Welcome back! It’s March already (how it is March already? That is insane!) and on the 8th is International Women’s day. Coincidentally, my three fantastic books of the month are by highly talented female authors. I hope you’ll check them out.

Lenses, Lust and Murder

A. M. Ialacci

Genre: Murder Mystery/Thriller

What’s in the pages? Allie Fox is a disgruntled private investigator. Her dreams of crime-solving and keeping Carteret County a safe place reduced to stalking cheating husbands and going after check kiters. But when her autistic brother Ryan discovers a body near the lighthouse, Allie finds herself slap bang in the centre of a murder investigation where everyone is a suspect, and anyone could be a victim… Even her!

Why should you read it? A.M. Ialacci does it again. Instead of a sophomore slump, the sequel to the fantastic Diamonds, Teak, and Murder is just as good if not better than its predecessor. The aptitude that Ialacci has for crafting a mystery is second to none and will keep you gripped until the very last page. Furthermore, her characterisation of Ryan and his girlfriend Frankie, is some of the best autism representation that I have ever come across in a novel.

If you are looking for a top-tier murder mystery, I would recommend Lenses, Lust and Murder. I can see it being in my top 10 reads of 2020 without a doubt!

Half of a Yellow Sun

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Genre: Romance / Historical Fiction / Drama

What’s in the pages? Half of a Yellow Sun follows three people connected by a tragic fate. Flitting between the years preceding and during the Biafran War, we follow Ugwu, Olanna and Richard as they paint a picture of the stark differences between the Nigerian class system. But as the Nigerian troops advance, and our protagonists have to run, class doesn’t matter very much anymore.

Why should you read it? Adichie has created a modern classic that should become implanted into the popular zeitgeist as soon as possible as one of the quintessential works of fiction about life during wartime.

With prose as stunning as the greatest poem and a nuance reserved for only the best writers – Adichie manages to transport you into 1960s Nigeria during Biafran War and fully immerse you in the day to day lives of her protagonists.

I highly recommend this book, if you can, go and get yourself the ‘4th Estate Matchbook Classic’ Edition – it’s superbly stunning.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Taylor Jenkins Reid  

Genre: Romance

What’s in the pages? The mythical Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo has always been secretive about her life. But now, she’s ready to spill beans, but instead of choosing a well-renowned author to tell her story, she wants the relatively unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant. No – one is quite sure why, including Monique herself.

But being summoned to Hugo’s apartment, she listens and chronicles the actress story from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to leaving show business in the 80s, and of course, her seven husbands.

Why should you read it? This book is like being transported into the Golden Age of Hollywood. The glitz, the glamour and the dark underbelly that is now the stuff of legend. The character of Evelyn Hugo is reminiscent of Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor and Marylin Monroe. This book is a fantastic period piece that still manages to feel like a modern love story due to its compelling narratives on race, sexuality, misogyny and societal norms.

If you want a book that will transport you into a simpler and make you forget about the world for a while, I highly suggest this one!

For more book recommendations follow Joel’s Instagram @neurodiversebookworm.