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Latest & Forthcoming Releases
The Golden Scales by Parker Bilal, 2nd February 2012
Makana is a former police inspector who fled for his life to Cairo from his native Sudan seven years ago. When the notorious and powerful Saad Hanafi hires him to track down a missing person Makana is in no position to refuse him. Hanafi, whose past is as shady as his fortune is glittering, is the owner of Cairo’s star-studded football team. His most valuable player has just vanished and Adil Romario’s disappearance threatens to bring down not only Hanafi’s private empire, but the entire country. But why should the city’s most powerful man hire its lowliest private detective?
We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey, 1st March 2012
A light bulb falls in a subway tunnel and releases a pathogen that could kill millions. People begin to die, especially on the city’s grim west side. The government seals off whole sections of the city – but are they keeping people out or in? Cop-turned-PI Michael Kelly is hunting the people who poisoned his city. He is taken into the underworld of Chicago’s west side gangs and the frightening world of black biology – an elite discipline emerging from the nation’s premier labs, where scientists play God and will stop at nothing to preserve their secrecy.
The Namesake by Conor Fitzgerald, 1st April 2012
Magistrate Matteo Arconti’s namesake, an insurance man from Milan, is found dead outside the court buildings in Piazzo Clodio. Commissioner Alec Blume, interpreting the reference to his other ongoing case – concerning a murderous but elusive Mafia boss – knows he’s too close to it. Handing control of the investigation to now live-in and not-so-secret partner Caterina Mattiola, Blume takes a backseat. And while Caterina question the Milanese widow, Blume has an idea of his own to lure the mafioso out of his hiding place…
Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie, 10th May 2012
Sidney Chambers is the Vicar of Grantchester and a thirty-two year old bachelor. He is an unconventional clergyman and can go where the police cannot. With his roguish friend Inspector Geordie Keating, he investigates the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a scandalous jewellery theft at a New Year’s Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a well-known jazz promoter and an art forgery and discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty. He still finds time for cricket, warm beer, hot jazz and a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior.
The Bull of Mithros by Anne Zouroudi, 7th June 2012
The languid calm of the island of Mithros is broken by the unorthodox arrival of a stranger who has been thrown overboard in the bay. But is he truly a stranger? To some, his face seems familiar. The arrival of the investigator Hermes Diaktoros coincides with a violent and mysterious death. As Hermes sets about solving the complex puzzle of who is guilty and who is innocent, he discovers a web of secrets and unspoken loyalties, and it soon becomes clear that the bull of Mithros is the least of the island’s shadowy mysteries.
The Shadow of the Rock by Tom Mogford, 2nd August 2012
Summer in Gibraltar. Lawyer Spike Sanguinetti arrives home to find an old friend, Solomon Hassan, waiting on his doorstep. He is accused of murdering a Spanish girl found with her throat cut on a beach in Tangiers and the Moroccan authorities want him back. Spike travels to Tangiers to try to delay Solomon’s extradition, and there meets a Bedouin girl investigating the disappearance of her father, a trail which leads back to Solomon. Does he really know his friend? Spike is drawn into a dangerous game of secrets, corruption & murderous lies
Previous Releases – Start from the Beginning
The Fatal Touch by Conor Fitzgerald, April 2011
In the early hours of a Saturday morning, a body is discovered in Piazza de’ Renzi.
If it was just a simple fall that killed him, why is a senior Carabiniere officer so interested?
Commissioner Alec Blume is immediately curious and the discovery of the dead man’s notebooks reveals that there is a great deal more at stake than the unfortunate death of a down-and-out… What secrets did he know that might have made him a target? What is the significance of the Galleria Orpiment? And why are the authorities so intent on blocking Blume’s investigations?
The Dogs of Rome by Conor Fitzgerald, August 2010
Rome. A city where rules are compromised. And compromise rules.
It’s one of the hottest days of the year. Chief Inspector Blume is enjoying a rare solitary lunch in a tranquil corner of Trastevere when an unwelcome phone call intrudes with news of a brutal killing a few streets away.
Arturo Clemente is no ordinary victim. His widow is an elected member of the Senate, and Blume arrives at the scene to find enquiries well underway, the case itself apparently clear-cut, a prime suspect quickly identified. Blume must fight to regain control of the investigation, but well acquainted with the city’s underworld, he knows from bitter experience that in Rome even a murder enquiry must bow to the rules of politics.
But when worrying shortcuts sanctioned by one of his superiors are uncovered, it seems events are being manipulated from on high. The complex and uncomfortable truth Blume will unravel will shock even him, and his struggle for justice may yet cost more innocent lives..
Risk by Colin Harrison, February 2010
George Young, a world-weary insurance lawyer in New York City, has taken his fair share of knocks and bruises in the business of credit, bankruptcy, and fraud cases. One Friday he receives an unusual request from the elderly and ailing widow of Wilson Corbett, the founder of the firm George has worked for all his life. At first it seems one more unwanted call on his time, but loyalty to his former boss won’t let him ignore it, for the elderly Mrs Corbett has recently lost her son and she wants the truth about his fatal accident.
