March Indie Reads

All of my March picks have been published by small presses and independent publishers, all cracking books. Check them out.

Welcome to the black heart of Singapore’s maid culture, where a woman’s life is cheap in one of the richest countries in the world. Here are the voices of the unheard, of maid and employer, of village girl and city dweller. Follow Lucilla, Ma’am Leslie, Shammi and Madame Eunice as they strive, each in her own way, to exist in a country in which dark shadows lie beneath its pristine exterior.

Out: 7th March

Publisher: Unbound

Leonard and Hungry Paul are two quiet friends who see the world differently. They use humour, board games and silence to steer their way through the maelstrom that is the 21st Century.It is the story of two friends trying to find their place in the world. It is about those uncelebrated people who have the ability to change the world, not by effort or force, but through their appreciation of all that is special and overlooked in life.

Out: 20th March

Publisher: Bluemoose Books

It is the year 1893. Thirty-eight-year-old Zofia Turbotyńska has assured her husband’s rise through the ranks to university professor and is now looking for something to fill her long days at home. To stave off the boredom and improve her social standing, she decides to organise a charity raffle. To recruit the requisite patronage of elderly aristocratic ladies, she visits Helcel House, a retirement home run by nuns.

Out: 7th March

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Not far from London, there is a village. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago.

It belongs to Mad Pete, the grizzled artist. To ancient Peggy, gossiping at her gate. To families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here.

But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all.

Out: 5th March

Publisher: Faber Books

Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood. Here, in the pages of this extraordinary book where the unspoken is conveyed with vivid simplicity, lies a story that will leave you reeling.

Out: 15th March

Publisher: Salt Publishing

Margaret O'Shea never thought she'd find herself praying for the life of an English soldier. But with her grandson Eoin fighting in Iraq, Margaret can't do anything but say the rosary and hope that he comes home unscathed. His fiancée Katarzyna is a good Catholic girl, even if she goes to Nottingham's Polish church rather than its Irish one. 

What Margaret doesn't know is that Kathy's way of coping with Eoin's absence goes beyond prayer or reading horoscopes.

Out: 14th March

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail, Profile Books

In the tumultuous aftermath of the First World War the Wilson brothers head in opposite directions: Richard, interned in Austria throughout the conflict, returns to England; Edward, a junior officer, is dispatched from Italy to Vienna as part of the British Army’s relief mission.

For Edward, it will be a return to the city and to love. But it will not be the same city

Out: 7th March

Publisher: Unbound

Aside from a quaint amusement park, the small town of Lakeview offers little excitement for Duane, Savannah, and their friends. They’re about to endure their ten-year high school reunion when their lives are shattered by the arrival of an ancient, vengeful evil.

The werewolf. The first attack leaves seven dead and four wounded.

Out: 14th March

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

Harry, much loved star of stage and screen, lies dead of a heart attack. To his surprise he is still here in spirit, though scarily trapped in a bureaucratic afterlife. Meanwhile, as a wealth of tributes engulfs the media, his unacknowledged son, Richard, is determined to step free of his father’s long shadow.

Out: 21st March

Publisher: Sandstone Press

Birmingham, 1885.

Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her.

Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora...?

Out: 21st March

Publisher: No Exit Press

Eight hundred years ago, the Zhen Empire discovered a broken human colony ship drifting in the fringes of their space. The Zhen gave the humans a place to live and folded them into their Empire as a client state. But it hasn’t been easy. Not all Zhen were eager to welcome another species into their Empire, and humans have faced persecution. 

Out: 14th March

Publisher: Flame Tree Press

When Ray is sacked from his job in London, he goes to Japan hoping to start his life afresh. Things begin well: he lands work as an English teacher and strikes up a relationship with the beautiful, intriguing Tomoe. But his world is turned upside down when Tomoe’s father is found dead.

Convinced that his death was a murder, Tomoe sets out after the killers, and when she goes missing Ray is forced to act. 

Out: 7th March

Publisher: Unbound

When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep. Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed if discovered, and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm.

On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond. But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War Two forces them apart, leaving only the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light.

Out: 28th March

Publisher: Canelo

Kind-hearted Violet has never fitted in, but despite being bullied at school is now content. She is dating ambitious Lenny, has her dream job in publishing and runs a book club at the local retirement home.

However, when her relationship with Lenny begins to falter, Violet, hurt and alone, seeks the advice of her new flatmate, Bella. She changes her image and with her head held high aims to show that she doesn’t need Lenny in her life to be happy and successful.

Out: 14th March

Publisher: Canelo

Kelsey Anderson is stuck in a rut so big, she’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get out. She’s just been made redundant from her dead-end job, and boyfriend Fran is so busy climbing up the career ladder that he’s forgotten how to have fun. She needs to change her life – and fast.

Stumbling across an advert for tour guides in Stratford-Upon-Avon seems like the perfect way to bring the sunshine back. In an impulsive move, she moves from her small Scottish village to Shakespeare’s birthplace, armed only with a suitcase and her battered copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Out: 6th March

Publisher: Hera Books

1759: Outside the gates of the magnificent Versailles palace, the city of Paris sits mired in squalor and crime. One night a young woman's body is found with ghastly mutilations that shock onlookers to the core.

The Inspector of Strange and Unexplained Deaths begins investigating this macabre outrage, but the clues he uncovers draw him into a deadly web of intrigue, and bring him face-to-face with notorious adventurer and seducer, Giacomo Casanova.

Out: 28th March

Publisher: Pushkin Press

 
Sam MissinghamNew, New book