November Book Haul

Physical Book Purchases

 

Never GreenNever Greener by Ruth Jones

We spend most of our lives wishing we were somewhere else or someone else, or looking forward or harping back. Always thinking the grass is greener on the other side. But it never is. It’s still grass. Just a different patch of it, that’s all.

The past has a habit of tracking us down. And tripping us up.

When Kate was twenty-two, she had an intense and passionate affair with a married man, Callum, which ended in heartbreak. Kate thought she’d never get over it.

Seventeen years later, life has moved on – Kate, now a successful actress, is living in London, married to Matt and mother to little Tallulah. Meanwhile Callum and his wife Belinda are happy together, living in Edinburgh and watching their kids grow up. The past, it would seem, is well and truly behind them all.

But then Kate meets Callum again.

And they are faced with a choice: to walk away from each other . . . or to risk finding out what might have been.

Second chances are a rare gift in life. But that doesn’t mean they should always be taken . . .

 

The Secrets of Primrose SquareThe Secrets of Primrose Square by Claudia Carroll

So many stories hidden behind closed doors . . . 

It’s late at night and the rain is pouring down on the Dublin city streets. A mother is grieving for her dead child. She stands silently outside the home of the teenage boy she believes responsible. She watches . . .

In a kitchen on the same square, a girl waits anxiously for her mum to come home. She knows exactly where she is, but she knows she cannot reach her.

A few doors down, and a widow sits alone in her room. She has just delivered a bombshell to her family during dinner and her life is about to change forever.

And an aspiring theatre director has just moved in to a flat across the street. Her landlord is absent, but there are already things about him that don’t quite add up . . .

Welcome to Primrose Square.

 

Deadly AlibiDeadly Alibi by Leigh Russell

A hand gripped her upper arm so suddenly it made her yelp. Biting her lower lip, she spun round, lashing out in terror. As she yanked her arm out of his grasp, her elbow hit the side of his chest. Struggling to cling on to her, he lost his footing. She staggered back and reached out, leaning one hand on the cold wall of the tunnel. Before she had recovered her balance he fell, arms flailing, eyes glaring wildly as he disappeared over the edge of the platform onto the rails below. . .

Two murder victims and a suspect whose alibi appears open to doubt… Geraldine Steel is plunged into a double murder investigation which threatens not only her career, but her life. And then her previously unknown twin Helena turns up, with problems which are about to make Geraldine’s life turn toxic in more ways than one.

 

Love Me NotLove me Not by M J Arlidge

A blood-red sunrise 
Just after 7 AM DI Helen Grace stumbles on a dead woman lying in a country road. She has been brutally shot for no apparent reason.

Two hours later
At gunpoint a shopkeeper is forced to close up by two assailants. Before the police can get inside a single gunshot rings out.

A rampage of revenge?
Over one long day the town of Southampton is terrorized by two young killers who appear to be killing at random.

For DI Helen Grace, it’s a race against time. Uncover why they’re doing this and who’s next or always be a step behind – until the sun sets on this bloody killing spree.

 

Brown Owl's Guide To LifeBrown Owl’s Guide to Life by Kate Harrison

Shy, sweet-natured Lucy Collins is used to being pushed around. For the first eighteen years of her life, her widowed mother Judith ruled the roost. Now Lucy’s husband, her seven-year-old daughter and even Buster the cat boss her about. But her mother’s premature death leaves Lucy an orphan at the age of thirty-five. She’s devastated…but she’s also free. After a lifetime of being a disappointment to everyone, is it finally time Lucy grew up?

As she clears out her mother’s rambling house, Lucy discovers a trunk full of memories…her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all Brown Owls: capable, no-nonsense matriarchs who were the leading lights of the Girl Guide movement. They spent their spare time preparing the next generation for their roles as wives and mothers with a mixture of campfire songs, sew-on badges and reef knots. But could the old values and frontier spirit now hold the key to help Lucy make the changes she needs in her life?

