Good grief, yet again nearly 1000 titles in the sale, so I’ve been selective. As with last month I’ve concentrated on the more recent titles, but have dropped in a few older titles that I wouldn’t want you to miss. Genres have been allocated by me and have been generously applied. I don’t necessarily like to pigeon hole but it helps to give the post a bit more structure.
Usual rules apply – all books I include are those I’ve either read and recommend, books that are patiently waiting to be read, or they’re ones I’d happily to add to my reading list. Therefore, it’s a list that’s skewed towards what currently appeals to me so feel free to look at the complete list on Amazon here.
This post includes affiliate links and you can see what this means here. Click on image for purchase link
Crime, Thriller & Mystery
Offering to the Storm by Dolores Redondo
The final book in Dolores Redondo’s atmospheric Baztan trilogy, featuring Inspector Amaia Salazar. With masterful storytelling and a detective to rival Sarah Lund, this Spanish bestselling series has taken Europe by storm.
It begins with a murdered child. It ends in a valley where nightmares are born.
When Detective Inspector Amaia Salazar is called in to investigate the death of a baby girl, she finds an ominous sign that points to murder.
The girl’s grandmother tells the police that the ‘Inguma’ was responsible – an evil demon of Basque mythology that kills people in their sleep – Amaia is forced to return to the Baztán valley for answers.
Back where it all began, she comes face to face with a ghost from her past. And finally uncovers a devastating truth that has ravaged the valley for years.
The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
OLD ENEMIES… NEW CRIMES
Thirty years ago, WPC Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she arrested coffin-maker Larry Glassbrook for three shocking murders.
Larry confessed; it was an open and shut case. But now he’s dead, and events from the past are repeating themselves.
The town Florence left behind still has many secrets. Will she finally uncover the truth? Or will time run out for her first?
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….
Found by Erin Kinsley
When 11 year old Evan vanishes without trace, his parents are plunged into their worst nightmare.
Especially as the police, under massive pressure, have no answers. But months later Evan is unexpectedly found, frightened and refusing to speak. His loving family realise life will never be the same again.
DI Naylor knows that unless those who took Evan are caught, other children are in danger. And with Evan silent, she must race against time to find those responsible…
A gripping, heart-wrenching thriller with the emotional power of series like BROADCHURCH and THE MISSING, this is the perfect read for fans of Cara Hunter, Heidi Perks, Claire Douglas, Fiona Barton, Susan Lewis and Nuala Ellwood.
The Other People by C J Tudor
Driving home one night, Gabe sees the face of a little girl he knows in the rear window of the car in front.
She mouths one word – ‘Daddy’. It’s his five-year old daughter, Izzy.
He never sees her again.
The police believe she’s dead. But three years later, Gabe still drives the roads, searching for the car that took Izzy, never giving up hope . . .
Meanwhile Fran and her daughter, Alice, aren’t searching – but running.
Always one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.
Because Fran knows the truth about Gabe’s daughter.
And she knows what the people chasing her will do if they ever catch them . . .
Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh
TWO SISTERS ON TRIAL FOR MURDER. THEY ACCUSE EACH OTHER.
WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?
‘911 what’s your emergency?’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Sofia killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
‘My dad’s dead. My sister Alexandra killed him. She’s still in the house. Please send help.’
One of them is a liar and a killer.
But which one?
The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North
After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope.
When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is understanding and kind, and promises she can help Tess through the hardest time of her life.
But when a string of unsettling events happens and questions arise over her husband’s death, Tess starts to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but she’s at her most vulnerable, and that’s a dangerous place to be . . .
The Reach of Shadows by Tony J Forder
Recovering from injuries sustained in a road collision, DI Bliss is taken directly from hospital to a fresh crime scene and ordered to investigate the vicious stabbing and murder of Jade Coleman.
When Bliss realises the victim had reported being stalked, and that two of his own team had been drafted in to take her statement, he is given the unenviable task of interviewing both of his detectives.
Increasingly it appears that the stalker may be their killer. However, several other people soon become part of the team’s suspect list.
Bliss also finds himself being questioned about his own past and has to battle to defend himself whilst continuing to investigate the murder.
Soon more questions arise.
Why would anybody target Jade Coleman?
Why are the team unable to identify the victim’s close female friend?
And why did Jade recently leave her job without any explanation?
With his work cut out, and his team under pressure, can Bliss solve the case before more victims show up?
Or will the shadows of his own past reach out and drag him under before he can succeed?
The Safety Net by Andrea Camilleri
Vigàta is bustling as the new filming location for a Swedish television series set in 1950. In the production frenzy, the director asks the locals to track down movies and vintage photos to faithfully recreate the air of Vigàta at that time. Meanwhile, Montalbano is grappling with a double mystery, one that emerges from the past and another that leads him into the future . . .
Engineer Ernesto Sabatello, rummaging in the attic of his house, finds some films shot by his father between 1958 and 1963, always on the same day, 27th March, and always the same shot: the outside wall of a country house. Montalbano hears the story and, intrigued, begins to investigate its meaning.
