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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Asking for Trouble (Fran Varady 1)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Candle for a Corpse (Mitchell & Markby 8)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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Say it with Poison (Mitchell & Markby 1)

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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Cold in the Earth (Mitchell & Markby 3)

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

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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Flowers for his Funeral (Mitchell & Markby 7)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A face from the past has stoked many jealous fires...Meredith Mitchell and Chief Inspector Markby set out to find the killer with the poisoned thorn in Flowers for his Funeral, the seventh compelling mystery from Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. This thrilling whodunit will enthral fans of LJ Ross, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'To be savoured' - Publishers Weekly When Meredith Mitchell bumps into her old school friend Rachel Hunter at the Chelsea Flower Show, it doesn't take Meredith long to realise that she and the effortlessly self-confident blonde have even less in common now than they had as teenagers. Apart from one thing - Meredith's companion, Chief Inspector Markby. For to the embarrassment of all concerned, except of course the self-possessed Rachel, Meredith's old school friend turns out to have been Markby's former wife, from whom he was divorced years before in less than friendly circumstances. The meeting with Rachel is not the only surprise the Flower Show has in store for Markby - before the afternoon is out he has a death on his hands. All too quickly he and Meredith find themselves drawn into the plush, apparently well-run world Rachel and her second husband created for themselves in their Cotswold home, Malefis Abbey, a world which Markby becomes increasingly convinced harbours a highly skilled murderer ...What readers are saying about Flowers for his Funeral:'What a twist in the tale! Completely unexpected''A typical whodunit book, but written in such a wonderful way, you can't put these books down''One of the best Mitchell & Markby books'

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A Touch of Mortality (Mitchell & Markby 9)

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

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

Alcoholic Albie may not be a reliable witness, but his claims might just be true... When Fran Varady meets a down-and-out who has witnessed a kidnapping, she is soon on the case in Keeping Bad Company, the second book in Ann Granger's Fran Varady series. The perfect read for fans of Rebecca Tope and Val McDermid. 'The reader can expect a treat. Fran Varady is as fresh and vital as ever... Lively, different and fun' - Yorkshire Post Buying a coffee for down-and-out 'Alkie' Albie at Marylebone Station is Fran Varady's good deed for the day. But when the grateful Albie takes her into his confidence, Fran suddenly finds herself launched on her second investigation. For Albie, though obviously fond of a drink and none too familiar with soup and water, is absolutely clear about one thing - he claims to be the only witness to the violent abduction of a young girl.Although the police scornfully dismiss Albie's story as alcoholic hallucinations, Fran is determined to follow it up. And her suspicions seem to be spot on when she is warned off by her old sparring partner, Sergeant Parry, and then approached by a boyhood friend of her late father's, distraught over the kidnapping of his daughter. But this is only the beginning of Fran's investigation - days later, Alkie Albie is found dead...What readers are saying about Keeping Bad Company:'The characterisations are great - people and places so alive that you feel like you're right there''The dialogue weaves in and out of the main characters personalities, whom the author describes in an engaging and detailed fashion''Just excellent'

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Running Scared (Fran Varady 3)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

When a stranger is stabbed to death, Fran's own life is put in danger...Amateur sleuth Fran Varady has to stay ahead of a killer in Running Scared, the third exciting mystery in Ann Granger's Fran Varady series. The perfect read for fans of LJ Ross and Elly Griffiths. 'One of crime fiction's most engaging heroines' - Yorkshire Post Aspiring actress and part-time private investigator Fran Varady knew there would be maximum disruption when her friend Ganesh decided to modernise his uncle's newsagents, starting with the washroom. But she isn't prepared for the nightmare that begins when an agitated passer-by asks to use it: hours later, he's found stabbed to death, leaving a message for Fran to meet him, and a mysterious roll of film hidden behind the old pipes... Fran realises that whoever wanted the negatives knows where they were hidden. And, probably, where they are now. With her police protection more a hindrance than a help, an old friend, Tig, on the verge of collapse, and the builders wreaking havoc in the shop, can Fran find out why someone is prepared to murder for the negatives - before they find her?What readers are saying about Running Scared:'The heroine is a very convincing and likeable character, living almost on the fringes of society''Loved this book as I have in all the Fran Varady books; gripping plot as normal with a twist at the end''From the start I felt like I know the characters! It's a great read, very believable storyline and some humour as well'

