By Charles Frazier
The new novel from the number one bestselling author of Cold Mountain - a stunning portrait of the devastation left by the American Civil War, as seen through the eyes of a woman who played a part at the heart of it.Sooner or later, history asks: which side were you on?'Riveting...this is a sharp, evocative novel' - Publishers Weekly'Beneath the chilling, photogenic story, the writing remains beautiful' - IndependentWith her marriage prospects ruined in the wake of her father's financial decline, teenage Varina Howell decides her best option is to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects a life of security as a Mississippi landowner. When he instead pursues a career in politics and is appointed President of the Confederacy, it puts Varina at the white-hot centre of one of the darkest moments in American history - culpable regardless of her intentions.As the Confederacy prepares to surrender and she finds herself friendless and alone, Varina and her children escape Richmond. With her marriage in tatters and the country divided, they travel south, now fugitives with 'bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit'.
Vesuvius by Night
By Lindsey Davis, Jonathan Keeble
In the late August of AD 79 the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum are going about their normal business in the late summer heat. Two of them have a room share arrangement: Nonius, scrounger, thief and failed pimp works by night and sleeps by day; Larius, the fresco painter with dreams of artistic greatness, does the opposite. When just after midday the summit of Vesuvius disappears in a vast volcanic ash cloud, their lives will change forever. While one sets about looting rapidly emptying homes the other desperately tries to save his family from destruction.Lindsey Davis brings alive one the greatest catastrophes in human history in this gripping audiobook, poignantly evoking the struggle for life in the cities beneath the volcano.(P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
The Vatican Princess
By C W Gortner
Infamy is no accident. It is a poison in our blood. It is the price of being a Borgia.Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias became Italy's most ruthless and powerful family, electrifying and terrorizing their 15th-century Renaissance world. To this day, Lucrezia Borgia, the Pope's beautiful daughter, is known as one of history's most notorious villainesses, accused of incest and luring men to doom with her arsenal of poison. Was she the heartless seductress of legend? Or was she an unsuspecting pawn in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and her own survival? From her pampered childhood in the palaces of Rome to her ill-fated, scandalous marriages and complex relationship with her adored father and her brothers, this is the dramatic, untold story of a papal princess whose courage led her to overcome the fate imposed on her by her Borgia blood.
The Virgin Mary's Got Nits
By Gervase Phinn
A touching and hilarious gift book of poetry and prose on the subject of children and Christmas from the Yorkshire school inspector and bestselling author of the Dales series and Little Village School series.
The Very Pointless Quiz Book
By Alexander Armstrong, Richard Osman
Let hosts Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman guide you through the quiz rounds with their trademark warmth and humour and battle it out against your friends and family for Pointless glory. Perfect for playing along alone or with family and friends, The Very Pointless Quiz Book will test your knowledge and tease your brains.So how good are you at Pointless? Really? Do you think you've got enough in-depth knowledge of Regional Railways, African Countries With No Coastline and Types of Lettuce to carry off the coveted Pointless trophy?Well let's see shall we?Here's your chance to step up to the podium (metaphorically speaking of course, chances are you'll be sitting somewhere very comfortably with either a mug of tea or a roll of Andrex within easy reach) put that knowledge to the test, and see just how far you can go in a genuine four-round Pointless ordeal.Right, if everyone's ready, let's play Pointless...
By Gerald Seymour
It was a dirty job in a dirty war.Danny Curnow, known in the army family by his call sign, Vagabond, ran agents, informers. Played God with their lives and their deaths, and was the best at his job - and he quit when the stress overwhelmed him.Now he lives in quiet isolation and works as a guide to tourists visiting the monuments and cemeteries of an earlier, simpler, conflict on Normandy's D-Day beaches.Until the call comes from an old boss, Bentinick.Violence in Northern Ireland is on the rise again. Weapons are needed for a new campaign. Gaby Davies of MI5, sparky and ambitious, runs the double agent Ralph Exton, who will be the supposed middle man in brokering an arms deal with a Russian contact, Timofey.The covert world of deception and betrayal was close to destroying Danny across the Irish Sea. Fifteen years later the stakes are higher, the risks greater, and there is an added agenda on the table. If he wants to survive, Danny will have to prove, to himself, that he has not softened, that he is as hard and ruthless as before.VAGABOND shows Gerald Seymour writing at the top of his powers and returning to the territory of some of his greatest bestsellers, Harry's Game, Field of Blood and The Journeyman Tailor.
By Rebecca Mascull
Imagine if you couldn't seecouldn't hearcouldn't speak...Then one day somebody took your hand and opened up the world to you.Adeliza Golding is a deaf-blind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father's hop farm. Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion; her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, who she has christened the Visitors. One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it. Finally Liza can communicate.Her friendship with her teacher and with Lottie's beloved brother Caleb leads her from the hop gardens and oyster beds of Kent to the dusty veldt of South Africa and the Boer War, and ultimately to the truth about the Visitors.