A former high-flier, Roger Corbett’s career – and marriage – had fallen apart in the credit crunch, costing him millions. But what was written on the piece of paper which distracted him seconds before he was run down by a garbage truck outside a New York bar? Roger’s new girlfriend, a mysterious Czech model with dubious Russian connections, knows more about his last moments than she’s letting on, everyone is warning him off, while Mrs Corbett’s reasons for choosing George for this last personal favour remain frustratingly unclear…
The Finder by Colin Harrison, April 2009
Jin Li, the beautiful young manager of a Manhattan office-cleaning firm, is on the run. She has been ‘disposing’ of valuable information from top corporations, and now the people she has stolen from are desperate for revenge. Meanwhile, the mysterious Ray Grant, Jin Li’s former lover, is tracked down by her ruthless brother Chen and offered an impossible choice: help Chen find Jin Li, or place his own father in danger. As the hunt for Jin Li gathers pace, the stakes are high on all sides. Will Ray find her before her enemies do? Can Chen and his Shanghai ‘associates’ be trusted to keep their word? And what is the secret that could affect them all? In this sizzling story of manipulation and revenge, Colin Harrison, author of The Havana Room and Manhattan Nocturne, keeps you guessing – and breathless – until the very last page.
The Havana Room by Colin Harrison, April 2004
Bill Wyeth is a successful attorney with a wife and son. Then, in one devastating night, he loses everything: family, job, status. Moving out of his family home and into a lousy flat, he tramps around Manhattan in a suit and tie disguised as a businessman with a future. One rainy day, he wanders into an old-time steakhouse and becomes intrigued by the restaurant’s sexy, intuitive manager, Allison, and by a virtually unnoticeable door. It leads down to the mysterious Havana Room which only the privileged can enter. Returning day after day, Bill gains Allison’s confidence and is invited into the room, but he finds himself sucked into a dark and terrifying world. Now he will have to unlock the deadly secrets of the Havana Room in order to survive.
Afterburn by Colin Harrison, January 2001
Millionaire businessman Charlie Ravich is a survivor whose brutal experience as a POW in Vietnam has more than prepared him for the cut-throat world of global commerce. Now in his late fifties, with his family dying out, Charlie is about to make his greatest speculation yet.
Enter Christina, a voluptuous Ivy League graduate whose affair with a member of a big-time theft ring has landed her in prison. After four years at Bedford Hills, she is suddenly released – perhaps because she is innocent, perhaps not. But as her past catches up with her, a harrowing chain of betrayals is set in motion that leaves only one person with any hope of a future.
Manhattan Nocturne by Colin Harrison, July 1997
For Porter Wren, a New York tabloid columnist, the city is the story: millionaires on the make and strippers on the clock; a woman with perfect teeth and a tragic past; a brilliant filmmaker found dead in the rubble of a demolished building. The story is always shocking but never a surprise. Until he steps over the line. A beautiful woman has entered Wren’s life, leading him into the netherworld her dead husband chronicled on secret videotapes – and to a billionaire who wants one of those tapes badly. Suddenly Wren is on the run through the city that was once his beat, searching for the one thing that will set him free: the truth.
Break and Enter by Colin Harrison, November 1996
By appearances Peter Scattergood leads a privileged life: a post as Assistant District Attorney, a loving wife, and a townhouse in Philadelphia’s exclusive Society Hill. Assigned to an explosive homicide case – the murder of the mayor’s nephew and the young man’s beautiful mistress – the power and prestige he’s always craved seem within his grasp. But soon the illusion of success shatters. His wife walks out. The double-murder case casts a shadow of doubt on his most trusted peers. And, in a moment of weakness, Peter enters into an affair with a woman whose greatest skill is arousing suspicion. With everything spinning out of control, Peter is driven by rage into the blackest depths of corruption and perversity following a twisted obsession for justice that will force him to break the law he has sworn to uphold: to punish the innocent as well as the guilty.
Bodies Electric by Colin Harrison, August 1993
Jack Whitman is head of long-range planning at a major media empire. Two years have passed since his cherished wife, pregnant with their first child, was killed in a mindless spasm of New York violence. Now, emotionally numb and blindly ambitious, and with the corporation on the verge of a merger, Jack is caught in a power-play between the scheming CEO and the ageing chairman.
Taking the subway home one night, Jack meets Dolores, a beautiful, troubled woman who, with her young daughter, is on the run from her dangerously jealous husband. Against every instinct of urban survival, Jack takes them in, gradually uncovers Dolores’ tragic secret, and begins to fall in love. When Jack Whitman’s two worlds collide, he is plunged into a perilous fight for his home, his job, his life.
