I am digging the warm weather, but in August it can get pretty unbearable. That’s why I thank the air conditioning gods for their great invention that allows me to hide from the blistering sun and read books all day. There are some great books that come out in August that I can’t wait to read next to the cool air coming out of the vents.
One of those books is the latest from Megan Goldin, The Night Swim. When I’m not reading I enjoy listening to My Favorite Murder so this book looks to be the best of both worlds for me. I’m also excited for this month’s science-fiction debut from Micaiah Johnson, The Space Between Worlds. The idea of a multiverse makes my head hurt and this book has 300+ of them. It might take me all month to read this one, but I am really excited to do so.
This is a surprisingly good month for scares as well. The big highlight for me is the newest from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan called The Hollow Ones. This book looks downright creepy and I might need to sleep with the light on when I’m reading this one.
A ton of fun books this month, let’s take a look at all the best books coming your way in August.
Best Upcoming Cozy Mystery Books: August 2020
Dough or Die by Winnie Archer - Buy at Amazon: The latest edition of Winnie Archer’s Bread Shop Mystery is Dough or Die and it will be released on August 25th.
The Yeast of Eden bread shop has gained fame across North Carolina for their mouthwatering breads and now they are heading to reality TV on a cable food channel. The show will be featured as a culinary delight and everyone is excited as the crew starts to arrive, especially the baking apprentice Ivy Culpepper. The focus is soon taken off of Yeast of Eden when someone tries to murder the show’s cameraman. With no motive or clues, Ivy decides to sift through the evidence herself to find the truth.
Gourd to Death by Kirsten Weiss - Buy at Amazon: Kristen Weiss’ Pie Town Mystery series has delivered some great mysteries over the years and the latest is called Gourd to Death.
The book follows Val, the owner of Pie Town, as she is selected to be a judge for the pie making contest at the annual pumpkin festival in the coastal California town of San Nicholas. Her boyfriend has entered the competition with his family recipe which makes things complicated for her. However, it’s not long before that trouble goes away when Val discovers a much bigger problem: another contestant crushed under an enormous pumpkin. Val and her friend Charlene set out to find the killer.
Dead-End Detective by Amanda Flower - Buy at Amazon: Amanda Flower, author of the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, debuts a new series here. Dead-End Detective is the first book in A Piper and Porter Mystery from Hallmark Publishing.
The series title refers to Darby Piper and Samantha Porter, the two women who make up the Two Girls Detective Agency. The story begins when Samantha Porter dies in a car crash. Darby is in shock, but she’s determined to keep the business going. That gets complicated when Samantha leaves her half to her nephew, Tate Porter. He’s not a detective, but he does seem to have a knack for the job. That’s a good thing when Darby is accused of murdering her partner and it’s up to the two of them to prove her innocence.
Three Treats Too Many by Debra H. Goldstein - Buy at Amazon: The Sarah Blair Mystery series continues with the third book, Three Treats Too Many, set in the small-town of Wheaton, Alabama.
Sarah Blair finds herself in a place that she never expected to be at the start of this one: as co-owner of a restaurant. Her culinary knowledge is non-existant, but the good news is that her twin sister Emily is a master chef. The two are ready to open, but they are caught up in red tape by the building inspector. To make matters worse, Sarah’s ex-husband’s mistress, Jane, is opening her own restaurant across the street that is having its grand opening. Jane’s star sous chef is Riley Miller and her dishes are the talk of the town. Riley remains the talk of the town when she is found dead outside the restaurant with Sarah’s friend Jacob beside her. He becomes the prime suspect, but swears his innocence and Sarah sets out to prove it.
To Coach a Killer by Victoria Laurie - Buy at Amazon: The Life Coach Mysteries series started last October with the release of Coached to Death and now the second book, To Coach a Killer, is due for release in August.
Cat Cooper has big plans to make it as a life coach in East Hampton, but she’s arrived during the off-season and she only has one client. Her client has been housebound for decades and claims to be the victim of a devastating curse so they are not exactly great for networking. Cat has an admirer in the bad boy Maks Ginkov, but when a string of murders rocks the community – he is fingered as the top suspect. Cat decides to press pause on life coaching and get into sleuthing.
Best Upcoming Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books: August 2020
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson - Buy at Amazon: It’s always fun to spotlight new authors and this debut from Micaiah Johnson looks to be a winner. The story takes place in a world where multiverse travel is possible.
The only rule of multiverse travel is that you can’t visit a world where your counterpart is still alive. Unlike many, Cara can travel to multiple worlds because her counterparts are very good at dying. Her life has been cut short on 372 worlds and she is able to travel freely through them all. Thanks to that unique quirk, she is selected as the perfect candidate for multiverse travel which gets her out of the wastelands and into a nice apartment. Cara collects data for the Eldridge Insitute alongside Dell, her enticing co-worker. Cara soon finds trouble when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. The world will not only help connect her past to her future, but also reveal her role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall - Buy at Amazon: Fans of Stranger Things will enjoy this book about a group of kids who uncover a dark secret in their sleepy town.