 

Men of LettersMen of Letters by Duncan Barrett

Re-branded and available on Kindle as The Last Post

Signed copies of the book available direct from Duncan Barrett for £5  – click here  (I checked with Duncan on 11th Nov and he still had copies).

When the First World War broke out, the Post Office was the biggest employer in the world, with its own company of volunteer part-time soldiers, The Post Office Rifles. Suddenly catapulted into conflict, ordinary postmen and messenger boys found themselves in the trenches of the Western Front, hoping that their own letters would reach home – and relying on the letters and parcels they received for comfort and much-needed boosts to morale. By the war’s end, 1,500 of them had been killed. Using the personal stories, letters and diary entries of the men who joined the Post Office Riffles, this is a moving account of how the war touched the lives of ordinary people – how it changed communities, how women took up men’s work, and, of course, the vital role the mail played in winning the war. Foreword written by Alan Johnson MP.

 

ARC’s, prize wins and gifts

 

In Honour BoundIn Honour Bound by Christine Webber

Set in 1980’s London, Helen Bartlett, a popular TV news presenter and Sam Aziz, a glamorous middle-eastern cardiac surgeon, meet on a live programme. They dislike each other on sight, and the interview is a disaster. But that is not the end of their story because later that evening, they find themselves at the same dinner party.
Over the weeks, hostility morphs into passion, and soon they fall desperately in love.
Both are looking for the right partner with whom to settle down and produce a family. They seem made for each other; they delight in the joy that they have found, and plan to marry. But then, the differences in their cultural backgrounds start to manifest themselves. And a debt of honour that Sam cannot ignore returns to haunt him.
Struggling with their torment, while she is so much in the public eye and he is performing life-saving surgery on a daily basis, places them under intolerable strain.
Must they relinquish the most magical relationship either of them has ever known? Can they find a way out of their dilemmas? Or do they have to accept that no matter how modern we are, we cannot fly in the face of the traditions that served, and shaped us, for centuries?

Many thanks to Christine for a copy of this book

 

LittleLittle by Edward Carey

There is a space between life and death: it’s called waxworks Born in Alsace in 1761, the unsightly, diminutive Marie Grosholtz is quickly nicknamed ‘Little’. Orphaned at the age of six, she finds employmet in Bern, Switzerland, under the charge of reclusive anatomist, Dr Curtius. In time the unlikely pair form an unlikely bond, and together they pursue an unusual passion: the fine art of wax-modelling. Forced to flee their city, the doctor and his protégée head for the seamy streets of Paris where they open an exhibition hall for their uncanny creations. Though revolution approaches, the curious-minded flock to see the wax heads, eager to scrutinise the faces of royalty and reprobates alike. At ‘The Cabinet of Doctor Curtius’, heads are made, heads are displayed, and a future is built from wax. From the gutters of pre-revolutionary France to the luxury of the Palace of Versailles, from casting the still-warm heads of The Terror to finding something very like love, Little is the unforgettable story of how a ‘bloodstained crumb of a girl’ went on to shape the world…

Many thanks to fellow blogger Caryl at Mrs Bloggs the Average Reader for a copy

 

Miss MarleyMiss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

A seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill

Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.

And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…

Many thanks to the publisher  HQ stories for a copy

 

NeedlemouseNeedlemouse by Jane O’Connor

Time to come out of hibernation…

Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it’s no wonder she’s a little prickly…

Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays – and it makes people think she’s nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she’s been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she’s sure he’s just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future.

Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…

E-copy courtesy of Netgalley

 

Reading in Heels November Book

 

States of PassionStates of Passion by Nihad Sirees

The world is so strange, The strangest things are the stories you overhear.

When a hapless bureaucrat finds himself stranded in the countryside during a raging storm, he seeks refuge in a grand yet isolated mansion, inhabited by only an elderly gentleman and his unwelcoming servant.

The tale of family secrets he encounters while sheltering there begins with a faded photograph in yellowed newspaper, of a beautiful woman stepping off a train at Aleppo station many years ago. It transports him to Syria’s golden age, to the heart of the mysterious, unconventional banat al-ishreh – the infamous women who live, dance and play music together – and into a tangled web of forbidden love.

