As mentioned previously, the ‘Kindle Monthly Sale’ has been subsumed into their generic Kindle offers. Consequently this month’s offers include “Bestsellers” “Amazon Originals on Sale” “New Year New You” “£1 Book Deals” and “Savings from 70%”. Whilst the terms and conditions at the bottom of the full listing states it lasts a calendar month, I’m a bit wary. Some of the books currently on offer, were also on offer last month and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to pick out ‘deals’ that are new and running until the end of the month. As I’m looking to spend more time on other features I’m not sure whether this feature will continue in this format – especially as all the offers are available for readers to scroll through anyway. I’ll list as normal this month but leave it until next month to make a final decision.
On the subject of offers, with the proliferation of 99p books it’s increasingly difficult to highlight books and pick out one over another. As I have always used my Facebook page to highlight good bargain reads, it maybe that I use that medium for posting more titles over the course of the month, if you want to follow me there.
With the titles listed below the usual rules apply, I’ve concentrated on the more recent titles, but have dropped in a few older titles that I wouldn’t want you to miss. All the books I include are those I’ve either read and recommend, books that are patiently waiting to be read, or are 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.
Genres have been allocated by me and have been generously applied especially as some books are a mix of genres. I don’t like to pigeon hole but it helps to give the post a bit more structure.
(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
Crime, thriller and mystery
Body Language by AK Turner
Cassie Raven believes the dead can talk. We just need to listen . . .
People think being a mortuary technician is a seriously weird job. They can’t understand why I choose to cut up dead bodies for a living. But they don’t know what I know:
The dead want to tell us what happened to them.
I’ve eviscerated thousands of bodies, but never someone I know before – someone who meant a lot to me; someone I loved.
The pathologist says that her death was an accident.
Her body is telling me differently.
Deadly Cry by Angela Marsons
In a busy shopping centre, a little girl clutches a teddy bear, clinging to it in the absence of her mother, Katrina. Hours later, Katrina’s body is discovered in an abandoned building. For Detective Kim Stone, it looks like a quick, functional kill. But Kim’s instincts tell her there’s more to this senseless murder than meets the eye. What was the motive for killing a young mother out shopping with her child?
Days later, a second victim is found in a local park, her neck broken just like Katrina’s and her six-year-old son missing.
With her colleague, Detective Stacey Wood, working on another unsolved crime and a member of the team grieving the loss of a close relative, Kim is struggling to make inroads on what is fast becoming a complex case. And when a handwritten letter from the killer lands on Kim’s desk addressed to her, and pleading for help, she knows time is running out to bring the little boy home alive.
With the support of a handwriting analyst and profiler, Kim and the team begin to get inside the mind of the killer and make a shocking discovery.
Some of the victims have scratch marks on their wrists.
But these are no random scratches. The killer is using them to communicate with someone. The question is… with whom?
And if Kim doesn’t find them soon, another innocent soul will die.
Forgive Me by Susan Lewis
I can’t forgive myself. Not after what I did. Could you?
This is Claudia Winters’s last chance for a fresh start. Changing her name and leaving her old life behind, she has fled to the small town of Kesterly with her mother and daughter. Here, she hopes they can be safe for the first time in years.
But the past can’t stay hidden forever. And even as Claudia makes new friends and builds a new life, she can’t help feeling it’s all about to catch up with her… Until one disastrous night changes everything forever.
My Sister’s Husband by Nicola Marsh
The sunroom at the back of the house is just as I remember. I can’t taste homemade lemonade or smell oatmeal cookies without thinking of home, of the beautiful cliffs of Martino Bay, and I feel welcomed. But all thoughts of a happy family reunion are destroyed the moment I see him…
He’s as handsome as I remember: broad shoulders, piercing blue eyes, hair the colour of burnt toffee.
The man who once meant the world to me. The reason I fled eleven years ago. I’ve never told anyone the terrible mistake I made that night. The secret we share. I’m still haunted by the crashing waves at the bottom of the cliffs, the blood…
But what is he doing at my sister’s house?
And then I see her. My baby sister. She smiles, she tips her hand so I can see the ring. And his arm slides around her waist, pulling her close…
Innocent by Erin Kinsley
The pretty market town of Sterndale is a close-knit community where everyone thinks they know everyone else. But when a lavish summer wedding ends with a shocking murder it seems life will never be the same again.
