One is murdered and it falls to another guest to find out why. Adrian Gray was an unpleasant man, greedy, capricious, bullying. Each of his six children had reason to want him dead. During their annual Christmas visit to his lonely manor house, one of them acts. The cult of Coo, a quasi-Egyptian religion, is riven by jealousies, greed and ambition which lead to murder.
DCI Serena Flanagan follows her instincts as she investigates the apparent suicide of a wealthy disabled man. The remains of a young woman are found buried beneath tree roots. Harry Probert-Lloyd, a barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has been dreading this. He knows whose bones they are and is determined to expose the guilty. CWA chairman Martin Edwards introduces 15 short stories by some of the great novelists from the golden age of crime writing. Three brilliant young men from different branches of a Jewish family all have dazzling futures until their close world collapses amid lies, jealousy and betrayal.
Suave William Hoffer is a fixer for the super rich. When a girl is found murdered in his flat, his past seems to be catching up with him — and he must revive old instincts to survive. Blinded and imprisoned Nero, god and Emperor of Rome, is helped to escape by a frightened little slave boy and plots his revenge. On a night of carnival, he finds a dead man and is plunged into the secrets and intrigues of the City on the Sea. Country girl Shilly finds love with the strangely gifted Charlotte Dymond on an isolated Cornish farm.
When Charlotte is murdered she sets out to find the truth. A wealthy philanthropist disappears from a locked Masonic hall. Lady Detective Frances Doughty is drawn into a case that involves her own family and puts her life at risk. A South African woman is carjacked. Police are dealing with the assassination of the American ambassador by a suicide bomber and cannot respond, so helicopter pilot Nia Carras and wildlife researcher Mike Dunn are called in to pursue the vehicle. Terrorists hit a multicultural event in Cardiff and follow up with more bombings.
With police resources stretched, DC Will MacReady is unhappy to be assigned to investigate the murder of a girl, but soon realises there is a link between the events. French-born Mrs Jacqueline Bentley is to hang for the poisoning of her husband. Novelist, amateur criminologist and psychological detective Roger Sheringham sets out to prove even her own lawyers wrong and unmask the real killer.
A Canadian academic, seeking the bones of the apostle Simon the Zealot, hires a discredited and psychologically damaged Afghan war hero as his bodyguard. When local crime boss Rich Goodwin is pulled from the river, it looks like suicide. But Goodwin had many enemies and as his widow Tatiana struggles to take over his business, she quickly learns that power comes at a price.
A nursemaid conceals her pregnancy then murders her newborn, but before an inquest can be held, she is found dead. Sam returns to the island of Hoy, scene of her childhood holidays, to uncover the facts surrounding the death of her undercover policeman father. The principal physician at Angel Meadow asylum is found brutally murdered. The police concentrate on the inmates, but apothecary Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain believe it an act of vengeance. A shipment of amphetamines lands on the Essex coast and sparks a series of killings.
An unproven team of detectives must solve the problem — while they also learn how to work and get on with each other. Scotland Yard Inspector Albert Lincoln, a scarred survivor of the war on the Western Front, is sent to a remote Derbyshire village to solve a series of bizarre killings. Gradually the two inquiries are drawn together and their lives are put in danger. But the past casts a long shadow and she must face a criminal cabal intent on her humiliation and destruction.
Admiral Geoffrey Horatio Fitzsimmons, landlord of a failing coastal pub, is found dead in his boat, an apparent suicide. Bar manager Amy Walpole refuses to believe the obvious and sets out to investigate. Spirited, beautiful, and unconventional Prudence Pinsent, daughter of the Master of a Cambridge college, hears of a drug smuggling ring which implicates a close relative and sets out to discover the identity of the gang who will kill to protect their secret.
A would-be teacher is found dead inside a locked classroom. DS Michael Brennan suspects her death is not the suicide it seems. Years later as a drink and drug addicted policeman, he stumbles on a vile murder and knows only someone who shared his Burmese prison could have committed the crime.
The Amazing Arden, the most notorious female illusionist of her day and renowned for sawing a man in half, is questioned by a small-town policeman over the apparent murder of her husband. An old Jewish tailor, a survivor of the Nazi death camps, is tortured and killed.
He leaves a cryptic message for his granddaughter who is forced to flee with her young son in the company of the mysterious Solomon Creed who believes he must save the boy in order to save himself. He soon discovers the last person to see the dead woman alive was a feckless young doctor — who is almost a part of his own family! Hollywood script girl Jessie Beckett investigates the killing of a cinema projectionist and finds a link to crimes committed half a world away.
But when a new friend is murdered, she will not leave until the killer is found. A prostitute with an influential client list is murdered. DS Cathal Breen finds himself blocked as the case assumes international importance. Meanwhile, his pregnant girlfriend, former WDC Helen Tozer, brings her intuition to the investigation — wanted or not!
He left nothing to his daughter but tradecraft, paranoia and enemies. Dr Tom Cage is on trial for the murder of his former black nurse and lover, but refuses help from his lawyer son Penn. A missing-person case for down-at-heel private eye William Arrowood and his friend Norman Barnett spirals into an investigation of sexual exploitation, perversion, murder and terrorism. Reporter Charlie Yates answers a plea from a former colleague and is plunged into a stew of small town corruption and murder. Inspector David Blest, unhappy when his superiors curtail his investigation into the apparent suicide of a young man-about-town, takes a break at a posh seaside hotel, where the distinguished lawyer, whose account of events leaves him dissatisfied, is also staying.
An ageing Queen Victoria asks Special Branch Commander Thomas Pitt to look into the strange death of one of her closest confidantes who, on her behalf, had been investigating the influence of a wealthy playboy on the Prince of Wales. Renegade monk, philosopher and heretic Giordano Bruno is caught in the middle of political and religious strife when he investigates the murder of a friend. On the eve of the Coronation, DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto uncover an anarchist plot while they attempt to find the killer of their wartime commander. Semi-retired mercenary Sonja Kurtz is on a mission of personal revenge, when her daughter in Namibia sends a call for help.
The student archaeologist has discovered a body which sparks a hunt for the location of a treasure that people will kill for. A DI, the subject of an internal investigation, is found burned to death. A vulnerable young woman, fresh from the care system, tries to discover the truth about the death of her friend. After the two great battles of the Years War, newly-knighted Sir John Hawkwood, hoping to make his fortune, joins a mercenary band. Out-of-town killers seem to be lining up for a crack at tough PI Mike Hammer as violence follows him and his beautiful partner Velda into the poshest of all crime scenes.
A scandalous booklet attracts the attention of spiritualist Arthur Wallace Hope — and also young Mina Scarletti, a writer of horror stories and investigator of psychic phenomena, who suspects fraud. Detective Superintendent Katie Maguire and her team are stretched to their limit. Illegal drugs in Cork are at an all-time high. A gang of dog-nappers are terrorising kennel owners. A girl leaves a nightclub — and disappears. Katie realises the three crimes may be connected. Two stories featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Littlejohn, the first a very cold case which springs to life with the discovery of a body on a lonely moor, and the other the killing of a homeopathic practitioner in a Norfolk village.
A girl is murdered at her engagement party. William Lamb must keep a deadly secret and deliver a cryptic message, but finds a morass of madness, crime and murder. Pressed man John Pearce, now a Lieutenant, faces scheming and possible death as he continues his feuds with senior officers and pursues his pregnant lover across Italy.
Journalist, social reformer, novelist and actor Charles Dickens returns to the theatre where he has been appearing to find a member of the cast shot dead and a weapon on the stage — and is arrested as prime suspect with a smoking gun in his hand. An unpopular mine owner is murdered at the height of a strike. Detective Sergeant Michael Brennan discovers that with a town full of suspects there are more questions than answers. Ex-Ranger Tucker Wayne helps a former army colleague on the run from assassins hunting her and her son and enters a hi-tech world of conspiracy, obsession and murder.
A college professor discovers his wife as the victim of an axe-killer in their farmhouse near Albany and his three-year-old daughter alone — the second tragedy in an apparently cursed house. A woman and her son are abducted. Forensic psychologist Alice Quentin must help the traumatised child uncover his memories. Janey Carlton has been killed by her own car, stolen by a junkie mugger. When her murder remains unsolved after three years, her brothers and her widower set out to gain revenge.
Inspector Gregor Reinhardt, back in Berlin after the war ends, must track down a serial killer, but his investigation is interfered with by the political interests of the occupying powers and a group of ex-Nazis. Retired Chief Inspector John Madden re-examines a ten-year-old murder amid fears that the wrong man was hanged for the crime. Joe, a former FBI agent and Marine, is a gun for hire. As London cowers under German aerial bombardment, Doctor John Watson must solve the kidnap of leading government officials and the mystery of a lost ambulance ship.
His inquiries draw the attention of powerful men, merciless in defending their reputations. Quarry follows a killer from a steamy Florida singles resort back to his own territory. But this killer is a beautiful woman and the ex-Marine wonders if he may have met his match. Pulitzer Prize—winning journalist Kevin Pearce learns an old friend is prime suspect in a string of murders. He heads home to protect the secret they share and face both an elusive killer and his own conscience.
