Trends are funny things, aren’t they? What’s popular one week isn’t popular three days later. This is why I never bothered with it in my teenage years, and I probably won’t even now.
If you’ve been an avid reader for a while, I’m sure you’ll have noticed certain trends in book titles. Or even genres themselves. Example: the historical fiction market is currently SATURATED with World War II stories. That’s not my favorite era, as I’m not fond of wartime tales. But it’s what the market thinks everyone wants to read.
Today’s blog post will focus on a current titling trend: the “last” things of everything. From already published tales to ones not yet released on NetGalley, I started noticing this trend a few weeks ago when I was looking for new books to read. What is it about the “last” of something that intrigues authors?
The following ten books are about the “last” of their something, and I have to wonder just how long this particular trend will last. But who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new book to love from today’s list!
The Last Dress from Paris
Author: Jade Beer
Publication Date: 21 June 2022
Length: 380 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
London, 2017. There’s no one Lucille adores more than her grandmother. So when her beloved Granny Sylvie asks for Lucille’s assistance with a small matter, she’s happy to help. The next thing she knows, Lucille is on a train to Paris, tasked with retrieving a priceless Dior dress. But not everything is as it seems, and what Lucille finds in a small Parisian apartment will have her scouring the city for answers to a question that could change her entire life.
Paris, 1952. Postwar France is full of glamour and privilege, and Alice Ainsley is in the middle of it all. As the wife to the British ambassador to France, Alice’s job is to see and be seen—even if that wasn’t quite what she signed up for. Her husband showers her with jewels, banquets, and couture Dior dresses, but his affection has become distressingly elusive. As the strain on her marriage grows, Alice’s only comfort is her bond with her trusted lady’s maid, Marianne. But when a new face appears in her drawing room, Alice finds herself yearning to follow her heart…no matter the consequences.
The City of Light comes alive in this lush, evocative tale that explores the ties that bind us together, the truths we hold that make us who we are, and the true meaning of what makes someone family.
The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach
Author: Pam Jenoff
Publisher: MIRA (original pub date 2015
Publication Date: 13 August 2018
Length: 381 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Literary Fiction
Summer 1941. Young Adelia Montforte flees fascist Italy for America, where she is whisked away to the shore by her well-meaning aunt and uncle. Here, she meets and falls for Charlie Connally, the eldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys next door. But all hopes for a future together are soon throttled by the war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.
Grief-stricken, Addie flees—first to Washington and then to war-torn London—and finds a position at a prestigious newspaper, as well as a chance to redeem lost time, lost family…and lost love. But the past always nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.
The Last Daughter of York
Author: Nicola Cornick
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: 16 November 2021
Length: 341 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
In the winter of 1483, Francis Lovell is Richard III’s Lord Chamberlain and confidant, but the threat of Henry Tudor’s rebels has the king entrusting to Francis and his wife, Anne, his most crucial mission: protecting the young Richard of York, his brother’s surviving son and a threat to Henry’s claims to the throne.
Two years later, Richard III is dead, and Anne hides the young prince of York while Francis is hunted by agents of the new king, Henry VII. Running out of options to keep her husband and the boy safe, Anne uses the power of an ancient family relic to send them away, knowing that in doing so she will never see Francis again.
In the present day, Serena Warren has been haunted by her past ever since her twin sister, Caitlin, disappeared. But when Caitlin’s bones are discovered interred in a church vault that hasn’t been opened since the 18th century, the police are baffled. Piecing together local folklore that speaks of a magical relic with her own hazy memories of the day Caitlin vanished, Serena begins to uncover an impossible secret that her grandfather has kept hidden, one that connects her to Anne, Francis and the young duke of York.
The Last Dragon King
Author: Leia Stone
Publication Date: 29 September 2022
Length: 358 pages
Genre: Epic Fantasy
This news throws the women in my village into a tizzy. The king will be sending out the royal guard to bring women of childbearing age to his castle in Jade City.
There is only one requirement: the woman must carry enough magic to produce an heir for him.
I’m a watered-down human with a mere ten percent dragon magic lineage, I know I won’t be chosen, but for some reason the magic sniffers command me to present myself to the king as a possible wife.
I’m ready to go to Jade City until my mother tells me a terrifying secret. A secret that could get me killed… by the king himself.
The Last Bookshop in London
Author: Madeline Martin
Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publication Date: 6 April 2021
Length: 308 pages
Genre: World War II, Historical Fiction
August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and drawn curtains that she finds on her arrival are not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.
Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.
The Last Debutantes
Author: Georgie Blalock
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: 24 August 2021
Genre: Women’s Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, WWII
When Valerie de Vere Cole, the niece of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, makes her deep curtsey to the King and Queen of England, she knows she’s part of a world about to end. The daughter of a debt-ridden father and a neglectful mother, Valerie sees firsthand that war is imminent.
Nevertheless, Valerie reinvents herself as a carefree and glittering young society woman, befriending other debutantes from England’s aristocracy as well as the vivacious Eunice Kennedy, daughter of the U.S. Ambassador. Despite her social success, the world’s troubles and Valerie’s fear of loss and loneliness prove impossible to ignore.
How will she navigate her new life when everything in her past has taught her that happiness and stability are as fragile as peace in our time? For the moment she will forget her cares in too much champagne and waltzes. Because very soon, Valerie knows that she must find the inner strength to stand strong and carry on through the challenges of life and love and war.
The Last Librarian
Author: Brandt Legg
Publisher: Laughing Rain
Publication Date: 19 October 2015
Length: 374 pages
When the single remaining library of physical books is ordered closed and its “dangerous” contents burned, almost no one notices, almost no one cares.
A few did.
The impossible task of rescuing the books is up to an angry author, a brazen revolutionary, and the last librarian.
They must unravel a coded paradox hidden in the texts.
If they fail, humanity will lose more than just what is printed on those antique pages…
…if it survives at all.
You’ll love Book 1 of this thrilling series, because every chapter contains secrets and surprising twists.
The Last Kingdom
Author: Bernard Cornwell
Publication Date: 17 March 2009
Genre: Military Historical Fiction, Historical British Fiction
This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.
The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.
This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.
The Last Orphan
Author: Jeffrey Lowder
Publisher: Rockhampton Press
Publication Date: 23 November 2019
Length: 350 pages
Genre: US Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Utah Territory – August 12, 1859. Two years after his mother and father were murdered in an attack on their California-bound wagon train, little Tommy Dunning crouches in an old root cellar, quivering with cold—and raw fear. Somewhere just above him, men are searching, army men who want to take him away from the only home he remembers. Local settler Eva Dunning believes with every thread of her being that God delivered the orphan to be raised by her. She watches and prays the soldiers will not find the child. But forces beyond her control are closing in. Major James Carleton has orders to collect the boy, Eva’s husband Bennet is threatening to expose their secret, and back in Arkansas, the aging Ruby Seddon is hiring a ruthless gunslinger to help rescue her grandson, no matter the cost in blood or gold. The Last Orphan is the journey of a precocious five-year old and two strong women, each of whom believes God has chosen her to raise the boy in love and the “correct” faith tradition.
The Last Policeman
Author: Ben H. Winters
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date: 10 July 2012
Length: 322 pages
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?
Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.
The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.
The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?
Well now, that should just about do it for today’s blog post. We’ve got almost every genre represented with the “last” of all the things. Dragons, policemen, beaches and kingdoms. Did any of these tickle your fancy? Perhaps you’ll have your next weekend read from today’s list. Happy Reading!
Wow! It really is a trend. How about a book called “The last book about the last of things”?