A beautiful Cornish coastal village is the setting for a highly sinister conspiracy involving a kidnapped baby, mysterious monks and an almost irresistible new perfume…
‘Joan Aiken’s triumph with this genre is that she does it so much better than others’ New York Times Book Review
Martha works for an advertising agency, filming a TV commercial on location on the stunning Cornish coast. The client is the eccentric owner of a chemicals company that has invented a new, almost irresistible perfume, and Martha is in charge of shooting the romantic ads – unfortunately starring his beautiful but highly manipulative daughter-in-law.
Before long, Martha finds herself embroiled in the conspiracy over the perfume’s true origin – to say nothing of a kidnapped baby, sinister monks, her own long-since vanished ex-husband and a series of exploding soup cans. And what of her own floundering love life…?
‘Witty and acute … a nice romantic thriller’ Punch
‘A literary celebrity with few rivals … she wrote more bestselling novels … over a longer period than almost any other American writer’ WASHINGTON POST
Everyone agrees that Herbert Wynne wasn’t the type to commit suicide. But he has been found, shot dead, the only other possible killer his bedridden aunt.
Inspector Patton of the Homicide Division sees this as the perfect opportunity to send in Hilda Adams, a nurse with a very special talent for detection. But when the sleuthing nurse arrives at the mansion, she finds more intrigue than anyone outside could possibly have imagined – and a killer on the loose…
The first novel in the acclaimed VAN DER VALK series – now a major new ITV series starring Marc Warren
‘Masterful’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Freeling’s Inspector Van der Valk is less rugged than Rebus, less parsonical than Dalgliesh, more Morse than Frost, and more Maigret than any of them. Marvellous’ – Anita Brookner
‘Freeling is a joy to read’ TLS
‘You’re in for a treat’ COSMOPOLITAN
A woman, Elsa, is brutally murdered in her Amsterdam apartment. Her ex-lover, Martin, is seen outside the building around the time of the crime. The witness who saw him? A policeman.
It looks like a straightforward case – but police inspector Van der Valk is not convinced. Despite all the evidence – and the fact that Martin originally denied he was at the apartment – he believes Martin is not guilty of murder. Instead of charging him, Van der Valk takes him on a tour: a tour of the investigation; a tour of Martin’s own past; and a tour into the darkly obsessive world of Elsa…
A small village is the scene of two brutal murders – and everyone is under suspicion.
A classic of crime fiction
The village of Pennycross is the scene of two brutal child murders within a few months. The villagers’ lives are monitored by a team of police, led by Chief Inspector Hunter, as they watch and wait, piecing together the clues to trap the killer before another life is lost.
Inspector Hunter comes to learn much about the inhabitants of Pennycross – who resort to their own drastic action when a suspicious character is seen running through the woods…
Agnes receives few compliments, and Henry Preble is not so bad-looking even if he does have a reputation for cornering girls at work. In the eyes of the world, knowing that you’re on the shelf at twenty-four can do strange things to a girl. So strange that you might wake up one morning with almost no recollection of the previous night’s events . . . Published for the first time in the UK, The Gardenia, the basis for Fritz Lang’s 1953 classic Hollywood noir film The Blue Gardenia, is a gripping story of suspense and a brilliant exposé of the press sensationalism of 1950s America.
This volume also contains Out of the Blue, which was made into a comedy film in 1947 starring George Brent and Carole Landis.
Contains four novellas: Stranger in the House; Sugar and Spice; The Murder in the Stork Club; Ruth.
In these deftly woven noir novellas, Vera Caspary draws on her own rich, independent life as a woman at a time of great social change, including her own experience of Manhattan’s Stork Club, which, from 1929 to 1965, was one of the most prestigious nightclubs in the world.
The title novella The Murder in the Stork Club features working-class detective Joe Collins, who is married to Sara Haworth, a writer of radio mysteries who belongs in Stork Club café society. Joe has to try to clear Sara’s name when an ex-lover is murdered shortly after she has dinner with him.
Kate and Allan Royce are driving home from a party in Westport, Connecticut one night when they see a girl in a beautiful but muddied dress wandering in the road and stop to pick her up. She is suffering from amnesia, so they name her Elizabeth X and take her into their home while the police try to establish her identity.
They are left in peace, until first a couple claim her as their daughter and then a psychiatrist arrives to say that she has escaped from his clinic. What does seem certain is that she is the child of wealthy parents.
But who really is Elizabeth X, and what has happened to her?
‘Vera Caspary and others were the forerunners of Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Laura Lippmann and of course, Paula Hawkins’ Irish Times
Renowned painter Henry Leveret is found shot dead in his downtown studio, and his estranged son, Michael, returns to his family and his father’s circle of friends in order to try to find out who killed him.
There are plenty of suspects: his gallery manager, Chandler Sprague, who is in love with Henry’s widow; his wealthy heiress assistant Janet Altheim, who was in love with him; and her lover Bruno, who resented Henry are just a few on Michael’s list.
But Leveret was writing a biography of sorts, his own confession, when he was shot. Was he about to reveal something, a secret that cost him his life?
Leni Neumann is rebuilding her life as a Jewish survivor in post-war Vienna, having lost her mother in a Nazi prison. As a singer going from café to café, she meets all kinds of people: good people, who want to leave the horrors of war behind; neurotics, who hope to restore days of perverse glory. Drawn by the splendid, strange new world in which she finds herself, Leni is easy prey for the forces that surround her.
Then she meets Gerhard, who offers her money, power, luxury and refinement, and Leni accepts his proposal. But Gerhard is a troubled man, and Leni finds herself forced to seek the truth about her marriage – a truth that may threaten her very life.
It’s 1920s Chicago, and Louise and Evvie, who have known each other since school, share an apartment. Worldly Evvie, a painter and dancer – supposedly married at seventeen and then divorced – is living on her alimony. Louise is a successful advertising copywriter and in love with her boss. Flouting the Prohibition, they party and enjoy a drink, and like the company of men. They’re independent, making their own way in the world, beyond the confines of marriage and motherhood.
But Louise’s life is rudely interrupted by the brutal murder of Evvie – a crime that involves family, friends and Chicago itself.
Stuart Howell is a promoter with a million-dollar proposition on the line.
Jean McVeigh is young, wealthy and lonely. Very lonely.
With Jean’s self-loathing making her prone to suicide attempts, Stuart sees a neat way to make a lot of money. After a whirlwind courtship, they marry, and Jean is at first ecstatic to have landed herself such a catch.
Jean starts to doubt Stuart’s real intentions – doubt that goes into overdrive as he tests her accident-proneness on a balcony and forges her signature on a $100,000 note. And when confronted, exposed and humiliated, Stuart becomes a more desperate, and deadly, opponent.
But Jean starts to wise up to his treachery . . .
It was the party of a lifetime – but she never arrived…
‘Vera Caspary is an expert at suspense and suspicion’ New York Times
When popular young schoolteacher Nina Redfield reports to police the whereabouts of Bushie Neal, a criminal on the run, she sets off a chain of events over which she has no control.
Nina is about to leave for a Hallowe’en party at a friend’s house. An escort is sent to collect her, so it’s no surprise to Nina when a masked man in a Harlequin costume calls for her. But Nina and her escort never reach the party . . .
Could her past association with Bushie’s sworn enemy Nick Brazza have any connection to her disappearance? And has she been spirited to safety – or further into danger?