Apothecary Jem Flockhart uncovers six tiny coffins and her search for their meaning reveals a long forgotten past and sparks a series of murders. Widowed Mercia Blakewood must gamble everything she loves to save her family and inheritance. Her quest takes her to the New World at a time of historic change. When a German conman escapes her custody, she must find him to save the job she loves. In post-Commune Paris, in the last year of the 19th century, a man with a perfect memory murders his wife.
But that is just the start of the story. When her younger sister is found dead, apparently from an OD, investigative reporter Madison Webb refuses to accept the official verdict and begins her own inquiries. These lead her into a dangerous web of state and international politics, greed and corruption. When a close friend is accused of murder, Oxford fellow and wartime SOE agent Duncan Forrester sets out to prove his innocence, following the trail of evidence from the ruins of Berlin to the forests of Norway — and discovers, that for some, the war is not over.
American lecturer Tom Wilde, a specialist in Elizabethan espionage history, is dragged into political conspiracies as Communists and Nazis vie for influence over the English throne. No-one liked tough literary agent Del Gilbert — not those he did business with, the women he cheated on, not even his partner in the agency. But when he is found shot in his office, Josh Blake must find the killer — and a missing contract potentially worth millions. Ruth Malone wakes one morning to find a window wide open and her two young children missing. Veteran Sheriff Sergeant Catchpoll must catch a 12th century arsonist who has set fires which have killed two people — and at the same time cope with a keen, but inexperienced, new Under Sheriff.
The East Anglian village of High Eldersham is unwelcoming to strangers. Several have suffered catastrophic accidents. But when a new landlord is found stabbed in his own pub, Scotland Yard are called in. A young woman is found dead on a bomb site, but she is no air raid victim. A post-mortem shows she was strangled.
DI John Jago is called in and uncovers a trail of deception, betrayal and theft. Hitman and ex-Marine Quarry finds himself a target when the would-be successor to the man he worked for — and in whose death he was involved — tries to take over. What is the meaning of the mysterious map entrusted to his bastard son Jack Wynter by Yorkist courtier Sir Thomas Vaughan before his execution? Sir Wilfred Saxonby is found dead on a train, alone in a locked first class carriage with a gun close to his body. There is no reason for suicide and a baffled Inspector Arnold calls on Desmond Merrion — a criminologist and amateur detective — to help him untangle the puzzle.
In plague-hit London, rising young lawyer and civil war intelligence officer John Grey must find out. Former Para and bare knuckle fighter turned-assassin Joe seeks vengeance on those who killed the woman he loved. A plain clothes officer is shot dead in a raid and the original suspect left in a coma. CID trainee Will MacReady is desperate to help, but ignored by his colleagues, follows his own leads that lead the detectives down a dark path.
Former IRA bombmaker Joe Tiplady, on the run from his former colleagues, becomes a target in a worldwide chain of events he does not understand. War widow turned private investigator Kate Shackleton takes an overdue holiday to visit an old school friend and her goddaughter and discovers a body — and a wall of silence. Intelligencer Thomas Chaloner must solve the killing of an unpopular banker in a Restoration London threatened by war, civil unrest and plague.
Marcus Aquila and his Tungrian cohort are sent east on a desperate mission to save a key fortress and halt a war which could destroy the Empire. Monica Wood lives with chronic pain after an accident. Drugs blur her memories. But when she finds what appears to be her own suicide note, which she has no memory of writing, she wonders who did — and why?
Bawdy Restoration England is threatened by a renewal of the war between King and Parliament. River policeman Tom Pascoe tries to track down a consignment of stolen silk and becomes involved with brutal criminals and international espionage in a case which threatens his life, his family and his country. Reporter Rosie Gilmour investigates a trail of abuse and murder from the sink estates of Glasgow to the corridors of Westminster. Maverick DC Gary Goodhew returns to duty after injury to help investigate the strange killing of a down-and-out and part-time informant and finds a chain of events which all point to an obsessed killer.
Criminal barrister Charles Holborne has escaped being framed for murder, but his life and career are in ruins. Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team must uncover the truth in a sea of lies, corruption and secrets. So is gentleman thief Adam Foole, responding to a letter from a long lost love.
The woman is brutally murdered — and when Foole discovers Pinkerton was one of the last to see her alive, their paths are bound to cross. The true story of the arrest and trial of Soviet spy Colonel Rudolf Abel by the man who defended him — and his eventual exchange for shot down U2 pilot Gary Powers.
Books similar to Seducing the Billionaire's Secretary
Somebody starts to send her parcels of amber, apparently from a looted Russian palace. Who is responsible, and in a place where everyone keeps secrets, who can she trust? A prostitute, a Flemish painter and a tower watchman all die after claiming to see a ghost. Apothecary and assistant bailiff Melchior Wakenstede sets out to find the truth behind these seemingly supernatural, but unconnected, murders. English journalist Martin Kant has a chance encounter with a mysterious woman in a Dublin wracked by violence, treachery and spies as the Irish fight for independence gathers momentum.
Victorian rakehell Lord Geoffrey Thraxton cares only for his own amusement and boasts his contempt for mortality. But in humiliating a literary critic, he creates an enemy who will change the rest of his life. A British concentration camp doctor carries out eugenics experiments on Boer prisoners.
The apparent return from the dead of a cult film icon forces media man Root Wilson — who wrote his obituary — to search for the truth. A series of twists ensure Root becomes a suspect for murder himself — as well as a possible next victim. Retired FBI undercover agent Brigid Quinn is settling into marriage and a slower life as a private investigator.
When her niece comes to live with her and she reluctantly takes on a case of what looks like accidental drowning, her world turn upside down. Journalist Sarah Quinlan investigates a decades old mystery that has forced her husband to live a lie. John Aislabie, one of the wealthiest and most hated men in England, has been threatened with murder. Thomas Hawkins is blackmailed into investigating and must hunt those responsible, or lose the woman he loves. The mummified bodies of a family and their pets found beneath the floorboards of a cottage point to an execution during the Troubles.
Father Anselm is approached by the head of a minor Order to trace a missing priest who ran from a police station while being questioned over an allegation of child abuse. Anselm finds he must again defend a man who is the only link to others who have chosen silence over their right to justice. Athenian investigator Nicolaos and priestess wife, Diotima, are hired by would-be historian Herodotus to guard him on a research trip to war-torn Egypt.
Special Forces Master Sergeant Jed Banks flies to Africa to find the truth about his conservation researcher daughter, supposedly killed by a man-eating lion, and finds himself in the frontline of the war against terror. When a young black girl, last seen in the car of a white man, is found dead, new black Atlanta policemen Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith go against the rules to investigate. Guy Collins, a British journalist visiting Lagos, stumbles into a brutal killing. A mutilated female body is discovered and Collins is picked up as a suspect. Former pianist and heroin addict Ray Stone wakes up in a cheap motel with a dead girl in his bed.
The only way he can stop the police charging him with her murder is to find the real killer. Montana private eye CW Sughrue is hired to track down a failing alcoholic author, but winds up searching for a girl missing for ten years whose trail leads him into a world of sex and crime. A technical miscarriage of justice frees wild child Janie Jenkins from prison where she is serving life for killing her socialite mother and she sets out to discover the real murderer.
Inspector Celcius Daly investigates the car crash death of a priest and is dragged back into deadly history of the Troubles — and the death of his mother. Sent to Colombia to investigate the murder of a British intelligence officer, Spanish-speaking former SBS man Luke Carlton is caught in a revenge plot with international dimensions — and London as its target. Mirabelle Bevan escapes a fire in her block of flats, but her racing driver neighbour is found hanged. When it is established he was murdered, Mirabelle investigates — and meets a wall of lies and evasion.
A group of Chicago city leaders is poisoned; a white gangster found dead and mutilated in a poor black area; an heiress vanishes. When a well-known musician is found robbed and clubbed to death in the small city of Wells, the first suspect picked up is black. The local police chief is embarrassed to discover the man is a homicide detective and reluctantly enlists his help.
A body is found in the Paddington canal basin and a woman with a hearing impairment claims it is that of her husband, who disappeared three years before. She appeals to Frances Doughty, the lady detective, to help her prove her case. In Sarah Gale was sentenced to hang for her part in her murder of another woman. An idealistic young barrister is appointed to determine if the sentence is appropriate. Reverend Marcus Hardcastle is pickling himself in beer and port in a lonely parish on the Romney Marshes. When a man is shot on his doorstep, he is plunged into a plot involving espionage, treason and betrayal.
Scotsman Campbell Lawless has ambitions to be a Scotland Yard detective. His assignments soon lead him into a dark world which threatens the very future of the Empire. Caught in a seduction too many, young William Shakespeare flees Stratford. He falls in with a band of players, but others have their eye on the young wordsmith. A story of love amid the violence and death of the Troubles, centred on two families on either side of the sectarian divide, who share a dark secret.
Once again Cambridge is full of murdered clerics and scholars. Lieutenant Stride is investigating a street killing, and discovers a link to a murder in which he found himself on the opposite side to his late wife years before. A gunman stalks the wards of a hospital. Two members of a police firearms unit assigned to find him are recently reinstated after being investigated for shooting a teenage boy.
