Having questioned last week whether a monthly or weekly post was the best option I think the number of titles dictates that weekly is best. So I’ll continue to post every Monday. This looks like another cracking week for books but please remember these are only the books fancy (and manage to spot). There will no doubt be titles I’d read that go under my radar and also books that you’d read that don’t hit my radar at all. But looking at the list it’s another fairly eclectic mix that should offer something for everyone. So grab a cuppa and settle down for this week’s slice of temptation.
The index indicates the formats the title is currently available in, in some cases one format may already have been published. For those readers interested in audio editions I’ve made a note of availability in the title details.
(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
Hardback and eBook
The Appeal by Janice Hallet
In a town full of secrets…
Someone was murdered.
Someone went to prison.
And everyone’s a suspect.
Can you uncover the truth?
Dear Reader – enclosed are all the documents you need to solve a case. It starts with the arrival of two mysterious newcomers to the small town of Lockwood, and ends with a tragic death.
Someone has already been convicted of this brutal murder and is currently in prison, but we suspect they are innocent. What’s more, we believe far darker secrets have yet to be revealed.
Throughout the Fairway Players’ staging of All My Sons and the charity appeal for little Poppy Reswick’s life-saving medical treatment, the murderer hid in plain sight. Yet we believe they gave themselves away. In writing. The evidence is all here, between the lines, waiting to be discovered.
Will you accept the challenge? Can you uncover the truth?
Portrait of Peril by Laura Joh Rowland – Audio available
London, October 1890. Crime scene photographer Sarah Bain is overjoyed to marry her beloved Detective Sergeant Barrett – but the wedding takes a sinister turn when the body of a stabbing victim is discovered in the crypt of the church. Not every newlywed couple begins their marriage with a murder investigation, but Sarah and Barrett, along with their friends Lord Hugh Staunton and Mick O’Reilly, take the case. The dead man is Charles Firth, whose profession is ‘spirit photography’ – photographing the ghosts of the deceased. When Sarah develops the photographs he took in the church, she discovers one with a pale, blurred figure attacking the victim. The city’s spiritualist community believes the church is haunted and the figure is a ghost. But Sarah is a skeptic, and she and her friends soon learn that the victim had plenty of enemies in the human world – including a scientist who studies supernatural phenomena, his psychic daughter, and an heiress on a campaign to debunk spiritualism and expose fraudulent mediums. In the tunnels beneath a demolished jail, a ghost-hunting expedition ends with a new murder, and new suspects. While Sarah searches for the truth about both crimes, she travels a dark, twisted path into her own family’s sordid history. Her long lost father is the prime suspect in a cold-case murder, and her reunion with him proves that even the most determined skeptic can be haunted by ghosts from the past.
Deep Into the Dark by P J Tracy – Audio Available
New York Times bestseller P. J. Tracy returns with Deep into the Dark, a brand new series set in LA and featuring up-and-coming LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and murder suspect Sam Easton.
Sam Easton—a true survivor—is home from Afghanistan, trying to rebuild a life in his hometown of LA. Separated from his wife, bartending and therapy sessions are what occupy his days and nights. When friend and colleague Melody Traeger is beaten by her boyfriend, she turns to Sam for help. When the boyfriend turns up dead the next day, a hard case like Sam is the perfect suspect.
But LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, whose brother recently died serving overseas, is sympathetic to Sam’s troubles, and can’t quite see him as a killer. She’s more interested in the secrets Melody might be keeping and the developments in another murder case on the other side of town.
Set in an LA where real people live and work–not the superficial LA of Beverly Hills or the gritty underbelly of the city–Deep into the Dark features two really engaging, dynamic main characters and explores the nature of obsession, revenge, and grief.
The Lost Boys by Faye Kellerman – Audio Available
When Bertram Lanz, a disabled man, goes missing from a local diner, detective Peter Decker is put on the case. He soon realizes there is more to the disappearance than meets the eye when he discovers Lanz’s nurse is missing too, and blood is found in her house.
Then, while combing the woods, searchers discover the remains of a young man who vanished during a camping trip years ago.