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A Word After Dying (Mitchell & Markby 10)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A holiday becomes work for Mitchell and Markby as a crime unravels... Mitchell and Markby find themselves drawn into a murder enquiry whilst holiday in a country cottage in A Word After Dying, the tenth cosy English village crime novel in Ann Granger's captivating Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Rebecca Tope, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.'Probably the best current example of a crime writer who has taken the classic English village detective story and brought it up to date' - Birmingham Post Superintendent Alan Markby and Meredith Mitchell are in desperate need of a holiday - and the Cotswold village of Parsloe St John seems the perfect choice. Their neighbour, retired journalist Wynne Carter, is as convivial as the village itself and, over a glass of blackberry wine, indulges in her latest obsession, Olivia Smeaton, a racy old lady whose life - and death - she is convinced are not all they seem. Markby is more interested in buying Olivia's house than the circumstances of her vacating it, but Meredith is intrigued: by the old lady, the death of a cherished horse and a dusty junk shop run by a white witch.When another fatality - of a very grisly nature - is discovered, it seems her suspicion is justified. Clearly Olivia isn't the only enigma in Parsloe St John - and her death might be the first of many unless Meredith Mitchell and Alan Markby can make sense of some very secret lives to reach the truth...What readers are saying about A Word After Dying:'If you like your crime novels written in a low key style with plenty of amusing moments and not too much graphic violence then this is the series for you''Yet another great Mitchell & Markby whodunit''An invigorating novel!'

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Beneath these Stones (Mitchell & Markby 12)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger
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That Way Murder Lies (Mitchell & Markby 15)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A chilling secret from the past leads to a violent murder in the present... Mitchell and Markby must put their wedding plans on hold when an old friend seeks their help in That Way Murder Lies, the fifteenth English village murder mystery in Ann Granger's Mitchell & Markby series. The perfect read for fans of Kathy Cranston, Agatha Christie and ITV's Midsomer Murders.When Meredith Mitchell's old friend Toby Smythe turns up on leave, she is delighted to see him. But Toby has a problem - or rather his relative Alison Jenner has - and he wants to enlist the help of Meredith's fiance, Detective Superintendent Alan Markby. Alison has been receiving anonymous hate mail which alludes to the murder of her aunt, Freda Kemp, of which Alison was acquitted when she was just twenty. Who is the writer, and how does he or she know about this secret in Alison's past? Markby is at first reluctant to become involved, especially as he and Meredith are busy planning their wedding, but enquiries into a poison pen campaign soon turn into a murder hunt. With the help of Inspector Jessica Campbell, a new member of Markby's team, the investigation unravels a twenty-five-year-old mystery and its dreadful legacy of violence.What readers are saying about That Way Murder Lies:'Enjoyable, clever, incredibly entertaining and interesting book''Anyone who enjoys a delightful English cosy that is a clever blending of amateur sleuth and police procedural will enjoy this series!''Quite a mystery right up to the very end'

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A Mortal Curiosity (Inspector Ben Ross Mystery 2)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

A time of grief turns gruesome for one young woman...Lizzie Martin and Inspector Ben Ross must uncover the truth behind a grisly crime in A Mortal Curiosity, the second novel in Ann Granger's wonderfully atmospheric Victorian mystery series. The perfect read for fans of Anne Perry and Sherlock Holmes. 'Ann Granger has a keen eye and ear for the social nuances of the times. Roll on volume three in this entertaining series' - Oxford Times Lizzie Martin, lady's companion, has been sent from London to the New Forest to comfort a young woman whose baby has tragically died. A sad enough task, but things take an even darker turn when a rat-catcher is found murdered in the garden, and the young woman is discovered beside the body, crying and covered in blood. Not knowing where else to turn, Lizzie calls upon her friend Inspector Ben Ross from Scotland Yard to solve the horrific crime.What readers are saying about A Mortal Curiosity:'An absorbing read. There is a shocking secret at the heart of the novel, which I found quite heart-breaking''Ann Granger combines the ability to fast forward her plot while never hurrying the background details which vividly evoke the sights, sounds and smells of Victorian London and Hampshire''Hard to put it down - a real page-turner'

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A Season for Murder (Mitchell & Markby 2)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger