So the next publisher to threaten my precariously balanced to read pile is Pan Macmillan. With imprints including Tor, Mantle, Pan and Picador they are bound to have a cornucopia of bookish delights next year.
So we shall start with Picador, mainly because theirs is the first catalogue I opened.
Roberto Bolano fans will be pleased to see that January brings with it a new edition of one of the last novels to be published by the author of 2666. A Little Lumpen Novelita, translated by Natasha Wimmer, tells the tale of Bianca. Orphaned as a teenage she becomes entangled in bad company. When her brother brings home two petty criminals to stay, her descent into criminal activity begins.
Also published this month are a collection of poems from John Kinsella, non fiction works from Ben Judah and a short story collection from Gerard Woodward.
February arrives and so does the new novel from award winning author China Miéville. The Census-Taker‘s intriguing premise sees a boy trapped in a remote house, left alone with a deranged parent. Will the stranger who knocks at the door, with his strange questions and meticulous records be his saviour.
Also published this month is collection of poetry from Ian Duhig.
Lover by Anna Raverat is published in March. Kate discovers her husband’s adultery by accident. Her home life unravels and her work life becomes demanding as she questions herself and all she believed to be true. Described as ‘a novel about the hand that life can deal you, and how to play it with grace’ this sounds an intriguing read.
Also published this month is a collection of essays from Rowan Moore and works of fiction from Jim Powell.
April sees the publication of the debut novel from US Garth Greenwell. What Belongs to You charts the emerging relationship of a teacher and young hustler Mitko, who he meets when looking for sex one balmy autumn day and what happens when the teacher finds he must keep returning to Mitko.
In Not Working, Claire has quit her job so she can find her true vocation. The trouble is she doesn’t know how to go about doing that. Lisa Owens novel has us asking questions of ourselves that haven’t dared be aired before and has Claire wondering how it is that everyone else has control of their lives when hers has run away from her.
Fans of Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr Fox will be delighted to hear that Helen Oyeyemi’s collection of short stories, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is out in April. An ensemble collection covering lost libraries and a city where all the clocks have stopped, characters will reappear in other tales after their own has been told.
Also out this month is a non-fiction travel title from Alec Ash and not one but two books from Clive James, a verse commentary on Proust and a collection of poems.
On to May and The Outside Lands from Hannah Kohler. Jeannie is nineteen and her brother Kip fourteen when their mother dies. Jeannie seeks solace in work and later a marriage to a man who shows her the world of wealth and politics. Kip falls into petty crime until he finds the Marines. Then in 1968, during the height of the Vietnam war, Jeannie and Kip find themselves caught up in events that lead to acts of betrayal that leave permanent effects.
All Involved was a big title for 2015. May sees the publication of the new novel from Ryan Gatiss. Kung Fu tells the tale of Jen B. She survives brutal MLK High School, just. She doesn’t complain, follows the rules and knows at least one form of martial arts. Then Jen’s cousin, world-famous Kung-Fu champion Jimmy, arrives at school. And everyone wants to fight him. The trouble is Jimmy has vowed never to fight again. His refusal has dramatic consequences .
The White Tiger author Aravind Adiga’s new novel, Selection Day is also published in May. Manju is fourteen. He knows he hates his father, admires his big brother, adores science and is good at cricket. There are however lots of things he doesn’t know, including who he should be. When he gets to know his brother’s biggest rival he finds he has to meet decisions that will challenge his sense of self and his world.
May also sees the publication of non-fiction from Tim Winton and a collection of poems from Denise Riley.
We get to June and see that Shelter by Jung Yun is published. Kyung Cho has spiralling debts and lives in a house with his wife that he can’t afford. His parents live in comfortably in an affluent part of town, filled with the trappings Kyung longs to give his family. During his childhood he may have had everything money could buy but didn’t get those things that come for free: affection and kindness. Then an act of violence means he has to take his parents in and he begins to question what his role is, his life begins to crumble and his anger fights to be released.
Also out this month is the new book from Emma Chapman, author of How to be a Good Wife. I loved her first novel and you can see my review here. The End of June charts the story of Rook Henderson, who is suddenly left a widower. He leaves his life behind and flies to Vietnam, where he hasn’t been for 50 years. Reflecting on the changed landscape, and chased by his son for answers, Rook also finds himself reflecting on his marriage and the effect his career as a photo-journalist had on that life.
June also sees novels from Megan Bradbury, Lian Hearn, Megan Abbott and Mark Watson.
Picador Classics will also see the following added to their list:
The Long View by Elizabeth Jane Howard – Antonia reflects on her life and marriage to Conrad, how her decisions both good and bad have effected her life and looks at her motivation behind them.
Trumpet by Jackie Kay – only on his death is jazz trumpeter Joss Moody’s secret revealed; he was a woman living as a man. The effect this has on his adopted son has far reaching effects and forces his widow to find sanctuary in a remote village in Scotland.
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul – born the ‘wrong way’ Mr Biswas has spent his life trying to get his independence. Rebelling against the strict family he has married into he takes on a series of jobs to allow him to get the one thing he wants: a home of his own.