As the police search for answers, suspicion and paranoia build – and relationships begin to unravel.
Secrets that lurk beneath the pristine façade of Sterndale come to light as detectives close in on the truth…
The Pembrokeshire Murders by Steve Wilkins and Jonathan Hill
1980s. In the beautiful, unspoiled landscape of Pembrokeshire, a serial killer is at large: two double murders; an assault; the rape and assault of two teenagers – all potentially the work of one man.
This is the fascinating true story of a brutal murderer and the detectives who worked the cold case for six years in order to bring him to justice. Combining cutting edge forensic techniques with old fashioned detective work, a team of detectives worked to build a case against their prime suspect. But it was a race against time: would he strike again?
No one could predict that the killer’s appearance on a gameshow would provide bizarre but crucial evidence.
The operation is now recognised as one of the greatest cold case reviews ever undertaken in the UK.
The killer is now serving a “life means life” sentence.
All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo
When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.
The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.
Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend—and private confessor—from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.
But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.
The Rumour by Lesley Kara
When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back . . .
Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.
Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.
So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre
ONE FAMILY, TWO HOLIDAYS, ONE DEVASTATING SECRET
To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.
Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…
And suspicion is a dangerous thing.
Borderlands by LJ Ross
When the gods made man, they made a weapon…
After uncovering a fresh wave of corruption within the ranks of Northumbria CID, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan was looking forward to an uneventful summer. But, when a young woman is shot dead on the remote army ranges of the Northumberland National Park, Ryan is called in to investigate.
Meanwhile, violent crimes are being committed across sites of historic importance in the North East, the perpetrator leaving only a graffitied symbol as their calling card. As the body count rises, Ryan and his team must unravel the mystery behind its meaning – before it’s too late…
Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.
Long Bright River by Liz Moore
Once inseparable, sisters Mickey and Kacey are on different paths, but they walk the same streets. Mickey on her police beat and Kacey in the shadows of the city’s darkest corners where the drug addicts and sex workers preside. When a string of murders coincides with Kacey’s disappearance, Mickey is terrified her sister could be next.
But in a community where death and murder is rife, will Mickey be able to save her sister before it’s too late?
Liar Liar by Mel Sherratt
The truth can be a dangerous thing…
When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.
Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…
The Cutting Place by Jane Casey
Everyone’s heard the rumours about elite gentlemen’s clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are outrageous…and what goes on behind closed doors is darker than you could possibly imagine.
Paige Hargreaves was a young journalist working on a story about a club for the most privileged men in London. She was on the brink of exposing a shocking scandal. Then she disappeared.
DS Maeve Kerrigan must immerse herself in the club’s world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour to find out what happened. But Maeve is keeping secrets of her own. Will she uncover the truth? Or will time run out for Maeve first?
In the Name of Truth by Viveca Sten
With the summer season on Sandhamn comes an unsettling mystery for Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson. A bullied young boy has vanished from a sailing camp on neighboring Lökholmen Island. Has the terrorized eleven-year-old run away? Or, in this isolated vacation spot where strangers lurk, is it something more ominous?
The disappearance has also captured the interest of Thomas’s longtime friend, attorney Nora Linde. The missing child happens to be the son of her latest client, Christian Dufva. He is a key witness against his partner in a high-profile embezzlement trial, and Dufva’s testimony could be devastating. It’ll also be Nora’s biggest win—the next step toward a position as chief prosecutor. But with every anonymous threat against Dufva, the stakes get higher.
When new evidence surfaces in their respective cases, new questions and fears arise for Thomas and Nora. Time is running out to resolve them. So is hope of finding the boy alive. Because on Sandhamn Island, the truth is buried as deep as the secrets.
NB Preceding 7 books also on offer
Mystery at Seagrave Hall by Clare Chase
It’s Eve Mallow’s first visit to the fair at Seagrave Hall. But amidst the booths, stalls, tables and tents lurks something darker… A mysterious fall means a new case for amateur detective Eve!
The charity fair at Seagrave Hall is a key date in the Saxford St Peter calendar – a chance for the villagers to nose around the house and grounds and cross paths with the rich and famous.