The third has his own problems. As the stress mounts, death is only the pull of a trigger away. Commissario Carlo De Vincenzi receives an anonymous tip that a crime is to be commited at a louche hotel. Salesman Ferdinand Ravinel and his lover, Lucienne, an ambitious doctor, plan to murder his wife for the insurance money.
When her body disappears Ferdinand is plunged into a nightmare world of self doubt. A gunman kills five people, including the policeman boyfriend of his former wife, on Christmas Day, before turning the gun on himself. DI Grace Fisher traces the illegal weapon and discovers a web of police corruption, vendettas and revenge. The body of a murdered man is found in the ruins of St Pauls after the Great Fire. Minor civil servant James Marwood, son of a Protestant extremist, is dragged into treacherous waters where he crosses the path of a determined, but vengeful young woman.
Army scouts Fisk and Shoe are assigned to guide a Senator on a hunting trip, but face supernatural as well as human enemies. Sherlock Holmes is approached by a beautiful French cabaret star when her illegitimate son by an English aristocrat goes missing. A blind man stumbles on a murder.
Because he cannot see, the assassins allow him to go. He later recovers his sight and falls in love with a mysterious girl who is in some way involved in the crime. Five young Scots run away to swinging 60s London. Their adventure turns sour when they find few people can be trusted and favours always expect returns. Fifty years later three return to solve a mystery killing.
Orphaned at 16, Beatrice Scarlet marries a Proestant preacher and emigrates to America. When animals are found slaughtered, with indications of satanism, she suspects a human rather than a supernatural hand. Cookery writer Pellegrino Artusi is invited for a weekend at a Tuscan villa. When the butler is killed and the owner shot, the celebrity chef with a liking for Sherlock Holmes helps the police discover why. Monastery-raised Oswald de Lacy must grow up fast as lord of Somershill Manor.
When two newborn babies are found impaled on thorn bushes, a strange story of a giant killer bird threatens chaos. The girl George Foss fell in love with in college faked suicide so she could disappear. Twenty years later she walls into a bar with a new name to tell George she is in trouble and he is the only one who can help. Flavia Albia is preparing for her wedding. But when workmen uncover six bodies in the backyard of a downmarket bar, she and husband-to-be Manlius Faustus must unravel a dark secret.
An architect, desperate for work, accepts a commission to design hiding places for wealthy Jews in occupied Paris. When one dramatically fails, he unwilling becomes a Resistance hero. Imogen is obsessed with finding her young brother from whom she was separated by adoption.
Investigator Kate Shackleton is loaned a cottage in a Dales village by her suitor — and plunged into a decade old mystery by documents suggesting a man hanged for murder was innocent. Double agent Paul Dark hides his own past, but when his family is kidnapped, he discovers his wife has also been living a double life — and one which may hold the key to the future of war-torn Rhodesia.
In his belongings she discovers references to a tree which feeds off lies and bears fruit revealing secrets. A man collapses and dies on a busy street. His stomach contains human flesh. Inspector Cetin Ikmen and his squad must unravel the mystery. Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland struggles to be reunited with his estranged son, but his efforts are imperilled by the possession of a precious artefact he stole during the Mexican revolution. Game warden Joe Pickett takes the law into his own hands when his adopted daughter is beaten close to death and his main suspect has an unshakeable alibi.
Would-be PI Ursula Grandison and her friend and former detective Thomas Jackman face a maze of blackmail and murder as they track a clever and ruthless killer. The heiress of a billionaire industrialist is murdered in an apparent race-hate crime. Sherlock Holmes, under cover following his alleged death at Reichenbach Falls, prevents American author Henry James from commiting suicide and enlists him to investigate a suicide and a plot to destablise the United States.
Holmes and Watson are asked to investigate the vandalising of a picture at the National Portrait Gallery and are sucked into a morass of politics, crime and killings. A triple murder in a remote Scottish village leads a year-old to trial. He admits the killings, but motive remains the question, and his fate is unclear. William Falkland is again pressed into service by Oliver Cromwell, this time to find a kidnapped woman whose return is seen as vital to the parliamentary cause.
The body of a society doctor is discovered by his valet who hurries to inform a lifelong friend of the dead man. They return to find the body gone. Lady Isabelle Barleigh shoots her disabled son on his wedding eve, then turns the gun on herself. DI James Given, assigned to re-examine the case, soon finds all is not as it seems. One girl is missing, another dead. March Middleton is invited to meet her only living relative, a previously unknown uncle.
She wakes the following morning to find her uncle dead and a bloody axe in her hand. When a client mysteriously dies, private investigator Eden Grey is plunged into a web of evil while her own past threatens to come back to haunt her. Driven by this and greed, he cheats, lies and betrays his way towards his goal.
Thief-taker twins Peter and Paul Skillen battle escaped American prisoners seeking revenge and French spies intent on assassination. Detective Sergeant Lucy Black and her reformed alcoholic DI Tom Fleming become involved in a series of apparently unconnected events which eventually lead them to corruption and murder. A mysterious white woman appears in a Chinese railway camp in the winter of Ordered by his uncle to return her to the white world, a young Chinese man begins a quest for right and good. When it fails to arrive Treviot is sucked into the murky and murderous world of Tudor politics.
Royalist Dragooner William Falkland awaits death in Newgate. But an incident in his past has reached the ears of Oliver Cromwell, who sends him to investigate a series of mysterious deaths inside his New Model Army. PI Dan Starkey is hired by a former political activist to find her missing criminal son who she believes has been killed. When the much younger wife of an eminent lawyer disappears, Commisario Corada Sciancalepre must trace her, but finds himself deep in a tangled mystery. With a past that haunts him and a dead-end admin job, US Lieutenant Black is sick of the army.
Then he is tasked with a minor investigation in a desolate northern Afghan valley — and is plunged into a whirlpool of lies, madness, drugs and killing. Roman investigator Cassius Corbulo, his bodyguard and Christian slave must track down a gang of counterfeiters threatening the economic stability of the Empire. Queen Emma of Normandy, threatened by Viking invasions, a brutal and unstable husband and enemies at court, struggles to defends both her children and her crown.
Major John Watson is a prisoner of the Germans. A former adversary of Sherlockj Holmes, seeking revenge, vows to make him suffer and Watson is sent to a vicious PoW camp in the Hartz mountains. There he uncovers a murderous racket among the prisoners and puts his own life, as well as that of Holmes at risk. Holmes and Watson are begged by Prince Alexander, heir to the Dutch throne, to investigate his fears of a plot to steal his inheritance and an attempted poisoning.
Afra has returned to the poverty-stricken Bavarian home she left as a year-old. Her pregnancy places intolerable strains on her staunchly Catholic family. When she and her son are murdered, her father is convicted, but 18 years later the case is reopened. Matthew Hawkwood, former soldier, Bow Street Runner and spy, attempts to escape America, with which Britain is at war, but uncovers a plot to invade Canada.
Gambler and rake Tom Hawkins has survived Marshalsea prison only to be convicted of a murder he did not commit. Can any of his friends or patrons save him? An Australian bishop, on leave in England, decides he must learn to fly to get around his huge bush diocese. When an instructor crashes and is killed he suspects there is more to it than accident and with the help of a local policeman and a Scotland Yard detective, uncovers an international drugs ring.
The torture and brutal killing of a wealthy spinster in a quiet Scottish seaside town baffles police. As tension in Los Angeles explodes with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, its corrupt rulers bid to exploit the situation for their own profit. Dr Tom Cage is on the run, charged with the killing of the woman who was once his nurse.
During an ice storm, police chief Russ Van Alstyne and his wife, Episcopal pastor Clare Fergusson, battle a brutal drugs gang and corrupt law enforcement officers in a deadly chase to track down a seriously ill little girl, kidnapped from the scene of a double killing. The body of a woman surfaces in Loch Lomond. DI Alex Morrow must tie the crime to a drugs and money-laundering ring, the disappearance of a second woman and deadly tensions in what seems a chocolate-box town. Soft pencil drawings reflect the highly emotional moments of Kathy's big day. They were written from to Yes, indeed, this is the series I was remembering.
I thought the names might be Bridget and Michael, so that just goes to show that memory can be tricky when we are searching for these books. There are five books in this series now, apparently is is pretty well-respected. Thanks to whoever solved it. I KNEW someone would. So far, all of my stumpers have been solved but one!
I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but I do seem to remember some other details about this book Clare and Effie. Maybe this one? A corner of the artists room in Paris. Clare took it to the window. It wasn't dark yet, and pearly light revealed the painting clearly It's a bit colourless," Jamie said, coming up behind her. When her Welsh grandmother dies, leaving them the family home in Swansea, the summer holiday provides a welcome refuge and opportunity to discover more about the work of her woman artist relative, Euphemia Price - Effie of the title.
Her knowledge and admiration grow in an atmosphere of tension which somehow echoes the earlier generation's troubles. Who is more loved - brother or sister? Can a female be a proper artist? Whose fault is it that mum and dad are living apart? I think it might be Caroline Cooney 's Safe as the Grave. Caroline Cooney, Safe as the Grave. That's it! Thank you!!
