Related to: 'The Murderer's Apprentice'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

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The Testimony of the Hanged Man (Inspector Ben Ross Mystery 5)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Asking for Trouble (Fran Varady 1)

Ann Granger
Authors:
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'

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Candle for a Corpse (Mitchell & Markby 8)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Call the Dead Again (Mitchell & Markby 11)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Rack, Ruin and Murder

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

The discovery of a dead body shatters the tranquillity of a Cotswold village in Ann Granger's second Campbell and Carter mystery.When old Monty Bickerstaffe finds a dead body in his drawing room it comes as a nasty surprise - the first of many. Monty lives alone in a crumbling Cotswold manor house and the last thing he wants is the police sniffing around his property. Not that he has anything to hide... The identity of the corpse and how and why it was left in Monty's home remain a mystery. The locals swear they've seen nothing unusual and Monty's relatives claim they've never set eyes on the stiff before. But Inspector Jess Campbell is convinced that someone's lying and, with the help of Superintendent Ian Carter, she must dig deep into Monty's family history to reveal the shocking truth...

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Risking It All (Fran Varady 4)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

When will Fran Varady learn to trust her instincts?Young amateur sleuth Fran Varady is being hunted down by a suspicious private investigator in Risking it All, the fourth compelling mystery in Ann Granger's Fran Varady series. The perfect read for fans of LJ Ross and Joss Sheldon. 'A fascinating tale... Highly recommended' - Mystery Women NewsletterWhen Fran Varady is approached by Private Investigator Clarence Duke, she mistrusts him on instinct. But she can't ignore what he has to tell her. Her mother, Eva, who walked out on Fran when she was only seven years old, has hired Clarence to find her daughter. And for good reason. Eva is dying. Within days, Fran is reunited with the mother she hasn't seen for fifteen years, and is soon to lose again. But the biggest bombshell is still to come. Eva has another child - a daughter she gave up soon after her birth - and she wants Fran to find her. Matters aren't helped by the fact that slippery Clarence Duke seems intent on discovering what she's up to. But it's when he's found dead in his car outside Fran's home that the trouble really begins ...What readers are saying about Risking it All:'The writing is lively and fun, and Fran is a very likeable character''The plot is a cracker - at heart a traditional detective story with a nice contemporary twist' 'A powerful addition to the series as the storyline has emotional depth and left me wondering what I would do'

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Shades of Murder (Mitchell & Markby 13)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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A Season for Murder (Mitchell & Markby 2)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Where Old Bones Lie (Mitchell & Markby 5)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A tangle of conflicting clues, suspects and possible witnesses... Meredith Mitchell is involved in yet another murder case with Cotswold Chief Inspector Markby in Where Old Bones Lie, the fifth whodunit in Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of M.C. Beaton, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'A tidy, inventive and intricate plot graced with lovely scenic descriptions' - Publishers WeeklyWhat do you do when you think your ex-lover has murdered his wife? That's the question Ursula Gretton, an archeologist working on the Saxon burial ground on Bamford Hill, puts to Meredith Mitchell in the hope that Meredith's friendship with Cotswold Chief Inspector Markby might cast some light on her dilemma. But Markby is dismissive of Ursula's suspicions concerning the disappearance of Dan Woollard's wife - until a body is found in the rubbish dump near the site Woollard and Ursula have been excavating. Woollard's team of archeologists aren't the only ones to disturb the peace of the windswept hill. Much to the fury of a taciturn pair of local landowners, a band of New Age travellers has set up camp on the hill, only to disappear the day the body's discovered. Markby is faced with a tangle of conflicting clues, suspects and possible witnesses - amongst the latter Meredith Mitchell - and when a second body is found it is clear the web is growing even more complex, and destructive.What readers are saying about Where Old Bones Lie:'Ann Granger peppers her stories with plenty of characters, twists and turns and motives, keeping the reader guessing as to who the actual killer could be''You'll hang on each and every page until you come to the amazing conclusion''A well written mystery with an interesting archaeological background and well-drawn characters'

