Money In The Morgue by Ngaio Marsh and Stella Duffy

The Blurb On The Back:

It’s business as usual for Mr Glossop as he does his regular rounds delivering wages to the government buildings scattered across New Zealand’s desolate Canterbury plains.  But when his car breaks down he is stranded for the night at the lonely Mount Seaver Hospital, with the telephone lines down, a storm on its way and the nearby river about to burst its banks.

Trapped with him at Mount Seager are a group of quarantined soldiers with a serious case of cabin fever; three young employees embroiled in a tense love triangle, a dying elderly man, an elusive patient whose origins remain a mystery … and a potential killer.

When the payroll disappears from a locked safe and the hospital’s death toll starts to rise faster than normal, can the appearance of an English detective working in counterespionage be just a lucky coincidence – or is something more sinister afoot? 

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The Widows Of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

The Blurb On The Back:

Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India’s first female attorney, The Widows Of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India.  Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes women’s legal rights especially important to her.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind.  But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity.  What will they live on?  Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X – meaning she probably couldn’t even read the document.  The Farid widows live in full purdah – in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men.  Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian?  Perveen tries to investigate, and realises her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder.  Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger. 

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The Blood by E. S. Thomson

The Blurb On The Back:

I know the smell of death well enough.  But here the sweetness of decay was tainted with something else, something new and different.  It was a curious, moist smell: a smell that spoke of the ooze and slap of water, of gurgling wet spaces and the sticky, yielding mud of low-tide.

Summoned to the riverside by the desperate, scribbled note of an old friend, Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain board the seaman’s floating hospital, an old hulk known only as The Blood, where prejudice, ambition and murder are rife.

Embroiled in a dark and terrible mystery, Jem and Will embark on a quest to find the truth – but can they uncover the ship’s secrets?  

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He: A Novel by John Connolly

The Blurb On The Back:

An extraordinary imagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake …

And whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe.

he is Stan Laurel.

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Hope For The Best by Jodi Taylor

The Blurb On The Back:

You can’t change History.  History doesn’t like it.  There are always consequences.

Max is no stranger to taking matters into her own hands.  Especially when she’s had A Brilliant Idea.  Yes, it will mean breaking a few rules, but – as Max always says – they’re not her rules.

Seconded to the Time Police to join in the hunt for the renegade Clive Ronan, Max is a long way from St Mary’s.  But life in the future does have its plus points – although not for long.

A problem with the Time Map reveals chaos in the 16th century and the wrong Tudor queen on the throne.  History has gone rogue, there’s a St Mary’s team right in the firing line and Max must step up.

You know what they say.  Hope for the best.  But plan for the worst. 

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The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis

The Blurb On The Back:

When Semira discovers a diary written by Hen, a girl living over one hundred years ago, she finds the friend she has been desperately seeking. A friend who reaches through time to bring not just comfort but inspiration to be brave, to fight for her place in the world, and maybe even to uncover the secrets of her own past …

Writing the diary changed one girl’s life. Reading it changes another’s. 

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Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

The Blurb On The Back:

They were the Amazing Telemachus Family, who in the mid-1970s achieved widespread fame for their magic and mind reading act. That is, until the magic decided to disappear one night, live in front of millions on national television.

We encounter this long-forgotten family two decades on, when grandson Matty, born long after the public fall from grace, discovers a little magic in himself and begins to suspect his hugely deflated, heavily indebted family truly are amazing. 

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A Very Large Expanse Of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

The Blurb On The Back:

When you’re hiding from a world that hates you, who would make you risk everything to be seen again?

It’s the year after 9/11, and Shirin has just started at yet another new high school.  It’s a difficult time, but especially so for a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who wears hijab.  Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be.

She hides away, drowning her frustrations in music, and spending her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.  But then Shirin meets Ocean James.  He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know her – and it terrifies her.  He’s not like everyone else – but Shirin has had her guard up against the world for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down … 

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War Is Over by David Almond and David Litchfield

The Blurb On The Back:

”I am just a child,” says John.  “How can I be at war?”

It’s 1918, and war is everywhere.  John’s dad is fighting in the trenches far away in France. His mum works in the munitions factory just along the road.  His teacher says that John is fighting too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany.

One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a meeting with a German boy named Jan.

John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can come together, and scatter the seeds of peace. 

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The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman

The Blurb On The Back:

Bath, December 1812.

Lady Helen Wrexhall is finalising the preparations for her wedding, but her focus is on the Dark Days Club.  Time is running out to find the vital answers needed to defeat their unknown foe, the Grand Deceiver.

Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are also struggling to control their new dyad bond, and their illicit feelings for one another. As Helen tries desperately to juggle the demands of her double life, an old enemy arrives in Bath, bringing death and deceit. 

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Yellowhammer by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

July 1983, Essex.  Fox Farm is, thanks to two corpses, neither picturesque nor peaceful. The body in its kitchen belongs to eminent historian Christopher Cliff, who has taken his own life with an antique shotgun.  The second, found on the property boundary, remains unidentified.

