Toppling the TBR Pile – Penguin Michael Joseph Spring 2023

So it’s time to get the red pen out again, ready to start circling everything that catches my eye. No I don’t mean the Christmas edition of The Radio Times. I mean of course, publishers catalogues for 2023 book releases. I’ve trawled them so you don’t have to. First up I’ve taken a look at the releases from Michael Joseph, an imprint of Penguin.

We are starting at the very beginning with January releases.

Amazing Grace Adams by Fran Littlewood

Grace Adams is one bad day away from saving her life
One hot summer day, stuck in traffic on her way to pick up the
cake for her daughter’s sixteenth birthday party, Grace Adams
She doesn’t scream or break something or cry or curl into a
ball. She simply abandons her car in traffic and walks away.
But not from her life – towards it. Towards the daughter who
has banned her from the party. Towards the husband divorcing
her. Towards the terrible thing that has blown their family
apart . . .
She’ll show her daughter that no matter how far we fall, we
can always get back up. Because Grace Adams was amazing.
The world and her family might have forgotten. But Grace is
about to remind them…

I have a copy of this so keep a look out for my review.

You can pre-order here.

The Drift by C. J. Tudor

A crashed coach full of students.
A stuck cable car full of strangers.
An isolated chalet full of friends.
A killer snowstorm outside.
Inside one group, a killer.
But which one?
And why is no rescue coming?
How did they become trapped?
And what were they all trying to escape?

You can pre-order here.

All The Blood We Share by Camilla Bruce

Something dark and twisted has taken root at the Bender
At first the townspeople of Cherryvale welcome rising medium
Kate Bender and her family. No one knows about their other
business, the shortcut to a better life. And why shouldn’t their
family prosper? They’re careful. It’s only from those who travel
alone and can easily disappear, that the Benders demand their
pound of flesh.
But even a gifted seer like Kate can make a misstep. Now as
the secrets beneath the family orchard threaten to bring them
all to ruin, the Benders must sharpen their craft- or vanish

You can pre-order here.

You Should Have Told Me by Leah Konen

The man you love is the perfect boyfriend. A loving father to
your daughter. But now he’s a murder suspect..
When Janie’s boyfriend Max doesn’t come home one night,
she’s doesn’t know what to do. Why would he leave her and
their baby daughter, with no explanation?
Then the police turn up, asking questions about the body of a
woman found outside a local bar.
They want to know where Max was last night. Where Max is
now – but Janie has no idea.
They want answers, but Janie only has questions.
She loves Max more than anything. But did she ever really
know him at all?
And if he’s capable of disappearing, could he be capable of
murder too?

You can pre-order here.

The Back Up Man by Phoebe Luckhurst

Shortly after being unceremoniously dumped at a petrol
station, Anya Mackie finds a pact she signed with Euan
Carrick which promised they’d marry if both are still
single the following decade. But Euan hasn’t been seen
for ten years and there’s no trace of him anywhere . . .
After accepting the help of Jamie Kildare – another
blast from Anya’s past with very mysterious reasons for
tracking down Euan – the pair set off to find The Back-Up
But why has Euan just disappeared? Will he remember
their pact? And are some things better left in the past?

You can pre-order here.

Also published this month are Manifest: Dive Deeper by Roxie Nafousi  and The Career Change Guide by Rachel Schofield.

Paperbacks out in January:

Little Sister by Gytha Lodge.

Just Got Real by Jane Fallon.

Glow by Raven Kennedy.

Mala’s Cat by Mala Kacenberg.

On to February

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Nisha Cantor and Sam Kemp are two very different women.
Nisha, 45, lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy,
until her husband inexplicably cuts her off entirely. She doesn’t
even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing
That’s because Sam – 47, middle-aged, struggling to keep
herself and her family afloat – has accidentally taken Nisha’s
gym bag.
Now Nisha’s got nothing. And Sam’s walking tall with shoes
that catch eyes – and give her career an unexpected boost.
Except Nisha wants her life back – and she’ll start with her
shoes . . .

