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BORN INTO THE ROYAL FAMILY, John has always known he doesn’t want to be king. To escape his destiny he has run away and begun to build a different kind of future for himself.
But just when everything seems to be going right for John, his past catches up with him: Lord Von Dronus, the palace’s most senior courtier, is determined to hunt him down, believing that as long as John is alive, he is a threat to the nation’s security.
Forced into hiding with his best friend June, it seems as though John will never be able to live an ordinary life. Until one night he decides to return to the palace and put an audacious plan into action…
Inspiring, funny and moving, THE INVINCIBLE KINGDOM is about following your dreams and creating your own happily ever after.
Published: 22 Oct 2015
Shortly before his death last year, Stanley Middleton completed this, his last novel, which concludes a unique depiction of middle-class life in 'Middle England', quietly and cumulatively over many volumes and decades. Once again we are in Beechnall, the constant setting of Stanley Middleton's novels, and his sense of place and his feeling for his characters remains as strong as ever.
At the heart of A Cautious Approach is a tentative love story, which begins when two lonely men meet, out walking on Christmas Day: Andy invites George home, and there he meets the captivating Mirabel, Andy's former fiancée. George has been a teacher, but ill health has deprived him of his career and confidence, and he has retrained as a postman. This chance encounter, and others that follow, have the potential to shift George's life, and soon he is drawn into a set of uncertain relationships in which past experience, present stoicism and future expectation all play a part.
As ever, but here for the last time, Stanley Middleton's bold experimentation with flashbacks, and the embedding of one scene or dialogue within another, gives added density to his depiction of ordinary, defiantly unfashionable human lives.
Hans Christian Andersen's tragic tale of naive greed and dissatisfaction is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in rich forest green, with gold foil embellishments, The Fir Tree is a unique work of art.
Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane's album, Under the Iron Sea. For her first book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, The Fir Tree.
A beautiful gift to give and receive.
Published: 18 Oct 2012
In the whole delightful world of Wodehouse, the English clergy offers some of the richest sources of good-natured good humour. Confronted by burglars or belted earls, they plough serenely on with the Advent sermon or the opening of the village fete - until that is, they are swept uncontrollably into fiendish plots which only a well-disposed devil or member of the Drones Club could have contrived.
No bishop is more endearingly plump and pompous than a P.G. Wodehouse bishop, no vicar more a pillar of his community (provided his sermons aren't too long), and in this collection of short stories we watch as they are plunged into one hilarious scenario after another.
Published: 2 Jul 1992
'In a town like Beechnall there are all sorts of rivalries, enmities and feuds.' And many of them soon swirl around the amateur dramatic society's festival production of Twelfth Night, which is under a cloud after politics result in the departure of the established director.
Extra-marital affairs, encroaching violence and emotional turmoil threaten what seems like a placid, middle-class Midlands town, and soon Alicia Smallwood, Middleton's heroine, is confronted with serious choices.
Once again Stanley Middleton weaves a strong web of intrigue around ordinary provincial life - which turns out, as the plot unfolds, not to be so ordinary after all.
Frank Montgomery is in T.S. Eliot's 'middle way', Principal of an art college, coping with an aging father and a mother in law on the dark descent into Alzheimer's. His marriage is strong, his relationships supportive - but in one way Frank is extraordinary: he is being talked of as a major figure in British art, a figurative painter of national reputation with commissions beckoning right up to royalty. As he struggles to live the good life and to create, he is much concerned by issues in both work and life: is it better to do new things, or old things perfectly?
In this novel, Frank's values are put to the test.
Once again Stanley Middleton dissects middle England with his sharp but healing scalpel, and in the process he explores family life, generational change, and the true nature of art through the complexities, pains and joys of its creation.
'An intriguing and subversive debut, charged with the power of the ignored and the suppressed.' Hilary Mantel
'Enchanting . . . restrained . . . startling.' TLS
'A thrilling psychodrama . . . She brilliantly captures a sense of Hitchcockian, curtain-twitching intensity.' Economist
‘Sharp, thoughtful . . . exhilarating . . . the plot slips from urban pastoral to tense thriller.’ Newsweek
'Cocozza has a wonderful eye for detail, and her descriptions of the natural world are uncanny.' Guardian
'The tricky, shifting substance of relationships is so insightfully drawn and constantly surprises.' Laura Barnett, author of The Versions of Us
'Taut, shimmering.' Richard Beard, author of The Acts of the Assassins
You’ve seen a fox.
Come face to face in an unexpected place, or at an unexpected moment.