I enjoy your site very much. It was about 2 orphans a boy and a girl who run away from the orphanage and take a boat through channels in Florida to Captiva Island in the Gulf of Mexico. They called themselves "eganaps" because the orphanage sign was backwards to them looking out. They meet up with an older boy or man. I vaguely remember that the girl soaked her hands in the salt water to get rid of the blisters caused by pulling the ropes on the boat. I can't remember who wrote the book. My aunt had given it to us because we had lived on Captiva Island with her.
Alas the book was lost during one move or another. I don't have a specific title, but it sounds like it could be one of Elizabeth Ladd's books. It could be the book described in the original question -- at one point the girl, Penny, soaks her feet in brine when they are sore from going barefoot, and at another point she has blisters on her hands from rowing and the boy who owns the boat puts pine oil on them.
I think my husband must have read all of Robb White's books when he was a kid and then bought copies when he was in his 20's.
- Seeing Double: Baudelaires Modernity!
- Table of contents.
- The Einstein Solution;
- Nova Scotia Books.
- Italian Contryside Landscapes (vol2) (Every Day In Life);
- An episode of ChestertonRadio.com.
Good, solid kid's books of the don't-write-them-like-that-anymore variety. I did a little research and it sounds like another book by the same author - Robb White. The book might be Our Virgin Island. I haven't read it but the descriptions sound more like the book being sought. Thanks so much for this lead - I am so excited that I may find the book again.
I have ordered four possibilities all Robb White books from the early 40's through my local public library ILL to try to pin down the right book. Can't wait to find it!! Thanks to all who helped, I finally got to reread my childhood mystery book. It was Robb White's Sailor in the Sun!
The girl's "companion" was not a boy her age, but an elderly boatbuilder! Cherry was sent from New York City to live with poor relatives on the Gulf coast of Florida because her father had died, and her mother was in a sanitorium. The uncle in Florida disliked girls, so the aunt cut her hair short and made her dress as a boy. The boatbuilder who befriended her taught her how to build boats and to sail them. A great "girl heroine" story! The parrot's name is Bluebell.
This description really tortured me - I was certain I remembered this same story. The younger girl thought that by burying the mandrake in a certain way, she would force the uncle to reveal his crime. The mandrake grew a rootlet from its crotch, giving it the appearance of an aroused man - the uncle discovered it and was freaked out and confessed. I remember the young girl was unfamiliar with the word "rape" and was wondering if it was related to "rapier.
Yes, thank you, I recognized the name of the book. It is The Saint Game. I am so pleased someone else remembered it. I don't remember the saint part of it, though you would think I would, but I definitely remembered the anatomically-correct mandrake root that triggers the uncle's confession. Another stumper solved for me - many thanks again! As soon as I read the title I remembered it. One chapter was about her cutting her brownie uniform and when mended it looked like an L which she felt showed she was left handed.
At the end of the chapter someone showed her that it was not an L but rather a 7 which stood for how old she was. I always thought it was a Bezzis and Ramona book, but I think I have read all of them over the last few years and none of them had the two parts I remember so it must have been some other book. I would have read it in the s so it would be written then or before. It's "Merry Sunshine" and that scene is from Beezus and Ramona. I posted this stumper, and you are right the Merry Sunshine part came from Bezzus and Ramona. Although my memory had it more important in the whole story.
The L 7 must be from another book which I am still trying to find out it's name -- must have been reading them at around the same time -- what happens when you read alot even as a child. I haven't read either, but I read Sal Fisher at Girl Scout Camp many, many times, and there's definitely a reference in there to Sal having slipped with scissors and cut her Brownie uniform in an earlier episode it's how she became friends with another Brownie.
I got a hold of the flying up and at camp and it does seem like the book I was thinking of was Sal Fisher, Brownie -- now just to find a copy of it. Thanks for your help this is a great service. I can't remember Title OR Author! All I can remember is the front cover soft cover had a i THINK pencil type sketch of a girl , laying on a cot , inside a tent flap was open I think writing a letter I want to say she was chewing on the pencil eraser but I'm not sure. Anyway, it was about a girl who went to camp.. I don't remember anything else really I used to love this book and can't believe I can't remember more about it!
I hope you can help! Never mind! Not 2 minutes after submitting payment to you , I found the answer in your archives. Sal Fisher at Girl Scout Camp! So , I don't need to know where my stumper is going to show up , as I already have the answer. Thanks anyway! My copy is titled Sally but the original title is Three of a Kind. It's about Sally who goes to live with an older couple on an island off of the Maine coast.
Soon, their autistic grandson comes to stay with them. The grandson's name is Benjie, the older couple's names are Rhoda and Ben. Louise Dickinson Rich , Sally aka. Three of a Kind , This is absolutely The book, the foster family is named Cooper and the little boy is Benjie, I specifically remember the incident of him seeing the birds. The story actually takes place on an island called Star Island, 7 miles off the Maine Coast. Her name is Sally. Here's the book you're looking for: Eppenstein, Louise. Sally Goes Shopping Alone.
Illustrated by Esther Friend. Cover soiled, interior bright. Illustrated by Jean Staples. Very Good. Thank you so much for responding to my search. I would very much like to have the book. It is rather ironic that I remember the story in great detail as my mother read it to me many, many times --however I did not remember the little girls name and it is the same as mine! I loved that book, and still love to go shopping alone! Can anyone recall a story like this? Sounds like Sally to me. Would you have another copy available? Does she have a velvet purse? I don't have a copy of Sally Goes Shopping Alone right now, but I have a sequel called Sally Goes Travelling Alone , in which she refers constantly to her "little red purse.
That could be her. It's amazing the impact books have on us as children that stay with us and hold such tenderness in our hearts. TY so much. I'd like to get it. Sally Goes Traveling Alone. A beautiful copy in dust jacket, dj has a few small holes on front fold-over. Front paste-down endpaper torn, otherwise VG. Lyn Cook, Samantha's Secret Room , Samantha's cousin Josh is the owner of the caravan named Nefertiti. Scholastic Canada. Samantha Sam lives on a rural property in Canada and gains a penfriend by tying a letter to a christmas tree.
The caravan belongs to a cousin who comes to visit for a family reunion. The secret room is in a root cellar. Hi again, Harriett. I just wanted to thank you for providing your Stump the Bookseller service. My mystery is solved! You're a wonderful resource, and I'll be back! Samantha's Surprise. Lippincott Co. As she pursues this hobby she begins to realise that she is relying to much on her mother to manage her life and it is time to try her wings away from the family hearth. Encouraged by her father and with her camera as constant companion, she spends a fruitful and energetic summer on Cape Cod, helping an older girl to develop a 'different' tea room.
Photography plays an important role as Judith finds new friends, a new love, widened interests, and especially, a more healthy relationship with her family.
A Literary Life
A book with a similar title that might possibly be the one wanted is Castle in the Sand , written and illustrated by Bettina , published Harper "With her usual wisdom and awareness, the author of the beloved Cocolo books tells the amusing and beautiful story of two children who make friends on a beach in Italy. Ages I read the book you are looking for! Unfortunately I can't remember the title or author either - but here are a few more details. The title was the animals' phonetic interpretation of the words "San Diego Zoo" ie, something along the lines of "Sandy Eggo Zu" etc.
It was a novel for adults, and there were definitely some human villans that the animals had to avoid, including one who came to a very bad end by eating dried corn in an abandoned Native American village and then drinking too much water stomach exploded: ugh! The cover of the hardback had an illustration of the animals including a large snake. Hope this helps! Jenner, Janann V. Not from the s, but definitely your book. A Burmese python, coatimundi, macaw and rattlesnake escape from Leftrack's Pet Emporium in NYC in search of the mythical Sandeagozu, a warm land where animals can live without cages.
I managed to ask my friend's mother about this book, and although she remembers it, she remembers it differently than he does. She also says the book was sandwich shaped, but that it was very short, and contained pages for jam and peanut butter. She purchased it at the drug store. My friend is in his mid thirties, so this was probably in the early 70's.
David Pelham, Sam's Sandwich. Looks like the right book. Sorry, but Sam's Sandwich is far too new to be the book I'm looking for. Amazon claims that the first US edition was printed in The book I'm looking for would've been published in the mids at the latest. Dorothy C. Seymour, The Sandwich. This was published in the 60s and had the repeating lines "a little of this It may be the book you are looking for. Find out more about Dorothy Seymour on the Most Requested pages.
Anonymous, Santa Claus and Lili Monk, The reason I think this might be the one besides the date is that apparently the pages are textured. This is the story of a little monkey who hitched a ride to the North Pole in Santa's bag when he was visiting the jungle looking for drums. Does Lili stay in the North Pole? Hall, Monty the Monkey, Another angle on which to look -- this does''t seem to be the book, but it might be another book by the same author. A Little Black Sambo imitation, each page of text in large type faces a full page illus.
A curious book. There is no Monty Monk character in that story, so that is not the one I am searching for. But thanks for trying! M Could this be a comic book series? Monty Monk. Entry p. Still no luck. Also, the next person listed a comic book reference. The book I am looking for was nothing like a comic book, so this leads me to another dead end. After talking with my mother and brother, they both agreed that the center of the story was Monty Monk was such a good little monkey that Santa allowed him to ride in his sleigh as he delivered toys to all the girls and boys.
