My Bookish October @GinaGeeJay @jaxbees @SherylBrowne @karenlindakelly #BookHaul

Yes, another change of title to reflect it gives me an opportunity to incorporate all my book related activities. In most months it will no doubt still just be books bought, but occasionally, like this month, I’ve been busy.

 

Book Events

 

Literary Lunch, Creative Connecting in Cheshire organised by Sue France. 2 October

The month got off to a great start with a Literary Lunch it’s the seventh year the event has been running, but only my first attendance. Held in the lovely Larkspur Lodge in Knutsford, the setting was as fabulous as it’s guest speakers.

 

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The fiction authors speaking this year were Sheryl Browne and Amanda Prowse. I saw Amanda earlier in the year and was keen to hear again as she is an inspirational speaker. However I was also keen to finally meet Sheryl. We often ‘chat’ on social media, but have never met in real life, Sheryl also featured earlier this year in Five on Friday.  Sheryl was one of the first people I met when I went in, so I had the opportunity to have a good chat before the main event started. It was a nice surprise to also see Caroline England (see Caroline’s Five on Friday here). I felt very ‘in the know’ being able to introduce her to Sheryl.

 

My day was made when Amanda recognised me from the previous event and even remembered our conversation! I really did feel I’d made it, when I was able to introduce both Amanda and Caroline to each other. What a name dropper!

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Caroline, Sheryl and Amanda

 

The event was also an opportunity to meet debut author Karen Kelly with her recent release Lillian White’s Journey.

 

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In addition Sally Penni, Award winning Barrister at Law spoke about the book she is involved with which is raising money for charity, Inpirational, Fabulous & Over 40.

 

It was a lovely event, made all the more pleasurable by having some lovely company on our table (which happily also included Caroline). I promised that if I did a write up I’d give a shout out to two in particular.

Thanks to Katie who was attending on behalf of Olivia May as their PR, Events and Marketing Manager. As she dislikes having her photograph taken she won’t thank me for this.

 

Thanks also to Debbie Hayes, who was celebrating the publication of The Warrior Wellbeing Toolkit which she contributed to.

Warrior

Based on this outing, I’ll definitely be looking out for next year’s event.

 

Books Bought & Signed

 

The AffairThe Affair by Sheryl Browne

The moment she opened her eyes, she knew everything had changed. The stale taste of alcohol; her uneasy stomach. She looked at her husband sleeping peacefully, and knew she would never tell anyone what happened last night.

You will think you know what happened to Alicia that night.

You will see a desperate wife, lying to her husband.

You will watch a charming lover, trying to win her back.

You will judge her, just like everyone else.

You will assume you know what happens next. But everything you think you know about the past, the relationships, what drives Alicia and her husband to lie… is wrong.

 

 

LillianLillian White’s Journey by Karen Kelly

On the morning of her wedding, Lillian White awakes with a hangover from hell, a naked stranger and no recollection of the previous night. As her eyes become focused the panic sets in as the once intimate, romantic Bridal Suite resembles the aftermath of a wild, drunken party. Unread messages flood her inbox from her soon Husband-to-be but with only hours to spare, can she still go through with the wedding?

 

 

Author/Blogger Meet Up 5th October

 

This has become a regular event that’s an informal and friendly meet up, that is a pleasure to attend. It’s organised by Steph Lawrence (of StefLoz Book Blog) and Kerry Parsons (of Chat About Books). We meet up in the Clayhanger Bar of the North Stafford Hotel in Stoke on Trent. It’s literally on the doorstep of the railway station, providing you leave by the correct platform. On this occasion I failed abysmally to take any photographs so here’s the link to Kerry’s blog as she did a sterling job in making sure she captured us all.

The next meet up is already scheduled for 7th March, 2020 so don’t be shy come and join us – details here.

 

Book Launch of  Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes by Gina Kirkham, 17th October.

