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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #840, Water Fantasies

by muffy

fathomfolk

Inspired by East Asian mythology, Fathomfolk,*  first in the Drowned World series by Eliza Chan, (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) is set in the semi-submerged city of Tiankawin where fathomfolks (sirens, seawitches, and kelpies) co-exist with humans. 

The novel opens with Mira, the newly promoted captain of the border guard, and the first female half-siren to reach the rank, intends to earn the trust and respect of her human colleagues despite centuries of prejudice and discrimination. Together with her partner, Kai, a water dragon from one of the few privileged fathomfolk families, they hope to bring reforms in the human-controlled government. But everything they work towards is put in jeopardy when Nami, Kai’s rebellious sister is banished to Tiankawi and falls in with a rebel group known as the Drawbacks. 

When the annual boat festival is sabotaged and humans are drowned, the government cracks down even further on fathomfolk rights. Mira and Nami find they must work together to save their city and their communities. 

“Chan floats beautifully between multiple point-of-view characters, and also between different facets of Tiankawi life, from the poor to the privileged. From Nami's well-meaning immaturity to Mira's complicated feelings about her dual identity, all the characters have fully realized perspectives and goals that clash with each other in both clever political plots and exciting action scenes.” (Kirkus Reviews)

etter_to_the_luminous_deepA Letter to the Luminous Deep * * by Sylvie Cathrall (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) is a captivating tale of mystery and romance set in an enchanting underwater society.

The year is 1002, a thousand years after an event known as "the Dive," where sky dwellers now live in the ocean. E. Cidnosin, an introverted and anxious young woman is the sole caretaker of “Deep House”, an architectural marvel designed by her mother. Spying a mysterious sea creature outside her window prompts E. to begin a correspondence with renowned marine scholar Henerey Clel, hoping he will help her identify it. The letters they share are filled with passion, at first for their mutual interests, and then, inevitably, for each other. Then E. and Henerey disappear after an explosion at Deep House. A year later, E.'s sister Sophy, and Henerey's brother Vyerin, are left to solve the mystery. 

As Sophy and Vyerin delve into the letters left behind by E. and Henerey, they uncover clues about their relationship and the events leading up to their disappearance. Through these letters, a tale of love, friendship, and secrets unfolds, captivating readers with its whimsical charm and intriguing plot twist. “Cathrall skillfully addresses themes of mental health and anxiety, adding depth and authenticity to the characters' experiences. With its cozy-fantasy atmosphere and rich character development, A Letter to the Luminous Deep will appeal to fans of epistolary novels and readers who enjoy stories with elements of romance, mystery, and fantasy.” (Booklist) A late confession by Arvist, E. and Sophy's brother hints at further mysteries to be solved in a sequel.

A charming fantasy set in an underwater world with magical academia and a heartwarming penpal romance, perfect for fans of A Marvellous Light, Emily Wilde's Encylopaedia of Faeries and The House in the Cerulean Sea. 

 * * = 2 starred reviews

* = Starred review

 

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #839, Murders Most British

by muffy

murder_of_mr_maR.J. Rozen (of the Lydia Chin/ Bill Smith series) teams up with comics exec John Shen Yen Nee to bring us the ”bewitching series kickoff that cleverly riffs on the Holmes/Watson dynamic,” (Publishers Weekly) in The Murder of Mr. Ma * *  (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook). 

London, 1924. When Chinese scholar Lao She was summoned by mathematician Bertrand Russell to take part in a dangerous bait-and-switch operation to free his friend Judge Dee Ren Jie, mistakenly arrested as a Chinese agitator, Lao was swept up in Dee’s murder investigation of a Chinese merchant who served with him in the Chinese Labour Corps during WWI. Then more bodies turned up, all pointing to a killer using a rare butterfly sword.

“The intricate plot, which is bolstered by vivid period detail and playfully riffs on real-life figures in Chinese history (including Lao), is enhanced by healthy doses of humor and well-orchestrated action. Readers will be clamoring for a sequel.” (Publishers Weekly)  

“Fans of the Sherlock Holmes canon will appreciate this fast-paced, exciting novel.” (Library Journal)

 

how_do_solveHow to Solve Your Own Murder * by Kristen Perrin (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) opens in 1965 as 17 year-old Frances Adams was told by a fortune-teller at an English country fair that one day she’ll be murdered, and one year later, her best friend Emily disappeared. The two events caused Frances to spend a lifetime compiling dirt on every person who crosses her path in an effort to prevent her own demise. 