New resident Eve Mallow is particularly excited by this year’s special guest: the explorer Verity Nye, engaged to the heir to the Hall. Eve loves Verity’s determination, and she can’t wait to meet her.
But when they talk, Verity hints that she has something troubling on her mind. So after the festive mood is tragically interrupted by Verity’s fall from a third-floor window, Eve can’t be sure that it’s an appalling accident. Especially when one small boy claims he saw someone behind her…
Soon Eve finds herself tasked with writing Verity’s obituary. As she dusts off her notebook and begins her interviews alongside her trusted dachshund sidekick Gus she realises she has a fine array of suspects before her. Could it be a corrupt charity manager, the distraught fiancé, or jealous cousin Cora? And can Eve find out before her questions cause the killer to turn on her?
The Big Chill by Doug Johnstone
Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral that matriarch Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver’s shadowy life.
While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.
But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves sucked into an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?
Following three women as they deal with the dead, help the living and find out who they are in the process, The Big Chill follows A Dark Matter, book one in the Skelfs series, which reboots the classic PI novel while asking the big existential questions, all with a big dose of pitch-black humour.
Frozen Minds by Cheryl Rees-Price
Detective Meadows investigates a bizarre death in a small Welsh town
When the manager of a residential home for adults with learning difficulties is found dead in the freezer, the police investigation must tread carefully. Many of the residents are vulnerable. But could one of them be the killer?
Wonderfully named Detective Inspector Winter Meadows – hippie parents have a lot to answer for –leads the inquiry. He begins to uncover some irregularities: in the finances, in the standards of care and with the account of events that staff and residents give to the police.
The neighbours of the care home are troubled with all the goings-on. But their woes are increased when one of them is found dead in her home in suspicious circumstances. Is someone trying to cover their tracks?
Who is the murderer and what is their motive? DI Meadows must get to the bottom of the case before the killer and the evidence slips through his fingers.
Cover Your Tracks by Claire Askew
‘What if I told you,’ he said, ‘that I believe my mother’s life to be in danger?’
Robertson Bennet returns to Edinburgh after a 25-year absence in search of his parents and his inheritance. But both have disappeared. A quick, routine police check should be enough – and Detective Inspector Helen Birch has enough on her plate trying to help her brother, Charlie, after an assault in prison. But all her instincts tell her not to let this case go. And so she digs.
George and Phamie Bennet were together for a long time. No one can ever really know the secrets kept between husband and wife. But as Birch slowly begins to unravel the truth, terrible crimes start to rise to the surface.
The Three Mrs Wrights by Linda Keir
Mr. Wright has everything. All that’s left to give him is what he deserves.
Lark has good things coming: a career as a board-game designer and a whirlwind romance with a handsome investor. Trip is so compassionate and supportive, he’s almost too good to be true.
Jessica has always been cautious, but she can’t resist Jonathan. The brilliant TED-talking visionary has big plans for his inspiring medical start-up. Now Jessica is invited to be part of the team—and to partner with the founder outside the office.
Holly has settled into a comfortable life with Jack, her husband of nearly twenty years. They’ve raised three children, they own a beautiful home, and they’ve founded a worthy charity. She’s proud of building a marriage that has endured—she just doesn’t want to look too closely at the cracks.
Lark, Jessica, and Holly are three strangers with so much in common it hurts. Their one and only is one and the same.
The charming Mr. Wright’s serial lies are about to catch up with him…
The Quiet Man by Caimh McDonnell
Getting into prison is easy, it’s getting out that’s tricky.
Almost everyone in prison will tell you they’re in there for a crime they didn’t commit, but Anthony Rourke really means it. That’s because he’s actually Bunny McGarry, who has got himself into one of Nevada’s finest penitentiaries under false pretences. He is there to bust someone else out.
The Sisters of the Saint, no ordinary bunch of nuns, find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when two of their order are taken hostage. The only way to ensure their safe return is to trade them for the mysterious man who is now Bunny’s cellmate. Rumours abound as to who this man really is, but seeing as nobody is allowed to communicate with him in any way, figuring that out will be tricky.
