By Julia Stagg
The small commune of Fogas in the French Pyrenees has been thrown into turmoil by the revelation that the Auberge des Deux Vallées has been bought by an English couple and not by the Mayor's brother-in-law as had been expected. With everyone aghast at the idea of an English run restaurant and the certainty of gastronomic disasters, Mayor Serge Papon is in the mood to take revenge. Within hours of hearing the news, he has called an emergency Committee meeting and his machinations to force out the new owners have begun.But the Mayor hasn't reckoned on one of his deputies, Christian Dupuy, whose conscience always leads his politics. Refusing to condone Mayor Papon's calls to compulsory purchase the Auberge, he proposes an alternative solution which will prevent the Mayor from getting his own way. Or will it . . .
La Bella Figura
By Beppe Severgnini
'First of all, let's get one thing straight. Your Italy and out Italia are not the same thing. Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, white wine and raven haired girls. Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It's alluring but complicated. In Italia you can go round and round in circles for years. Which of course, is great fun.' Beppe Severgnini was The Economist's Italian correspondent for ten years. A huge Anglophile as well as an astute observer of his countrymen, he's the perfect companion for this hilarious tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors - la bella figura - and uncovers the far more complex, paradoxical true self. Alongside the historic cities and glorious countryside, there'll be stops at the places where the Italians reveal themselves in all their authentic, maddening glory: the airport, the motorway and the living room. Ten days, thirty places. From north to south, from food to politics, from saintliness to sexuality. This witty and beguiling examination will help you understand why Italy, as Beppe says, 'can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred metres or ten minutes.'
By Patricia Wentworth
CLASSIC GOLDEN AGE MYSTERY PERFECT FOR FANS OF AGATHA CHRISTIEMiss Silver must unravel a tangled web of marriage, mystery and murder'Ranks with the best of the golden-age detectives' Daily MailNo one has seen Allegra Trent since she got married. Her husband swept her off her feet and out of London, to a faraway town called Bleake. She has stopped writing letters, and her family has begun to worry. Allegra's husband is a strange man. He is consumed with his dream of owning the ramshackle estate curiously known as Ladies' Bane, and he intends to use his new wife's money to do it. Why he wants to live there no one knows, but Josepha Bowden does not want his castle to become her goddaughter's prison. She asks the help of Maud Silver, the former governess who now makes a living using her reason to unravel the intricacies of murder. There has been no killing in Bleake, but if Miss Silver doesn't intervene quickly, there could be one soon.'A first-rate storyteller' Daily Telegraph'You can't go wrong with Miss Maud Silver' Observer'Miss Silver is marvellous' Daily Mail'Better than Miss Marple' Mary Stewart'A particular favourite' Andrew Taylor 'Miss Wentworth's plot is ingenious, her characterization acute, her solution satisfying' Scotsman'Miss Silver has her place in detective fiction as surely as Lord Peter Wimsey or Hercule Poirot' Manchester Evening News
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
By Countess Of Carnarvon
'Bright, breezy and unpretentious' Guardian'A loving and faithful portrait of Almina and her world' Countryfile magazine* * * * * *The story of the real Downton Abbey, told by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, chatelaine of Highclere Castle where the phenomentally successful TV series was filmed.Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle - the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey - eight years ago. In that time she's become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries. One person particularly captured Fiona's imagination - Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at 19, with an enormous dowry. At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff - many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations. But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever. History intervened and Almina and the staff of Highclere were thrown into one of the most turbulent times of the last century. Almina was forced to draw on her deepest reserves of courage in order to ensure her family, the staff and the castle survived. This is the remarkable story of a lost time. But Highclere remains and in this book, Fiona weaves Almina's journey and those of her family into the heritage and history of one of England's most exquisite Victorian castles.
Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey
By The Countess Of Carnarvon
'An excellent depiction of English aristocratic life ... a compelling portrait' Publisher's Weekly* * * * * *The follow-up to the international bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, this book moves the story into the 1920s, and focuses on the remarkable American heiress who came to reign at Highclere Castle.Sometimes the facts are even more extraordinary than the fiction ... This book tells the story of Lady Catherine, a beautiful American girl who became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes' award-winning drama Downton Abbey. Charming and charismatic, Catherine caught the eye of Lord Porchester (or 'Porchey', as he was known) when she was just 20 years old, and wearing a pale yellow dress at a ball. She had already turned down 14 proposals before she eventually married Porchey in 1922. But less than a year later Porchey's father died suddenly, and he became the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, inheriting a title and a Castle that changed both their lives forever. Catherine found herself suddenly in charge of a small army of household staff, and hosting lavish banquets and weekend house parties. Although the couple were very much in love, considerable challenges lay ahead for Catherine. They were immediately faced with the task of saving Highclere when debts threatened to destroy the estate. As the 1920s moved to a close, Catherine's adored brother died and she began to lose her husband to the distractions London had to offer. When the Second World War broke out, life at the Castle would never be the same again. Drawing on rich material from the private archives at Highclere, including beautiful period photographs, the current Countess of Carnarvon transports us back to the thrilling and alluring world of the 'real Downton Abbey' and its inhabitants.
By Lena Kennedy
Warm-hearted and wilful, her temper as fiery as her beautiful auburn hair, Lady Penelope is a romantic heroine whose impulsive nature makes her as many enemies as her vivacious, flame-haired beauty wins her admirers.Caught up in the dangerous intrigues of Queen Elizabeth's court, forced to marry a wealthy but repulsive nobleman, she pours all her passion into her children . . . and her lovers. But though her heart often rules her head, Penelope survives her loveless marriage and a life filled with tragedy to emerge triumphant.
By Nnedi Okorafor
Three strangers, each isolated by his or her own problems: Adaora, the marine biologist. Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa. Agu, the troubled soldier. Wandering Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria's legendary mega-city, they're more alone than they've ever been before.But when something like a meteorite plunges into the ocean and a tidal wave overcomes them, these three people will find themselves bound together in ways they could never imagine. Together with Ayodele, a visitor from beyond the stars, they must race through Lagos and against time itself in order to save the city, the world... and themselves. 'There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.'
By Freda Lightfoot
Lily Thorpe has big dreams: she wants to make her fortune as a dressmaker, away from her family's fish stall and the poor fishing community of Carreckwater - and she wants to marry Dick Rawlings, her secret sweetheart. But when tragedy strikes and Dick is killed in a boating accident caused by the wealthy and arrogant Clermont-Read family, Lily is forced to come to terms with life without him.She soon finds, however, that her fate and that of the Clermont-Read family is intertwined, and, torn between a desire for revenge and her continuing wish to make a better life for herself, she makes a decision which she hopes will enable her to combine the two. Instead, heartache and misery follow and Lily must reassess her priorities - before it is too late.