The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey, May 2011
When Michael Kelly agrees to track the movements of an abusive husband, little does he know he is about to become embroiled in a murder investigation and a plot to re-write history. What Kelly thinks is a routine domestic case soon turns sour when he finds a body in an old house. As links with the City Hall’s notorious fifth floor and Chicago’s longest standing mystery start to emerge, it turns out the history books may not be quite what they seem. Plunged into a world of corruption and startling intrigue Kelly struggles to unearth the truth before an unknown enemy can frame him for the murder.
Michael Harvey’s tough-talking ex-cop turned PI returns in this urgent, stylish, ferociously absorbing follow up to his masterful debut, The Chicago Way.
The Chicago Way by Michael Harvey, May 2011
When PI Michael Kelly is called upon by former colleague John Gibbons to help with an old case, he doesn’t expect to find him dead the next morning. Coincidence? Kelly doesn’t think so. Determined to catch his friend’s killer, Kelly must piece together a link between Gibbons’ death and the brutal rape that happened eight years earlier. He needs all the help he can get. Kelly’s fearsome new team is bright, savvy and determined, but Chicago’s mob, serial rapists and shady policing won’t make it easy.
This fast-paced debut captures the dangerous, gritty world of Chicago crime through wit and suspense.
The Third Rail by Michael Harvey, April 2010
Harvey’s tough talking, Aeschylus quoting, former Irish cop turned PI, Michael Kelly, is back in another sizzling murder mystery that pits him against a merciless sniper on the loose in Chicago’s public transportation system. After witnessing a shooting on an L platform-and receiving a phone call from the killer himself-Kelly is drawn toward a murderer with an unnerving link to his own past, to a crime he witnessed as a child, and to the consequences it had on his relationship with his father, a subject Kelly would prefer to leave unexamined. But when his girlfriend-the gorgeous Chicago judge Rachel Swenson-is abducted, Kelly has no choice but to find the killer by excavating his own stormy past.
Stylish, sophisticated, edge-of-your-seat suspense from a new modern master.
Lush Life by Richard Price, July 2009
‘So, what do you do?’ Whenever people asked him, Eric Cash used to have a dozen answers. Artist, actor, screenwriter… But now he’s thirty-five years old and he’s still living on the Lower East Side, still in the restaurant business, still serving the people he wanted to be. What does Eric do? He manages. Not like Ike Marcus. Ike was young, good-looking, people liked him. Ask him what he did, he wouldn’t say tending bar. He was going places – until two street kids stepped up to him and Eric one night and pulled a gun. At least, that’s Eric’s version.
In Lush Life, Richard Price tears the shiny veneer off the ‘new’ New York to show us the hidden cracks, the underground networks of control and violence beneath the glamour. Lush Life is an X-ray of the street from a writer whose ‘tough, gritty brand of social realism . . . reads like a movie in prose‘ Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times.
Samaritan by Richard Price, April 2003
Successful Hollywood writer Ray decides to return to the New Jersey projects of his youth in order to give something back to the community, and volunteers to teach creative writing at his old school.
But one night he’s savagely beaten and rushed to hospital. The only cop interested is a childhood friend, ‘Tweetie’ Ammons, who owes him one from long ago. It turns out that Ray knows who did it, but he’s not talking. Although Tweetie is on the cusp of retirement she is determined to help Ray but finds herself being drawn into a dark and deadly drama.
The Breaks by Richard Price, April 1999
Peter “Speedo” Keller is the first college graduate in his working-class family – majoring in English, minoring as class clown. His lurching entrance into adult life includes a fantasy-arousing interlude as a telephone sales solicitor and a mind-deadening stint at the post office.
Freedomland by Richard Price, August 1998
An injured woman stumbles into an inner-city hospital with a horrifying story: she has just been carjacked by a man who was apparently unaware that her son was asleep on the back seat. As a search ensues, a shrewd detective and an ambitious young reporter smell a hoax and begin to suspect that the woman is holding back a terrible truth: could she have murdered her own child?
Clockers by Richard Price, November 1994
Rocco Klein, veteran homicide detective, has had enough of life on the edge. When a warm summer night brings yet another drug-related murder, he has no sense that the case is anything special. A young black man steps forward to confess but a little digging reveals that he’s never been in any kind of trouble, whereas his half-brother, Strike, runs a crew of street-corner coke dealers ‘clockers’ in a nearby housing project. Soon Rocco is sure that Strike is the real killer and suddenly Rocco’s appetite for the job is back. With a vengeance.
The Wanderers by Richard Price, March 1993
The Wanderers, a teenage gang in the Bronx of the early 1960s, are just trying to stay alive – and maybe have a little sex. But it’s not going to be easy. They’re facing murderous parents, unimpressed girls, an all-Chinese gang and a pack of mute Irish maniacs, apathetic teachers, and a ten-year-old cold-blooded killer. Against these odds, will the Wanderers get what they’re after?
Bloodbrothers by Richard Price, March 1993
Stony de Coco is 18 and the son of a pugnacious construction worker who expects his son to follow in his footsteps. Stony, however, is determined to break loose from his belligerent life despite the opposition from everyone else in his family.