DI Nick Lowry’s summer is neither sleepy nor serene. And the two deaths are just the half of it.  The fact County Chief Merrydown was a college friend of Cliff’s means Lowry is now, in turn, under scrutiny from his severely stressed and singularly unsympathetic boss, Sparks.

To catalyse his investigation, Lowry enlists the services of DC Daniel Kenton and WPC Jane Gabriel.  Gabriel needs direction, if she is to begin a career as a detective.  While Kenton, who appears solely focused on beginning a relationship with Gabriel, needs distraction.

Both the heat and the investigation soon intensify. The team find themselves interrogating enigmatic neighbours, shady businessmen, jilted lovers and wronged relatives; all the while negotiating the caprices of Sparks – whose attitudes remain as dated as Fox Farm’s antiques.

Only when they fully open their eyes and minds will they begin to see a web of rural politics, dodgy dealings and fragmented families – one that they must unpick before it ensnares them.  

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Blackwater by James Henry

The Blurb On The Back:

January 1983, Colchester CID

A new year brings new resolutions for Detective Inspector Nicholas Lowry. With one eye on his approaching fortieth birthday, he has given up his two greatest vices: smoking, and the police boxing team. As a result, the largest remaining threat to his health is now his junior colleague’s reckless driving.

If Detective Constable Daniel Kenton’s orange sports convertible is symbolic of his fast track through the ranks, then his accompanying swagger, foppish hairstyle and university education only augment his uniqueness in the department. Yet regardless of this, it is not DC Kenton who is turning station heads.

WPC Jane Gabriel is the newest police recruit in Britain’s oldest recorded town. Despite a familial tie to top brass, Gabriel’s striking beauty and profound youth have landed her with two obstacles: a young male colleague who gives her too much attention, and an older one who acts like she’s not there.

January 1983, Blackwater Estuary

A new year brings a new danger to the Essex shoreline. An illicit shipment, bound for Colchester – 100 kilograms of power that will frantically accelerate tensions in the historic town, and leave its own murderous trace.

Lowry, Kenton and Gabriel must now develop a tolerance to one another, and show their own substance, to save Britain’s oldest settlement from a new, unsettling enemy. 

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The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

The Blurb On The Back:

A city torn apart.

Glasgow, 1969.  In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker.  He takes his next victim – the third woman from the same nightclub – and dumps her in the street like rubbish.

A detective with everything to prove.

The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey.  DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation.  But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair. Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.

When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over.  From ruined backstreets to the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever … 

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The Goose Road by Rowena House

The Blurb On The Back:

While the soldiers are fighting on the Front, Angélique has her own battle to fight.

1916: When news arrives of her father’s death on a distant battlefield, 14-year-old Angélique Lacroix makes herself a promise: she will keep the family farm running until her brother returns from the war.

But she doesn’t realise that to keep her promise she will have to embark on a long and arduous journey across France, accompanied by a flock of magnificent Toulouse geese.

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The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Blurb On The Back:

After having travelled west for weeks, the party of pioneers comes to a crossroads.  It is time for their leader, George Donner, to make a choice.  They face two diverging paths which lead to the same destination.  One is well-documented – the other untested, but rumoured to be short.  His decision will shape the lives of everyone travelling with him

The searing heat of the desert gives way to biting winds and a bitter cold that freezes the cattle where they stand. Driven to the brink of madness, the ill-fated group struggles to survive and minor disagreements turn into violent confrontations.  Then the children begin to disappear. As the survivors turn against each other, a few begin to realise that the threat they face reaches beyond the fury of the elements to something more primal, and far more deadly …  

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Under The Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng

The Blurb On The Back:

Catherine Helstone’s missionary brother, Laon, has disappeared while bringing the Gospels to the Dark Continent – not Africa, but Arcadia, legendary land of the magical fae.

Desperate for news of him, she makes the perilous journey to that extraordinary land, but once there, she finds herself alone and isolated in the sinister house of Gethsemane.  At last there comes news: her beloved brother is riding to be reunited with her – but the Queen of the Fae and her insane court are hard on his heels.  

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A Treachery Of Spies by Manda Scott

The Blurb On The Back:

An elderly woman of striking beauty is found murdered in Orleans, France.  Her identity has been cleverly erased but the method of her death is very specific: she has been killed in the manner of traitors to the Resistance in World War Two.

Tracing down her murderer leads police inspector Inès Picaut back to 1940s France where the bravest of men and women are engaged in a desperate fight for survival against the Nazi invaders.

To find answers in the present, Inès must discover what really happened in the past, untangling a web of treachery and intrigue that stretches back to the murder victim’s youth.

The past is about to be exposed, but there are those in the present who will kill to keep it buried …

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Taylor & Rose Secret Agents: Peril In Paris by Katherine Woodfine

The Blurb On The Back:

ALL ABOARD THE TRAIN TO PARIS!

