As predicted last week, there are a lot of titles to ponder over, so grab your cuppa and let’s go!
The index is a guide as to what format the title is being released in. In some cases the title might already have been published in a different format. For those readers interested in audio editions I’ve indicated availability with the addition of a red button after the purchasing links – this makes it a bit easier to scan through and pick them up. The categories are intended to give you an indication of price and/or suitability depending on your preferred reading format. I have not complicated matters further by attempting to throw genres into the mix.
(NB As an Amazon Associate, Bookshop and Hive Affiliate I could earn a small commission from qualifying purchases)
The Village Green Bookshop by Rachael Lucas
Frustrated that she spends all her time as either a mum to a football-obsessed teenager or a wife to a workaholic husband, Hannah wants something for herself. When the chance comes to take over the Post Office in Little Maudley, a charming Cotswold village, Hannah grabs it with both hands. She’ll have a career at last and also get her son Ben away from his trouble-making mates.
But village life is not so picture-perfect after all: Hannah finds herself an outsider in this tight-knit community where the height of your hedge is a gossip-worthy subject. Even her idea to introduce a small bookshop to the Post Office causes a stir. At least Ben seems to have found his place as he joins the local football team, coached by ex-professional Jake Lovatt. But a shocking secret from their past threatens to uproot the new life they’ve made for themselves, and has drastic consequences…
Set in the same village as The Telephone Box Library and featuring some of the same much-loved characters, this is a charming, big-hearted novel from bestselling author Rachael Lucas.
The Whispers by Heidi Perks
A MISSING WIFE. FOUR FRIENDS. WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?
Anna Robinson hasn’t been seen since she went on a night out with her four closest friends.
She has a loving husband and a son she adores. Surely she wouldn’t abandon them and her perfect life. . .
But what has happened to her?
At the school gates, it’s not long before the rumours start. Anna’s oldest friend Grace is beside herself with worry – desperately searching for answers, and certain that someone is hiding the truth.
With each day that passes, Anna’s life is under increasing threat. And a the pressure mounts, it won’t be long before something cracks. . .
Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner
Helen has it all…
Daniel is the perfect husband.
Rory is the perfect brother.
Serena is the perfect sister-in-law.
And Rachel? Rachel is the perfect nightmare.
When Helen, finally pregnant after years of tragedy, attends her first antenatal class, she is expecting her loving architect husband to arrive soon after, along with her confident, charming brother Rory and his pregnant wife, the effortlessly beautiful Serena. What she is not expecting is Rachel.
Extroverted, brash, unsettling single mother-to-be Rachel, who just wants to be Helen’s friend. Who just wants to get know Helen and her friends and her family. Who just wants to know everything about them. Every little secret.
Raft of Stars by Andrew J Graff
One summer night in Wisconsin, the lives of two ten-year-old boys are changed forever…
Tired of seeing his best friend Dale Breadwin abused by his alcoholic father, Fischer Branson takes action. A gunshot rings out, and Bread and Fish flee into the woods. They build a raft, but the river quickly leads them into even greater danger.
In their wake travel a group of adults – each determined to save the boys from the terrors of Ironsford Gorge.
The further they go, the more the wilderness starts to change them in profound and unexpected ways. And when they reach the edge of the Gorge itself, they begin to understand the true violence and beauty of the natural world, and its ability to heal.
No matter where you run danger will always follow…
The Performance by Claire Thomas
The false cold of the theatre makes it hard to imagine the heavy wind outside in the real world, the ash air pressing onto the city from the nearby hills where bushfires are taking hold.
The house lights lower.
The auditorium feels hopeful in the darkness.
As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.
Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.
As the performance unfolds, so does each woman’s story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.
Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray
When Amy Ashton’s world fell apart eleven years ago, she started a collection.
Just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been.
Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves – soon there’ll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery, and Amy’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she’d lost still be hers for the taking?
This One Sky Day by Leone Ross
Dawn breaks across the archipelago of Popisho. The world is stirring awake again, each resident with their own list of things to do:
A wedding feast to conjure and cook
An infidelity to investigate
A lost soul to set free
As the sun rises two star-crossed lovers try to find their way back to one another across this single day. When night falls, all have been given a gift, and many are no longer the same.
The sky is pink, and some wonder if it will ever be blue again.
Hardback & eBook releases
The Therapist by B A Paris
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…
As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.
Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before.
Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
Five generations of women, linked by blood and circumstance, by the secrets they share, and by a single book passed down through a family, with an affirmation scrawled in its margins: We are force. We are more than we think we are.
1866, Cuba: María Isabel is the only woman employed at a cigar factory, where each day the workers find strength in daily readings of Victor Hugo. But these are dangerous political times, and as María begins to see marriage and motherhood as her only options, the sounds of war are approaching.
1959, Cuba: Dolores watches her husband make for the mountains in answer to Fidel Castro’s call to arms. What Dolores knows, though, is that to survive, she must win her own war, and commit an act of violence that threatens to destroy her daughter Carmen’s world.
2016, Miami: Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, is shocked when her daughter Jeanette announces her plans to travel to Cuba to see her grandmother Dolores. In the walls of her crumbling home lies a secret, one that will link Jeanette to her past, and to this fearless line of women.
From nineteenth-century cigar factories to present-day detention centres, from Cuba to the United States to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt follows Latina women of fierce pride, bound by the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their truth despite those who wish to silence them. For fans of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.
On Hampstead Heath by Marika Cobbold
Thorn Marsh was raised in a house of whispers, of meaningful glances and half-finished sentences. Now she’s a journalist with a passion for truth, more devoted to her work at the London Journal than she ever was to her ex-husband.
When the newspaper is bought by media giant The Goring Group, who value sales figures over fact-checking, Thorn openly questions their methods, and promptly finds herself moved from the news desk to the midweek supplement, reporting heart-warming stories for their new segment, The Bright Side, a job to which she is spectacularly unsuited.
On a final warning and with no heart-warming news in sight, a desperate Thorn fabricates a good-news story of her own. The story, centred on an angelic apparition on Hampstead Heath, goes viral. Caught between her principles and her ambitions, Thorn goes in search of the truth behind her creation, only to find the answers locked away in the unconscious mind of a stranger.
Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny
Jane easily falls in love with Duncan: he’s charming, good-natured, and handsome. He has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan.
Jane sees Duncan’s old girlfriends everywhere – at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While she may be able to come to terms with dating the world’s most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she didn’t have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. And his coworker Jimmy comes and goes from Duncan’s apartment at the most inopportune times. Jane wonders how the relationship is supposed to work with all these people in it. But any notion Jane has of love and marriage changes with one tragic accident. Now her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan’s, Aggie’s, and Jimmy’s, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But is it possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of her eyes?
A Witch Hunt in Whitby by Helen Cox
A serial killer is loose in Yorkshire, and has claimed three victims in three months. Eleven days before each murder, a large purple V is painted on the front door of the victim’s house. The victims, all of whom have some association with the occult, are found drained of blood with two red marks on their neck.
When RUBY BARNETT comes home one evening to find a large purple V on her front door, it becomes clear she is the so-called Vampire Killer’s next victim. Private Investigators KITT HARTLEY and GRACE EDWARDS have just eleven days to solve the mystery and save Ruby’s life. The clock is ticking . . .
When I Was Ten by Fiona Cummins
Twenty-one years ago, Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were killed in what has become the most infamous double murder of the modern age.
Their ten year-old daughter – nicknamed the Angel of Death – spent eight years in a children’s secure unit and is living quietly under an assumed name with a family of her own.
Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down her older sister, compelling her to break two decades of silence.
Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and journalist Brinley Booth, a childhood friend of the Carter sisters, is tasked with covering the news story.
For the first time, the three women are forced to confront what really happened that night – with devastating consequences for them all.
Vanished by James Delargy
The Kane family, Lorcan, Naiyana and their young son, relocate from Perth to Kallayee, an abandoned mining town in the Great Victoria Desert to start over again, free from their chequered past.
The town seems like the perfect getaway: Peaceful. Quiet. Remote. Somewhere they won’t be found.
But life in Kallayee isn’t quite as straightforward as they hope. There are noises in the earth, mysterious shadows and tracks in the dust as if the town is coming back to life.
But the family can’t leave. No one can talk sense into them.
And now, no one can talk to them at all.
They’ve simply vanished.
Now it’s up to Detective Emmaline Taylor to find them… before it’s too late.
Other Women by Cathy Kelly
Three women. Three secrets. Three tangled lives…
Sid wears her independence like armour. So when she strikes up a rare connection with unlucky-in-love Finn, they are both determined to prove that men and women can just be friends. Can’t they?
