Book club – must reads in March

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March (already!) and the bookshelves are groaning with the weight of brilliant book club reads.

Judge Julia Cummins had no obvious enemies. There was no forced entry to her apartment, where the bodies of her and her bodyguard are found brutally murdered. Her ex and her teenage son both have strong alibies, the neighbours heard nothing, and the killer left behind a strange calling card. It’s up to FBI agent Amos Decker to investigate … kicking off with the question as to why the judge felt she needed a bodyguard in the first place. And while he investigates, he’s also dealing with personal baggage … the suicide of a close friend, the receipt of a letter concerning a personal, and possibly life-changing, issue, and a new partner. Long Shadows is another superb American detective tale from David Baldacci. Macmillan, available at Exclusive Books

Kyla Zhao wrote The Fraud Squad at the height of the pandemic, while studying in California. Set in Singapore, it’s the story of Samantha, a working-class girl who dreams of having her own byline in a high-society magazine. Instead, she works at a drab PR firm and lives vicariously through her socialite co-worker Anya, and her new friend, Timothy, the disillusioned son of one of Singapore’s elite families. With the help of both, she infiltrates high society and her dreams all start to come true. Until the arrival of a reporter on the prowl for high-society gossip, which could see her exposed! Kyla started writing in secret, not confident she’d finish the book … then it was snapped up in a six-figure deal. Love it! Headline

Aeons and Ancients. Outcasts and crazies. Witches back from the afterlife. Suzanne Wright’s The Wicked In Me isn’t for the fainthearted. Piatkus • Legends and Lattes from Travis Baldree is all high fantasy, ancient magic, delicious pastries … and a perfect cup of coffee. Macmillan • There are two sides to every story. And then there’s the truth. In Sandie Jones’ The Blame Game, a psychologist specialising in domestic abuse – and who finds it hard to not become overly invested in her clients’ lives – helps a middle-aged man make the decision to leave his wife. But she may have gone too far. Macmillan • The dynamics are simple in the Wolf family. Kill or be killed. The owner of a business empire has been found dead … his daughter finds herself the new head … but her brothers are trying to take over. All of them have reason, and motive, to kill. Murder runs in the family of House of Wolves by James Patterson and Mike Lupica. Century • A mother disappears from a busy festival, leaving her baby alone in a pram, never to return. Full of suspense, mystery and twists, Exiles by Jane Harper is a rip-roaring read. Macmillan • From local author Ron Irwin, My Side of the Ocean revolves around an American artist and a surfer who meet when the two are tracked by a great white shark in the ocean, leaving them deeply traumatised. An affair follows … does the artist stay with the man who’s reawakened her passion for art, or return to New York with her wealthy husband? Macmillan All these titles available at Exclusive Books.

Paserene is a small Franschhoek estate with an impressive portfolio of award-winning wines in three high-end luxury ranges – The Elements, The Paserene and The Shiner – each with their own unique features. At this March Book Club we’re serving Bright 2021 from the Elements range – the drawing of a swing on the label perfectly representing Paserene’s playful side. The ideal mid-week, easy-drinking wine, it’s made from 100 per cent Chardonnay grapes, with fresh citrus-centric aromas, which carry through to the palate, this lighter styled Chardonnay is lovely on its own or with a light seasonal salad, any type of poultry dish or with fresh tuna and salmon. Available directly from the Tasting Lounge at R190 per bottle. Details: paserene.com

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