Join thousands of book lovers
You can, at any time, unsubscribe from our newsletters.
It was midday on December 21st in the Norwegian city of Tromso when the boy was last seen - a tall, blond boy swathed in an anorak and scarf against the Arctic noon. He was not seen again, not until three months later, when Professor Mackenzie's dog started sniffing around in the snow and uncovered a human ear . . . attached to a naked corpse.Nobody knew who he was, or where he had come from. And after three months it was almost impossible to track down the identity of the corpse. But Inspector Fagermo refused to give up - and as he probed deeper into the Arctic city he began to discover a dangerous conspiracy of blackmail, espionage, and cold-blooded murder.Regarded as Robert Barnard's best, Death in a Cold Climate is a scandi detective novel with a captivating mystery at its heart.
An inspired memoir, spanning over the Second World War, from a powerfully independent Countess who wouldn't take no for an answer
Dr Finlay's Casebook brings together Adventures of a Black Bag and Dr Finlay of Tannochbrae, A. J. Cronin's two hugely popular collections featuring his most famous creation, Dr Finlay.Set in and around the fictional Scottish town of Levenford and village of Tannochbrae during the inter-war years, the stories found here are heart-warming, funny and touching, full of fascinating characters and unforgettable encounters. Made famous by the much-loved adaptations for radio and television, the classic tales of Dr Finlay, his senior colleague Dr Cameron, and their unruffled housekeeper Janet, remain as fresh and entertaining now as they were upon first publication.
Superintendent Perry Trethowan is returning to London with his wife Jan after visiting his difficult family in Northumberland. Driving through the Yorkshire Dales their car breaks down, and they find themselves stranded in a small village for the night. Taking refuge in the local pub for the evening, Perry and Jan are joined by Miss Edith Wing, a seemingly unremarkable woman with an extraordinary document in her possession.Is this really, as she claims, an undiscovered novel by one of the Bronte sisters - sure to be a literary sensation - or simply an extremely clever forgery?When both Perry and Miss Wing find themselves in mortal danger, what starts out as a harmless diversion for Robert Barnard's determined policeman, turns into a hunt for a vicious attacker, in this classic mystery from a master of the genre.
A white ChristmasDeepening snow has isolated the village of Byford from the outside world, but as the locals settle down for the festive period, the peace is suddenly destroyed with news of a violent crime at the vicarage.A domestic murderThe victim is the vicar's son-in-law, but few are saddened by his death. And although Chief Inspector Lloyd is expecting an open-and-shut case, he is soon confronted with more than he bargained for.A web of liesStruggling to keep control of his personal relationship with Sergeant Judy Hill, Lloyd must work his way through a tangle of suspects, each doing their part to disrupt the investigation in this perplexing mystery.Murder at the Old Vicarage is Jill McGown's classic homage to Agatha Christie, with a decidedly uncosy twist.
An Uncommon Murder is the first detective novel in Anabel Donald's acclaimed Notting Hill series.'I'm twenty-eight. I'm a freelance TV researcher. And last November I investigated my first murder . . .' Alex Tanner is always on the lookout for work - mortgages on flats in Notting Hill don't come cheap after all and she only has herself to rely on. So when TV producer Barty O'Neill mentions a particularly juicy assignment for his latest documentary she jumps at the chance.Barty sends Alex to investigate the shooting of Lord Sherman, who was a member of London's high society in the 50s, and whose case remains unresolved. Alex hopes that a governess of the family, Miss Sarah Potter, will help untangle the truth, or will she lead Alex down another hidden path of the family's privileged history?
Now the subject of major Disney film starring Ewan McGregor, this is Christopher Robin in his own words.Millions of readers throughout the world have grown up with the stories and verses of A. A. Milne; have envied Christopher Robin in his enchanted world; laughed at Pooh - a bear of very little brain - and worried about Piglet and his problems. But what was it like to be the small boy with the long hair, smock and wellington boots?At the age of fifty-four Christopher Milne recalled his early childhood, remembering 'the enchanted places' where he used to play in Sussex. The Hundred Acre Wood, Galleon's Lap and Poohsticks Bridge existed not only in the stories and poems but were part of the real world surrounding the Milne home at Cotchford Farm.With deftness and artistry Milne draws a memorable portrait of his father, and an evocative reconstruction of a happy childhood in London and Sussex. The Enchanted Places is a story told with humour and modesty.
