In England, 1923, the Honourable Daisy Dalrymple has made a decision that, while shocking to her class, is in perfect keeping with the spirit of the times. Rather than live with relatives until she marries, she has undertaken to earn her own living with her writing. Her series of articles on country manor houses has proven popular with the readers of Town and Country and in February she travels to Occles Hall to research her latest piece. What she finds there is a household under the thumb of the ill-tempered and demanding Lady Valeria. The discovery of the body of a pregnant maid buried in the winter garden does nothing to improve Lady Valeria’s mood. When the local constabulary arrests the Welsh under-gardener who had been involved with the maid for the murder, Daisy is sure of his innocence and suspects that the whole affair is consciously being swept under the carpet. Wary of the air of secrecy that permeates Occles Hall and determined to prove the innocence of the young Welshman, Daisy convinces Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard to investigate the murder – a murder that is more complex and horrifying than either could have imagined.
Dorothy L. Sayers - Murder Must Advertise
Pym’s Publicity is an Advertising Agency with a secret. Victor Dean broke his neck falling down the stairs, and it could have been an accident. But a harassed Managing-Director thinks otherwise, and calls in Lord Peter Wimsey to investigate. Before Wimsey uncovers the truth however, five people die – for the secret of Pym’s is a deadly one, involving ruthless men who will kill – and kill again – to protect themselves.
Joanne Harris - Gentlemen and Players
The place is St Oswald's, an old and long-established boys' grammar school in the north of England. A new year has just begun, and for the staff and boys of the school, a wind of unwelcome change is blowing. Suits, paperwork and Information Technology rule the world and Roy Straitley, Latin master, eccentric, and veteran of St Oswald's, is finally - reluctantly - contemplating retirement. But beneath the little rivalries, petty disputes and everyday crises of the school, a darker undercurrent stirs. And a bitter grudge, hidden and carefully nurtured for thirteen years, is about to erupt. Who is Mole, the mysterious insider, whose cruel practical jokes are gradually escalating towards violence - and perhaps, murder? And how can an old and half-forgotten scandal become the stone that brings down a giant?
Agatha Christie - Mr. Parker Pyne, Detective
Meet the Master His name is Mr. Parker Pyne. London is his home. His specialties are the dark corners of the human soul and the hideous secrets that men and women can conceal... on a blood-soaked, guilt-shrouded hunting ground that extends from the most elegant pleasure spots on earth to the farthest primitive reaches of the globe...
Mary Westmacott - The Burden
A superb novel of possessive love. Laura Franklin bitterly resented the arrival of her younger sister Shirley, an enchanting baby loved by all the family. But Laura's emotions towards her sister changed dramatically one night, when she vowed to protect her with all her strength and love. While Shirley longs for freedom and romance, Laura has to learn that loving can never be a one-sided affair, and the burden of her love for her sister has a dramatic effect on both their lives. A story of consequences when love turns to obsession Famous for her ingenious crime books and plays, Agatha Christie also wrote about crimes of the heart, six bittersweet and very personal novels, as compelling and memorable as the best of her work.
Tami Hoag - Still Waters
Hidden in the Minnesota farmlands, Still Creek seems to offer a sanctuary to Elizabeth Stuart and her son following her divorce, but the locals are distinctly cool towards the newcomers. Then, when Elizabeth becomes involved in a murder case, she finds there's more to the place than meets the eye.
Iris Murdoch - The Unicorn
When Marian Taylor takes a post as governess at Gaze Castle, a remote house upon a beautiful but desolate coast, she finds herself confronted with a number of weird mysteries and involved in a drama she only partly understands. Some crime or catastrophe in the past still keeps the house, like the castle of the Sleeping Beauty, under a spell, whose magic also touches the neighbouring house of Riders, inhabited by a scholarly recluse. Marian's employer, Hannah, and her retainers, seem to be acting out some tragic pattern: but it is not clear whether Hannah herself, the central figure, the Unicorn, is innocent victim or violent author, saint or witch... In a novel that has all the beauty of a fairy story and the melodrama of a Gothic tale, Murdoch explores the fantasies and ambiguities which beset those who are condemned to be passionately abandoned and yet hopelessly imperfect in their search for God.
Agatha Christie - Witness for the Prosecution
Headlining this book is Witness for the Prosecution - Christie's highly successful stage play which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best foreign play. A stunning courtroom drama, it tells the story of a scheming wife testifying against her husband in a shocking murder trial. The wild beauty of a seaside house perched high on The Devonshire River Tern provides a stunning back-drop in Towards Zero - as a psychopathic murderer homes in on the unsuspecting victims. Passion, murder and love are the deadly ingredients in Verdict, making it one of Christie's more unusual thrillers and prompting her to label it "the best play I have written with the exception of Witness for The Prosecution". Go Back for Murder tells the story of the young and feisty Carla who, orphaned at the tender age of five, discovers her mother was imprisioned for murdering her father and determines to prove her innocence.