 

Kindle e-book Purchases

 

The PleaThe Plea by Steve Cavanagh

When David Child, a major client of a corrupt New York law firm, is arrested for murder, the FBI ask con artist-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn to persuade him to testify against the firm.

Eddie is not someone who is easily coerced, but when the FBI reveal that they have incriminating files on his wife, he knows he has no choice.

But Eddie is convinced the man is innocent, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. With the FBI putting pressure on him to secure the deal, Eddie must find a way to prove his client’s innocence.

But the stakes are high – his wife is in danger. And not just from the FBI . . .

 

Love and Other Consolation PrizesLove and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

An enchanting tale of innocence and devotion

1909, Seattle. For Ernest Young, the chance to experience the exotic exhibits and carnival rides at the city’s famous World’s Fair feels like the perfect birthday gift. But the half-Chinese orphan finds his world turned upside down when he discovers that he will be a prize, raffled off to ‘a good home’.

The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, and so begins Ernest’s new life. His days of hard work are enriched by his friendship with two girls and he believes he’s found the home he has always longed for – until the three begin to grow up and the choices they must make will haunt them for decades.

1962. On the eve of the new World’s Fair, Ernest is juggling memories and the demands of his ailing wife, while trying to hold on to long-held family secrets which threaten to break free.

INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY

 

Disaster IncDisaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell

He’s a good man having a bad day with the worst hangover. 

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the diner’s other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and the odds aren’t great that she is going to live to see another breakfast.

So just how much trouble is she in?

Well, you know how they’re always telling us to pay attention to our pensions?   Some ex-employees of the US government are really taking that advice to heart by using their mayhem-creating abilities to maximise their investments. When one of their fund managers has a momentary crisis of conscience and confesses all to a woman he hardly knows, they will stop at nothing to deal with the problem.  Amy Daniels is in big trouble and the only thing keeping her alive is a man who is supposed to already be dead.

 

No One Cancels ChristmasNo One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling jolly!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince gorgeous but Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be…

 

I'll Keep You SafeI’ll Keep You Safe by Peter May

WHATEVER HAPPENS

Niamh and Ruairidh Macfarlane co-own the Hebridean company Ranish Tweed. On a business trip to Paris to promote their luxury brand, Niamh learns of Ruairidh’s affair, and then looks on as he and his lover are killed by a car bomb. She returns home to Lewis, bereft.

I’LL ALWAYS BE THERE FOR YOU

Niamh begins to look back on her life with Ruairidh, desperate to identify anyone who may have held a grudge against him. The French police, meanwhile, have ruled out terrorism, and ruled in murder – and sent Detective Sylvie Braque to shadow their prime suspect: Niamh.

I’LL KEEP YOU SAFE, NO MATTER WHAT

As one woman works back through her memories, and the other moves forward with her investigation, the two draw ever closer to a deadly enemy with their own, murderous, designs.

 

Underwater BreathingUnderwater Breathing by Cassandra Parkin

On Yorkshire’s gradually-crumbling mud cliffs sits an Edwardian seaside house. In the bathroom, Jacob and Ella hide from their parents’ passionate arguments by playing the ‘Underwater Breathing’ game – until the day Jacob wakes to find his mother and sister gone.

 Years later, the sea’s creeping closer, his father is losing touch with reality and Jacob is trapped in his past. Then, Ella’s sudden reappearance forces him to confront his fractured childhood. As the truth about their parents emerges, it’s clear that Jacob’s time hiding beneath the water is coming to an end.

 

The Winter That Made UsThe Winter That Made Us by Kate Field

When Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?

Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…

As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.

 

Where The Light Gets InWhere the Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon

It was Betty, defiant to the end, who sent Lorna back to Longhampton. If Lorna’s learned one thing from Betty it’s that courage is something you paint on like red lipstick, even when you’re panicking inside. And right now, with the keys to the town’s gallery in her hand, Lorna feels about as courageous as Betty’s anxious little dachshund, trembling beside her.