A detective facing his toughest case yet…
Juggling a hot case and a cold case, Decker races to find justice for the families. But as the answers become ever more elusive, he is forced to question if the woods will ever give up their dark secrets . . . and if these intertwining cases will ever be solved.
One Night, New York by Lara Thompson
For the hundredth time since they’d made their promise, she wondered if she and Agnes were really going to go through with it, if she was brave and terrible enough.
A THRILLING DEBUT NOVEL OF CORRUPTION AND MURDER, SET IN THE NIGHTCLUBS, TENEMENTS AND SKYSCRAPERS OF 1930s NEW YORK – FROM THE WINNER OF THE VIRAGO/THE POOL NEW CRIME WRITER AWARD.
At the top of the Empire State Building on a freezing December night, two women hold their breath. Frances and Agnes are waiting for the man who has wronged them. They plan to seek the ultimate revenge.
Set over the course of a single night, One Night, New York is a detective story, a romance and a coming-of-age tale. It is also a story of old New York, of bohemian Greenwich Village between the wars, of floozies and artists and addicts, of a city that sucked in creatives and immigrants alike, lighting up the world, while all around America burned amid the heat of the Great Depression.
The Stranger Times by C K McDonnell – Audio Available
There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .
A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.
At least that’s their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door – and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.
When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.
The Stranger Times is the first novel from C.K. McDonnell, the pen name of Caimh McDonnell. It combines his distinctive dark wit with his love of the weird and wonderful to deliver a joyous celebration of how truth really can be stranger than fiction.
House With No Doors by Jeff Noon – Audio Available
At first glance, Leonard Graves’ death was unremarkable. Sleeping pills, a bottle of vodka, a note saying goodbye. But when Detective Henry Hobbes discovers a grave in the basement, he realizes there is something far more sinister at work.
Further investigation unearths more disturbing evidence. Scattered around the old house are women’s dresses. All made of the same material. All made in the same colours. And all featuring a rip across the stomach, smeared in blood.
As the investigation continues and the body count rises, Hobbes must also deal with the disappearance of his son, the break-up of his family and a growing sense that something horrific happened in the Graves’ household. And he’s running out of time to find out what.
The Butterfly House by Katrine Engberg
In the coronary care unit at one of Copenhagen’s leading medical centres, a nurse fills a syringe with an overdose of heart medication and stealthily enters the room of an older male patient.
Six days earlier, a paperboy on his route in the centre of the city stumbles upon a macabre find: the body of a dead woman, lying in a fountain, her arms marked with small incisions. Cause of death? Exsanguination – the draining of all the blood in her body. Clearly, this is no ordinary murder.
Jeppe Kørner, recovering from a painful divorce and in the throes of a new relationship, takes on the investigation. His partner, Anette Werner, now on leave after an unexpected pregnancy, is restless at home. While Jeppe leads the official search, Anette can’t stop herself from doing a little detective work as well. But operating on her own exposes her to dangers she can’t even begin to realise.
As the investigation ventures into dark and dangerous corners, it uncovers an ambition and greed festering beneath the surface of caregiving institutions, all leading back to the mysterious Butterfly House
Life Sentences by Billy O’Callaghan
Life Sentences is the sweeping and immersive story of one ordinary family in Ireland, and their extraordinary journey over three generations and more than a century of famine, war, violence and love.
At sixteen Nancy leaves her small island for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the Great Famine. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she feels irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love affair that soon throws her into a fight for her life. In 1920, Nancy’s son Jer has lived through battles of his own as a soldier in the Great War. Now drunk in a jail cell, he struggles to piece together where he has come from, and who he wants to be. And in the early 1980s, Jer’s youngest child Nellie is nearing the end of her life in a council house, moments away from her childhood home; remembering the night when she and her family stole back something that was rightfully theirs, she imagines what lies in store for those who will survive her.
A taut domestic drama of epic emotional scope, and a moving portrait of life in Ireland throughout modern history, this novel goes on making the heart lurch long after the final page. Set in the village where Billy O’Callaghan’s family has lived for generations, it is partly based on stories told by his parents and grandparents. His writing is imbued with truth and lived experience – creating a novel so rich in life and empathy it is impossible to let go of his characters.
