Kate Quinn - The Serpent and The Pearl
Rome, 1492. The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous—or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web… Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor-length golden hair and the world at her feet: beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband. But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham, and she is to be given as a concubine to the ruthless, charismatic Cardinal Borgia: Spaniard, sensualist, candidate for Pope—and passionately in love with her. Two trusted companions will follow her into the Pope's shadowy harem: Leonello, a cynical bodyguard bent on bloody revenge against a mysterious killer, and Carmelina, a fiery cook with a past full of secrets. But as corruption thickens in the Vatican and the enemies begin to circle, Giulia and her friends will need all their wits to survive in the world of the Borgias.
Agatha Christie - What Mrs. McGillicuddy saw!
For an instant the two trains ran side by side. In that frozen moment, Elspeth McGillicuddy stared helplessly out of her carriage window as a man tightened his grip around a woman's throat. The body crumpled. Then the other train drew away. But who, apart from Mrs. McGillicuddy's friend Jane Marple, would take her story seriously After all, there are no other witnesses, no suspects, and no case -- for there is no corpse, and no one is missing. Miss Marple asks her highly efficient and intelligent young friend Lucy Eyelesbarrow to infiltrate the Crackenthorpe family, who seem to be at the heart of the mystery, and help unmask a murderer.
Bryce Courtenay - April Fool's Day
_In the end, love is more important than everything and it will conquer and overcome anything. Or that's how Damon saw it, anyway. Damon wanted a book that talked a lot about love._ Damon Courtenay died on the morning of April Fool's Day. In this tribute to his son, Bryce Courtenay lays bare the suffering behind this young man's life. Damon's story is one of lifelong struggle, his love for Celeste, the compassion of family, and a fight to the end for integrity. A testimony to the power of love, April Fool's Day is also about understanding: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This life-affirming book will change the way you think.
Bryce Courtenay - The Persimmon Tree
The Persimmon Tree is a symbol of life, a heartwood that will outlast everything man can make . . . It is 1942 in the Dutch East Indies, and Nick Duncan is a young Australian butterfly collector in search of a single exotic butterfly. With invading Japanese forces coming closer by the day, Nick falls in love with the beguiling Anna van Heerden. Their time together is brief, as both are forced into separate, dangerous escapes. They plan to reunite and marry in Australia but it is several years before their paths cross again, scarred forever by the dark events of a long, cruel war. In The Persimmon Tree, Bryce Courtenay gives us a story of love and friendship set against the dramatic backdrop of the Pacific during the Second World War.
Bryce Courtenay - Jessica
Jessica is based on the inspiring true story of a young girl's fight for justice against tremendous odds A tomboy, Jessica is the pride of her father, as they work together on the struggling family farm. One quiet day, the peace of the bush is devastated by a terrible murder. Only Jessica is able to save the killer from the lynch mob – but will justice prevail in the courts? Nine months later, a baby is born . . . with Jessica determined to guard the secret of the father's identity. The rivalry of Jessica and her beautiful sister for the love of the same man will echo throughout their lives – until finally the truth must be told. Set in the harsh Australian bush against the outbreak of World War I, this novel is heartbreaking in its innocence, and shattering in its brutality. 'A deserved best seller, based on fact, a story told with heartbreaking honesty.' The Australian Women's Weekly
Agatha Christie - The Mousetrap and Other Plays
Collects eight classic theatrical whodunnits, including mysteries surrounding the fatal reunion of two lovers, an act of kindness that leads to a charge of murder, and the daughter of a murderess investigating her mother's case.
Harlan Coben - Stay Close
The past never truly fades away... Megan is a suburban soccer mom who once upon a time walked on the wild side. Ray used to be a talented documentary photographer, but now he finds himself in a dead-end job posing as paparazzo. Broome is a detective who can't let go of a cold case. Three people living lives they never wanted are hiding secrets that even those closest to them would never suspect. And as each confronts the dark side of the American dream - the boredom of a nice suburban life, the excitement of temptation, the desperation and hunger that can lurk behind even the prettiest facades - they will discover the hard truth that the line between one kind of life and another can be as whisper thin as a heartbeat.
Janet Frame - Yellow Flowers in the Antipodean Room
A rather gruesome allegory of miracles and life after death. Godfrey Rainbird, a young Englishman living in New Zealand, is killed in a traffic accident and is about to be buried when, a day and a half after his death, he rises from his coffin and declares himself quite alive. Whether this was a genuine resurrection or merely a well-timed coma, it makes Godfrey a pariah in the eyes of all his friends and ensures that no one will feel terribly comfortable in his presence again. Dismissed from his job and shunned by his family and neighbors, Godfrey comes to believe that he had been happier in his coffin.
Giles Blunt - Until the Night
It's not unusual for John Cardinal to be hauled out of a warm bed on a cold night in Algonquin Bay to investigate a murder. And at first this dead body, sprawled in the parking lot of Motel 17, looks pretty run of the mill: the corpse has a big bootprint on his neck, and the likely suspect is his lover's outraged husband. But the lover has gone missing. And then Delorme, following a hunch, locates another missing woman, a senator's wife from Ottawa, frozen in the ruins of an abandoned hotel way back in the woods. Spookily, she was chained up and abandoned wearing a new winter parka and boots, with a thermos beside her--as if her murderer was giving her a whisper of a chance at survival. Neither Delorme nor Cardinal can imagine where their investigation will lead: into a decades-old injustice committed in the high Arctic; into the swingers' world inhabited by an ex-rock star who owns a pub in Algonquin Bay as well as private members' clubs in Toronto and Ottawa; into the insecurity that afflicts Delorme the woman and the cop; and into the deep bond between Delorme and Cardinal, which is at real risk of coming undone. In Until the Night, Giles Blunt outdoes himself, creating a masterpiece of crime fiction that will not only haunt his fans and readers, but delight and amaze them too.
