Spring has sprung for me, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t find time to read. It’s like the old saying goes, April showers bring me more time inside to read books! Or something like that…
Anyway, whether I am inside or outside – I have a lot of books to read this month! There are truly some outstanding releases this month that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into. Right at the top of that list is Instinct by Jason M. Hough. This book is giving me some serious Blake Crouch, Twin Peaks, crazy conspiracy vibes and it looks really good. Right up there with it is Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer, which is sure to creep me out in all the right ways.
There are a lot of good mysteries this month including the By the Sea series latest, the newest Quaker Midwife Mystery, and more. If you’re feeling romantic (and who isn’t), we have the latest in the Friend Zone series as well as the intriguing The Intimacy Experiment.
In the Company of Killers by Bryan Christy looks like it could be my next obsession. Same for Near the Bone, a wintery horror entry. There are just a lot of good books this month, I’m telling you.
Keep on reading to see my list of the best upcoming books for April 2021.
Best Upcoming Cozy Mystery Books: April 2021
Buried by the Sea by Kathleen Bridge: This will be the fifth book in the By the Sea Mystery series by Kathleen Bridge. The series stars a sleuthing novelist named Liz Holt who finds herself solving crimes. In this one, a group of archaeologists is staying at Indialantic by the Sea to study the days of the Spanish explorers. However, they manage to uncover a valuable find at the dig site. Before they can unearth it, one of the archaeologists is found dead.
The local sheriff has blamed the neighbor, Liz’s friend Birdman. However, she’s pretty sure that he is innocent and that the real culprit is one of the archaeologists. She’ll set out with her PI boyfriend to try and figure out who buried the scientist.
Damsel in a Dress by Kirsten Weiss: I just love the name of this series, Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery. That’s just so fun sounding and that’s exactly what all the books in this series are as well. Damsel in a Dress is the fifth book in the series.
This one sees Maddie, manager of the paranormal museum, helping her friend Adele plan her wedding and trying to prove to her that her vintage wedding dress is not haunted. That job gets difficult when one of Adele’s bridesmaids turns up dead. In order to solve the wedding, Maddie must try to solve the crime to ensure a happy wedding for the bride.
A Changing Light by Edith Maxwell: Edith Maxwell is an Agatha Award-winning author and this is the seventh book in her Quaker Midwife Mystery series.
Midwife Rose Carroll is living in Amesbury near the end of the 19th century. The town is known for their world-famous carriage manufacturers who open their doors to visitors from all over the globe for their annual Spring Opening. This year’s events are tarnished when a representative from a prominent Canadian company is murdered.
Rose has a strong sense of justice and she is driven to track down the killer. The plot thickens when she learns that plans for a new horseless carriage go missing and the list of suspects grows longer.
A Tale of Two Cookies by Eve Calder: The Cookie House is not only a good mystery series, it’s also sounds like a place that I’d really love to go. Cookies are awesome!
Kate McGuire is a junior partner in a bakery known for delicious desserts. Her life’s pretty sweet in more ways than one. Things are only getting better when an old friend comes to town for a surprise wedding. Trouble arises when the groom vanishes right as the television crew arrives in town to shoot a new reality show. Is her friend involved? Or did the groom get cold feet? It’s up to Kate to figure out.
Murder 101 by Lynn Cahoon: Another fun cooking related cozy is the Kitchen Witch Mysteries. Lynn Cahoon is releasing Murder 101 in that series this month.
The story follows Mia, a woman with culinary expertise and a gift for spellcasting. She gets a new gig catering a reunion at the old school that’s become the headquarters for her new business. She is shocked to see her mother show up at the reunion. Her mom stepped away from magic, much to the chagrin of Mia’s grandmother, and is now back in town. On top of that drama, Mia has more trouble on her hands when the head of the reunion committe is murdered. In order to find the killer, Mia is going to need her magic, her family, and more.
