February rich with new reads

There’s been a lot of new books out in February!

For Amish romance fans, New York Times bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter releases the final book in her Amish Cooking Class series, “The Celebration” (Shiloh Press, $15.99.)

Lyle and Heidi have taken in two children as foster parents and hopeful adoptive parents. Heidi decides the children need to be able to make friends, so she decides to host a children’s cooking class in her home. And much like her other classes, other people bring their kids who need a little something in their lives. This is a fitting end to the series, and it is good to see everyone get a happy ending.

Kathleen Fuller also finishes her Amish Letters series with “Words from the Heart” (Thomas Nelson, $15.99.)

Ivy has recently had her heartbroken and is ready to throw herself into a task, like helping out a friend clean out an attic. Noah is willing to help his aunt clear out her attic for a chance to find some treasures for his auction. The two come across a box of love letters. Will the find bring them together and get the two of them to take a chance on romance? This is a sweet story with a glimpse into the past and hope for the future.

For mystery fans, there are several new books out that will keep you guessing.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner follows a police procedural novel in “Look for Me” (Dutton, $27.) D.D. Warren’s latest case is a family killed in their home — and a 16-year-old girl Roxanne missing. Is she the culprit or a victim? And where did she go? Survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane is also on the case — Roxy had talked to her in the days leading up to the murders and disappearance. What was she frightened of? As both face off in their hunt for the truth and more details come to light, it’s a story no one will have saw coming.

A British bestseller comes to the United States in “The Girlfriend” by Michelle Frances (Kensington, $26.) Laura has a successful career, loving marriage and a great son, Daniel. While Laura might be a little too enmeshed in her son’s life, his new girlfriend, Cherry, immediately seems to want to take possession of him completely and cut Laura out of his life. And while Cherry keeps lying and making Laura look jealous and crazy, Laura knows that things are quickly becoming out of hand, and could turn deadly at any moment. A bit of a “Single White Female” vibe with the relatable Mother-in-Law versus Daughter-in-Law story, this is a new twist in the genre.

A woman tries to rebuild her life after divorce only to be the prime suspect in her ex’s and his new wife’s murder in “Tips for Living” by Renee Shafransky (Lake Union, $24.95.)

Nora left the big city, her home and her career behind when her artist husband leaves her for another woman — his pregnant mistress. Now living in a small seaside town and writing an advice column for locals bugged by the influx of tourists, she is finally learning to let go and possibly even trust a man again. But then her ex, his wife and child all move to her city, throwing her. And shortly thereafter, they are found murdered. Now Nora is suspect number one, and must try to prove her innocence, even if she is kinda glad it happened. This is a good mystery with a relatable heroine to many.

A crime noir story from England is told in “Sirens” by Joseph Knox (Crown, $27.) Aidan Waits is a disgraced cop who is being blackmailed by his superiors for his drug theft. He has to take an assignment no one wants — to infiltrate a crime lord’s organization, Zain Carver, who uses young women to deliver his product, and may be using a politician’s runaway daughter. Aidan is contacted by the politician to also find out, and he is soon pulled into a heady world of drugs, girls and danger. But after getting in so far, will he be able to extract himself? For those who enjoy the crime noir atmosphere, this is right up their alley.

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com

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