Lorna’s come home to Longhampton to fulfil a long-held dream, but she knows, deep down, there are ghosts she needs to lay to rest first. This is where her tight-knit family shattered into silent pieces. It’s where her unspoken fears about herself took root and where her own secret, complicated love began. It’s not exactly a fresh start.

But as Lorna – and the little dog – tentatively open their cracked hearts to old friends and new ones, facing hard truths and fresh promises, something surprisingly beautiful begins to grow around the gallery, something so inspirational even Lorna couldn’t have predicted the light it lets into her world . . .

 

The Man I Fell In Love WithThe Man I Fell in Love With by Kate Field (due 7/2/19)

Sometimes we find happiness where we least expect it…

After twenty years of quiet, contented marriage, Mary Black can’t help but find her eyes drawn to a particularly handsome man at a Christmas party. But her world is suddenly turned upside down when she sees her husband next to him, holding his hand.

For the sake of her children, Mary has no choice but to pick herself up and start again. She hosts family meals that includes her ex-husband and his new partner. She copes with her children wanting to spend less time with her, and more time with their “fun” dads. And she tries her very best to ignore Leo’s gorgeous brother, who has been living in New York for many years, but has just come back to town…

After living a life of sliding doors and missed opportunities, can Mary finally put herself first and take a chance that could change everything?

 

An Isolated IncidentAn Isolated Incident by Emily Maguire

When 25-year-old Bella Michaels is brutally murdered in the small town of Strathdee, the community is stunned and a media storm ensues. Unwillingly thrust into the eye of that storm are Bella’s beloved older sister, Chris, a barmaid at the local pub, and May Norman, a young reporter sent to cover the story.

Chris’s ex-husband, friends and neighbours do their best to support her. But as the days tick by with no arrest, her suspicion of those around her grows. And as May attempts to file daily reports, she finds herself reassessing her own principles.

An Isolated Incident is a humane and beautifully observed tale of everyday violence, the media’s obsession with the murder of pretty young women and the absence left in the world when someone dies.

 

Bitter OrangeBitter Orange by Claire Fuller

From the attic of a dilapidated English country house, she sees them – Cara first: dark and beautiful, clinging to a marble fountain of Cupid, and Peter, an Apollo. It is 1969 and they are spending the summer in the rooms below hers while Frances writes a report on the follies in the garden for the absent American owner. But she is distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she discovers a peephole which gives her access to her neighbours’ private lives.

To Frances’ surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to spend time with her. It is the first occasion that she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes till the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled.

But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don’t quite add up – and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence of that summer, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand all their lives forever.

 

The Happy Home for LadiesThe Happy Home for Ladies by Lilly Bartlett

Meet Phoebe, who’s 28, and Laney, Dot and Maggie, who are 68, 78, and none of your business. Together they’ll prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to friendship, belonging and an unquenchable zest for life.

A hilarious, uplifting novel about the ties of community, the strength of love and how nobody is truly ordinary.

When Framlingham’s famously all-female senior living home goes co-ed, a war between the sexes is declared.

Stuck in the middle, chef Phoebe Stockton is desperate to help her friends plot to keep the community that means so much to them. It’s become her life raft, too. She finds comfort in her beloved career that might finally make her parents proud. But Phoebe’s darling Nick is lining up on the other side of the battle, and their relationship is suffering collateral damage.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. If the home’s owner can’t improve business by moving the men in, he’ll have to evict everyone.

The women aren’t about to let that happen.

 

Picking Up The PiecesPicking Up the Pieces by Jo Worgan

A compelling and emotive story about a mother’s unbreakable love for her autistic son.

Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. Having started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake, Kate believes the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe.

But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, she knows that her previous life has found her.

Kate confides in her new neighbour Matt, a man running from his own secrets. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for Kate and her son, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….

Picking Up The Pieces is an original, moving and gripping page-turner about a woman’s search for happiness as she fights to protect her autistic son’s future.

