The Big Books of Spring

Posted by Sharon on March 16, 2020
big books of spring 2020
Spring ushers in blooming flowers, warmer weather, and more daylight hours for reading! We're here to help you beat any lingering winter blues with a bunch of great new books hitting shelves in the next three months.

To create our list of the season's biggest books, we focused on releases published between mid-March and early June that Goodreads members can't wait to read. How do we measure that anticipation? By taking a look at how many times a book has been added to Want to Read shelves.

For this list, we prioritized standalones and books that are first in a new series, but if you're looking for when to expect the next title in your favorite series, you're in luck! We also put together a separate list for spring's most-anticipated sequels, threequels, and so on.

From new titles by beloved authors, including Emily St. John Mandel, Elena Ferrante, Julia Alvarez, N.K. Jemisin, and Harlan Coben, to a Hunger Games prequel, these are the books readers will be talking about all spring.

Now, let's get to the good stuff—the books! Which ones are you most eager to read?
 
 
FICTION


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From the author of the wildly inventive postapocalypse tale Station ElevenThe Glass Hotel swerves between three locations—downtown Manhattan, the wilderness of Vancouver, and a massive container ship off the coast of Mauritania. A woman disappears, money changes hands, and ghosts rise up from the past and points beyond. One thing's for sure: When Emily St. John Mandel takes us on a journey, we're always along for the ride.

Release date: March 24
 


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Based on the real-life story of the daring spy who killed a Nazi with her bare hands during World War II, Code Name Hélène chronicles Nancy Wake's transformation from socialite to fearsome espionage agent with a 5 million franc bounty on her well-coiffed head. Organized by the code names associated with Wake—Lucienne Carlier, the White Mouse, Hélène, and Madame André—this novel recounts the remarkable tale of a woman who resisted and persisted.

Release date: March 31
 


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College professor Antonia Vega is looking forward to a quiet retirement, but it seems the universe has something different in mind. Her husband has died, her sister has gone missing, and a pregnant and undocumented teenager has appeared on her doorstep. The first adult novel in nearly 15 years from the acclaimed author of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Afterlife examines the obligations we owe to our human family.

Release date: April 7
 


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Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney gather to mourn and celebrate the life of their beloved father, famous author and respected professor Bill Sweeney. But when a fourth woman shows up at Bill's wake and reveals that she, too, is a Sweeney sister, the three women must question everything they thought they knew about their father's legacy and the bonds of family.

Release date: April 28
 


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A story about the things that follow us into adulthood, like it or not, All Adults Here tracks the lives of three grown children and the mother who raised them. Overachievers and underachievers both have their burdens to bear. Now a third generation of children has arrived to perpetuate—or break—old family cycles. From the author of The Vacationers.

Release date: May 5
 


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In the sleepy village of Chawton, just after World War II, an odd collection of people (doctor, widow, laborer, movie star) gather to mark the sesquicentennial of Jane Austen's death. This disparate group strives to preserve Austen's home and legacy, united only by their mutual love for her novels. Now that's a project we can get behind. Recommended for fans of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir.

Release date: May 26
 


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From the pseudonymous Italian author of the Neapolitan Novels comes a new story set in the city of Naples—or, more accurately, the two cities of Naples. Follow adolescent Giovanna as she looks for answers and identity in the refined and moneyed heights of the city as well as in its rough and vulgar depths.

Release date: June 9
 



 
MYSTERY & THRILLER


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Rose Gold Watts was a terribly sick child. Confined to a wheelchair and susceptible to every illness, she spent much of her childhood in hospitals and surgical centers. It turns out she didn't have to. Five years later, Rose's mom, Patty Watts, has just been released from prison for her unconscionable deceptions. Everyone is surprised when Rose takes her mom in. Not Rose, though. She's waited a long time for this.

Release date: March 17
 


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When Wilde is recruited to help solve the case of a missing teenage girl, he must leave his self-imposed isolation in the woods and reenter a community he's always shunned: a community full of secrets that the powerful will do anything to hide. This thrilling ride will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

Release date: March 17
 


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Marin's life was shattered when someone kidnapped her son from right under her nose. When she hires a PI to find him, she discovers instead that her husband is having an affair—with a woman who may have a sinister interest in their family. But uncovering these secrets gives Marin something to live for: revenge.

