There’s not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth’s sky….
Just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe.
But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike each other. The arrival of Maria’s gross, greedy partner, Peta, kills the last vestige of romance.
And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door. Peta soon slurps up her last meal, and Hamish is left with a baffling puzzle: who shared the fateful outing that left Peta dead with a big red apple in her mouth? Surely not one of those singles….
Jacqueline Wilson - The Worst Thing About My Sister
Being a sister isn't always easy...but what's the very worst thing about your sister? Marty and her sister Melissa couldn't be more different. Marty loves her Converse trainers, playing football, hiding in her secret den and helping her dad with his DIY. But Melissa loves Justin Bieber and all things pink, girly and pretty. The sisters can manage to live together, despite their occasional scraps but then Mum tells them they have to share a room. For Marty, having to share her bunk beds and lose her private sanctuary turns out to be the very worst thing about having a sister. But the girls soon discover that being too close for comfort can have unexpected consequences, and when an accident happens, the sisters realise they are closer than they thought.
Jacqueline Wilson - Secrets
India lives in a large, luxurious house with a mum she can't stand and a dad she adores, though he hasn't had much time for her recently. She seeks solace in her journal, which she keeps in sincere imitation of her heroine, Anne Frank. Treasure lives on the local council estate with her loving and capable grandmother. She is devoted to her nan but lives in fear of having to go back to live with her mother and violent stepfather. A chance meeting sparks a great friendship between the girls. And when Treasure has to run away to avoid her stepfather, India comes up with a hiding place inspired by her favourite writer. India hasn't got a real secret annexe like Anne Frank - but she has got a hidden attic ...
Jacqueline Wilson - The Longest Whale Song
This is a tender and gentle story that will captivate readers of 8+ from bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson. Ella's mum's in a deep coma having just had a new baby. That means Ella has to live with Jack, her hopeless stepfather and cope with her tiny newborn brother, as well as worrying about Mum. The only thing that's going right is her school project. It's all about whales and how they sing out to each other to attract a mate - sometimes for hours. Maybe a whale song could reach Mum, wherever she is, and bring her back to Ella and baby Samson. Surely it's worth a try?
Ken Follett - Edge of Eternity
EDGE OF ETERNITY is the sweeping, passionate conclusion to Ken Follett’s extraordinary historical epic, The Century Trilogy. Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll. East German teacher Rebecca Hoffman discovers she’s been spied on by the Stasi for years and commits an impulsive act that will affect her family for the rest of their lives.…George Jakes, the child of a mixed-race couple, bypasses a corporate law career to join Robert F. Kennedy’s Justice Department, and finds himself in the middle not only of the seminal events of the civil rights battle, but a much more personal battle of his own.…Cameron Dewar, the grandson of a senator, jumps at the chance to do some official and unofficial espionage for a cause he believes in, only to discover that the world is a much more dangerous place than he’d imagined.…Dimka Dvorkin, a young aide to Nikita Khrushchev, becomes a prime agent both for good and for ill as the United States and the Soviet Union race to the brink of nuclear war, while his twin sister, Tania, carves out a role that will take her from Moscow to Cuba to Prague to Warsaw – and into history. As always with Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. With the hand of a master, he brings us into a world we thought we knew but now will never seem the same again.
Jacqueline Wilson - My Sister Jodie
Quiet, cautious Pearl has always adored her bold, brash, bad big sister Jodie. When their parents get new jobs at a grand, fusty old boarding school, Melchester College, the girls have to move there - and when they arrive, things start to change. Jodie has always been the leader - but now it's Pearl who's making new friends. Jodie just seems to be getting into more and more trouble - arguing with Mum, scaring the little children, flirting with the gardener. She really doesn't fit in with the posh teenagers at the school. Pearl begins to wonder if she needs Jodie as much as she used to. But when Firework Night comes around and a tragic event occurs, Pearl realises quite how much Jodie means to her.
