Shuffling of the Shelves – March Part Two 2023
By Lucy Shardlow and Melissa Tran
As this month draws to an end and spring (finally) arrives, the book charts continue to shift with the seasons.
Kicking things off with a page-turning time-loop thriller, we have Gillian McAllister’s Wrong Place Wrong Time taking the number two spot in the WHSmith chart. A tale of a mother who tries to prevent the murder her son has already committed as she wakes up each morning to find herself further back in the past. Can you stop a murder before it has even happened? Fans have been loving the originality and intensity of McAllister’s latest thriller, making it the most talked about thriller of the year! Further down the charts, at number eleven, we have Mother’s Boy by Patrick Gale. This beautifully crafted novel features war, the Cornish landscape and a tender relationship between a mother and her son. Gale has been described as a writer with heart, soul and naughty wit, creating a fictionalised biography that reimagines the life of poet Charles Causley.
At number three in the Waterstones chart is Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles, following Canon Daniel Clement on his search for a murderer after his calm little village is thrown into chaos. With mystery, intrigue and two sausage dogs to keep you company, this is a novel perfect for fans of The Thursday Murder Club. This week’s Waterstones chart places A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon at number five, an eagerly awaited sequel to The Priory of the Orange Tree. An epic fantasy novel with women at the forefront, Shannon writes about what happens when the Dreadmount erupts, and our hero must rise up to protect humanity. Elizabeth Finch by Julian Barnes features lower down on the Waterstones chart, about a teacher named Elizabeth Finch who battles with ideas of philosophy, culture and evolution to come to terms with who she truly is. A thought-provoking novel by the very talented Barnes.
In the Amazon Most Wished For charts this week is The Mother, a brand-new novel up-all-night thriller from T.M. Logan. Ten years ago, Heather lost everything. Now, she will stop at nothing to clear her name and to get her family back. Many critics have named this as a heart-stopping, twisting and unmissable thrill-ride! At number two is 23rd Midnight by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro; the newest edition to their Women’s Murder Club series. Detective Lindsay Boxer put serial killer Evan Burke behind bars. Now, a new killer has recreated Burke’s most infamous crimes and has disappeared without a trace. Not one to be missed, Patterson and Paetro combine cunning characters and shocking twists, to create an unputdownable crime thriller. Further down the charts is Margaret Atwood’s Old Babes in the Wood, a deeply personal collection that follows a married couple as they travel the road together. This spellbinding collection of short fiction features beloved cats, a confused snail, George Orwell, and so much more! A dazzling collection written by one of the most gifted storytellers.
Trending on social media this week, specifically on Bookstagram and BookTok is Sarah J. Maas who has just announced that her new book House of Flame and Shadow will be released in January 2024. This book will be number three in the Crescent City series. Following the huge success of the previous books in the series, House of Earth and Blood and House of Sky and Breath, fans now eagerly await the release of the next instalment. Sarah J. Maas is often on BookTok, is most widely known for her previous series A Court of Thrones and Roses and Throne of Glass. The fantasy writer has a strong fan base and dedicated fans often rave about her books and characters online. House of Flame and Shadow is now available for pre-order at all major retailers.
Author of the Month
And finally, just weeks after the release of her debut novel In Memoriam, Alice Winn takes the spot as our Author of the Month for March. It is hard to believe that In Memoriam is Winn’s debut novel with prose that is so moving and affecting; it is bound to take your breath away. Tracing the love story between two World War One soldiers, Winn brings to life the heart-breaking tragedies of war and the precious sanctuary that can be found in human connection. It’s 1914, and the idea of war seems too far away for Henry Gaunt, Sidney Ellwood and the rest of their classmates who are safely secured in their idyllic boarding school. At seventeen, they are both too young to enlist; however, both are facing their own personal battles: their consuming infatuation for each other. Many critics are already obsessed with this heart-shattering love story as Winn offers a fresh look at a subject that many of us believe we know so well.