NEW BLACK WOMEN'S FICTION TO CHECK OUT THIS FALL

'Long Past Summer' by Noué Kirwan

Mikaela Marchand is living the polished life she always planned for: a successful New York lawyer, with a promotion in her sights and a devoted boyfriend by her side. She’s come a long way from the meek teen she was growing up in small town Georgia, but the memory of her adolescence isn’t far—in fact, it’s splashed across a massive billboard in Times Square. An old photograph of Mikaela and her former best friend, Julie, has landed on the cover of a high-profile fashion magazine advertised all over the city. And when Julie files a lawsuit, Mikaela is caught in the middle as defense lawyer for the magazine.
 
Not only will she have to face Julie for the first time in years, Mikaela’s forced to work closely with the photographer in question: the former love of her life--and Julie’s ex-husband--Cameron Murphy. Mikaela needs to win the case to get her promotion--and as a junior partner, she has no margin for error. But unresolved feelings still exist between Cam and Mikaela, and jealousy always made Julie play dirty…
 
With flashbacks to summers of first loves and fragile friendships, Long Past Summer looks at the delicate and powerful thread that binds and breaks friends and flames.

'Honey & Spice' by Bolu Babalola 

Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.

They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her own presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?

'Say Her Name' by Dreda Say Mitchell & Ryan Carter

It’s twenty years since Eva, a biracial woman, was adopted as an eight-year-old, and Cherry and Carlton ‘Sugar’ McNeil have always been the only parents she’s wanted or needed. But when she’s dealt the double blow of Cherry’s death and her own suspension from work, Eva decides it’s time to discover who she was before she was theirs.

Against Sugar’s advice, Eva joins a DNA database, desperate for a match that will unlock her identity. And when a positive hit comes, she’s excited to learn there are relations out there who might hold the key. But the closer Eva gets to uncovering her past, the more it appears someone is trying to stop her finally finding the truth…

As she continues to dig, Eva is drawn into a dark and merciless underside to society, where black women disappear without a word. Names erased from history, no search parties, no desperate pleas for their return. Once, someone tried to save Eva from all this. Someone wanted a better life for her. But now that she’s torn down the facade of her life, has she come too far to be spared again?

 
Reading in Bed

5 Not-So-Cozy Mysteries to Read in Bed

'Like a Sister' by Kellye Garrett

A college student's estranged influencer sister is found dead in a sketchy part of town, apparently OD'ed. Except ... maybe not? This is a fast-paced read, not just about a possible murder, but about what's real and what's not in this social-media-obsessed world.


'You're Invited' by Amanda Jayatissa

You get an invitation to a former friend's wedding extravaganza. You get there, and guess who she's marrying ... your ex-boyfriend. Of course you want to kill her. Until she winds up dead.

'Things We Do in the Dark' by Jennifer Hillier

Despite how it looks--the razor in your hand, all that blood, and your husband dead nearby--a murder charge is not your biggest problem.

'Two Nights in Lisbon' by Chris Pavone

A romantic getaway with your new husband, a passionate night, and then you wake up alone. You know he's been abducted, except no one will believe you. What's your next move?


'I Know You' by Claire McGowan

You come across a body. Of course you had nothing to do with it. But it's your boyfriend's estranged wife ...oh, something like this has happened to you before.

 
 

3 Books That Make You Celebrate #OwnVoices Authors

Try to imagine these stories told by anyone other than those who've lived them ...

‘Good Intentions’ by Kasim Ali

Nur is dating a Black girl. It doesn’t matter to him that she’s Black, even though he’s Pakistani, and from a very traditional and close-knit family that would strongly prefer that he bring home a Pakistani girl. Still, he thinks it’s better to ... well, hide his girlfriend, Yasmina. Just for now. And just because his family won’t understand.  This is a love story, but more than that. Complicated questions about race, culture and identity, and individuality versus community are explored in this fast, entertaining read. 


‘Yinka, Where is Your Huzband’ by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

Yinka is a success in lots of ways. But she’s not married. That she find a husband is very, very important to her family. So important that she decides on a madcap plan to get them off her case. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, we follow Yinka’s attempts to live up to everyone’s expectations but her own.


‘In Every Mirror She’s Black’ by Lola Akinmade Akerstrom

Dating, emigrating, working. Completely routine aspects of life. Unless you’re Black. Then, you live your life wondering whether everything is infused with hidden meaning. That’s what life is like for Kemi, Brittany-Rae and Muna, three very different women whose lives intersect because of their very different relationships to one man.