And he has looked at you, as you have looked at him. As if he has something to tell you, or you have something to tell him.
But what if it didn’t stop there?
When Mary arrives home from work one day to find a magnificent fox on her lawn - his ears spiked in attention and every hair bristling with his power to surprise - it is only the beginning. He brings gifts (at least, Mary imagines they are gifts), and gradually makes himself at home.
And as he listens to Mary, Mary listens back.
She begins to hear herself for the first time in years. Her bullish ex-boyfriend, still lurking on the fringes of her life, would be appalled. So would the neighbours with a new baby. They only like wildlife that fits with the decor. But inside Mary a wildness is growing that will not be tamed.
In this extraordinary debut, the lines between sanity and safety, obsession and delusion blur, in a thrilling exploration of what makes us human.
‘A phenomenal, haunting debut’ Gillian Flynn, bestselling author of Gone Girl
'Dark, disturbing, and compulsively readable’ Ruth Ware, bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10
Nothing burns as bright as the truth.
It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.
But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's economic heart, she begins to find strange connections to a decade-old scandal involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.
But as Abby tries desperately to find out what happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret, her search threatens the reputations, and lives, of the community and risks exposing a darkness that may consume her.
With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of what happens when your past and present collide.
'In Abby Williams Ritter has created an appealingly feisty yet vulnerable heroine...An excellent debut' The Times
'Packed with suspense and moves at a cracking pace...Ritter is spot on. Abby makes a terrific, kickass heroine who you'll root for all the way' Daily Mail
'Dark but compulsively readable' Image Magazine
Gorgeous words and stunning illustrations combine in a book for anyone aged 8-80, by internationally renowned papercut artist Rob Ryan. Rob Ryan has collaborated with Paul Smith, Liberty, Fortnum and Mason and Tatty Devine, amongst others.
This is a story about a prince. He lived in a palace that seemed to have been specially designed to make someone who already felt small feel even smaller. He rarely saw his parents, who were always busy being the King and Queen; and, unlike other children, the Prince never spent time dreaming about what he would be when he grew up because he knew that when his father died, he would become King. It was his destiny.
The only person who treated the Prince like a normal child was the Bootman. Understanding that everyone needs something to call their own, the Bootman gave the Prince a pen with invisible ink and a special torch that allowed him to create a world that only he could see.
One night, as the Prince was drawing on the curtains that surrounded his bed, he noticed a small hole and beyond that a trapdoor, which led to the attic. And in the attic he found a window and a way to sneak out of the palace and experience the real world…
THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM is about a small boy, a big imagination and learning to be your own person.
Published: 24 Oct 2013
'A splendid anthology' The Times
No writer knew better than PG Wodehouse how a drink can lift the spirits – and he was a master at the high comic effects of having a few too many. Highballs for Breakfast is a handpicked selection of wit, wisdom and comic moments from Wodehouse’s work that involve getting pickled or plastered, or lathered or sozzled, and getting in and out of all manner of scrapes.
If some great writers dwelled on the darker side of drinking, Wodehouse was concerned with the pure pleasure to be had from ‘the magic bottle’ and getting outside of the contents of a tall glass. His imperishable writing displays a well-turned appreciation for all kinds of booze – cocktails, champagne, port, whiskey and brandy (with soda, of course); but also the humble pint, and even the infamous poteen.
This sparkling collection captures Wodehouse at his best on being terribly thirsty, or drowning one’s sorrows, or knocking one back for Dutch courage. It finds him celebrating the special atmospheres of the English country pub and the Manhattan barroom. And it shows him to be exceptionally good on hangovers, but equally so on hangover cures, such as the legendary pick-me-ups prepared for Bertie Wooster by the dependable Jeeves.
For all lovers of a laugh and a drink, Highballs for Breakfast is a tonic, a bracer, and a tissue-restorer.
KISSING THE GUNNER'S DAUGHTER
A sergeant in the Kingsmarkham police force is tragically killed. Ten months later, Wexford enters a bloodbath of a crime scene, where a family has been brutally murdered.
'Her most brilliant Wexford mystery to date- The plot is complicated and elaborately detailed but, as usual, there is not one superfluous word- stunning imagery' Kate Saunders, Cosmopolitan
'Beyond praise, completely compelling - will delight all Wexford's admirers' Allan Massie, The Scotsman
When a young black woman is murdered, Wexford must overcome his prejudices to allow his investigative skills to succeed...
