Books

Different Class

Joanne Harris

The gripping new psychological thriller from Joanne Harris, to follow her bestselling Gentlemen & Players and Blueeyedboy. Perfect for fans of Claire Mackintosh, BA Paris, Paula Hawkins and Tracy Chevalier.

‘Crime novel or literary novel? Categories really don’t matter; readers will find themselves comprehensively gripped.’ Independent
'A cracking psychological thriller' Good Housekeeping

After thirty years at St Oswald’s Grammar in North Yorkshire, Latin master Roy Straitley has seen all kinds of boys come and go – the clowns, the rebels, the underdogs, and those he calls his Brodie boys. But every so often there’s a boy who doesn’t fit the mould. A troublemaker. A boy capable of twisting everything around him. A boy with hidden shadows inside.

With insolvency and academic failure looming, a new broom has arrived at the venerable school, bringing Powerpoint, sharp suits and even sixth form girls to the dusty corridors. But while Straitley does his sardonic best to resist this march to the future, a shadow from his past is stirring. A boy who even twenty years on haunts his teacher’s dreams. A boy capable of bad things.

Doctor Who: Time Trips (The Collection)

Cecelia Ahern (and others)

Time Trips is a unique and beautifully illustrated collection of Doctor Who adventures from bestselling and award-winning writers including Joanne Harris, Trudi Canavan, Nick Harkaway, A.L. Kennedy and more. Taking you from ancient Alexandria to nameless planets in the far future, these tales are at turns funny, frightening, moving and thought-provoking – short stories that are bigger on the inside.

Time Trips includes:

The Anti-Hero (featuring the Second Doctor) by Stella Duffy

Salt of the Earth (featuring the Third Doctor) by Trudi Canavan

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller (featuring the Third Doctor) by Joanne Harris

The Death Pit (featuring the Fourth Doctor) by A.L. Kennedy

A Handful of Stardust (featuring the Sixth Doctor) by Jake Arnott

The Bog Warrior (featuring the Tenth Doctor) by Cecelia Ahern

Keeping Up with the Joneses (featuring the Tenth Doctor) by Nick Harkaway

Into the Nowhere (featuring the Eleventh Doctor) by Jenny T. Colgan

Doctor Who: The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Time Traveller (Time Trips)

Joanne Harris

Struggling to get back to UNIT HQ, his body being destroyed by radiation, the Third Doctor arrives in the most perfect English village, where everyone is happy. But is he really on Earth, or somewhere far more strange? As his body weakens, the Doctor and the Queen of the village begin to unravel the truth.

The Little Book of Chocolat

Joanne Harris (and others)

Try me . . . test me . . . taste me . . .

Joanne Harris’s Chocolat trilogy has tantalized readers with its sensuous descriptions of chocolate since it was first published. Now, to celebrate the much-loved story of Vianne Rocher’s deliciously decadent chocolaterie, Joanne Harris and Fran Warde have created the ultimate book of chocolate lore and recipes from around the world, bringing a touch of magic to your kitchen.

A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String

Joanne Harris

Stories are like Russian dolls; open them up, and in each one you’ll find another story.

Come to the house where it is Christmas all year round; meet the ghost who lives on a Twitter timeline; be spooked by a newborn baby created with sugar, spice and lashings of cake.

Conjured from a wickedly imaginative pen, here is a new collection of short stories that showcases Joanne Harris’s exceptional talent as a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns. Sensuous, mischievous, uproarious and wry, here are tales that combine the everyday with the unexpected; wild fantasy with bittersweet reality.

Peaches for Monsieur le Curé (Chocolat 3)

Joanne Harris

It isn't often you receive a letter from the dead.

When Vianne Rocher receives a letter from beyond the grave, she allows the wind to blow her back to the village in south-west France where, eight years ago, she opened up a chocolate shop. But Lansquenet is different now: women veiled in black, the scent of spices and peppermint tea, and, on the bank of the river Tannes, facing the church: a minaret.

Nor is it only the incomers from North Africa that have brought change. Father Reynaud, Vianne’s erstwhile adversary, is disgraced and under threat. Could it be that Vianne is the only one who can save him now?

Runelight

Joanne Harris

Five past midnight, three years after the End of the World, and, as usual, there was nothing to be seen or heard in the catacombs – except, of course , for the rats and (if you believed in them) the ghosts of the dead.

Runelight is set in a world coming back to life, but it is also a world in conflict. For Maddy, born with the mark of magic on her hand, the return of the old gods and the overthrow of the brutal Order who suppressed them is a time of excitement. But for Maggie, raised as part of the Order, it is a time of chaos and desolation, as her family and values are wiped out.

Like the two girls, the new world remains divided – the old regime has gone but with nothing to take its place, anarchy is beginning to spread…

Joanne Harris draws us back into the richly imagined world first introduced in Runemarks -a world not unlike our own, had it been shaped by the Vikings instead of the Romans. But if its inhabitants, including Maddy and Maggie, can’t solve their differences soon, they will destroy their world altogether.

