Looking for your next unputdownable book? Jennifer McShane picks five of her upcoming favourites – all worth reading this month.
Her Kind by Niamh Boyce
This shines a light on the forgotten women of Irish history with a re-imagining of the true events of Alice Kyteler, who was accused of witchcraft in Kilkenny in 1324. A woman seeks refuge for herself and her daughter in the household of a childhood friend, and Alice gives her a new name and place as a servant. Petronelle soon realises the city is one of greed and suspicion – and with a dangerous grudge against Alice. An evocative follow-up to Boyce’s debut, The Herbalist.
Penguin Ireland, approx €15, out now
Lanny by Max Porter
Robert and Jolie want their young son Lanny to develop his innate artistic abilities, so they find him a tutor – friendly, ageing local artist Pete. What his parents don’t know is that Lanny is an eccentric boy; he becomes obsessed with the legend of Dead Papa Toothwort. Or is it a legend? Suddenly, the child goes missing. As with Porter’s debut, this is more poem than prose, but his unique voice makes it truly special.
Faber & Faber, approx €12.99, out now
Other Words for Smoke by Sarah Maria Griffin
Twins Mae and Rossa’s summer away from home becomes something extraordinary when they discover the house – and what lingers inside. Witches, the owl in the wall, the creatures that devour, and tragedy; when two women from the house suddenly go missing, no one knows why. Only the twins know about those fateful days – and they’ll never breathe a word. A haunting and beautiful literary novel, which lingers long after the final page.
Titan Books, approx €10.99, out now
Related: ‘My favourite part? Finally figuring out why the house would go on fire’
The Scholar by Dervla McTiernan
Following critically acclaimed The Ruin, this sees DS Cormac Reilly appear at a crime scene he should have never been at – only his girlfriend Emma happened to find the victim of a hit-and-run. She’s Carline Darcy, heir to Darcy Therapeutics, Ireland’s most successful pharmaceutical company. As evidence mounts, it’s clear Carline had ties to Emma, and Reilly grows increasingly uneasy – could Emma really be involved in her death? A gripping read.
Sphere, approx €13.99, out now
The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans
In 1919, Sir Edward Horner destroys his famous painting shortly before his death. No one knows why the picture-perfect moment of his two children, playing in the garden of their magical Nightingale House, was burned by its creator. A century later, Horner’s great-granddaughter Juliet inherits the house. She’s determined to uncover the secrets of her family history.
Headline, approx €16.99, out April 18
Main photograph: Pexels