You can pre-order here.

Desi Kitchen by Sarah Woods

A beautiful cookbook showcasing how British Indian food
varies around the UK depending on the migration history of
the region; from Nepali influences in Kent to Punjabi cuisine
in the Midlands
Desi Kitchen is a wonderful celebration of the fusions which
have taken place between British cuisine and food traditions
from all over the Indian subcontinent.
Recipes include:
– Whole roast tandoori chicken dinner (Birmingham punjabis)
– Neeps and tatties keema pie (Glaswegian Pakistanis)
– Sticky mango chicken wings (Harrow’s African Indians)
– Fish tacos in thepla flatbread (Leicester’s gujurati hindus)
– Kottu roti (London’s Sri Lankans)
– Carrot and kale bhajis (Mancunian Bangladeshis)
– Welsh rarebit with curry oil (Welsh bengalis)

You can pre-order here.

The Last Orphan by Gregg Hurwitz

The world needs a new hero, and Evan Smoak – aka Orphan
X – is here to help in this electrifying new adventure perfect
for fans of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series
As a child, Evan Smoak was plucked out of a group home,
raised and trained as an off-the-books assassin for the
government as part of the Orphan program. When he broke
with the program and went deep underground, he left with a
lot of secrets in his head that the government would do
anything to make sure never got out.
When he remade himself as The Nowhere Man, dedicated to
helping the most desperate in their times of trouble, Evan
found himself slowly back on the government’s radar. Having
eliminated most of the Orphans in the program, the
government will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat they
see in Evan. But Orphan X has always been several steps
ahead of his pursuers.
Until he makes one little mistake . . .
Now the President has him in her control and offers Evan a
deal – eliminate a rich, powerful man she says is too dangerous
to live and, in turn, she’ll let Evan survive. But when Evan left
the Program he swore to only use his skills against those who
really deserve it. Now he has to decide what’s more important
– his principles or his life.

You can pre-order here.

Also out this month are The Crystal Path by Georgina Easterbrook and Europe A History by Jean Baptiste Duroselle.

Paperbacks out in February:

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson.

The Blackbird by Tim Weaver.

The Night Man by Jørn Lier Horst.

The Colour Storm by Damian Dibben.

Train Lord by Oliver Mol.

March sees the publication of these treats.

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

‘When vengeance calls and the gods stop watching,
what do we do to those who harm the people we love?’
Wife. Mother. Fighter. Conspirator. Queen. CLYTEMNESTRA.
This is the story of a daughter betrayed by her father. Who
watches her sister be destroyed by violence and rape. Whose
child is sacrificed to ensure her family’s power. Who fights as
fiercely as any warrior. Who falls in love with her husband’s
enemy. Who is hungry for otherworldly retribution against both
men and gods…
This is Clytemnestra, the most notorious heroine of the Ancient
World. Know her name.
Condemned by Homer and the Greek poets as a sexually
faithless, deceitful, murderous woman, Clytemnestra’s voice is
obscured by the spiteful judgement of history. A judgement
that refuses to see her strength and her cunning, her grief and
her rage. Costanza Cosati’s dazzling debut isn’t just a retelling
of the consequences of war on women – it is about how
women fought their own wars. Because Clytemnestra
understood something that the others didn’t:
If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.

You can pre-order here.

Fix Your Fatigue by Karina Antram

5 Steps to Regaining Your Energy
Combining coaching-based methodologies, useful
reflections, tips and lifestyle changes to support
increasing overall energy, this is a nutritional science
book that takes the scientific research and the author’s
nutritional education and converts them into easy,
practical, everyday strategies for readers to implement
to get to the bottom of why they feel tired and ways to
combat it effectively.

You can pre-order here.