 

MurmurationMurmuration by Robert Lock

“The starlings dance in mesmerising patterns. In and out they fold. Up and down. Below them a Victorian pier has stood the test of time, carrying each generation over a cold and relentless sea.”

This heartfelt historical drama follows the lives of five strangers over the course of 150 years. Each of them stop to look at the murmuration of starlings in the very same spot on the pier of a Victorian seaside town, and from that moment on their distinct stories are united by a common thread: a terrible mistake that keeps on repeating with every generation. Only one mysterious man has the power to stop history repeating itself again by solving a mystery as old as the pier itself.

A sweeping narrative filled with intrigue and magical realism, Murmuration explores the shifting patterns of fate. Is there order in the universe? And if not, how can our souls ever truly move on?

 

The InventorThe Inventor by Emily Organ

London 1884. Electricity pioneer Simon Borthwick lights up Victorian London with a stunning illuminations display – then shoots himself in a hansom cab.

Plucky Fleet Street reporter Penny Green witnesses the inventor’s death and suspects the clue to his suicide lies in a mysterious letter he left behind. But can she persuade Inspector James Blakely of Scotland Yard that a crime has been committed?

Borthwick isn’t the only person who died that day and Penny soon encounters a shadowy world which the police can’t get close to. When the intimidation begins, Penny starts to fear for her own safety. James does what he can to protect her, but is it enough?

 

The Good MessengerThe Good Messenger by John Simmons

1912: Tom Shepherd reluctantly stays for two weeks at Hardinge Hall. Mr and Mrs Hardinge are trying to arrange a marriage for their son Teddy to Iris, daughter of a local businessman. Tommy becomes the innocent messenger who delivers the secret arrangements.

Armistice Day 1918: The First World War has changed everything, especially the closeted world that Iris, Teddy and Tom existed in.

1927. Tom is now a journalist investigating the discovery of a baby’s bones in the woods around Hardinge Hall. Past and present move towards a resolution that might still bring everything crashing down.

 

Last Flight of the PigeonLast Flight of the Pigeon by Simon Clode

This is the story of a 5000km bicycle ride across China. A journey from the manic streets of the most populous nation’s capital, all the way to Kashgar, near its most westerly edge in the province of Xinjiang. Over mountains, through deserts, and along the Silk Road; the author encounters wild dogs, furious sandstorms and too many pot noodles.

After moving to Beijing, Simon Clode went in search of the world’s most popular bicycle – The Flying Pigeon PA-02. The PA-02 is the bicycle that features in millions of images of China in the 1970s and 80s. Yet, despite being the most produced model of bicycle ever and being made within 100 miles of Beijing, he couldn’t find a new one anywhere.

Eventually, thanks to a man in Barcelona, he managed to find one of the last remaining models, which was still in the Flying Pigeon factory in Tianjin. Ignoring all advice about the unreliability and general awfulness of the bicycle from the management team, he then cycled it 140km home to Beijing in a moment of sporting endurance heroism to rival all others that also involve regular stops for Snickers.

Following this triumph and in advance of Flying Pigeon’s 65th birthday, he planned to ride the Pigeon 5000km across China from Beijing to Kashgar. He trained for three months and meticulously planned a route along the one road west from Beijing.

 

A Big Boy Did It And Ran AwayA Big Boy Did it and Ran Away by Christopher Brookmyre

Back when they were students, just like everybody else, Ray Ash and Simon Darcourt had dreams about what they’d do when they grew up. In both their cases, it was to be rock stars. Fifteen years later, their mid-thirties are bearing down fast, and just like everybody else, they’re having to accept the less glamorous hands reality has dealt them. Nervous new father Ray takes refuge from his responsibilities by living a virtual existence in online games. People say he needs to grow up, but everybody has to find their own way of coping. For some it’s affairs, for others it’s the bottle, and for Simon it’s serial murder, mass slaughter and professional assassination.

