“Well, let’s start with Elizabeth, shall we?”

When the time comes for me to retire — a far-off forty years, if I make it that long — my plan is to open a bookshop slash café. The store will carry a wide variety of indie novels, books overflowing every shelf, and will always be filled with the smell of baking bread. You will come to my bookshop not for the selection of books — definitely that will be a draw — but the real attraction will be the grumpy sales assistants that have express permission from yours truly to be…

The overnight flight across the Atlantic was turbulent and sleepless.

If I had the chance to solve my problems overseas, personally I would choose to solve my problems in London. The weather there seems to be more my cup of tea (pun not intended) than sunny Singapore, and I could do with being able to visit a well stocked art museum more than once or twice a year.

But as anybody with a history of running away from their problems could tell you, regardless of where you choose to flee, problems don’t have to deal with visas.

For Henry Lindon…

Title: Heartbreak Incorporated
Author: Alex De Campi
Rating: 4/5

“Evie stands on the corner of Eighth Avenue, surrounded by the skitter and hustle of a midtown New York morning, uncomfortably aware that she is looking at her last best chance.”

Evie Cross is just another lost New York transplant struggling to pay rent when she stumbles her way into a temping job working for a mysterious lawyer slash private investigator called Misha. …

Title: The Saint of Lost Causes
Author: Carly Schorman
Rating: 3.5/5

“Jonathan Lambert stared at the tiny ball of fisted fingers jutting out from the newborn in a desperate show of life.”

When children start going missing in retaliation for the harm corporations cause their local communities, the rich and powerful now have to worry about what they’re going to lose. Known only as Jude, the mysterious force kidnaps children in plain sight, only to whisk them away to never be seen again.

Told from the perspective of six people, The Saint of Lost Causes follows the repercussions of Jude’s…

Title: Merlin of the Magnolias
Author: Gardner Landry
Rating: 3.5/5

“It was the kind of bright, halcyon morning that would have augured for a chamber of commerce day for Bayou Boughs had Bayou Boughs been an incorporated city.”

If I had the technological capacity to understand and analyse seismic shifts in energy, my reaction to realising something was going to happen to the city would be a lot more alarmist. But when your title character is named Merlin, it’s almost expected that something about him would be a little off.

An eccentric Houston native, old-money-borne Merlin McNaughton spends his days…

This review discusses rape, abuse and racism. If these are topics you are sensitive to, please proceed with caution.

Title: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires
Author: Grady Hendrix
Rating: 5/5

“This story ends in blood.”

Patricia Campbell may have lived the exciting life of a nurse, but now she’s just a homemaker and manages the lives of her rebellious children, workaholic husband and dementia-ridden mother-in-law.

So when she joins a new not-book-club dedicated to discussing the trashiest of crime novels — rather than high literature — she didn’t expect that her fellow book readers would become her…

Title: The Honjin Murders
Author: Seishi Yokomizo, translated by
Rating: 4/5

Every murder mystery writer longs to prove their chops with a locked room murder mystery, our narrator declares. Such novels are a test of every writer’s intelligence; the answer to these mysterious can’t be so improbable that it throws off the reader, neither can it be so simple to disgust them. The reader must be befuddled to the point of thinking that the crime is actually committed by a ghost, only to realise at the end of the novel how foolish they have been.

In The Honjin Murders, our…

Since my last Animal Crossing article, I’ve since racked up over 300 hours playing as a little island representative (and no, I’m not done with my island yet).

My growing obsession means that I’ve been so involved in the Animal Crossing community that all I see on my Twitter timeline now is just ACNH content. Whether it is pictures of other people’s islands, or memes about Raymond, I have seen it all.

Title: My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite
Rating: 3.5/5

I’ve had Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel on my to-read list for almost a year now. If my memory serves me well, I had found it while scrolling through the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2019 and thought that the concept of the book was interesting and so kept it on my to-read list. However, I recently chanced across a hardcover copy for an affordable price and decided to buy it and of course, read it.

(Aside: I rarely buy books because books tend to be $20 and over and I’ll…

Title: Magpie Murders
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Rating: 4/5

When I had picked up Magpie Murders, I had gone into it blind; I hadn’t anticipated the book to be about two murder mysteries all at once. For that reason, the prelude confused me and it wasn’t until I had gotten hooked on the vibe of Atticus Pünd and was desperately trying to find the earlier books in the series that I realised Magpie Murders is a two-in-one book.

For those looking to dive into this book, here is a little bit of context. Anthony Horowitz’s book is split into two halves…

Hui Ying

Hui Ying is an undergraduate working on her debut poetry collection and novel. Find them on Twitter at @distanceofio.

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