Meanwhile, a middle school is threatened by a group of armed men, and a closer look at the case finds Montalbano looking into the students themselves and delving into the world of social media.
The Stolen Sisters by Louise Jensen
Sisterhood binds them. Trauma defines them. Will secrets tear them apart?
Leah’s perfect marriage isn’t what it seems but the biggest lie of all is that she’s learned to live with what happened all those years ago. Marie drinks a bit too much to help her forget. And Carly has never forgiven herself for not keeping them safe.
Twenty years ago The Sinclair Sisters were taken. But what came after their return was far worse. Can a family ever recover, especially when not everyone is telling the truth…?
I am Dust by Louise Beech
A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…
The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…
Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?
Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?
Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?
Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.
And Chloe has been watching…
The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths
A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?
This is what the police know: English teacher Clare Cassidy’s friend Ella has just been murdered. Clare and Ella had recently fallen out. Found beside the body was a line from The Stranger, a story by the Gothic writer Clare teaches, and the murder scene is identical to one of the deaths in the story.
This is what Clare knows: No one else was aware of her fight with Ella. Few others have even read The Stranger. Someone has wormed their way into her life and her work. They know her darkest secrets. And they don’t mean well.
This is what the killer knows: Who will be next to die.
Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams
Journalist Janey Everett arrives at a remote village on the island of Kauai, determined to solve one of the world’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Ten years earlier, renowned pilot Sam Mallory left to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He never returned.
Now Janey has tracked down the woman she believes to be Mallory’s former flying partner, the legendary Irene Foster, and the one person who might know what really happened to him.
But Irene is hiding a story of her own. The story of an extraordinary life and a secret love she’s not quite ready to reveal…
The Heretic Wind by Judith Arnopp
Adored by her parents and pampered by the court, the infant Princess Mary’s life changes suddenly and drastically when her father’s eye is taken by the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.
Mary stands firm against her father’s determination to destroy both her mother’s reputation, and the Catholic church. It is a battle that will last throughout both her father’s and her brother’s reign, until, she is almost broken by persecution. When King Edward falls ill and dies Mary expects to be crowned queen.
But she has reckoned without John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland, who before Mary can act, usurps her crown and places it on the head of her Protestant cousin, Lady Jane Grey.
Furious and determined not to be beaten, Mary musters a vast army at Framlingham Castle; a force so strong that Jane Grey’s supporters crumble in the face of it, and Mary is at last crowned Queen of England.
But her troubles are only just beginning. Rebellion and heresy take their toll both on Mary’s health, and on the English people. Suspecting she is fatally ill, and desperate to save her people from heresy, Mary steps up her campaign to compel her subjects to turn back to the Catholic faith.
All who resist will face punishment for heresy in the flames of the Smithfield fires.
The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio
Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.
Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.
Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.
Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.
Wake by Anna Hope
Remembrance Day 1920: A wartime secret connects three women’s lives:
Hettie whose wounded brother won’t speak.
Evelyn who still grieves for her lost lover.
And Ada, who has never received an official letter about her son’s death, and is still waiting for him to come home.
As the mystery that binds them begins to unravel, far away, in the fields of France, the Unknown Soldier embarks on his journey home. The mood of the nation is turning towards the future – but can these three women ever let go of the past?
A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier
Violet is 38.
The First World War took everything from her. Her brother, her fiancé – and her future. She is now considered a ‘surplus woman’.
But Violet is also fiercely independent and determined. Escaping her suffocating mother, she moves to Winchester to start a new life –a change that will require courage, resilience and acts of quiet rebellion. And when whispers of another world war surface, she must live with a secret that could change everything…
The House Between the Tides by Sarah Maine
A captivating story of a crumbling estate in the wilds of Scotland, its century-old secret and an enduring mystery…
Following the death of her last living relative, Hetty Deveraux leaves London and her strained relationship behind for Muirlan, her ancestral home in Scotland – now in ruins. As Hetty dives headfirst into the repairs, she discovers a shocking secret protected by the house for a hundred years.
With only whispered rumours circulating among the local villagers and a handful of leads to guide her, Hetty finds the power of the past is still affecting her present in startling ways.
The Parisians by Marius Gabriel
In occupied Paris, one woman risks everything to help bring down the Nazis.
Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city—and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses.
For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance—and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque instructions may be a shield for something more…
Within the hotel, famed designer Coco Chanel quickly learns that the new regime could work to her benefit, while Arletty, one of France’s best-loved actresses, shocks those around her—and herself—with a forbidden love.
But as the war reaches its terrible end, all three women learn the true price of their proximity to the enemy. For in the shadow of war, is anyone truly safe?
One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow by Olivia Hawker
Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival. But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.
Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.
The Gallows Pole by Benjamin Myers
From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is ‘clipping’ – the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death. When an excise officer vows to bring them down and with the industrial age set to change the face of England forever, Hartley’s empire begins to crumble. Forensically assembled, The Gallows Pole is a true story of resistance and a rarely told alternative history of the North.
The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan
A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.
Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.
Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
In the rugged Australian Outback, three generations of Clearys live through joy and sadness, bitter defeat and magnificent triumph – driven by their dreams, sustained by remarkable strength of character… and torn by dark passions, violence and a scandalous family legacy of forbidden love.
It is a poignant love story, a powerful epic of struggle and sacrifice, a celebration of individuality and spirit. Most of all, it is the story of the Clearys’ only daughter, Meggie, who can never possess the man she so desperately adores – Ralph de Bricassart. Ralph will rise from parish priest to the inner circles of the Vatican… but his passion for Meggie will follow him all the days of his life.
In a Kingdom by the Sea by Sara MacDonald
A sweeping, evocative story of love, secrets and betrayal, set against the stunning backdrops of Karachi and Cornwall.
When Gabby’s husband accepts a transfer to Pakistan, she discovers a new world of heat and colour, of exotic bazaars and trips to the breath-taking Kashmiri mountains. It is an escape she didn’t know she was looking for.
But then a shocking letter from her sister reveals a devastating secret. Gabby is transported back to her childhood home on the Cornish coast, and as memories unravel, so too does her new life in Karachi.
Will Gabby find the courage to face the dark secrets and embrace a different future?
Greek Island Escape by Patricia Wilson
‘I am Sofia. I am searching for my daughter, born 1st November 1972. Can you help me?’
On the beautiful beaches of Crete, an old woman is handing out scraps of paper. Sofia, eighty-five years old, unable to speak, is desperate to find a daughter she has never known. After a tragic childhood in Athens and a soaring career as a singer, the brutal treatment of the man she loved by a tyrannical regime forced her to give up her daughter mere days after her birth. Now she longs to be reunited with her child before it’s too late.
Meanwhile in London, Zoe is searching too. In the months since the disappearance of her teenage daughter, Zoe’s life has crumbled apart. Her husband has left her, her son feels forgotten, and every day is a struggle. But Zoe is desperate to track her daughter down, even if she doesn’t want to be found . . .
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
India, 1975. An unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency. Amidst a backdrop of wild political turmoil, the lives of four unlikely strangers collide forever.
An epic panorama of modern India in all its corruption, violence, and heroism, A Fine Balance is Rohinton Mistry’s prize-winning masterpiece: a Dickensian modern classic brimming with compassion, humour, and insight – and a hymn to the human spirit in an inhuman state.
Feel Good Fiction & Romance
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
Meet the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’…
Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.
Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.
But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…
We Are Family by Nicola Gill
You can’t choose your family…
Jess and Laura might be sisters, but they’re very different people. Laura is laid-back, eats cheese in bed, and takes life as it comes. Jess, meanwhile, is the classic overachiever: Chief of Chivvying, Queen of all WhatsApp groups. They’re family, but they’re not exactly friends.
…but you can let them in.
When their mum dies, the sisters struggle to agree on anything, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is an acceptable term. But as life forces them together, Laura and Jess realise: the only way through this is as a team. After all, they’re stuck with each other – and drinking wine is more fun as a pair…
Tiny Pieces of Us by Nicky Pellegrino
My heart is less than 1% of my body, it weighs hardly anything; it is only a tiny piece of me, yet it is the part everyone finds most interesting.
Vivi Palmer knows what it’s like to live life carefully. Born with a heart defect, she was given a second chance after a transplant, but has never quite dared to make the most of it. Until she comes face-to-face with her donor’s mother, Grace, who wants something in return for Vivi’s second-hand heart: her help to find all the other people who have tiny pieces of her son.
Reluctantly drawn into Grace’s mission, Vivi’s journalist training takes over as one by one she tracks down a small group of strangers. As their lives intertwine Vivi finds herself with a new kind of family, and by finding out more about all the pieces that make up the many parts of her, Vivi might just discover a whole new world waiting for her…
Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty
The simple fact of the matter is that Iris loves life. Maybe she’s forgotten that. Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? To the best of us? All I have to do is remind her of that one simple fact.
Monday morning starts like any other – until Terry discovers her best friend Iris has gone missing. Finding her takes Terry, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene, into an extraordinary journey – one that will change all of their lives. And, along the way, what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.
Because friendship teaches us all to be brave. And, sometimes, the rules are made to be broken.
Needlemouse 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…
The Man Across the Street by Marcie Steele
Hannah wasn’t looking for love. Neither was Doug…
Hannah has been her mum’s sole carer since she was eighteen. Now alone after Martha’s sudden death, she’s coming up to her fortieth birthday and wondering what her purpose in life is. When a letter left by her mum reveals a family secret, it shocks her to the core. Hannah’s sister left over twenty years ago – could this be the reason why?
Doug is a workaholic, but a mild heart attack gives him a wake-up call. Now on the mend, he needs to de-stress his life and focus on living it, to make sure it doesn’t happen again. He moves to Hope Street, number 35. Hannah lives directly opposite him. From the moment they meet, there’s a spark.
But just as things start to look up for Hannah, she finds out that Doug has a secret too, and this one threatens to destroy everything. Will she ever get the happy ending she yearns for? Or will the path of true love stop at the cobblestones…?
Where the Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon
Sometimes the cracks in your heart can be mended in unexpected ways . . .
If Lorna’s learned one thing, 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 the anxious little dachshund trembling beside her.
Sick of life in the big city, Lorna’s come home to fulfil her dream of running a successful art gallery. Desperate for change, Lorna just wants a fresh start but can she find it in Longhampton? This is where her tight-knit family shattered into pieces. It’s where her doubts about herself took root and where she first fell in love and had her heart broken. It’s everything she was running away from.
But life and love can surprise you and all Lorna has to do to let the light in is open her heart . . .
Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds
Eighty-five-year-old Henry Arthur Applebee has had a pretty good life. But one regret has haunted him for the last sixty-five years.
And so, on an ordinary December morning, he boards a train from London to Edinburgh. His goal is simple: to find the woman who disappeared from his life decades earlier.
But Henry isn’t the only person on a mission. Also bound for Edinburgh is troubled teen, Ariel. And when the two strangers collide, what began as one humble journey will catapult them both into a whole new world…
The Cottage of Curiosities by Celia Anderson
Tucked away amongst the winding, cobbled streets of Pengelly in Cornwall, the old stone cottage on Memory Lane is full of secrets. Brimming with trinkets and treasures, there are thousands of stories hidden within its walls.
Fifty-four-year-old Grace Clarke arrives in Pengelly determined to uncover the secrets of her past. Standing outside the little cottage, she feels sure that the answers she craves lie inside. The truth about her mysterious long-lost mother and the even more mysterious gifts she was born with…
All About Us by Tom Ellen
If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?
Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?
He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.
Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?
Two loves. Two lives. One destiny…
Kate and Clara’s Curious Cornish Craft Shop by Ali McNamara
Kate thinks all her wishes have come true when she opens her own little craft shop in the idyllic harbour town of St Felix.
But she soon finds a mystery lingers in her new shop – a sixty-year-old love story told through beautiful paintings and intricate embroideries.
Jack, the owner of the nearby art shop, volunteers to help Kate unravel the mystery, but in doing so they realise their own lives share some uncanny similarities with Clara and Arty, their 1950s counterparts . . .
Can Kate and Jack put right a decades-old wrong, and maybe find their own happy ending on the way?
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
Two people. One choice. What if?
Every love story has a beginning…
Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. As the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.
Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.
And as Lucy is faced with a devastating choice, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny or chance.
…what if this is how their story ends?
Postscript by Cecelia Ahern
The PS, I Love You Club. These are the six words written on a card handed to Holly Kennedy. They’re words that are engraved on her heart – because PS, I Love You is how her husband, Gerry, signed his last letters to her, letters that mark a year she will never forget.
Now, the mysterious club wants something from her. And if Holly can find the courage meet them, she’ll learn what it really means to live life to the full.
Because every love story has one last thing to say…
Summer at my Sister’s by Emily Harvale
Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.
Diana has a rich and successful husband, two talented youngsters and an adorable dog. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.
Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends and often looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge.
Although Josie loves Diana deeply, each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.
But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she also hiding something? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance.
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan has been in possession of her meticulously crafted answer since she understood the question. On the day that she nails the most important job interview of her career and gets engaged to the perfect man, she’s well on her way to fulfilling her life goals.
That night Dannie falls asleep only to wake up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and in the company of a very different man. The TV is on in the background, and she can just make out the date. It’s the same night – December 15th – but 2025, five years in the future.
It was just a dream, she tells herself when she wakes, but it felt so real… Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four and a half years later, when Dannie turns down a street and there, standing on the corner, is the man from her dream…
Spencer’s List by Lissa Evans
Some people live life in the fast lane. Others have stalled and are waiting for assistance on the side of the road, sustained only by the piece of chewing gum they’ve just found in the glove compartment.
Spencer’s ex-lover has died, leaving him a lizard and a list of things to do before the end of the year.
Spencer’s friend Fran shares a house and a mortgage with her brother and his girlfriend, a woman with delicate wrists and a bloated cat.
Fran’s neighbour Iris is slave to the three men in her life: an aging father who likes the phone and two teenage sons who cannot fathom the washing machine.
Maybe it’s not about living life in the fast lane. It’s about learning to live at all.
Spencer’s List is a wonderfully funny tale of life lived on the edge – of reason, of failure and of (just possibly) a brighter future.
Inheritance by Jenny Eclair
Beginnings, middles and ends; Peggy, Serena, Natasha and Bel. This is the room that binds them, this is how consequences work . . .
In deepest Cornwall, the mansion Kittiwake has seen many pass through its doors since it was bought by American heiress Peggy Carmichael seventy years ago.
Over the decades, the keys have been handed down through the family, and now it belongs to Bel’s adoptive brother, Lance. It’s where he’ll be celebrating his fiftieth birthday, and Bel is invited.
But Bel barely feels like she’s holding it together as it is, and in going back to Kittiwake, she will be returning to the place where it all began – where, following the death of a child, a sequence of events was set in motion, the consequences of which are still rippling down through the generations . . .
