1. A Mediterranean summer with Juliet and Henry
Juliet Longo’s new historical novel is a thrilling and irresistible read. Set in the French Riviera in 1837, this intriguing tale will keep you guessing all the way to the end! Jacob and Rebecca are spending a summer with their parents in the idyllic village of Montalto. Juliet, a young American in love with Henry, can’t stop thinking about him, which upsets her father. And so the lovers are consumed by passion – can their independence withstand the strict traditions and strictures of a French aristocracy?
Buy A Mediterranean summer with Juliet and Henry at the Guardian bookshop
2. Red Velvet Carnations
Hilary Tayler is a British woman trapped in Japan. Her next stop is Venice, where she will marry a much older Mr Mariado, a man who lives below a tower housing the most intricate living history in the world. Hidier faces enormous challenges from her new husband, and a war she had no knowledge of… this is an intense romantic thriller set in Venice and with twists and turns – and blood – galore.
Buy Red Velvet Carnations at the Guardian bookshop
3. Marine Boy
Written by Sydney Dare, Marine Boy is a haunting novel of love, war and fatherhood – but it’s set against the background of 19th-century Japan. Marine Boy introduces us to Tom, a young British soldier working for the Anzio convicts during the first world war. He meets Maria Oky, one of the convicts, who falls in love with him – and with him, naturally. But Maria is also attempting to escape, is trying to escape, must escape… and Tom must find her.
Buy Marine Boy at the Guardian bookshop
4. The First True Bird
Lizzie Cooksey is just back from war: “Four years of privation, death and anguish. I’m the first true bird to have been sent home, and have barely eaten anything in four years.” But an encounter with a Japanese bird whisperer means it is her duty to return to Japan to find her brother, Adam, and rejoin the Americans in battle. She tries to resist the urge to return to a war she is desperate to escape but can’t deny. Cooksey’s storytelling is so engaging that you will want to keep turning the pages.
Buy The First True Bird at the Guardian bookshop
Anna Jones returns to pop-up art in her latest novel The Rise of Rosa and the Flight of Grant. When you put artist Rosa, Grace, in charge of maintaining “a cherished building piece of rock” called Mother, Ruth – a haunted house – must try to find a way to reveal what she is hiding. This engaging novel has wonderful leaps of imagination and is a wonderful read, full of wry humour and insight.
Buy The Rise of Rosa and the Flight of Grant at the Guardian bookshop
More Scottish author recommendations
My wife’s favourite Scottish books – podcasts with book recommendations Read more
Over in the USA, Phil Kuntz’s new novel The Other Thing Looked Like a Dog has been described as a dark fantasy epic that will take you by storm. From A North Standby to At My Inn, the apocalypse is coming, the world is ending – and a dog with a shotgun may well save your life.
And in Canada, crime-obsessed Alex Weir shares his thoughts about his new novel Twelve Quarters, a dark novel, centred around three houses, all dealing with the consequences of violence and a pervasive mystery about the dead.
Here are some other recommendations from members of our book club:
Evan; Loving Alice, Spring Firm, The Story of All the Money, The Great Unforgotten
Amy; Paul, June, The Quantum Tent, The Wind Through the Trees, The Boy on the Bridge
Richard and Mary; The Great Sin Eater, Small Fires, Sons of the Desert
Clara; Here Comes the Angel, Nothing to lose
Hannah; The Bold Type, The Library Girls, World Without End, I’m Every Woman, The Inheritance of Loss
Elaine; Conversations with Mum, A Girl Called Mercy, The Big Kind, The Sad Consequences of Going to See a Drinker
Alison; The Fallen Family, The Crossing, The Bittersweet Singularity, None of It Was Really Your