Hope someone can help me find this book. I am so excited!!!!!! My mystery is solved and I have found my book! Actually, I must admit that I made an error. For several years, I thought the book I was looking for was about Monty Monk. I'm not sure where I got that idea. There is not character "Monty Monk" in the book I was looking for. Instead the character is "Lili Monk"! I took a chance, and ordered the book Santa Claus and Lili Monk from one of the used book sources that you recommend.
And lo, and behold, it was the book of my childhood! Well, not the actual book, but one just like it! I received it yesterday, sat down and reread it after nearly 40 years! I still love it, and the illustrations are just as wonderful as I remembered them! But alas, no one is given credit in the book for the illustrations nor the words! Anyway, thanks so much for offering this service! The Santa Claus Book. This is a Big Golden Book. Mine is so worn that I have no title page, so I can't give you any other information. But, I was right the first time. Pictures by Retta Worcester. New York, Simon and Schuster, It's just hard to come by these nostalgic days.
I am desperate to find this book adn would appreciate any help!!!! It is about 12 inches tall and 5 inches wide. My copy is just about worn out and I have no title page. I think this is the same book described in C It is certainly a wonderful Christmas book. Another was about a girl who got so upset when they had to take the tree down that they planted one outside.
I would be very surprised it you can help, but thought I would try. I had the book in the 's. Might this be it? I'm quite familiar with the story The Shiniest Star by Beth Vardon, and I'm sorry to say that this great story is not the one described. The Shiniest Star is about three little angels who polish their stars in heaven. The hard working, humble Touselhead's star becomes the Christmas star. It contains several Christmas stories.
One is "Susie's Christmas Star" in which Susie goes to the store and buys a star and candy canes for her family's tree, but loses them on the way home. She follows footprints and finds that a very poor family has found the candy canes and used them to decorate their tree. Seeing this, she generously pushes her star through their window too. When she goes home a real star is shining through the window over her family's tree. I don't recall the title or author and neither does my father but I can still picture the book illustrations and story in my mind. I was a child in the 's so the book had to be written before probably.
I have not had any success using the search features as I seem to only get later published books. How do I go about finding this book which may be out of print? The gist of the book is about a young girl who has a few cents. She goes to the corner candy store and purchases 10 candy canes which the shopkeeper puts in a paper bag. She leaves the store and begins home trudging through the snow covered streets, her boots leaving footprints.
When she gets home, she discovers her bag had a hole in it and all her candy canes are gone. She retraces her steps and follows the path of her lost candy canes which had fallen one-by-one leaving imprints in the snow. She discovers that each one has been picked up so she follows the trail of the "thief" only to discover that it leads to an orphange. Standing in the street outside the orphanage, she looks inside the window and sees all the children happily looking at the Christmas tree.
On the Christmas tree are her candy canes! I'm not sure how it ends, but I believe she is happy about where her candy canes have ended up. This book has such good memories for me that I would like to find it again. Please give me some suggestions about how I can go about finding this book. Thank you. I have been unable to find this story published alone, but here's an anthology in which it appears.
Thanks for the tip, Barb! Illustrated by Retta Worcester. Simon and Schuster, A Big Golden Book. One of the stories is "Susie's Christmas Star" in which Susie goes to the store and buys a star and candy canes for her family's tree, but loses them on the way home. The last story in the book was about a little girl named Mary Berry who hated to see the Christmas tree taken down.
There was also a story about a penny walk and one about a woman who made edible mittens of yarn colored with candy. It's in Solved Mysteries. Thanks though. Possibly this one? It definitely contains "Granny Glittens and Her Amazing Mittens" but I don't own a copy, so I can't tell you what else is in the book, except that according to various online sellers, it contains songs, poems including "A Visit From St.
Nicholas" , puzzles including a maze and crossword puzzle , a pop-up Christmas tree, stories, jokes and things to do for Christmas. Lots of pictures in full color and in black and white. The last page contains answers to the puzzles and riddles. Clean, intact copies are expensive, but books with a missing Christmas tree and writing on the pages can be quite cheap. Thank you all so much--I would never have found it without your help.
I love this book but it was given away by mistake Over the years friends and family have sent me numerous books, hoping it would be the one I was missing. The stories I recall are "Granny Glittens and her Amazing Mittens," "The Penney Walk," "A Shoe for Blitzen," "Christmas Through a Knothole," and a story about a young "jester-type of guy who was able to accompany Santa in his sleigh on Christmas Eve - I only remember that he had on leggings and one side was red and the other green or some variety of mixed colors.
I was only about 6 when the book was given to me but I can remember the cover had Santa with a huge bag on his back and the toys were falling out of it. If I recall correctly, the picture carried over onto the back cover. I also think of it as more of an 8" x 10" or more of a larger but not thick book. Oh, and the background of the cover seemed to be a pretty light blue. The stories were charming and I remember that the cover had like a "film" that covered it -- I had handled the book so much that a piece of the opaque cover was tearing away.
The pages were very smooth, I can still feel my hands sweeping over the pages. I lived in Ohio at the time and the person who gave it to me lived there as well, so it wasn't like some item that was only available on the coast. Anyway, I miss it terribly and have long lamented that it got away from me.
This is in the Solved Stumpers section. Front cover is light blue, showing Santa putting toys into an overflowing sack. Toys and elves are on the snow around the sack, and continue onto the back cover. Forty-Three stories and poems, include Mr. Your mention of Granny Glittens rang a bell! Hope this is your answer. The later editions of this book have a cover depicting Santa with an overflowing gift sack as he rides on a sled with some children. The original edition has a cover with Santa and two angels on his lap. This book is about 8 x 10 size and has the story "Granny Glittens and Her Amazing Mittens" but I don't see in my copy of the book the other stories the seeker mentions.
Stories in this book include "Mr. This sounds like it could be one of the Santa Mouse books by Michael Brown. M 27 and N 9 sound like the same book. Thank you, Thank you, Thank youI would like to know if you have this book to sell me or a way for me to find it. This book was read to me by my Father when I was a child in the 50's 55??
Thanking You in Advavce. It was a poem my grandmother used to recite. Unfortunately, my mother doesn't know the title or the author, but the fact that Grandma recited it to her children, then her grandchildren, puts it back to the s--probably earlier. Some of Grandma's stories predated Grandma. I'm having the devil's own time finding a story she used to recite--we've figured it originated in a magazine printed before she was born; more on that later.
Keyword searches on this not one thing more, stocking, mouse, Santa Claus, etc. Maybe someone can do better with them than I. If this was printed, either by itself or as part of a larger book, I would very much like to know where, and how to get a copy! If this was made into a children's book, perhaps having the original author will help. The book which is identified as from the "Santa Mouse" series is actually the same poem I sent to solve stumper N9. They should both be listed under that title. Well, it sure helps to have the correct spelling of the author's name! I still didn't find anything to indicate that Santa Claus and the Mouse was a picture book by itself and want to know if it was but there were all sorts of collections of poems, including holiday poems, and of course it could have appeared in someone else's collection of poems.
I also did a search on Google with "Emilie Poulsson" and "Santa Claus" and still couldn't find anything like Santa Claus and the Mouse as a picture book, but did find a story called How Mrs. Does anyone know if this story featured a sugar plum sleigh? It might be the one I'm looking for. I think "How Mrs. It was first published in a womens' magazine, Don't remember any particular mention in it of a sugar plum sleigh. Recently I was going through a box of books and found a very old one by this author which must have belonged to my grandmother.
Sure enough, the poem was in it! I'd never have known to look for it there had I not been informed of the author's name. Barbara Chapman, The Wonderful Mistake, When I read this "memory", I thought I'd read it before. The orphans decide to make a nativity scene and the fancy doll becomes the beautiful Virgin Mary. It ends with having the mistake be one that "made this Christmas the best for everyone. I am the original poster, and Santa's Footprints is the correct book.
You can put this one down as solved! Augusta Huiell Seaman, Sapphire Signet , You may want to check out this book. The author was an extremely popular writer of children's mysteries nearly years ago. I have never read this particular one, because it's very rare, but the plot you described sounds about like something she would have written. One of the young girls in the story, Corinne Cameron This might be the book you're looking for. I'm not sure of the exact plot, but this sounds like something she might have written.
I believe this may be it. The diary is found in a secret compartment and is deciphered by an invalid girl. The diary is destroyed by a housekeeper who is in the place of a mother--thankfully after the whole diary has been deciphered. The signet is eventually found and delivered to the proper owner by the invalid girl who has regained her health.
Roberta Leigh, Sara and Hoppity , The book is Sara and Hoppity , about a "goblin toy" that is brought to Sara's parents' toy shop. Her parents and helper, Miss Julie that's probably who the requestor remembers" repairs for her. It's the mother who paints the plate with Hoppity's picture on it, so Sara will eat her spinach with egg. What happens is that Sara hates the taste so much that when Hoppity "tells" her to slide the food into the pocket of her apron and tell her parents she ate it Hoppity is a very naughty toy!