The Man with no Borders by Richard C Morais
A father comes to terms with his mortality and secrets in a heartrending novel of family and forgiveness from the New York Times bestselling author of The Hundred-Foot Journey.
It is a time of reckoning for José María Álvarez, an aristocratic Spanish banker living in a Swiss village with his American wife. Nearing the end of a long and tumultuous life, he’s overcome by hallucinatory memories of the past. Among his most cherished memories are those of his boyhood in 1950s Franco-era Spain and the bucolic afternoons he spent salmon fishing on the Sella River with his father, uncle, and much-loved younger brother. But these fond reveries are soon eclipsed by something greater. José’s regrets and dark family secrets are flooding back, as is the devastating tragedy that drove José into exile and makes him bear the burden of a soul-deep guilt.
Now, as his three estranged sons return to their father’s side, José hopes to outpace death long enough to finally put his house in order and exorcise its demons. Only in his quest for redemption can José begin to understand the meaning of his life—and what his legacy has meant to others.
Where the Edge Is by Grainne Murphy
As a sleepy town in rural Ireland starts to wake, a road subsides, trapping an early-morning bus and five passengers inside. Rescue teams struggle and as two are eventually saved, the bus falls deeper into the hole.
Under the watchful eyes of the media, the lives of three people are teetering on the edge. And for those on the outside, from Nina, the reporter covering the story, to rescue liaison, Tim, and Richie, the driver pulled from the wreckage, each are made to look at themselves under the glare of the spotlight.
When their world crumbles beneath their feet, they are forced to choose between what they cling to and what they must let go of.
A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King
For thirty years Liz has perfectly played the part of Mrs. Thomas Lightsey, exemplary pastor’s wife and mother. But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll, and she’s lost herself in meeting the expectations of others. When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom. Dare she dream of a life to call her own?
Despite the resistance of her daughter, Abigail, to even the smallest changes, Liz lands a role at the community theater. Inspired by new friends and the character she plays, she explores life’s possibilities, including an unexpected—and steamy—relationship with her leading man.
Just when Liz thinks she might be winning, life hits her with an unthinkable shock. She’s pregnant at forty-nine. Torn between conflicting loyalties to her daughter, her lover, her unborn baby, and herself, can Liz find a way to rebuild her dream life one more time?
The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves
A lifetime of love. Six months of silence. One last chance.
Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.
For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.
Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet, but it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.
Is this where their story ends?
Or is it where it begins
Soldier Boy by Cassandra Parkin
Under the shadow of trauma, Liam has been discharged from the army. As night terrors torment him and he struggles to keep his anger intact, he finds himself in his car, his daughter Alannah asleep in the back, while his wife Emma has gone AWOL. With no idea where to go for shelter, his only goal is to hold onto his daughter at all costs. But Alannah is on a journey of her own.
As the consequences of Alannah’s choices unfold, nothing will ever be the same again.
Soldier Boy is gripping story about secrets, fear, longing, lies and the power of being true to yourself, even when the price is higher than you could have imagined.
The 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.
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
This is a life told back to front.
This is a man who has lied all his life.
Roy is a conman living in a leafy English suburb, about to pull off the final coup of his career. He is going to meet and woo a beautiful woman and slip away with her life savings.
But who is the man behind the con and what has he had to do to survive this life of lies?
And why is this beautiful woman so willing to be his next victim?
This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik
In the sleepy village of Babel’s End, trouble is brewing.
Bilal Hasham is having a mid-life crisis. His mother has just died, and he finds peace lying in a grave he’s dug in the garden. His elderly Auntie Rukhsana has come to live with him, and forged an unlikely friendship with village busybody, Shelley Hawking. His wife Mariam is distant and distracted, and his stepson Haaris is spending more time with his real father.
Bilal’s mother’s dying wish was to build a mosque in Babel’s End, but when Shelley gets wind of this scheme, she unleashes the forces of hell. Will Bilal’s mosque project bring his family and his beloved village together again, or drive them apart?
Ponti by Sharlene Teo
Set in 2003 in the sweltering heat of Singapore, Sharlene Teo’s Ponti begins as sixteen-year-olds Szu and Circe develop an intense friendship. For Szu it offers an escape from Amisa, her beautiful, cruel mother – once an actress, and now the silent occupant of a rusty house. But for Circe, their friendship does the opposite, bringing her one step closer to the fascinating, unknowable Amisa.
Seventeen years later, Circe finds herself adrift and alone. And then a project comes up at work, a remake of the cult seventies horror film series ‘Ponti’, the same series that defined Amisa’s short-lived film career. Suddenly Circe is knocked off balance: by memories of the two women she once knew, by guilt, and by a lost friendship that threatens her conscience . . .
The Lemon Tree Hotel by Rosanna Ley
A story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven . . .
In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives.
One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara’s past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.
The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley
In Tokyo – one of the world’s largest megacities – a stray cat is wending her way through the back alleys. And, with each detour, she brushes up against the seemingly disparate lives of the city-dwellers, connecting them in unexpected ways.
