We all have our favourite authors and it can be difficult taking the plunge and try something new…here is some recent debut fiction worth risking.
Nikita Lalwani - Gifted
The story of a young British Asian girl growing up as a maths prodigy in Cardiff who becomes less happy with the plan mapped out for her by her father. It’s an observant and original tale with interesting characters and a surprising story line.
Masha Hamilton - The Camel Bookmobile
An indulgence from a librarian! In Kenya a nomadic settlement receives a visit every two weeks from the mobile library; when someone steals a book the whole community is thrown into turmoil as the library will not return. A novel which shows the significance of the written word in a community where shelter and food are daily struggles.
Owen Sheers - Resistance
The women of a Welsh village wake up to find their husbands have disappeared. It’s 1944 in a country that has been invaded and the men have left to join the resistance. An alternative fictional take on recent history, it deals with how the women carry on with their lives in an isolated valley.
Elena Forbes - Die with me
An author who has already been shortlisted for a major crime writers’ award with this novel. A girls falls to her death from the organ gallery of a church; we know who has killed her in the first chapter but the investigators don’t. An introduction to DI Mark Tartaglia.
Xinran - Miss Chopsticks
Three peasant girls try to get to grips with life in the big city. The sisters go to work in Nanjing and their whole world changes. A fascinating look at lives in contemporary China and the strains between rural and urban life.
Julian Clary - Murder most fab
Clary’s first foray into fiction; it’s well written with a good storyline. A TV presenter decides to write a novel about a young man who becomes involved in a series of murders; whose life is he writing about?
Christi Phillips - The Rossetti letter
A mingling of the present day and the past as a contemporary historian researches the fate of a 17th century Venetian courtesan. Political intrigue, detective work and passion!
Karen Russell - St Lucy’s home for girls raised by wolves
Worth reading for the title alone. An original collection of short stories. They have been described as “ a refreshingly surreal vision of small-town life”.
Marie Phillips - Gods behaving badly
Didn’t you know that the Greek gods were alive and well and living somewhat dysfunctionally in north London? Aphrodite is working as a phone sex operator and Apollo as a TV psychic; when Alice, a mere mortal, arrives to do their cleaning we see how badly behaved they really are!