Jacqueline Wilson - Clean Break
Em adores her funny, glamorous dad - who cares if he's not her real father? He's wonderful to her, and to her little brother Maxie and sister Vita. True to form at Christmas, Dad gives them fantastic presents, including a real emerald ring for his little Princess Em. Unfortunately he's got another surprise in store - he's leaving them. Will Dad's well-meaning but chaotic attempts to keep seeing Em and the other children help the family come to terms with this new crisis? Or would they be better off with a clean break - just like Em's arm?
David Lodge - Changing Places
When Philip Swallow and Professor Morris Zapp participate their universities' Anglo-American exchange scheme, the Fates play a hand, and each academic finds himself enmeshed in the life of his counterpart on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Nobody is immune to the exchange: students, colleagues, even wives are swapped as events spiral out of control. And soon both sun-drenched Euphoric State University and rain-kissed University of Rummige are a hotbed of intrigue, lawlessness and broken vows... _Changing Places_ is a funny and wise tale of academic ill-manners - David Lodge at his comic best.
Agatha Christie - Sparkling Cyanide
At a round table in the Luxembourg nightclub six people sit down to dinner at a table laid for seven. In front of the empty place is a sprig of rosemary – in solemn memory of Rosemary Barton who died at the same table exactly one year previously. No one present on that fateful night would ever forget the woman’s face, contorted beyond recognition – or what they remembered about her astonishing life. But which of those present has the murder of Rosemary Barton on their conscience?
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Mr. Quin
Harley Quin is an enigma. Even his friend Mr. Satterthwaite can’t understand how the man seems to appear and disappear almost like a trick of the light. When he does appear it’s usually in the sparkle of sunshine, or surrounded by a spectrum of coloured light pouring through a stained glass window… The only consistent thing about the mysterious Mr. Quin is that his presence is always a harbinger of love … or death!
David Lodge - Thinks...
Ralph Messenger is an international academic star in the highly trendy field of language and thought research. Novelist Helen Reed arrives at the university to teach creative writing and to recover from the unexpected death of her husband. Despite huge differences in belief and temperament, they begin a secret affair - with complicated consequences, comic and tragic, for those around them. Witty, elegant and timely, THINKS is a dazzling exploration of love and deception, the enigmas of consciousness and the intricacies of the human heart.
Helen Dunmore - The Greatcoat
In the winter of 1952, Isabel Carey moves to the East Riding of Yorkshire with her husband Philip, a GP. With Philip spending long hours on call, Isabel finds herself isolated and lonely as she strives to adjust to the realities of married life.Woken by intense cold one night, she discovers an old RAF greatcoat hidden in the back of a cupboard. Sleeping under it for warmth, she starts to dream. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled by a knock at her window.Outside is a young RAF pilot, waiting to come in.His name is Alec, and his powerful presence both disturbs and excites her. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin an intense affair. But nothing has prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on hers ...
Arthur C. Clarke - 3001: The Final Odyssey
One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind--and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again . . .
Helen Dunmore - The Betrayal
Leningrad, 1952. Andrei, a young hospital doctor, and Anna, a nursery school teacher, are forging a life together in the postwar, postsiege wreckage. But their happiness is precarious, like that of millions of Russians who must avoid the claws of Stalin's merciless Ministry of State Security. So when Andrei is asked to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer, he and Anna are fearful. Trapped in an impossible, maybe unwinnable game, can they avoid the whispers and watchful eyes of those who will say or do anything to save themselves? "The Betrayal" is a powerful and touching novel of ordinary people in the grip of a terrible and sinister regime, and a moving portrait of a love that will not be extinguished.
