In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a detective story, a regency romance, a space adventure, and more.

The Detective Next Door

W.C. Gordon

Synopsis: Gordon’s superior debut opens quietly as his unnamed narrator, a South Florida police detective, handles the quotidian aspects of police work.

PW’s Takeaway: Gordon, a law enforcement officer and military veteran, comes up with plausible and intriguing plot twists and is especially good at portraying his lead’s PTSD.

Comparable Title: William Kent Krueger’s Ordinary Grace

Sample Line: “My phone conversation with Facebook Lady went about as well as expected.”

The Footman

S.M. Laviolette

Synopsis: In 1802, impetuous 16-year-old Lady Elinor Atwood throws herself at her family’s new footman, setting off a devastating chain of events.

PW’s Takeaway: Lovers of historical romance will be hooked on this twisty story.

Comparable Title: Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn Saga series

Sample Line: “Iain had just opened his mouth to say something foolish and most likely job-ending when the door Lady Elinor had exited so violently opened and Lady Yarmouth stood on the threshold.”

Space Throne

Brian Corley

Synopsis: This fun space adventure follows a wayward prince’s attempts to return home after years spent touring the galaxy.

PW’s Takeaway: Subtle worldbuilding and comic mishaps will keep readers engaged as an unlikely trio races toward a thrilling conclusion.


Khaled talib

Synopsis: In Talib’s thriller, the Israeli prime minister has secretly negotiated with the PLO and Hamas, agreeing to return all the occupied territories, in a deal brokered by Singapore.

PW’s Takeaway: Readers will be eager to find out how everything resolves in this high-octane story.

A Bend in the River


Synopsis: Set during the Vietnam War and its aftermath, Hellmann’s gripping historical focuses on the divergent paths of two Vietnamese sisters.

PW’s Takeaway: This passionate story of survival has staying power.