The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell (Penguin, £7.99)

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell (Penguin, £7.99)

Rindell is a student of modernism, so she understands about the unreliable narrator and uses it fully, if perhaps not so subtly, in this nevertheless engaging Jazz Era tale of repressed spinster and typist Rose Baker, who is fatefully charmed by the new addition to the police precinct where she works, the sexually exotic Odalie.

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My Foreign Cities: A Memoir by Elizabeth Scarboro (Liveright, £11.99)

This is a hugely compelling memoir of Scarboro's marriage to Stephen, the boy she fell in love with as a teenager, and who had cystic fibrosis. Its compelling quality lies in the mix of personal anguish about their lack of a future together, and the frankness with which she details the highs and lows of their relationship.

The Dazzle by Robert Hudson (Vintage, £8.99)

Publicity for The Dazzle would suggest a light read, frothy and fizzing, but it is much more challenging, as Hudson cleverly and relentlessly weaves his way between the different voices of a hedonistic "set", gathered on the Scarborough coast for the 1934 giant tuna hunt. Real-life figures like Martha Gellhorn add to the fact-fiction mixture.

The Essential Robert Burns by Ann Matheson (Stenlake Publishing, £13.95)

Some may bridle at the very notion of English "translations" of Burns set alongside their original counterparts, but Matheson's labour of love, accompanied by new illustrations as well as contemporaneous ones, slivers of original manuscript and her own interpretations of the poems, will only open up the Bard to more readers, not scare them away. No bad thing.

Lesley McDowell