By John Man
An alphabet is a system for organising and recording thought. From the earliest neanderthal grunts right through to today's digital information overload, humans have needed some way of making sense of the world around them. The very earliest letters, which demonstrate this ('a' was the first sound of the Semitic word for 'ox', 'b' for 'house'), are still with us, virtually unchanged across the millennia. And while the western world today is divided by languages, it remains largely united by alphabet. Where these letters came from and how they have evolved over the years is more than just an academic exercise. John Man's ALPHA BETA tells a thrilling story of adventure, passion and intrigue.
Act of Mercy (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 8)
By Peter Tremayne
Super sleuth Sister Fidelma returns in the eighth historical mystery by Peter Tremayne, acclaimed author of THE MONK WHO VANISHED, VALLEY OF THE SHADOW and many more.PRAISE FOR ACT OF MERCY: 'Wonderfully evocative' The Times When Sister Fidelma sets out on a pilgrimage in the autumn of AD 666, her main preoccupation is to reflect on her commitment to the religious life and her relationship with the Saxon monk, Eadulf, whom she has left behind. Complications arise during the first night on the ship when one of the pilgrims is apparently washed overboard. The discovery of a blood-stained robe raises the question of murder and Fidelma finds herself having to focus all her abilities on solving the mystery. Death dogs the tiny band of pilgrims in the close confines of the ship, but is not until the Holy Shrine is almost reached that the amazing truth is uncovered... What readers are saying about ACT OF MERCY:'I never tire of reading about the escapades of this very self-opinionated young woman and her interactions with some very strange characters! Another great read!''So many twists I could not put it down! Pilgrims and pirates - Fidelma has trouble finding the truth''An intriguing glimpse of Fidelma's interior life and past'
Any Old Iron
By Lynda Page
Kelly McCallan has more than her fair share of worries. Her mother is dying and needs constant care; her father has returned to Leicester from the Second World War but is an emotional wreck; and her brother Mickey has turned to a life of crime that is putting the whole family at risk. Kelly's boyfriend Rodney and his sister Glenda know that she's scared of what Micky might do next. But they turn a blind eye to her fears - with disastrous consequences for them all. When Kelly has lost eveything she holds dear, she and Glenda pick up the pieces and start again. And one man in particular, Alec Alderman, is there when she needs him most. But Alec has problems of his own...
Angels of Mercy
By Lyn Andrews
Bestselling author Lyn Andrews' unputdownable saga ANGELS OF MERCY is perfect for fans of Kate Thompson and Kitty Neale.Blue-eyed, blond-haired, full of smiles and sweetness, even as babies twins Kate and Evvie Greenway captured the hearts of Liverpool's Scotland Road slumlands. But now they are almost adults the two girls find that being pleasant, popular and blessed with a loving family isn't quite enough. For they've both fallen for men who will break their youthful hearts...But these sorrows are nothing compared to the tragedies that await them and so many others when the Great War breaks out. Determined to do their part, Kate and Evvie sign up for nursing training and are despatched to the Front, a terrible world far from the life-affirming energy of their homes. Can anything, hope, love or the bond that has always united the sisters, survive all that lies in store for them?
The Abbot's Gibbet
By Michael Jecks
It is 1319. Tavistock's fair has drawn merchants to Devon from all over England and beyond. Although the influx of visitors and their money puts temptation in the way of cut-purses and other villains, no one expects a murder. So butcher Will Ruby is shocked to discover a headless corpse.Former Knight Templar Sir Baldwin Furnshill, Keeper of the King's Peace, and Simon Puttock, Bailiff of Lydford, have just arrived in Tavistock as guests of Abbot Robert Champeaux when the body is found. When the Abbot asks Simon and Baldwin to investigate, they can hardly refuse. But with an unidentifiable victim, they're badly hampered in their inquiries.Can Simon and Baldwin unravel the complex web of intrigue that has brought death to Tavistock, as the undercurrent of anger and violence that lies beneath the bustling activity of the fair grows ever fiercer?
