9 New Books We Recommend This Week


If you love crime fiction, this is a good week for you: Our recommended books include an F.B.I. procedural set in Iowa, a novel about kidnappers seeking revenge for hate crimes, a spy novel set in Malaya during World War II and a collection of four classic detective novels by the great Chester Himes. There’s more fiction, too, including Venita Blackburn’s quirky look at grief and impersonation, “Dead in Long Beach, California,” and novels by Shubnum Khan and Temim Fruchter. In nonfiction, we recommend a history of women in the C.I.A. and an exploration of the intellectual thickets that can arise from copyright law. Happy reading. — Gregory Cowles

Himes (1909-84) was one of the last century’s great novelists, who happened to work in the crime genre; this volume contains four of the nine books from his “Harlem Detectives” series, featuring the investigators Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones.

Everyman’s Library | $35


Can there ever be restitution for the harm done to generations of Black people in America? Mayfield takes this question to a provocative extreme in this thriller, which follows a group of four friends as they kidnap descendants of people who long ago committed racially motivated hate crimes.

Melville House | Paperback, $19.99


In this nimble, assured thriller — the second in a series — an F.B.I. rookie dealing with her complicated family has been assigned to investigate threats against Iowa’s newly elected female governor, just as a serial rapist and killer known as the Sin Eater emerges in Des Moines after a long hiatus.


This ambitious and sweeping debut novel explores the fallout of a Malayan woman’s decision to become a spy for Japanese forces in World War II, unwittingly helping to usher in a brutal occupation with devastating costs for her family.

Marysue Rucci Books | $27


Blackburn’s first novel (after two inventive short story collections) is an experimental and disarmingly funny look at death and loss. Narrated by dystopian artificial intelligence machines, the story follows a woman who impersonates her brother by texting from his phone after his suicide.

MCDxFSG | $27


A decaying mansion with a once-glamorous history is the setting for this rich and swoony novel about a grand love story, which features a bookish girl, her ghost twin, a lost diary and haunted generations of Indian immigrants in coastal South Africa.

In short, punchy chapters and witty prose, a lawyer and a literature professor untangle the history of how intellectual property has come to be protected — and who wins and loses in the bargain.

Norton | $28.99


Women have long been key players in some of the country’s most famous (and infamous) intelligence-gathering operations. With vivid detail and historic sweep, Mundy focuses on a range of figures over the course of more than six decades.


Fruchter’s debut explores ideas of family, queerness, loss, heritage and self-discovery. The novel follows generations of women in one Jewish family, each reckoning with her own secrets and identity.



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