The Maker of Swans
By Paraic O’Donnell
'Compulsive reading . . . rich, strange, beautiful' Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk'A strange, new and captivating look at a magical realm . . . Lavishly entertaining' Independent'Enthralling . . . a literary feast' StylistThe world had forgotten Mr Crowe and his mysterious gifts. Until he killed the poet. He lived a secluded life in the fading grandeur of his country estate. His companions were his faithful manservant and his ward, Clara, a silent, bookish girl who has gifts of her own. Now Dr Chastern, the leader of a secret society, arrives at the estate to call Crowe to account and keep his powers in check. But it is Clara's even greater gifts that he comes to covet most. She must learn to use them quickly, if she is to save them all.
Mystery in the Village
By Rebecca Shaw
It's a time of turmoil for the village of Turnham Malpas...Peter and Caroline Harris live a comfortable life at the rectory, but their cosy world is shaken up when Caroline's old flame Morgan Jefferson appears. He's intent on convincing her to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - in America. What's more, it looks like Caroline's career isn't the only thing Morgan is interested in.Newlyweds Chris and Deborah Templeton seem to be the perfect union. The old, unpredictable Chris has been replaced by a kinder and gentler man, yet he's still plagued by doubt. Where does Deborah disappear to for days on end? Why won't she tell her husband? After the tragic death of his young grandson, Ron Bissett is further devastated when he loses his wife. Sheila Bissett has taken her own life, and no one can fathom why. But when an unexpected letter is received, it soon becomes clear that Sheila was hiding far darker secrets than anyone ever knew.
By Michael Moorcock
Shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, MOTHER LONDON is a dazzling journey through the heart of a city that the author loved. Spanning generations of characters across a variety of boroughs from the Blitz to the mid-eighties, this is a book about the real London that tourists will never find, a London which is being erased by the spread of high-rise flats and shining skyscrapers.Following a group of released mental patients across the years and streets of London, Moorcock creates a vivid impressionistic portrait of the city, from its downtrodden pubs to its green parks. All of the lead characters hear voices - but are they the murmurings of their damaged minds, or the true voice of the city?
By Anthony Horowitz
Sherlock Holmes is dead. Days after Holmes and his arch-enemy Moriarty fall to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls, Pinkerton agent Frederick Chase arrives from New York. The death of Moriarty has created a poisonous vacuum which has been swiftly filled by a fiendish new criminal mastermind. Ably assisted by Inspector Athelney Jones, a devoted student of Holmes's methods of investigation and deduction, Chase must hunt down this shadowy figure, a man much feared but seldom seen, a man determined to engulf London in a tide of murder and menace. The game is afoot . . .
Midnight in Europe
By Alan Furst
Paris, 1938. Democratic forces are locked in struggle as the shadow of war edges over Europe. Cristián Ferrar, a handsome Spanish lawyer in Paris, is approached to help a clandestine agency supply weapons to beleaguered Republican forces. He agrees, putting his life on the line.Joining Ferrar in his mission is an unlikely group of allies: idealists and gangsters, arms dealers, aristocrats and spies. From libertine nightclubs in Paris to shady bars by the docks in Gdansk, Furst paints a spell-binding portrait of a continent marching into a nightmare - and the heroes and heroines who fought back.
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
'Fifteen years on, the remembrance of that day has returned to me. I have seen that boy wandering through the mist of the railway station, and the name of Marina has flared up again like a fresh wound. We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine...'In May 1980, 15-year-old Óscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts... His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father German Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Óscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings. When Óscar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets. Carlos Ruiz Zafón was born in Barcelona and is the author of seven novels including THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. He is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
'Fifteen years on, the remembrance of that day has returned to me. I have seen that boy wandering through the mist of the railway station, and the name of Marina has flared up again like a fresh wound. We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine...'In May 1980, 15-year-old ?scar Drai suddenly vanishes from his boarding school in the old quarter of Barcelona. For seven days and nights no one knows his whereabouts... His story begins in the heart of old Barcelona, when he meets Marina and her father German Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes ?scar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the fourth Sunday of each month. At 10 a.m. precisely a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman dressed in black, her face shrouded, wearing gloves, holding a single rose. She walks over to a gravestone that bears no name, only the mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings. When ?scar and Marina decide to follow her they begin a journey that will take them to the heights of a forgotten, post-war Barcelona, a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons; and a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets. Carlos Ruiz Zaf?n was born in Barcelona and is the author of seven novels including THE SHADOW OF THE WIND. He is one of the world's most read and best-loved writers. His work has been translated into more than 40 languages and published around the world, garnering numerous international prizes and reaching millions of readers. He divides his time between Barcelona and Los Angeles.