Set in the last years of Elizabeth I's reign, Winston Graham's The Grove of Eagles seamlessly blends historical fact and fiction in a rich tale full of unforgettable characters.In 1588 the Spanish Armada had been defeated in the English Channel and the whole of Elizabethan England was alert for the revenge that surely had to follow. On the Cornish coast, men like John Killigrew - in charge of the castle at Pendennis - were vital to the survival of the country, and on their backs rested the trust of those defending the nation. His eldest but base-born son, Maugan, emerges in the novel, through his loneliness and his love, as a touchingly honest and believable character who is, above all things, a man of his word.
A Bird in the Hand is the first novel featuring George and Molly Palmer-Jones by Ann Cleeves, author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope crime series.In England's birdwatching paradise, a new breed has been sighted - a murderer . . .Young Tom French was found dead, lying in a marsh on the Norfolk coast, with his head bashed in and his binoculars still around his neck. One of the best birders in England, Tom had put the village of Rushy on the birdwatching map. Everyone liked him. Or did they?George Palmer-Jones, an elderly birdwatcher who decided quietly to look into the brutal crime, discovered mixed feelings aplenty. Still, he remained baffled by a deed that could have been motivated by thwarted love, pure envy, or something else altogether.But as he and his fellow "e;twitchers"e; flocked from Norfolk to Scotland to the Scilly Isles, in response to rumours of rare sightings, George - with help from his lovely wife, Molly - gradually discerned the true markings of a killer. All he had to do was prove it . . . before the murderer strikes again.
A Day in the Death of Dorothea Cassidy is the third novel in the Inspector Ramsay series by Ann Cleeves, author of the Shetland and Vera Stanhope crime series.For Dorothea Cassidy Thursdays were special. Every week she would look forward to the one day she could call her own, and would plan to visit people she wanted to see as a welcome respite from the routine duties that being a vicar's wife entailed. But one Thursday in June was to be more special than any other. It was the day that Dorothea Cassidy was strangled.As the small town of Otterbridge prepares for its summer carnival, Inspector Stephen Ramsay begins a painstaking reconstruction of Dorothea's last hours. He soon discovers that she had taken on a number of deserving cases - a sick and lonely old woman, a disturbed adolescent, a compulsive gambler, a single mother with a violent boyfriend and a child in care - and even her close family have their secrets to hide. All these people are haunted, in one way or another, by Dorothea's goodness. But which of them could have possibly wanted her dead?It is not until a second body is discovered that Ramsay starts to understand how Dorothea lived - and why she died. With the carnival festivities in full swing and dusk falling in Otterbridge, Ramsay's murder investigation reaches its chilling climax . . .
The news that Radio Broadwich is to make a documentary on Twytching for broadcast in America spreads through the small village like wildfire. Mrs Deborah Withens, Twytching's resident doyenne and arbiter of good taste, takes it upon herself to control the presentation of her 'county town' and assumes responsibility for picking those that will take part, provoking fierce rivalry amongst the villagers.One resident who is reticent to participate in the fuss is Inspector George Parrish . . . until the murder of the first villager chosen, and a rash of poison pen letters uncovering secrets Twytching's leading citizens had fervently hoped were buried, force him to get involved.In this early classic, Robert Barnard skilfully demonstrates that no one is more cunning in preparing the reader to expect the totally unexpected and his incisive character portrayals in this early gem impart a dimension rarely found in English detective fiction.
After seventeen years, Brenda Cryer returns to the tiny Lancashire village of Parson's Fold with a shadowy past and a mysterious fortune. Shortly afterwards she is shot dead, and the one possible witness - her invalid mother - is missing . . .The only man available for the job is the notoriously slow and old-fashioned Inspector Mosley, but this case is a radical departure for a man more used to locating missing geese than tracking down a coldblooded killer. And it doesn't help that Mosley refuses to use forensics or computers, preferring to trust 'intuition' and a network of gossips, busybodies and village idlers to get to the bottom of things.Luckily, high-flying Sergeant Beamish - fresh out of the police academy and nursing a penchant for technology - has been tasked to keep an eye on the unpredictable Mosley. Keen to establish the superiority of his methods, Beamish sets out to solve the mystery by himself but somehow the grubby, balding and rumpled Mosley is always two steps ahead.Gentle, eccentric and an utter joy to read, Murder, Mr Mosley by John Greenwood brings together the wit and wordplay of P. G. Wodehouse with the classic character-led storytelling of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown.