Release date: April 21
 


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From the author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation comes this twisty and twisted novel about a woman who becomes obsessed with a note she finds in the woods. It reads: "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." Except there is no body. Is there an innocent explanation? Or are we in the mind of a narrator more unreliable than we can possibly imagine?

Release date: April 21


 
HORROR


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In this creepy debut, Molly, Mae, and Elise gather to celebrate the return of their friend Julie, who's mysteriously reappeared on the second anniversary of the day she went missing. But maybe choosing a remote inn for their girls' weekend wasn't the best idea. Because whatever came back, it sure wasn't Julie.

Release date: March 24


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In this inventive novel from the author of My Best Friend's Exorcism, a group of suburban housewives united by their shared love of thrilling fiction must save their community from dark forces. Grady Hendrix says he wrote this book to "pit Dracula against my mom." We're betting on the moms.

Release date: April 7
 


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Described as the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones delivers a book that blends social commentary with nightmarish scenes as four American Indian men are stalked by a vengeful entity from their past. This book will have horror fans and literary fiction readers alike peeking through their fingers and afraid to turn out the light.

Release date: May 19
 



 
FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION


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It's said that every city has a soul. As with so many things, New York City is an exception: It has five. Now Gotham's protectors must come together to stop an ancient evil. Equal parts love letter to NYC, rollicking urban fantasy, and updated Lovecraftian horror, this new submission from three-time Hugo award winner N.K. Jemisin, author of the Broken Earth series, is destination reading.

Release date: March 24


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So you're a teenage Chosen One and you fulfill the prophecy, defeat the Dark One, and...go home? In her first adult novel, the author of the Divergent series blends sci-fi and fantasy to explore everything that comes after the tidy endings of chosen-hero narratives: PTSD, identity crises, unwanted fame. And, oh yeah, getting asked to save the world. Again. 

Release date: April 7
 


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On the harsh ice plains of Abeth the air itself sometimes freezes and survival is the only law. Yaz has always known she's destined for the Pit of the Missing, where the tribe discards those they deem too Broken to endure, but the secrets she finds there might just change everything. Sharing a world with the Book of the Ancestor series, The Girl and the Stars inaugurates an exciting new trilogy from Mark Lawrence.

Release date: April 30
 


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The year is 2049. Humanity's survival depends on genetically engineered children, incubated and raised by robots who were each programmed with a unique "mother code." But as these children grow up, their mothers begin to change, potentially endangering the entire population. With film rights already sold to Steven Spielberg, Stiver's debut asks: What makes a mother? How deep do the bonds between parents and children go?

Release date: May 5
 


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Author Max Brooks essentially invented a whole new template for the apocalypse story with World War Z. Now he brings his signature madcap blending of disparate forms to the Bigfoot legend, as discovered through a set of found journals and an extensive original investigation. Part horror story, part survival tale, part science writing, Devolution promises maximum fun immediately.

Release date: May 12
 



 
NONFICTION


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In this harrowing memoir, Sarah Ramey brings readers along into countless hospital rooms as doctors try and fail to diagnose the chronic illness that all but destroyed her health over the span of a decade. Told with dark humor and unflinching candor, Ramey's story is vital reading for the multitudes of women who've been told their pain is all in their heads. It's also prescription-worthy for just about everyone else.

Release date: March 17
 


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Comedian, author, and alpha blogger Samantha Irby checks back in with her latest collection of essays and hilarious observations on this weird American life. This time, Irby's dispatches come from white, small-town Michigan, where she's settled into a middle-class existence as a homeowner, book club hostess, and "cheese fry–eating slightly damp Midwest person." This is going to be good.

Release date: March 31
 


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Robert Kolker takes us into the midcentury home of the Galvin family, idyllic from the outside and a nightmare within. In the mid-1970s, six of the Galvins' 12 children were diagnosed with schizophrenia in quick succession. What followed is a heartbreaking story of institutionalization, scientific discovery, and a reckoning with the promises of the American dream.

Release date: April 7


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From a lost moment of American history comes Jill Watts' account of FDR's unofficial "Black Cabinet," a group of African American thinkers and activists who helped shape the policies of the New Deal. A compelling and moving account of their struggle to secure civil rights for black Americans, The Black Cabinet brings to life hidden figures whose contributions were systematically erased from the record. 

