Cracking historical fiction, adventure, crime and fantasy this month in our selection of new releases from Kemps.

We must admit our team at Kemps really love these genres. So, if you do too then there will be plenty more suggestions and conversation to be had if you pop into the shop.

In addition to a stella line up of events for the summer including evenings with JM Hall, Ian Moore and Milly Johnson, there are more big names and great titles to be talked about in our Autumn and Winter event schedule. If history is your ‘thing’ then check out the website for details of events with Dan Jones, Victoria Hislop and Annie Garthwaite to name a few all right here in Malton! Meantime here are a few ideas for your next ‘must read’ choice.

Saltbood by Francesca De ToresSaltbood by Francesca De Tores (Image: Agency)

Saltblood by Francesca De Tores Saltblood is the debut historical fiction novel by author and academic, Francesca De Tores, who has previous works published as Francesca Haig. This book is a fictionalised story of infamous real-life pirate, Mary Read. In 1685, a daughter is born as her half-brother is dying. Mary is forced to disguise as her dead brother, Mark, to ensure Mary and her mother continue to collect inheritance money. Mary’s dual existence takes her on an unpredictable journey in the Golden Age of Piracy, as she grapples with her own gender and sexuality in a patriarchal world. Not only is it a tale of adventure, but also of resilience and self-discovery as Mary navigates her way through the navy, military and piracy, all while yearning for the sea. Along the way we meet other notorious historical figures, such as Jack ‘Calico’ Rackman and Anne Bonny, making it a perfect read for enjoyers of this historical period as well as a great introduction to these lesser-known individuals. Saltblood is a tale of adventure, loss, and love, told through the life of one of history’s most remarkable women.

9781526661333 Bloomsbury 16.99 Hardback

Maybe, Perhaps, Possibly by Joanna GlenMaybe, Perhaps, Possibly by Joanna Glen (Image: Agency)

Maybe, Perhaps, Possibly by Joanna Glen

Joanna Glen is the short-listed author of The Other Half of Augusta Hope and All My Mothers. Her third novel, Maybe Perhaps, Possibly, is an unorthodox love story centred around Addie and Sol who are two introverts with turbulent pasts and cautious hearts, both drawn to nature more than people. On the tiny remote island of Rokesby, Addie helps her mother run a women’s retreat, but years to escape to the mainland. Sol has sought refuge on a neighbouring island, grieving his mother's death and father's betrayal. Addie consoles herself by swimming in the sea, while Sol takes comfort in birdwatching, books, and the sound of the waves. With metaphorical and poetic writing about finding yourself and allowing someone else to find you, this book is riddled with metaphors of life, death, friendship, and love. Glen took inspiration from books such as Blood Wedding, one of Sol’s favourite plays, as well as The Paper Palace, and Where the Crawdads Sing, making it a perfect read for fans of these books.

9780008607418 Harper Collins 16.99 Hardback

The Turnglass by Gareth RubinThe Turnglass by Gareth Rubin (Image: Agency)

Journalist and author, Gareth Rubin, brings us an immersive and unique crime story in which two intersected novellas come together in this tȇte bȇche novel. This style of novel was beloved of nineteenth-century bookmakers. It’s a book that is two books: two intertwined stories printed back-to-back. Open the book and the first novella begins. It ends at the middle of the book. Then flip the book over, head to tail, and read the second story in the opposite direction. Both covers are front covers; and it can be read in either direction, or in both directions at once, alternating chapters, to fully immerse the reader in it.

In The Turnglass, one story is set in 1880s England in a desolate house on a remote island where visionary doctor, Simeon Lee, is called to Turnglass House to treat his deteriorating cousin, Oliver. Oliver believes he is being poisoned by his sister-in-law, Florence, who was declared insane and incarcerated after killing Oliver’s brother. The second story is set in 1930s California where Oliver Tooke is found dead in a suspected suicide. However, his friend, Ken, refuses to believe this. Ken utilises Oliver’s book, a tȇte bȇche novel, which centres around a doctor called Simeon Lee to further his investigations, revealing incarcerations in asylums and the truth behind a kidnapping. This distinctive novel delves into family secrecy spanning several generations and is perfect for fans of historical murder mysteries.

9781398514522 Simon & Schuster 9.99 Paperback

The Burial Plot by Elizabeth MacnealThe Burial Plot by Elizabeth Macneal (Image: Agency)

Elizabeth Macneal is the Sunday Times best-selling author of The Doll Factory, a gothic Victorian historical fiction, and The Circus of Wonders, a historical fantasy also set in the nineteenth-century. The Burial Plot is a twisty, gothic, Victorian thriller that emphasises nineteenth-century death culture. In 1839 London, the cemeteries are full and money made from death. Bonnie is the protagonist, who, along with her partner Crawford, operates within London’s underworld. When one of their schemes goes wrong, Bonnie is faced with a body at her feet. To avoid punishment, Crawford convinces her to assume a role of a maid in an ornate gothic mansion, owned by widower Mr Moncrieff and his daughter. Bonnie soon, however, realises she is serving a secondary purpose and begins to question Crawford's motives. A significant theme in this book is the growing issue of burying the dead due to ubiquitous death in the Victorian era and how death and mourning became a lucrative business. This macabre mystery is perfect for those who enjoy historical fiction, more so the Victorians and death culture. The Photographer by E.S Blake has similar themes regarding the profitability of death in the nineteenth-century, thus fans of Blake’s book will enjoy The Burial Plot, and vice versa.

9781529090949 Pan Macmillan 18.99 Hardback

(Image: Agency)

Hafsah Faizal is the best-selling author of the Sands of Arawiya series and returns with the first book of a crime and fantasy duology. A Tempest of Tea is a vampiric fantasy teeming with revenge and romance, but also delves into the significant theme of colonialisation. The empire seeks to wreak havoc in her homeland and steal from her people, but Arthie defies them and sets up Spindrift; a tearoom by day and bloodhouse by dark, allowing her to cater for the vampires ostracised from society. However, when her establishment is threatened, she is forced to seek help from some of the city's most skilled outcasts, including striking a deal with an alluring adversary and a vampire. Archie hatches a plan to infiltrate the glittering yet sinister vampire society and bring down the tyranny. This young adult fantasy may be enjoyed by readers of Masters of Death by Olivie Blake as it has similar vibes regarding a team of paranormal outcasts enduring a quest to find a ledger.

9781529097085 Pan Macmillan 16.99 Hardback Ember Spark and the Thunder of Dragons by Abi Alphinstone Abi Elphinstone is a British children’s author and brings us the first instalment of the Ember Spark series. Vet to magical beasts, Rusty Fizzbang, needs an assistant and Ember Spark is his recruit and is looking for adventure. Ember is sent to help a baby dragon, with her friend Arno, who has been separated from his parents. They are, however, faced with Jasper Hornseaggle, a villain set on sabotaging them. This book is filled with magic and adventure, making it perfect for 8-12-year-olds.

9781398500693 Simon & Schuster 7.99 Paperback