The cathedral town of Litchester is more used to carols by candlelight during the festive period than flames and intrigue, but the proposed sale of its 1225 copy of the Magna Carta in order to raise funds turns out to have far-reaching consequences.Merchant banker Mark Treasure has been invited down to arbitrate the vicious disagreement between members of the cathedral chapter regarding the sale and finds himself dealing with more than he bargained for when the Dean's verger is discovered murdered, his body left to burn, along with the ecclesiastical library.As his investigation progresses and the evidence points to mayhem and skulduggery, he discovers that Litchester is a town full of sins and secrets rather than peace on earth.
Which of these stories is true and which is semi-true I have, of course, not the slightest intention of telling you, but I hope this will not detract from your enjoyment . . .Gerald Durrell introduces an eccentric cast of characters in this entertaining collection of stories, first published in 1991.In the title story, part of the inspiration behind the ITV drama The Durrells, we join his family in Corfu, where Gerry joins forces with Larry and Margo in encouraging Mother to consider finding a new husband, only to rue the consequences. Highlights from the other tales in this collection are the acquisition of a strongly perfumed pig named Esmerelda, a foul-mouthed parrot called Moses, and a compulsive gambler who inspires a miracle.Written with Durrell's usual sharp eye for observing humour in a situation, Marrying Off Mother will delight fans both old and new.
Written with Gerald Durrell's usual sharp eye for observing humour in any situation, Rosy is my Relative will delight fans both old and new.At the age of thirty, Adrian Rookwhistle's life hasn't quite turned out the way he'd have hoped. Working an unfulfilling job as a clerk in the city and living under the tyranny of his fearsome landlady, he can't help but think that there is more to life.However, all of this suddenly changes when he receives a curious letter from his dying uncle who has bequeathed him GBP500 and an elephant by the name of Rosy who has a seemingly unquenchable thirst for liquor. At a loss of what to do with his unexpectedly gargantuan - and rarely sober - inheritance, Adrian sets forth on a journey believing to have the answer to his dilemma; he'll give her away to the circus. Together Adrian and Rosy carve a trail of destruction through the peaceful countryside of southern England, meeting a curious cast of misfits along the way. Drunk or sober, Rosy spreads chaos in her wake, until the full weight of the law finally catches up with her . . .
Susanna Weber's dress shop stands in the picturesque Madensky Square, a quiet little world of its own, nestled in the heart of glittering pre-war Vienna.As the winter of 1910 unfurls into spring, Susanna starts a journal about life in the Square, about the buildings and their colourful inhabitants. There's Frau Schumacher, with six daughters and a baby on the way, Professor Starsky and his menagerie of sickly reptiles, an aging bookseller, a teenaged Anarchist, and little Sigi - an orphaned child prodigy forced to play the piano all day, every day. And then there's her dear friend Alice, the only person who has noticed the heartbreak that hides beneath Susanna's brisk kindness and brilliant talent . . . A magical novel about the passions and tragedies behind daily life, Madensky Square remains as enchanting today as it was on first publication.
Written with Gerald Durrell's usual sharp eye for observing humour in any situation, Beasts in my Belfry will delight fans both old and new.At the age of two I made up my mind quite firmly and unequivocally that the only thing I wanted to do was study animals. Nothing else interested me.Beasts in My Belfry is a charming account of Gerald Durrell's first job in 1945 as a student keeper at Whipsnade Zoo. Over a year, we encounter a typically absurd cast - including Albert the lion, who's a dab hand at ventriloquism, and Teddy the brown bear, with whom the young Durrell sings duets. With notebook and pen in hand, the eager young Durrell observes his co-workers and animal charges alike. Whether getting dirty mucking out the buffalo enclosure or attempting to cajole a jitter-bugging gnu into a transportation crate, life at the zoo is certainly never boring.
Hermione, Countess of Ranfurly, kept a diary all her life. To War with Whitaker is an account of the most adventurous, most defiant and most valiant of those years. Hermione and Dan Ranfurly married only months before the Second World War erupted. So when Dan was posted to the Middle East, taking their faithful butler Whitaker with him, Hermione resolved to join them there. This memoir offers astounding displays of commitment and independence. After vowing not to go home without her husband, Hermione travelled alone from Cape Town to Cairo, and remained in the Middle East and North Africa for the two and a half years he was imprisoned by the Germans - meeting many notable characters along the way.With wit and exuberance, Hermione's diary entries take us To War with Whitaker and back again, providing sharp insight into the strong and outspoken woman she was. This Pan Heritage Classics edition features the original black and white plate sections.