Marin has the perfect home, attentive husband, two beloved children – and a secret addiction to designer clothes. She knows she has it all, so why can’t she stop comparing herself to other women?
Bea believes that we all have one love story – and she’s had hers. Now her life centres around her son and support group of fierce single mums – the women she shares everything with. Well, apart from the one secret she can’t tell anyone…
In the messy reality of marriage, family and romance, sometimes it’s the women in our lives who hold us together.
What Comes After by Joanne Tompkins
In misty, coastal Washington State, Isaac lives alone with his dog, grieving the recent death of his teenage son, Daniel. Next door, Lorrie, a working single mother, struggles with a heinous act committed by her own teenage son. Separated by only a silvery stretch of trees, the two parents are emotionally stranded, isolated by their great losses–until an unfamiliar sixteen-year-old girl shows up, bridges the gap, and changes everything.
Evangeline’s arrival at first feels like a blessing, but she is also clearly hiding something. When Isaac, who has retreated into his Quaker faith, isn’t equipped to handle her alone, Lorrie forges her own relationship with the girl. Soon all three characters are forced to examine what really happened in their overlapping pasts, and what it all possibly means for a shared future.
With a propulsive mystery at its core, What Comes After offers an unforgettable story of loss and anger, but also of kindness and hope, courage and forgiveness. It is a deeply moving account of strangers and friends not only helping each other forward after tragedy, but inspiring a new kind of family.
Dreamland by Rosa Rankin Gee
In the coastal resort of Margate, hotels lie empty and sun-faded ‘For Sale’ signs line the streets. The sea is higher – it’s higher everywhere – and those who can are moving inland. A young girl called Chance, however, is just arriving.
Chance’s family is one of many offered a cash grant to move out of London – and so she, her mother Jas and brother JD relocate to the seaside, just as the country edges towards vertiginous change.
In their new home, they find space and wide skies, a world away from the cramped bedsits they’ve lived in up until now. But challenges swiftly mount. JD’s business partner, Kole, has a violent, charismatic energy that whirlpools around him and threatens to draw in the whole family. And when Chance comes across Franky, a girl her age she has never seen before – well-spoken and wearing sunscreen – something catches in the air between them. Their fates are bound: a connection that is immediate, unshakeable, and, in a time when social divides have never cut sharper, dangerous.
Set in a future unsettlingly close to home, against a backdrop of soaring inequality and creeping political extremism, Rankin-Gee demonstrates, with cinematic pace and deep humanity, the enduring power of love and hope in a world spinning out of control.
Nightshade by E S Thomson
London, 1851. Restless and bored after a long hot summer, apothecary and poison expert Jem Flockhart decides to redesign her physic garden. But plans are thrown into confusion when a man’s skeleton is unearthed from beneath the deadly nightshade, a smaller, child-like skeleton curled at its feet. The body bears evidence of knife wounds to its ribs and arms, and is accompanied by a collection of macabre objects: a brass bowl, a curious coin-like token, a set of tiny ivory sculls.
The police claim the victim is too long-buried for answers to be found, but for Jem, a corpse in her own garden is something that cannot be ignored. The plans to the garden, laid out some forty years earlier, reveal a list of five names. When Jem and Will start asking questions, the murders begin. Each victim has a past connection with the physic garden; each corpse is found with its jaw broken wide and its mouth stuffed with deadly nightshade.
As they move closer to uncovering the truth Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain encounter a dark world of addiction, madness, power and death that strikes at the very heart of Jem’s own history. This time, the poison is personal. . .
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
‘There’s only been one time that Rose couldn’t stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.’
Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be . . . dangerous.
When Rose discovers that she cannot fall pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.
Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets that she long thought were buried.
Here and Now by Santa Montefiore
Faced with losing everything, all that matters is Here and Now . . .
Marigold has spent her life taking care of those around her, juggling family life with the running of the local shop, and being an all-round leader in her quiet yet welcoming community. When she finds herself forgetting things, everyone quickly puts it down to her age. But something about Marigold isn’t quite right, and it’s becoming harder for people to ignore.
As Marigold’s condition worsens, for the first time in their lives her family must find ways to care for the woman who has always cared for them. Desperate to show their support, the local community come together to celebrate Marigold, and to show her that losing your memories doesn’t matter, when there are people who will remember them for you . . .
The Never Ending Summer by Emma Kennedy
Three women. Two unforgettable road trips.
Wherever you are in life, it’s never too late to find yourself.
