A sequel that whets your appetite for another taste of life in West Mills.

A triple murder shocks a small North Carolina town into confronting its deepest fears and darker secrets lingering in the wake of the civil rights era.

Winslow follows up his widely praised debut, In West Mills (2019), by returning to the eponymous Southern locale of that multilayered romance with a murder mystery set in the mid-1970s. The story begins shortly after the bullet-riddled bodies of Dr. Marian Harmon, her sister, Marva, and brother, Lazarus, are discovered at the foot of the staircase of their home in the predominantly Black western section of West Mills. As readers of the earlier novel will recall, the hamlet is divided along racial lines by a small canal, and even after Jim Crow’s demise, the scars of racial segregation remain deep and raw. The town’s sheriff’s department regards their first homicide in decades as little more than a drug-related break-in, even after they interrogate, then release, the siblings’ half brother, Olympus “Lymp” Seymore, who was first suspected because of an argument he’d had with the three Harmons. Arrested or not, Lymp nonetheless walks around town with a taint of suspicion. And this deeply distresses Josephine Wright, a middle-aged native daughter of West Mills who has returned home after a 48-year stint in New York City to make a new life for herself with her childhood friend Lymp. Jo decides to remove any doubts about Lymp’s innocence by wandering around town asking who else might have a motive for murder. Is it Eunice Loving, who had taken her son La’Roy to Dr. Harmon to “have the gay removed” but was later horrified by the doctor’s violent methods? Is it Ted Temple, the town’s most prominent White real estate mogul, who was landlord for the Harmons’ home and, until a bitter dispute separated them, Marian’s secret lover? Or could it have been Ted’s daughter, Savannah, who more than a decade before had been ostracized by her father and exiled from the predominantly White part of town because she’d fallen in love with a Black man? Or could it have been Lymp after all? Jo isn’t sure of anything, but she proves a relentless and incisive sleuth, not just in pursuit of what happened, but in untangling the complex social dynamics within the seemingly bucolic rural Carolina hamlet. Though not as intricately woven as Winslow’s first novel, this tale comes across as considerably more than a regional whodunit because of its author’s humane and sensitive perceptions toward his characters, even those who may not deserve such equanimity.

A sequel that whets your appetite for another taste of life in West Mills.

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-63557-532-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022


A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Truth and deception clash in this tale of the Holocaust.

Udo Graf is proud that the Wolf has assigned him the task of expelling all 50,000 Jews from Salonika, Greece. In that city, Nico Krispis is an 11-year-old Jewish boy whose blue eyes and blond hair deceive, but whose words do not. Those who know him know he has never told a lie in his life—“Never be the one to tell lies, Nico,” his grandfather teaches him. “God is always watching.” Udo and Nico meet, and Udo decides to exploit the child’s innocence. At the train station where Jews are being jammed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, Udo gives Nico a yellow star to wear and persuades him to whisper among the crowd, “I heard it from a German officer. They are sending us to Poland. We will have new homes. And jobs.” The lad doesn’t know any better, so he helps persuade reluctant Jews to board the train to hell. “You were a good little liar,” Udo later tells Nico, and delights in the prospect of breaking the boy’s spirit, which is more fun and a greater challenge than killing him outright. When Nico realizes the horrific nature of what he's done, his truth-telling days are over. He becomes an inveterate liar about everything. Narrating the story is the Angel of Truth, whom according to a parable God had cast out of heaven and onto earth, where Truth shattered into billions of pieces, each to lodge in a human heart. (Obviously, many hearts have been missed.) Truth skillfully weaves together the characters, including Nico; his brother, Sebastian; Sebastian’s wife, Fannie; and the “heartless deceiver” Udo. Events extend for decades beyond World War II, until everyone’s lives finally collide in dramatic fashion. As Truth readily acknowledges, his account is loaded with twists and turns, some fortuitous and others not. Will Nico Krispis ever seek redemption? And will he find it? Author Albom’s passion shows through on every page in this well-crafted novel.

A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2023

ISBN: 9780062406651

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023


A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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