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A Fine Place for Death (Mitchell & Markby 6)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A look into one girl's life sheds light on another girl's death... Meredith Mitchell and Chief Inspector Markby probe troubled family relationships to find a killer in A Fine Place for Death, the compelling sixth mystery in Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Kathy Cranston, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'Ingenious... witty... picturesque... amusingly idiosyncratic' - New York TimesIn the heart of the leafy Cotswolds a body is found. A teenage girl, probably local, somebody's daughter who went out one evening and didn't come back. It is not long before she is identified: fifteen-year-old Lynne Wills who habitually drank underage in 'The Silver Bells' pub and, on the night of her death, was seen leaving with an unknown man.Chief Inspector Markby's friend Meredith Mitchell has been befriended by another troubled young local girl, Katie Conway. On the surface Lynne and Katie have nothing in common except their age and home town. But could the insights Katie gives Meredith into her difficult family background - an unstable, aristocratic mother, a doting father at the end of his tether, and a scheming resident secretary - throw some light on the other young girl? And, given that forensic evidence now points to Lynne Wills's murder having taken place in the Devaux family mausoleum, on her murder too ...?What readers are saying about A Fine Place for Death:'It kept me guessing until the very end. Ann Granger has managed to create believable characters that are both likeable and interesting''I recommend this book and this series to anyone who enjoys well written crime novels with interesting characters and plots''Fantastic twists and turns'

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A Touch of Mortality (Mitchell & Markby 9)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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A Word After Dying (Mitchell & Markby 10)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Beneath these Stones (Mitchell & Markby 12)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

Superintendent Markby faces one of his most complex cases yet...With her step-mother murdered just two years after the death of her mother, twelve-year-old Tammy Franklin is also at risk of becoming fatherless, because he is suspect number one. Beneath These Stones is the twelfth cosy Cotswolds crime novel in Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'A murder mystery that will give you the excuse you need to stay indoors during these dark nights and enjoy a good read' - Hartlepool Mail Twelve-year-old Tammy Franklin has learned too much about death, too quickly. Two years ago she lost her mother to a long, lingering illness and now the body of the woman her father married in an attempt to replace his wife has been found on a railway embankment close to the Franklin farm. This time the death is murder. As Superintendent Markby, one of the first on the scene, well knows, Tammy now stands to have her father taken from her, for Hugh Franklin is suspect number one in the mind of the inspector to whom Markby has delegated the case. But, despite his need to distance himself from the murder, Markby begins to realise that the truth is destined to be far more complex than he ever envisaged...What readers are saying about Beneath These Stones:'I enjoyed this well written crime novel and thought the characters were well drawn and interesting''An excellent enjoyable read''The mystery plot is sound and raised above the norm by the existence of plausible characters - including Meredith Mitchell and Alan Markby'

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That Way Murder Lies (Mitchell & Markby 15)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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A Restless Evil (Mitchell & Markby 14)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A new investigation on an old case will bring shocking revelations to light... An old case Markby failed to solve over two decades ago resurfaces after the discovery of skeletal remains in A Restless Evil, the fourteenth gripping English village murder mystery in Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Rebecca Tope, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'A gripping thriller. Ann Granger beautifully evokes a mellow village seemingly tranquil on the surface but bubbling with secrets underneath' - Huddersfield Daily Examiner It sends a shiver down Detective Superintendent Alan Markby's spine when he hears that a rambler has stumbled on human bones in Stovey Woods in the heart of the Cotswolds. Twenty-two years ago, as a fresh-faced young inspector, he had a rare failure in the hunt for a brutal serial rapist preying on local women. After the third rape, the attacker went to ground, never to be heard of again.Now, with a new investigation prompted by the grisly remains, the trail could be warm once more. But almost at once Markby is confronted with another body and a thoroughly up-to-date murder. Could the two be connected? It seems that some of the village residents would be just as happy to let sleeping dogs lie and secrets - both old and new - stay hidden...What readers are saying about A Restless Evil:'The writing is first-class and Ann Granger's world tangs with reality''A very good, well-plotted and well-written mystery that keeps one guessing to the end''An atmospheric and absorbing story'