Helen Dunmore - House of Orphans
House of Orphans opens in Finland in 1901, when Finland was still part of the Russian Empire. Eeva, the young orphaned daughter of a revolutionary, is sent from Helsinki to a country orphanage. Once she is old enough, she goes to work as housekeeper for Thomas Eklund, a widowed doctor. Eeva’s challenging, independent, enigmatic presence disturbs Thomas as much as it fascinates him. Their relationship will not only shatter Thomas’ personal life, but also lead him to question his place in the social and political order. Eeva is drawn back to her childhood home, Helsinki, and to Lauri, a childhood friend now deeply involved in revolutionary politics. As the power of the Russian Empire over its subject peoples grows more oppressive, resistance to the Tsar’s rule is rising. But is any method of overthrowing the Tsar’s rule justified? What is a fight for freedom, and what is terrorism? In House of Orphans, as in Helen Dunmore’s earlier novel The Siege, huge public events bear down on private lives and transform them. A spelling-binding story of love and loneliness is also a historical drama about a country’s struggle for independence.
Elizabeth Gaskell - Cranford (angol)
As for Cranford in general, it was going on much as usual. First published in serial format, Gaskell's Cranford is a delightfully light-hearted series of stories about early Victorian life in a country village. Following the lives of two spinster sisters, Miss Matty and Miss Deborah as they gossip about the inconsequential goings-on of the community, Gaskell's best-loved work affectionately comments on the role of women in society at that time and documents the changing face of a bygone Victorian provincial idyll.
Agatha Christie - Problem at Pollensa Bay
All great crime writers have their favourite creations. Similarly, every great sleuth has their own preferred method of deduction. Take the charming Parker Pyne, who relies upon an intuitive knowledge of human nature to solve the Problem at Pollensa Bay. Or Mr Satterthwaite, who seeks inspiration through his collaboration with the enigmatic Mr Quin in The Harlequin Tea Set mystery. Then, of course, there’s Poirot, whose measured analysis of motive and opportunity is tested to the full in Yellow Iris, when he receives an anonymous call about a matter of life and death… ‘The acknowledged queen of detective fiction.’ Observer
A. S. Byatt - Possession
Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once a literary detective novel and a triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars investigating the lives of two Victorian poets.Following a trail of letters, journals and poems they uncover a web of passion, deceit and tragedy, and their quest becomes a battle against time.
Helen Dunmore - A Spell of Winter
A Spell of Winter is set during the early years of the twentieth century, during the period before, during and immediately after the First World War. Catherine and her brother Rob do not understand why they have been abandoned by both their parents, or know where their mother has gone. They are brought up by servants in the house of their grandfather, an Irishman who made his fortune somehow and is known in the neighbourhood as ‘the man from nowhere’. The children cling to each other because they have no-one else, but when they grow up their sibling love becomes incestuous. As the world outside moves towards war, Catherine and Rob are trapped in their own conflict. But little by little, the spell of winter that has held Catherine begins to break, and she starts to free herself from the weight of the past.
Peter May - Entry Island
When Detective Sime Mackenzie boards a light aircraft at Montreal's St. Hubertairfield, he does so without looking back. For Sime, the 850-mile journey aheadrepresents an opportunity to escape the bitter blend of loneliness and regret thathas come to characterise his life in the city.Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Sime's destination lies inthe Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometres wide and three long, ENTRY ISLAND ishome to a population of around 130 inhabitants - the wealthiest of which has justbeen discovered murdered in his home.The investigation itself appears little more than a formality.
Peter May - The Chessmen
A new start has brought new optimism for Fin Macleod. Now permanently re-settled on his Hebridean childhood home of the Isle of Lewis, the ex-Detective Inspector has been employed by a local landowner to oversee security on his estate: ostensibly a simple task for a man of Fin's experience. When an investigation into illegal activity on the land brings Fin into contact with elusive local poacher and former school friend Whistler Macaskill, Fin is afforded an opportunity to connect with the happier days of his teenage years. But as Fin catches up with Whistler, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon - a 'Bog Burst' - which spontaneously drains a Lewis loch of its water, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side. Both men know what they will find inside - the body of friend and musician Roddy Mackenzie, whose flight disappeared more than seventeen years before. But when Whistler's face appears to register something other than shock at the sight of Roddy's remains, Fin feels an icy chill of apprehension. As he closes in on Whistler's secret, Fin is unprepared for how the truth about the past will alter the course of the future.