 

At Home in the Pays d'OcAt Home in the Pays d’Oc by Patricia Feinberg Stoner

This is the story of how a small brown and white spaniel turned the lives of two English holidaymakers upside down.
Patricia and her husband Patrick are spending the summer in their holiday home in the Languedoc village of Morbignan la Crèbe. One hot Friday afternoon Patrick walks in with the little dog, thinking she is a stray.
They have no intention of keeping her. ‘Just for tonight,’ says Patrick. ‘We will take her to the animal shelter tomorrow.’ It never happens. They spend the weekend getting to know and love the little creature, who looks at them appealingly with big brown eyes, and wags her absurd stump of a tail every time they speak to her.
On the Monday her owner turns up, alerted by the Mairie. They could have handed her over. Instead Patricia finds herself saying: ‘We like your dog, Monsieur. May we keep her?’
It is the start of what will be four years as Morbignanglais, as they settle into life as permanent residents of the village. “At Home in the Pays d’Oc” is about their lives in Morbignan, the neighbours who soon become friends, the parties and the vendanges and the battles with French bureaucracy.
It is the story of some of their bizarre and sometimes hilarious encounters: the Velcro bird, the builder in carpet slippers, the neighbour who cuts the phone wires, the clock that clacks, the elusive carpenter who really did have to go to a funeral.

 

Glass HousesGlass Houses by Louise Penny

One cold November day, a mysterious figure appears on the village green in Three Pines, causing unease, alarm and confusion among everyone who sees it. Chief Superintendent, Armand Gamache knows something is seriously wrong, but all he can do is watch and wait, hoping his worst fears are not realised. But when the figure disappears and a dead body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to investigate.

In the early days of the murder inquiry, and months later, as the trial for the accused begins, Gamache must face the consequences of his decisions, and his actions, from which there is no going back . . .

 

An Italian SummerAn Italian Summer by Fanny Blake

A compelling novel about friendship, family secrets and second chances, set against the backdrop of southern Italy.

Sandy is in her fifties, and at a crossroads in her life: she’s a teacher and respected by her pupils, but she feels she is being sidelined in favour of younger colleagues. So when her mother dies, leaving her a sealed envelope addressed to an unknown woman living in Naples, Sandy decides to head to Italy to resolve the mystery by delivering the letter herself.

She books herself on to a small sightseeing trip from Rome to Naples and the Amalfi Coast, hoping to meet some like-minded people along the way. Who is the mysterious woman she is searching for? And will Sandy find friendship, or even love, along the way…?

 

Fall Down DeadFall Down Dead by Stephen Booth

They knew the danger, but they went anyway…

“Almost before she’d stopped breathing, a swirl of mist snaked across her legs and settled in her hair, clutching her in its chilly embrace, hiding her body from view. It would be hours before she was found.”

The mountain of Kinder Scout offers the most incredible views of the Peak District, but when thick fog descends there on a walking party led by enigmatic Darius Roth, this spectacular landscape is turned into a death trap that claims a life.

For DI Ben Cooper however, something about the way Faith Matthew fell to her death suggests it was no accident, and he quickly discovers more than one of the hikers may have had reason to murder their companion.

To make things worse, his old colleague DS Diane Fry finds herself at centre of an internal investigations storm that threatens to drag Cooper down with it.

 

Dying TruthDying Truth by Angela Marsons

How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

 

Mavis and DotMavis and Dot by Angela Petch

A warm slice of life, funny, feel-good, yet poignant. Introducing two eccentric ladies who form an unlikely friendship.Meet Mavis and Dot – two colourful, retired ladies who live in Worthington-on-Sea, where there are charity shops galore. Apart from bargain hunting, they manage to tangle themselves in escapades involving illegal immigrants, night clubs, nude modelling, errant toupees and more. And then there’s Mal, the lovable dog who nobody else wants. A gently humorous, often side-splitting, heart-warming snapshot of two memorable characters with past secrets and passions. Escape for a couple of hours into this snapshot of a faded, British seaside town.