 

Gina Book Launch

 

Another fabulous evening to celebrate the launch of Gina’s third book, Blues, Twos and Baby ShoesAs ever Gina pulled out all the stops. With a book reading by Lynne Fitzgerald (who also undertook the interview and Q&A with Gina) to appearances by various character’s, followed by the added bonus of prosecco and doughnuts. 

 

 

 

If you’ve never read Gina’s books you are in for a treat they are as warm and funny as Gina. You can find out more about Gina from her Five on Friday appearance here. It was also lovely to catch up with author Jackie Buxton, who made the trip over from Harrogate to support Gina.

 

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Gina, Me and Jackie

 

Books bought and signed

 

Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes 1Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes

Constable Mavis Upton is back, and this time she’s taking no prisoners – which is never good for a police officer.

Mavis is pregnant, as is her daughter Ella. Facing the prospect of motherhood and being a grandmother simultaneously the last thing Mavis needs is problems at work. But a new sexist dinosaur of a Sergeant is more bully than mentor, and a mysterious case involving a blackmailer sending poison pen letters is baffling the police and tearing apart the local community.

Can Mavis juggle impending motherhood and her career, maintain a loving relationship with her other half Joe and deal with being a grandmother, all whole soving the case?

Well, this is Constable Mavis Upton…literally anything is possible…

 

 

 The Solitary Woman of ShakespeareThe Solitary Woman of Shakespeare by James Terry (in the sale and signed!)

SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA DEBUT CROWN 2017

When seventeen-year-old Abigal Walker, the youngest of four sisters and desperate to escape her mother´s oppressive house and her tedious factory job in the East, responded to the ad, Man in Territory seeks correspondence with adventurous gal, she thought she had found her ticket to love and freedom. She falls in love with a man named Henry through the lovely letters he sends her about his home in the West and she agrees to travel there to Shakespeare to become his wife. But instead she finds herself lured to a rough mining town and twice-deceived. The first surprise she discovers upon arrival in Shakespeare is that she is the sole woman to have ever set foot there.

 

 

East Riding Festival of Words – Murder Day – Saturday 18th October, Beverley

 

Murder Day

A fabulous day of murder and mayhem with a variety of panels covering The Golden Age of Murder, The Gothic Thriller, History and Crime Writing, Forensics and Writing for TV (my descriptors and not necessarily the official titles). Several of these were brilliantly facilitated by author Nick Quantrill who had clearly put in a lot of background research and reading to elicit interesting and informative Q&As. You can read Nick’s Five on Friday here.

Books Bought and Signed

 

 

The Golden Age of MurderThe Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards

Detective stories of the Twenties and Thirties have long been stereotyped as cosily conventional. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Golden Age of Murder tells for the first time the extraordinary story of British detective fiction between the two World Wars. A gripping real-life detective story, it investigates how Dorothy L. Sayers, Anthony Berkeley, Agatha Christie and their colleagues in the mysterious Detection Club transformed crime fiction. Their work cast new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors’ darkest secrets, and their complex and sometimes bizarre private lives.

Crime novelist and current Detection Club President Martin Edwards rewrites the history of crime fiction with unique authority, transforming our understanding of detective stories, and the brilliant but tormented men and women who wrote them.

 

 

Things in JarsThings in Jars by Jess Kidd

London, 1863. Bridie Devine, the finest female detective of her age, is taking on her toughest case yet. Reeling from her last job and with her reputation in tatters, a remarkable puzzle has come her way. Christabel Berwick has been kidnapped. But Christabel is no ordinary child. She is not supposed to exist.

As Bridie fights to recover the stolen child she enters a world of fanatical anatomists, crooked surgeons and mercenary showmen. Anomalies are in fashion, curiosities are the thing, and fortunes are won and lost in the name of entertainment. The public love a spectacle and Christabel may well prove the most remarkable spectacle London has ever seen.

 

 

The Wayward GirlsThe Wayward Girls by Amanda Mason

The girls heard it first, the knocking inside the walls . . .