The last thing the situation needs is further complications, but when Sister Dionne comes into contact with an UFO cult, she recognises it as a massive con job. The reason she is so sure is because the whole thing was her idea in the first place – and now she is determined to put an end to it.
The clock is ticking, the prison authorities are suspicious, and lying low has never been a McGarry strong suit. Can Bunny and the Sisters pull off an audacious prison break against near impossible odds? It’s The Shawshank Redemption meets Ocean’s Eleven.
Feel Good Fiction and Romance
A Winter Flame by Milly Johnson
Eve has never liked Christmas. So when her adored elderly aunt dies, the last thing she is expecting is to be left a theme park in her will. A theme park with a Christmas theme …
And that’s not the only catch. Her aunt’s will stipulates that Eve must run the park with a mysterious partner, the exotically named Jacques Glace. Who is this Jacques, and why did Aunt Evelyn name him in her will?
But Eve isn’t going to back down from a challenge. She’s determined to make a success of Winterworld, no matter what. Can she overcome her dislike of Christmas, and can Jacques melt her frozen heart at last?
The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley
Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.
So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.
Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?
The Wish List by Ruby Hummingbird
Sometimes you have to hit the bottom before you can float to the top.
Maria Birch is seventy years old and, for her, every week is the same.
On Monday, she does her weekly shop. On Tuesday, she goes for a blow-dry. On Wednesday, she visits the laundrette. But Thursday is her favourite day of all – everything hurts less on a Thursday.
Every Thursday Maria walks to her local café. Waiting for her at one of the red gingham-topped tables is Albie Young, a charming man with a twinkle in his eye and an impressive collection of tweed flat caps. Every week, the pair share a slice of marble cake and a pot of tea.
Except, one week, Albie doesn’t turn up.
When Maria finds out what has happened, her perfectly ordered life is ripped apart at the seams. Suddenly, she is very lonely. Without her Thursday friend – her only friend – she no longer has the energy to circle the weekly TV listings, she has no reason to leave her apartment, no reason to laugh.
Then she discovers that Albie isn’t who she thought he was, and she’s left wondering if she knew her friend at all. But Albie has left behind a legacy – a handwritten list of wishes he never got the chance to complete.
Maria is resigned to facing the rest of her days heartbroken and alone. But fulfilling Albie’s wishes could hold the key to her happiness – if only she’s able to look past his secret…
The French Adventure by Lucy Coleman
A new life in the idyllic French countryside isn’t running away, it’s an adventure!
Suddenly unemployed and single, Anna escapes to her parents’ beautiful house in France for a much needed recharge – and to work out what she wants to do next with her life now her carefully mapped-out plan has gone out the window.
Anna gives herself 6 months to recuperate, all the while helping renovate her parents’ adjoining gites into picturesque b&bs. But working alongside the ruggedly handsome Sam on the renovation project, she didn’t expect for life to take an unexpected, if not unwelcome, twist…
Will Anna embrace this new beginning, or return to her past?
Packed full of French flavour and idyllic settings this is a romantic, heart-warming and unputdownable new novel about life and love, perfect for anyone who loves Milly Johnson, Lucy Diamond and Debbie Johnson.
The Year that Changed Everything by Cathy Kelly
Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…
Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.
Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?
Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…
Her Mother’s Secret by Rosanna Ley
For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?
Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?
The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.
A Postcard from Italy by Alex Brown
Grace Quinn loves her job at Cohen’s Convenient Storage Company, finding occasional treasure in the forgotten units that customers have abandoned. Her inquisitive nature is piqued when a valuable art collection and a bundle of letters and diaries are found that date back to the 1930s.
Delving deeper, Grace uncovers the story of a young English woman, Connie Levine, who follows her heart to Italy at the end of the Second World war. The contents also offer up the hope of a new beginning for Grace, battling a broken heart and caring for her controlling mother.
Embarking on her own voyage of discovery, Grace’s search takes her to a powder pink villa on the cliff tops overlooking the Italian Riviera, but will she unravel the family secrets and betrayals that Connie tried so hard to overcome, and find love for herself?
A Patchwork Family by Cathy Bramley
Gina Moss is single and proud. She’s focused on her thriving childminding business, which she runs from her cottage at the edge of The Evergreens: a charming Victorian home to three elderly residents who adore playing with the kids Gina minds. To Gina, they all feel like family.