 

What Happened to UsWhat Happened to Us by Faith Hogan

Sometimes the end is only the beginning…

After ten years together, Carrie Nolan is devastated when she’s dumped by her hot-shot chef boyfriend, Kevin Mulvey without even a backwards glance! But on reflection, she has sacrificed her own long-term happiness by pandering to his excessive ego in their successful Dublin restaurant (and out of it) – but not anymore!

While Kevin is ‘living the dream’ with his beautiful new Brazilian girlfriend, Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched strangers who need her as much as she needs them.

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable.

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

 

Dear Rosie HughesDear Rosie Hughes by Melanie Hudson (pre-ordered – due 1st Feb)

The best friendships are worth fighting for…

It’s been fifteen years since Aggie’s friendship with Rosie Hughes ended abruptly. But now she’s heard from the village rumour mill that Rosie is off to war, she knows her best friend needs her more than ever – despite what’s happened between them in the past.

As Rosie faces a desert full of danger and Aggie falls further from the path to love she’ so wants, the two friends write each other letters.

The comfort in their shared words is an anchor to the life they knew before…and the only constant in a world as increasingly unpredictable as the wind.

 

The Shrouded PathThe Shrouded Path by Sarah Ward

The past won’t stay buried forever.

November, 1957: Six teenage girls walk in the churning Derbyshire mists, the first chills of winter in the air. Their voices carrying across the fields, they follow the old train tracks into the dark tunnel of the Cutting. Only five appear on the other side.

October, 2014: a dying mother, feverishly fixated on a friend from her childhood, makes a plea: ‘Find Valerie.’ Mina’s elderly mother had never discussed her childhood with her daughter before. So who was Valerie? Where does her obsession spring from?

DC Connie Childs, off balance after her last big case, is partnered up with new arrival to Bampton, Peter Dahl. Following up on what seems like a simple natural death, DC Childs’ old instincts kick in, pointing her right back to one cold evening in 1957. As Connie starts to broaden her enquiries, the investigation begins to spiral increasingly close to home.

 

My Dear HamiltonMy Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie

A novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A founding father’s wife…

But the union they create – in their marriage and the new nation – is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all – including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle – to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…

 

How Not To Be a BoyHow Not to be a Boy by Robert Webb

RULES FOR BEING A MAN
Don’t Cry; Love Sport; Play Rough; Drink Beer; Don’t Talk About Feelings

But Robert Webb has been wondering for some time now: are those rules actually any use? To anyone?

Looking back over his life, from schoolboy crushes (on girls and boys) to discovering the power of making people laugh (in the Cambridge Footlights with David Mitchell), and from losing his beloved mother to becoming a husband and father, Robert Webb considers the absurd expectations boys and men have thrust upon them at every stage of life.

Hilarious and heartbreaking, How Not To Be a Boy explores the relationships that made Robert who he is as a man, the lessons we learn as sons and daughters, and the understanding that sometimes you aren’t the Luke Skywalker of your life – you’re actually Darth Vader.

 

Spanish LavenderSpanish Lavender by Joan Fallon

Elizabeth is visiting her parents in Málaga when the Spanish Civil War breaks out. All foreigners are told they must evacuate – the Nationalist soldiers are coming and no-one is safe. But Elizabeth’s ambition is to be a photo-journalist and she decides she will stay, despite her parents’ objections.
Alone in the devastated city of Málaga, she begins to regret her hasty decision until she meets two young men, Juan, an idealistic Spaniard and Alex, a pragmatic Englishman. Amongst the death and carnage she falls in love with Juan, but as they try to make their escape along the Carretera del Muerte, the highway of death, they become separated.
Not knowing if her lover is alive or dead she must choose between staying and risking death at the hands of the Nationalists or fleeing back to England with Alex.

 

Snowflakes over Moon CottageSnowflakes over Moon Cottage by Lucy Daniels

It’s Christmas-time in the little Yorkshire village of Welford, and the first snowflakes are just starting to fall. 

As far as Susan Collins is concerned, this Christmas is all about quality time with her family, especially her son Jack. After a string of terrible dates she’s given up on love, and Susan’s certainly got plenty to keep her busy.