THEN

1976. Loo and her sister Bee live in a run-down cottage in the middle of nowhere, with their artistic parents and wild siblings. Their mother, Cathy, had hoped to escape to a simpler life; instead the family find themselves isolated and shunned by their neighbours. At the height of the stifling summer, unexplained noises and occurences in the house begin to disturb the family, until they intrude on every waking moment . . .

NOW

Loo, now Lucy, is called back to her childhood home. A group of strangers are looking to discover the truth about the house and the people who lived there. But is Lucy ready to confront what really happened all those years ago?

 

 

he Marriage HearseThe Marriage Hearse by Kate Ellis

When Kirsten Harbourn is found strangled and naked on her wedding day, DI Wesley Peterson makes some alarming discoveries. Kirsten was being pursued by an obsessed stalker and she had dark secrets her doting fianc, Peter, knew nothing about. But Kirsten’s wasn’t the only wedding planned to take place that July day in South Devon.

At Morbay register office a terrified young girl makes her wedding vows. And a few days later her bridegroom is found dead in a seedy seaside hotel. As Wesley investigates he suspects that his death and his bride’s subsequent disappearance might be linked to Kirsten’s murder. Meanwhile the skeleton of a young female is found buried in a farmer’s field – a field that once belonged to the family of Ralph Strong, an Elizabethan playwright whose play, ‘The Fair Wife of Padua’ is to be performed for the first time in four hundred years.

Is this bloodthirsty play a confession to a murder committed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1? Or does it tell another story, one that might cast light on recent mysteries?

 

 

the long callThe Long Call by Ann Cleeves

In North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. The day Matthew turned his back on the strict evangelical community in which he grew up, he lost his family too.

Now he’s back, not just to mourn his father at a distance, but to take charge of his first major case in the Two Rivers region; a complex place not quite as idyllic as tourists suppose.

A body has been found on the beach near to Matthew’s new home: a man with the tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

Finding the killer is Venn’s only focus, and his team’s investigation will take him straight back into the community he left behind, and the deadly secrets that lurk there.

 

 

E-Books bought this month

 

Cold BonesCold Bones by David Mark

It’s the Coldest winter in Hull for years

When McAvoy is told by a concerned stranger that an elderly woman hasn’t been seen for a few days, he goes to check on her – only to find her in the bath, encased in ice: the heating off; the windows open; the whole house frozen over.

It could be a macabre accident, but McAvoy senses murder. Someone watched her die.

As he starts to uncover the victim’s story and her connections to a lost fishing trawler, his boss Trish is half a world away, investigating a mysterious death in Iceland. Hull and Iceland have traditionally been united by fishing – in this case, they are linked by a secret concealed for half a century, and a series of brutal killings that have never been connected.

Until now – when the secrets of the dead have returned to prey on the living.

 

 

The Mother of All ChristmasesThe Mother of all Christmases by Milly Johnson

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them …

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

 

 

Ruin BeachRuin Beach by Kate Rhodes

THE ISLAND OF TRESCO HOLDS A DARK SECRET SOMEONE WILL KILL TO PROTECT.

Ben Kitto is the Scilly Isles’ Deputy Chief of Police, but as the island’s lazy summer takes hold, he finds himself missing the excitement of the murder squad in London – until the body of a diver is discovered, anchored to the rocks of a nearby cave.

At first it appears that the young woman’s death was a tragic accident, but when evidence is found that suggests otherwise, the islanders close ranks. With even those closest to the victim refusing to talk, Ben questions whether more than one resident might have had reason to harm her . . .

Everyone is a suspect. No one is safe.

 

 

BreakersBreakers by Doug Johnstone

A toxic family … a fight for survival…

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

 

 

The HolidayThe Holiday by T M Logan

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Provence.

But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends.

One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined.

Because someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.