Best friends Agnes and Bea decide to embark on one last adventure before their adult lives begin.
For Agnes’s mother Florence, a fresh chapter is starting as her youngest flies the nest and her marriage settles into a new routine. But she can’t help feeling that something is missing.
As Agnes travels to London and Florence follows her heart to Europe, both will discover a world of possibilities they never could have dreamed of…
The Hit List by Holly Seddon
On the anniversary of her husband’s accidental death, Marianne seeks comfort in everything Greg left behind. She wears his shirt and cologne, reads their love letters and emails. Soon she’s following his footsteps across the web, but her desperation to cling to any trace of him leads her to the dark web. And a hit list with her name on it.
To try to save herself from Sam, the assassin hired to kill her, Marianne must first unpick the wicked web in which Greg became tangled. Was Greg trying to protect her or did he want her dead?
Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
It is 1981. Glasgow is dying and good families must grift to survive. Agnes Bain has always expected more from life. She dreams of greater things: a house with its own front door and a life bought and paid for outright (like her perfect, but false, teeth). But Agnes is abandoned by her philandering husband, and soon she and her three children find themselves trapped in a decimated mining town. As she descends deeper into drink, the children try their best to save her, yet one by one they must abandon her to save themselves. It is her son Shuggie who holds out hope the longest.
Shuggie is different. Fastidious and fussy, he shares his mother’s sense of snobbish propriety. The miners’ children pick on him and adults condemn him as no’ right. But Shuggie believes that if he tries his hardest, he can be normal like the other boys and help his mother escape this hopeless place.
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
Lucy married just the sort of man you might expect: a university graduate who runs his own business. Unfortunately he turned out to have serious dependency issues.
Joseph is shaking off the memory of his last date, a girl who ticked all the right boxes and also drove him up the wall.
On an average Saturday morning in a butcher’s shop in North London, Lucy and Joseph meet on opposite sides of the counter. She is a teacher and mother of two, with a past she is trying to forget; he is an aspiring DJ with a wide-open future that maybe needs to start becoming more focused. Lucy and Joseph are opposites in almost all ways. Can something life-changing grow from uncommon ground?
The Postscript Murders by Elly Griffiths
The death of a ninety-year-old woman with a heart condition should absolutely not be suspicious. DS Harbinder Kaur certainly sees nothing to concern her in carer Natalka’s account of Peggy Smith’s death.
But when Natalka reveals that Peggy lied about her heart condition and that she had been sure someone was following her…
And that Peggy Smith had been a ‘murder consultant’ who plotted deaths for authors, and knew more about murder than anyone has any right to…
And when clearing out Peggy’s flat ends in Natalka being held at gunpoint by a masked figure…
Well then DS Harbinder Kaur thinks that maybe there is no such thing as an unsuspicious death after all.
The Sunken Land Begins to Rise Again by M John Harrison
Shaw had a breakdown, but he’s getting himself back together. He has a single room, a job on a decaying London barge, and an on-off affair with a doctor’s daughter called Victoria, who claims to have seen her first corpse at age thirteen.
It’s not ideal, but it’s a life. Or it would be if Shaw hadn’t got himself involved in a conspiracy theory that, on dark nights by the river, seems less and less theoretical…
Meanwhile, Victoria is up in the Midlands, renovating her dead mother’s house, trying to make new friends. But what, exactly, happened to her mother? Why has the local waitress disappeared into a shallow pool in a field behind the house? And why is the town so obsessed with that old Victorian morality tale, The Water Babies?
As Shaw and Victoria struggle to maintain their relationship, the sunken lands are rising up again, unnoticed in the shadows around them.
Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon
Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage?
David thought so. But when his wife Mary Rose dies suddenly he has to think again. In reliving their twenty years together David sees that the ground beneath them had shifted and he simply hadn’t noticed. Or had chosen not to.
Figuring out who Mary Rose really was and the secrets that she kept – some of these hidden in plain sight – makes David wonder if he really knew her. Did he even know himself?
A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson
Erica is eighteen and ready for freedom. It’s the summer of 1960 when she lands on the sun-baked Greek island of Hydra where she is swept up in a circle of bohemian poets, painters, musicians, writers and artists, living tangled lives. Life on their island paradise is heady, dream-like, a string of seemingly endless summer days. But nothing can last forever.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
After Astrid Strick – a widowed, 68-year-old mother of three living in upstate New York – witnesses an accident, she resolves to live more honestly. Starting with the mistakes she made in raising her family.