C. S. Forester - Hornblower and the Crisis
The final Horatio Hornblower story tells of Napoleon's plans to invade England . . . Set in 1805, Hornblower and the Crisis finds Horatio Hornblower in possession of confidential dispatches from Bonaparte after a vicious hand-to-hand encounter with a French brig. The admiralty rewards Hornblower by sending him on a dangerous espionage mission that will light the powder trail leading to the battle of Trafalgar . . . Hornblower and the Crisis was unfinished at the time of Forester's death, but the author left notes - included here - telling us how the tale would end. Also included are two further stories - Hornblower and the Widow McCool and The Last Encounter - that tell of Hornblower as a very young and very old man, respectively. This is the final book chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester's inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.
C. S. Forester - Hornblower and the Hotspur
April 1803, and the Peace of Amiens is failing as Horatio Hornblower takes a three-master on a vital reconnaissance mission … On the day of his marriage to Maria, Hornblower is ordered to take the Hotspur and head for Brest – war is coming and Napoleon will not catch His Majesty’s navy with its britches round its ankles. With thoughts of his new life as a husband intruding on his duties, Hornblower must prove himself to be not only the most capable commander in the fleet, but also its most daring if he is to stop the French gaining the upper hand. This is the third of eleven books chronicling the adventures of C. S. Forester’s inimitable nautical hero, Horatio Hornblower.
Agatha Christie - A Caribbean Mystery
An exotic holiday for Miss Marple is ruined when a retired major is killed! As Jane Marple sat basking in the Caribbean sunshine she felt mildly discontented with life. True, the warmth eased her rheumatism, but here in paradise nothing ever happened. Eventually, her interest was aroused by an old soldier's yarn about a strange coincidence. Infuriatingly, just as he was about to show her an astonishing photograph, the Major's attention wandered. He never did finished the story!
Agatha Christie - The Secret Adversary
A crime novel in which two desperate youngsters, short of money and restless for excitement, place an advertisement saying they are willing to do anything and to travel anywhere, but their first assignment for a sinister client plunges them into more danger than they could have imagined.
P. G. Wodehouse - Joy in the Morning
This book is a Jeeves and Wooster novel. Trapped in rural Steeple Bumpleigh, a man less stalwart than Bertie Wooster would probably give way at the knees. For among those present were Florence Craye, to whom Bertie had once been engaged and her new fiance 'Stilton' Cheesewright, who sees Bertie as a snake in the grass. And that biggest blot on the landscape, Edwin the Boy Scout, who is busy doing acts of kindness out of sheer malevolence. All Bertie's forebodings are fully justified. For in his efforts to oil the wheels of commerce, promote the course of true love and avoid the consequences of a vendetta, he becomes the prey of all and sundry. In fact only Jeeves can save him.
Agatha Christie - Hickory Dickory Dock
An outbreak of kleptomania at a student hostel is not normally the sort of crime that arouses Hercule Poirot's interest. But when he sees the bizarre list of stolen and vandalized items - including a stethoscope, some old flannel trousers, a box of chocolates, a slashed rucksack and a diamond ring found in a bowl of a soup - he congratulates the warden, Mrs Hubbard, on a 'unique and beautiful problem'. And, reasons Poirot, if this is merely a petty thief at work, why is everyone at the hostel so frightened?
Stephen King (Richard Bachman) - The Running Man
It's not just a game when you're running for your life. Every night they tuned in to the nation's favourite prime-time TV game show. They all watched, from the sprawling polluted slums to the security-obsessed enclaves of the rich. They all watched the ultimate live death game as the contestants tried to beat not the clock, but annihhilation at the hands of the Hunters. Survive thirty days and win the billion dollar jackpot - that was the promise. But the odds were brutal and the game rigged. Best score so far was eight days. And now there was a new contestant, the latest running man, staking his life while a nation watched.
Rudyard Kipling - The Second Jungle Book
Mowgli, the man-cub who is raised by a wolf-pack, is the main character in this novel, which contains stories of his adventures, inlcuding "The Spring Running" which brings Mowgli to the realization that he must leave Bagheera, Baloo and his other friends for the world of man.
Anthony Hope - The Prisoner of Zenda
A burning curiosity draws Rudolf Rassendyll, a young Englishman, to Ruritania to see the coronation of the new King. His distinctive red hair and long sharp nose bear witness to the ancestral indiscretion that links his blood with that of the ruling monarchy. There he is thrown into a series of adventures beyond his wildest dreams. For the King is kidnapped by his treacherous brother, the Duke of Strelsau, and only Rudolf can save him. His own life in danger, he battles to outwit not only the Duke and his evil henchmen but the ruthless young Rupert Hentzau, who `feared neither man nor devil'. At the same time he finds himself irresistibly attracted to the beautiful Princess Flavia, the betrothed of the King. Both a thrilling, swashbuckling tale and a tender love story, _The Prisoner of Zenda_ is as popular now as when it was first published a hundred years ago.