Smith, Jennifer E. Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between.

NY: Little, Brown, 2015.

A century ago, when going to college was the exception and not the rule, even for the middle class, it wasn’t that unusual for high school sweethearts to marry and raise a family. (All my grandparents did it.) These days, though, high school romances almost never survive the couple going off to separate schools, with a whole new world filled with new people, waiting for each of them to explore. More mature high school seniors know this, and break-ups shortly after graduation are common.

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Jemisin, N. K. The Obelisk Gate.

NY: Orbit Books, 2016.

This isn’t a sequel to The Fifth Season so much as the middle section of a continuous epic narrative, and it’s easily as good as the first volume. And, like the first volume, it also won the Hugo and was nominated for the Nebula. Essun (who once was Damaya and then was Syenite) is a very powerful orogene, a manipulator of the geology of the Earth (which, one begins to suspect for various reasons, is actually our Earth, perhaps in the far future), has found sanctuary in a community that includes many others of her kind — which amazes her, since people like her are universally feared and frequently killed as children, as soon as they begin to show their abilities.

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Lovesey, Peter. Beau Death.

NY: SohoPress, 2017.

This series about Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond of the Bath CID has been generally pretty good. The first couple of volumes were problematic, frankly, but then the author got a handle on his characters and now he’s up to adventure no. 17. Diamond runs into oddball situations in nearly every book, and this one is no different.

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Sjowall, Maj & Per Wahloo. The Laughing Policeman.

NY: Pantheon, 1970.

Scandinavian police-procedural crime novels are a fixture for American lovers of mystery yarns now, but when this one was first published in the U.S. in 1970, it was considered exotic. It also won an Edgar. It was the fourth of ten novels featuring Stockholm’s Detective Superintendent Martin Beck, a rather dour character with marital problems and a teenage daughter who gives him heartburn.

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Thrash, Maggie. Honor Girl.

Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press, 2015.

This “graphic memoir” is the author’s first book, but she pretty much hits it out of the park. It’s the 1990s (I think) and 15-year-old Maggie, an Atlanta native and daughter of a federal judge, is spending the summer at the same Kentucky camp where she’s gone every year since she was little (as did her mother and her grandmother). She has friends there but she’s not really one of the popular girls. But this summer is different. This is the summer she’s blindsided by falling in love with tall, blonde Erin, a 19-year-old counselor.

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Jemisin, N. K. The Fifth Season.

NY: Orbit Books, 2015.

I finally read Jemisin’s earlier “Inheritance” trilogy a few months ago and enjoyed it immensely. I’m pleased to discover that the first volume of her more recent “Broken Earth” trilogy is of equally high quality. There’s a reason it won the Hugo and was nominated for the Nebula and several other major awards. The author’s worldbuilding skills are fully on display and the characters and the setting will rope you into the story from the first page.

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Stevenson, Noelle. Nimona.

NY: Harper, 2015.

EXPLOSIONS! SCIENCE! SHARKS! NERDS! SYMBOLISM! Yep, that’s the kind of graphic novel this is. It won a bunch of awards, not only from other artists but from its (mostly) teenage readers, as well. Lord Ambrosius Goldenloin is the Official Hero here and Lord Ballister Blackheart is the Bad Guy, but neither of them is really terrible — even though the former hacked off the latter’s arm back when they were students together. Now, Ambrosius works for the Institution while Blackheart tries to keep the kingdom’s growing police state from impinging on its subjects any further.

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Audley, Anselm & Elizabeth Edmondson. A Matter of Loyalty.

Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2017.

Elizabeth Edmondson doesn’t seem to be a very widely known author, but she’s a very good one — for all that I only discovered her stuff myself through Kindle Unlimited. She’s done a number of “suspense-romance” novels and then the “Classic English Mysteries” of which this is the third installment — and also, unfortunately, the last, since the author died in the middle of the first draft.

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Robinson, Peter. Sleeping in the Ground.

NY: Morrow, 2017.

Robinson’s first-rate mystery series featuring DCI Alan Banks of Yorkshire has always been heavy on police procedural details when it comes to crime-solving, and this 24th episode is no exception. Banks is coming home from the funeral of a woman he hasn’t seen in forty years — the first girl he was every really in love with, back in college — when he gets word there’s been a shooting at a country wedding on his patch.

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Stratford, Sarah-Jane. Radio Girls.

NY: New American Library, 2016.

It’s the fall of 1926 and young Maisie Musgrave, born in Toronto and raised in New York by whomever her actress mother was able to dump her on, has returned to her adopted home of London. Moreover, after several years as one of the barely-working poor, she has just been hired as a secretary at the four-year-old BBC up on Savoy Hill. Mostly, she’s the typing assistant to the executive assistant to the Director General, John Reith, who hates being forced to hire so many women.

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