The Violent Century
By Lavie Tidhar
'An alternative history tour-de-force. Epic, intense and authentic . . . electric' - Tom Harper, author of Zodiac StationFor seventy years they guarded the British Empire. Oblivion and Fogg, inseparable friends, bound together by a shared fate. Until one night in Berlin, in the aftermath of the Second World War, and a secret that tore them apart.But there must always be an account . . . and the past has a habit of catching up to the present.Now, recalled to the Retirement Bureau from which no one can retire, Fogg and Oblivion must face up to a past of terrible war and unacknowledged heroism - a life of dusty corridors and secret rooms, of furtive meetings and blood-stained fields - to answer one last, impossible question:What makes a hero?*******************Praise for VIOLENT CENTURY:'Vintage Lavie, and also I think his most fully accomplished novel yet. If Nietzche had written an X-Men storyline whilst high on mescaline, it might have read something like VIOLENT CENTURY' - Adam Roberts, author of Jack Glass'A big, ambitious book that manages to deliver' - Glen Mehn'An elegiac espionage adventure that demands a second reading' - Metro'Provides an insight into what it takes to be human, and what can happen when we lay that humanity aside. It's a powerful novel, which will no doubt reward rereading' - Sci-Fi bulletin
By George Mackay Brown
In his fourth novel, George Mackay Brown takes us to an Orkney torn between its Viking past and its Christian future. Set in the early 11th Century, it tells the story of Ranald Sigmundson, who turns his back on a successful life of political intrigues and battles to design a ship to take him on a journey even greater than the first great voyage of his life, the one to Vinland.
The Venetian Contract
By Marina Fiorato
Like her bestselling THE GLASSBLOWER OF MURANO, Marina Fiorato's fifth unforgettable historical love story is set in Venice. For fans of Philippa Gregory, Sarah Dunant and Alison Weir.1576. Five years after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, a ship steals unnoticed into Venice bearing a deadly cargo. A man more dead than alive, disembarks and staggers into Piazza San Marco. He brings a gift to Venice from Constantinople. Within days the city is infected with bubonic plague - and the Turkish Sultan has his revenge.But the ship also holds a secret stowaway - Feyra, a young and beautiful harem doctor fleeing a future as the Sultan's concubine. Only her wits and medical knowledge keep her alive as the plague ravages Venice. In despair the Doge commissions the architect Andrea Palladio to build the greatest church of his career - an offering to God so magnificent that Venice will be saved. But Palladio's own life is in danger too, and it will require all skills of medico Annibale Cason, the city's finest plague doctor, to keep him alive.But what Annibale had not counted on was meeting Feyra, who is now under Palladio's protection, a woman who can not only match his medical skills but can also teach him how to care.
By Julian Stockwin
'Paints a vivid picture of life aboard the mighty ship-of-the-line' - Daily ExpressCommander Thomas Kydd is eager to play his part in thwarting Bonaparte's plans for the invasion of England. Joining Admiral Nelson's command, Kydd and his ship soon find themselves at the heart of the action that leads up to the greatest sea battle in history: Trafalgar. Kydd's journey takes him from false sightings of the enemy and dramatic chases across the Atlantic, to the bloody annihilation of the enemy during the actual battle, and the heroic aftermath.******************What readers are saying about VICTORY'More of the same, please!' - 5 stars'The best Stockwin yet!' - 5 stars'A great read . . . I salute a terrific story teller of that bygone age!' - 5 stars'A masterly retelling of a real hero's tragic demise and a thoroughly enjoyable novel' - 5 stars'A marvelous book' - 5 stars
A Vote for Murder
By David Wishart
Marcus Corvinus is spending a few days in the Alban Hills, visiting his stepdaughter and enthusiastically patronising the local wineshop, while taking a mild interest in the forthcoming consul's elections. Then one of the two candidates is murdered, and Corvinus is all too pleased to put his holiday on hold and help with the investigation. The obvious suspect is the rival political candidate, but needless to say, the obvious solution is not the right one. In the course of his investigations Corvinus meets an unconventional young woman - the dead man's fiancée; a shady property developer; an ex-war hero; the younger son of a wealthy family who is pursuing a career as an artist and assorted low lifes. But which one is the murderer? There are two more violent deaths, plus a near miss for Corvinus himself, before (tipped off, as usual, by his intellectual wife, Perilla) Marcus uncovers a nationalists' conspiracy and solves the mystery. In a grand finale, he enters the local wine-tasting competition (which, given his dedicated attitude to training, should be a walkover) only to be beaten . . . by a sheep.