60 years have gone by, Frances, now an enormously wealthy woman, summons her grand-niece Annie, an aspiring mystery writer to the sleepy village of Castle Knoll. When Annie arrives she finds Frances dead in her library - murdered.  France’s will dictates that she will leave her entire estate to Annie, but only if Annie solves her killing. Thanks to Frances's lifelong habit of digging up secrets and lies, it seems every endearing and eccentric villager might just have a motive for her murder. 

“Perrin juxtaposes timelines, detailing Frances's provincial life in the 1960s while Annie's investigation grows increasingly treacherous in the present. The pace is quick, the red herrings are plentiful, and Annie's growth from timid wannabe writer to confident sleuth is beautifully rendered. Combining elements of Agatha Christie, Anthony Horowitz, and Midsomer Murders, this is a richly entertaining whodunit from a promising new talent.“ (Publishers Weekly)

 

antique_hunters The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder * by C. L. Miller (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook)  exposes the dark underbelly of the antiques trade. Forty-something Freya Lockwood is at a crossroad - a divorced empty-nester about to lose her London home, when the news reaches her that her estranged mentor Arthur Crockleford has died under mysterious circumstances. Returning to the quaint village where she was raised by her Aunt Carole upon her parents’ accidental death, she finds out they are to inherit Arthur’s antique shop,  thus thrusting her back into a life she had sworn to leave behind. 20 years ago Arthur was implicated in the death of Freya’s boyfriend when the two of them were investigating stolen artifacts and antique forgeries in Cairo. 

“A trail of clues left by Arthur leads Freya and Carole to an old manor house filled with antiques and populated by various mysterious guests, all of them with hidden agendas and exuding varying degrees of menace. The author, daughter of Judith Miller (Miller's Antique Price Guide), draws on her own knowledge of antiques to develop the backdrop of the mystery.” (Library Journal)

 

For Your Listening Pleasure

other_halfThe Other Half, a “crackling debut” (Publishers Weekly) by Charlotte Vassell (also in downloadable eBook) which The Guardian called “smart, pacy and good fun.”

When Detective Inspector Caius Beauchamp discovered the body of Instagram influencer Clemmie O’Hara on his morning run at Hampstead Heath, attention was immediately drawn to her boyfriend Rupert Beauchamp,(no relations to the detective) heir to a baronetcy, who the evening before, threw himself a tawdry black-tie 30th birthday bash at a London McDonald's, where guests washed down their fries with champagne and cocaine.

Clemmie’s death couldn't have been more timely or convenient for Rupert who was ready to dump her for Nell Waddingham, a publishing assistant. Friends since their uni days, Nell is still traumatized by what happened to her on their recent trip to Greece, and wants nothing to do with Rupert. 

“His (Caius’s) search takes him through a web of over-privileged suspects on whom the detective casts a half-contemptuous, half-envious eye, and eventually delivers him to the doorstep of a murderous, elite conspiracy.” (Publishers Weekly)

 * * = 2 starred reviews

* = Starred review

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Fabulous (Non)Fiction Firsts #838, Honoring Mothers

by muffy

i_ccannot_controlI Cannot Control Everything Forever : a memoir of motherhood, science, and art by Emily C. Bloom (also available in downloadable eBook and audiobook, read by the author), is an intimate and engaging memoir about navigating motherhood - the joy, the challenges, and lessons learned parenting an exceptional child.

In her late 30s, Emily gave birth to a daughter who is diagnosed with congenital deafness and later at 13 months, Type 1 diabetes. What follows are rounds of doctor’s visits, decisions regarding genetic testing and diagnosis, the latest technologies (cochlear implants), as well as a regimented daily routine. At one point, with a husband on a tenure track at a university-one-does-not-turn-down, she gave up her faculty appointment to care for their daughter. 