The Day Aberystwyth Stood Still by Malcolm Pryce, August 2011
It is May in Aberystwyth, and the mayoral election campaign – culminating in the traditional boxing match between candidates – is underway. Sospan the ice-cream seller waits in his hut for souls brave enough to try his latest mind-expanding new flavour, and Louie Knight, Aberystwyth’s only Private Detective, receives a visit from a mysterious stranger called Raspiwtin asking him to track down a dead man.
Twenty-five years ago Iestyn Probert was hanged for his part in the notorious raid on the Coliseum cinema, but shortly afterwards he was seen, apparently alive and well, boarding a bus to Aberaeron. Did he miraculously evade the hangman’s noose? Or could there really be substance to the rumours that he was resuscitated by aliens?
Now, as strange lights are spotted in the sky above Aberystwyth and a farmer claims to have had a close encounter with a lustful extraterrestrial, Iestyn Probert has been sighted once again. But what does Raspiwtin want with him? And why does Louie’s investigation arouse unwelcome interest from a shadowy government body and a dark-suited man in a black 1947 Buick?
From Aberystwyth With Love by Malcolm Pryce, May 2009
It is a sweltering August in Aberystwyth. A man wearing a Soviet museum curator’s uniform walks into Louie Knight’s office and spins a wild and impossible tale of love, death, madness and betrayal.
Sure, Louie had heard about Hughesovka, the legendary replica of Aberystwyth built in the Ukraine by some crazy nineteenth-century czar. But he hadn’t believed that it really existed until he met Uncle Vanya. Now the old man’s story catapults him into the neon-drenched wilderness of Aberystwyth Prom in search of a girl who mysteriously disappeared thirty years ago. Soon Louie finds his fate depending on two most unlikely talismans – a ticket to Hughesovka and a Russian cosmonaut’s sock.
Don’t Cry For Me Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce, April 2007
It’s Christmas in Aberystwyth and a man wearing a red-and-white robe is found brutally murdered in a Chinatown alley. A single word is scrawled in his blood on the pavement: ‘Hoffmann’. But who is Hoffmann? This time, Aberystwyth’s celebrated crime-fighter, Louie Knight, finds himself caught up in a brilliant pastiche of a cold-war spy thriller. From Patagonia to Aberystwyth, Louie trails a legendary stolen document said to contain an astonishing revelation about the ultimate fate of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but he’s not the only one who wants it. A bewildering array of silver-haired spies has descended on Aberystwyth, all lured out of retirement by one tantalising rumour: Hoffmann has come in from the Cold. Louie Knight, who still hasn’t wrapped up his presents, just wishes he could have waited until after the holiday.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Aberystywth by Malcolm Pryce, April 2005
There is nothing unusual about the barrel-organ man who walks into private detective Louie Knight’s office. Apart from the fact that he has lost his memory. And his monkey is a former astronaut. And he is carrying a suitcase that he is too terrified to open. And he wants a murder investigated. The only thing unusual about the murder is that it took place a hundred years ago. And needs solving by the following week. Louie is too smart to take on such a case but also too broke to turn it down. Soon he is lost in a labyrinth of intrigue and terror, tormented at every turn by a gallery of mad nuns, gangsters and waifs, and haunted by the loss of his girlfriend, Myfanwy, who has disappeared after being fed drugged raspberry ripple …
Last Tango in Aberystwyth by Malcolm Pryce, August 2003
To the girls who came to make it big in the town’s ‘What the Butler Saw’ movie industry, Aberystwyth was the town of broken dreams. To Dean Morgan who taught at the Faculty of Undertaking, it was just a place to get course materials. But both worlds collide when the Dean checks into the notorious bed and breakfast ghetto and mistakenly receives a suitcase intended for a ruthless druid assassin. Soon he is running for his life, lost in a dark labyrinth of druid speakeasies and toffee apple dens, where every spinning wheel tells the story of a broken heart, and where the Dean’s own heart is hopelessly in thrall to a porn star known as Judy Juice.
Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce, May 2001
Schoolboys are disappearing all over Aberystwyth and nobody knows why. Louie Knight, the town’s private investigator, soon realises that it is going to take more than a double ripple from Sospan, the philosopher cum ice-cream seller, to help find out what is happening to these boys and whether or not Lovespoon, the Welsh teacher, Grand Wizard of the Druids and controller of the town, is more than just a sinister bully. And just who was Gwenno Guevara?
East Fortune by James Runcie, February 2010
Jack Henderson, estranged from his ex-wife and grown-up daughters, is involved in a horrific accident. His younger brother Douglas begins an affair with a woman he barely knows, risking everything. And Angus, the eldest of the Henderson boys, finds himself suddenly in freefall having unexpectedly been laid off from his job.
As the three brothers head to their childhood home in East Fortune for their annual summer gathering, they brace themselves against sibling rivalries and parental expectations. East Fortune is a moving story about life and love, chance and hope, and how families survive.