Toboso Yana - Black Butler 5.
For an impeccable gentleman’s butler like Sebastian Michaelis, the word “impossible” is just not in his vocabulary. Everything demanded of him under the English sun is well within his grasp. But do his talents extend to things under the scalding Indian sun?! As Harold West-Jeb’s plan to use Agni, Prince Soma’s superhuman butler, in a curry battle to win himself a Royal Warrant is exposed, Earl Ciel Phantomhive sets Sebastian to the task of creating an incomparable curry to defeat the despicable West-Jeb. But how can Ciel’s devil of a butler possibly best Agni, the man with the Right Hand of God?!
Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince
"The Black Prince" is both a remarkable thriller and a story about being in love. Bradley Pearson, narrator and hero, is an elderly writer with a 'block'. Finding himself surrounded by predatory friends and relations - his ex-wife, her delinquent brother, a younger, deplorably successful writer, Arnold Baffin, Baffin's restless wife and engaging daughter - Bradley attempts to escape. His failure to do so and its aftermath lead to a violent climax and a most unexpected conclusion.
Lynda La Plante - Silent Scream
Hot young British film star Amanda Delany had the world at her feet. She'd had a string of affairs with famous actors, making perfect fodder for the tabloids. Then came a commission to write a tell-all memoir. When Amanda is found brutally murdered, DCI James Langton's enquiry discovers the sad truth behind her successful facade. Addicted to drugs and starvation diets, she'd almost died from a botched abortion. Meanwhile, DI Anna Travis is up for promotion, but Langton is blocking her, accusing her of professional misconduct. This latest case could make or break Anna's career.
Lynda La Plante - Blind Fury
A motorway service station on the M1: dimly lit, run down, poorly supervised, flickering lights, dark corners; a favourite stopover for long-distance lorry drivers on their way up north from London. Behind it, a body is found in a ditch, that of a girl barely out of her teens. She appears to have no family, no friends, no connections anywhere. Other girls have gone missing in the vicinity and no one has stepped forward to claim them. Anna Travis is assigned to the case. Her blood runs cold when she receives a letter from a lifer -- someone she was responsible for arresting in the past -- who writes to her from prison, asking her to visit him urgently. For he claims he knows who the killer is...
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - His Last Bow
Eight short stories from the portfolio of Doctor Watson, illustrating the singular mental faculties of his friend Sherlock Holmes. The title story of this collection refers to Holmes' emergence from retirement to help the government fight the German threat at the approach of the First World War. Several of the detective's earlier cases complete the volume, including "Wisteria Lodge," "The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax," and "The Dying Detective."
Agatha Christie - The Hollow
Lady Angkatell, intrigued by the criminal mind, has invited Hercule Poirot to her estate for a weekend house party. The Belgian detective's arrival at the Hollow is met with an elaborate tableau staged for his amusement: a doctor lies in a puddle of red paint, his timid wife stands over his body with a gun while the other guests look suitably shocked. But this is no charade. The paint is blood and the corpse real!
Agatha Christie - The Under Dog and Other Stories
The Under Dog and Other Stories contains works from the early day's of Christie's career, all featuring Hercule Poirot. All the stories were published in British and American magazines between 1923 and 1926. The title story appeared in book form in England for the first time in the 1960 collection, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding. The other stories were to appear again in 1974 in the British and American collections, Poirot's Early Cases.
Tami Hoag - Kill the Messenger
With this new thriller, New York Times bestselling author Tami Hoag delivers her own message to suspense fans everywhere: Don't turn off the lights, and keep reading if you dare. From the gritty streets of Los Angeles to its most protected enclaves of prestige and power to the ruthless glamour of Hollywood, a killer stalks his prey. A killer so merciless no one in his way is safe--not even the innocent. At the end of a long day battling street traffic, bike messenger Jace Damon has one last drop to make. But en route to delivering a package for one of L.A.'s sleaziest defense attorneys, he's nearly run down by a car, chased through back alleys, and shot at. Only the instincts acquired while growing up on the streets of L.A. allow him to escape with his life--and with the package someone wants badly enough to kill for. Jace returns to Lenny Lowell's office only to find the cops there, the lawyer dead, and Jace himself considered the prime suspect in the savage murder. Suddenly he's on the run from both the cops and a killer, and the key to saving himself and his ten-year-old brother is the envelope he still has--which holds a message no one wants delivered: the truth. In a city fueled by money, celebrity, and sensationalism, the murder of a bottom-feeding mouthpiece like Lenny Lowell won't make the headlines. So when detectives from the LAPD's elite robbery/homicide division show up, homicide detective Kev Parker wants to know why. Parker is on the downhill slide of a once-promising career, and he doesn't want to be reminded that he used to be one of the hotshots, working cases that made instant celebrities of everyone involved. Like the case of fading retty-boy actor Rob Cole, accused of the brutal murder of his wife, Tricia Crowne-Cole, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the city, L.A.'s latest "crime of the century." Robbery/Homicide has no reason to be looking at a dead small-time scumbag lawyer or chasing a bike messenger...unless there's something in it for them. Maybe Lenny Lowell had a connection to something big enough to be killed for. Parker begins a search for answers that will lead him to a killer--or the end of his career. Because if there's one lesson he's learned over the years, it's that in a town built on fantasy and fame, delivering the truth can be deadly.
