Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for April

Fourteen books stride between genres in April, including new titles from, among others, Mary Robinette Kowal, Harry Turtledove, Seth Patrick, Steve McHugh, and Simone St. James, and a new Cthulhu anthology edited by Paula Guran.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.

Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

WEEK ONE

A Fright to the Death (A Family Fortune Mystery #3)Dawn Eastman (April 7, Berkley)

After their flight to Mexico is cancelled, Clyde and her detective boyfriend, Mac, end up snowed in with their families at a supposedly haunted hotel. Clyde’s tarot card reading mother, Rose, is making dire predictions for the weekend, and self-proclaimed pet psychic Aunt Vi is enchanted by the legend of the hotel’s ghost—until the power goes out and a body turns up. With a hotel full of stranded suspects, Clyde will have to draw on all her skills, both the police ones she’d rather forget and the psychic ones she’d rather ignore, to solve the bone-chilling mystery before someone else gets iced.

Joe SteeleHarry Turtledove (April 7, Roc)

President Herbert Hoover has failed America. The Great Depression still casts its dark shadow over the country. The American people hope one of the potential Democratic candidates, New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and California congressman Joe Steele, can get the nation on the road to recovery. Fate snatches away one hope when a mansion fire claims the life of Roosevelt, leaving the Democratic party to nominate Steele, son of a Russian immigrant laborer who identifies more with the common man than with wealthy power brokers. President Joe Steele pushes through Congress reforms that put citizens back to work. Most people welcome strong leadership, full employment, and an absence of complaining from the newspapers, as Hitler and Trotsky begin the kind of posturing that seems sure to drag America into war.

Lemon Pies and Little White Lies (A Charmed Pie Shoppe Mystery #4)Ellery Adams (April 7, Berkley)

Ella Mae LeFaye’s Charmed Pie Shoppe has become a phenomenon beyond her wildest dreams, providing the enchanted town of Havenwood, Georgia, with spellbinding desserts and magical pies. Her personal life is also heating up as she takes on the responsibilities of leadership within her magical community. In fact, the only thing weighing her down is the fact that handsome Hugh Dylan won’t return her calls. Still, when Havenwood is rocked by a series of mysterious deaths, Ella Mae must put romantic longings aside, especially when she realizes that the mystical symbols left at each crime scene are dangerously personal. Now she will have to whip up all her supernatural skills to uncover a killer out to settle an ancient score, before the murderer devastates everything Ella Mae is determined to protect.

Second ActivationDarren Wearmouth and Marcus Wearmouth (April 7, 47North)

Military veterans Harry and Jack escape from Monroe, Michigan, and head for New York to face down Genesis Alliance, a despotic organization that is implementing the chaos to create a new order. Caught in a race against time, confronted with a local team intent on revenge and expecting the imminent arrival of a larger reinforcement, Harry and Jack must avoid existing dangers, gain allies, and stop the Alliance from launching its next Activation. With the fate of the remaining population at stake, Harry and Jack know that stopping the Activation means going to war once again.

The Only Words That Are Worth RememberingJeffrey Rotter (April 7, Metropolitan)

In an America of the semi-distant future, human knowledge has reverted to a pre-Copernican state. Science and religion are diminished to fairy tales, and Earth once again occupies the lonely center of the universe, the stars and planets mere etchings on the glass globe that encases it. But when an ancient bunker containing a perfectly preserved space vehicle is discovered beneath the ruins of Cape Canaveral, it has the power to turn this retrograde world inside out. Enter the miscreant Van Zandt clan, whose run-ins with the law leave them with a no-win choice: test-pilot the spacecraft together as a family, or be sent separately to prison for life. Their decision leads to some freakish slapstick, one nasty bonfire, and a dissolute trek across the ass-end of an all-too-familiar America.

The Other Side of MidnightSimone St. James (April 7, NAL)

London, 1925. Medium Gloria Sutter made her fortune helping the bereaved contact loved ones killed during the Great War. She’s been murdered at one of her own séances, leaving a message requesting the help of her former friend and sole rival, Ellie Winter. Ellie doesn’t contact the dead, at least, not anymore. She specializes in finding lost items. She can’t refuse the final request of the only other true psychic she has known. Ellie must delve into Gloria’s secrets and plunge back into the world of hucksters, lowlifes, and fakes. She cannot shake the attentions of James Hawley, a war veteran who has dedicated himself to debunking psychics. Ellie is tormented by nightmarish visions that herald the murders of those in Gloria’s circle. As Ellie’s uneasy partnership with James turns intimate, an insidious evil force begins to undermine their quest for clues, a force determined to bury the truth, and whoever seeks to expose it.