Canvey Island by James Runcie, April 2007
It is 1953 in Canvey Island. Len and Violet are at a dance. Violet’s husband George sits and watches them sway and glide across the dance floor, his mind far away, trapped by a war that ended nearly ten years ago. Meanwhile, at home, a storm rages and Len’s wife Lily and his young son Martin fight for their lives in the raging black torrent. The night ends in a tragedy that will reverberate through their lives. This poignant novel follows the family’s fortunes from the austerity of the post-war years to Churchill’s funeral, from Greenham Common to the onset of Thatcherism and beyond, eloquently capturing the very essence of a transforming England in the decades after the war. It is a triumph of understated emotion, a novel about growing up and growing old, about love, hope and reconciliation.
The Whispers of Nemesis by Anne Zouroudi, July 2011
It is winter in the mountains of northern Greece and as the snow falls in the tiny village of Vrisi a coffin is unearthed and broken open. But to the astonishment of the mourners at the graveside, the remains inside the coffin have been transformed, and as news of the bizarre discovery spreads through the village like forest fire it sets tongues wagging and heads shaking.
Then, in the shadow of the shrine of St Fanourios (patron saint of lost things), a body is found, buried under the fallen snow – a body whose identity only deepens the mystery around the exhumed remains. There’s talk of witchcraft, and the devil’s work – but it seems the truth, behind both the body and the coffin, may be far stranger than the villagers’ wildest imaginings. Hermes Diaktoros, drawn to the mountains by a wish to see an old and dear friend, finds himself embroiled in the mysteries of Vrisi, as well as the enigmatic last will and testament of Greece’s most admired modern poet.
The Whispers of Nemesis is a story of desperate measures and long-kept secrets, of murder and immortality and of pride coming before the steepest of falls.
The Lady of Sorrows by Anne Zouroudi, June 2010
Hermes Diaktoros visits a remote island which is home to an ancient icon famed for its miraculous powers. But something about the Virgin troubles him, and Hermes calls on an old friend to confirm his suspicions that the icon is a fake. Ready to hand the matter over to the authorities, Hermes intends to leave – until the island’s icon painter is found dead at sea. Did he die of natural causes or by a wrathful hand? What secret is a dishonest gypsy keeping? And what haunts the ancient catacombs beneath the bishop’s house?
In the fourth Mystery of the Greek Detective, the eccentric and mysterious investigator finds himself unravelling forgery, betrayal and superstition, and the consequences of all-consuming rage.
The Doctor of Thessaly by Anne Zouroudi, July 2009
My first question must be, why do you want no investigation? If some malicious person has robbed you – as you believe – of your precious sight, why do you not want that person caught, tried and punished for their crime?
A jilted bride weeps on an empty beach, a local doctor is attacked in an isolated churchyard – trouble has come at a bad time to Morfi, just as the backwater village is making headlines with a visit from a government minister. Fortunately, where there’s trouble there’s Hermes Diaktoros, the mysterious fat man whose tennis shoes are always pristine and whose methods are always unorthodox. Hermes must solve a brutal crime, thwart the petty machinations of the town’s ex-mayor and pour oil on the troubled waters of a sisters’ relationship – but how can he solve a mystery that not even the victim wants to be solved?…
The Taint of Midas by Anne Zouroudi, November 2008
For over half a century the beautiful Temple of Apollo has been in the care of the old beekeeper Gabrilis. But when the value of the land soars he is forced to sign away his interests – and hours later he meets a violent, lonely death. When Hermes Diaktoros finds his friend’s battered body by a dusty roadside, the police quickly make him the prime suspect. But with rapacious developers threatening Arcadia’s most ancient sites, there are many who stand to gain from Gabrilis’s death. Our investigator resolves to avenge his old friend and find the true culprit, but his methods are, as ever, unorthodox …
The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi, August 2007
When the battered body of a young woman is discovered on a remote Greek island, the local police are quick to dismiss her death as an accident. Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to investigate further. His methods are unorthodox, and he brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies. Who has sent him, on whose authority is he acting, and how does he know of dramas played out decades ago?
Frequent Hearses by Edmund Crispin, October 2011
Oxford don Gervase Fen is at the film studios to advise about a film biography of Alexander Pope. Gloria Scott appears to have had little reason for wanting to kill herself by jumping off Waterloo bridge, but someone has taken great pains to hide Gloria’s real identity, and Gervase Fen’s detective nose begins to twitch.
When a lecherous cameraman is poisoned before his very eyes, Fen finds himself ‘consulting’ on a far more familiar matter: murder.
Beware of the Trains by Edmund Crispin, October 2011
How acute are your powers of perception? Do they begin to match those of Gervase Fen, Oxford don and sleuth supreme?
These sixteen short stories are classic examples of Fen’s mastery of his art-solving the most insoluble cries where even the best brains in the police force are frankly baffled. They also allow you to flex your own crime-solving museles: each story contains all the clues needed to anticipate the outcome, using logic and common sense… with a bit of ingenuity thrown in!