The Discovery of France by Graham Robb
The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St Aubyn
2666 by Roberto Bolano
The Psalm Killer by Chris Petit
A Boy’s Own Story by Edmund White
As for the paperback releases there are a whole shelf full of treats. In January we can get our hands on Mobile Library by David Whitehouse. Also out this month are Wilful Disregard by Lena Anderson, Blade of Light by Andrea Camilleri, All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer and The Way Things Were by Aatish Taseer.
There’s a February paperback treat for Nikolas Butler fans as the paperback version of Beneath the Bonfire is published.
Moving on to March those who have been eager to read Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life but couldn’t face carrying the hardback with them will be pleased to know the more transportable paperback version is out this month. March also sees the paperback publication of Sarah Butler’s Before the Fire, Golden Age from Jane Smiley, The Not-Dead and The Saved and Other Stories by Kate Clanchy and The Ladies of the House by Molly McGrann. Onto April and Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum is released, along with The Making of Zombie Wars by Aleksandar Hemon and The Followers by Rebecca Wait. May sees the release of a few best sellers, starting with Cathy Rentzenbrink’s The Last Act of Love. All Involved by Ryan Gattis, Kent Haruf’s Our Souls at Night and Belinda McKeon’s Tender round up this month’s offerings. June and Your Father Sends His Love by Stuart Evers is released as is Island of Dreams by Dan Boothby, Three Moments of and Explosion: Stories by China Mieville and Villa America by Liza Klaussmann. Also out this month is Hemingway in Love by A.E. Hotchner, We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Love May Fail by Matthew Quick, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson and The Year of Runaways by Sunjeev Sahota.
So now we come to Mantle and their offerings for the first half of 2016.
Alberto’s Lost Birthday by Diana Rosie is published in January. Alberto lost his birthday when he was a child during the Spanish Civil War. When his grandson finds out Alberto has never had a party, presents, cards or candles to blow out on a cake they set off to track down the missing anniversary.
Also published this month is a new novel from Andrea Camilleri. The Brewer of Preston is set in 1870s Sicily. The locals are not enamoured with the new Government representative, nor keen on his idea to produce an opera, The Brewer of Preston, in their new theatre. Plans are afoot to wreck opening night… Andrea Camilleri has been busy as another of his books is published in February. This time a collection of short stories published as Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories.
February also sees the publication of The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin. Janie’s son has nightmares. He’s scared of water. And he pushes her away screaming, saying he wants his real mother. She turns to someone who she thinks may have the answers but it may mean she looses her son in the process.
And so to March and The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis. An old lady dies alone. Days later a middle-aged woman arrives in the city, escaping her past. However, she begins to investigate the death of the old lady, and enriches her life in the process.
April arrives and brings with it Yvvette Edwards, The Mother. Marcia is travelling to the Old Bailey. She’s there to attend the trial of the boy accused of her son’s murder. As the trial takes place she becomes aware that the accused’s girlfriend, Sweetie, may hold the answers she needs. But Sweetie is scared of her boyfriend and so may not give the answers so easily.
On to May and the publication of The Watercolourist by Beatrice Masini. In Nineteenth Century Italy, Bianca, a talented watercolourist has been commissioned to paint the grounds of a villa. As she settles into her new home she develops relationships with the family and servants, and one housemaid in particular, who has intriguingly mysterious origins. But as she unlocks the secrets of the villa Bianca becomes aware of the dangers surrounding her.
Also published this month is The Trap by Melanie Raabe. Linda’s sister Anna was murdered twelve years ago, her murderer was never caught. But Linda, a famous novelist, knows who he is. He’s know become a famous TV reporter. Knowing no one will believe her if she accuses him outright she does the only thing she can do. She writes a novel about the murder. When the book is published she agrees to one interview. With him.
Ray Celestin’s eagerly awaited new novel (by me in any case), is published this month. Dead Man’s Blues sees the return Ida and Michael, the protagonists from the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award winning The Axeman’s Jazz. This time the action takes place in Chicago in 1928. A group is poisoned in an upmarket hotel. A rich white man is killed in a rough neighbourhood and a socialite disappears. Are these incidents connected? Is someone trying to bring down Al Capone, the unofficial ruler of the windy city?
And finally in June we have the publication of Chris Morgan Jones’ The Searcher. Private Spy Ben Webster has disappeared. His colleague, Hammer, promises his wife that he will find him. As he follows Webster’s trail Hammer becomes caught up in the danger that caused Webster to disappear.
Now we turn to Tor. If I’m honest I don’t read a lot of sci-fi or fantasy so I can’t get a sense for those that will be big news. So with apologies to all fans and authors I’m just going to detail the titles and authors. (A full synopsis of each will be on the What’s out when page when I pull my finger out and update it). So in January we have Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Judged by Liz de Jager and The Human Division by John Scalzi. We then go to March when The Last Mortal Bond by Brian Staveley is published. April bring the publication of The Stars Askew by Rjurik Davidson and May brings War Factory by Neal Asher and Lucy Hounsom’s Heartland. Another John Scalzi book is out in June, this time, The End of All Things. Last up is Who Killed Sherlock Holmes? by Paul Cornell.