But are her kids, tangled in their own messy adult lives, really ready to be treated like grown ups?
Charming, uplifting and well-observed, All Adults Here is the delightful story about the wonders and woes of modern family life.
I’m Just a Teenage Punchbag by Jackie Clune
Ciara is mother to three ungrateful, entitled teenagers, is married to steady Martin, a man with hairy udders, and is grieving for her mum who now lives in the wardrobe in a cardboard box from the crematorium. She finds solace in her anonymous blog, and in the daily chats she has with her mum’s ashes (often the best conversations she has all day.)
Despite the menopause, the invisibility of middle age and the daily self-esteem bashings, courtesy of her kids, Ciara manages to navigate the stormy waters of grief and family life – until her mask slips and she is cast out from the family bosom. She embarks on a mission to fulfil her mum’s dying wishes to have her remains sprinkled from the top of the Empire State Building, finding company, distraction and – ultimately – herself in the process.
If motherhood is a job – who says you can’t resign?
Pulpit Rock by Kate Rhodes
WITH A KILLER ON THE LOOSE
As the scorching summer sun beats down on St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly, DI Ben Kitto and his team are training for the annual Swimathon, until they discover a body hanging from Pulpit Rock, dressed in a bridal gown.
ON A TINY ISLAND
An obsessive killer is hunting for female victims. Kitto has no choice but to stop anyone leaving St Mary’s, but soon another woman is attacked.
EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT
The killer must be a trusted member of the community. Kitto’s investigation is being watched closely, the killer always one step ahead, as the next victim is chosen . . .
NO ONE IS SAFE
Paperback & eBook releases
Mystery at the Abbey Hotel by Clare Chase
Eve Mallow’s stay at the luxurious Abbey Hotel takes a turn for the suspicious when the owner is murdered – leaving Eve surrounded by suspects!
Saxford St Peter is Eve Mallow’s beloved home, but she can’t resist the chance to spend a weekend in the nearby Abbey Hotel, famed for its glamorous owner Debra Moran and an array of celebrity guests. For a confirmed people-watcher like Eve, it’s perfect: she can observe the rich and famous while sipping tea in the gardens, her faithful dachshund Gus by her side.
But her relaxing break takes a shocking turn when Debra is found lying dead in the shadowy woods around the hotel. One of Eve’s fellow guests didn’t come to the Abbey for fine food and delightful décor – but to kill.
When the investigation gets underway, Eve finds herself trapped with a wide range of suspects. Could it be Debra’s new friend Harper, who inherits everything? Her ex-husband Chester, still seething over their messy divorce? Or her estranged sister Amelia, who came hoping for reconciliation, only for Debra to shut the door in her face?
As Eve roams the hotel, searching for clues and hunting down alibis, she uncovers a whole host of secrets. But can she find the truth before the killer brings her holiday to a deadly end?
The Dig Street Festival by Chris Walsh
It’s 2006 in the fictional East London borough of Leytonstow. The UK’s pub smoking ban is about to happen, and thirty-eight-and-a-half year old John Torrington, a mopper and trolley collector at his local DIY store, is secretly in love with the stylish, beautiful, and middle-class barmaid Lois. John and his hapless, strange, and down-on-their-luck friends, Gabby Longfeather and Glyn Hopkins, live in Clements Markham House – a semi-derelict Edwardian villa divided into unsanitary bedsits, and (mis)managed by the shrewd, Dickensian business man, Mr Kapoor.
When Mr Kapoor, in a bizarre and criminal fluke, makes him fabulously credit-worthy, John surprises his friends and colleagues alike by announcing he will organise an amazing ‘urban love revolution’, aka the Dig Street Festival. But when he discovers dark secrets at the DIY store, and Mr Kapoor’s ruthless gentrification scheme for Clements Markham House, John’s plans take several unexpected and worrisome turns…
The Wild Girls by Phoebe Morgan
In a luxury lodge on Botswana’s sun-soaked plains, four friends reunite for a birthday celebration…
THE BIRTHDAY GIRL
Has it all, but chose love over her friends…
Feels the walls of her flat and classroom closing in…
Loves her baby, but desperately needs a break…
Yearns for adventure after suffering for too long…
Arriving at the safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles over them. There’s no sign of the party that was promised. There’s no phone signal. They’re alone, in the wild.