Lamb to the Slaughter
By Aline Templeton
If you're looking for a gripping new crime series, you'll love Aline Templeton. Featuring DI Marjory Fleming - 'Big Marge' - and set in Galloway. If you enjoy novels by Ann Cleeves, Faith Martin, Val McDermid and LJ Ross, try Lamb to the Slaughter.'The crime czar of the Scottish small town!' Val McDermidA sunny evening, a tranquil garden - and an old man brutally gunned down on his doorstep. In the pretty and tranquil market town of Kirkluce, a proposed superstore development has divided the population in an increasingly bitter war. The low-level aggression of bored youth that is generally tolerated has become sinister. The bloodied carcass of a sheep abandoned in the streets is more than just unpleasant vandalism and teenage bikers, terrorising a woman to breaking point, are impossible to control. When a second victim is killed in what seems a random shooting, the fear in the town becomes tangible. DI Fleming will not accept that the crimes are motiveless, but she struggles to make sense of the two murders, when nothing makes sense any more and no one will believe anything. Not even the truth.Reader reviews:'Once again a roller coaster of a ride to the truth. Her knack of keeping you thinking is outstanding''This is a brilliant read, enhanced by the personalities of the characters''DI Fleming is such a great character, each book is a joy to read '
By Anna Jacobs
'I felt as if this book was my addiction . . . A truly remarkable author' - 5-star reader reviewAt eighteen, Cathie longs for more than life as a settler in the Australian bush. So when her uncle offers her the chance to send her to England, she grabs the opportunity with both hands and runs away from her family. But little does she know that he is using her to get revenge on his sister, Liza.Attacked at the docks in Liverpool, Cathie takes refuge with the man who saved her, a man who has his own troubles. But as she slowly regains her memory and meets her Lancashire relatives, she must confront the legacy of her mother's past.And even in 1876, the same wealthy families who forced her mother to leave Lancashire are still powerful enough to threaten Cathie's happiness and safety - as well as that of anyone close to her . . .**********************What readers are saying about LANCASHIRE LEGACY'Another brilliant read from Anna. Love it' - 5 stars'Riveting' - 5 stars'Brilliant story, as always. Didn't want it to end' - 5 stars'WOW, such a good read' - 5 stars'I couldn't put this down' - 5 stars
By Anna Jacobs
'Another riveting book from Anna Jacobs' - 5-star reader reviewSeventeen-year-old Liza is happy working as a lady's maid - until her employers decide to emigrate and her father makes up his mind that she is to wed an older widower whom she detests. Determined to avoid a loveless marriage, Liza plans to run away. But when the widower rapes her to force her to marry him, she flees back to the family for whom she worked. She feels she has no choice but to go with them to Australia, and they all set out on the long voyage.On board ship, Liza discovers to her horror that she has fallen pregnant. Even if she can survive the journey, the demanding life of a settler in 1850s Western Australia will be made even harder by an illegitimate child. But Liza is to find that in addition to deprivation of the worst sort, Australia will offer her opportunities she could never have dreamt of back home in Lancashire.*******************What readers are saying about LANCASHIRE LASS'As ever, great!' - 5 stars'A lovely book' - 5 stars'Great from start to finish' - 5 stars'Brilliant again!' - 5 stars'I just love these books - once you start you will find it hard to put down' - 5 stars
The Land of Painted Caves
By Jean M. Auel
THE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES concludes the story of Ayla, her mate Jondalar, and their little daughter, Jonayla, taking readers on a journey of discovery and adventure as Ayla struggles to find a balance between her duties as a new mother and her training to become a Zelandoni - one of the Ninth Cave community's spiritual leaders and healers.Once again, Jean Auel combines her brilliant narrative skills and appealing characters with a remarkable re-creation of the way life was lived thousands of years ago, rendering the terrain, dwelling places, longings, beliefs, creativity and daily lives of Ice Age Europeans as real to the reader as today's news.
Land of Hope and Glory
By Geoffrey Wilson
A world where the Indian Mutiny takes place in a very different England . . .Where magic is a weapon controlled by the oppressors . . . Where the only hope for the future is the Holy Grail.It is 1852. The Indian empire of Rajthana has ruled Europe for more than a hundred years. With their vast armies, steam-and-sorcery technology and mastery of the mysterious power of sattva, the Rajthanans appear invincible. But a bloody rebellion has broken out in a remote corner of the empire, in a poor and backward region known as England.At first Jack Casey, retired soldier, wants nothing to do with the uprising, but then he learns his daughter, Elizabeth, is due to be hanged for helping the rebels. The Rajthanans will spare her, but only if Jack hunts down and captures his best friend and former army comrade, who is now a rebel leader. Jack is torn between saving his daughter and protecting his friend. And he struggles just to stay alive as the rebellion pushes England into all-out war.