We Should Not Be Friends by Will Schwalbe

A heart-warming tale of a life-changing friendship spanning
forty years
By the time Will Schwalbe was a junior at college, he had
already met everyone he cared to know. He also knew exactly
whom he wanted to avoid: the jocks. The jocks wore
backwards baseball caps and moved in packs, filling boisterous
tables in the dining hall, and on the whole seemed to Will
another species, one he might encounter only at his own peril.
All this dramatically changed when he collided with Chris
Maxey, known to just about everyone as Maxey. Maxey was
physically imposing, loud, a star wrestler-and under the
strangely liberating circumstances of a little-known secret
society at Yale, the two forged a bond that has remained a
mainstay of their lives for forty years and counting.
We Should Not be Friends tracks an extraordinary friendship
over decades of challenge and change. Will Schwalbe’s
marvellous new work is a testament to the miracle of human
connection and to all we have to gain when we let go of first
impressions and see one another for who we truly are.

You can pre-order here.

The Secrets of Hartwood Hall by Katie Lumsden

1852. Margaret Lennox, a young widow, is offered a position
as governess at Hartwood Hall. She quickly accepts, hoping
this isolated country house will allow her to leave the past
Margaret soon feels there’s something odd about Hartwood:
strange figures in the dark, tensions between servants and an
abandoned east wing.
Margaret is certain that everyone here has something to hide,
and as her own past threatens to catch up with her, she must
learn to trust her instincts before it’s too late…

You can pre-order here.

Oh, Sister by Jodie Chapman

Isobel and Jen have spent their entire lives following the rules
– of their marriages, and their religion.
But when Isobel’s husband leaves her, and Jen goes through
unimaginable trauma, the religion turns its back.
Zelda has never done what’s expected of her. Living on the
outskirts of the community that she, Jen and Isobel were
raised in, she’s trying to find herself outside of the confines of
the world she left behind.
As the lives of these women become entangled, they each face
an uncertain future.
Will they find the courage to move forwards? Or will a lifetime
of expectation prove too hard to escape…

You can pre-order here.

The Half Bird by Susan Smillie

One woman’s solo sailing odyssey – from Land’s End to the
shores of Greece – explores the unexpected joy of solitude
When Susan set sail from the south-west coast of England on
her beloved sailboat, Isean, she was unaware this
spontaneous departure would lead to a journey spanning
several years and countries across the continent.
Enduring both physical and navigational challenges, the other
side of her story reveals a more important change – her inner
journey – that took place. This wasn’t a challenge or a mid-life
adventure; it was much gentler than that, but much greater
too. She was seeking nothing less than an entirely different
life, having left the land far behind to call the wild, unbiddable
sea home.

You can pre-order here.

The Half Burnt House by Alex North

Katie always looked after her beloved younger brother Chris –
until she left him alone for one selfish afternoon, and their
picture-perfect family fell apart. Although Chris survived the
attack, the scars ran deeper than the ones left across his face.
Now they’re adults, and they haven’t spoken in years. Then
she gets a call, from Detective Laurence Page.
Chris is the prime suspect at an unusually disturbing crime
scene. Alan Hobbes, a distinguished and wealthy philosophy
professor, has been brutally murdered. Hobbes was living in a
sprawling mansion – but one that remains half-ruined by a
decades-old fire, wind and rain howling through the gaping,
creaking roof.
Katie knows she should help the police, but she only has one
thing on her mind. This is her last, best chance to finally save
her brother, and make up for her negligence all those years
ago. But she doesn’t realise the case has connections to an
awful serial killer – and so she can’t possibly imagine just how
much danger she’s in…

You can pre-order here.

The Pink House by Catherine Alliott

Emma and Hugh move into her in-laws former farmhouse.
Happily married for thirty years, and as their own adult children
begin to settle down, this move to the idyllic countryside
seems the perfect plan.
But also in this place where Emma and Hugh spent so much of
their youth are some people they thought were firmly in their
Relationships in this family are complicated. Patterns repeat,
secrets stay buried for years, old resentments grow. Love
doesn’t always last.
But sometimes it does – just not always with the one you

You can pre-order here.

Also out this month are  A Story to Tell by Linda Robson, So Close by Sylvia Day and Find Your Own Path by Fiona Buckland.