THE HUNT IS ON.
The Girl on the Platform by Bryony Pearce
A missing child. A single witness.
I am the girl on the platform.
When new mother Bridget catches her train home from London, she witnesses something terrible: a young girl is taken from the platform, right before her eyes.
No one knows where I am.
But no one is reported missing and with Bridget the only witness, she is written off as an attention seeker. Nobody believes her – not even her own husband.
Can you find me?
But Bridget knows what she saw, and becomes consumed with finding the little girl. Only she can save the child’s life… but could delving into the mystery cost Bridget her own?
Summer in Greece by Patricia Wilson
Could these crystal clear waters hide the secrets of her past?
For years Shelly Summer has buried herself in her work, trying to forget her past. The only time she feels truly herself is when she’s diving in the Mediterranean – the calm and stillness of the clear waters help her forget.
Back home, Shelly stumbles across the belongings of her great-grandmother, Gertie Smith including a recording of Gertie’s memoirs. As Shelly listens to it, she starts to uncover the secrets of Gertie’s past, which might just hold the key to letting go of her own.
When trainee nurse Gertie Smith signs up for the war effort, she is thrilled to learn that her destination will be Greece. With a head full of blue skies and handsome men, she boards the Titanic‘s sister ship, the ill-fated hospital ship Britannic. Unprepared for the horrors of war, she heads for the Greek island of Lemnos on a mission to rescue three thousand wounded British soldiers.
But tragically, the Britannic never reaches its destination.
When rescued, Gertie is taken to the Greek island of Kea, where she meets and falls in love with a Greek fisherman, Manno – but she finds herself torn between him and her duty to an English soldier. Gertie cannot shake the guilt she feels from that tragic night the ship sank and is afraid her past will eventually catch up with her.
A Postcard from Paris by Alex Brown
Annie Lovell is keen to put the spark back into her life and when her elderly neighbour inherits an abandoned Parisian apartment she goes to Paris to discover more. Her curiosity takes an unexpected turn on discovering a bundle of secret diaries hidden within the walls, detailing the life of a young English woman, Beatrice Crawford, who volunteered in 1916 to nurse the soldiers in the fields of France.
Captivated by the romantic City of Light, Annie realises first appearances are not always as they seem. Following Beatrice’s journey from the Great War, through the Roaring Twenties and to a very different life in Nazi-occupied Paris, Annie must piece together the events from the past, if she is to fulfil the legacy that Beatrice left for her to find…
The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral by M L Longworth
When the director, Monsieur Achille Formentin, walks in one beautiful April morning, he is shocked to find the whole museum emptied of its contents – only a bench, the reception desk, and a lowly fern remain. Distressed, he calls the local police, and Aix’s examining magistrate Antoine Verlaque sets out to discover the thiefs identity. But it’s the most baffling case Verlaque has ever encountered. Why would someone want to steal porcelain dessert plates, some old documents, and a few small paintings? Could this have something to do with the mysterious robbery of Madame de Montbarbon’s apartment a few weeks earlier? And how can Verlaque possibly concentrate on the theft when he and his wife, Marine Bonnet, are going to have a baby? Breezy, charming, and perfectly escapist, The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral brings us back to the heart of sun-and wine-soaked Aix-en-Provence, where murder investigations are always put on hold for lunch and the only thing more sweeping than the story is the Mediterranean coastline.
Courage, My Love by Kristin Beck
Rome, 1943. Lucia Colombo has had her doubts about fascism for years, but as a single mother in an increasingly unstable country, politics are for other people – she needs to focus on keeping herself and her son alive. Then the Italian government falls and the German occupation begins, and suddenly, Lucia finds that complacency is no longer an option. Francesca Gallo has always been aware of injustice and suffering. A polio survivor who lost her father when he was arrested for his anti-fascist politics, she came to Rome with her fiance to start a new life. But when the Germans invade and her fiance is taken by the Nazis, Francesca decides she has only one option: to fight back. As Lucia and Francesca are pulled deeper into the struggle against the Nazi occupation, both women learn to resist alongside the partisans to drive the Germans from Rome. But as winter sets in, the occupation tightens its grip on the city, and the resistance is in constant danger. In the darkest days, Francesca and Lucia face their pasts, find the courage to love, and maintain hope for a future that is finally free.
The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen
Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper…Venice. Caroline’s quest: to scatter Juliet “Lettie” Browning’s ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years.