It’s 1911, and the young detectives of Taylor & Rose are turning their talents to espionage.

On a case for the mysterious Secret Service Bureau, the daring Miss Sophie Taylor and Miss Lillian Rose must leave London for the boulevards and grand hotels of Paris.

But danger lurks beneath the bright lights of the city – and intrigue and murder lie in store.  As aeroplanes soar in the skies overhead, our heroines will need to put all their spy skills to the test to face the peril that awaits them …

Join Sophie and Lil on their first secret agent adventure!

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The Joneses & The Pirateers: Search For The Phantom Lady by S. L. Westgate

The Blurb On The Back:

Nine-year-old James and his sisters come from a family with a proud history of never having done anything exciting or adventurous, much to James’s annoyance.

He longs for adventure but gets more than he bargained for when a ruthless pirate captures his father.  James, Elizabeth and Emily find themselves stranded on the enchanted island of Tortuga – where the children of pirates live while their parents are off roaming the high seas.

The siblings must band together with a motley crew of orphan pirates-in-training to plan a dangerous rescue mission that takes them from shark-infested waters to explosive ocean battles to the brink of Davy Jones’s Locker … not to mention a sneaky search for the most legendary pirate treasure of all time.

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The Woman In The Mirror by Rebecca James

The Blurb On The Back:

1947

Governess Alice Miller loves Winterbourne the moment she sees it towering over the wild Cornish cliffs.  The house promises refuge from her past – and her charges, motherless twins Constance and Edmund, are angelic.

2018

Adopted at birth, Rachel’s roots are a mystery. So, when a letter brings news of the death of an unknown relative, Rachel travels to Cornwall, vowing to uncover her family’s secrets.

With each new arrival, something in Winterbourne stirs.  It’s hiding in the paintings.  It’s sitting on the stairs.  It’s waiting in a mirror, behind a locked door … 

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The Colour Of The Sun by David Almond

The Blurb On The Back:

One hot summer morning, Davie steps boldly out of his front door.  The world he enters is very familiar – the little Tyneside town that has always been his home – but as the day passes, it becomes ever more dramatic and strange.

A boy has been killed, and Davie thinks he might know who is responsible.  He turns away from the gossip and excitement and sets off roaming towards the sunlit summit at the top of the town, where the real and imaginary world begin to blur.

Davie sees things on the hillside that show him that amongst immorality, there can be kindness and in darkness, there is a chance for hope.  

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Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

The Blurb On The Back:

Could women fight?

Stupid question.  Women don’t stop being women, and men don’t stop being men.  We become an entirely new creature: the combat soldier. And we are none of us, men or women, the people we started out as.

War is hell.

1944.  It feels like the war will never end.Rio, Frangie and Rainy have all received accolades, been “heroes”, earned promotion. They’ve all done “enough” to allow them to leave this nightmare and go home.  But the war hasn’t finished with them yet …  

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The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

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He is the son of tragedy

Born a bastard and raised an orphan in the stifling Caribbean heat.  Alexander Hamilton will prove his worth on the blood-soaked battlefields of the American Revolution.

She is the daughter of fortune

A wealthy child of privilege, Elizabeth Shuyler has never wanted for anything.  But she longs for a life of so much more.

War will bring them together; peace will tear them apart

In her, Hamilton finds the extraordinary intelligence and passionate heart that will motivate him to revolutionise American politics … and go down in history as one of the great Founding Fathers of the bold new country.

In him, Eliza finds a man who is finally, truly, her equal – someone who will inspire her to dedicate her life to a cause much greater than herself.

And history will make them immortal

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Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Hounds And Hauntings by Janine Beacham

The Blurb On The Back:

The city of Yorke is in a state of panic.  There’s been a murder!  Rumours are circling that an ancient ghost-hound is the culprit.

Rose Raventhorpe, her friend Orpheus and they city’s secret society of butlers search for clues down dark, eerie skitterways, on the mist-covered moors and atop the ancient walls of the city.  Rose believes that the villain is human, and she’s determined to prove it.

There’s no sweeping this crime under the carpet …  

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Seventeen by Hideo Yokoyama

The Blurb On The Back:

Five hundred and twenty people died on that mountain.

That sparkling mountain.

1985.  Kazumasa Yuuki, a seasoned reporter at the North Kanto Times, runs a daily gauntlet against the power struggles and office politics that plague its newsroom. But when an air disaster of unprecedented scale occurs on the paper’s doorstep, its staff are united by an unimaginable horror, and a once-in-a-lifetime scoop

2003.  Seventeen years later, Yuuki remembers the adrenaline-fuelled, emotionally charged seven days that changed his and his colleagues’ lives. He does so while making good on a promise he made that fateful week – one that holds the key to its last unsolved mystery, and represents Yuuki’s final, unconquered fear.

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