Paperback and eBook
Lost in a Place so Small by Rick Collignon
Time vanishes in this moving tale of love and loss, of a troublesome past and uncertain future, and with a cast of unforgettable characters fighting for the soul of their village. Will Sawyer has a knack for inadvertently stirring up old ghosts in the crumbling northern New Mexican village of Guadalupe. He’s lived there for over thirty years now, but everyone still wonders why he sticks around, including his native wife. Even so, life in Guadalupe has been relatively quiet until Will reluctantly agrees to fix up the collapsing ancestral house of Manuela García, an old, mysterious woman few remember, with a dark history even she has forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until Will discovers the bones of a small child buried in the adobe wall of the ancient house. With spare style, wit as dry as New Mexico, and utter compassion for the struggling residents of Guadalupe, Rick Collignon gives us his best work of fiction, reminding us that while we may be through with the past, the past may not be through with us . . . and dark as the past may be, love and community can help us rise above it.
Return to the Island by Kate Hewitt – Audio Available
What would her life look like without her beloved island in it? Where would she go? Ellen had come back here—to the place she felt she belonged—thinking she would stay here. But was it home… or just a place to hide?
1918, Canada: The First World War is over and those who have been fighting in Europe are heading for home, forever changed. Amongst the lost, the damaged and the broken, is former nurse Ellen Copley; who finds herself returning—not to her house in Glasgow, but to her childhood home on Amherst Island.
There, she feels sure, in the warm embrace of the McCafferty family, with her beloved Aunt Rose and her cousins, she will feel safe and loved. She will be able to escape the ghosts of the past and her loss, and find peace.
But the island is a changed place too. The war has affected life the world over, and Aunt Rose is struggling to keep their small farmstead going. The family’s only hope is asking their neighbours, the Lymans, to help. But Jed Lyman is a broken man, both physically and emotionally, and his once-adoring brother Lucas is now more distant than ever.
And as Ellen fights to save the farm, she has to ask: what makes somewhere a home? And—when help comes from an unexpected place—she wonders, has the man she’s destined to love been waiting for her out there all along?
This is the third and final novel in the unmissable Amherst Island Trilogy following the life of Ellen Copley from her humble beginnings in Scotland to the brutal battlefields of the First World War, and ultimately her return to beautiful Amherst Island. Perfect for fans of The Oceans Between Us, The Orphan Sisters, and Rhys Bowen’s The Victory Garden.
Silent Graves by Sally Rigby
Nothing remains buried forever…
When the bodies of two teenage girls are discovered on a building site, DCI Whitney Walker knows she’s on the hunt for a killer. The problem is the murders happened in 1980 and this is her first case with the new team. What makes it even tougher is that with budgetary restrictions in place, she only has two weeks to solve it.
Once again, she enlists the help of forensic psychologist Dr Georgina Cavendish, but as she digs deeper into the past, she uncovers hidden truths that hurtle through the decades and into the present.
Along the Endless River by Rose Alexander
In the heart of the rainforest, Katharine will fight for her life and for love
1890: When Katharine and her husband, Anselmo, set sail to Brazil to reap the spoils of the rubber boom, it seems as if they cannot fail. But when Anselmo dies suddenly on the treacherous waters of the Amazon, a pregnant Katharine must decide whether or not to continue her husband’s dream, alone.
Meanwhile her sister Mabel is struggling to support their family back in London. Navigating new worlds in the upper class, she discovers that life as a housemaid has its own dangers, and Mabel soon learns that the whims of men can prove deadly…
Mabel and Katharine must both fight for their futures if they are ever to be reunited. Can they find love and happiness along the way?
One Summer in Monte Carlo by Jennifer Bohnet – Audio Available
Monte Carlo means different things to different people; a billionaires playground, overflowing with glitz and glamour but also where dangerous secrets hide.
