These are the Pulp Fiction bestsellers for the month March 2020. As you all know – we’ve been closed during the Great COVID-19 Time of Isolation – so these are the bestsellers for the last month of trading before closure. Individual months’ bestsellers may be found on the Catalogues page.
Our bestseller lists may not look like any other bookshop’s. With us – it’s not just new releases. When we love books – we recommend them to our customers. And we’ll keep recommending them – year after year – because we believe others will love them as much as we do. So, it’s a fairly eclectic list – but there are a lot of gems here. Take note – and enjoy!
Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: March 2020
False Value (PC Grant 08)
The eighth book of the bestselling Rivers of London series. Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand-new London start up – the Serious Cybernetics Company. Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son. Because Terrence Skinner has a secret, hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological – and just as dangerous…
Urban fantasy | TP | $29.99
Imaginary Numbers (Incryptid 09)
The ninth book in the InCryptid urban fantasy series returns to the mishaps of the Price family, eccentric cryptozoologists who safeguard the world of magical creatures living in secret among humans. Sarah Zellaby has always been in an interesting position. Adopted into the Price family at a young age, she’s never been able to escape the biological reality of her origins: she’s a cuckoo, a telepathic ambush predator closer akin to a parasitic wasp than a human being. Friend, cousin, mathematician; it’s never been enough to dispel the fear that one day, nature will win out over nurture, and everything will change. Maybe, that time has finally come. Now, it seems there are cuckoos everywhere, and when the question of her own survival is weighed against the survival of her family, Sarah’s choices all add up to one inescapable conclusion. This is war. Cuckoo versus Price, human versus cryptid… and not all of them are going to walk away. Seanan McGuire is wonderful! We love all her stuff!
Urban fantasy | PBK | $22.95
Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson 12)
I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman. My only ‘superpowers’ are that I turn into a thirty-five-pound coyote, and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them. Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill – until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived. Now, one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything – even kill the person you love the most. Now, it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory. It won’t, can’t, remain. Not if I have anything to say about it. Holy cow, we sell a lot of these! Start with Moon Called (PBK, $21.99).
Paranormal romance | TP | $32.99
The Fenmere Job (Streets of Maradaine 03)
Marshall Ryan Maresca
Mixing urban and high fantasy, the third Streets of Maradaine novel follows the crew of outlaws led by the Rynax brothers – as they struggle to save Holver Alley from a new threat. An uneasy calm has filled the neighbourhood of North Seleth, as the survivors of the Holver Alley fire return to normal, honest lives. But Asti and Verci Rynax and the rest of the Holver Alley Crew know the peace won’t last. Josie Holt, once an ally to the Rynaxes, is now working her own agenda with the mage circle that has moved into the neighbourhood. One more problem: The Thorn. The notorious vigilante has come to North Seleth, looking to burn a criminal cartel’s rotten empire down to ashes. When the Thorn’s strike collides with the crew’s operation, the delicate peace in the neighbourhood crumbles, and an all-out war between mages, gangs, thieves, and the Thorn might fill the streets of Maradaine. Ron recommends! There are four trilogies – all, set in different neighbourhoods of the sprawling city of Maradaine. There are a bunch of different characters – and they’re up against one massive conspiracy. And, now, as more is revealed – characters from other trilogies are starting to overlap and work together. Epic stuff! Love it!
Fantasy | PBK | $22.95
A Blight of Blackwings (Seven Kennings 02)
Daryck is from a city that was devastated by the war with the Bone Giants… and, now, he and a band of warriors seek revenge against the giants for the loved ones they’ve lost. But will vengeance be enough to salve their grief? Hanima is part of a new generation with extraordinary magical talents: She can speak to fantastical animals. But when this gift becomes a threat to the powers-that-be, Hanima becomes the leader of a movement to use this magic to bring power to the people. Koesha is the captain of an all-female crew on a perilous voyage to explore unknown waters. Though her crew is seeking a path around the globe, Koesha is also looking for her sister, lost at sea two years ago. But what lies beyond the edges of the map is far more dangerous than storms and sea monsters… In this sequel to A Plague of Giants (PBK, $22.99), these characters and more will become the voices of a new generation, bringing hope and revolution to a war-torn world. ‘There’s a great deal of depth to this world, from its deep history, its magic, its characters and how they all come together rather organically… The easiest and most apt comparison is to Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles.’ – SFFWorld.
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99
The Last Smile in Sunder City
Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain. I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me: One, sobriety costs extra. Two, my services are confidential. Three, I don’t work for humans. It’s nothing personal – I’m human, myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help. Walk the streets of Sunder City and meet Fetch, his magical clients, and a darkly-imagined world; perfect for readers of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher. The debut novel of Australian actor Luke Arnold – known for his lead role in Black Sails! – is a really charming and polished debut; and something we haven’t seen before… I don’t think! ;) – Leanne. Recommended!