Do you dare to take them on?
The Glimpses of the Moon by Edmund Crispin, October 2011
Death and decapitation seem to go hand in hand in the Devon village of Aller.
When the first victim’s head is sent floating down the river, the village’s rural calm is shattered. Soon the corpses are multiplying and the entire community is involved in the murder hunt. While the rector, the major, the police and a journalist, desperate for the scoop of the century, chase false trails, it is left to Gervase Fen, Oxford don and amateur criminologist, to uncover the sordid truth.
The Soft Detective by H.R.F. Keating, September 2011
It’s not often a Nobel Prize winner gets murdered… on your patch… very likely by a member of your own family.
DCI Phil Benholme has the reputation for being a little soft because he tries to see both sides of every story. And if he hadn’t on this occasion, the murder of Professor Unwala – Nobel Prize winner of 1945 – would have been recorded as a tragic accident.
Was the elderly man a victim of a violent burglary? Or of a racist assault by Britforce troopers? Or did he know something about the collection of Celtic coins thought to be buried nearby?
The Bad Detective by H.R.F. Keating, September 2011
Jack Stallworthy is a bad detective just on the right side of corrupt. But now he’s turning criminal…
Detective Sergeant Jack Stallworthy has been accepting backhanders for most of his career. And why not? He’s spent thirty years putting villains behind bars, surely he’s entitled to a little nest-egg?
Lily, the pretty wife he dearly loves, dreams of retirement on the tropical island Ko Samui, but Jack will happily settle for a bungalow in Devon. Until, that is, influential businessman Emslie Warnaby offers him paradise on a plate. All he has to do is steal one slim file from the Fraud Investigation office at police HQ. But soon Jack Stallworthy is dangerously out of his depth…
Enchanter’s Nightshade by Ann Bridge, October 2011
In Enchanter’s Nightshade, the reader is presented with a “period piece” of Italian provincial society and a surprising range of characters, several of whom touch on individual tragedies. The lovely “Enchantress” in the late thirties; the little English governess in the early twenties, full of Oxford enthusiasms; the ardent youth, Giulio; Marietta, a delightful child, puzzling over the problems into which she is plunged by the disaster which overtakes her beloved English instructress; and the old Marchesa, whose hundredth birthday looms all throughout.
Julia in Ireland by Ann Bridge, September 2011
While on her last assignment with British Intelligence in Morocco, the widowed Julia Probyn Jamieson meets and is strongly attracted to an Irish country lawyer, Gerald O’Brien, who is travelling with friends of hers. Julia’s quiet vacation is interrupted when she stumbles upon a plot by an unknown land speculator who, with the unwitting aid of an attractive American woman and an Irish poet, is surreptitiously buying a strip of land along the coast for the purpose of building a huge resort hotel and casino. The intrepid Julia is drawn in as a participant when she joins Gerald in his investigation of this devious scheme, which will destroy the wild beauty of the coast and disrupt the peace of the community.
The Portuguese Escape by Ann Bridge, September 2011
Communist intrigues lend suspense and excitement to this book full of rapid movement, when any drive in a car may hold possibilities of danger; and readers who enjoyed the calm, dumb-blonde Julia Probyn in The Lighthearted Quest will be glad to meet her again here, playing her accustomed role of outsmarting the professionals at their own game. But though lively this book penetrates further into the life of another country, and gives too a revealing account of the impact of western life and behaviour on a highly intelligent observer from ‘the other side’.
All Honourable Men by Gavin Lyall, September 2011
When a Turkish bandit holds engineers building the Baghdad Railway to ransom, Britain is secretly relieved as the Railway threatens the Persian Gulf oil-fields.
Feigning help, the Foreign Office sends the notorious Lady Kelso, once lover of the bandit chief, with Captain Matthew Ranklin and Conall O’Gilroy of the fledgling Secret Service Bureau as ‘diplomatic protection’. A journey by the Kaiser’s private train to the bandit stronghold leads through ambush, betrayal, murder and bombardment. For there are others – German, Turkish and French – honourably putting their countries’ interests above everything.
In the misty Turkish mountains, all of Ranklin’s military experience and O’Gilroy’s back-streets savvy are tested to the full.
Blame The Dead by Gavin Lyall, September 2011
Martin Fenwick was a rich, respected syndicate man; a man everybody loved. Until the day he stumbled onto a deadly secret that sent him on a rendezvous with a bullet that silenced him forever.
Lois Fenwick, the unfortunate widow, was oddly without sorrow over her husband’s death, for she was still young, beautiful, and very much alive. Mrs. Fenwick knew how to live…and love. David Fenwick, the surviving son, was about to become a man. He wanted his father’s killer, and would risk his own life to find him. James Card, bodyguard, sought only revenge, for Martin Fenwick had died in his arms, leaving behind him only one clue: a small package wrapped in plain brown paper. A clue that sent Card on a relentless manhunt across international borders and into the clutches of death…
The Crocus List by Gavin Lyall, September 2011
The assassination attempt on the American president in London bore the hallmark of the KGB. But with Britain about to hold unilateral talks with the Russians over Berlin, why should Moscow Centre rock the boat? Major Harry Maxim smelled conspiracy. Trouble was, nobody wanted to believe him.