Then a run-in (literally) with a tall, handsome American stranger gives her the tummy-flutters… Before a tragedy puts her older friends at risk of eviction – and Gina in charge of the battle to save them. The house sale brings her closer to Dexter, one of the owners – and the stranger who set her heart alight.
As the sparks fly between them, Gina carries on fighting for her friends, her home and her business. But can she fight for her chance at love – and win it all, too?
A Patchwork Family was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.
A Woman Like Her by Marc Levy
It’s been five years since fate upended resilient Chloe Bronstein’s world. While she may be living with her father, and her acting career has taken a decidedly unexpected turn, she’s alive. And she’s intrigued by Sanji, the charming new elevator operator in her quaint Manhattan apartment building. There’s just something about the Mumbai-born, Oxford-educated, thoroughly modern elevator man that doesn’t quite add up.
Sanji is dazzled by Chloe. They have so much in common: Both defiant. Both independent. Both determined to live by their own rules. But there’s one thing about Sanji that Chloe doesn’t know. Yet.
However hesitant Chloe and Sanji’s burgeoning romance is—complicated by family, friends, neighbors, and the past—it also awakens them to life’s limitless possibilities.
Sunshine and Second Chances by Kim Nash
It’s never too late for second chances.
Liv wants her friends to think she has the perfect life. But honestly? She’s running on empty. Desperate for a break from her needy family, Liv is determined that as she and her three life-long friends turn fifty they will honour their promise to each other – made on a beach at sunrise twenty-nine years before – to celebrate this milestone together.
And what better place to celebrate than a gorgeous villa in the Algarve? They’ll enjoy the stunning beaches, picturesque fishing towns and glorious climate, and maybe be spoiled by the gorgeous Eduardo, who’s making one particular heart unexpectedly flutter…
Liv’s friends can’t wait to escape with her: Debs is newly single, Fiona is caring for her mum, and Samantha is grieving. But does time away make the heart grow fonder? Is the thought of returning to reality too hard to bear? Is what they have really all there is to life?
It begins as a reunion in the sunshine, but little do the four friends know what life-changing decisions they’ll all be making before their flight home…
The Garden House by Marcia Willett
After the death of her father, El moves into his home just outside Tavistock in Devon. Fresh out of university and dangling on the precipice of adulthood she questions what it is she really wants from life. Although her childhood friend, Will, is there to help her through her grief she soon realises there were things her father was hiding from her…
Jules is also mourning Martin, but they thought best to keep their relationship secret, she must now grieve entirely alone. All she has to remember her love are the memories of their time spent at a beautiful community garden and teashop nearby. The Garden House is where they met, fell in love and where their secret affair will inevitably be uncovered.
As El and Will begin to piece together her father’s secrets they are brought closer and closer to both Jules and a truth that is difficult to face.
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size and genre. Classical, jazz, punk – as long as it’s vinyl he sells it. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need.
Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann.
Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past he will never leave behind …
The Memory Tree by Linda Gillard
Can the power of love overcome life’s darkest memories and deepest losses?
When her favourite beech tree is felled in a storm, Ann feels as if someone has died. But when long-hidden seed packets are found inside the trunk, Ann realises there are more memories than her own lurking within the ancient tree . . .
A century earlier, head gardener William Hatherwick and Hester Mordaunt, mistress of Beechgrave, share a love for the mighty estate – and an undeclared love for each other. But when war breaks out, William is sent to the battlefields of France, and as the conflict rages on, Hester grieves beneath the tree. Can she and William ever find happiness once he’s witnessed the horror of the trenches?
In the present day, historian Connor Grenville wants to understand why his late grandmother tried to destroy Hester’s archive before she died. Who was she trying to protect – and why? His findings bring long-suppressed memories back to Ann’s mind . . .
Beneath the shadow of the tree, love is won and lost, and secrets are hidden and revealed. Will the truth heal the wounds that lie buried in the past?
The Little Vineyard in Provence by Ruth Kelly
Ava needs to escape.
Stuck in a dead-end job, her husband Mark has left her with a mountain of debt and no clue as to when he’ll be back.
