By Raffaella Barker
Venetia Summers is 'buffered from single-motherhood' by boyfriend David, but when work takes him to the tropics, things begin to unravel. Phone lines crackle, e-mails languish unanswered, while children run amok, brother Desmond's outrageous wedding takes over her home and new neighbour, Hedley Sale, makes his dastardly presence felt. It's no surprise that Venetia ends up dumping David. But how is she to fend off the amorous Hedley, or break the news to the children?
The Silent Service
By John Parker
One of the great untold stories of the British services is that of the Royal Navy Submarine Service which entered the fray in World War I with 100 underwater craft. Through World War II, where submariners' prospects of returning safely from a mission were only 50:50, the Falklands conflict and the sinking of the Belgrano, to present-day elite machines, the Silent Service has played an enormous part in British defence. John Parker's in-depth investigation is very much personality led with diaries from the early part of the century to substantial first-person testimony from survivors of wartime heroics (when many VCs were won).
Southampton Row (Thomas Pitt Mystery, Book 22)
By Anne Perry
Despite Thomas Pitt's success in the Whitechapel case, the secretive Inner Circle prevent his returning to Bow Street police as Superintendent. Pitt's next task for Special Branch is to investigate Charles Voisy - the corrupt Inner Circle man Pitt defeated in court - who is standing for election as a Tory MP. Pitt must obtain information to stop Voisy's climb to political power. Then Pitt is ordered to Southampton Row, scene of the hideous murder of a spiritual medium. As the link between the spiritualist and political figures is revealed, the whispers of scandal grow louder. And with Charlotte in hiding for safety, Pitt must turn to his sister-in-law, Emily, to help him solve one of his most high-profile cases yet...
Strolling With The One I Love
By Joan Jonker
Kate Spencer and her best friend Monica Parry have enough on their plates with their boisterous families and the day-to-day running of their Liverpool homes. But the plight of a neighbour's teenage daughter is a cry for help they can't ignore...
By Faye Kellerman
'It was the stunned, pale look of bad news'The call is brief. There's been a murder in the family of Lieutenant Decker's half brother, Rabbi Jonathan Levine. Ephraim Lieber, a Hassidic Jew with a catalogue of problems in his past, was found dead in a seedy Manhattan hotel, a single gunshot wound to his head. And his niece, fifteen-year-old Shaynda, is missing.In a desperate bid to track down the missing girl, Decker finds himself in an alien city and a maze of deceit and danger, on a twisted journey that takes him from the darkened slums of New Jersey and the deserted industrial streets of New York, to the hidden meeting places of Hassidic outcasts...
The Secret Life of Bees
By Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd's internationally bestselling first novel THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES has delighted many millions of readers around the world. 'Charming, funny, moving' The Times; 'A wonderful book, by turns sad, full of incident and shot through with grown-up magic reminiscent of Joanne Harris' Daily TelegraphLily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four. She not only has her own memory of holding the gun, but her father's account of the event. Now fourteen, she yearns for her mother, and for forgiveness. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her father, she has only one friend: Rosaleen, a black servant whose sharp exterior hides a tender heart. South Carolina in the sixties is a place where segregation is still considered a cause worth fighting for. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily is compelled to act. Fugitives from justice and from Lily's harsh and unyielding father, they follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world, as about the mystery surrounding her mother.
The Sunshine of your Smile
By Joan Jonker
Molly Bennett and Nellie McDonough have been best mates for over twenty years, with never a cross word between them. When times were bad and money scarce, they kept their families together with love and laughter. And they were always there to help anyone in trouble. So when they hear about a mother who hasn't seen her son for years, the two friends know they have a job to do...
By John Parker
The two key components of air warfare conducted by the Royal Air Force virtually for the whole of the last century were the fighters and the bombers. By the 1960s these two roles had evolved into a single force known in the RAF by its current title, Strike Command. Colloquially, their pilots were known as Top Guns. Full of personal tales of airborne derring-do in just about every conflict in which Britain has been engaged, this is the latest in John Parker's excellent series of elite fighting units.