Sara is found out and punished by being sent to her room, and you never find out whether the leg on the plate is shorter than the other. In the end she sees Hoppity, at whom she has been very angry, standing in the corner, so she knows he feels remorseful and realizes how much she loves him. This story and its sequel, Sara and Hoppity Make New Friends , were my favorite childhood books, and I've never known anyone else who recalled them. Apparantly there were 6 books and it may interest your requestor to know that there was also a television series that aired in the 60s.
My mother and sister remember it fondly. There's more information about both books and tv show at this site.
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Though not my "Stumper" this has helped me with a childhood memory. I grew up in southern England in the '60s, and have a distinct memory of Sarah and Hoppity being a puppet show on local TV. I actually recall being a bit upset that Sarah was always getting into trouble for things Hoppity had instigated. Anyway, now I live in Scotland, no one else remembers the show, and I had started to think I had dreamt it, so thank you for confirming that the memory may be correct. Thank you for solving this one for me!
It has intruded on my thoughts for years and I couldn't figure out how to find the title. I was able to find 2 other elusive books from my childhood Magic Elizabeth and Candle in her Room simply by searching the solved stumpers. But all I knew for sure with this one was the short leg and painted plate -- not a lot to go on. The story seems to be a lot different than what I thought I recalled. I'm sure that over the years I have mixed up a number of favorite books, making it even harder to track them down.
As a child, I may even have dreamt about the stories, thereby distorting my recollection even more. Thanks to the posted solution I found a website that summarizes all of the books. I have a definite answer for one of the stumpers!! I still have the copy that my Mom gave me as a little girl. The two stories, full of life and emotion, twist and merge together into a beautiful relationship tale, yet for me, it was the subtle bitter sweet notes of reality that really added substance to this novel.
This is such a gorgeously expressive novel, it just sings with intensity, and is impossible to put down. Nine year old Leon loves his little brother Jake and his mum, he looks after them both as best he can, when Leon and Jake have to go and live with Maureen, Leon hatches a plan. Kit de Waal writes with a beautiful, sincere energy, the simplicity of the tale told from Leon's point of view allows a complicated backdrop of emotions to shine through. At times my heart absolutely ached, yet there are also proper laughter blurting moments, and I just wanted to gather everybody up into a huge, squashy hug.
A gloriously motley collection of characters come to life, each and every one of them is indispensable, and each affected me in some way. Told by many voices, some wise, some wicked, this is the story of a close community under unbearable strain. What is the breaking point where neighbours and even sisters will turn against each other?
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The older people remember the Great Plague of , an unimaginable horror that decimated Europe, England and the village of Porlock. A mother of lost sons, a religious fanatic, a dwarf ex-jester, a lonely noble woman and others each tell their side of this harrowing story. Charm and sensitivity run throughout the narrative making this a frighteningly believable story. Medieval Porlock is skilfully evoked and some of the landmarks of the story are still visible today.
A moving and disturbing tale of humanity pushed to the edge of society and beyond collapses. Exciting, enthralling, enticing, disturbing and enjoyable, this is a wonderful read. A captivating and subtly beautiful novel, where heart-catching surprises lie in wait. Alex recalls life on the road at the age of 13, a trip undertaken with Mom, where lessons are learned, and the truth within explored.
The writing here is exquisite, the story evolves so simply, gradually revealing the complications that life has to offer. The wonderfully sensitive writing creates blasts of feeling, and woke my awareness as prickles of revelation travelled up my arms from the page. These characters feel so touchingly real, Alex opened my eyes, I smiled, I ached, I wept.
A large collection of multi-national, mostly retired couples, invest in a new development of luxury apartments, La Joya, in Andalucia on the Costa del Sol in Spain. We follow a securely married Irish couple with a demanding family, an American mother of twin girls with a serial-womanising husband and a Spanish control freak with a wife who is attempting to find inner peace. Frequently visiting the complex is a German interior designer and letting agent married to a Spanish property developer and a highly efficient female Spanish community manager who looks after the place.
In clean strokes the author paints their portraits in swift, interlocking sections, you get to know them all very quickly. All appears blissful until the Spanish economy plummets and the Irish euro hits rock bottom. Problems ensue both financially and emotionally with many a twist and surprise thrown at you. This is lively, sensitive and insightful, a big novel with plenty to get your teeth into. March Book of the Month. A tale of lost memories and hidden secrets but will the truth destroy or heal? Lisa Jewell returns with yet another page-turner as she delves into the darker corners of the mind where the memories of our true self exist.
The memories that we'll do anything to keep hidden. Alice Lake is drawn to a man she spots sitting on the beach. He simply stares out to sea oblivious of the rain, a man who remembers nothing of who he is or where he came from. Alice offers him shelter and the opportunity to attempt to rediscover what or who he is running away from.
But something sinister is lurking in his memory and as the past begins to come back to him he wonders if he is running away from a monster or if indeed the monster is actually him. This gripping read is not only a thrilling mystery but is also about accepting the past and learning to find a way to move on.
Jewell keeps you guessing what the connections between threads and subtexts are until they all come gloriously together. A wonderful novel to escape in to. Click here to read an exclusive interview with Lisa Jewell by Mary Hogarth. Three women and two investigators dance through a weaving, magical, almost dreamlike story.
The prologue sent a thrilling chill coursing through me, I was immediately captivated and remained that way for the entire tale. This is most definitely a crime novel, yet it is also a mystery, and a story about love, I almost feel as though it shouldn't be categorised, but enjoyed instead for what it is, a stunning piece of literature. Michel Bussi is an award-winning French novelist, this is the second of his novels to be translated into English.
Descriptions are so immediate and evocative I felt as though I was about to step into a Monet painting. The plot kept me on the edge of the frame, just on the edge of understanding as I viewed the scenes in front of me. As soon as I had finished, I just wanted to start reading again from the beginning. Why I love it is that it is such a clever and compelling read — mystery after mystery is revealed as the story unfolds, and at every turn you meet a new and fascinating character.
I immediately wanted to go back and read the whole thing again! Despite the title — The Summer Before the War — which this terrific novel does indeed trace, it also spills into the horrors of the war years and eventually releases us back into some sort of very different peace. Set mostly in pretty coastal Rye, full of the strictures of Edwardian Society, it is evocative and very moving, highlight the prejudices and injustices of the early 20th Century.
Agatha, whose husband is in the Foreign Office, is campaigning for a woman to replace the Latin Master in the local Grammar School. War arrives and the author powerfully highlights the ignorance, stupidity and insensitivity of those in command against the resilience and courage of the ordinary soldiers. It is heartbreaking, beautifully written and well researched. An excellent read. One of our Books of the Year The first page made me flinch, yet I couldn't, didn't want to stop reading. Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction A surprising, emotional, and courageous novel, one where the words and feelings gradually unwind from the page and take up residence in your mind.
Set in Nigeria during the s, this is a story that at first feels like a window into another world, yet one that is somehow recognisable, as feelings are translatable, wherever they may be felt. Yejide desperately wants a child, her entire world collapses when her in-laws insist on her husband Akin marrying a new wife, in order to bear him children. We see the couple, feel their thoughts, the hurt and sorrow on both sides. I couldn't stop reading, yet the rawness, the pain was in every turn of the page.
Unexpected revelations smacked into my awareness, turned my thoughts, captivated me further. Ayobami Adebayo, in her debut novel, writes with a clear and simple intensity. Click here to read Ayobami Adebayo discuss her debut novel Stay with Me. Maxim Jakubowski's March Book of the Month.
Shortly after the Russian revolution, a White Russian count is spared execution because of a subversive poem he wrote defying authority before the fall of the Czar and is, instead, exiled to an attic room in a luxury hotel in the heart of Moscow, where he once enjoyed a luxurious suite and all the amenities that wealth could provide. Author: Janice Y. A remarkably touching and quite, quite beautiful read.
Set in Hong Kong, the prologue is teeming with people making their way to this remarkable city. Margaret, Mercy and Hilary are three expatriate women learning to survive heartache in a different and sometimes difficult world. Three distinct lives, at first separate, step closer to each other, then the links between the three women tighten, almost to choking point. Janice Y. Lee writes with an exquisite, startling intensity, she provokes thoughts and feelings into exploring identity, grief and a fluttering of possibilities.
Hong Kong is breathtaking, with the mix of East and West acting as a vibrant backdrop to the intimate story of these women. There is a real depth and energy to the writing, yet the thread of compassion that weaves through the pages ensures a delicate balance.
Deceptively clever and utterly compelling, this beautifully written little book will continue to haunt your thoughts long after you've finished it. Set in Montreal, the world of Bilodo the postman is a simple one, but he regularly sneaks a peek into other peoples worlds by reading their handwritten letters; events take a darker turn as he deviates from voyeur into an obsessive usurper. The author uses Japanese haiku and tanka poetry to allow Bilodo to converse with the woman of his dreams; exquisite clusters of words will snag your attention and demand that you re-read them.