When she receives the news that her grandfather has passed away, Ava is shocked to learn he has left his entire vineyard, Chateau Saint Clair, to her.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, a glass of red with the handsome local waiter Jacques; Ava starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her marriage, to take a chance on a place she fell for as a child – wouldn’t it?
The Gift of Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May
All our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back, including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund, and his new-born puppies.
Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited corner shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.
Rosa is torn. How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out, untrustworthy strangers appear in the Bay, their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new series of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.
Just Between Friends by Rosie Nixon
Aisha Moore is eight months pregnant. She’s thrilled, and a little scared. Not least because her husband Jason hasn’t quite wrapped his head around the fact.
Lucy is having her first child too. She has finally got her wish – although the circumstances aren’t quite what she had hoped. Oscar will be a great dad though, won’t he?
When the two women join the same baby group, they quickly become friends and before long they’re confiding in each other.
Only there’s one thing Lucy hasn’t told Aisha. And while a baby may turn your life upside-down, a secret this big will change everything.
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
Frances Jellico is dying. A man who calls himself the vicar visits, hoping to extract a deathbed confession. He wants to know what really happened that fateful summer of 1969, when Frances – tasked with surveying a dilapidated country house – first set eyes on the glamorous bohemian couple, Cara and Peter. She recalls the relationship they forged through sweltering days, lavish dinners and elaborate lies, and the Judas hole through which she would spy on the couple.
Were the signs there right from the beginning? Or was it impossible to avoid the crime that split their lives open like rotten fruit?
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
It is 1968. Rose Clinton arrives at St Elizabeth’s, a Roman Catholic home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky. Rose has fled her dull but loving husband without telling him she is pregnant and has decided to be ‘a liar for the rest of my life’. As penance, she has also abandoned her widowed and much loved mother, with no mention of her condition.
Rose plans to give her baby up because she knows she cannot be the mother it needs. But St. Elizabeth’s is home to a healing spring, and when Rose’s time draws near, she realises that she cannot go through with her plans. Nor can she remain untouched by those she has left behind; by the ever-watchful Sister Evangeline; by the love of Son, the handyman at St. Elizabeth; or later by the birth of her daughter Cecilia.
Enchantingly graceful, Ann Patchett’s first novel is about sanctuary and pilgrimage, pain and healing and the helping hand of chance.
How to Belong by Sarah Franklin
Jo grew up in the Forest of Dean, but she was always the one destined to leave for a bigger, brighter future. When her parents retire from their butcher’s shop, she returns to her beloved community to save the family legacy, hoping also to save herself. But things are more complex than the rose-tinted version of life which sustained Jo from afar.
Tessa is a farrier, shoeing horses two miles and half a generation away from Jo, further into the forest. Tessa’s experience of the community couldn’t be more different. Now she too has returned, in flight from a life she could have led, nursing a secret and a past filled with guilt and shame.
Compelled through circumstance to live together, these two women will be forced to confront their sense of identity, and reconsider the meaning of home.
The Last Piece by Imogen Clark
A sudden departure. A story decades in the making.
The chaotic but happy equilibrium of the Nightingale family is thrown into disarray when Cecily—whose children can’t remember her ever being remotely spontaneous—disappears to a Greek island with no warning or explanation.
Her reasons for doing something so out of character are a total mystery to her three daughters, high-powered executive Felicity, unfulfilled GP Julia and organised mother-of-five Lily. What connection could she possibly have with Kefalonia?
But Cecily has gone to continue a story she thought ended decades ago—one that could have a huge impact on her family. And when she returns, she’ll have to tell them the truth.
Will Cecily be able to hold her family together once she reveals her big secret? And might she discover that she’s not the only one with a story to tell?
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the ‘Cemetery of Lost Books’, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Julian Carax.
But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find.
Then, one night, as he is wandering the old streets once more, Daniel is approached by a figure who reminds him of a character from the book, a character who turns out to be the devil. This man is tracking down every last copy of Carax’s work in order to burn them.
What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind…
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
When Noel Bostock – aged ten, no family – is evacuated from London to escape the Blitz, he winds up in St Albans with Vera Sedge – thiry-six, drowning in debts. Always desperate for money, she’s unscrupulous about how she gets it.
