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Fiona Mountain (Author) , Patience Tomlinson (Read by)On the ancient marshlands of Somerset - a place of mists and magic - a girl grows up in the shadow of the English Civil War, knowing that one day she will inherit the rich estate which belonged to her late mother. Her father, a stern but loving Puritan, once a distinguished soldier in Cromwell's army, fears for his daughter in the poisonous aftermath of the war,and for her vulnerability as an heiress. But above all he fears and misunderstands her scientific passion for butterflies. Eleanor Glanville was in fact destined to become one of the most famous entomologists in history, bequeathing her name to the rare butterfly which she discovered, the Glanville Fritillary. But not before she had endured a life of quite extraordinary vicissitude. Two marriages and an all-consuming love, which proved her undoing, a deep friendship with one of the great scientists of the day and finally, a trial for lunacy (on the grounds that no sane person would pursue butterflies) are all played out against the violent events of the Monmouth Rebellion and the vicious controversy over whether or not to drain the Somerset marshes. Now, if you drive down the M5, you will cross Kings Sedgemoor Drain - one of the first great ditches which reclaimed the land for farming and destroyed the precious habitat of the Glanville Fritillary
Published: 4 Nov 2010
Born into a world seething with treachery and suspicion, Eleanor Goodricke grows up on the Somerset Levels just after the English Civil Wars, heiress to her late mother's estates and daughter of a Puritan soldier who fears for his brilliant daughter with her dangerous passion for natural history - and for butterflies in particular.
Her reckless courage will take her to places where no woman of her day ever dared to go. Her fearless ambition will give her a place in history for all time. But it is her passionate heart which will lead her into a consuming love - and mortal peril.
Published: 31 Aug 2012
In 1972 a gold bullion convoy is hijacked in Marseilles. The security trucks and hijackers are swiftly rounded up, but a ton of gold has disappeared.
More than twenty years later, Daniel Jacquot receives an unexpected gift from an old fisherman. At the same time, a Marseilles lawyer called Claude Dupont receives an equally unexpected gift from a dying gangland boss.
Both gifts point the way to the missing gold and pit Jacquot and Dupont against the Polineaux and Duclos familles, two of the oldest and most feared crime syndicates on the Côte d'Azur.
When the Marseilles police become involved following a series of gruesome murders, the investigation is headed by Chief Inspector Isabelle Cassier. An old friend and sometime lover of Jacquot's, Isabelle discovers that the years haven't lessened her longing for the maverick Marseilles cop, and that her feelings for him are far from professional.
Together they embark on a cut-throat hunt for the gold, with hit-men from the Polineaux and Duclos clans hot on their heels. But after nearly thirty years, is the gold still there? And if it is, who will get to it first?
A swanky new gym has opened in leafy south-west London. Four women bond over push-ups and Pilates and become firm friends.
Percy likes sorting out other people's problems, but her own life is a shambles, with a terrible secret addiction. Can she kick it and win back the love of her husband?
Patrice, wealthy but damaged, wants another baby, but husband Jonty isn't interested in sex. Is it her imagination, or is he getting too close to the husband of one of her new friends?
Carmen is living dangerously, determined to get pregnant by her cold, treacherous boyfriend. She doesn't see what is under her nose until it's nearly too late.
Suzanne adores her sexy second husband, but is she neglecting him for her job? And has she realised what is happening to her teenage daughter?
New best friends. Their friendship is about to be tested to the limit.
Evie, Nic and Becca are wannabe writers. The three friends are members of a creative writing group and they decide to enter a national competition. But while they ponder their plots and agonise about their characters, their own lives are going far from smoothly.
Evie's still pining for the husband who left her for a younger woman and is relying increasingly on clairvoyant Zelda. But who is Zelda really?
Nic's battling a drink problem and is in despair about her workaholic husband who is addicted to his laptop. A shocking discovery shakes her to the core, but will she realise in time that she must stop protecting him?
Becca's a City highflyer who seems to have everything - until a childhood friend turns up, threatening to expose the secret she's kept buried for nearly thirty years. How will her marriage, her children, her friendships survive it? And on top of that there's a deadline. The women have just eleven months to complete their manuscripts. Who will win the competition - and can there be any real-life happy endings?
She was the Princess Diana of her day. Her story the English Gone With The Wind.
