The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge, and the Phoenix Park Murders That Shocked Victorian England by Julie Kavanagh. (Atlantic Monthly, $28.) Nineteenth-century Ireland was battered by poverty and famine, made worse by the brutalities of British rule. Kavanagh’s fascinating history chronicles the 1882 murders of Britain’s chief secretary for Ireland and top Irish civil servant by Irish nationalists in this context. John Banville wrote in his review, “Julie Kavanagh has mastered the intricacies of history,” and her book is at once admired for its scholarship and extremely enjoyable in its breed.
other black girl, by Zakia Dalila Harris. (Atria, $27.) In Harris’ powerful, genre-bending debut novel, the lone black woman at a New York City publishing company is shocked by the arrival of a new colleague. Readers can expect a major twist as they discover what they have in common. Our reviewer Oyinkan Braithwaite writes, “You may not agree with every opinion or statement made in this work, but you will turn page-by-page eager to learn about this unique story.” “If you’re open to it, in this novel you’ll review what your own prejudices might be, whether your skin is black, white or orange.”
razorblade tears, by S. A Cosby. (Flatiron, $26.99.) This sprawling, go-for-baroque pulp thriller is about two fathers — one black, one white, both ex-cons — who decide to avenge their sons’ murders. Cosby writes in a spirit of eclectic abundance and gleeful abandon and, unlike many noir writers, he does not shy away from operatic sentiments. “By the end of the novel,” Adam Sternberg wrote in his review, “I’m sure you’ll be eager for more. Thus the crime writer establishes the following: to get readers excited about the events to come. If it’s the right way to make a name for itself, Cosby already exists.”
bathroom, by P. Jay Vernon. (Dual day, $26.95.) In Vernon’s white-knuckle novel of love and infidelity, a young man’s decision to cheat on his partner sets in motion a series of nerve-shredding events. “Bath Haus” is a smart, steamy thriller with major questions about control and shame. “Vernon tells much of the story in Oliver’s voice, and herein lies the strength of the novel,” writes Daniel Nieh in his review: “A sinister narrator who staggers between a disregard for rules that oppresses his desires and one who He hates himself for wanting what he thinks he wants.
The Murder Case Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer, by Dean Job. (Algonquin, $27.95.) In this true-crime investigation, Job tells the story of Canadian obstetrician Thomas Neil Cream—who killed an unknown number of people on both sides of the Atlantic between 1870 and 1892—and law enforcement, presents fascinating thumbnail history of poison does. Preliminary forensics and surgery. WM Acres wrote in his review, “Despite its unfavorable subject matter, Job’s excellent story makes the book a pleasure to read.” “Job bolsters his narrative with charming supporting characters … and he clearly delights in the vulnerabilities for the puns of Victorian newspapers.”