The Ghost Theatre by Mat Osman - "Beautifully written and fiercely challenging this novel flirts with the fantastical and burns brightly in the darkness of Elizabethan London."
The Bewitching by Jill Dawson - "This darkly compelling and intoxicating historical novel sparks emotions into flames as it explores allegations of witchcraft."
Sparrow by James Hynes - "Grow up alongside Sparrow in the Roman Empire, live and breathe and become a part of his very existence in this moving and oh-so eloquent tale."
Dragonfall by L.R. Lam - "Soar out into a dragon-filled land in this glorious fantasy adventure and then fall into the human world that cast out the dragons."
Our Books of the Year list is filling up nicely with these new additions to our Star Books category to add to the treasure pile. If you only read a couple of books a year and you're looking for recommendations, start here.