 

 

The Far FieldThe Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

An elegant, epic debut novel that follows one young woman’s search for a lost figure from her childhood, a journey that takes her from Southern India to Kashmir and to the brink of a devastating political and personal reckoning.

In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir’s politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.

 

 

The FiveThe Five : The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888.

Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women.

Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories.

 

 

The Distant EchoThe Distant Echo by Val McDermid

Some things just won’t let go.
The past, for instance.
That night in the cemetery.
The girl’s body in the snow.

On a freezing Fife morning four drunken students stumble upon the body of a woman in the snow. Rosie has been raped, stabbed and left for dead in an ancient Pictish cemetery. And the only suspects are the four young men now stained with her blood.

Twenty-five years later the police mount a ‘cold case’ review of Rosie’s unsolved murder and the four are still suspects. But when two of them die in suspicious circumstances, it seems that someone is pursuing their own brand of justice. For the remaining two there is only one way to avoid becoming the next victim – find out who really killed Rosie all those years ago…

 

 

Everybody Died, So I Got a DogEverybody died, so I got a dog by Emily Dean

The funny, heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of love, family and overwhelming loss which led Emily Dean to find hope and healing in the dog she always wanted.

Growing up with the Deans was a fabulous training ground for many things: ignoring unpaid bills, being the most entertaining guest at dinner, deconstructing poetry. It was never home for the dog Emily craved.

Emily shared the lively chaos with her beloved older sister Rachael, her rock. Over the years the sisters bond grew ever closer. As Rachael went on to have the cosy family and treasured dog, Giggle, Emily threw herself into unsettled adventure – dog ownership remaining a distant dream.

Then, tragically, Rachael is diagnosed with cancer. In just three devastating years Emily loses not only her sister but both her parents as well.

This is the funny heart-breaking, wonderfully told story of how Emily discovers that it is possible to overcome the worst that life can throw at you, that it’s never too late to make peace with your past, and that the right time is only ever now, as she finally starts again with her very own dog – the adorable Shih-tzu named Raymond.

 

 

Red SnowRed Snow by Will Dean

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

 

 

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella FortunaThe Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames

If Stella Fortuna means ‘lucky star’, then life must have a funny sense of humour. 

Everybody in the Fortuna family knows the story of how the beautiful, fiercely independent Stella, who refused to learn to cook and who swore she would never marry, has escaped death time and time again.

From her childhood in Italy, to her adulthood in America, death has seemed to pursue Stella. She has been burned, eviscerated and bludgeoned; she has choked, nearly fallen out of a window, and on one occasion, her life was only saved by a typo.

However, even the best-known stories still have secrets to reveal . . . and even after a century, Stella’s is no exception.

No woman survives seven or eight deaths without a reason. So, how did she? In a tale which spans nine decades, two continents, and one family’s darkest, deepest-buried truths, the answer awaits. . .

 

 

Death TrackDeath Track by Sally Rigby

Catch the train if you dare…

After a teenage boy is found dead on a Lenchester train, Detective Chief Inspector Whitney Walker believes they’re being targeted by the notorious Carriage Killer, who chooses a local rail network, commits four murders, and moves on.

Against her wishes, Walker’s boss brings in officers from another force to help the investigation and prevent more deaths, but she’s forced to defend her team against this outside interference.

Forensic psychologist, Dr Georgina Cavendish, is by her side in an attempt to bring to an end this killing spree. But how can they get into the mind of a killer who has already killed twelve times in two years without leaving behind a single clue?

 

 

The Night TigerThe Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

They say a tiger that devours too many humans can take the form of a man and walk among us…

In 1930s colonial Malaya, a dissolute British doctor receives a surprise gift of an eleven-year-old Chinese houseboy. Sent as a bequest from an old friend, young Ren has a mission: to find his dead master’s severed finger and reunite it with his body. Ren has forty-nine days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth forever.