'Impressive and courageous- Rendell's psychological and social insights are so absorbing, it's easy to forget what a superb plotter she is. As a mystery, Simisola is exceptional- pace, surprise, tension and a climax of stunning unexpectedness' The Times
When Wexford's wife goes missing, the detective is in a race against time to solve a murder case, before Dora Wexford is placed in mortal danger...
'The book could hardly be more readable- A brilliant evocation of place, character and mood' Evening Standard
'With immaculate control, Ruth Rendell builds a menacing crescendo of tension and horror that keeps you guessing right up to the brilliantly paced finale' Good Housekeeping
Published: 6 Jun 2002
Hans Christian Andersen's magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is a unique work of art.
Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane's album, Under the Iron Sea. For her second book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen.
A beautiful gift to give and receive.
Published: 22 Oct 2015
The New Girl Friend was published in 1985, and the title story earned Rendell her second Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allan Poe award. 'Every tale is carefully crafted and climaxed, her feel for lurking malevolence is as assured as ever.' -The Times
Then came The Copper Peacock in 1991, a collection of nine short horror stories in which 'the macabre potential of blameless situations such as village fetes, aquariums and even the broom cupboard are explored to provoke maximum unease in readers.' -Sunday Times
Blood Lines, first published in 1995, includes the long title story and a novella, The Strawberry Tree, as well as nine short murder mystery stories. 'Ruth Rendell remains one of the most stylish, chilling and challenging writers around.' -Tribune
Piranha to Scurfy, a collection of disturbing psychological short stories followed in 2000. 'Horror does not shake its gory locks directly at us, but hovers on the periphery of our inner vision, hidden among the ordinary, the everyday.' - Jane Shilling, Sunday Telegraph
Published: 3 Jan 2008
SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
‘Gripping’ Sunday Times
The Pope is dead.
Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election.
They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.
Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
Three classic Ruth Rendell stories: Means of Evil, The Fallen Curtain and The Fever Tree.
Ruth Rendell is unequalled in her ability to weave stories that challenge our preconceptions and prejudices. From Wexford and Burden's investigation of a wife's apparent suicide, with all the evidence pointing to the husband in Means of Evil to the unsettling psychology behind a man's friendship with a boy in The Fallen Curtain and the paranoia that plagues two people who no longer know how to trust, in The Fever Tree.
A stunningly illustrated fairytale for all ages from internationally-acclaimed papercut artist Rob Ryan – the follow-up to THE INVISIBLE KINGDOM.
This is a story about a young boy who doesn’t want to be King.
What he wants, more than anything, is to be normal.
So one night, he runs away from the palace. He climbs out of his four-poster bed, disappears through a hidden door in the ceiling, creeps down a long-forgotten passageway, opens a small window and leaves behind everything he’s ever known.
At first, the world outside the palace seems a magical place that the King delights in exploring. But with no friends to call on, no money in his pocket, in fact nothing apart from the clothes he is wearing, it isn’t long before the young King realises that life on his own is going to be full of challenges.
Meanwhile, Lord Von Dronus, the most senior of all the King’s courtiers, is determined to find the young King before anyone realises he's disappeared.
Beautiful, touching and surprising, The Kingdom Revealed is about appreciating the everyday and learning what matters most.
Published: 23 Oct 2014
Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott (Author)
They told him everything.
He told everyone else.
Over countless martini-soaked Manhattan lunches, they shared their deepest secrets and greatest fears. On exclusive yachts sailing the Mediterranean, on private jets streaming towards Jamaica, on Yucatán beaches in secluded bays, they gossiped about sex, power, money, love and fame. They never imagined he would betray them so absolutely.
Based on ten years of research comes a dazzling literary debut about the rise and self-destructive fall of Truman Capote and the beautiful, wealthy, vulnerable women he called his swans.
‘Writers write. And one can’t be surprised if they write what they know.’
Does an understanding of history and a deep cultural awareness help us to live a better, richer and more useful life? Or is it just as good to rely on the internet for data and to live only in the moment?
Set in 2006, Paris Echo follows Hannah, a 31-year-old American post-doctoral researcher looking into the lives of women during the German Occupation of Paris in 1940-44; and Tariq, a 19-year-old boy who has run away from his home in Morocco, searching for sex and adventure.
Through their culture clash we are taken back into the hidden Paris of the Dark Years, the Algerian war and the simmering discontents of the Banlieue. This is not the Paris of croissants and little bistros. This is a haunted city of injustice and bad faith, of ghettos and betrayal.
As both characters fight to preserve their integrity and their sanity, they find their future shaped by the lives of the dead, by the ghosts of the Paris Metro.