But the city is changing. As it does, it pushes her to the margins where she chances upon a series of apparent strangers – from a homeless man squatting in an abandoned hotel, to a shut-in hermit afraid to leave his house, to a convenience store worker searching for love. The cat orbits Tokyo’s denizens, drawing them ever closer.
The Shadow Between Us by Carol Mason
What is it about the coast that attracts people running from their past?
When Olivia moves to Port Townsend, her marriage is floundering, and her life is in pieces. She doesn’t know if things with her husband Mark are truly over, or quite why the phone call she longs for on her daughter’s birthday will never come.
Joining a letter-writing club seems like a harmless decision. But when she meets Ned, an ex-soldier badly wounded in Afghanistan, this unlooked-for friendship revives unexpected emotions and memories she’d rather forget.
Can Olivia find the courage to confront what she’s hiding from and finally begin to heal the wounds that have torn her life apart? From the bestselling author of After You Left comes a story about finding hope in second chances.
Christmas (I know, I know, it’s only October)
Snowflakes over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman
As the snowflakes start to fall, Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach…
For lifestyle magazine journalist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article ‘Love is, actually, all around…’
So, Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air and rugged stranger, Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart.
Tia didn’t expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Christmas wishes might just come true…
Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly beautiful Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands, where the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.
As cosy as a marshmallow-topped mug of cocoa, fall in love with a heart-warming festive story from the bestselling author of The French Adventure.
The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan
Kingfisher Road – a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. But there are whispers behind closed doors. Who is moving into Number 10?
Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. But not everything is as it seems…
In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache.
But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need?
The Christmas Gift by Sue Moorcroft
One Christmas can change everything…
Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.
To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?
Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?
Magic under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman
Christmas and romance are in the air…
It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot
Will this Christmas romance be just for the holidays?
A fun, festive romantic comedy to curl up with this winter. If you love Josie Silver’s One Day in December, you’ll love Mandy Baggot’s heart-warming festive romance.
Lara Weeks is heading to New York with best friend Susie for the Christmas trip of a lifetime.
A festive break in the snowy Big Apple visiting the tourist hotspots, not to mention the shopping, seems like the perfect way for Lara to get over her ex-boyfriend. Or maybe make him so jealous he begs for a second chance.
Enlisting the help of gorgeous actor, Seth Hunt, doesn’t quite go to plan, but there’s something about him that has Lara wishing for a different kind of happy ever after…
One Christmas Star by Mandy Baggot
Emily Parker is set to have the worst Christmas ever!
Her flatmate’s moved out, she’s closed her heart to love and she’s been put in charge of the school original Christmas show – with zero musical ability.
Disgraced superstar, Ray Stone is in desperate need of a quick PR turnaround. Waking up from a drunken stupor to a class of ten-year-olds snapping pics and Emily looking at him was not what he had in mind.
Ray needs Emily’s help to delete the photos, and she needs his with the show. As they learn to work together they may just open their hearts to more than a second chance…
The Bad Mother’s Christmas by Suzy K Quinn
“I will do anything for my little girl. Even spend Christmas with her father …”
Juliette Duffy is struggling with motherhood. First, there are the little things. She suspects most mothers drink fewer pints of Guinness than she does. And don’t do emergency clothing washes with wet-wipes and Febreeze. Or eat their child’s advent calendar chocolates, then replace them with Mentos.
Then there’s the big thing. Most mothers live with the father of their child.
Sadly, Nick, did not turn out to be the supportive, bread-winning family man type. In fact, he was a promiscuous teenage boy, cunningly disguised as a middle-aged actor in tight jeans and bright trainers.
Juliette is now a single mother, entering blended family territory. She has a new boyfriend. Nick has a girlfriend. And they’re all going to spend Christmas together.
But how are they going to survive Christmas Day when Nick keeps telling Juliette he wants her back?
Nick had better not mess up Christmas day. Or he’s going to lose some jingle balls.
Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage by Katie Ginger
On a grey London day, Esme’s world crumbles around her when she loses her glitzy job on a top TV programme, her gorgeous, city-slicker boyfriend and her stunning apartment, all in one fell swoop just before Christmas.
Esme is forced suddenly to move back to her sleepy home town of Sandchester, and despite the snow blanketing the roof and the fairy lights that twinkle in her rustic little cottage, everything is looking bleak. That is until she reconnects with an old crush and finds herself unexpectedly getting swept away.
But Joe, handsome and charming as he is, is not all he seems. Esme soon realises that he has a tragic past which he just might not be able to overcome…
Surrounded by her loving, if hare-brained, family and with the support of her hilarious friends, Esme is determined to have a go at forging her own path, even if it all comes to nothing. But one question still lingers in her mind: will she find someone to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?
Christmas at Silver Falls by Jenny Hale
White Oaks Inn has always been at the heart of Christmas celebrations for Scarlett Bailey and her family. Her adored gran has owned the rambling, old-fashioned hotel, filled with the scent of cinnamon and chocolate, since Scarlett was a little girl. But now her gran’s home is under threat. And it looks like it could be the Baileys’ last Christmas together there…
Over the holiday season, amidst much-loved festive traditions of baking cookies and decorating the tree, Scarlett throws herself into saving the hotel. When she hears that Charlie Bryant, a handsome, successful property developer, is spending December in Silver Falls, Scarlett is hopeful he might be the answer to their problems.