In lesser hands, this journey could have come across as bleak but in “trying to find a way out of the loneliness and individualism of 21st century parenthood, Emily finds joy in reaching outwards, towards art and literature-such as the maternal messiness of Louise Bourgeois (from whom Emily borrowed the title for this memoir), or Greek myths about the power of fate-as well as the collective sustenance of friends and community. With lyrical and enchanting prose, I Cannot Control Everything Forever is an inspired meditation on art, science, and motherhood.” (Library Journal) 

"Thoughtful reflections on technology and humanity amid difficult parenting experiences." (Kirkus Reviews)

Winner of the MSA First Book Prize for her academic title The Wireless Past: Anglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931-1968 (2016), Emily's memoir is highly recommended for readers who enjoy nonfiction that reads like fiction. Raised in Ann Arbor, Emily lives in NYC and is a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow at Sarah Lawrence College.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #837

by muffy

kamogawa

The Kamogawa Food Detectives * by Hisaski Kasiwai, translated by Jesse Kirkwood, the 2020 Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize winner, (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook).

The first in an eight-book series, originally published in Japan in 2013, it introduces readers to Koishi Kamogawa and her father Nagare. On a quiet backstreet in Kyoto, behind the nondescript facade of an anonymous-looking building, the Kamogawa Diner serves up deliciously extravagant meals. There is no menu, no advertisement except for a cryptic one in an obscure food magazine. But that does not stop customers from seeking them out. Nagare, a retired and widowed Kyoto detective and 30-something Koishi are “food detectives,” offering their investigative services to find recipes so clients could recreate dishes from their treasured memories.   

Among their satisfied clients is one of Nagare’s fellow detectives, who is looking for the"Nabeyaki-Udon” recipe that his late wife created. A successful businessman is looking to recreate the "Mackerel Sushi, offered by a kind neighbor while he was orphaned at an early age. A piano teacher is looking for the beef stew recipe at a restaurant served to her 55 years ago when she rejected a young man’s proposal. A restauranteur's ex-wife is looking for the recipe her husband used to prepare for her now that he is dying.

“Though each of the six stand-alone chapters follows the same formulaic recipe, Kashiwai's unique blend of seasonings is more than enough to transform each into a five-star-worthy dish. Koishi and Nagare strive to re-create not only the precise dishes their clients want, but also to envelop them in a warm memory blanket of nostalgia.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Off-beat and charming, [with] more complexity of flavor than you might expect.”  (NPR – Fresh Air with Terry Gross)

For fans of Before the Coffee Gets Cold, and those who binged on Midnight Diner:Tokyo Stories

* = Starred review

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #836, Celebrating Women with History

by muffy

excitements

The Excitements * * *  by C. J. Wray (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook

Nonagenarian sisters Josephine and Penny Williamson, Britain's most treasured World War II veterans, are constantly in demand at commemorative events. Always perfectly groomed and mentally engaged, they live independently in their London home cared for by their capable housekeeper Arlene; and devoted grand-nephew Archie who is tasked to provide them with constant “excitement”. The latest being an invitation to Paris to receive the Légion d'honneur for their part in the liberation of France.

While Josephine is circumspect initially about making the trip, Penny is eager. Unbeknownst to the family and perhaps each other, both sisters are hiding secrets, “official” and otherwise. Now armed with newly unearthed information, they intend to revisit old haunts, settle scores, avenge lost friends, and pull off one last, daring heist in the City of Light. 

“Switching between the 1940s and 2022, this book is utterly charming, with its lead characters a feisty mix of Madame Arcati, Miss Marple, Mata Hari, and Danny Ocean. It's gently humorous and full of twists, but it's the liveliness, verve, and charisma of Penny and Josephine, who are determined not to let old age slow them down one bit, that makes this such a satisfying read.” (Booklist) 

For fans of The Rose Code (2021)  and Killers of a Certain Age (2022).

* * * = 3 starred reviews

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #835, Debuts from Down Under

by muffy

greta_&_valdin

Greta & Valdin * *  by Rebecca K. Reilly, a Maaori novelist from Waitaakere, New Zealand, is a New York Times Editors’ Choice (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook). 