That is, until she meets handsome children’s author Douglas Macleod. Dishevelled in appearance with bright red hair he is the opposite of Susan’s usual type, but an undeniable spark soon lights up between them. But then Michael Chalk, Jack’s father, turns up on the scene wanting to be a family again – and Susan finds herself torn.

With snow settling on the ground and the big day fast approaching, who will Susan and Jack be choosing to spend Christmas at Moon Cottage with this year?

 

Botticelli's MuseBotticelli’s Muse by Dorah Blume

A provocative historical fiction about Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, his conflicts with the Medici family of Florence, and the woman at the heart of his paintings. In 1477, Botticelli is suddenly fired by his prestigious patron and friend Lorenzo de’ Medici. In the villa of his irritating new patron, the artist’s creative well runs dry—until the day he sees Floriana, a Jewish weaver imprisoned in his sister’s convent. But events threaten to keep his unlikely muse out of reach. So begins a tale of one of the art world’s most beloved paintings, La Primavera, as Sandro, a confirmed bachelor, and Floriana, a headstrong artist in her own right, enter into a turbulent relationship.

 

Late CheckoutLate Checkout by Alex Walters

DCI Kenny Murrain sees, hears and feels things that others do not. It’s a gift but also a curse.
When he wakes to the phantom sound of screaming he knows a murder has been committed but not where or why.
Then a woman’s body is found in a Stockport hotel room. It’s a murder that seems both frenzied and carefully planned, the scene expertly cleansed of any evidence.
Over the following days, more bodies are discovered, first in an upmarket spa on the Pennine moors, then in a run-down budget hotel on the outskirts of Manchester.
The same frenzied attacks, the same meticulous planning. The same killer.
The victims all have links to one man, a police colleague with a dark past. But Murrain discovers a more unexpected connection—with Marie Donovan, a former undercover officer now part of Murrain’s own team.
As the killer closes in on a fourth victim, Murrain knows that time is running out. But the outcome will be more unexpected and more terrifying than even he can imagine…

 

Who_s That GirlWho’s that Girl by Mhairi McFarlane

She kissed the groom. She’s not the bride…

Edie thought she’d found The One…until he told her he was marrying someone else. And on the day of his wedding, when he kisses her, life really does go pear-shaped…

Labelled as a home-wrecker and office outcast, when her boss offers her the chance to get out of town Edie jumps at it, even though moving back in with her eccentric father and prickly sister isn’t exactly the escape she needs.

When her work throws her into the path of rising star and heartthrob Elliot, Edie is expecting a highly strung diva. But as their unexpected friendship develops, Elliot isn’t the only one in the spotlight.

Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

 

The Death of the FronsacThe Death of the Fronsac by Neal Ascherson

A STORY OF SABOTAGE, BETRAYAL AND THE TERRIBLE SADNESS OF EXILE.

Scotland, 1940: The Fronsac, a French warship, blows up in the Firth of Clyde. The disaster is witnessed by three locals. Jackie, a young girl who thinks she caused the explosiong by running away from school. Her mother Helen, a spirited woman married to a dreary young officer; and their lodger, a Polish soldier whose country has just been erased from the map by Hitler and Stalin.

All their lives will be changed by the death of the Fronsac.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17 comments

  1. Wow, it would take me at least a year to read all those if not two. Some really interesting sounding ones tho’. I’ll be saving your post for future reference, there’s quite a few that sound good. Needle Mouse keeps popping up on lists. How do you decide where to even start?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The answer to your question is I don’t. If I have a book to review then that takes priority otherwise I read what I fancy when I find I can concentrate on reading. I long ago realised I won’t live long enough to read all I buy, but I’d rather buy and enjoy knowing that I’ve got the book to read if I wanted to, than not buying at all. The fact that I wait for books to be on offer also helps. Needle Mouse sounded just my sort of read and I love that it’s the japanese word for a hedgehog!

      Liked by 1 person

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