Paperbacks out in March:

Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister.

One Place de l’Eglise by Trevor Dolby.

The Angels of Englemere Wood by Karen Farrington.

That Green Eyed Girl by Julie Owen Moylan.

Lion by Conn Iggulden.

The House of Dudley by Joanne Paul.

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang.

April is famous for its showers so stay inside where it’s dry with one of these.

73 Dove Street by Julie Owen Moylan

Soho, London, 1958. Three women. One boarding house. A
secret that could shatter everything.
One wet afternoon in 1954, after a whirlwind romance, Edie
Fletcher married Frank Budd in a South London registry office.
With a spool of blue ribbon tied around her bouquet, she
promised to love, honour, and obey him – for better, or worse.
Two years later, Edie arrives alone at 73 Dove Street, a West
London boarding house run by the formidable Phyllis Collier:
exhausted, nervous, carrying nothing but a cardboard suitcase.
Phyllis’ other lodger, Tommie, keeps herself to herself. But when
Tommie discovers a secret from Edie and Frank’s marriage, she’s
faced with a choice. Will she turn the other way? Or help set Edie

You can pre-order here.

The Lost Paths A History of How We Walk From Here To There by Jack Cornish

A journey across Britain’s millennia-old network of
pathways, revealing key moments throughout our history
Hundreds of thousands of miles of paths reach into, and
connect, communities across England and Wales. More than
just a practical way for us to walk, ride and cycle around, they
are an inheritance from the past, revealing how our ancestors
interacted with and shaped their landscapes. But thousands of
miles are still missing from our maps.
Exploring the deep history of these pathways, Jack Cornish
uncovers how this millennia-old network was created and has
evolved – from prehistoric trackways to the modern creation of
towns – reflecting the contours of the past and the changing
fortunes of society.

You can pre-order a copy here.

Prize Women by Caroline Lea

In 1920s Toronto, best friends Lily di Marco and Mae Thebault
used to be inseparable. They lived under the same roof and
cared for each other’s children – in a world where men held all
the power, they looked out for one another. But then the
Great Depression hits, changing their relationship forever, as
both women are forced to make impossible decisions to save
themselves – and their families – from ruin.
As times get increasingly desperate, the fever of the Great
Stork Derby grips the nation, where the woman who bears the
most children is in line for a cash prize. The derby is both a
cruel game and a welcome distraction, but for Lily and Mae,
what bond will prove most sacred? That of family, or that of
unimaginable wealth?

You can pre-order a copy here.

A Killer in the Family by Gytha Lodge

When the police found the first body, left on a bonfire on the
heath, they worried it had the hallmarks of a serial killer.
Now, as they find the second, they know for sure.
Panic quickly spreads about the ‘bonfire killer’, and local
resident Aisling Cooley is scared.
But she has a lot to distract her, particularly her two teenage
sons, and a quest to find her long-lost dad.
When her DNA gets a match online for a close male relative,
she can’t quite believe it.
But to her horror, it’s not her father who’s found her – it’s a
detective. And they believe the DNA of her father or sons might
just belong to the bonfire killer…

You can pre-order a copy here.

Also published this month are The Uncertainty Paradox by Arie Kruglanski and For the First Time, Again
Sylvain Neuvel.

Paperbacks out in April:

Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes.

The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart.

Harrier: How To Be A Fighter Pilot by Paul Tremelling.

Meredith, Alone by Claire Alexander.

Clive Cussler’s Dark Vector by Graham Brown.

Small Island by Philip Parker.

Moving on to May which has these treats in store.

Just Another Missing Person by Gillian McAllister

OLIVIA. 22 years old. Last seen on CCTV, entering a dead-end
alley. And not coming back out again. Missing for one day and
counting . . .
Julia is the detective heading up the case.
She knows what to expect. A desperate family, a ticking clock,
and long hours away from her children.
But Julia has no idea how close to home it’s going to get.
Because her family’s safety depends on one thing: Julia must
NOT find out what happened to Olivia – and must frame
somebody else for her murder . . .
What would you do?