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Running Scared (Fran Varady 3)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Keeping Bad Company (Fran Varady 2)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Murder Among Us (Mitchell & Markby 4)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A dispute between an entrepreneur and the village locals turns deadly... A gala turns grisly in Murder Among Us, the fourth probing mystery in Ann Granger's gripping Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Ann Purser, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'Told with humour and a most engaging worldliness' - Birmingham Post When ambitious hotelier Eric Schucmacher announces he is to turn Springwood Hall, near the market town of Bamford, into a smart Cotswold country-house hotel, the news is greeted by a chorus of local disapproval, led by the redoubtable Hope Mapple. So the gala opening, to which all the disaffected parties have been invited, promises to be quite an event - not least because the amply upholstered Hope Mapple is planning a disruptive streak protest. But Hope's lightning dash is unexpectedly upstaged by a far more shocking event: the discovery of a recently murdered body on the premises. The victim is a local woman, and for Chief Inspectory Markby and his guest Meredith Mitchell what had promised to be a diverting summer treat suddenly turns into a horribly serious affair ...What readers are saying about Murder Among Us:'A truly intriguing and sympathetic book''A wonderful village mystery, that satisfies on all levels. Her [Ann Granger's] cast of characters are all wonderfully eccentric and provide you with many hours of joy''These stories are intricate enough to make you think and easy to read at the same time'

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Cold in the Earth (Mitchell & Markby 3)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

Even the quaintest of villages has its perils... and deadly secrets that cannot be buried...Mitchell and Markby have to dig deep to find a murderer in Cold in the Earth, the third English village crime novel in Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Ruth Rendell, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'Set in the familiar mode of traditional country crime stories, there is nothing old-fashioned about the characters, who are drawn with a telling eye for their human foibles and frailties' - Oxford TimesTo Meredith Mitchell, marooned in a dusty London flat, the Cotswolds seem like a haven of peace and tranquillity. But Chief Inspector Markby has a rather different view of his native area, as he witnesses the bulldozing of one of his favourite boyhood haunts to make way for yet another housing estate. And when a man's body is found buried in the foundations of one of the plots his outlook turns even grimmer. The only cheering prospect on the horizon is Meredith's forthcoming visit. The dead man however remains a mystery: the labourer who dug up his body has disappeared and the farmers whose lands abut the burial site are little help. Charming, eccentric Mrs Carmody treats Markby, whom she has known since he was a boy, with fond familiarity and Mrs Winthrop at the neighbouring farm is happy to supply him with tea and scones but gives little else away. The time has come for someone with a different perspective to see what they can glean. And Meredith, blessed with an uncanny ability for ferreting out the truth, seems the obvious candidate.What readers are saying about Cold in the Earth:'There are plenty of suspects in this well written murder mystery and some interesting historical background as well''A splendid story''Ann Granger, as always, breathes life into her characters and in this novel she also creates a threatening atmosphere'

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Say it with Poison (Mitchell & Markby 1)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

Steering a path between police duties and family loyalty is not easy...Say it with Poison is the first classic English village crime novel in the Mitchell & Markby series by Ann Granger, combining a satisfyingly complex mystery with engaging characters and wit. The perfect read for fans of M.C. Beaton, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'A gripping tale... you'll soon be addicted' - Woman and HomeWhen Meredith Mitchell agreed to stay with her actress cousin Eve in the run-up to Eve's daughter's wedding she anticipated a degree of drama. But she hardly expected it to include murder, blackmail and unrequited love. Or to involve a certain Chief Inspector Markby, a middle-aged divorcee with an emotional history as unfortunate as her own. A material witness to the only case of murder the Cotswold village of Westerfield has ever seen, Meredith also finds herself acting as mother-confessor to the bride-to-be, who is clearly not telling the whole truth about her involvement with the dead man. Steering a path between her duty to the police and loyalty to her cousin's family is not easy; even for someone with Meredith's considerable diplomatic skills. And especially as her personal enquiries into events in Westerfield start to disinter past affections Meredith would far rather leave buried - and to provoke new ones she's not at all sure she can cope with ...What readers are saying about Say it with Poison:'Thoroughly recommend to anyone looking for a good English whodunit or just a really good story to keep the reader intrigued and interested to the last page''Hooked from the first page''Brilliant in its conception, kept me thoroughly enthralled'