This is essentially a book of love, of what might have been and of what could still come… One of our Books of the Year February eBook of the Month. A rather special read indeed… there are times when you wonder how you've missed sight of, or hearing about a book, and for me this is one of them. This is a treat, a heartbreaking, funny, eye-opening, jam-packed full of love treat. Ben shares his story as he literally battles to place his autistic son Jonah, into what he considers is the right school. Jem Lester writes with experience, yet he adds bittersweet, aching emotion, biting wit, and a lightness of touch that manages to skim joyfully across the pages.
Letters from social services, the school, medical information, and receipts all find their way into the book, often bringing me up short and creating a link to the authenticity of the situation. Occasional photos, letters and little extras crop up through the book, making the journey from beginning to end feel even more intense and physically real. At times I felt as though I was floating directly above Veblen, connected yet apart, and able to pick up on the smallest but most significant details. Elizabeth McKenzie writes with a beautifully considered yet free hand, with my feelings ranging from amused to curious, frustrated to sympathetic, and I also fell in love with a squirrel.
This is a book to keep near at hand, a book to love and to cherish, to savour and to treasure. Absolutely enchanting, and not in a sugary syrupy sweet way, oh no, instead this is earthy and vibrant and real. Miss Ona Vitkus is years old, she lives on her own, relatively undisturbed, and then the 11 year old boy turns up on her doorstep. The two become unlikely friends, with world records, birds and life histories becoming main topics of conversation.
Monica Wood writes with beautiful empathy, she doesn't judge, or even provoke, she sets this gorgeous story in motion and allows you, as the reader along on the journey. Can there ever have been a heroine like Flora Banks? Inspired, she sets off alone to follow him, a heart-stopping journey that takes her deep into the Arctic landscapes of Norway, scribbled messages she writes to herself on her arms her only reassurance or guide.
Flora does find out the truth about the boy and about herself, but she needs all her courage. A unique mix, part coming-of-age, part psychological thriller, with an almost fairy-tale setting, this is a story that readers will want to read more than once, and one they will want to share with friends too. A family drama full of suspense, tension and heartache. Amanda Brooke lights the fuse and then fans the flames, encouraging questions as Nina turns her family inside out in an attempt to find answers and understand what has happened.
This is a story deliberately set to challenge, prod and provoke, yet there is an undeniable sense of compassion and empathy touching the pages. January Debut of the Month. The prologue is short, quirky and full of feeling, it sets the stage perfectly for what is to come. Julia Forster writes with a light, yet spiky and witty touch, however deeper darker tones lie in wait.
The descriptive detail is stunning, images danced across my consciousness as I read. The humour slides across the page, there were parts that made me belly laugh out loud and others that caused me to wince, to pause and think. The Post-Apocalyptic setting is so popular today that it is becoming annoying, so it is great to get a book like this one; not only well written but offering a new angle on the old story.
What results is not just a journey through the wilds but a personal struggle with inner darkness and the nature of reality. No zombies, thank goodness, just an honest and plausible thriller obviously written by someone with a brain as hints, threads and twists weave together in a compelling and disturbing tale. Excellent stuff. Alex is reeling from life. He's left the family home and has never felt further from his wife and son. He loves them both dearly but parenthood can put a strain on any relationship and having an autistic son adds even more pressure.
Sam, his beautiful yet unreachable son, is a problem that Alex is finding impossible to solve and whilst suffocating under the responsibility he feels towards his family Alex finally hits rock bottom. Until that is Sam discovers Minecraft and so begins an adventure of a father finally finding a way to understand his son and maybe himself too. It was fresh and honest but with no trace of bitterness.
Some moments were so beautifully written they made my heart ache and moved me to tears. He captures so much in so few words and I came to love his characters and felt truly sad when I reached the final sentence. It both has massive commercial potential and is a singularly modern, heartfelt and meaningful piece of writing. A short, emotional and entirely captivating novel based on the real events that surrounded, enclosed and smothered the notorious Mata Hari.
She will not accept that the Job Centre has nothing for her and is eventually given a dead-end, short-term job as caretaker in a closing sports centre in a dying town. How she wins everyone round and makes a life for herself is poignantly realised. A lovely read. This latest novel from the acclaimed author of the Orange-longlisted The Pink Hotel is an exploration of memories, consequence and the difficulties of living with the past.
Cathy is a curator of natural history in Berlin. She is engaged, about to receive an award for her work and beginning to feel that she has finally escaped her past, a past that she keeps locked away within her own museum of curiosities. Yet on the day she is due to receive her award she receives a gift that tells her that a shadow that haunts her memories has resurfaced to claim back what he feels belongs to him.
I was completely swept away with this story. I found the exploration of characters sensitively handled and yet provided enough suspense and contained a level of sinister tension that had me guessing just what each one may be capable of. This is exquisite, beautifully written prose and the use of the museum as a theme throughout with setting, a means of storytelling and metaphor, is quite brilliantly executed.
It is personal, it is universal and it is something that lives within each of us and the memories we hold. Flora Mackie leads a remarkable life. Jane Wood, Publisher, Quercus. Author: M. Isolated at the tip of Australia as a lighthouse keeper, emotionally traumatised World War I veteran Tom fears for his wife's sanity after her third miscarriage.
Then a boat turns up carrying a dead man and a newborn baby. They bring the baby girl up as their own. The repercussions of this on the girl's biological family, and eventually Tom's guilt, are movingly portrayed. This covers vast themes, moral dilemmas and heartbreaking decisions. A doom-laden tale which really does make you question the rules as along the way someone has to get very hurt indeed Powerful stuff and highly recommended.
What a brilliant and memorable debut. Superb characters, heart-rending plot and, set on an island miles from Australia, a uniquely beautiful setting. After the horrors of WW1 Tom finds first solace as a lighthouse keeper and joy as he shares the experience with his young wife. Then one morning a decision they take, seemingly for the best, has devastating consequences. We think this is a perfect book for reading groups. A smart and sassy take on a 21st century mum making her way in the world, trying not to cause too much damage but also hoping that maybe, just maybe she may be able to find the contentment within herself that she so badly craves.
Then her day takes an unexpected turn as the past creeps into her present. Suddenly there are questions demanding to be answered. Where is he disappearing to each day? How will she explain to Timby about the sister she never talks about? And what will happen to The Flood Girls? Long since consigned to the back of the closet. We also experience the crazy thoughts that often flit in and out of her head. Thoughts we can all relate to and the unexplained conclusions we leap to and in turn the consequences they have on our happiness. Today Will Be Different shares the hope that we can learn to be more accepting of who we are and allow ourselves to be happier.
Longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize Our first-person narrator, Anne Jaccobs, is an extraordinary young woman for her period. This is Georgian London in and she a lady eager to learn. Her well-to-do family have plans for her but year old Anne is an interesting, forceful character. In a novel rich in period detail we follow this spirited girl through some highly unexpected scenarios which two-thirds of the way through the book turn into a bawdy romp.
At times dark, at times humorous, this is an historical novel not to be missed, a debut from the much-loved Blue Peter presenter. Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize He takes it to a Lovell, a banker based on Golden Hill Street, in order to have it cashed. Speculation is duly aroused: what on earth is Smith planning to do with such a quantity of cash? The depiction of place is gratifyingly sensory. While the puzzle at the heart of the novel is not revealed until the very last pages, the plentiful and nimbly executed plot twists provide much satisfaction throughout.
Part mystery, part homage to eighteenth century literature, this is an exuberant literary delight with all the readability of a page-turner. A great, unruly city is being born. Francis Spufford creates a world that is hypnotic and believable, brought to life in sparkling prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, and tells a gripping story that's full of tension and surprise, with characters who live on after the book is closed.
His non-fiction writing has been much-admired. This first novel is an astonishing achievement because his novelist's voice is already enticing, rich and mature. An eighteenth-century treat. October Debut of the Month. Arthur quickly realises that before she met him, his wife had a whole host of experiences, and Arthur knew nothing about them!
Phaedra Patrick writes with a beautifully light touch, yet imbues each page with a meaningful eloquence. Arthur is a joy to get to know, you feel his sadness and bewilderment at his loneliness and loss, then as he steps out on his quest, you witness his cloistered heart and mind unfurling towards the possibilities that life can offer. This is a beautiful little gem of a read and I highly recommend it. Sarah Broadhurst's view Early on we meet Lucy, twenty-four, who needs a heart transplant.
She is a plucky girl trying to live a normal life greatly hampered by her sad ill health. For eighteen months she has been on the transplant list. Preparing to go on her first holiday ever with just her sister her family watch the television News and a report on a train crash which eventually turns into a motorway crash.
Among the victims are three close women friends, all badly injured. We swing back four months and get to know these three, their reliance on each other and their reason for being in that crash. Interspersed with their lives is their post-accident hospital treatment where surely one will die for Lucy to get her heart.
This is a tale exploring many strong issues; fertility, loyalty, betrayal, responsibility, young motherhood, divorce, independence, dementia and much more. Pretty powerful stuff and excellent for reading groups. This witty and twisty tale of an elderly con man intent on a final hurrah when he initially goes on a blind date with a retired, wealthy woman, brings more than smiles to the face. However she is not all she appears to be and as his own past is slowly unveiled in parallel to the con he studiously devotes himself to, increasing layers of lies and domestic intrigue are revealed which often turn the elaborate plot upside down.