For Nanette Weston, and her then fiancé, F1 racing driver Zac Ewart, their dream life came to an abrupt halt 3 years ago following a car accident which Zac walked away from, but left Nanette being airlifted back to the UK, never to return and never to see her fiancé again.
Monte Carlo was a place she wanted to forget, not revisit. But when her friend and employer, Vanessa asks Nanette to look after her children in the Principality for a few months, Nanette knew she had no choice but to return.
As the F1 circus once again comes to town, with Zac in pole position, mistakes of the past, leave legacies for the future…
This book was previously published as Follow Your Star by Jennifer Bohnet.
Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick – Audio Available
From the bestselling author of THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES, a new historical novel based on the dazzling story of one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hispanic actresses and her daughter’s search for closure.
Cuba, 1936: When Estelita Rodriguez sings in a hazy Havana nightclub for the very first time, she is nine years old. From then on, that spotlight of adoration–from Havana to New York’s Copacabana and then Hollywood–becomes the one true accomplishment no one can take from her. Not the 1933 Cuban Revolution that drove her family into poverty. Not the revolving door of husbands or the fickle world of film.
Thirty years later, her young adult daughter, Nina, is blindsided by her mother’s mysterious death. Seeking answers, the grieving Nina navigates the troubling, opulent memories of their life together and discovers how much Estelita sacrificed to live the American dream on her own terms.
Based on true events and exclusive interviews with Nina Lopez, Estelita’s daughter, Find Me in Havana weaves two unforgettable voices into one extraordinary story that explores the unbreakable bond between mother and child, and the ever-changing landscape of self-discovery.
Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst – Audio Available
Workaholic, career-obsessed Francesca is fiercely independent and successful in all areas of life except one: family. She struggles to make time for her relationship with her teenage daughter, Allegra, and the two have become practically strangers to each other. When Allegra hangs out with a new crowd and is arrested for drug possession, Francesca gives in to her mother’s wish that they take one epic summer vacation to trace their family roots in Italy. What she never expected was to be faced with the choice of a lifetime. Allegra wants to make her grandmother happy, but she hates the idea of forced time with her mother and vows to fight every step of the ridiculous tour, until a young man on the verge of priesthood begins to show her the power of acceptance, healing, and the heartbreaking complications of love. Sophia knows her girls are in trouble. A summer filled with the possibility for change is what they all desperately need. Among the ruins of ancient Rome, the small churches of Assisi, and the rolling hills of Tuscany, Sophia hopes to show her girls that the bonds of family are everything, and to remind them that they can always lean on one another, before it’s too late.
Useless Miracle by Barry Schechter – Audio Available
What do you do if you discover, late one sleepless night, that you can fly? Like, literally fly? If you’re college professor George Entmen, you try to keep it hush hush, because he knows it will bring a kind of attention to his life that he dreads, and because – well, it’s embarrassing. Because, you see, George can only fly if he lays on the floor on his stomach and stretches his arms out in front of him like superman – and even then he can only fly about three inches off the ground, and very, very, very slowly. To George, it’s what he calls a ‘useless miracle.’ But to his wife Rebecca it’s this thing her husband can do that’s entertaining at parties. Which is how word seeps out to his insanely competitive friends and colleagues, who become driven to uncover his ‘trick’ … Which is how the media hears about it … Which is how all hell breaks out.
In Bad Company by Viveca Sten – Audio Available
Sandhamn Island’s archipelago is a beautiful place to visit. For a mother on the run, it’s the only place to hide in a novel of escalating suspense by Viveca Sten, bestselling author of Still Waters.
Building a case against Andreis Kovač is a risky strategy for prosecutor Nora Linde. A violent key player in Stockholm’s drug trade and untouchable when it comes to financial crimes, he has the best defense money can buy. To topple Andreis’s empire, Nora’s working a different angle. It’s personal. Nora’s critical witness is Andreis’s wife, Mina—if she’ll testify.