The Returned: A NovelSeth Patrick (April 7, Sourcebooks Landmark)

In an Alpine town reeling from a devastating accident, the families of dead wish their lost loved ones could come back…only to wake up one day to the chilling reality of their prayers being answered. But the victims of the accident are not the only ones to have returned from the dead. Their arrival coincides with a series of grizzly murders which bear a chilling resemblance to the work of a serial killer from the past. (U.S. Release)

 

WEEK TWO

New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird—edited by Paula Guran (April 8, Prime Books)

Many of the best weird fiction writers (and creators in most other media) have been profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos H.P. Lovecraft created eight decades ago. Lovecraft’s themes of cosmic indifference, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history—written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread—are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it. A few years ago, New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presented some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction from the first decade of the twenty-first century. Now, New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird brings you more eldritch tales inspired by Lovecraft.

Prison of Hope (Hellequin Chronicles #4)Steve McHugh (April 14, 47North)

Long ago, Olympian gods imprisoned the demon Pandora in a human, Hope, creating a creature whose only purpose was chaos and death. Remorseful, the gods locked Pandora away in Tartarus, ruled by Hades. Now, centuries later, Pandora escapes. Nate Garrett, a 1,600-year-old sorcerer, is sent to recapture her and discovers her plan to disrupt the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, killing thousands in a misplaced quest for vengeance. Fast forward to modern-day Berlin, where Nate has agreed to act as guardian on a school trip to Germany to visit Hades at the entrance to Tartarus. When Titan King Cronus becomes the second ever to escape Tartarus, Nate is forced to track him down and bring him back, to avert a civil war between those who would use his escape to gain power.

 

WEEK THREE

The Ways of Walls and Words: A Tor.Com OriginalSabrina Vourvoulias (April 15, Tor)

Anica and Bienvenida pass prayers and small comforts through the gaps in the prison walls. Incarcerated by the Inquisition for the faith she won’t surrender, Anica longs for solace for her family and freedom for herself. And Bienvenida, heir to her mother’s Nahua magic, now practiced out of sight of the Spanish religious authorities, will trade a great deal for the fragile chance at friendship and snippets of poetry. (Digital)

The BlondesEmily Schultz (April 21, Thomas Dunne)

Hazel Hayes is a graduate student living in New York City when she learns she is pregnant from an ill-advised affair with her married professor. More worrisome than the shock of this discovery is the apocalyptically bad timing; random but deadly attacks, all by women with light hair, have begun terrorizing the city’s inhabitants. As the days pass, it becomes clear that the attacks are symptoms of a strange contagion that is transforming blondes from all walks of life, whether CEOs, flight attendants, students, accountants, television personalities, or academics, into rabid killers. Hazel, confused, desperate, almost penniless and soon visibly pregnant, flees the city and sets out to cross the border into Canada where she will find the one woman who just might be able to help her in a world gone awry. (U.S. Release)

 

WEEK FOUR

Of Noble Family (Glamourist Histories #5)Mary Robinette Kowal (April 28, Tor)

Jane and Vincent have finally gotten some rest after their adventures in Italy when Vincent receives word that his father has passed away in the West Indies. His brother is overwhelmed, and no one else in his family can go. The couple decide to go. Jane spends enough time unable to perform glamour that towards the end of the trip she discovers that she is with child. When they finally arrive at the estate, they realize that nearly everything they came expecting to find had been a lie. The entire estate is in disarray and tensions with the local slave population so high that they are close to revolt. Vincent cannot stand to leave an estate connected with his family in such a condition. They have survived many grand and terrifying adventures, but this one will test their skills and wits more than any before, this time with a new life hanging in the balance.

The Deepest Poison: A Clockwork Dagger StoryBeth Cato (April 28, Harper Voyager Impulse)

Octavia Leander, a young healer with incredible powers, has found her place among Miss Percival’s medicians-in-training. Called to the frontlines of a never-ending war between Caskentia and the immoral Wasters, the two women must uncover the source of a devastating illness that is killing thousands of soldiers. But when Octavia’s natural talents far outshine her teacher’s, jealousy threatens to destroy their relationship, as time runs out to save the encampment. (Digital)


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, including the April 21 release, Pirate’s Alley. You can find Suzanne on Twitter and on her daily blog, Preternatura.

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