The Mistletoe Bride and Other Haunting Tales
By Kate Mosse
The perfect winter ghost short story collection from the No.1 bestselling author of LABYRINTH and THE WINTER GHOSTS.I hear someone coming. It has happened before. I pause and listen but no longer hear anything. I sigh. As always, hope is snatched away before it can take root. And so then, as always, I am carried back to that first December so very long ago...Rooted in the elemental landscapes of Sussex, Brittany and the Languedoc, here are tales of ghosts and spirits seeking revenge, grief-stricken women and haunted men coming to terms with their destiny.
Mrs Griffin Sends Her Love
By Miss Read
A nostalgic collection on rural schools, childhood and English country life from the much-loved author of VILLAGE SCHOOL.From organising the school summer fete...'Because of our inability to recognise our climatic shortcomings from the outset, arrangements for outdoor jollities get completely out of hand'....to the sometimes rather odd passions of childhood:'I collect stones with holes in them'.Miss Read captures the essence of rural life, and in particular of village schools, as only she can. This collection also includes extracts from her letters:'Michael Joseph wrote after the Observer thing and is throwing out feelers for a book. I shall know if he still feels like it - me too! - after we've met'.It will also include an Introduction on how 'Miss Read' was first created: 'Miss Read was born fully clothed in sensible garments and aged about forty. She was born, in fact, when I was struggling to write my first book and needed a village schoolmistress as the narrator.'
By J. Meade Falkner
A classic story of high adventure, treasure and smuggling set in a small Dorset village of Moonfleet. Soon to be a major Sky TV series starring Ray Winstone.When young John Trenchard finds a secret passage, he's sure it will lead him to Blackbeard's infamous lost treasure - a huge diamond of incredible value. But what John finds among the coffins beneath Moonfleet church is a smuggler's lair. And a coded message from Blackbeard himself . . . John is inadvertently caught up in the dangerous world of the smugglers and is forced to run for his life. While he hides from the authorities, he decodes Blackbeard's message. He now knows where the diamond is.But there are unknown perils between John and the diamond and his boyish dreams of great riches soon turn into very real nightmares . . .
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
By Robin Sloan, Ari Fliakos
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead "checking out" impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the 21st century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that's rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious listener, no matter the time of day.Read by Ari Fliakos. Ari Fliakos is a television, radio, film, theater and voice actor. He narrated the Dalton Fury's audiobooks Black Site and Tier One Wild, as well Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel. In reviewing his performance of Mark Allen Smith's The Inquisitor, AudioFile magazine raves that he "adds significant color to all the characters" and "pulls all the strings of the listener's emotions." His most well-known film credits include roles in Law & Order, Pills, and Company K.(p) 2012 Macmillan Audio
Maeve Binchy - Five Great Novels
By Maeve Binchy
Five brilliant novels from one of the world's best-loved authors.Includes: QUENTINS; NIGHTS OF RAIN AND STARS; WHITETHORN WOODS; HEART AND SOUL; MINDING FRANKIE.
Maria and the Admiral
By Rachel Billington
A sweeping historical drama, based on the true and enduring love of Thomas Cochrane and Maria Graham.Chile, June 1822. Maria Graham, a young British widow, watches as her compatriot Admiral Lord Cochrane sails triumphantly into the Valparaiso Bay, fresh from leading the Chilean fleet to victory over the country's Spanish rulers.Cochrane, a popular yet outspoken hero of the Napoleonic wars, is drawn to Maria, a woman whose intelligence and spirit of adventure rival his own. Yet their intense and extraordinary relationship must contend with a climate of uncertainty, political turmoil and civil war.Inspired by Maria Graham's own journals, MARIA AND THE ADMIRAL vividly brings to life the story of one woman who tested the limits of society, and of her enduring love for one of the most colourful figures of her age.
Mission to Paris
By Alan Furst
The author of TV Book Club's SPIES OF THE BALKANS returns with a hugely evocative thriller set in wartime Paris.Frederic Stahl, born of Viennese intelligentsia, ran away to sea at the age of seventeen. Embarking in America, his matinee idol looks and Old-World charm took him to Hollywood, and a life of movies and women. But by autumn 1939, the unease in Europe has spread even to Stahl's glamorous enclave. War has been declared, and though bullets and bombs are yet to fly, his decision to shoot a film in Paris seems ill-advised. The Parisians know this is their last spring and a time to be passionate. Soon after his arrival, Stahl is drawn into a clandestine world of foreign correspondents, exiled Spanish republicans and, of course, spies of every sort. For as a celebrity from neutral America - who can travel across the continent freely - Stahl could be very useful indeed ... Returning to the Brasserie Heiniger, and some of the colourful cast from THE WORLD AT NIGHT, this is a headily atmospheric portrait of a continent in the grip of The Phony War.