Runelight

Joanne Harris

The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there's a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart - literally, in World's End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind... and is breaching the everyday world.

A chilling prophecy from the Oracle. A conflict between two girls. And with just twelve days to stave off the Apocalypse, carnage is about to be unleashed . . .

Runemarks

Joanne Harris

Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the End of the World, and goblins had been at the cellar again.

Maddy Smith has always been an outsider. In a world ruled by the harsh and puritanical Order, she is shunned for the strange birthmark on her left hand. For this is no ordinary birthmark – it is a runemark, a sign of the old gods.

In fact, Maddy can do things that no-one else can, things that could be called magic. But not until she meets the old traveller One-Eye, an outsider like herself, does she learn what power she really has, and what she will be asked to do with it.

In Runemarks, Joanne Harris creates a world not unlike our own - if it had been shaped by the Vikings instead of the Romans - and colours it with her familiar blend of rich imagery and gritty realism. A disenchanted world, where the gods died long ago. Can Maddy bring them back to life?

Gastronomicon/The Ugly Sister (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Gastronomicon', Ernest's wife is a wonderful cook, aided by recipes from the ancient leather book - a family treasure - passed down to her by her mother-in-law. To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, she undertakes to cook a very special meal - but what are the sounds of deep pounding and tolling bells that come from beyond the kitchen wall?

In 'The Ugly Wife' some important questions are posed: What does it feel like to be the Ugly Sister? Will she spend her life looking for love in vain? Or will she finally find her happily-ever-after: a man who sees past appearances and who will love her for who she really is?

Part of the Storycuts series, these short stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Auto-da-fé/Free Spirit/Fule’s Gold (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Auto-da-fé', a man's car defines him. Until the Rep of the Year, in his smart blue BMW, goes head-to- head in a showdown with V-man in his smug black Volvo saloon. But who is the real loser in this game?

In 'Free Spirit', a wanderer, a party animal, goes wherever the wind blows, going home to bed with one person after another, old or young, healthy or corrupt, male or female. And then moves on, without regrets, without ever looking back...

In 'Fule's Gold', Mr Fisher has taught at St Swithin's for over forty years, but is resigned to the total lack of imagination of the boys in his creative writing class. Until the day he opens one exercise book and discovers the Holy Grail of literature: an essay of total freshness and originality. But is it just too good to have been written by a mere schoolboy?

Part of the Storycuts series, these three stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Breakfast at Tesco’s (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

Miss Golighty is no young Holly, and the supermarket café where she regularly has breakfast is no Tiffany's. When she befriends Cheryl, the tarty young waitress and teaches her to love old films, she finds a way to help her young friend find the courage to seek a better new life.

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Waiting for Gandalf (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

It's not always fun playing the monster: after all, all you are is sword-fodder. But for the desperate, the misfit, the loner and the freak, dressing up in costume for the regular Saturday fantasy role-playing game in the woods is more satisfying than any reality. It's only make-believe, isn't it? It's not about life or death...or is it?

Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

A Place in the Sun/Al and Christine’s World of Leather/The Spectator (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'A Place in the Sun', Platinum is the beach everyone aspires to be on - the exclusive Beach of Beaches. Only the most beautiful bodies are permitted to enter. The old, the plain and the overweight have to accept that they will never be allowed in, in spite of all the facelifts, boob jobs and lipos that money can buy.

In 'Al and Christine's World of Leather', Christine and Candy meet at Weightwatchers, and are soon firm friends. The knitting coven they start turns into a thriving hand knitting business, with Candy the designer, and Christine the workforce. But when Candy's designs turn to leather, and Christine starts wondering what the big flap in the trousers is for, their friendship starts to unravel...

In 'The Spectator', elderly Mr Meadows, a retired teacher - before his profession was abolished - likes to take his morning walk past the school, ignoring the signs saying SCHOOL: NO UNACCOMPANIED ADULTS, because he innocently likes to watch the children playing. Surely there can't be any harm in that?

Part of the Storycuts series, these short stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Any Girl Can Be a CandyKiss Girl!/Tea with the Birds/The G-SUS Gene (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Any Girl Can Be A Candykiss Girl!', the fashion house Candykiss listens to its consumer, the little girls, not their parents. Their pleasure is creating clothing for them to express themselves, never mind how contemptuous the adult generation - sexually and emotionally threatened - is of them.

In 'Tea with the Birds', the worst crime of all is to be an outsider - wrong face, wrong clothes, wrong voice. And if you never raise your eyes from the ground, you will be labelled a snob by your neighbours. Yet when an isolated, lonely outcast meets a new tenant in the building of bedsits where she lives, she learns to spread her wings.