Alone Beneath the Heaven
By Rita Bradshaw
At the Toss of a Sixpence
By Lynda Page
At eleven years of age, Albertina Listerman loses her parents in a terrible accident. At twenty-one, she experiences further tragedy when her half-brother commits suicide, having squandered the family fortune. Robbed of her very last penny, Ally is thrust into a world of hardship for which she is ill-prepared. Her salvation comes in the form of Jack Fossett, a kind lad who takes pity on this beautiful, bedraggled girl, and welcomes Ally into his heart. But Jack's mother Flo is less convinced, and time must pass and secrets must be revealed before Ally and Flo see eye to eye - particularly when they discover that Ally is not as destitute as she thought...
Asking for Trouble (Fran Varady 1)
By Ann Granger
The death of a squatter is not all it seems...Ann Granger introduces the unemployed and soon-to-be-homeless amateur sleuth Fran Varady in the first of this riveting crime series. The perfect read for fans of Edward Marston and LJ Ross. 'It looks as if Ann Granger is on to another winner' - Birmingham Post Fran Varady is insolvent, unemployed and, though for the moment she's got the leaky roof of the squat she shares in Jubilee Street over her head, she'll very soon be homeless thanks to the council eviction department. Her dreams of becoming an actress, nurtured when her father and grandmother were still alive, seem a long way off. But Fran is a survivor ... which her former housemate, Terry, found hanging from the ceiling of her room, clearly is not.Terry, secretive and selfish, was far from popular with the rest of the household, but her death shakes the Jubilee Street Creative Artists' Commune, as the squat residents half-jokingly call themselves. And, the more Fran discovers about the death of the young woman whose life briefly intersected with her own, the more she begins to see it was not all it first seemed.What readers are saying about Asking for Trouble:'Fran is too good to confine to one book. What good news to learn that there is a series!''An intriguing storyline, described with humour and affection''Fran is a delightful character and one well worth following through the other parts of this series'
The Assassin's Riddle
By Paul Doherty
It's the summer of 1380 and the corpse of Edwin Chapler, clerk of the Office of the Green Wax of the Chancery, has been pulled from the Thames: Chapler has drowned, but not before he received a vicious blow to the back of the head. Then Bartholomew Drayton, a usurer and money-lender, is found dead in his strongroom, a crossbow firmly embedded in his chest: a real mystery because the windowless strongroom was locked and barred from the inside. So who killed him? And how? And are the two deaths connected? Sir John Cranston, the Coroner of the City of London, comes to survey the scene. When other clerks are murdered, each with a riddle pinned to his corpse, Cranston enlists the help of his secretarius, Brother Athelstan – and together they must pit their wits against a deadly adversary bent on murder and mayhem.
And One for Luck
By Lynda Page
Grace Wilkins and Bessie Rudney have been neighbours for over twenty years but it takes the outbreak of World War Two for them to become friends. The more time Grace spends with Bessie, her six boistrous children and her loving husband Tom, the more she realises what has been missing from her own loveless marriage.As the war takes its toll on Leicester, and one by one the men folk leave to join the fighting, Grace finds comfort in helping others. Each day, as she takes on another new challenge, Grace realises that her daughter might have been right all along - it's time to break out, really make something of her life, and possibly find true love, before it's too late...
Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 1)
By Peter Tremayne
ABSOLUTION BY MURDER is the brilliant and evocative first novel in Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series, bringing 7th-century Ireland vividly to life.PRAISE FOR ABSOLUTION BY MURDER: 'In the simultaneously sharp-tongued and full womanly figure of Sister Fidelma, Tremayne has created a heroine whom many readers will willingly follow. Even Brother Cadfael might have tolerated her' Kirkus Reviews As the leading churchmen and women gather at the Synod of Whitby in 664AD to debate the rival merits of the Celtic and Roman Churches, tempers begin to fray. Conspirators plot an assassination, while mysterious, violent death stalks the shadowy cloisters of the Abbey of St Hilda. When the Abbess Etain, a leading speaker for the Celtic Church, is found murdered suspicion inevitably rests on the Roman faction.Attending the Synod is Fidelma, of the community of St Brigid of Kildare. As an advocate of the Brehon Court, she is called on to investigate the murder with Brother Eadulf, of the Roman faction. However, the two are so unlike that their partnership is described as that of a wolf and a fox - but which is which?More gruesome deaths follow and the friction among the clerics could end in civil war. Can the solution to the mysteries avert such a conflict?What readers are saying about ABSOLUTION OF MURDER:'Superb storytelling from a usually neglected era. Read this and you will certainly want to read the rest of this excellent series''I was transported back in time; Peter Tremayne brought the location and characters to life''The story moves forward with Fidelma weaving her way through to the end with skill and intelligence. Well worth reading'
The Anger of God
By Paul Doherty
In autumn 1379, the power of the crown is invested in John of Gaunt, and the kingdom is seething with discontent. The French are attacking the southern ports and peasants are planning a revolt organised by a mysterious leader who proclaims himself 'IRA DEI', the anger of God. In London, Gaunt's plans are plunged into chaos by a series of bloody murders. In desperation, Gaunt turns to Sir John Cranston to catch the assassin and recover a vanished king's ransom in gold. Cranston naturally calls on his ally, Brother Athelstan. They face threats and attack from the powerful as well as from the seedy underworld of medieval London, not to mention a chilling exorcism, as they try to bring order to their own lives and a subtle murderer to justice.