Ji Lin, an apprentice dressmaker, moonlights as a dancehall girl to pay her mother’s debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir that leads her on a crooked, dark trail.

As time runs out for Ren’s mission, a series of unexplained deaths occur amid rumours of tigers who turn into men. In their journey to keep a promise and discover the truth, Ren and Ji Lin’s paths will cross in ways they will never forget.

 

 

A Convenient MarriageA Convenient Marriage by Jeevani Charika (pre-order due 13 Nov)

It was the perfect marriage… until they fell in love.

Chaya is a young woman torn between her duty to family and her life in the UK. While her traditional Sri Lankan parents want her to settle down into marriage, what they don’t know is that Chaya has turned away the one true love of her life, Noah, terrified of their disapproval.

Gimhana is hiding his sexuality from his family. It’s easy enough to pretend he’s straight when he lives half a world away in the UK. But it’s getting harder and harder to turn down the potential brides his parents keep finding for him.

When Chaya and Gimhana meet, a marriage of convenience seems like the perfect solution to their problems. Together they have everything – friendship, stability and their parents’ approval. But when both Chaya and Gimhana find themselves falling in love outside of their marriage, they’re left with an impossible decision – risk everything they’ve built together, or finally follow their heart?

Will they choose love, or carry on living a lie?

 

 

Death by Dark WatersDeath by Dark Waters by Jo Allen

The charred remains of a child are discovered – a child no one seems to have missed…

It’s high summer, and the lakes are in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave. Uncontrollable fell fires are breaking out across the moors faster than they can be extinguished. When firefighters uncover the body of a dead child at the heart of the latest blaze, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Satterthwaite’s arson investigation turns to one of murder.

Jude was born and bred in the Lake District. He knows everyone… and everyone knows him. Except his intriguing new Detective Sergeant, Ashleigh O’Halloran, who is running from a dangerous past and has secrets of her own to hide…

Temperatures – and tension – in the village are rising, and with the body count rising Jude and his team race against the clock to catch the killer before it’s too late…

 

 

Run AwayRun Away by Harlan Coben

YOUR DAUGHTER IS MISSING.
YOU’LL RISK ANYTHING TO FIND HER.

And then you see her, frightened and clearly in trouble.

You approach her, beg her to come home.

SHE RUNS.

You follow her into a dark, dangerous world where no-one is safe and murder is commonplace.

NOW IT’S YOUR LIFE ON THE LINE…

 

 

ReconstructionReconstruction by Mick Herron

What should have been a simple pick-up turns into a day-long nightmare for Bad Sam Chapman.

When an operational catastrophe puts a gun in the hands of a young man, who then breaks into South Oxford Nursery School and takes a group of hostages, teacher Louise Kennedy fears the worst. But Jaime Segura isn’t there on a homicidal mission, and he’s just as scared as those whose lives he holds as collateral.

As an armed police presence builds outside the school’s gates, Bad Sam Chapman – head of the intelligence service’s internal security force, the Dogs – battles the clock to find out what Jaime is after. But the only person Jaime will talk to is Ben Whistler, an MI6 accountant who worked with Jaime’s lover, Miro.

Miro’s gone missing, along with a quarter of a billion pounds allotted for reconstruction work in Iraq. Jaime refuses to believe that Miro is a thief – though he’s always had his secrets. But then, so does Louise, so do the other hostages – and so do some people on the outside, who’d much rather Jaime was silenced.

 

 

The QuakerThe Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

A city torn apart.
It is 1969 and Glasgow has been brought to its knees by a serial killer spreading fear throughout the city. The Quaker has taken three women from the same nightclub and brutally murdered them in the backstreets.

A detective with everything to prove.
Now, six months later, the police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. They call in DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.
Soon another woman is found murdered in a run-down tenement flat. And McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…

 

 

Once Upon a RiverOnce Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames, the regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open and in steps an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a child.

Hours later, the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

And who does the little girl belong to?