When they meet, sparks fly between impulsive Scarlett and business-like Charlie – as they both have very different ideas for the future of White Oaks. Scarlett is determined to show him how much White Oaks Inn means to her family and the guests who return there every year and, as they spend more time together, she begins to realize there is more to Charlie than his serious appearance…
But Charlie is struggling with a secret from his own past. Will he be able to face it, or will it stop him from truly opening up and getting close to anyone? And can Scarlett share the true meaning of Christmas with him and save her gran’s beloved hotel along the way?
Christmas with the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell
Sunderland, 1942: Christmas is fast approaching, and with it comes a flurry of snow and surprises…
Against all odds, Polly’s fiancé has finally returned home from the front line. If they can keep things on an even keel, she might get the winter wedding she’s always dreamed of.
Meanwhile shipyard manager Helen is determined to move on after a turbulent year. Her sights are set on breaking the yard’s production record and no one, not even the handsome Dr Parker, is going to get in her way.
And head welder Rosie’s little sister Charlotte has turned up unannounced. Why is she back and so set on staying?
Join the shipyard girls as they navigate through life, love and war this Christmas.
A Christmas Wish and a Cranberry Kiss by Liz Eeles
Running from heartbreak, twenty-five-year-old Becca has moved to the cosy village of Honeyford. Living with her best friend Zac in a little stone cottage, and serving mince pies and steaming gingerbread lattes at the Cosy Kettle, is the perfect escape from her past.
But starting over isn’t always plain sailing, and Becca’s shyness is holding her back from making her mark on the café. To make matters worse, her crush on blond-haired, blue-eyed local heartthrob Logan gets stronger by the day – but he can barely remember her name. So as the snow starts to fall in Honeyford, Becca has one big Christmas wish: to completely reinvent herself. Becca dreams of bringing the Cosy Kettle success and finding romance with Logan under the mistletoe.
As she gets a makeover, cosies up to Logan over mulled wine and plans the most festive celebration the café has ever seen, Becca wonders why she waited so long to step out of her comfort zone… Zac, on the other hand, thought she was perfect before – always caring for others – and he misses the quirky girl with the bright blue hair.
When Logan turns out to not be all he seems, Becca is left wondering if he’s really the one for her. With her party plans also going awry, can Becca save her beloved Cosy Kettle in time for Christmas? Andhas the key to her happiness been in front of her all along?
One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster
Nine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.
Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.
Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide.
But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.
A Mrs Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber
Laurel McCullough is in desperate need of help.
Her beloved grandmother has just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and the baby she and her husband Zach have longed for now seems like an impossible dream.
So when Mrs Miracle appears at the door, Laurel couldn’t be more relieved. She invites the nurse into her life and it’s not long before they become firm friends.
When her grandmother’s condition begins to improve, and as Laurel and Zach continue their desperate quest for a child, Laurel soon realises that there is more to Mrs Miracle than meets the eye…
The Christmas Invitation by Trisha Ashley
Meg is definitely not in the Christmas mood. She’s never gone in for tinsel, baubles and mistletoe, and right now she’s still getting over an illness. Yet when she’s invited to spend the run-up to Christmas in the snowy countryside, rather than dreary London, she can’t refuse.
Arriving at a warm and cosy family home in a small hilltop village, Meg soon begins to wonder what a proper Christmas might be like. But just as she’s beginning to settle in, she spots a familiar face. Lex.
Despite the festive cheer, Meg suddenly wants nothing more than to get as far away from him, and their past secrets, as she can. But if she stays, could this be the year she finally discovers the magic of Christmas…?
In Black and White by Alexandra Wilson
Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.
As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’.
In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.
Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.
Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.
The Nanny State Made Me by Stuart Maconie
It was the spirit of our finest hour, the backbone of our post-war greatness, and it promoted some of the boldest and most brilliant schemes this isle has ever produced: it was the Welfare State, and it made you and I. But now it’s under threat, and we need to save it.
In this timely and provocative book, Stuart Maconie tells Britain’s Welfare State story through his own history of growing up as a northern working class boy. What was so bad about properly funded hospitals, decent working conditions and affordable houses? And what was so wrong about student grants, free eye tests and council houses? And where did it all go so wrong? Stuart looks toward Britain’s future, making an emotional case for believing in more than profit and loss; and championing a just, fairer society.
Talking Heads by Alan Bennet (screenplays)
Alan Bennett sealed his reputation as the master of observation with Talking Heads, a series of twelve groundbreaking monologues, originally filmed for BBC Television, starring Patricia Routledge, Thora Hird, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Stephanie Cole, Eileen Atkins, David Haig, Penelope Wilton and Alan Bennett himself.
Uplifting, deeply moving, full of humanity and wit, they remain essential, glorious reading.
Roaring Girls by Holly Kite
Roaring Girls tells the game-changing life stories of eight formidable women whose grit, determination and radical unconventionality saw them defy the odds to forge their own paths.