So Many Children
By Anne Baker
Beth Hubble has grown up in extreme poverty in Dock Cottages and although she loves training to become a nurse, problems at home are never far from her mind. Doctors have told her mother that, after fourteen pregnancies, she is too frail to survive another, but they will do nothing more. Beth is determined to help, but, in 1920, birth control is a taboo subject, and her quest for knowledge is thwarted at every turn. Meanwhile Beth has fallen for Andrew Langford, a hospital lab technician, who she hopes will take her away from the tenements for good. But will Beth ever find the love and happiness that she deserves?
Sue Lawrence's Scottish Kitchen
By Sue Lawrence
Sue Lawrence has gathered together more than 100 recipes to celebrate the down-to-earth ingredients, straightforward cooking and warmth of all things Scottish.In ten themed chapters that will capture your imagination, such as 'A Bonfire on the Beach' and 'A Lochside Picnic', Sue Lawrence introduces her much-loved food and country's landscape to cooks well beyond the Scottish shores. From breakfast to tea, and Burns' Night to Hogmanay, SUE LAWRENCE'S SCOTTISH KITCHEN boasts a plethora of rustic yet stylish dishes.Illustrated with breathtaking and evocative photographs of the country itself - from the lochs of the Highlands to the fishmongers of Edinburgh - as well as stunning food photography, SUE LAWRENCE'S SCOTTISH KITCHEN is a treasure-trove of recipes which emphasises all that is good about Scottish cooking.
Seven Dials (Thomas Pitt Mystery, Book 23)
By Anne Perry
Thomas Pitt is summoned to the offices of Victor Narraway, head of the Imperial Secret Service. An ex-army officer and promising young diplomat has been shot and the prime suspect is the Egyptian mistress of a senior cabinet minister. But some things don't add up at the scene of the murder. When the Egyptian Ambassador puts in a call to Prime Minister Gladstone, it seems a major diplomatic row is brewing. Thomas is convinced Narraway knows more than he claims, and Pitt's wife Charlotte fears there could be involvement with the secret organisation that destroyed Pitt's Metropolitan Police career and nearly cost him his life. Can Pitt tread the tense diplomatic tightrope between protecting justice, the security of his country, and the safety of his family?
The Shadows of Elisa Lynch
By Sian Rees
Long before Eva Perón turned Argentina upside down, Elisa Lynch brought Paraguay to its knees.In 1854, an ambitious Irish courtesan met a South American General in Paris and returned with him to Paraguay. When he became President, she became his de facto first lady and together they changed the course of the country's history. Consumed by desire for Napoleonic glory, General President López took Paraguay into a disastrous war against her neighbours. Elisa Lynch went with him on campaign, turning conditions of war to her advantage where she could. He was killed in the northern hills but she survived, only to be expelled from Paraguay and die an obscure death in Paris.Reviled and respected, loved and distrusted, Elisa Lynch has been described as both a heroic companion to López and a malign enchantress. In The Shadows of Elisa Lynch, Siân Rees tells her fascinating story of recovered history.
By Faye Kellerman
When Cindy Decker finds a new-born baby in a rubbish bin, she can't imagine who would commit such a crime. Surely abandoning a baby is the biggest taboo of motherhood? The usual suspects - prostitutes, homeless women and drug abusers - aren't responsible. In fact, the culprit is a woman who appears almost as vulnerable as her own baby. As the case continues, Cindy realises she's in deep - her own life in danger - and there's only one person who can help, her father and boss, Lieutenant Peter Decker. They both know the key to a successful investigation is keeping a cool, professional head, but with a father and daughter detective team, can it ever be anything other than personal?
By John Parker
The men of the SBS are the maritime equivalent of their counterparts in the SAS; they are the elite of the British Special Forces and also the most secretive. Although SAS activity has been extensively documented, the SBS has remained in the state it prefers - a shadowy silhouette, with identities protected and missions kept from public view. Formed during the Second World War, when they took part in many daring raids (one of which was filmed as The Cockleshell Heroes), they were active in the jungle campaigns in the Far East, in the Falklands, the Gulf War and Bosnia. Since this seminal book was published in 1997, John Parker has been privy to much more inside information about the SBS's original operations and he brings the book right up to date with accounts of their exploits in East Timor, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Kosovo and most recently in Iraq.