In 'The G-SUS Gene', Oz 'Mad Dog' O'Shea is the Chosen One. Twenty years ago, mankind experienced near-total wipeout. Now only he is left to lead the quest for enlightenment.

Part of the Storycuts series, these three short stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Eau de Toilette/Fish/Never Give a Sucker... (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Eau de Toilette', in her boudoir Madame, a famous eighteenth-century French beauty of dubious hygiene habits, awaits, en déshabillée, the hot water for her six-monthly bath. Will it help to return Monseigneur de Rochefort, her favourite admirer, back to her side?

In 'Fish', Melissa and Jack are on their honeymoon in Naples, but things aren't going well between them. He longs to explore the sensuous riches of Neapolitan food, but she is a lactose-intolerant, wheat-allergic vegetarian, and has objections to every restaurant. Jack finally entices her to Casa Rosa, a small fish restaurant down by the harbour, but there the battle between food and love will really begin...

In 'Never Give a Sucker...', Reggie Noakes was a vampire for seventy-five years, but he doesn't fit in any more, ousted by market forces. You're just the wrong kind of vampire, they tell him. He never liked blood that much anyway, it's a bugger trying to get any when you're fat and balding and no virgin would look at you twice.

Part of the Storycuts series, these short stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Faith and Hope Go Shopping/Hello, Goodbye (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Faith and Hope Go Shopping', Faith has spent twenty years in a wheelchair. Together with her blind friend Hope, she lives in a nursing home. Their favourite carer calls them Butch and Sundance, and like their namesakes, they make a final dash for freedom - in pursuit of a copy of Lolita and a pair of slick red high heels.

In 'Hello, Goodbye', Angela K. is a society columnist for Goodbye! Magazine, and gets to attend all of the season's most sensational Dernières: the most exclusive celebrity funerals. She prides herself on finally having joined the ranks of the Immortals - until a sad, badly-dressed old couple arrives to disrupt her world.

Part of the Storycuts series, these stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Last Train to Dogtown/The Little Mermaid (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Last Train to Dogtown', Neil K. is a bestselling author, feted and acclaimed wherever he goes. Until the evening his train maroons him in the middle of nowhere, and after wandering into a bar, he is confronted by a group of characters who are all strangely familiar...

In 'The Little Mermaid', every Tuesday is reserved for Freak Day at the pool, when the disabled, the impaired and the elderly come to bathe without disturbing the able-bodied. Sad Flipper, so deformed and ungainly in her wheelchair, is as agile and graceful as a dolphin in the water. But will she be tempted to sacrifice her uniqueness for love?

Part of the Storycuts series, these two short stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Class of ’81/Come in, Mr Lowry, Your Number Is Up! (Storycuts)

Joanne Harris

In 'Class of '81', when the graduates of wizardry school meet for their twenty-year reunion at Bella Pasta, the talk is all about love charms, cantrips, who has put on weight and who has had a body job. But one member of the group has sold out to a husband, home and children, thinking, 'Who needs magic when you can have security?' And yet - what really happens when the magic runs out?

In 'Come in, Mr Lowry, your number is up!', numbers rule our lives, or so believes the insurance assessor in this tongue-in-cheek story. And that if you take into account all the statistics and calculate all the odds, chance will never play a part in what happens to you. But then fate, of all things, intervenes...

Part of the Storycuts series, these two short stories were previously published in the collection Jigs & Reels.

Blueeyedboy

Joanne Harris

'Once there was a widow with three sons, and their names were Black, Brown and Blue. Black was the eldest; moody and aggressive. Brown was the middle child; timid and dull. But Blue was his mother's favourite. And he was a murderer.'

Blueeyedboy is the brilliant new novel from Joanne Harris: a dark and intricately plotted tale of a poisonously dysfunctional family, a blind child prodigy, and a serial murderer who is not who he seems. Told through posts on a webjournal called badguysrock, this is a thriller that makes creative use of all the multiple personalities, disguise and mind games that are offered by playing out a life on the internet.

Biography

Joanne Harris is one of our best loved and most versatile novelists. She first sprung on the scene with the bestselling Chocolat (made into an Oscar-nominated film with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp), which turned into the sensuous, magical Lansquenet trilogy (Lollipop Shoes, Peaches for Monsieur le Curé). She has since written acclaimed novels in diverse genres including historical fiction, fantasy based on Norse myth, and the Malbry cycle of psychological suspense (Gentlemen & PlayersBlueeyedboy, and now, Different Class). She is an honorary Fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and was awarded an MBE by the Queen.

Born in Barnsley, of a French mother and an English father, she spent fifteen years as a teacher before (somewhat reluctantly) becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Yorkshire with her family, plays bass in a band first formed when she was sixteen, works in a shed in her garden, likes musical theatre and old sci-fi, drinks rather too much caffeine, spends far too much time online and occasionally dreams of faking her own death and going to live in Hawaii.