So the Major goes hunting. It’s all highly unofficial. But that doesn’t stop Maxim shooting and pistol-whipping his way from London to East Berlin via the Cotswolds, Eastbourne and Illinois, until he finally tracks down the Crocus List – a group of earnest patriots playing God and soldiers to open the country’s eyes to the Russian menace…
Into The Valley of Death by Evelyn Hervey, September 2011
On Friday next, pub owner Jack Steadman would hang for the murder of Alfie Goode, drunkard and ne’er-do-well. The case was open-and-shut to everyone but Miss Harriet Unwin, who had less than a week to prove that Jack, a Crimean war hero, was innocent. Her snooping soon took her to the ballroom of a retired general’s stately manor. But there, between the quadrilles and waltzes, Miss Unwin had to step most carefully, for a killer could make her next partner… death!
The Governess by Evelyn Hervey, September 2011
When Harriet Unwin takes the position of governess in the well-to-do Thackerton household, it would seem that fortune has smiled on her at last. That is until William Thackerton is found stabbed, and Harriet accused of murder…
In a desperate attempt to prove her innocence, she embarks on a daring scheme to save herself from the gallows. In doing so she uncovers the dark secrets which the family is trying to hide behind a veneer of Victorian respectability.
The Man of Gold by Evelyn Hervey, September 2011
For a respectable governess like Harriet Unwin, her first few weeks in the shabby, inhospitable home of the Partingtons were as unhappy as any she could remember. The bone-chilling cold, the grim sparseness of the meals, the embittered meanness of old Mr Partington: but for the kindness shown by his son, her spirit must surely have been crushed.
But worse was to come for Harriet. Her chance discovery of the old man’s cherished secret was, she felt sure, the cause of the attack that finally stilled his heart. The doctor, however, thought otherwise. It was neither illness nor old age that killed poor Mr Partington. It was poison…
Murder is a Long Time Coming by Anthony Masters, December 2011
The Château Letoric is the ancestral home of the highly respected Larche family obsessed with the past, with bitterness, rancour and revenge.
Solange is one of France’s most poignant Resistance heroines but, badly tortured, now senile, the repository of many dark secrets, she has been confined to a wheel chair since the end of the war. Her husband Henri was accused of collaborating with the Nazis. Their son, Marius, at forty-eight a senior officer in Interpol, has been fighting to clear his father’s name. But Marius himself is also vulnerable in St Esprit where his past – a homosexual affair with a farm-worker – rises to plague him.
Suddenly the years of tongue-wagging culminate in the first of three fatal tragedies: Henri Larche is murdered.
Confessional by Anthony Masters, December 2011
The extraordinary, demonic monument to Franco broods over the Valley of the Fallen, north of Madrid. Here, in the hallowed seclusion of the confessional box, Eduardo Tomas, Spain’s Home Affairs Minister, is gunned down by a manipulative killer. Senior Interpol officer, Marius Larche, heads the investigating team; his number two, Detective Superintendent Alison Rowe, seconded from Scotland Yard because of her special knowledge of one particular political assassin, suspected of the murder.
On the beautiful fortress-like island of Molino, they investigate the web of secrecy and suspicion which surrounds the Minister’s widow and the Tomas family. As Larche and Rowe assemble their suspects in the lavish retreat overlooking the Mediterranean, a ruthless killer penetrates the rigid security…
The Last Vanity by Hartley Howard, September 2011
Edwin Newsome was pretty worried about his brother’s health – so worried that he hired Glenn Bowman to work his way into Harold Newsome’s household to do some unofficial sleuthing. Harold was suffering from an obscure sickness, and though he’s recently married a pretty girl much younger than him, Edwin didn’t think it was just blonde fever! In fact, he suspects that the lovely Moira is taking a short-cut to wealthy widowhood by putting poison in her husband’s food.
Bowman’s first step forward brings him up against a corpse, and even he can’t make a dead man talk. This is only the beginning of a dramatic case that takes Bowman down a dark and slippery road to a startling denoument. There are some mysterious undercurrents beneath the surface involving family and staff alike, leading to a conclusion much more sinister than a scheming wife after her husband’s money…
Bowman Strikes Again by Hartley Howard, September 2011
There was poison in the glass-and it was the detective in the case who drank it! But for the attentions of a conscientious drug-store attendant there would have been one dark handsome stranger the less to spend his free time on blondes!
Glenn Bowman had been asked by District Attorney Eric Webster to find his eighteen year old son, who had vanished after being jailed for twenty eight days for dangerous driving. Webster was up for re-election and could not afford a scandal, so Bowman’s investigations in the Los Angeles district had to be secret. The attempt on his life proved that they were not.