Eleanor is new the quiet town of Eden Eld and is adjusting to life in the small town. One day, she wakes up and discovers a grandfather clock outside her room that has never been there before. If that wasn’t weird enough, she starts noticing more strange things: a bird watching her board the bus and a black dog with glowing red eyes is following her. No one else can see these things except for her new friends, Pip and Otto. They teach her the importance of not letting the “wrong things” know you can see them and to not ever talk about the “wrong things”. The group finds a book of fairytales that tells of a curse on the town where three children are taken every thirteen years. That time is now and it’s up to this trio to break the curse.
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia - Buy at Amazon: This book is written under the “Rick Riordan Presents” label so you know what you are going to get here. Paola Santiago and the River of Tears is the story of an ordinary kid in an extraordinary situation.
Paola has always been told to stay away from the river. The kids have been told this ever since a schoolmate of theirs drowned in the river a year ago, but for Paola it has been much longer. Her mother has always warned her La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths. Paola is humiliated by her mother’s superstitions, but she would never venture out into the world. One night, Pao and her friend Emma get a new telescope and decide to go test it out near the river. However, when Pao arrives Emma is nowhere to be found and a shadowy figure is watching her from the reeds. Could her mom have been right all along?
Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir - Buy at Amazon: The incomparable Tamsyn Muir returns with Harrow the Ninth, the second book in the Locked Tomb trilogy.
The story follows Harrowhark Nonagesimus, last necromancer of the Ninth House, who has been drafted by her Emperor to his haunted space station. The war seems unwinnable and Harrow will need to perfect her skills to succeed, but her health is failing, her sword makes her nauseous, and her mind is beginning to betray her. As she deals with the mad ghost of a murdered planet, someone may be trying to kill her and she starts to wonder if the universe would be better off if that happened.
The First Sister by Linden A. Lewis - Buy at Amazon: Linden A. Lewis is starting her epic space opera trilogy off here with The First Sister.
First Sister has no name and no voice. She is a priestess of the Sisterhood and travels the stars with the soldiers of Earth and Mars who own the rights to her body and soul. First Sister holds out hope of Freedom, but when her captain abandons her those hopes are dashed. She is now on her ship with no friends and a new captain who she knows nothing about. The Sisterhood orders her to spy on that captain and her job is complicated even more when she starts to fall in love with him. Meanwhile, Lito val Lucius is an elite soldier of Venus who was once defeated in combat by Ren. He’s always sworn revenge after the disappearance of his partner Hiro, but when he finds out that Hiro is a live and now on Ren’s side he decides on a new mission: to kill his former partner. Lito discovers recordings that Hiro made that change everything and make him question his own allegiances.
Best Upcoming Horror Books: August 2020
The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan - Buy at Amazon: Horror master Guillermo del Toro teams with Chuck Hogan for this tale of a horrific crime that defies explanation.
Odessa Hardwicke is a rookie FBI agent that sees her life derailed when she has to turn her gun on her partner and kill him when he turns inexplicably violent. She is justified in her shooting, but is moved to desk until the investigation finishes. She is haunted not by what she did that day, but what she saw: a shadowy presence leaving her partner’s body after his death. To clear her mind, Hardwicke accepts a job to clear out the belongings of a retired agent in the New York office. However, this seemingly meaningless job leads her to a mysterious figure named Hugo Blackwood and some potential answers about her partner’s death.
The Companion by Kate Alender - Buy at Amazon: Everyone seems to think that young Margo is lucky, but the truth is she is anything but. The other orphans consider her lucky because she survived a crash that killed her entire family. They think she’s lucky because she gets her own room, but the reason is that she wakes up screaming each night. They are wrong about that being “lucky” and they are wrong about her being lucky to be chosen to live with a prestigious family. She is handpicked by the family to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. It all sems much better than the orphanage, but soon the isolated house starts playing tricks on Margot’s mind and has her questioning everything around her.
The Apocalypse Strain by Jason Parent - Buy at Amazon: A group of genomics experts study an ancient pandoravirus called “Molli” at a remote research facility. The research leads to the team discovering some unique, but troublesome characteristics and they fear that in the wrong hands it could lead to the extinction of the human race. They are determined to keep it in the right hands, but they soon realize that Molli is far too dangerous to control and it wants out.
The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus - Buy at Amazon: George A. Romero invented the modern zombie genre and now his unfinished fiction story is finished by bestselling author Daniel Kraus in this brand-new piece of zombie horror.
This story is updated to take place in the present day and tells the story of a zombie plague the way that Romero wanted to tell it, without the shackles of mainstream film making.
Weird Women: Classic Supernatural Fiction by Groundbreaking Female Writers edited by Leslie S. Klinger and Lisa Morton - Buy at Amazon: I love a good horror anthology and this looks like it might be this month’s best. Two award-winning anthologists, Lisa Morton and Leslie S. Klinger, collect some great tales of terror by authors as such as Louisa May Alcott, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Charlotte Gilman-Perkins, Marie Corelli, Ellen Glasgow, and Charlotte Riddell.