From the notorious cross-dressing thief Mary Frith in the seventeenth century to rebel slave Mary Prince and adventurer, industrialist and LGBT trailblazer Anne Lister in the nineteenth, these diverse characters redefined what a woman could be and what she could do in pre-twentieth-century Britain.
Bold, inspiring and powerfully written, Roaring Girls tells the electrifying histories of women who, despite every effort to suppress them, dared to be extraordinary.
The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury by Sean O’Connor
Adultery, alcoholism, drugs and murder on the suburban streets of Bournemouth.
The Rattenbury case of 1935 was one of the great tabloid sensations of the interwar period. The glamorous femme fatale at the heart of the story dominated the front pages for months, somewhere between the rise of Hitler and the launch of the Queen Mary.
With painstaking research and access to brand new evidence, Sean O’Connor vividly brings this epic story to life, from its beginnings in the South London slums of the 1880s and the open vistas of the British Columbian coast, to its bloody climax in a respectable English seaside resort.
The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury is a gripping murder story and a heartbreaking romance as well as the biography of a vital, modern woman trapped between the freedoms of two world wars and suffocated by the conformity of peacetime. A startlingly prescient parable for our times, it is the story of a woman who dared to challenge the status quo only to be crucified by public opinion, pilloried by the press and punished by the relentless machinery of the British legal system.
With a wealth of fascinating period detail, from its breathtaking opening to its shocking conclusion, The Fatal Passion of Alma Rattenbury is a true story as enthralling, as provocative and as moving as any work of fiction.
The Only Way is West by Kevin Hand
What would you do if you were given €20 in Greece with an email address scribbled on it:
1. Spend it?
2. Slip the suspect counterfeit bill into an enemy’s birthday card?
3. Send an email, hoping it will lead to you finding everlasting love?
Brad, a hopeless romantic, chose the latter…
Two years later, his love life remains a disaster and his career is misfiring. As he’s about to walk Spain’s fabled Camino de Santiago to ponder some profound life changes, Brad receives a reply.
Incredibly, it’s from a woman who lives on the pilgrimage path, far away from where the money first crossed his palm. She invites him to sleep… ‘on her house.’
Hiking 900km on the Road to Santiago to a blind date with the mystery €20 woman, Brad has the adventure of a lifetime.
His heart is warmed by fellow pilgrims and natives who give him more reason than ever to believe in the kindness of the human spirit; he befriends a hilarious Hungarian who speaks English in song titles and has his raison d’être revealed to him by a barefoot Mayan mystic.
Will he meet his happily-ever-after along the way too?
A Woman Lived Here by Allison Vale
At the last count, the Blue Plaque Guide honours 903 Londoners, and a walking tour of these sites brings to life the London of a bygone era. But only 111 of these blue plaques commemorate women.
Over the centuries, London has been home to thousands of truly remarkable women who have made significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life: from politics and social reform, to the Arts, medicine, science, technology and sport. Many of those women went largely unnoticed, even during their own lifetimes, going about their lives quietly but with courage, conviction, skill and compassion. Others were fearless, strident trail-blazers. Many lived in an era when their achievements were given a male name, clouding the capabilities of women in any field outside of the home or field.
A Woman Lived Here shines a spotlight on some of these forgotten women to redress the balance. The stories on these pages commemorate some of the most remarkable of London’s women, who set out to make their world a little richer, and in doing so, left an indelible mark on ours.
Queen Bees by Sian Evans
Queen Bees looks at the lives of six remarkable women who made careers out of being society hostesses, including Lady Astor, who went on to become the first female MP, and Mrs Greville, who cultivated relationships with Edward VII, as well as Lady Londonderry, Lady Cunard, Laura Corrigan and Lady Colefax. Written with wit, verve and heart, Queen Bees is the story of a form of societal revolution, and the extraordinary women who helped it happen.
In the aftermath of the First World War, the previously strict hierarchies of the British class system were weakened. For a number of ambitious, spirited women, this was the chance they needed to slip through the cracks and take their place at the top of society as the great hostesses of the time. In an age when the place of women was uncertain, becoming a hostess was not a chore, but a career choice, and though some of the hostesses’ backgrounds were surprisingly humble, their aspirations were anything but. During the inter-war years these extraordinary women ruled over London society from their dining tables and salons – entertaining everyone from the Mosleys to the Mitfords, from millionaires to maharajahs, from film stars to royalty – and their influence can still be felt today.
Wild Swans : Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
Few books have had such an impact as Wild Swans: a popular bestseller which has sold more than 13 million copies and a critically acclaimed history of China; a tragic tale of nightmarish cruelty and an uplifting story of bravery and survival.
Through the story of three generations of women in her own family – the grandmother given to the warlord as a concubine, the Communist mother and the daughter herself – Jung Chang reveals the epic history of China’s twentieth century.
Breathtaking in its scope, unforgettable in its descriptions, this is a masterpiece which is extraordinary in every way.
Okay, I think that’s enough for another month. Hope you find something that suits.