The Macmillan imprint are bringing us Lucy Diamond’s The Secrets of Happiness in January. When Becca’s step-sister disappears she has to step in and help with her family. She comes to find Rachel’s life was not as perfect as it seems. Adrian Tchaikovsky’s The Tiger and the Wolf is available in hardback this month too.
In February they publish Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer.
In March Gone Astray by Michelle Davies is published. After winning millions on the lottery the Kinnocks move to a gated community. But one day Rosie Kinnock goes missing and so Family Liaison Officer DC Maggie Neal is assigned to the case, whilst dealing with things from her past that threaten the present. In April Stay Dead by Jessie Keane is published as is Leviathan’s Blood by Ben Peek. David Baldacci fans can look forward to his as yet untitled novel being published this month too.
Joanna Courtney’s The Constant Queen, also out in April, tells the tale of Elizaveta, Princess of Kiev who meets her match in Viking Harald Hardrada. Together, in 1066 they plan to invade England and claim the crown.
May sees the release of Little Sister by David Hewson. The third Pieter Vos novel sees the Amsterdam detective investigate the disappearance of two girls who had been accused, 10 years earlier, of murdering the rest of their family. The case takes a different turn when the body of the nurse escorting the girls turns up on a beach and that someone is posing as the third sister, the sister who supposedly died 10 years earlier. There is also an as yet untitled Roy Grace novel from Peter James this month.
Finally to June and False Hearts by Laura Lam. When a woman is accused of murder her twin sister will do anything to get her released, including taking on her identity. Doing so she will discover a world of dangerous secrets that could be her undoing.
Pan will be published a bevvy of beautiful books. Here’s a little(ish) list of what to expect.
January and we have The Moth Catcher by Ann Cleeves, Hunted by Carla Norton and Starborn by Lucy Hounsom, Holding Out for a Hero by Victoria Van Tiem in which 80s obsessed Libby finds herself being the unwilling participant of a 80s Intervention, The Walking Dead Invasion by Jay Bonansinga, What Became of You My Love by Maeve Haran and Misspent Youth and Fallen Dragon by Peter F. Hamilton.
The House at Baker Street by Michelle Birkby sees Mrs Watson and Mrs Hudson take on a case turned away by Holmes. Kerry Wilkinson fans will be pleased to hear that For Richer, For Poorer is out this month too (and Resurgence is out in May and Down Among the Dead Men is out in June). We also see published books from Winston Graham, Margaret Dickenson, Lillian Beckwith, S.L. Grey and Haken Nesser.
The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurant is out in March. A charming tale of Guylain, who works at a book pulping plant and who hates his job. Every day he rescues papers from the machine and each morning reads the saved pages aloud on the train, much to the enjoyment of his fellow passengers. One day he finds a diary and sets about tracing its own. You can read my review of this charming tale here. Also out are books from Malcolm Mackay, John Gwynne, Robin Cook, Hans Olav Lahlum, Diane Chamberlain, Tim Severin, Clare Donoghue, Kate Thompson, Annie Murray and Pamela Hartshorne.
April brings titles from Lin Anderson, Melissa Daley, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Lucinda Riley, Kylie Scott, Annie Murray. Death in the Rainy Season by Anna Jaquiery is also out in paperback this month. The second Serge Morel novel sees the Parisian policeman in Cambodia, drawn into the murder of a French ex-pat. You can read my review of this great novel here.
May publications include Rebound by Aga Lesiewicz in which Anna risks everything for a sexual encounter with a man she meets on Highgate Heath. Is he linked to the recent attacks on women? A Little Local Murder by Robert Barnard sees Inspector George Parrish investigate a spate of poison pen letters and a murder in the small village of Twytching. Another of his novels, The Case of the Missing Bronte is also out this month and sees Superintendent Perry Trethowan confronted with an old woman who claims to have a missing Bronte manuscript. Is her subsequent attack related? Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll tells the tale of Ani whose currently controlled and perfect life hides a traumatic past. When she is invited to take part in a documentary to talk about a horrific incident at her High School she hopes it will help prove how she’s turned her life around. But the past comes back to haunt her and she wonders if the truth really will set her free.
Also out this month are books by Seth Patrick, Di Morrissey, Elaine Everest, Leisa Rayven, Naomi Novik, Mary Wood and The Lake House by Kate Morton.
Finally in June we can buy books from Louise Millar, Lucy Diamond, Kirsty Greenwood, Zen Cho, Ruth Hamilton, Peter James and Jane Green. Also out is Minna Lindgren’s The Lavender Ladies Detective Agency: Death in Sunset Grove. Siri and Irma, inhabitants of Sunset Grove retirement community do the only thing there is to do when there is a suspicious death in Sunset Grove; set up a Private Detective Agency and investigate. Also out it The Salon by the Sea by Rachael Lucas. Isla’s life as the head stylist at an exclusive Edinburgh salon goes awry. Having no one to support her she moves to a remote island to help her cousin. Meanwhile Finn has just been hit with a reality check. It just so happens Isla arrives in his life at the same time…
So there you have it, the first 6 months of Pan Macmillan tied up in my not so neat bow. I know which ones I’ve my eye on. What about you?