The Bowman Touch by Hartley Howard, September 2011
The girl in the black velvet gown looked to be very drunk – she also looked to be in plenty of trouble…
Bowman liked neither her type of escort not the way she was being manhandled into the sedan parked outside Morry’s Bar. He liked even less the smack on the jaw he got when he intervened.
This is the start of a new, high-pressure adventure with a tremendous climax. The Bowman Touch has all the streamlined pace and suspense to be expected from that master of the modern thriller – Hartley Howard.
Vendetta by Harry Carmichael, September 2011
John Piper’s diary for Saturday December 7th read: Fritz Haupmann. Call 2.30 re factory insurance cover with Cresset.
When Piper arrived at the house and saw his client lounging in an armchair listening to Mozart, he had no reason to think that this was one day he would never forget. It was not Haupmann’s premonitions of disaster that so impressed themselves on Piper, nor even the startling beauty of Gizelle Haupmann. . . .
Disregarding the warnings Haupmann had been given at seances held by a London spiritualist association, Piper endorsed the additional insurance that Haupmann asked for. No sooner were the policies issued than it became apparent that something more tangible than ghostly spirits was bent on injuring Fritz Haupmann. Somebody hated him: somebody was prepared to conduct a ruthless vendetta against him and all he held dear.
The Quiet Woman by Harry Carmichael, September 2011
The payroll of the Jauncey Engineering plant is missing. According to the guard, found bound and gagged at the scene, two trusted employees, Harold Graham and Yvonne Marshall, are responsible for the crime, and the police proceed as if this were just another payroll theft.
To crime reporter Quinn it sounds like the usual story of a married man and a younger woman who plot to steal the money in order to finance a new life together. Then the first corpse is discovered. Quinn, who wanted only a human-interest angle for his column, becomes more and more intimately involved in the case.
The Quiet Woman is a story of ordinary people engulfed in frightening events. It will challenge even the most astute.
Naked to the Grave by Harry Carmichael, September 2011
When insurance assessor John Piper calls at the Daveys’ flat in Hampstead, he has no idea that his visit will turn out to be anything but an ordinary professional appointment. But it would seem that someone else had already visited Flat 2A that Saturday afternoon … Pauline Davey is found brutally stabbed, apparently during her afternoon nap. The bloody scissors on her pillow hint at what has happened even before the covers are pulled back to reveal the once lovely body, horribly mutilated.
All the evidence points to murder and the police are looking hard at Julian Davey. Piper and his friend, crime reporter Quinn, begin poking around, and in the process Davey’s alibi is shot full of holes. Persisting in their inquiries, the two men soon uncover an adulterous love triangle among neighbors, a group of Pauline’s wealthy friends with a penchant for gambling, and a general unwillingness by all concerned to answer any questions. More deaths follow as they come closer to discovering the truth and soon Piper and Quinn are off again with a new set of problems, too many suspects with too many possible motives, and a dangerous killer on the loose who will stop at nothing to prevent the discovery of his identity.
Criminal Conversation by Nicolas Freeling, October 2011
Van der Valk is on the case again as a mysterious letter is unearthed alluding to the murder of a man named Cabestan. In the letter, the murderer is named but van der Valk must find out first who this mysterious letter-writer is. What transpires is a tale of deception and adultery as the rich Carl Merckel, the managing director of the Lutz Brothers merchant bank, lays an accusation of cold blooded homicide of which, he claims, his wife had no part to play.
Thief by Rupert Croft-Cooke, September 2011
‘If they’ve got any sense they’ll leave the boy with Alicia Robbins.‘
But they didn’t. They (the Juvenile Court, that is) took Gerry Lovell away from the old spinster who had taken him in ad cared for him so passionately and they had packed him off to an Approved School.
Gerry had always been different: even as a boy he found crime only an excitement, not a moral wrong. Perhaps he could have been rescued from this but he wasn’t.From the moment he entered the Approved School his way forward was mapped out: robbery and deception, crime taken like a drug, until at last, as the henchman of the underworld mogul Graham Bond, he was prepared to risk everything – the happiness of a young wife and child, a promising career, the loyalty of the old woman who had stood by him through everything – to throw them all as stake just ‘for kicks’.
The Haunted House by Hilaire Belloc, September 2011
Readers of The Emerald of Catherine the Great will not have to be told that Mr. Belloc’s mystery stories are written with suavity and originality and an eye for piquant situations. This new mystery tale is the story of Rackham Catchings, a manor house in Sussex belonging to an amiable but improvident squire, which in payment of a debt has come into the possession of his brother. How the squire’s son, John, is forced to earn his living as a ventriloquist in the music halls, how ventriloquism plus a headless ghost sends the household into a frenzy of excitement and fear, and how John succeeds in recovering his home and winning the girl he loves make a constantly unexpected and unusual story.