Release date: May 12
 




 
YOUNG ADULT


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From the author of Labyrinth Lost comes a sweeping story set in a world inspired by Inquisition Spain. A memory thief must return to the court that used her magic against her own people. Spies, revenge, magic, mistrust, betrayal, political intrigue, and love—this book has it all and more. Perfect for readers craving magical alternative histories, suspenseful plots, and girls who can save themselves.

Release date: April 28
 


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Writer, poet, and National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X) returns with a unique novel-in-verse about love, loss, and finding family. Camino Rios and Yahaira Rios have spent their lives separated by distance, circumstance, and their father's secrets—one in New York City, one in the Dominican Republic. But when Papi dies in a plane crash, they must navigate their new shared world together.

Release date: May 5
 


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Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins sure knows how to create a spectacle. For a long time, the only thing fans knew about this prequel was that it took place on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games. That didn't slow down the book's momentum one bit. And now we're told that the main character is none other than Coriolanus Snow himself. Well played, Ms. Collins. Well played indeed.

Release date: May 19


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Billed as Moulin Rouge meets The Phantom of the Opera, this much-anticipated debut introduces an opulent world of competitive magicians engaged in a deadly game. As the stakes keep climbing and each act grows more dangerous than the last, showgirl Kallia is determined to prove herself no matter the cost. Sure to delight fans of The Night Circus.

Release date: June 2
 


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Yadriel has two problems. One, his family is having trouble accepting that he's a boy. Two, he accidentally summoned a ghost. Well, he meant to summon a ghost, to prove that he's a real brujo, but he ended up with the wrong one. Now he's stuck with Julian Diaz, his school's resident bad boy, who's determined not to pass into death until he solves his own murder. A celebration of brash boys, queer love, and Latinx culture. 

Release date: June 9
 



 
ROMANCE


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Jamie needs a steady girlfriend to impress the partners at his firm. Laurie needs to redirect office gossip away from her humiliating breakup and her ex's pregnant new girlfriend. So these two lawyers draw up a deal—they'll pretend to date when they're with their bosses and coworkers. What could possibly go wrong?

Release date: March 24
 


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Set It Up meets HGTV in this newest offering by romance powerhouse duo Christina Lauren. Carey and James work for the Tripps, a husband-and-wife team about to catapult into home remodeling/design/lifestyle superstardom, if they can just manage to stay married to each other. To save their own jobs, Carey and James must keep their warring bosses together, all while sparks of their own start flying.

Release date: March 24


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Friend Zone phenom Abby Jimenez is back with this love story that will tug on your heartstrings. A stray pup kicks off a long-distance flirtation between two strangers, but will her past losses and his future as a touring musician keep Sloan and Jason from finding lasting harmony? Warning: contains one extremely cute dog. 

Release date: April 14


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January Andrews is a disillusioned romance writer. Augustus Everett is That Guy in your MFA program. They have nothing in common, except for a bad case of writer's block, book deadlines, and—for three months—a shared property line between borrowed beach houses. Shenanigans ensue. 

Release date: May 19
 


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Debut author Meryl Wilsner delivers a queer romance that's sure to get you talking. When the media misinterprets a picture of famous screenwriter Jo and her assistant Emma, the two women must explore their undeniable chemistry and work out the power imbalance between them, all while trying not to fan the flames of Hollywood gossip.
 
Release date: May 26
 



Which books are you most excited to read this spring? Let us know in the comments!

Check out more recent articles:
33 Highly Anticipated Books of 2020
Readers' Most Anticipated Books of March
21 Debut Authors to Discover Now

Comments Showing 1-50 of 59 (59 new)


message 1: by TMR (new)

TMR Wonderful collection of books for spring!


message 2: by Chanel (new)

Chanel Rastings Elena Ferrante is the genius everyone should read from once in a while


Ⓟⓔⓐⓒⓗⓨ Ⓚⓔⓔⓝ Ⓡⓔⓐⓓⓢ I've always loved reading on my porch in spring!


message 4: by Mairy (new)

Mairy Beautiful collection of new stories. I read The Jane Austen Society already and this book was exquisite!


message 5: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh Can’t wait for TBSS, TCWB, others!


message 6: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh And we all know we need a good book to sit with right about now. I haven’t left my house in a while


message 7: by Erin (new)