Lands Beyond the Sea
By Tamara Mckinley
By the 1700s, the Aborigine people have lived in harmony with the land in Australia for sixty thousand years. But now, ghost-ships are arriving, their very existence is threatened by a terrifying white invasion.When Jonathan Cadwallader leaves Cornwall to sail on the Endeavour, he leaves behind his sweetheart, Susan Penhalligan . . . That is, until an act of brutality reunites them in the raw and unforgiving penal colony of New South Wales.Billy Penhalligan has survived transportation and clings to the promise of a new beginning. But there will be more suffering before he or his fellow convicts can regard Australia as home . . . .A sweeping tale of discovery, love and hardship in the sixteenth century which will bring emergent Australia and all its inhabitants - new and old - to life.
The Lantern's Ember
By Colleen Houck
Welcome to the Otherworld, where nightmarish creatures reign supreme . . .Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil, thus condemning himself to an eternity of servitude. As a Lantern, his sole duty is to guard one of the many portals that lead to the immortal realm, making sure that no souls stray where they are not welcome. It's a job that Jack excels at - until he meets the beautiful Ember O'Dare. Seventeen-year-old witch Ember has been trying to trick Jack into letting her through the portal for years. Stubborn and undeterred by his warnings, she finally manages to cross into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire - and so the wild chase through a dazzling, dangerous world begins.Can Jack get Ember back where she belongs before both the worlds, both earthly and supernatural, descend into chaos?*********************Praise for Colleen Houck'[A] must-read for thrill-seekers and fans of alternate worlds' - RT Book Reviews on the Reawakened Series 'Epic, grand adventure rolled into a sweeping love story' - Sophie Jordan on the Tiger's Curse Series
Last Act of All
By Aline Templeton
Last Chance in the Pyrenees
By Julia Stagg
When tragedy strikes the small mountain village of Fogas in the French Pyrenees, the residents must once more rally round to protect their precious way of life - and this time the stakes are higher than ever. A struggle for the town hall sees political ambition rise to ever more dangerous - even life-threatening - levels, crucial relationships are tested and a deadly plot for revenge and retribution has terrible consequences . . . But among the grief and drama come love, laughs and new beginnings. And in good times and bad, the value our villagers place on community and friendship has never been greater.
The Last Child
By John Hart
Thirteen-year-old Johnny Merrimon has to face things no boy his age should face. In the year since his twin sister's abduction his world has fallen apart: his father has disappeared and his fragile mother is spiralling into ever deeper despair.Johnny keeps strong. Armed with a map, a bike and a flashlight, he stalks the bad men of Raven County. The police might have given up on Alyssa; he never will. Someone, somewhere, knows something they're not telling.Only one person looks out for Johnny. Detective Clyde Hunt shares his obsession with the case. But when Johnny witnesses a hit-and-run and insists the victim was killed because he'd found Alyssa, even Hunt thinks he's lost it.And then another young girl goes missing . . .
The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins
By Antonia Hodgson
London, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is driven through streets of jeering onlookers to the gallows at Tyburn. They call him a murderer. But Tom Hawkins is innocent and somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him.It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy settling down with Kitty Sparks. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was bored and looking for adventure. He should never have offered to help, the king's mistress. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man.Based loosely on actual events, Antonia Hodgson's new novel is both a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea and a standalone historical mystery. From the gilded cage of the Court to the wicked freedoms of the slums, it reveals a world both seductive and deadly. And it continues the rake's progress of Tom Hawkins - assuming he can find a way to survive the noose...
The Last Dance
By Ed Mcbain
Set in Isola, the city that both is and is not New York City, it features his world-reknowned squadroom of heroes and anti-heroes, joined together by a tough and often unrewarding job. This time a man with no enemies is found hanging in what appears to be a suicide. But Carella and Brown soon discover that, drugged and unconscious, he could not possibly have hanged himself. They are dealing with murder. The investigation takes them into the politics and passions of a musical in preparation. Or rather two: one that happened half a century ago and one that is happening now . . .