Jackal by Erin E. AdamsHomecoming: Liz Rocher, a Black woman who grew up in a small, predominantly white Pennsylvania town, returns for her best friend's wedding. When the bride's daughter disappears from the reception, Liz investigates, uncovering a pattern of Black girls going missing.
For fans of: atmospheric crime-horror combos that examine social issues like class and race and don't shy away from violence.
Reviewers say: "masterful and emotionally wrenching" (Publishers Weekly); "chilling and memorable" (Library Journal).
Leech by Hiron EnnesWhat it is: a gothic and surreal blend of body horror and post-apocalyptic science fiction.
The premise: When a secluded chateau's physician mysteriously dies, a doctor from the Interprovincial Medical Institute is sent to replace him and investigate the circumstances surrounding his demise.
The catch: The Institute doctor is part of a parasitic hivemind whose evolutionary advantage is jeopardized by his findings.
Blackwater Falls by Ausma Zehanat KhanWhat it is: a timely police procedural and series opener starring a Muslim woman detective from Denver Police's Community Response Unit, who's assigned a volatile case in a small Colorado mountain town.
What happens: Investigating the murder of a 16-year-old Syrian refugee who was found crucified to the door of a mosque, Det. Inaya Rahman thinks the case is linked to two missing Somali girls. But to sort it all out, she must deal with sexism, anti-Islam sentiment, and police corruption.
Reviewers say: "stunning...not to be missed" (Publishers Weekly).
Partners in Crime by Alisha RaiDon't shoot the messenger: The daughter of a con artist, accountant Mira Patel (née Chaudhary) wants a normal life. What she gets -- courtesy of her ex-lover, lawyer Naveen Desai -- is a key to her late aunt's storage locker and unwanted attention from criminal elements.
Love on the run: One kidnapping later, Mira and Naveen find themselves on a high-speed chase across Las Vegas with high stakes and even bigger risks.
Why you might like it: Full of car chases, heists, and underground poker games, this fast-paced romantic caper gives its sympathetic leads the adventure of a lifetime -- and a second chance at love.
Sinister Graves by Marcie R. Rendon1970s Minnesota: Cash Blackbear is an unforgettable 19-year-old Ojibwe college student who has psychic dreams and sometimes works alongside her mentor Sheriff Wheaton.
After the Red River floods... the body of a Native woman floats down river. To identify her, Cash deals with a strange pastor and his wife.
Series alert: Sinister Graves is the atmospheric 3rd Cash Blackbear novel, but fans of fascinating characters can start here, especially those who like William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor mysteries or Ramona Emerson's recent debut, Shutter.
Mother Brain: How Neuroscience is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood by Chelsea ConaboyThe big idea: There's no such thing as a "maternal instinct" -- anyone who becomes a caregiver, whether or not they physically give birth to their child, is subject to dramatic changes in the brain.
Why you might like it: Science journalist Chelsea Conaboy reviews the latest research, interviews parents and medical practitioners, and examines the policy implications of myths and misconceptions about parenthood while reflecting on her own experiences as a mother of two.
Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home... by Matthew F. DelmontWhat it is: a thought-provoking history that explores the essential yet overlooked roles African American soldiers played in World War II and details how they served in the face of racism.
Don't miss: Historian Matthew F. Delmont's account of the lesser-known Port Chicago Mutiny, an event that led to the desegregation of the United States Navy.
Try this next: David P. Cline's well-researched oral history Twice Forgotten: African Americans and the Korean War.
My Travels with Mrs. Kennedy by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin HillTreasure trove: Going through old belongings, retired Secret Service agent Clint Hill found photos, diaries, and other items from his time protecting Jacqueline Kennedy.
Locations include: Virginia, France, Mexico, India, Italy, Greece, and South America.
Read these next: The author's earlier memoir, Mrs. Kennedy and Me, or Jackie's Girl by Nancy McKeon, who as an Irish teen became Jackie's live-in assistant, working and traveling with her in the years following John F. Kennedy's death.
Myth America: Historians Take on the Biggest Legends and Lies About Our Past by Kevin Michael KruseWhat's inside: 20 thought-provoking essays that address misinformation about America's past, each penned by a renowned historian.
Contributors include: Akhil Reed Amar, Carol Anderson, Geraldo Cadava, Daniel Immerwahr, Erika Lee, and more.
Topics include: immigration laws, voter fraud, The New Deal and The Great Society, feminism, socialism, and the U.S.-Mexico border.
The World Record Book of Racist Stories by Amber Ruffin and Lacey LamarWhat it is: comedian Amber Ruffin and her sister Lacey Lamar's funny and thought-provoking follow-up to their bestselling You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism.
What's inside: candid accounts of absurd racist treatment the pair (and their friends and family members) have received.
Reviewers say: "a much-needed wake-up call for anyone who still doesn't believe the severity of anti-Black racism in America" (Kirkus).
The White Mosque: A Memoir by Sofia SamatarStarring: fantasy novelist Sofia Samatar (The Winged Histories), born to a Swiss Mennonite mother and a Somali Muslim father.
What it's about: Samatar's 2016 pilgrimage to Uzbekistan to visit Ak-Metchet ("The White Mosque"), a village built in the late 19th century by Russian Mennonites.
Read it for: an evocative blend of memoir and travelogue that explores faith, identity, and community.
The Greatest in the World by Ben ClantonWhat it's about: To figure out who is "the greatest," mutant potato brothers Rot and Snot take on a series of challenges, judged by their little sister Tot.
Why you might like it: Part chapter book and part graphic novel (some of the art is made using real potatoes!), this offbeat, silly story is fun to look at and fun to read.
Series alert: this is the 1st in a series from popular Narhwal and Jelly author Ben Clanton.
Whiteout by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola YoonWhat it is: a heartwarming collaborative novel about teens on a romantic adventure in the midst of a historic winter storm in Atlanta.
What happens: Stevie hurts her girlfriend Sola by claiming love is only a biological process, as her AP Chemistry research indicated. To win Sola back, Stevie enlists friends to stage a grand gesture. The scheme ends up bringing multiple couples together.
Mystery alert: The book's authors' note provides tantalizing clues about which all-star writer wrote which character.
I Don't Care by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Molly Idle and Juana Martinez-NealWhat it's about: On opposing pages, two feuding friends describe all the ways they "really don't care." They can't stay mad long, however, and by the end they've realized what's important: "I care that you're you and I'm me, and I care that we're us and I care that we're we."
Why it stands out: The rhythmic text in this thoughtful story is just right for reading aloud, and the expressive illustrations (by a pair of real-life friends) provide visual cues to underscore the emotions.
Visit Arlington Public Library and discover more great books!