Annie of Albert Mews
By Dee Williams
Even if she feels life is passing her by as she serves behind the counter in her father's Rotherhithe grocer's shop, Annie Rogers knows she is lucky to have a secure home and a loving family - unlike her friend Lil, whose father is a violent drunk. Knowing how hard Lil's life is, Annie willingly helps her out, lending her dresses and make-up and, when Annie is asked out on a smart date by the landlord's son Peter Barrett, suggesting Lil come along to make up a foursome.But it is a shock when Lil gets on famously with Peter's swanky friend Julian whilst Annie feels much less sure of the smooth Peter. Soon Lil is busy earning money from pub singing spots set up for her by Julian, and Annie, no longer needed by her friend, feels more isolated than ever. It is then that she notices shy Will Hobbs from Fisher's engineering works. Before long Annie and Will are engaged, with plans for a home of their own in Surrey. But a dreadful accident at Fisher's and the looming shadow of World War II mean that life for Annie of Albert Mews is not so predictable - or secure - as she once thought it was ...
The Assassin in the Greenwood (Hugh Corbett Mysteries, Book 7)
By Paul Doherty
In the summer of 1302 the famous Robin of Locksley, popularly known as Robin Hood, has gone back to his outlaw ways in Sherwood Forest where he battles against royal authority, culminating in the barborous massacre of royal tax collectors and the mysterious murder of Sir Eustace Vechey, one of the sheriffs of Nottingham.Corbett and his two faithful servants Ranulf and Maltote are sent to Nottingham where they find fresh mysteries: why are three arrows shot into the air above Nottingham Castle on the 13th of every month? Who is the traitor in Nottingham Castle? And why have the French despatched an agent to assassinate Corbett?
By Lynda Page
When Charlie Higgins is unfairly dismissed from his job in a Leicester shoe factory his family become crippled by poverty. Refusing to surrender to her husband's misfortunes, Annie manages to keep food on the table and faith in their hearts. Until tragedy strikes again. With the threat of the workhouse looming over them, Annie and her young son Georgie seek refuge with their only relatives: the Burbages - a family they have never met and know nothing about. Adapting to farmlife is a gruelling experience for Annie and Georgie, but hard work and cheerfulness earn them respect. But at the back of Annie's mind, she knows that one day she must return to Leicester to confront the memories she has left behind and begin a new life for herself and her son...
The Angel of Death (Hugh Corbett Mysteries, Book 4)
By Paul Doherty
In 1298, Edward I of England invaded Scotland and brutally sacked the town of Berwick, razing to the ground the Red House of the Flemings who had permission to trade there. He little knew his action would have far-reaching repercussions.A year later, Edward convokes a great assembly of the realm in St Paul's Cathedral. They are to hear Mass after which the main celebrant, Walter de Montfort, has been delegated to lecture the King on not taxing the Church. During the Mass, de Montfort dies a sudden and violent death.Hugh Corbett, the King's clerk, is given the task of solving the mystery and tracking down the murderer. Against the background of Edward's struggle to maintain himself, both at home and aborad, Corbett's investigations become tortuous and laced with danger...