Mina has suffered her husband’s rage too long. It’s nearly cost her her life. Still carrying the traumas of the Bosnian War, Andreis can be triggered like an explosive. He must be taken down. And as the trial looms, Mina and her infant son must disappear. The police have found her a safe place to hide on Runmarö Island in Sandhamn’s archipelago. But there’s no shelter from a man as powerful and merciless as Andreis. Especially when he’s being crossed.
His campaign of terror has just begun. He’s prepared to crush anyone who stands in his way: Mina, Nora, and everyone they know and love. Andreis is coming for them. This time, Nora is on the defense.
Hidden Lies by Rachel Ryan – Audio Available
All children have imaginary friends. It’s perfectly normal.
But when Georgina’s young son Cody tells her about his ‘New Granny’, a mysterious friend from the park, the words send shivers down her spine. Georgina’s beloved mother died only months ago.
Her husband Bren is certain the woman is an invention, Cody’s way of grieving for his grandmother, but there’s something in the way Cody talks about his new friend that feels so real.
Is someone out there, watching Georgina’s family from the shadows?
Is Cody’s imaginary friend not so imaginary after all?
Crocodile Tears by Mercedes Rosende
The setting: Montevideo’s Old Town, with its dark alleys, crumbling facades and watchful residents. The gig: an armoured truck robbery. The cast: Diego, a failed kidnapper with weak nerves, Ursula Lopez, an amateur criminal with an insatiable appetite, the Hobo, a notorious hoodlum with excessive self-confidence. Dr. Antinucci, a shady lawyer with big plans. And finally, Leonilda Lima, a washed out police inspector with a glimmer of faith in justice.
Lost in Translation by Audrey Davis
Charlotte Egerton and family are off to Switzerland, after husband Dom bags a big-time job promotion.
But Charlotte isn’t exactly yodelling with delight at the prospect. Not since a chance discovery cast a shadow over her ten-year marriage. And navigating twisty Swiss roads and getting to grips with French only adds to her woes…
Following a bumpy encounter with an arrogant German, Charlotte is far from convinced the expat life is for her.
With doubts about Dom — and concerns for her best friend, Ruth — plaguing her mind, will Charlotte embrace the Swiss way of life, or are some mountains just too hard to conquer?
Embark on a journey filled with laughter, tears and lessons in love. Sometimes you just have to seize the day…
Minus Me by Mameve Medwed – Audio Available from 21st
Her life turned upside down by a grim diagnosis, a small-town Maine woman sets about writing a How To life manual for her handsome yet hapless husband in a novel Elinor Lipman (Good Riddance, On Turpentine Lane) calls smart, funny-quirky, and so very satisfying.
Annie and her devoted but comically incompetent childhood sweetheart Sam are the owners and operators of Annie’s, a gourmet sandwich shop, home to the legendary Paul Bunyan Special Sandwich–their nutritionally challenged continual source of income and marital harmony and local fame.
But into their mostly charmed marriage comes the scary medical diagnosis for Annie–and the overwhelming challenge of finding a way to help Sam go on without her. Annie decides to leave Sam step-by-step instructions for a future without her, and considers her own replacement in his heart and their bed.Her best-laid plans grind to a halt with the unexpected appearance of Ursula, Annie’s Manhattan diva of a mother, who brings her own brand of chaos and disruption into their lives.
The Historians by Cecilia Ekback
The Secret History meets The Alice Network in this riveting tale of murder and conspiracy in Sweden during WWII by critically acclaimed author Cecilia Eckbäck.
It is 1943 and Sweden’s neutrality in the war is under pressure. Laura Dahlgren, the bright, young right-hand of the chief negotiator to Germany, is privy to these tensions, even as she tries to keep her head down in the mounting fray. However, when Laura’s best friend from university, Britta, is discovered murdered in cold blood, Laura is determined to find the killer.
Prior to her death, Britta sent a report on the racial profiling in Scandinavia to the secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jens Regnell. In the middle of negotiating a delicate alliance with Hitler and the Nazis, Jens doesn’t understand why he’s received the report. When the pursuit of Britta’s murderer leads Laura to his door, the two join forces to get at the truth.