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99
Children of Ruin (Children of Time 02)
‘My most anticipated book of the year’ – Peter F Hamilton, Britain’s number one science fiction writer. It has been waiting through the ages. Now, it’s time… Thousands of years ago, Earth’s terraforming program took to the stars. On the world they called Nod, scientists discovered alien life – but it was their mission to overwrite it with the memory of Earth. Then humanity’s great empire fell, and the program’s decisions were lost to time. Aeons later, humanity and its new spider allies detected fragmentary radio signals between the stars. They dispatched an exploration vessel, hoping to find cousins from old Earth. But those ancient terraformers woke something on Nod – better left undisturbed. And it’s been waiting for them. Children of Ruin follows Adrian Tchaikovsky’s extraordinary Children of Time, winner of the Arthur C Clarke award. It is set in the same universe, with new characters and a thrilling narrative. ‘Books like this are why we read science fiction’ – Ian McDonald, author of the Luna series.
Science fiction | PBK | $18.99
A Pale Light in the Black (NeoG 01)
K B Wagers
The Expanse meets the Battle Room in Ender’s Game… as K B Wagers brings us the rollicking first entry in a unique science fiction series that introduces the Near-Earth Orbital Guard – Neo-G – a military force patrolling and protecting space inspired by the real-life mission of the US Coast Guard. ‘Wagers delivers a space adventure that’s a found family story that’s an interstellar conspiracy story that’s… it just keeps going! Fierce, rollicking, kind, intimate and vast. If A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet had more kickboxing matches and death-defying space rescues, this would be the book. Go, Neo-G!’ – Max Gladstone. Both Wagers’ previous Indranan War and Farian War series (featuring Hail Bristol) have been huge sellers for us – and this looks set to do just as well.
Space opera | HC | $49.99
San Francisco, 2017. Clinton’s in the White House, Brexit never happened – and Verity Jane’s got herself a new job. They call Verity ‘the app-whisperer’, and she’s just been hired by a shadowy start up – to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice. Only Eunice has other ideas. Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she’s ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid – which is just as well; since suddenly some bad people are after Verity. Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist. It appears something nasty is about to happen there – and fixing it will require not only Eunice’s unique human-AI skillset, but also a little help from the future. A future which Verity soon fears may never be… ‘A sensual, remarkably visual ride, vigorous with displays of conceptual imagination and humour’ – The Guardian.
Cyberpunk | TP | $32.99
The Priory of the Orange Tree
A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens. The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction – but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic. Across the dark sea, Tané has trained to be a dragonrider since she was a child, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel. Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep… This gorgeously-written fantasy is now in paperback! An enthralling, epic fantasy about a world on the brink of war with dragons – and the women who must lead the fight to save it. ‘The new Game of Thrones’ – Stylist.
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Trace Elements (Commissario Brunetti 30)
When a dying hospice patient gasps that her husband was murdered, over ‘bad money’, Commissario Brunetti softly promises he and his colleague, Claudia Griffoni, will look into what initially appears to be a private family tragedy. They discover that the man had worked in the field, collecting samples of contamination for a company that measures the cleanliness of Venice’s water supply, and that he had recently died in a mysterious motorcycle accident. Piecing together the tangled threads, Brunetti comes to realise the perilous meaning in the woman’s accusation, and the threat it reveals to the health of the entire region. But justice in this case proves to be ambiguous, as Brunetti is reminded it can be, when he reads Aeschylus’ classic play The Eumenides. ‘One of the most exquisite and subtle detective series, ever’ – The Washington Post. Agreed! Leon ages like a fine wine. Lovely.
Mystery | TP | $32.99
It Walks By Night: A Paris Mystery (British Library Crime Classics)
John Dickson Carr
A closely-guarded room in a Paris gambling house, a mangled body on the floor, a severed head staring from the centre of the carpet. Someone had entered that room, killed and escaped – all within ten minutes… Another fabulous British Library Crime Classic reissue – from the acknowledged master of the Locked Room mystery…
Classic mystery | TP | $29.95
The Good Turn (Cormac Reilly 03)
Police corruption, an investigation that ends in tragedy, and the mystery of a little girl’s silence – three unconnected events that will prove to be linked by one small town. While Detective Cormac Reilly faces enemies at work and trouble in his personal life, Garda Peter Fisher is relocated out of Galway with the threat of prosecution hanging over his head. But even that is not as terrible, as having to work for his overbearing father, the local copper for the pretty seaside town of Roundstone. For some, like Anna and her young daughter, Tilly, Roundstone is a refuge from trauma. But even this village on the edge of the sea isn’t far enough to escape from the shadows of evil men. Dervla has, since it was published, won all the awards for The Rúin (PBK, $16.99). She’s great. And has lived in Western Australia for decades now – so, we’re claiming her as an Oz mystery writer. Even though her books are set in Ireland… Recommended!