“We’re all strange, romantic emotional people in this family,” proclaims Linsh Vladisavljevic as he watches his two younger children navigate queerness, multiracial identity, and the familial dramas big and small. 

Linsh, an Auckland university professor of Biology is Russian Moldovan while wife, Betty is Māori. Daughter G (Greta), a graduate student in literature, shares an apartment with her brother Valdin - a former astrophysicist with O.C.D. who now hosts a tv travel show. The novel opens when a missed directed package plunges Valdin (who goes by V) into melancholy, pining for ex-boyfriend Xabi who moved to Argentina, while G is smarting from her painfully unrequited crush on a fellow tutor and tentatively reaching out to a charming fellow student. Then work sends V to Buenos Aires where he has to decide whether to reconnect with Xabi and what the future will hold for them.

“The story follows the duo in alternating first-person chapters as they navigate bad dates, bouts of insecurity and even encounters with racism, and as they come closer to understanding themselves and their desires.” (New York Times)

“Reilly herself is of Ngāti Hine and Ngāti Wai descent. In the wrong hands this could all be quirk for quirk’s sake, or a half-baked hybrid of Schitt’s Creek and The Royal Tenenbaums. But Reilly’s humor is so riotously specific, and the many moments of true poignancy so gently infused with that same humor, that the Vladisavljevics seem like no one but themselves….Say hello to your new favorite fictional family.“ (Kirkus Reviews)

green_dot

Green Dot by Sydney writer/critic Madeleine Gray (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) introduces readers to Hera Stephen, a 24 year-old comments-moderator for an online news outlet where she meets Arthur, a middle-age journalist (and her boss). With 3 arts-degrees, Hera is broke and living in Sydney with her lovely gay father. What started as message-based flirtation (hence the title, referencing the green dot that indicates a user is online) she soon finds herself falling into an all-consuming affair with Arthur though for years, she preferred women to men. Before long, Hera develops an obsession, which only grows stronger as Arthur refuses to leave his wife.

“As the book tracks the increasingly doomed love affair (including through the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic), the only thing keeping the narrative from devolving into something grim and cynical is Hera's dynamic and snarky voice….Her narration is peppered with references to music and pop culture, the things that define your personality in your 20s, when you're still searching, as Hera is, for some kind of identity.” (Kirkus Reviews) 

“Although ironic and flippant, Green Dot avoids nihilism, and is ultimately about the search for meaning through love. It vividly illustrates how someone can lose their perspective, principles and dignity in its name, ignoring overwhelming evidence of the probable conclusion.” (The Guardian)

Readers interested in examining why smart women expect their lovers to leave their wives, despite overwhelming evidence that the contrary is more likely, might be interested in Sally Rooney's Conversations With Friends, Imogen Crimp's A Very Nice Girl, and Laura Warrell's Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm. 

 * * = 2 starred reviews

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #834, Celebrating Women’s History Month

by muffy

city_of_laughter

City of Laughter, * * a debut novel (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) by a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award winner Temin Fruchter is “a wondrous intergenerational story of queerness and Jewish folklore.” (Publishers Weekly)

Called “brainy and richly textured (The New York Times) the novel opens in 18th century Ropshitz, Poland where a holy jester whose job is to make wedding guests laugh, receives a visitation from a mysterious stranger. In present day New York, 32-year old Shiva Margolin, reeling from the recent death of her father and the breakup with her girlfriend, Dani found among her father’s things, photos of her enigmatic maternal grandmother, Syl, and great-grandmother Mira. But her mother Hannah refuses to talk about them. 

Frustrated with the generational silence, Shiva starts studying the work of Jewish folklorist S. Ansky, and enrolls in a master's program which presents her with an opportunity to visit Warsaw, only hours away from Mira's small town of Ropshitz. She hopes her family's mysteries will make more sense if she walks in their footsteps.

“This novel, like Shiva’s work, is a collection of beautiful scraps—scraps of folktales and memory, hidden family histories, love letters, accounts of strange happenings in the past and present—all tangled together and rewoven into a whole that’s strange, lush, imaginative and pulsing with life…As Shiva becomes more deeply immersed in the lives of her foremothers, those foremothers become more vibrant and detailed, in prose that moves from shimmering and dreamlike to sharply funny to wonderfully contemplative.” (BookPage)

Readers might also enjoy The Thirty Names of Night * * * * by Zeyn Joukhadar (2020), and The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh (2022).