Best Upcoming Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books: April 2021
Instinct by Jason M. Hough: This might be my most anticipated book of the month. The story takes place in a small mountain town in Washington that is home to more conspiracy theories than any other place in America. Officer Mary Whitaker is new here, but slowly acclimating to the way things are. When the chief of police takes his leave of absence, all hell breaks loose in the town.
People start dying for strange reasons and doing things that go against their survival instincts. Whitaker goes to investigate what exactly is happening here and finds a much larger conspiracy than she could’ve possibly expected.
Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer: Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation was one of the weirdest, craziest books I’ve ever read. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the book, how it just made my skin crawl in all the right ways. You can be sure that I am going to check this book out right away when it comes out!
Rich Man's Sky by Wil McCarthy: When I think of science fiction, this is what I think of. Space and aliens, allegories of real life issues, and just a ton of imagination from the author. That’s exactly what we have here.
Rich Man’s Sky takes place in space where the rich control everything. From a monastery of women to a space station filled with women to a Martian reality-TV contest. Whatever the rich can imagine in space, they can do. Out there, they dictate the future of humanity.
However, the governments of Earth are not amused so they put together an international team of elite military women to infiltrate and neutralize the largest and most dangerous project in human history.
The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni: This is the first in a new series by Lynette Noni. The book will follow a seventeen-year-old girl named Kiva who has spent the last ten years of her life fighting for survival in a death prison known as Zalindov. She has stayed alive by working as the prison healer. Now, the Rebel Queen has been captured and Kiva needs to keep her alive long enough to underdog the Trial by Ordeal.
Kiva is doing her job when she receives a message from her family that says “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Kiva knows that the Trials will kill the woman so she does the unthinkable: she volunteers to take her place.
Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan: One book that I am looking forward to this month, but don’t want to say too much about is Blessed Monsters. This is the final chapter of the Something Dark and Holy trilogy and it should end with a bang. A dark and cosmic horror series that is worth checking out if you’re into YA.
Best Upcoming Horror Books: April 2021
The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky: I’m a big fan of the movie Scream and this book is definitely giving me some of those vibes.
The story sees a girl named Rachel turn to horror movies for comfort as she prefers watching them to hanging with the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep. There’s also some memories she would prefer to keep buried so losing herself in horror movies works for her.
Then Rachel finds herself recruited by the Mary Shelley Club. Named after the famous author, the Club is a mysterious society of students who do Fear Tests on their fellow students. The Tests are elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. Rachel embraces the power at first, but soon comes to realize that her fellow Club members want to take things into a deadly realm.
Near the Bone by Christina Henry: This story looks really dread-inducing which is right up my alley. Mattie and William have lived alone on a mountain together for a long time now without much incident. It’s been a peaceful existence until the day that she finds a mutilated baby fox in the woods. She soon realizes that there is something in the woods that wasn’t there before and it is something with sharp teeth and claws.
Now three strangers have appeared on the mountain to look for the creature. Their presence is going to anger William and nobody wants to see William when he is angry.
Poison Priestess by Lala Popovic: The second book in the Lady Slayers series, a historical horror series about a 19-year-old French murderess and fortune teller. Looks fun!
The Book of Yig: Revelations of the Serpent: I’m always in the mood for a good horror anthology and this one looks especially good. The book features novellas from some modern masters of Neo-Lovecraftian fiction including David Hambling, Mark Howard Jones, and Peter Rawlik.
The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon: Jax is called back home after her sister drowns in a pool. She had tried to distance herself from her sister over the past year, but now she will never see her again. So Jax returns home where she realizes that her sister was doing some research on the family’s history, discovering a dark secret about the water that her sister drowned in.
The water was rumored to have granted wishes, but those who have entered the pool have found that the water takes as much as it gives.
Best Upcoming Mystery/Thriller Books: April 2021
In the Company of Killers by Bryan Christy: This book looks like it could be the next major series in the vein of C.J. Box and Brad Meltzer.
In the Company of Killers sees an investigative wildlife reporter named Tom Klay who works for The Sovereign magazine. However, that job is merely a cover for his other, more dangerous job as a CIA agent. His press credentials make him the perfect spy as he is able to travel the globe unnoticed.
