Spring reading: 5 new books by Georgia authors to toss in your suitcase

Perfect for a day at the beach or the park
Spring books
Photograph by Forrest Aguar; Styling by Michelle Norris

A Prisoner in Malta
by Phillip DePoy (Minotaur Books), available now
In 1583, 19-year-old playwright Christopher Marlowe is recruited to rescue an English spy in Malta and foil a coup to dethrone Queen Elizabeth. But a warrant for Marlowe’s arrest marks him as a target and upends his quest. In this first novel of a new series, DePoy deftly blends Elizabethan history and double-crossing espionage. And in Marlowe, the author crafts a wise-cracking, chimerical character whose creative gifts serve as his best weapon. —Anjali Enjeti

The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson (William Morrow), available now
Paula Vauss is a hard-bitten Atlanta divorce lawyer who thinks she has everything under control—until her long-estranged mother, Kai, writes to say she’s dying and a surprise half brother walks into her office. Jumping between Paula’s troubled childhood and her present-day search for Kai, Jackson weaves an engrossing detective story that explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. —Tess Malone

Suburban Gospel
by Mark Beaver (Hub City Press), available now
The son of a proud, blue-collar Southern Baptist, Mark Beaver was raised in the gospel of sin and salvation. But this debut memoir, about Beaver’s adolescence in late 1970s and early 1980s Atlanta, isn’t really about growing up in the church so much as growing beyond it. Yet Beaver never loses sight of his faith entirely; in the emotional final chapter, Beaver loses his father and welcomes a newborn daughter, recognizing her birth as the kind of holy miracle he was reared to believe in. —Jennifer Rainey Marquez

A Fine Imitation
by Amber Brock (Crown), available May 3
Wealthy socialite Vera Bellington lives in a penthouse atop Prohibition-era Park Avenue, but she’s restless, a bird in a gilded cage that she shares with a cold, detached husband. After a secretive artist, Emil, shows up to paint a mural in Vera’s apartment building, their budding relationship prompts her to question her privileged but empty life and the choices that led to it a decade earlier. —Jennifer Rainey Marquez

Over the Plain Houses
by Julia Franks (Hub City Press), available May 1
In this electrifying debut novel, set in 1930s Appalachia, farm wife Irenie Lambey contemplates how to end her pregnancy by day and wanders the mountains of North Carolina by night to escape her husband, Brodis, a fire-and-brimstone preacher. Franks’s chilling prose evokes rural Southerners’ isolation and distrust of outsiders, and the dangers inherent in a woman’s desire to flee her marriage and control her own body. —Anjali Enjeti

This article originally appeared in our April 2016 issue.