The Manual of Darkness
By Enrique de Heriz
The world's best magician is going blind, but is there a story in his past that can save him? Victor Losa has spent his life studying magic. His mentor, Mario Galvan, taught him not only the practical aspects of the art, but also its history and the lives of famous Victorian magicians such as Hoffman, Maskelyne, and Cooke, and the most enigmatic historical figure of all, Peter Grouse, a pickpocket who decided to challenge the best magicians of the day. But suddenly things change for Victor Losa, just as he is proclaimed the world's best magician. A light appears in his eye, but this is no magic trick - he is diagnosed with a rare degenerative condition of the optical nerve. In short, he is rapidly going blind. As he loses his sight, Victor finds that there are new ways to conjure the world through stories of the past, present and future. And finally he learns the secret behind his mentor's teachings.
The Midnight Palace
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
From the author of THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, the haunting story of a secret society and a labyrinthine railway station with a dark past.1916, Calcutta. A man pauses for breath outside the ruins of Jheeter's Gate station knowing he has only hours to live. Pursued by assassins, he must ensure the safety of two newborn twins, before disappearing into the night to meet his fate. 1932. Ben and his friends are due to leave the orphanage which has been their home for sixteen years. Tonight will be the final meeting of their secret club, in the old ruin they christened The Midnight Palace. Then Ben discovers he has a sister - and together they learn the tragic story of their past, as a shadowy figures lures them to a terrifying showdown in the ruins of Jheeter's Gate station.
More Than You Can Say
By Paul Torday
The bestselling author of SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN returns with a Buchan-esque thriller.Traumatised by a tour of duty in Iraq, Richard Gaunt returns home to his girlfriend with very little of a plan in mind. Finding it difficult to settle into civilian life, he turns to drink and gambling - and is challenged to a bet he cannot resist. All he has to do is walk from London to Oxford in under twelve hours. But what starts as a harmless venture turns into something altogether different when Richard recklessly accepts an unusual request from a stranger ...
The Maeve Binchy Collection
By Maeve Binchy
Heart-warming and heart-pulling tales of everyday life, full of wit, charm and wisdom from the world's greatest storyteller. 'One of the world's best-loved writers' Woman's WeeklyHeart-warming and heart-pulling tales of everyday life, full of wit, charm and wisdom from the world's greatest storyteller.'One of the world's best-loved writers' Woman's WeeklyContains: THE COPPER BEECH, THE GLASS LAKE, EVENING CLASS, TARA ROAD, SCARLET FEATHER
Miss Read - The Complete Thrush Green Collection (ebook)
By Miss Read
Enchanting and affectionate stories of everyday country life in the idyllic Thrush Green.'There is something profoundly consoling about a novel by Miss Read' The LadyContains: THRUSH GREEN, WINTER IN THRUSH GREEN, NEWS FROM THRUSH GREEN, BATTLES AT THRUSH GREEN, RETURN TO THRUSH GREEN, GOSSIP FROM THRUSH GREEN, AFFAIRS AT THRUSH GREEN, AT HOME IN THRUSH GREEN, THE SCHOOL AT THRUSH GREEN, FRIENDS AT THRUSH GREEN, CELEBRATIONS AT THRUSH GREEN, THE YEAR AT THRUSH GREEN, CHRISTMAS AT THRUSH GREEN
The Man Who Killed His Brother
By Stephen Donaldson
An alcoholic former private investigator; his missing niece; a police force unable to find her; and a horrifying race against time...Mick 'Brew' Axbrewder has plenty to think about. A once capable private investigator, he is now an alcoholic after having lost his license following the accidental shooting of a police officer - his own brother.When not drinking, Brew helps out Ginny Fistoulari, a tough, capable P.I. who he used to work with and with whom he's always shared a connection. But Brew and Ginny have an arrangement that she will never drag him out of a bar - so when she does just that, Brew knows it must be something serious. And it is. Brew's thirteen-year-old niece - his dead brother's daughter - has gone missing. The police are doing nothing and suspect she is a runaway. Until Brew's investigation uncovers a link with several other girls who all went missing, sent a letter home, then turned up dead, full of heroin. Desperately fighting the latest drinking binge and determined to stay off the bottle, Brew needs to find his niece before it is too late...