 

 

Three Little TruthsThree Little Truths by Eithne Shortall

On the idyllic Pine Road, three women are looking for a fresh start…

Martha was a force of nature, but since moving to Dublin under mysterious circumstances, she can’t seem to find her footing.

Robin was the ‘it’ girl in school. Now she’s back at her parents’ with her four-year-old, vowing that her ex is out of the picture for good.

Edie has the perfect life, but she longs for a baby, the acceptance of her neighbours, and to find out why her dream husband is avoiding their dream future.

The friendships of these women will change their lives forever, revealing the secrets, rivalries and scandals that hide behind every door…

 

 

The Last Lost GirlThe Last Lost Girl by Maria Hoey

On a perfect July evening in the sizzling Irish summer of 1976, fifteen-year-old Festival Queen Lilly Brennan disappears. Thirty-seven years later, as the anniversary of Lilly’s disappearance approaches, her sister Jacqueline returns to their childhood home in Blackberry Lane. There she stumbles upon something that reopens the mystery, setting her on a search for the truth a search that leads her to surprising places and challenging encounters.

Jacqueline feels increasingly compelled to find the answer to what happened to Lilly all those years ago and finally lay her ghost to rest. But at what cost? For unravelling the past proves to be a dangerous and painful thing, and her path to the truth leads her ever closer to a dark secret she may not wish to know.

 

 

An Unwelcome GuestAn Unwelcome Guest by Emily Organ

Some say the Hotel Tempesta is cursed, but its owner, Mr Gallo, refuses to believe it. When he’s brutally murdered one night, the suspicion falls on his guests. Ten suspects in total. And Penny Green is one of them.

Does Mr Gallo’s murder have anything to do with the criminal mastermind on the run from America? Penny and Inspector James Blakely must negotiate a world of courtesans, stolen paintings and secret codes to prove Penny’s innocence and uncover the truth.

 

 

Life, Death and Vanilla SlicesLife, Death and Vanilla Slices by Jenny Eclair

Jean Collins had two daughters. But she only loved one of them.

She knew it was wrong, but she just couldn’t help herself. Jess was a little sweetheart, everyone said so. Anne was awkward and serious and not much fun, to be frank.

But now the years have passed. Jess is missing – run off long ago, no one knows where or why. So when Jean is left in a coma after a road accident, it’s Anne who travels back up north to sit at her mother’s bedside. And she wonders – why did Jean dash out into the road without looking? What distracted her? And why was she carrying a box of vanilla slices, the cream cakes she only ever bought for extra special occasions?

Meanwhile there are secrets waiting for Anne and Jean, back at the old family home. Secrets that were buried a long time ago . . .

 

 

Christmas at WhitefriarsChristmas at Whitefriars by Jill Steeples (previously published as Warm Winter Kisses)

When Beth Brown loses her job and her long-standing boyfriend in the space of twenty-four hours, she thinks life can’t get any worse. That’s until she finds herself in the depths of the English countryside working for celebrity chef, Rocco di Castri. Not only has she to deal with his legendary moods, but she has to contend with his prickly girlfriend, international supermodel, Pandora, and his best friend, the rock guitarist, Zak Stranger.

Struggling with her feelings of rejection and loss, Beth finds a new sense of contentment in the country and despite herself develops a fanciful crush on her boss, Rocco.

When her ex turns up unexpectedly, Beth’s certain he must want a reconciliation, but there’s unsettling news which causes Beth to question her own needs and desires.

There’s even more upsetting news for Beth when she learns that Pandora and Rocco are to be engaged. Heartbroken, Beth flees the country to go back to her old life. But will she ever find true love of her own and how will she ever get over the man who has stolen her heart?

 

 

The ConfessionThe Confession by Jo Spain

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.

An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.

Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?

 

 

The Naseby HorsesThe Naseby Horses by Dominic Brownlow (due Dec – part of Louise Walters Supporters subscription)

Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.

Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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