But as Jens and Laura attempt to untangle the mysterious circumstance surrounding Britta’s death, they only become more mired in a web of lies and deceit. This trail will lead to a conspiracy that could topple their nation’s identity–a conspiracy some in Sweden will try to keep hidden at any cost.
The Boatman’s Wife by Noelle Harrison – Audio Available
There was some dark secret in this western edge of Ireland that her husband never wanted her to find out. She might never be able to lay his body to rest, but she could gain some kind of closure by finding out who the man she married was.
When Lily married her soulmate Connor, buffeted by the sea spray and wild winds of her coastal homeland in Maine, she never imagined she’d be planning his memorial just three years later. Connor has been lost at sea in the bleak stormy Atlantic, leaving Lily heartbroken.
But as she prepares to say goodbye to Connor for the last time, she is shocked to discover a message to him that he never told her about:
Does your wife know who you really are, Connor Fitzgerald? Don’t ever think you can come home. Because if you do, I swear I’ll kill you.
Unable to bear living in the home she and Connor shared, Lily decides to find out her husband’s secret. She flies to Connor’s home town of Mullaghmore on the west coast of Ireland, a harbour town hugged by golden beaches and emerald-green fields. But when doors are slammed in her face, she begins to realise that she knows nothing about her husband’s past.
Connor’s grandmother, a hermit living on the cliffs of the wild Atlantic, must know the truth about her grandson. But when Lily tries to find her, threatening notes are pushed through her door warning her not to stay. Will Lily leave the darkness of the past where it belongs? Or will she risk everything to find out the truth about the man she married…
The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton
You can run… but death will always find you
A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible.
Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.
A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.
Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.
But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?
The War Girls by Rosie James
Can their friendship survive the darkest days of war?
When Abigail arrives for a new start in Bristol in the late 1930s, she knows life won’t be easy – particularly as she is the unmarried mother of three-year-old Emily Grace.
But as the war starts to take over the city and threaten their very existence, will Abigail’s new friends, Carrie and Eileen, be enough to keep herself and her daughter safe?
Hades, Argentina by Daniel Loedel – Audio Available
A decade after fleeing for his life, a man is pulled back to Argentina by an undying love.
In 1976, Tomás Orilla is a medical student in Buenos Aires, where he has moved in hopes of reuniting with Isabel, a childhood crush. But the reckless passion that has long drawn him is leading Isabel ever deeper into the ranks of the insurgency fighting an increasingly oppressive regime. Tomás has always been willing to follow her anywhere, to do anything to prove himself. Yet what exactly is he proving, and at what cost to them both?
It will be years before a summons back arrives for Tomás, now living as Thomas Shore in New York. It isn’t a homecoming that awaits him, however, so much as an odyssey into the past, an encounter with the ghosts that lurk there, and a reckoning with the fatal gap between who he has become and who he once aspired to be. Raising profound questions about the sometimes impossible choices we make in the name of love, Hades, Argentina is a gripping, ingeniously narrated literary debut.
The Last Garden in England by Julia Kelly – Audio Available
Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.
1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.
1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.
The Lost Manuscript by Cathy Bonidan (H/B due next month)
Sometimes a book has the power to change your life…
When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her…
Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shocking—that he was not the author of the second half of the book.
Anne-Lise can’t rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone’s lives are made better by this book—and isn’t that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don’t see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story.
Hotel Cartagena by Simone Buchholz
Twenty floors above the shimmering lights of the Hamburg docks, Public Prosecutor Chastity Riley is celebrating a birthday with friends in a hotel bar when twelve heavily armed men pull out guns, and take everyone hostage. Among the hostages is Konrad Hoogsmart, the hotel owner, who is being targeted by a man whose life – and family – have been destroyed by Hoogsmart’s actions.
With the police looking on from outside – their colleagues’ lives at stake – and Chastity on the inside, increasingly ill from an unexpected case of sepsis, the stage is set for a dramatic confrontation … and a devastating outcome for the team … all live streamed in a terrifying bid for revenge.
Crackling with energy and populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, Hotel Cartagena is a searing, stunning thriller that will leave you breathless.
That’s it for this week folks.