cover image Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything

Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything

Kristin Bair. Alcove, $16.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-643-85500-4

Bair’s charming latest (after Thirsty) centers on an endearing, anxious woman who takes up spying on her neighborhood. Agatha Arch is a successful author whose fear of everything (including flies, vampires, and beans) has kept her relatively isolated, so after Agatha walks in on her husband, Dax, and the dog walker, Willow, getting busy in their shed, she has no friends to help her as her world falls apart. Instead, she destroys the shed with a hatchet. Dax moves in with Willow, leaving Agatha to shuttle her young sons between two homes. On nights when her sons are away, Agatha passes the time by spying on Dax and Willow, and trolling the moms of her neighborhood’s Facebook group. She begins sneaking around the neighborhood in her “spy pants” and flies a drone to scope out her husband’s new home. Despite initially avoiding the advances of well-meaning but overly zealous neighbor Melody, Agatha befriends her, and together they help a young woman who panhandles on the town’s main strip. A paradoxically intrepid and terrified individual, Agatha will draw readers in with her wry takes: “these are the first death threats ever to be issued as a result of a Moms group posting. It is frightening but thrilling.” Fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Elinor Oliphant Is Fine will love this clever romp. (Nov.)