Erin Don’t judge a book by its cover, of course, but I do appreciate beautiful editions of my favorite novels (and confess I only buy new editions of a book if I like the cover) and I must say that I do not care for the current trend of flat images, usually featureless faces and bold colors that seems increasingly popular.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez


message 8: by Denise (new)

Denise Too many! I need to take out a loan to buy them all! Wow! What a selection!


message 9: by Furniture (new)

Furniture Winches verry verry good collection of books for spring


message 10: by ella (new)

ella Now I MUST go out and buy all of these! (Once they’re released) But what a way to go broke, am I right, or am I so very right?


message 11: by Alma (new)

Alma Erin- Couldn't agree more.. this style of cover art makes all books look shallow and unappealing to me. Ah well, different things for different people I guess 🤔😊


message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex Avitabile William Boyle’s City of Margins should have been included.


message 13: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne Balaban Please consider RIVER by the remarkable Shira Nayman (Awake in the Dark.)

Sitting at the nexus of American intersectionalism, touchpaper terrain where progressive women, liberal Jews, celebrity novelists, cultural sensitivities and presidential candidates increasingly engage, RIVER promises to be one of the most talked about titles of 2020. Accompanied by glowing blurbs from Jennifer Gilmore ("breathtaking") Kate Manning, and Amy Wilentz, Library Journal has already dubbed the story an "intriguing YA crossover title with buzz" for April. And what a nervy tale Nayman has woven...

Complex and fearless as its MacDowell Fellow author, RIVER is the wondrous story of a fourteen-year-old girl who meets her own mother, grandmother and great grandmother at the very same age, as well as a voyage into a young woman’s fateful psychological battle between her deepening religious identity and instinctive desire.

There's a beautiful trailer. Do check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVcWn...

River


Gailgibson.Gibsongmail.Com Oh my....so many I want to read...


message 15: by Daniel (new)

Daniel J. The best children book yet and a must-read "Healthy Wealthy and Wise" subtitle "The Little Old Man And The Magic Flute"


message 16: by Erin (new)

Erin Alma wrote: "Erin- Couldn't agree more.. this style of cover art makes all books look shallow and unappealing to me. Ah well, different things for different people I guess 🤔😊"

Yeah, I just wish that the nature of the book itself would have a greater role in determining the cover, although it also makes sense to carry similarities in style and design across a collection. But when too many books start to have the same style regardless of content, it gets to be tiresome, especially when it is one I don’t care for. Ah well, different things for different people as you say, and it is better for me to have fewer temptations to buy at present! 😅😇


message 17: by Miranda (new)

Miranda Pandemic reads 🤪🤙 We could all use a good book right about now


message 18: by Sheila (new)

Sheila Siarkiewicz Looking forward to reading The Return. Of course I do want to read all the books listed!


message 19: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Cline Yes, Miranda. I Agree!


message 20: by Kara (new)

Kara Many interesting books coming out. Some I have already preordered to make sure I am going to get them.


message 21: by Mark (new)

Mark Goldsborough Not enough mystery/thriller books. I’ve been following Goodreads for years now and always have this feeling that Goodreads is slanted towards women’s taste. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Mark


message 22: by Adele (new)

Adele I've placed quite a few of them on hold at my local library.


message 23: by Beth (new)

Beth Roberts Erin wrote: "Don’t judge a book by its cover, of course, but I do appreciate beautiful editions of my favorite novels (and confess I only buy new editions of a book if I like the cover) and I must say that I do..."

I agree: they're not the kind of books I read for one thing and I glance right over them when on bookstore display tables or BOTM picks. Now, a book I rushed to pre-order as soon as I saw the cover:

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

It doesn't hurt that I think Jones is one of the most intelligent "own voices" we have speaking right now.


message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Historical Fiction???


message 25: by Diana (new)

Diana Network Effect is coming out May 5 as well! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5...

Guys, MORE Murderbot!! FULL LEGNTH NOVEL MURDERBOT


message 26: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh RaymondKLewis wrote: "I am making a good salary from home $1200-$2500/week , which is amazing, under a year back I was jobless in a horrible economy. I thank God every day I was blessed with these instructions and now i..."

