By Alix Christie
'Sophisticated and moving... Powerful' Sunday Times'A deep, immersive recreation of a pivotal moment in history' A. D. Miller 'If ever there were a historical novel with up-to-the-minute resonance, this is it. As we go through another information revolution, Christie's novel takes us back in brilliantly observed detail to the first - the invention of the printing press. Her characters are engaging, the world as beautifully crafted as one of Gutenberg's hot-metal letters, and the themes more relevant now than ever' Naomi AldermanIn the middle of the 15th century, scribe Peter Schoeffer is dismayed to be instructed by his father to give up his beloved profession of illuminating texts in Paris. Instead he is to travel to Mainz in Germany to be apprenticed to Johann Gutenberg, an entrepreneur who has invented a new process for producing books - the printing press. Working in conditions of extreme secrecy, the men employed by Gutenberg daily face new challenges both artistic and physical as they strive to create the new books to the standard required by their master. In a time of huge turmoil in Europe and around the world, Gutenberg is relentless in pursuing his dream and wooing the powerful religious leaders whose support is critical. Peter's resistance to the project slowly dissolves as he sees that, with the guidance of a scribe such as himself, the new Bibles could be as beautiful in their way as the old. Today we can see that beauty in some of our museums, but few know the astonishing tale of ambition, ruthlessness and triumph that lies behind it.
The Gods of Gotham
By Lyndsay Faye
'Spectacular' Gillian Flynn. GODS OF GOTHAM is the fantastic first novel in Lyndsay Faye's Edgar Award-nominated series, for fans of Andrew Taylor and Antonia Hodgson's The Devil in the Marshalsea. August 1845 in New York; enter the dark, unforgiving city underworld of the legendary Five Points... After a fire decimates a swathe of lower Manhattan, and following years of passionate political dispute, New York City at long last forms an official Police Department. That same summer, the great potato famine hits Ireland. These events will change the city of New York for ever.Timothy Wilde hadn't wanted to be a copper star. On the night of August 21st, on his way home from the Tombs defeated and disgusted, he is plotting his resignation, when a young girl who has escaped from a nearby brothel, crashes into him; she wears only a nightdress and is covered from head to toe in blood. Searching out the truth in the child's wild stories, Timothy soon finds himself on the trail of a brutal killer, seemingly hell bent on fanning the flames of anti-Irish immigrant sentiment and threatening chaos in a city already in the midst of social upheaval. But his fight for justice could cost him the woman he loves, his brother and ultimately his life...
Guardians of the Key
By Clio Gray
Lucca, City State for hundreds of years, keeper of secrets and relics, possessor of the Holy Face of Christ, has Napoleon's army at its gates, the emperor having declared himself King of All Italy.A continent away in Bexleyheath, Mabel Flinchurst gazes down from her window upon the Advent Fair. With all the hustle and bustle she doesn't see the pilgrim walk into the church of St Anthony's across the square, and slit his own throat. But Lucca and this suicide are strands from the same rope, a rope that is being wound unseen about Mabel, ready to rip her from her cosy world. When Mabel's friend, Toby, is kidnapped she enlists the help of compulsive list-maker and missing-persons finder, Whilbert Stroop. Together they are drawn into a mystery that began many centuries ago, and soon they find themselves losing a race against time and treachery, as an unknown enemy, and murder, begin to snap at their heels...
By Sylvian Hamilton
This is Sylvian Hamilton's third novel featuring the exploits of Sir Richard Straccan, ex-Crusader and dealer in holy relics. At the end of The Pendragon Banner, Straccan had lost the woman he loved - captured by his enemies, now being held God-knows where. His first task in The Gleemaiden is to find her. His second, to escort the great bell, Gaudete, to its resting place in Durham. His third to save from her enemies the Gleemaiden of the title and the mysterious child she protects.