* * * * = 4 starred reviews

* * = 2 starred reviews

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #833, She investigates...

by muffy

murder_by_degreesMurder by Degrees * * * by Ritu Mukerji

Philadelphia, 1875. Dr. Lydia Weston teaches at the Woman's Medical College and attends to working-class patients at the city's Spruce Street Clinic where she first meets Anna Ward.  Hardworking, highly motivated and an eager learner, Anna works as a chambermaid for the wealthy Curtis family but shares Lydia’s love of literature.  During an appointment with Lydia, Anna is visibly troubled by something she won't explain, and abruptly disappears.  Soon her body is dredged out of the Schuylkill River, bloated beyond recognition, she is identified by her diary and clothes neatly folded by the river.

When the police rules Anna’s death as suicide, Lydia is suspicious, especially when her autopsy confirms otherwise. “Mukerji, like Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, pulls the reader into fascinating and richly detailed forensic autopsies and blesses Weston with the instincts and determination to carry out a murder investigation as effectively as--or even better than--the police.” (Kirkus Reviews) 

“This well-researched, historical-mystery debut by a practicing physician will appeal to readers who enjoy strong female characters and graphic clinical details.” (Booklist)   For fans of Jacqueline Winspear and Charles Todd

dexpectant_detectivesThe Expectant Detectivesby Kat Ailes is the first in a new cozy mystery series, set in the sleepy village of Penton. Finding themselves unexpectedly expecting, Alice and her partner Joe move out of pricy London to embrace country life in the Cotswolds. With the baby coming in 2 weeks, they sign up for a prenatal class. When one of the women goes into labor during class, frenzy ensues until someone notices Mr. Oliver, owner of the herb shop downstairs, keels over dead, and they find themselves all suspects in the murder investigation. 

Together with her band of pregnant sleuths, Alice manages to suss out Mr. Oliver's many secrets, his connection to the hippie commune in the woods and the mysterious death in the village some years ago.  What’s most disturbing for Alice is how Joe has been acting strangely and someone tries to poison her goofy canine companion Helen.

In this The Thursday Murder Club meets Midsomer Murders, “readers of Darci Hannah will enjoy Helen’s spotlight in this series. The humor is akin to Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan series, and the relationship between Joe and Alice is reminiscent of Jules Capshaw’s romantic endeavors in Ellie Alexander’s “Bakeshop Mysteries.(Publishers Weekly) 

* * * = 3 starred reviews

* = Starred review

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #832, A little bit witchy, loads of magic, a touch of horror, in these retellings of the classics

by muffy

scandalous_confessions

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch * Melina Taub’s (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook), adult debut, examines Pride and Prejudice through a new lens, and offers a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.

This retelling, in the form of a long letter, recounts how Lydia, being the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter discovers her magical powers as a witch (there had been three stillborns before Jane, Lizzy and Mary) and promptly turns the family cat into her human sister Kitty. As the novel opens, Lydia, living with Wickham in Newcastle, under much reduced circumstances, is dependent on her magic to get by. Then unexpectedly, she comes to the aid of the much hexed Georgiana Darcy.

But magic comes at a price here, and for every spell a witch casts she must offer up something in return. In order to spare her and Kitty's lives, she had foolishly made a promise to Lord Wormenheart, a dragon demon, and soon Wormenheart came to collect, sending Lydia on a dangerous adventure to procure the Jewel of Prophecy. 

“Full of spell-casting garden parties, demons, hidden jewels, vibrant dances, backstabbing, and societal slights, this is vividly descriptive, frothy fun.”(Library Journal)

“Taub breathes new life into classic characters in a novel that is carefully researched and surprisingly layered… A delight for both Austen lovers and fans of magical adventure stories.“ (Kirkus Reviews)

after_the_forest

After the Forest,* * *  Australian Kell Woods’ fantasy debut (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) picks up 20 years after Greta and Hans escaped from the witch in the gingerbread house. 