Lynda La Plante - Blood Line
Under the watchful eye of Detective Chief Superintendent James Langton, Anna is given her first case. But is it a full-blown murder investigation or purely a missing person's case? An ominous pool of blood and no victim lead Anna on a desperate hunt for a man who has disappeared without trace. As Anna becomes obsessed with seemingly irrelevant details, Langton fears that she is losing control of the case. They still have no body and Anna is under increasing pressure to make an arrest...
G. M. Malliet - Wicked Autumn
_A delightful new cosy crime series starring Max Tudor. In Wicked Autumn, G M Malliet serves up an irresistible English village - deliciously skewered - a flawed but engaging protagonist and a brilliantly modern version of the traditional locked room mystery._ Max Tudor has adapted well to his post as vicar of St Edwold's in the idyllic village of Nether Monkslip. The quiet village seems the perfect home for Max, who has fled a harrowing past as an MI5 agent. Now he has sound a measure of peace among urban escapees and yoga practitioners, artists and crafters and New Agers. But this new-found serenity is quickly shattered when the highly vocal and unpopular president of the Women's Institute turns up dead at the Harvest Fayre. The death looks like an accident but Max's training as a former agent kicks in, and before long he suspects foul play...
J. A. Kerley - Her Last Scream
_They thought they were safe at last…_ Across the US, a secret network of crisis centres permanently relocates women in serious danger from domestic abuse. But now someone is killing them before they reach their destinations. Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus are having trouble gaining the trust of the volunteers who run the scheme. The only way in is for an undercover police officer to pose as a threatened woman, making herself a target and drawing the killer out. Reinetta Early is the ideal candidate – but she also happens to be Harry’s niece. He always promised his sister that he would keep Reinetta safe from harm. Suddenly he’s unsure if he can even keep her alive…
Sidney D. Kirkpatrick - A Cast of Killers
On February 1, 1922, the distinguished silent-film director William Desmond Taylor was shot to death in his Los Angeles bungalow by an unknown assailant. Reports of strange activities at the scene of the crime circulated soon after. When the police arrived, was the head of Paramount Studios burning a bundle of papers in the fireplace, and was a well-known actress searching the house for letters she claimed were hers? Despite a full-scale investigation, the case was never solved; for sixty years is has remained a lingering Hollywood scandal. In 1967, more than forty years after Taylor's death, the great King Vidor, whose directing credits include _Northwest Passage, The Fountainhead, Duel in the Sun_, and _War and Peace_, determined to solve the mystery, which had haunted him throughout his career, in order to make a film about it. Through his intimate knowledge of both the studios and the stars, he succeeded, where dozens of professional detectives had failed, in discovering the identity of the murderer. But because his findings were so explosive, he decided he could never go public and locked his evidence away. After Vidor's death in 1982, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Vidor's authorized biographer, gained access to the evidence and reconstructed the amazing story of Taylor's murder and Vidor's investigation. With a cast of suspects that includes the actress Mabel Normand, a reputed drug addict; the beautiful ingénue, Mary Miles Minter; Mary's domineering mother, Charlotte Shelby; Taylor's homosexual houseman; and Taylor's secretary, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Taylor's mysteriously elusive brother, this true crime story has all the elements of a classic murder mystery. Covered up for more than half a century, the full story can now be told in all its riveting, shocking detail
Christopher Brookmyre - One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night
The occasion: high school reunion. The place: an oil rig converted into a tourist resort. The outcome: carnage. Gavin is creating a unique ‘holiday experience’; every facility any tourist who hates abroad will ever want will all be available on a converted North Sea oil rig. To test the facilities he’s hosting a reunion for his old school (none of his ex-classmates can remember him, but what the heck, it’s free). He is so busy showing off that he doesn’t notice that another group have invited themselves along – a collection of terrorist mercenaries who are occasionally of more danger to themselves than to the public. And they in turn are unaware that Inspector MacGregor has got wind of their activities. Within twenty-four hours Gavin’s dream has blown to the four winds, along with a lot of other things. Dress Casual. Bring your own bullets.