Fiction & Drama

New fiction in 2023


This Summer, prepare to be transported to new places and new worlds. There’s something for every reader, from cosy crime in Cumbria to a gripping suspense story in St Andrews; from a longing love story in rural Ireland to a dazzling near-future Tokyo and an uplifting village community in Gloucestershire. Here are our recent and upcoming highlights from Northbank fiction writers.


The Village Hall Vendetta follows The Bingo Hall Detectives, which was the first in Jonathan Whitelaw‘s cosy crime series series set in Cumbria.

Hal Mulberry has long dreamt of owning the iconic painting ‘Buttermere at Dawn’. And now the entrepreneur has got his hands on it, he’s determined to bring it back to the Lakes where it belongs and put it on show, turning Penrith Village Hall into a cultural hotspot – with the painting at its heart.

Journalist Jason Brazel is delighted to get the exclusive, even if his mother-in-law, Amita, thinks he’s making a fuss about an ugly piece of modern art. But when Amita uncovers a theory that the painting is cursed, she wonders just what Hal is bringing to their door: hex, hoax or dirty-deal? While the great and the good gather for the unveiling, someone’s got murder on their mind. And it’s up to Jason and Amita to find who is trying to put people out of the picture … permanently.

‘Sharp, unforgettable, hugely enjoyable’ – Emma Christie


A Blind Eye is an utterly gripping addition to the bestselling crime series by much-loved Scottish author, Marion Todd.

Harry Richards, a local solicitor, is found in his car, throat slit. DI Clare Mackay is on the case. She soon learns that Harry was not the upstanding man he seemed to be. Finding the killer should be easy. Then the wife of one of Harry’s colleagues is discovered dead in her car, and Clare realises there is something more sinister at play… Can she find out who’s behind the murders before they turn their attention to her?

‘Tartan Noir at its nail-biting, brutal, bloody best’ – Helen Fields

Sunburn, the debut novel from Chloe Michelle Howarth, is an astute and tender portrayal of first love, adolescent anxiety and the realities of growing up in a small town where tradition holds people tightly in its grasp.

Selected as an Evening Standard ‘One to Watch in 2023’

‘A deeply moving, heartfelt love story’ – Daily Mail


A damaged teenage tech prodigy meets an enigmatic waitress in a tiny Tokyo café, sparking an epic journey across Japan that will change everything, forever…

Michael Grothaus‘s Beautiful Shining People is a captivating, masterful novel with an extraordinary mystery at its heart.

‘Set against a tech heavy backdrop, Beautiful Shining People blooms into an emotional and soulful tale that reckons with the isolation we can all feel as outsiders’ – SciFi Now Book of the Month

‘Poetically written, every word of this adventure leaps off the page with passion. A wonderful and enlightening trip’ The Sun

The Women Who Wouldn't Leave cover

A gripping and uplifting story of community and friendship by Victoria Scott, the author of BA Book of the Month and LoveReading Debut of the Month Patience.

When Connie moves back in with her mother in a small rural Gloucestershire village estate, she isn’t planning to stay. But when the whole village are charged with a compulsory eviction notice, Connie knows she has to act. Together with her grumpy 80-year-old neighbour Matilda, she launches a campaign to fight the council. Can they save their home?

Published 3 August 2023. Available for pre-order now.

Praise for Grace:

‘Beautiful… Heart-wrenching. A wonderful gem of a book’ – Eve Ainsworth

‘Warm and real and heart-breaking all at the same time. I loved it’ – Clare Swatman

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