I will report the friken spammers til the day I die
....because I’m in quarantine and have nothing better to do


message 27: by Joana (new)

Joana Gomes Elizæ wrote: "I will report the friken spammers til the day I die..."
I love this comment!!! LOLOLOLOL


message 28: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh Joana wrote: "Elizæ wrote: "I will report the friken spammers til the day I die..."
I love this comment!!! LOLOLOLOL"


Thanks haha


message 29: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Kraimer Erin wrote: "Don’t judge a book by its cover, of course, but I do appreciate beautiful editions of my favorite novels (and confess I only buy new editions of a book if I like the cover) and I must say that I do..."

I totally agree! I'm a YA librarian, and I'm fairly sure my patrons will
pass by books with these boring, unattractive covers!
Elaine in Hopedale


message 30: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Brown Excited to read Darling Rose Gold . I have ordered a copy of it already !


message 31: by tyler sheedy (new)

tyler sheedy Never ever judge a book bye it's cover


message 32: by tyler sheedy (new)

tyler sheedy Your so very right


message 33: by Joseph (new)

Joseph This list is just a marketing ploy. Looking almost at each one, they were published in 2020 which tells me they are just trying to get their product out and to be purchased. Upon reading descriptions I have to say, a majority of these books sound uninteresting, dull, and doesn't even fit into what I would consider entertaining. Although each to their own on what is entertainment. Come on Goodreads, I am looking for some real "Spring Reading" that is a story about nature blossoming, people coming of age, and/or a type of new beginning. Enjoy


message 34: by Richard (last edited Mar 21, 2020 11:41AM) (new)

Richard Joseph wrote: "This list is just a marketing ploy. Looking almost at each one, they were published in 2020 which tells me they are just trying to get their product out and to be purchased. Upon reading descriptio..."

I agree. I didn't find anything interesting here either. I'm off to read Tarzan of the Apes.


message 35: by Gloria Vance (new)

Gloria Vance I am looking for more series like Matt lincoln and Wayne Stinnett help!


message 36: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh Jsyvkbk wrote: "I quit working my desk job and now, I started earning 95 bucks hourly…How I did it. I am freelancing over the internet! My last job didn’t exactly make me happy so I wanted to take a break and have..."

Spammer


message 37: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh Setijol wrote: "[ USA PEOPLE COME HERE ONLY ]

For dads and moms who prefer to stay home to take care of their family,
or rest of individuals hoping to find a way to earn some extra income in
their free time on a ..."

Still a spammer


message 38: by Elizæ (new)


message 39: by Zaam (new)

Zaam Mohamad Thanks


message 40: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh PatrickTSalcedo wrote: "I am making $92/hour telecommuting. I never imagined that it was honest to goodness yet my closest companion is acquiring $21 thousand a month by working on the web, that was truly shocking for me,..."

S p a m m e r


message 41: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh PatrickTSalcedo wrote: "I am making $92/hour telecommuting. I never imagined that it was honest to goodness yet my closest companion is acquiring $21 thousand a month by working on the web, that was truly shocking for me,..."

S P A M M E R R R R R


message 42: by Joan (new)

Joan Jsyvkbk wrote: "I quit working my desk job and now, I started earning 95 bucks hourly…How I did it. I am freelancing over the internet! My last job didn’t exactly make me happy so I wanted to take a break and have..."


Is there no moderator here?


message 43: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh Joan wrote: "Jsyvkbk wrote: "I quit working my desk job and now, I started earning 95 bucks hourly…How I did it. I am freelancing over the internet! My last job didn’t exactly make me happy so I wanted to take ..."

I dunno......


message 44: by Elizæ (new)

Elizæ eh Elizæ wrote: "Joan wrote: "Jsyvkbk wrote: "I quit working my desk job and now, I started earning 95 bucks hourly…How I did it. I am freelancing over the internet! My last job didn’t exactly make me happy so I wa..."

But I am the spam police


message 45: by Ubuntu (new)

Ubuntu Hh What is this books


message 46: by Ubuntu (new)

Ubuntu Hh Can we please just find books that are not boring


message 47: by Ubuntu (new)

Ubuntu Hh Can we hang low


message 48: by George (new)

George Really, really looking forward to Code Name Hélène and The Glass Hotel!!


message 49: by John Hartigan (new)

John Hartigan Where is the TRUE CRIME


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert Foley And one greate omission: A Little of This/A Lot of That/Robert Joseph Foley - Phenomenal collection of short fiction.


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