Books to watch out for in UK autumn 2012

JK Rowling's first non-Harry Potter book will inevitably attract massive interest. Meanwhile, Inspector Rebus fans will welcome the return of Ian Rankin's dour Edinburgh copl
JK Rowling … moving into adult fiction.
JK Rowling … moving into adult fiction. Photograph: Rex Features

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The death of councillor Barry Fairbrother sends the town of Pagford into shock, sparking an election "fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations" for his seat on the council. Even those who scorned Harry Potter are going to be curious about what his creator comes up with when she turns to adult fiction. 27 September, Little Brown

Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure by Artemis Cooper

Patrick Leigh Fermor, who died last year at the age of 96, was one of the travel-writing greats, a war hero who related his journeys as a young man through Europe in classics such as A Time of Gifts and Between the Woods and the Water. Artemis Cooper draws on years of interviews with the author and his friends in this much-anticipated biography. 11 October, John Murray

Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe

The author of The Bonfire of the Vanities sets his new novel in Miami, with characters ranging from the city's Cuban mayor to a nest of shady Russians and a psychiatrist who treats sex addiction. Wolfe's previous novel I Am Charlotte Simmons won him the Bad Sex in fiction prize, but his publisher is promising a "hilarious reckoning with our times". 25 October, Cape

Dear Life by Alice Munro

A new collection from Canadian short story writer Munro is a reason to rejoice. Set in the countryside and towns around Lake Huron, a landscape she returns to again and again, these stories are about "the moment a life is shaped". Munro won the Man Booker international prize in 2009, when her work was described as "practically perfect". 1 November, Chatto & Windus

Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin

John Rebus ostensibly retired in 2007's Exit Music, but the detective is back in this new novel from the Scottish author, "as stubborn and anarchic as ever". Rebus will be running into Rankin's new detective Malcolm Fox and causing problems for his protegee Siobhan Clarke as he investigates a series of apparently unconnected disappearances. 8 November, Orion