Back in their homestead in the Village of Lindenfeld, deep in the Black Forest, the siblings are relying on the mysteriously addictive gingerbread Greta bakes for income, and to pay off Han’s gambling debts.  In part because of the deliciousness of her goods (from a recipe she found in an old grimoire, a witch's handbook), rumors grow around town that Greta herself is a witch. And as dark magic is returning to the woods, Greta must learn to embrace her power, come into her own as a witch, and work together with new allies to save herself and her home. 

“Each chapter opens with a clever retelling of part of "Snow-White and Rose-Red," eventually linking that fairy tale with Greta's own neo-Grimm journey toward both emotional and magical maturity as, despite her initial distaste for witchcraft, she comes into her own and learns to wield her nascent powers to help the people she loves. The romantic subplot is similarly well-wrought and fantastical: Greta's lover Matthias, a stranger from the Tyrol, is a prince-charming-in-disguise. All of Woods's characters are drawn with exceptional sensitivity, and Greta's well-crafted struggle to thrive despite early suffering and ongoing societal prejudice resonates. Woods is a powerful new voice in speculative fiction.” (Publishers Weekly) 

“Offer this lyrical, character-rich fantasy to fans of Mary McMyne's The Book of Gothel (2022) and Genevieve Gornichec's The Weaver and the Witch Queen (2023).” (Booklist)

immortal_longingsInspired by Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, Immortal Longings * * * *, Chloe Gong’s adult fantasy debut launches her Flesh and False Gods trilogy (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook).

Every year the twin cities of San-Er hold a set of gladiatorial-style games, a fight to the death with the promise of unimaginable riches for the victor. This year, among the 88 contestants is a disguised Princess Calla Tuoleimi of Talin, who disappeared after assassinating her parents five years ago. Her goal -  to finally bring down the brutal monarchy, inequality and poverty by killing her uncle, reclusive King Kasa who will be on hand to greet the winner. But first, she must win the game. 

Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat, one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will, who aims to use the winner’s take toward keeping his comatose lover alive. “As the games unfold, Calla and Anton strike an unlikely alliance that blossoms into a love affair--but only one can win, and to become victor, the star-crossed lovers will have to break their bond. Though this outing owes debts to both Shakespeare and The Hunger Games, the intricate magic system feels entirely fresh. Gong keeps the pages flying with pulse-pounding action, tension, and intrigue, creating an adventure that will linger in readers' minds long after the last page.” (Publishers Weekly)

* * * * = 4 starred reviews

* * * = 3 starred reviews

* = Starred review 

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #831

by muffy

rachel_incidentThe Rachel Incident, * * *  YA author Caroline O’Donoghue’s first adult novel and her US debut (also in downloadable eBook and audiobook) is a “brilliantly funny novel about friends, lovers, Ireland in chaos, and a young woman desperately trying to manage all three.” (USA Today) 

County Cork, Ireland. University student Rachel Murray counts on her hours at O’Conner Books to pay bills, ever since the financial crash has affected her family’s business. There she meets James Devlin, a Christmas temp - effervescent and insistently heterosexual, and soon, the two become roommates and fast friends. When Rachel develops a crush on her married professor Dr. Fred Byrne, James organizes a reading for him at the bookstore so Rachel could seduce him. To both of their surprises, Dr. Byrne has other (closeted) desires. So begins a series of secrets and compromises that intertwine the fates of James, Rachel, Fred, and Fred's glamorous, well-connected, publisher wife, Deenie, who was once Fred’s student. 

“This deliciously complex set of entanglements lays the groundwork for the novel…and brings to mind the gossipy 19th-century novels Dr. Byrne might teach in class. But its true joys lie in the tremendously witty characters and their relationships: The real love story of this novel is not between James and Dr. Byrne, or Rachel and her own paramour, but between Rachel and James, whose codependent glee in each other's company will remind many readers of their own college friendships, especially those between women and queer men. A sensational new entry in the burgeoning millennial-novel genre.” (Kirkus Reviews) 

The Rachel Incident will appeal to fans of Sally Rooney and Michelle Gallen

 * * * = 3 starred reviews