You can pre-order a copy here.

The Scarlet Papers by Matthew Richardson

When History professor and would-be spy Max Archer receives
an invitation from legendary spy Scarlet King, he jumps at the
chance to meet her. An interview with her will be a major boost
to his career.
What she gives him is much more shocking.
Scarlet trusts Max with her life story – the story of what really
happened in those long years of espionage in the 20th
Century, and a secret that will shake MI6 and British
Intelligence to their core. There are powerful people on all
sides who will stop at nothing to prevent this secret from being
But as Max sifts through the papers of a life steeped in
espionage, he begins to question: is Scarlet telling him the full
story? Or is this concoction the devastating final act of a
master spy at work?
And will he even survive long enough to find out?

You can pre-order a copy here.

The Girl with the Red Hair by Buzzy Jackson

Hannie Schaft didn’t train to be a soldier: she had dreams of
her own. But dreams die in wartime, and her friends are no
longer safe.
Hiding them is not enough. Hannie is young but she won’t
stand aside as the menace of Nazi evil tightens its grip on her
country. Recruited into the Resistance, she learns to shoot and
is notorious for not missing her targets.
As she draws deeper into a web of plots, disguises and
assassinations, whispers spread like wildfire amongst enemies
and friends alike. They know her name. She’s “the Girl with Red
Hair.” A match for any Nazi soldier, a true threat, a target.
Buzzy Jackson’s debut is an unputdownable novel of love,
loyalty, and the limits we confront when our deepest values
are tested.

You can pre-order a copy here.

Call Time by Steve Jones

Bob Bloomfield’s whole life changed when his little
brother Tom was tragically killed in childhood. Now
a ruthless corporate partner, with a “materially rich,
spiritually empty” existence, Bob has done enough living
for two. But then the impossible happens. A seemingly
ordinary phone allows Bob to connect to the past … and
speak with his twelve-year-old self. And his calls back
through time are creating real changes in the present.
Which leaves Bob with two questions: Is this a chance
to prevent his brother’s death? And will he like the world
he’s created if he succeeds?

You can pre-order a copy here.

Also out this month is The Well-Lived Life Dr Gladys McGarey and Empire Book 2 of The Golden Age by Conn Iggulden.

Paperbacks out in May:

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by Benjamin Stevenson.

Deception by Lesley Pearse.

Diddly Squat: ‘Til The Cows Come Home by Jeremy Clarkson.

Landlines by Raynor Winn.

Concorde by Mike Bannister.

The Lives of Brian by Brian Johnson.

Mika in Real Life by Emiko Jean.

Finally we come to June.

Untitled New Novel by Jane Fallon

Iris is happy: decent job, good friends, her own flat.
Everything but her own family. She and her husband Tom were
trying for a baby when he left her for his life coach, Maddy, four
years ago.
One day Iris’ best friend Fay sends her an Instagram video of
Maddy, now a successful family influencer with a huge following,
posting wholesome videos with her husband Lee and their three year-old twins. Tom is nowhere in sight.
So what did Iris end her marriage for? Needing answers, she
delves into Maddy’s life. Just how much can you hide behind an
online persona?

Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum

Jen Weinstein and Lauren Parker rule the town of Salcombe,
Fire Island every summer, holding sway on the beach and the
tennis court. Their husbands, Sam and Jason, have summered
together on the island since childhood. Their single friend,
Rachel Woolf, is looking to meet her match, whether he’s the
tennis pro or someone else’s husband. Even with plenty to
gossip about, this season starts out quietly.
Until a body is discovered, off the side of the boardwalk.
This is a story of what’s lurking under the surface of picture perfect lives in a place where everyone has something to hide.

You can pre-order a copy here.