While on an assignment in Kenya, Klay is attacked and sees his closest friend murdered. His double life is starting to unravel, but he only has one thing on his mind: revenge.
Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson: Where the Secrets Lie has a unique structure as it is told in two interwoven timelines—the summer where everything changed, and the summer that changes everything.
The first summer sees Amy, her cousin Ben, and his friend Teddy growing up in Kentucky and loving life. This summer will see Teddy and Amy grow closer together while being driven apart from Ben. A year later, Amy returns to River Run when Teddy’s sisters has disappeared. The three are thurst back together to search for her and end up uncovering some dark truths about their town, their family, and their upbringings.
When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McClain: Anna Parsons is a missing persons detective in San Francisco who has a lot of knowledge about the dark side of human behavior, but even she is unprepared for when tragedy strikes in her own life. She decides to flee the city and head back to her hometown of Mendocino.
It doesn’t take long after arriving for her skills to be needed when a local girl goes missing. The crime feels reminiscent of Anna’s own past and she feels that she has been lead to this moment, to find this missing girl.
Lies We Bury by Elle Marr: Marissa Mo was born in captivity until, two decades ago, she escaped her basement prison. Now she has moved beyond the trauma and working as a photographer. When she takes a job in Portland, covering a string of macabre murders, it is hard for her not to let the dark memories of her past seep in.
Everything feels familiar about the crimes from the lairs to the toys left behind. When a note is left behind, written in blood, that reads “See you soon, Missy”; she knows exactly who is doing this and becomes obsessed with finding them. To do so, she’ll need to face a past that she has long since hidden away.
Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson: I really enjoyed Joshilyn Jackson’s The Girl from Widow Hills and her latest looks like another chilling and haunting read.
Never Have I Ever sees a mother who must decide just how far she is willing to go to protect her child after a kidnapping. Her sacrifices will send her to some dark places to save her child, but what will it cost her?
Best Upcoming Romance Books: April 2021
The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan: This is a classic story of people from opposite worlds coming together, but this might be one of the more extreme differences! Naomi Grant has founded a sex-positive start-up that is gaining some major traction in the world. Despite this, she is having trouble getting hired for lectures by higher education. While Ethan Cohen is the rabbi of his own synagogue who has recently been hired to try and attract more millennials to the faith.
Despite their seemingly competing views, the two agree to host a seminar series on Modern Intimacy and find themselves growing closer than either could’ve imagined.
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne: This looks like a cute story about a muscular, tattooed man who is hired to work as an assistant to two older women at a retirement home, and the beautiful retirement home manager who keeps a watchful eye on him.
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle: Maybell Parish is a dreamer and always has been. She’s found that living in her own world, with her head in the clouds, helps to distract from the disappointments of her real life. She finally decides to do something about it and moves to the Smokies where her great-aunt has left her a home.
The new place is not the paradise she imagined. Instead, the house is falling apart and she isn’t the only inheritor. Her great-aunt also left the house to the groundskeeper, Wesley, who is as grouchy as he is gorgeous. The two have very different visions for the future of the property, but they’ll have to work together if they are going to get anything done.
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters: The first book in the Regency Vows series was a lot of fun and this follow-up looks like another winner. I will be checking this out!
Life's Too Short by Abby Jimenez: The Friend Zone series continues with Life’s Too Short. This story sees a YouTube star with millions of followers named Vanessa who tries to live every moment to the fullest and never being tied down to own place. That all changes when her half sister leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter which ends up being an adventure in itself. She is utterly unprepared for the experience, but the next door neighbor, a hot lawyer named Adrian, is the Secret Baby Tamer. Adrian becomes an invaluable resource to her, in more ways than one.
I don’t know about you, but my credit cards are feeling the weight of this month’s book list! Oh well, it’s money well spent in my book. Let me know what you’re reading this month in the comments below and if there is anything I need to add to my shopping cart!