She loved clothes and jewels and parties. She had exquisite taste in interior design. She seemed destined to reign as one of England's most glamorous queens, famed for the beautiful palaces she designed and decorated.
Instead, Princess Henrietta Maria of France became caught up in the Civil War, one of the greatest cataclysms in English history. Swept from her life of luxury into the squalid brutality of battle and the loneliness of exile, her heart was torn by the two men she loved - her husband, tragic Charles I and charismatic Harry Jermyn, who designed and built most of London's West End, including the street which bears his name.
This is their story.
Published: 8 Sep 2011
As a professional 'cleaner', Jonathan Quinn disposes of bodies and ties up loose ends. Doesn't get his hands dirty, no wet work. But when he discovers he's been hired to vanish all traces of Steven Markoff, one of his best friends who just happened to work for the CIA, his job suddenly hits too close to home. This time, it's personal.
Quinn is determined to get justice for Markoff. Plus, now, Markoff's girlfriend Jenny, who had been an assistant to an ambitious Congressman, has also disappeared. Racing from the corridors of power in Washington to the bustling streets of Singapore - along with his smart, eager apprentice Nate and brilliant, beautiful Orlando, his closest friend who's saved his life more than once - events quickly spiral dangerously out of control. With an addictive momentum and fascinating characters, The Deceived takes us on a thrilling, nerve-wracking journey.
Published: 10 Nov 2009
‘I have heard, but not believed, the spirits of the dead may walk again…’
A hidden room
When architect Johnny Carter is asked to redesign a long-abandoned Victorian shoe factory, he discovers a hidden room deep in the basement. A dark, sinister room, which contains a sixteenth-century Venetian mirror.
A love in danger
Johnny has a new love, Ophelia, in his life. But as the pair’s relationship develops and they begin to explore the mystery surrounding the mirror, its malign influence threatens to envelop and destroy them.
A secret history
The mirror’s heritage dates back to the sixteenth century, and the figure of Catherine de Medici – betrayed wife, practitioner of the occult, and known as the Black Queen.
The Medici Mirror is a haunting story of jealousy, obsession, and murder, perfect for fans of Kate Mosse and Barbara Erskine; a story about the ability of the past to influence the present and of love’s power to defeat even the most powerful of curses.
Published: 24 Oct 2013
A dazzling tale of love, sumptuous splendour and conspiracy in the Italian Renaissance court of Ferrara, from the brilliant author of The Flower Reader.
Barbara of Austria is plain, quick-witted and sensible. She also desperately needs a husband, for unmarried at twenty-six, she is about to be packed off to a convent, like her sisters before her.
So it is that she seizes what seems to be her last chance - a proposal of marriage from Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, Lucrezia Borgia's grandson, clever, handsome, powerful - and widely believed to have murdered his first wife, Lucrezia de Medici.
Barbara goes into her marriage clear-eyed, fascinated by her dangerous, enigmatic new husband - and increasingly - recklessly - driven to discover the truth about the death of his first duchess.
Published: 25 Apr 2013
Joe Clayton thought the dangers of his undercover career were behind him. He was wrong. One grey October morning, while working in a quiet Bristol street, he hears the voice of the man who has sworn to destroy him. Minutes later Joe is running for his life again.
Desperate for sanctuary, he heads for the small Cornish town of Trelennan, and the home of Diana Bamber, widow of a former police colleague. But Diana reacts strangely to his arrival, and gradually Joe discovers that Trelennan is far from the idyllic, law-abiding resort it claims to be.
The town is in the grip of one man. Leon Race doesn't welcome strangers, especially ex-cops who start asking questions about missing women. Soon Joe is caught up in another undercover role, but as he penetrates the web of secrets that ensnares the town's elite, his own secret is at risk of discovery. And all the time his old enemy is circling ...
Fletcher Christian and Isabella Curwen are first cousins who grow up together in the Lake District; kindred spirits who, like Heathcliff and Cathy, are bound to fall in love. But Isabella is promised to another cousin, John, and Fletcher, dashing though he is, comes from the poor side of the family.
When Isabella, an only child and heir to the Curwen fortune, inherits and John becomes her guardian, he and her relations conspire to prevent her and Fletcher's union. Isabella marries John; Fletcher joins the Navy and later signs on for the Bounty voyage. And the rest, you might think, is history. In fact, it is only the first act in the drama of Fletcher and Isabella ...
Published: 21 Jul 2011