Whether you hop a flight to Mexico or simply pull up a lounge chair at the city pool, Colorado’s warmer months are only made better by a good book. To help you—and your kiddos—find the perfect poolside read, we asked the pros at the world-renowned Tattered Cover Book Store for their summer 2024 recs.

Here, 12 new releases ranging from slow-burn romances to shiver-inducing suspense novels to devour in the sun.

The Father She Went to Find by Carter Wilson

Penny has lived a sheltered life, which has revolved mostly around a school for savants and one-sided conversations with her vanished father. When a yearly letter from her dad surprisingly lists a return address, Penny decides to visit him to find out why he disappeared when she was a child. The premise of this mystery novel may seem basic, but the seemingly simple narrative arc belies a suspenseful, twisty road trip that helps Penny learn her truths in the real world. —Jennifer Martin, Tattered Cover buyer

Public Abstract by Jane Huffman

Jane Huffman’s debut poetry collection is an incisive exploration of addiction and illness. She writes with a private idiom that causes the act of engaging with her work to feel almost intrusive. Yet there is a specificity to her language that both invites closer examination and rewards the curious reader with myriad possible interpretations. Every image feels tailored. Every word seems plucked. —Sam Petran, Tattered Cover Colfax bookseller

Pick Up at Union Station by Gary Reilly


This is the seventh novel in the Asphalt Warrior series featuring taxi driver Brendan Murphy, aka Murph. The story, which begins with a call for a cab on a rainy night in Denver, ultimately follows Murph on an unexpectedly wild ride filled with international intrigue. Reilly’s writing is both suspenseful and funny, meaning it’s not too scary to read before bed. —Ruth Bandy, Tattered Cover Union Station bookseller

The Sky Was Ours by Joe Fassler

This engrossing debut begins with one young woman’s attempt to escape her banal existence. As she takes to the road to flee her piling bills and draining job, she encounters a charismatic recluse—and his tender-hearted son. Fassler has written a beautiful exploration of what happens when possibility meets reality. —Kathy Baum, Tattered Cover buyer

The Lamplighter by Crystal J. Bell

Every night, a dense fog descends on the whaling village of Warbler, but this is more than just a coastal mist. Whalers from the town often disappear into the fog, so it’s Temperance’s job as the lamplighter to guide them to safety. But when a young villager vanishes, Temperance is forced to face the monster head on—and it might be closer than she realizes. The Lamplighter is driven by well-written characters, a slow-burning mystery, and a creepy atmospheric setting; I recommend this to horror novel fans, whether they’re young adults or just young adults at heart. Look for the release on May 21. —Scott Patnesky, Tattered Cover Aspen Grove store manager

Fiasco by Constance Fay

The second novel in the Uncharted Hearts series, Fiasco can be read as a stand-alone work or as a follow-up book for those who loved the original, Calamity. When a powerful family hires bounty hunter Cyn Khaw to find their missing daughter, Cyn ends up back with the crew of Calamity. Forced to confront a past that she has done her best to outrun, Cyn finds herself in the middle of something much larger than a simple kidnapping. A found-family sci-fi adventure with enough spice to appeal to romance readers, Fiasco checks all the boxes. Stay tuned for the release on June 4. —Scott Patnesky

Navola by Paolo Bacigalupi

Navola marks a departure for Paolo Bacigalupi—or perhaps an arrival—in that it is wildly different from anything he has published before. As an author most well-known for his young adult fiction and his sci-fi fictional take on a drying Colorado River (The Water Knife), Bacigalupi’s latest work demonstrates his mastery of another genre entirely: epic fantasy. Heavily influenced by the politics of Renaissance Italy, Navola follows the young scion of a merchant banking family as he learns to survive within the complex web of his world’s politics. Dense with lore and nuance, this tale is one to savor, and I found myself disappointed to emerge from Navola’s pages with sequels not already at my eager fingertips. A definite must-read for fans of Patrick Rothfuss, Cate Glass, and the historical drama Medici. Preorder the book now ahead of its July 9 release date. —Kend Mullison, Tattered Cover Aspen Grove bookseller

Death Valley Duel by Scott Graham

Take the outdoors, archaeology, a grueling ultramarathon, and the reliable trope of a 100-year-old crime that connects to modern-day deaths, and you get the latest book in Graham’s National Park Mystery Series. This story is a literal race to the finish that will keep you guessing and glued to the pages. Death Valley Duel releases on June 4. —Jennifer Martin

I Was A Teenage Slasher by Stephen Graham Jones

If you somehow missed out on Mongrels, The Only Good Indians, and the masterful Indian Lake trilogy, I highly recommend you dive into Stephen Graham Jones’ extensive body of work with his soon-to-be-released I Was A Teenage Slasher. Although it stands perfectly well on its own, this book is the perfect introduction to Jones’ imagination and form. Inspired by found-footage horror works of bygone years, it is also a treatise on the slasher subgenre and an exploration of what it means to lose—and find once again—agency in one’s own story. Look for the release on July 16. —Kend Mullison

The Palisades by Gail Lynn Hanson

When an elderly widow living alone hires a former home-health aide with a questionable work history to be her “lady’s maid,” the scene is set for a can’t-put-it-down psychological drama. The only question is: Who is manipulating whom? Or rather, whose manipulations—of the sad-mad delusional variety—will prevail? As two lives unspool, the reader will laugh at the dark humor, question the meaning of companionship, and fly through the pages to find out who will outscheme the other. —Donald Rae, Tattered Cover director of ecommerce and outside sales

The Lesser Madonnas by A. Rooney

Set in an imaginary, down-at-heel Denver motel tucked somewhere along Colorado Boulevard, this collection of linked short stories limns the daily lives of 11 residents—all women—who are scraping by in a city that owes them nothing and offers them even less. They are people the rest of us notice, but don’t truly see: immigrants who are toiling at poorly paid jobs, struggling to stay one step ahead of ruin, dealing with insecurity, dodging disaster, forging friendships, and often falling on misfortune. The mood is gritty rather than grim, and there are moments of dark humor, but this compilation of pieces mostly offers a window into the other lives, the other Denvers, that are all around but often out of sight. Find this release in stores on June 18. —Donald Rae

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Here’s the thing with Mariana Zapata: She is the queen of slow-burn romances. I’m obsessed with Zapata’s work because she simply takes her time. She builds her characters’ relationships in an unhurried, leisurely way that really draws the reader in. Trust me: You won’t be able to get enough of Vanessa and Aiden in this football-player-falls-for-the-personal-assistant romance. —Bailey Noffsinger, Tattered Cover bookseller