Untitled New Novel by Tim Weaver

Two disappearances. Two families. One secret. The past and
present collide as missing persons investigator David Raker
returns to crack a cold case wide open.
A father and his son are queuing for the ghost house at the
country’s newest theme park. CCTV cameras record them
entering – but they never exit. No one can explain how they
When she was five, Rebekah Murphy’s mother suddenly
walked out and never came back. Now, Rebekah asks missing
persons investigator David Raker to find out what happened.
The two disappearances – decades apart – seem unrelated. But
as Raker digs deeper, he unravels an elaborate history of lies
binding the cases together. Worse, there’s someone
determined to make sure the truth never comes out…

Midnight by Amy McCulloch

When the sun never sets, there’s no place to hide: a gripping
new thriller from the internationally bestselling author of
When she’s gifted a once-in-a-lifetime Antarctic cruise, Olivia
has never been anywhere so spectacular.
Huge cliffs of ice loom up to the sky.
The sun never sets over the sparkling sea.
And there’s a killer on board…
Unable to sleep in the endless eerie daylight, Olivia has no
idea who she can trust. And if she can’t figure it out soon,
she won’t make it back alive.

You can pre-order a copy here.

Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin

Vivvy Bouchet saved a boy’s life when she was a child, after a
That boy is now a Texas police officer, who has always
believed Vivvy is psychic.
He convinces her to help him solve a high-profile cold case:
three-year-old Lizzie Solomon disappeared in broad daylight
from her home and a body was never found.
A popular podcaster’s conspiracy theories about both he case
and Vivvy have fans hanging on every dangerous word.
Until it becomes clear there may be a kidnapper – or killer – still
on the loose…

You can pre-order a copy here.

Disobedient by Elizabeth Fremantle

A young woman is put on trial. She has accused her painting
teacher of the darkest betrayal – he accuses her of being a
immoral liar. What really happened, and why will this trial
scandalise seventeenth-century Rome?
‘This is the ring that you gave me, and these are your promises.’
Rome 1611. A jewel-bright place of change, with sumptuous
new palaces and lavish wealth on constant display. A city
where women are seen but not heard.
Artemisia Gentileschi dreams of becoming a great artist.
Motherless, she grows up among a family of painters – men
and boys. She knows she is more talented than her brothers,
but she cannot choose her own future. She belongs to her
father and will belong to a husband.
As Artemisia patiently goes from lesson to lesson, perfecting
her craft, a mysterious tutor enters her life. Tassi is a dashing
figure, handsome and worldly, and for a moment he represents
everything that a life of freedom might offer. But then the
unthinkable happens. A violent act that threatens Artemisia’s
honour, and her virtue.
In the eyes of her family, Artemisia should accept her fate. In
the eyes of the law, she is the villain.
But Artemisia is a survivor. And this is her story to tell.

You can pre-order a copy here.

Also out this month is Gold by Raven Kennedy and Winkle The Extraordinary Life of Britain’s Greatest Pilot by Paul Beaver.

Paperbacks out in June:

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub.

The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani.

Other People’s Husbands by Elizabeth Noble.

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez. You can read my review here.

British Rail by Christian Wolmar.

Not Safe For Work by Isabel Kaplan.

Call Me Mrs Brown by Brendan O’Carroll.

Ready For Absolutely Nothing by Susannah Constantine.

Hopefully there is something to please every kind of reader there. Which book are you most looking forward to? Do let me know.

Please note all links are affiliate links so I may earn some money should you purchase through them. All of the books are available to pre-order from your local independent bookshop.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Catalogues are dangerous things, aren’t they?? 🤣🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      Very. It’s more a case of what doesn’t jump out at me than what does!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely looking forward to the new Alex North but that Caroline Lea book description has me massively intrigued as well. Thank for compiling this list, Janet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      They both sound great!


  3. I’m terrified of catalogues, the only one I look at is Europa Editions and it’s difficult to even keep up with that! I sometimes have a peek at OneWorld publications too as they often have a few gems that are totally my kind of read.
    Good luck with the 2023 TBR Janet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      They are both great publishers who have some gems to discover.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.