With echoes of Patricia Highsmith but without the die-hard cynicism, this is an affectionate and deliberately old fashioned psychological thriller with just the right touch of humour and humanity. Engrossing and with a tightly-engineered plot that holds surprises at every corner and what is there to dislike in a thriller where the main character is in his 80s? Just fabulous. This is one of those wonderfully rare books that sets you in the middle of a familiar location and then prowls down a previously unexplored and unexpected path.
Exquisitely pitch perfect, with clear and self assured writing, the story slides backwards in time, releasing information, raising suspicions and spiralling down into darkness. As I turned the last page, I paused, and felt within, one of those electrifying moments before applause bursts forth.
I want to tell you about this fabulously compelling novel Viking is publishing in January. The response within Penguin has been extraordinary so far — with staff in every department raving about it. His target is Betty, a woman whom he is planning to seduce and then run off with her life savings. Roy is incredibly creepy and Betty is wonderfully admirable, if a little mysterious. The twists and turns of the narrative are endlessly surprising. I have also, only very occasionally witnessed such an amazing in-house response.
It would be terrific if you liked the book as much as we all do. Thanks so much for your time. Shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize Traversing continents and generations, this sublime debut explores identity, self-sacrifice and dislocation with elegance and wit. Despite sharing a bed with Odile, Yuki never feels close to her. Odile is wrapped up in forging a modeling career, and then heads to Italy, abandoning Yuki to Lillian and her violent boyfriend.
Abandonment, loneliness, and seeking solace from loneliness are recurring themes. Some years later, when she has a home, a husband who loves her, a baby son, and the talent to be an artist, Yuki remains unsettled, and feels a desperate desire to leave. August Book of the Month. Tense and full of intrigue, this is a novel that sinks into the depths of obsession and discovers a very dangerous game afoot. The newly opened, glamorous lido calls to Natalie and in one summer her life changes beyond all recognition.
The prologue and first chapter declare from the outset that a dramatic event has occurred. The story explores the whole of the summer, occasionally touching on the past and then suddenly switching directly to the aftermath. These jarring changes in time create a feeling of foreboding as the timelines slide towards their inevitable collision. Louise Candlish excels in looking at the darker side of relationships, she discovers thoughts and feelings that are recognisable but at the same time feel dangerously untouched.
As decadent and scandalous as New York Society in the roaring twenties, A Certain Age will whisk you back to a time of Jazz, elegance, charm, and murder as only Beatriz Williams can. The world is slowly recovering from the horrors of the Great War. She turns to Rofrano to carry out this small favour and sets in motion a string of events that will change their lives forever. Thrilling and heady, A Certain Age is a delightful novel to escape into. Click here to view the Reading Group Notes for this title. A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. July Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month.
From the author of Possession and The Children's Book comes an extraordinary tale, inspired by the myth of Ragnarok. Intensely autobiographical and linguistically stunning, this book is a landmark work of fiction from one of Britain's truly great writers. You might also say it's timely in that it is a book about how stories can give us the courage to face our own demise. So just as Wagner's Ring Cycle was inspired by Norse myth so Byatt has taken this remarkable finale and used it as the underpinning of this highly personal and politically charged retelling.
July Book of the Month. Also very present are the Gods themselves, playing with lives, betting on battles and arguing amongst themselves. It is a well-known tale, moving, frightening, bloody. This re-telling shows a feminine side, away from the battles but still dependent on their outcome. It is an engrossing world, easy to fall into. As spies, lovers, slaves and prophets these women of Troy show themselves the equal of the more famous men. Even if you know the story well this is still an entrancing read. A beautifully quirky, yet at the same time completely logical love story well it is logical once you've realised that you too, have fallen in love with an alligator.
I believe that John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway would remember their parts in this tale with glee, who wouldn't want to have been introduced to the charming and rather glorious Albert? I quite simply devoured this enchanting book in one sitting, and I will want to read it again and again. It is easy to think of the Celts as savages and the Romans as the bringers of civilisation when in fact Celtic society was complex and well-structured.
Skin captures the flavour of that ancient time beautifully. The people feel a strong connection to nature and magic is everywhere. Within this ordered society Ailia is a misfit. A wonderful narrator full of youthful fire, fear, confusion and joy. Her journey is strange and compelling, for her and the reader, as she is torn between loves and duties in two different worlds.
A thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is difficult to know if this huge, sprawling novel would have quite the same appeal if you had not read the first two but I suspect you could probably dive into this as a complex historical adventure of India and China in the middle of the 19th century when the East India Company had great power.
It mostly revolves round opium. The story jumps from one strand to another for the first half of the book with some truly lovely cameo pieces, a joy. It is also a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - the bestselling Ibis trilogy from the author of Booker-shortlisted Sea of Poppies - it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
The Ibis Trilogy Sea of Poppies2. River of Smoke3. Flood of Fire. Pencraw Hall, Cornwall, is a beautiful old house, the holiday retreat for the well-off Alton family of four children, twins and then a couple much younger, a hard-working father and a young, gregarious American mother, very liberal. Wonderful times are had at Pencraw in the late 60s. It is nicknamed Black Rabbit Hall due to the silhouette of numerous rabbits which actually lead to the tragedy that shatters the family.
We follow them and in alternating sections, Lorna, thirty years later who is looking for a wedding venue and is inexplicably drawn to the now decaying house and its mysterious occupants. This is straight down the line pure country house, classic mystery, wonderful stuff. Suspenseful, haunting, startling and full of the unexpected. This isn't exactly a love story, it is rather, a tale about love, in all its different forms. While Cora and Will form the heart of this novel, every member of the surrounding cast is as important as these two, each fitting into a perfectly formed relationship jigsaw.
At times they may not be likeable, they may have their quirks, their differences, yet they are so well formed, it is possible to feel empathy as you question a decision or comment made. The Essex serpent coiled and waiting, exploits fear and mistrust, creating a fascinating setting in which connections flourish and wither. At times the Victorian setting vanished and the relationships felt very current and modern, while at others the different time period proclaimed the complications and difficulties faced by anyone judged as being different.
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award And then there are those books that you become so close to that you almost feel as though they are a part of you. It is a sumptuously imagined novel of lives playing out against bigger historical moments, and it is the most unusual and moving love story I have ever read. June Book of the Month and eBook of the Month.
Ferney was one of my all time favourite books of the year it was published, It tells of a love through the ages, a tale of reincarnation, passion, longing, history and mystery. This is its sequel. You do not have to have read Ferney first but I would highly recommend that you do so. This is a modern day love story bound up in the memory of past lives. It brilliantly brings together all the loose threads to a fulfilling conclusion that leaves a shiver down your back. To reunite the characters again, James Long has a school out, an archaeological dig, a busy mother and a mystified teacher all there to join up Ferney and Gally.
Long said that "you either bore people with the complexity of the scenario who already know about it, or you baffle them. Abandoned by his long-time girlfriend, travel writer Paul goes to Tuscany to research his next book. Arrangements are made but upon arrival no car is available. Enter one bulldozer, a wacky scenario which results in some charming pieces. Paul enters village life and that atmosphere is vividly and warmly described. Then long-time girlfriend turns up and life gets complicated.
Only McCall Smith has the literary dexterity to pull this off. May Debut of the Month. Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction A bittersweet, page-turning love story which jumps back and forth in time. It tells of a Japanese couple, Ameterasu and Kenzo, now living in America and the loss of their daughter and grandson after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. The identity of these men is at the centre of this tale. So the past is revealed to us in dramatic bursts and Ameterau tells us of the emotional conflict between her and her daughter: so sad. At the beginning of each chapter there is a Japanese word and an explanation of its meaning and usage, not always relevant but always interesting, hence the title.
A captivating and deeply dark family drama and mystery, set in the midst of a London communal garden square. The story then spins backwards in time, to Clare and her two daughters, Pip and Grace, as they get to know their new neighbours. Focusing on several families, the story weaves among the children and adults as it begins to traverse a slippery and sinister slope.
Lisa Jewell explores friendship, trust and suspicion. She writes with a familiar light touch, yet a threatening presence hovers over the pages and the innermost thoughts and feelings of the characters bubble with intensity. Beautiful adventurous Maisy and loyal, knowing ayah Pushpa tell their own tales, which are inextricably linked to each other.
Louise Brown writes with the lightest of touches, yet is able to convey earthy, vibrant tones with an expressive eloquence. There are occasional moments of heart wrenching savagery, described by a character in such an unaffected, matter of fact way, that the thrust travels all the more intensely. My imagination soaked up this moving tale, the emotion it generated constantly surprising as I found myself transported to an exotically precarious world.
Her mother is a prostitute and alcoholic, and when Maisy is seduced at sixteen by her Indian tutor, her life changes forever, for better and for worse. What sets it apart from me is the incredibly vivid sense of location, from the backstreets of the shared housing in Calcutta to the colonial bungalows beautifully wrapped by their flower-filled gardens — both dwellings are places that provide comfort and yet entrapment, too. The author also delves into some very serious issues simmering beneath the love story that arcs over the novel.
It portrays an alternative story to the usual stories of dusty haired, bored British Colonial wives.