The war’s thrown up all manner of new opportunities but what Vee needs is a cool head and the ability to make a plan. On her own, Vee’s a disaster. With Noel, she’s a team.
Together they cook up an idea. But there are plenty of other people making money out of the war and some of them are dangerous. Noel may have been moved to safety, but he isn’t actually safe at all . . .
Under a Sky on Fire by Suzanne Kelman
The child stood in the road wearing a blue flannel nightie, her feet bare and dirt-splattered. Her blonde flyaway hair was golden, aglow from the fires behind her. Stumbling over, Lizzie reached her. The little girl’s eyes were closed, her palms facing upwards. If she’d been in church, you would have thought she was praying.
September 1940, London
As the German Luftwaffe begin a terrifying bombing campaign that will come to be known as the Blitz, thousands are evacuated to safety. But Lizzie Mackenzie finds herself heading towards London.
She knows she must help in the war effort. But she has another reason for leaving the security of her Scottish village: the illegitimate child she gave up for adoption nearly five years before is somewhere in the city. And – as the bombs rain down – she will stop at nothing to find her and make sure her little girl is safe.
Then she finds herself trapped in a dark theatre during a bombing raid, where she meets Pilot Officer Jack Henson. Against all her instincts, she falls in love. But what chance is there for that love to flourish? Because if he discovers the secret shame of her past, he may never forgive her. And with Jack facing the enemy every day in the sky, and Lizzie’s job guiding pilots into battle – life and love has never felt so fragile.
Until a chance encounter with a little orphaned girl changes everything, forcing Lizzie to ask herself what truly matters. Because, in the darkest days of war, every life counts. And – when tragedy strikes – saving one child’s life might just give Lizzie a reason to survive…
The Company Daughters by Samantha Rajaram
Wanted: Company Daughters. Virtuous young ladies to become the brides of industrious settlers in a foreign land. The Company will pay the cost of the lady’s dowry and travel. Returns not permitted, orphans preferred.
Amsterdam, 1620. Jana Beil has learned that life rarely provides moments of joy. Having run away from a violent father, her days are spent searching for work in an effort to stay out of the city brothels, where desperate women trade their bodies for a mouthful of bread. But when Jana is hired as a servant for the wealthy and kind Master Reynst and his beautiful daughter Sontje, Jana’s future begins to look brighter.
Then Master Reynst loses his fortune on a bad investment, and everything changes. The house is sold to creditors, leaving Jana back on the street and Sontje without a future.
With no other choice, Jana and Sontje are forced to sign with the East India Company as Company Daughters: sailing to a colonial Dutch outpost to become the brides of male settlers they know nothing about. With fear in their hearts, the girls begin their journey – but what awaits them on the other side of the world is nothing like what they’ve been promised…
Execution by SJ Parris
A TREASONOUS CONSPIRACY
Giordano Bruno, a heretic turned spy, arrives in England with shocking information for spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham. A band of Catholic Englishmen are plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth and spring Mary, Queen of Scots, from prison to take the English throne in her place.
A DEADLY TRAP
Bruno is surprised to find that Walsingham is aware of the plot and is allowing it to progress. He hopes that Mary will put her support in writing – and condemn herself to a traitor’s death.
A QUEEN IN MORTAL DANGER
Bruno is tasked with going undercover to join the conspirators. Can he stop them before he is exposed? Either way a queen will die; Bruno must make sure it is the right one…
The Familiars by Stacey Halls
To save her child, she will trust a stranger. To protect a secret, she must risk her life . . .
Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.
Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.
As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?
Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.
Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.
The Amulet by Ann Bennett
After her mother’s death, Lara discovers a beautiful amulet amongst her belongings, engraved with the words “for Suria.”
Suspecting Suria to be the grandmother she never met, Lara travels to Singapore to find out why her mother was committed to the care of a local orphanage during World War Two.
In 1941, Suria, a poor Malay girl working in a tailor’s shop and living in a communal warehouse, is befriended by a British officer, Charles Simmonds. They start to grow close, but war threatens to engulf Singapore and tear them apart.