Best Upcoming Mystery/Thriller Books: August 2020
Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown - Buy at Amazon: The story begins twenty years ago when four people pulled off a heist worth half a million dollars, but by the next morning everything goes to hell. One dies, one ends up in jail, one is in the hospital, and the final person got away. The one who seemingly got away left behind a daughter named Arden Maxwell who has never dealt with her father’s abandonment. So she decides to return to her family home to try and get some answers. Little does she know, she is being watched by two of her father’s co-conspirators. One of them is Ledge Burnet, a rebellious teen that avoided jail by joining the army. He’s long suspected that one of their co-conspirators, a corrupt district attorney, was the real murderer and now the arrival of their accomplice’s daughter has him looking to expose the D.A.’s treachery.
Some Kind of Animal by Maria Romasco-Moore - Buy at Amazon: Jo lives in a small Applachian town where bad things happen to bad girls. Jo knows this because her mom was wild and she ended up disappearing fifteen years ago. To the outside perspective, Jo is following down her path and people are starting to talk. What they don’t know about is Jo’s secret – she has a twin sister who lives in the woods and lives off the land. The only problem is that no one knows her sister exists and when her twins attacks a boy in town, everyone blames Jo. This leaves Jo with an impossible choice: turn her sister in or run.
A Private Cathedral by James Lee Burke - Buy at Amazon: The latest Dave Robicheaux novel sees the detective caught up in one of Louisiana’s oldest and bloodiest family rivalries and dealing with a time-traveling superhuman assassin.
The youngest heirs of the Shondell and Balangie families are pulling a Romeo and Juliet as they’ve fallen in love and are running away from their families. As Robicheaux investigates he gets a little too close to the girl’s mother and the mistress of her father which leads to the New Orleans mafioso hiring a mysterious assassin to go after Robicheaux. The assassin has the ability to induce horrifying hallucinations and travels on a menacing ghost ship that materializes without warning. In order to defeat him and save the kids, Robicheaux will have to overcome the demons that have tormented him throughout his adult life.
Blood World by Chris Mooney - Buy at Amazon: This is a mystery set in a very hard science-fiction world where the cure for aging comes with a deadly price tag.
The people who get the drug are known as carriers and their blood can cure disease, increase power, and make the carrier into a virtual superman. That puts a huge target right on their back and young people with the right genes are ripped from their families and stashed in “blood farms.” Ellie Batista is an LAPD officer on the Blood Squad, a department designed to fight this new crime, and she is drawn into an undercover world more dangerous than she could have ever imagined where a madman has found a way to increase the potency of the blood to levels previously unimagined.
Night Swim by Megan Goldin - Buy at Amazon: I really enjoyed Megan Goldin’s Escape Room so I am excited to check out her latest book, The Night Swim.
The book tells the story of a woman named Rachel Krall who hosts a true-crime podcast that has made her a star. The podcast helped to set an innocent man free and has made her voice recognizable. She heads to a small town to cover a controversial rape trial for the next season of her show, but is soon drawn into another mystery when she finds a note on her care windshield that begs her for help. The person won’t stop until Rachel helps to find out what happened to a girl who tragically drowned twenty-five years ago and as she begins investigating she finds connections between this decades old case and the trial she is following for the podcast.
Best Upcoming Romance Books: August 2020
Temptation on Ocean Driver by Jennifer Probst - Buy at Amazon: Probst continues her The Sunshine Sisters series with Temptation on Ocean Drive. This book sees a young widow named Bella Sunshine-Caldwell who doesn’t have time for romance. She is focused on raising her daughter and running the family business. That becomes difficult when she is working side-by-side with her fellow wedding planner, Gabe, who she is attracted to. Every woman in town has eyes for Gabe, but he only has eyes for Bella.
Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting - Buy at Amazon: A classic opposites attract love story features Blaire Calloway and her cupcake and cocktails shop that opens up next to Ronan Knight’s old school sports bar on the very same day. The two are attracted to each other, but they aren’t willing to let the other one ruin their dreams of business success. That changes when an even bigger threat to their business comes to town and the two call a time-out on the war and decide to work together.
No Offense by Meg Cabot - Buy at Amazon: Little Bridge is one of the smallest, most beautiful islands in the Florida Keys and it makes for the setting of this series by Meg Cabot. This book features a romance between the town sheriff and a children’s librarian that is equal parts clever, hilarious, and fun. Molly is initially turned off by John, but his blue eyes end up being far more distracting than his arrogance.
That Swoony Feeling by Meghan Quinn - Buy at Amazon: The Getting Lucky series brings heart and humor to the romance genre. The latest book focuses on Brig who is out there looking for that “swoony feeling”. What is that? That’s kind of hard to describe, but even if you don’t know, – you know.
Want You to Want Me by Lorelei James - Buy at Amazon: A hockey player named Gabriella Welk has spent her life chasing championships, but never reached that goal. Now she works a variety of part-time jobs while coaching a kid’s hockey team. Nolan Lund is the future CEO of his company, but spends a lot of time trying to shed his reputation as the ladies man. In his free time he enjoys watching his niece play hockey, but his eyes often drift to her assistant coach – Gabi.
August looks like a great month and I can’t wait to get started on my reading list. Is there any that I missed? What are you reading?