It’s 1938 when art teacher Juliet Browning arrives in romantic Venice. For her students, it’s a wealth of history, art, and beauty. For Juliet, it’s poignant memories and a chance to reconnect with Leonardo Da Rossi, the man she loves whose future is already determined by his noble family. However star-crossed, nothing can come between them. Until the threat of war closes in on Venice and they’re forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever.
Key by key, Lettie’s life of impossible love, loss, and courage unfolds. It’s one that Caroline can now make right again as her own journey of self-discovery begins.
The Heartbreak Club by Eva Woods
The first rule of heartbreak club is – get your heart broken. That’s all really.
Caroline’s heart broke when her husband took his own life.
Josh’s heart broke when his wife was killed in an accident.
And somehow, talking to a group of strangers once a week doesn’t seem to be helping either of them.
Until Sylvia arrives.
When she lost her own partner two years ago, she fell apart and had to put herself back together. Most of all she wished for the help of someone who’d been through it already. And now she’s here to pass her handbook on to those who need it most.
The problem is, following Sylvia’s rules means looking to the future. And Caroline and Josh each need some answers from their past before they can even think about that…
The House of Hidden Secrets by C E Rose
The imposing gates of Ramsay Hall yawned open. As Serena and 4-year-old Lana walked up the long driveway, little did they know the dark secrets that lay within.
When Serena Green accepted the role of housekeeper for wealthy widower Hayden Ramsay, she never imagined her new home would be Ramsay Hall, an ancient, sprawling mansion in Northern England.
Serena quickly becomes an integral part of the household, making friends with Hayden’s younger son Hugh, despite Jack, his older brother’s, coldness towards her and Lana.
But the hall’s beautiful exterior hides many ugly secrets. Though Serena and Jack begin to grow closer, she’s confused by his behaviour around Lana. What is he guilty of? And is there more to their mother’s death than the Ramsay men will admit, even to themselves?
As the harrowing past of Ramsay Hall unravels, Serena fresh start becomes a fresh horror. She fears for her and Lana’s safety, but what are the bleak secrets in Serena’s own past?
This house is built on a lifetime of lies… and the truth might just bring the walls crashing down.
Finding Home by Kate Field
She might not have much in this world, but it cost nothing to be kind…
Meet Miranda Brown: you can call her Mim. She’s jobless, homeless and living in her car… but with a history like hers she knows she has a huge amount to be grateful for.
Meet Beatrice and William Howard: Bill and Bea to you. The heads of the Howard family and owners of Venhallow Hall, a sprawling seaside Devonshire estate… stranded in a layby five hours from home the night before their niece’s wedding.
When fate brings the trio together, Mim doesn’t think twice before offering to drive the affable older couple home. It’s not like she has anywhere else to be. But as the car pulls into the picturesque village of Littlemead, Mim has no idea how her life is about to change…
Cold New Climate by Isobel Wohl
The world is warming. Lydia is unsettled in her New York life. She takes herself away to Greece, secure in the belief that her much-older partner Tom will be there on her return. However, when she comes back, she discovers he’s fallen in love with someone else. Her life now in disarray, Lydia faces a future in which nothing is secure. When she reconnects with Tom’s teenage son Caleb, all three lives are recast in shocking and devastating ways. All the while we sense that in the world at large there are greater changes happening, changes over which they have even less control. Isobel Wohl’s precise, brilliant, hyper-observant prose lays bare the ever-changing rules by which we try to conduct our lives, and in its astonishing conclusion, the novel asks us its most profound question: how do we want to live?
Lost Property by Helen Paris
Dot Watson has lost her way.
Twelve years ago her life veered off course, and the guilt over what happened still haunts her. Before then she was living in Paris, forging an exciting career; now her time is spent visiting her mother’s care home, fielding interfering calls from her sister and working at the London Transport Lost Property office, diligently cataloguing items as misplaced as herself.
But when elderly Mr Appleby arrives in search of his late wife’s purse, his grief stirs something in Dot. Determined to help, she sets off on a mission – one that could start to heal Dot’s own loss and let her find where she belongs once more…
Summer Secrets at the Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge
A new start can come from the most unexpected places…
It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.
After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.
Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.
As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.
The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter
An attractive student. An older professor.
Think you know the story? Think again.
She has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.
When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.
Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.
And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…
OK folks, that’s it for another week, anything take your fancy?
See you – same time, same place next week.