Secondhand Souls, by Christopher Moore. In this sequel to Moore's bestselling 2006 novel A Dirty Job, something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind... Moore is disturbingly funny, and a great choice for readers who like more than a little irreverence with their humor.
Best of Enemies, by Jen Lancaster. Lancaster is the queen of snarky memoirs, but she's only started sharing that snark in the form of fiction in the last few years, much to the delight of her fans. She's back with one such novel now, which is being hailed as "Bridesmaids meets Big Little Lies" in a novel told from alternating viewpoints of two women who define the term "frenemies." Kitty and Jack haven’t a single thing in common—except for Sarabeth Chandler, their mutual bestie. Sarabeth and Jack can be tomboys with the best of them, while Sarabeth can get her girly-girl on with Kitty. In fact, the three of them were college friends until the notorious incident when Jack accidentally hooked up with Kitty’s boyfriend… Yet both women drop everything and rush to Sarabeth’s side when they get the call that her fabulously wealthy husband has perished in a suspicious plane crash. To solve the mystery surrounding his death, Jack and Kitty must bury the hatchet and hit the road for a trip that just may bring them together—if it doesn’t kill them first.
Villa America, by Liza Klaussman. Klaussman, a former New York Times reporter, delighted readers with her 2012 novel, Tigers in Red Weather, and has now returned with a gorgeous novel set in the French Riviera during the 1920s in the midst of The Lost Generation. When Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy met and married, they set forth to create a beautiful world together-one that they couldn't find within the confines of society life in New York City. They packed up their children and moved to the South of France, where they immediately fell in with a group of expats, including Hemingway, Picasso, and Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. On the coast of Antibes they built Villa America, a fragrant paradise where they invented summer on the Riviera for a group of bohemian artists and writers who became deeply entwined in each other's affairs.It was, for a while, a charmed life, but these were people who kept secrets, and who beneath the sparkling veneer were heartbreakingly human. When a tragic accident brings Owen, a young American aviator who fought in the Great War, to the south of France, he finds himself drawn into this flamboyant circle, and the Murphys find their world irrevocably, unexpectedly transformed.
Two Across, by Jeffrey Bartsch. Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she's secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her. Realizing the truth only after she's moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he's unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it's all too late? I'm recommending this to fans of unconventional romances, like The Rosie Project.