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It’s been longer than I care to admit since I’ve been a student—it’s even been a hot minute since my kids were students. But no matter how old I get, I still somehow believe that summer is magically going to present expanded reading opportunities--despite the fact that I work full-time and have all the responsibilities of adulthood now (which are vastly over-rated IMO). So every summer I compile a list of all the books I’m going to read while lounging in a hammock and drinking an ice cold beverage--and here’s what’s on my TBR list this year.

Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott (out May 30): No one explores the dark side of the female psyche quite like Megan Abbott, and her latest is an exciting addition to her body of work. Newly pregnant Jacy and her husband Jed travel to the upper Michigan peninsula for a visit to Jed’s father, Dr. Ash. At first Jacy revels in the welcoming warmth of Jed’s family, but when she has a pregnancy scare things take a darker turn. Jacy begins to feel trapped in the isolated cabin, surrounded by dense forest where the lack of cell service means she’s cut off from her mother and her doctor. Is she being paranoid? Or is something more sinister at play?

All the Sinners Bleed by SA Cosby (out June 6): Cosby is a master storyteller who’s been racking up literary awards lately, all incredibly well-deserved—I’m a huge fan of his work. He weaves Southern themes of race, religion, poverty and small-town secrets into what are just kick-you-in-the teeth stories about desperate people doing terrible things. This latest is about Titus Crown, the first Black sheriff in Charon County, VA. While the county has never experienced much crime, as a former FBI agent Titus knows all too well what kinds of secrets a small town can hide. An investigation into a school shooting begins to reveal some of Charon’s terrible secrets, and Titus has to fight to keep his own past hidden.

Final Cut by Marjorie McCown (out June 6): Joey Jessop is perfectly happy with her under-the-radar, behind-the-scenes job as the key costumer for a superhero movie. But when she finds the dead body of her ex’s new love interest and becomes the prime suspect, her life begins to fall apart—while she also has to deal with the toxic and predatory behavior of the movie’s producer/director. McCown is a former Hollywood costumer herself so this promises to be an authentic and fascinating peek behind the Hollywood curtain.

My Murder by Katie Williams (out June 6): This one sounds so unique and fun that I just can’t wait to get my hands on it. Lou is a happily married mother of a toddler—and the victim of a serial killer. When a government project brings her back to life (!!) she has to readjust to her old life while also solving her own murder. I’m a mom so I can just totally appreciate the concept of this lady doing it ALL!

The Woman Inside by MT Edvardson (out June 13): A summer reading list wouldn’t be complete without at least one Scandinavian mystery, and this one is set in Sweden. Karla is a law student (her goal is to become a judge) who supports herself by working as a housekeeper for the Rytters, a wealthy yet secretive couple. Bill is a recent widower who takes Karla in as a lodger to alleviate the financial pressures he’s facing trying to support his daughter Sally. When the Rytters are found murdered and Karla is called in for questioning, all kinds of secrets are revealed.

Zero Days by Ruth Ware (out June 20): Ruth Ware is another summer reading list “must” for me! Jack is a security specialist who returns home after an assignment to find that her husband Gabe has been murdered—and she is the police’s only suspect. She has to go on the run while trying to clear her name, and you just know you’ll finish this in one sitting.

Complicit by Winnie M Li (paperback out June 20): I missed last year’s hardcover release of this title so the paperback (which is better for hammock reading anyway) is on my summer TBR pile. This is another Hollywood mystery involving a respected film producer with some dark and sordid secrets, and a former Hollywood producer who may have a chance to exact her revenge.

The second half of Meike's list covering July and August will be here next week.

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