While delving into her grandmother’s past, Lara is forced to confront betrayal and brutality as she learns some disturbing truths about families and friendships…
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer
Discover an original, entertaining and illuminating guide to a completely different world: England in the Middle Ages.
Imagine you could travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see, and hear, and smell? Where would you stay? What are you going to eat? And how are you going to test to see if you are going down with the plague?
In The Time Traveller’s Guide Ian Mortimer’s radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. History is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived, whether that’s the life of a peasant or a lord. The result is perhaps the most astonishing history book you are ever likely to read; as revolutionary as it is informative, as entertaining as it is startling.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.
This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist’s journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, ‘brilliant’ but alcoholic parents.
At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the ‘mundane, middle class existence’ she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by ‘a portrait of someone else’s ancestor’ she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents.
The Corner Shop by Babita Sharma
‘I come from a hidden world: I am the daughter of shopkeepers. I’ve seen you on a Sunday morning, nipping out to get a pint of milk or to grab a newspaper. I came to know a lot about you; whether your politics leaned to the right or left, whether you were gay or straight, and whether you were plagued by cash-flow problems or had enough disposable income to indulge your penchant for Cadbury’s Creme Eggs.’
Babita Sharma was raised in a corner shop in Reading, and over the counter watched a changing world, from the clientele to the products to the politics of the day. Along with the skills to mop a floor perfectly and stack a shelf, she gained a unique insight into a shifting landscape – and an institution that, despite the creep of supermarkets, online shopping and delivery, has found a way to evolve and survive – and is now once again keeping us all going.
From the general stores of the first half of the 20th century (one of which was run by the father of a certain Margaret Thatcher), to the reimagined corner shops run by immigrants from India, East Africa and Eastern Europe from the 60s to the noughties, the corner shop has shaped the way we shop, the way we eat, and the way we understand ourselves.
Minimal : How to Simplify Your Life and Live Sustainably by Madeleine Olivia
Love yourself. Love the planet.
We are facing an urgent climate crisis and we must all take action now. However, it can be difficult to know where to start when bombarded with overwhelming facts and statistics every day. We all want to make a difference, but what can we do?
Minimal makes simple and sustainable living attainable for everyone, using practical tips for all areas of everyday life to reduce your impact on the earth. Leading environmentalist Madeleine Olivia shares her insights on how to care for yourself in a more eco-friendly way, as well as how to introduce a mindful approach to your habits. This includes how to declutter your life, reduce your waste and consumption, recipes for eating seasonally and making your own natural beauty and cleaning products.
Learn how to minimise the areas that aren’t giving you anything back and discover a happier and more fulfilled life, while looking after the Earth we share.
Take One Tin by Lola Milne
Quick, easy and environmentally friendly, tinned foods have many of the benefits of fresh, plus can also be used to create delicious, versatile meals without breaking the bank.
With just a few ingredients from your storecupboard topped up with some fresh extras, you can create simple speedy suppers, tasty take-to-work lunches and even impressive dinner party desserts, including a hearty Flageolet Bean & Artichoke Gratin, a spicy Sri Lankan Mackerel Curry and a fruity Peach, Mango & Passion Fruit Pavlova. So, forget worrying about what to cook while sticking to your budget, these tin-tastic recipes are affordable, accessible and exciting!
Save money, be creative and waste less food by looking in your cupboard instead of visiting the supermarket.
Happy Inside by Michelle Ogundehin
Be happier, healthier and more empowered with Michelle Ogundehin’s step-by-step practical guide to creating a home that supports your well-being.
Whether that home is owned or rented, small or large, and regardless of how much money you have, Happy Inside shows you how to harness its potential in pursuit of becoming your best self. If you want to feel calm, content, soothed or energized, you must begin with what surrounds you.
This comprehensive guide covers everything from how to create more light and space to how to get a good night’s sleep; the path to a perfect sofa and why a dining table is your most vital piece of furniture. Plus, how to decorate to promote joy; the importance of play (and circular side tables); your definitive capsule kitchen kit; and why your hallway is where it all starts. Combining Michelle’s knowledge of Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness, colour psychology and good design, Happy Inside is your one-stop guide to living well.
Welcome to the healthy home revolution!
That’s my selection for this month, hope you find something that appeals to you too.