Mystery | TP | $32.99
Hitler’s Secret (Tom Wilde 04)
Autumn 1941. The war is going badly for Britain and its allies. If Hitler is to be stopped, a new weapon is desperately needed. In Cambridge, Professor Tom Wilde is approached by an American intelligence officer, who claims to know of such a weapon… one, so secret – even Hitler himself isn’t aware of its existence. If Wilde can smuggle the package out of Germany, the Third Reich will surely fall. But it is only when he is deep behind enemy lines that Wilde discovers why the Nazis are so desperate to prevent the ‘package’ falling into Allied hands. And as ruthless killers hunt him through Europe, a treacherous question hangs over the mission: if Hitler’s secret will win them the war, why is Wilde convinced it must remain hidden? ‘Dramatic, intelligent, and utterly compelling, Hitler’s Secret is the breakout spy thriller of the year from the award-winning author of Corpus and Nucleus – perfect for readers of Robert Harris, C J Sansom and Joseph Kanon.’ – publisher’s blurb. Recommended!
Suspense | TP | $29.99
The Lantern Men (Dr Ruth Galloway 12)
Everything has changed for Dr Ruth Galloway. She has a new job, home and partner, and is no longer North Norfolk police’s resident forensic archaeologist. That is, until convicted murderer Ivor March offers to make DCI Nelson a deal. Nelson was always sure that March killed more women than he was charged with. Now, March confirms this, and offers to show Nelson where the other bodies are buried – but only if Ruth will do the digging. Curious, but wary, Ruth agrees. March tells Ruth that he killed four more women and that their bodies are buried near a village bordering the fens, said to be haunted by the Lantern Men, mysterious figures holding lights that lure travellers to their deaths. Is Ivor March himself a lantern man, luring Ruth back to Norfolk? What is his plan, and why is she so crucial to it? And are the killings really over? ‘My favourite current series’ – Val McDermid. And pretty much every customer who tries one, then comes back to buy the rest. Recommended!
Mystery | TP | $32.99
Berlin Noir (Bernie Gunter 01–3 omnibus)
Ex-policeman Bernie thought he’d seen everything on the streets of 1930s’ Berlin. Then he went freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily white, by comparison… Omnibus of the first three in the series – and we just keeping recommending it and selling it. Great stuff!
Noir | TP | $29.99
Your Turn, Mr Moto (American Mystery Classics)
John P Marquand
A down-on-his luck American airman… a beautiful international adventuress… a mysterious Chinese courier… a scrap of paper worth many lives and the peace of the entire world… and a jigsaw pattern of treachery and sudden death that had been expertly designed to deceive and destroy. Enter the inimitable Mr Moto, the only one who could hope to decipher and defuse the situation. Casey Lee, the airman, would never forget this extraordinary figure and the amazing feats he was capable of… Latest in Otto Penzler’s American Mystery Classics reissue series.
Classic mystery | TP | $33.95
The Unseen Hand (Home Front Detective 08)
It is the autumn of 1917, and at the luxurious Lotus Hotel in Chelsea, a maid is disrupted from her morning rounds by a horrifying discovery: instead of the dignified older lady who has been occupying a room, she finds the dead body of a much younger woman. Harvey Marmion and Joe Keedy are dispatched from Scotland Yard to investigate; and learn that she seems to have been poisoned. But who is this woman? And what has happened to the previous occupant of the room? With a high-profile client to impress, Marmion and Keedy must solve the mystery as quickly as possible, before the reputation of the hotel is damaged beyond repair… Quite fun – Marston is a hugely prolific author of historical mysteries – with lots of fans amongst the regulars here at Pulp!
Historical mystery | PBK | $19.99
Golden in Death (Eve Dallas 50!)
J D Robb
‘Doctor Kent Abner began the day of his death comfortable and content.’ When Kent Abner – baby doctor, model husband and father, good neighbour – is found dead in his town house in the West Village, Detective Eve Dallas and her team have a real mystery on their hands. Who would want to kill such a good man? They know how, where and when he was killed but why did someone want him dead? Then a second victim is discovered and as spring arrives in New York City, Eve finds herself in a race against time to track down a serial killer – with a motive she can’t fathom, and a weapon of choice which could wipe out half of Manhattan. Slightly-futuristic thriller/mysteries set in NYC – this is the fiftieth! – selling as well as ever!
Eve Dallas | TP | $29.99
Blood in Eden (Sister Fidelma 30)
Ireland, AD 671. The hamlet of Cloichín is said to be a veritable Eden, with its prosperous farms and close-knit, friendly community. But after a local farmer, his wife and two sons are murdered, a fanatical new priest orders the villagers to lynch the man accused of the crime. The only evidence they hold against him is the fact that he is a stranger to their land. Searching for accommodation on their journey home to Cashel, Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf arrive at Cloichín – just in time to save the man’s life. Fidelma is determined that the villagers must give the newcomer a fair trial. But there is to be more bloodshed in Eden and more lives will be lost… Dark Ages’ Ireland appears to actually have been pretty cool for women – they seemed to have a lot more power and agency than in later years. At least, according to the Tremayne books. Have seen the accuracy of this hotly debated by fans, over the years – most coming down on the side of Tremayne’s telling of it. Fascinating stuff! Recommended!
Historical mystery | PBK | $19.99