Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grove Swank, an originally self-published "(l)ight, fluffy, southern fun", has become an overnight-bestseller.
In this first of the Rose Gardner Mystery series, prone to visions, the 24 year-old clerk sees herself dead one afternoon while working at the Henryetta (AR) DMV. Always dutiful and compliant, she realizes she has wasted her life and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things (getting a cell phone, cable TV), she wants to accomplish before it is too late. When her discovers her abusive mother murdered after their heated argument, Rose becomes the prime suspect.
Coming to her aid is her hot and mysterious new neighbor Joe, who has plenty of dangerous secrets of his own. Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich fans would be delighted with this new series.
The Gates of Evangeline * by Hester Young. This dark, gripping, and atmospheric gothic thriller is "a classic whodunnit stitched with otherworldly chills.” Readers will be glad to know that this debut novel is the first in a planned trilogy.
Manhattan journalist Charlotte "Charlie" Cates has lost her young son to a brain aneurysm. Now this bereaved single mother is experiencing vivid dreams about children in peril, or worse, dead. Though not quite understanding the significance of it, she is convinced of her role in their outcome.
With the offer to participate in a true-crime investigative project, Charlie finds herself entangled in a thirty-year-old missing-child case that has never ceased to haunt Louisiana's prestigious Deveau family. Armed with an invitation to Evangeline, the family's sprawling estate, Charlie uncovers long-buried secrets of love, money, betrayal, and murder, implicating those she most wants to trust.
Readers of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold will find a new writer to watch and a promising series to follow.
* = starred review