Our Picnics In the Sun: A Novel
By Morag Joss (Delacorte Press, $25)

Deborah and Howard Morgan have lived impecuniously and undisturbed in the English countryside for three decades when a young man takes a room at their makeshift bed-and-breakfast. Though the misanthropic couple is loathe to welcome outsiders into their world, Deborah adopts Theo as a constant companion as she avoids the home repairs that have left the Morgans’ property in shambles; she begrudgingly washes, dresses and walks Howard, who suffered a stroke years earlier. But the mysterious interloper’s motives are less than crystal clear in this tale as chilling as the dilapidated farmhouse Deborah and Howard call home.