The Shifting Tide (William Monk Mystery, Book 14)
By Anne Perry
When the Maude Idris docks at the Pool of London, laden with ebony, spices and first-grade tusks of ivory collected from her voyage to Zanzibar, Clement Louvain leaves four armed seamen on board to guard the precious cargo. But as soon as the relief for the night watch arrives ready for duty in the morning, he finds the ivory gone and one of the seamen dead. Hindered by his ignorance of the river and its customs, and ashamed of the fact that he so badly requires the huge fees that Louvain is prepared to pay, William Monk nevertheless begins his investigation into the theft and murder. Meanwhile Hester's work at the refuge at Portpool Lane is encountering acute financial difficulties. Sick prostitutes are arriving daily and the medicines needed to help them are running out. When a man arrives promising to pay a huge amount of money for the care of one particular woman, Hester is astonished to meet him. He is none other than Clement Louvain. So who is the woman he is so generously helping? And why is he offering such a substantial sum? Will Monk discover what Louvain is hiding before it is too late?
Small Island: Winner of the 'best of the best' Orange Prize
By Andrea Levy
Small Island by bestselling author Andrea Levy won the Orange Prize for Fiction, as well as many other awards, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Whitbread. Now a major BBC drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Naomie Harris, its enduring appeal will captivate fans of Maya Angelou and Zadie Smith. 'A great read... honest, skilful, thoughtful and important' - GuardianIt is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun. Queenie Bligh's neighbours do not approve when she agrees to take in Jamaican lodgers, but Queenie doesn't know when her husband will return, or if he will come back at all. What else can she do? Gilbert Joseph was one of the several thousand Jamaican men who joined the RAF to fight against Hitler. Returning to England as a civilian he finds himself treated very differently. It's desperation that makes him remember a wartime friendship with Queenie and knock at her door. Gilbert's wife Hortense, too, had longed to leave Jamaica and start a better life in England. But when she joins him she is shocked to find London shabby, decrepit, and far from the golden city of her dreams. Even Gilbert is not the man she thought he was...
By John Francome
Jockey Josh Swallow is about to retire and he's aiming to go out at the top. He's ridden over 1000 winners and landed all the big prizes in the sport - all except one. So he's determined that this season the title of champion jockey will finally be his. But it won't be easy. There's Ben O'Brien, the brilliant young Irish rider in his first full season who already has a lead on Josh in the championship race. And leading trainer Leo Lovall, once Josh's best friend and now his most bitter enemy. There's also someone else with a keen interest in Josh. She's his biggest fan, though he has no idea she exists. And hers is the kind of obsession that will never be satisfied - not even by murder...
Second Chance of Sunshine
By Pamela Evans
It's 1956, and while many women are doing jobs they'd never dreamed of before the war, Molly Hawkins is chained firmly to the kitchen sink. Her husband Brian believes his wife's place is in the home, but is too idle to seek regular employment for himself. Molly worries that her six-year-old daughter Rosa is going without, but is willing to sacrifice luxuries - and her own happiness - for her little girl to have a dad.Then a family friend dies suddenly, leaving Molly a share in a successful pottery business. To Brian's horror, it's on condition that Molly takes a job at the pottery. Seizing the chance to bring in much needed income, Molly accepts the position, and soon gains strength from her new-found independence. It's a strength she will need to take her through the tragedy that lies ahead...
Sorting Out Billy
By Jo Brand
Jo Brand tells it like it is in her darkly comic and sharply observed novel about the things we do for love.Billy is a lad. He's a laugh, he's loud, he behaves badly and Sarah is besotted with him. But after another 'accident' involving Billy's temper, Sarah's face and a night in the A&E, Sarah's friends Martha and Flower decide that it's time to take action. What should they do? Reason with him? Send him to anger management classes? Hire a hit man?
Stay of Execution (Bob Skinner series, Book 14)
By Quintin Jardine
Can you fight evil with evil...? DCC Bob Skinner faces his toughest investigation...Evil stalks the city of Edinburgh. This time the threat is bigger than the crooks, scam-artists or drug dealers who find their prey in the shadows of the streets. Some people are looking for a big-time hit. The body of a respectable businessman is found hanging from a tree; a veteran from a Belgian marching band is killed in a hit-and-run incident and another dies of an apparent heart attack. Excitement on the streets of Edinburgh is feverish as the city prepares for a huge rally to celebrate the return of Pope John the 25th to his hometown. The security has to be bulletproof. But there is a chink in the armour. Does Deputy Chief Constable Bob Skinner have the inner strength to find the answer to the biggest question of all?