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Ordeal by Innocence

Agatha Christie (Author) , Arthur Hughes (Read by), Full Cast (Read by), Mark Umbers (Read by), Michael Bertenshaw (Read by), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Read by)

A full-cast BBC Radio 4 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel, known to be a favourite among her own works.

When Doctor Calgary visits the Argyle family, he believes he brings good news. He is there to clear the name of Jacko, who was convicted of the murder of his own mother, Rachel. But the doctor’s news is not greeted with the enthusiasm he expects, and the family seem intent on resisting both his help and the investigations of Inspector Huish.

When a further murder is committed, it becomes apparent that a killer is among the gathered party. With almost everyone having a motive and the means for murder, they must all be on their guard.

Eschewing the traditional detective format, Ordeal by Innocence examines how the innocent suffer more than the guilty when a crime goes unsolved. Along with Crooked House, it was Agatha Christie's favourite of her own works.

Cast:
Calgary...Mark Umbers
Gwenda...Jacqueline Defferary
Kirsten...Wanda Opalinska
Hester...Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Jacko...Arthur Hughes
Leo...Sean Murray
Mickey...Joel MacCormack
Tina...Carys Eleri
Philip...John Norton
Mary...Priyanga Burford
Marshall...David Seddon
Huish...Michael Burtenshaw
Doctor...Harry Jardine
Hotel Receptionist...Georgie Fuller

Adapted by Joy Wilkinson
Directed by Mary Peate

Black Lace Quickies: Girls on Top

Emma Hawthorne (Author)

This new collection of sensational, sexy stories from Emma Hawthorne that will arouse and, occasionally, even shock you. This volume contains brand new stories from women who ignore the rules, unleash their sexual fantasies and find out just how wildly delicious sex can be when you take it to the limit – and, sometimes, beyond….

Features:

Darkroom – Jen and her boyfriend explore group sex

Doctor in the house – Debbie’s visit to A&E results in a romp with a doctor which gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘bedside manner’….

Mistress Millie – when Millie meets fit farmhand Jake she knows exactly how to put him in his place...

Mouth to mouth -rescued from the sea by two hunky Californian lifeguards, Amy gets a lot more than she bargained for...

Kick the habit – Lisa’s retreat to a convent leads to a romp with 21-year-old virgin Sister Mary.

Big Ben – Tourist Marie has an exotic adventure on an open-top bus...

Juicy – Samantha is about to discover her husband and his bestfriend are hiding a sexy secret...

Circus Circus – some girls dream of running away to the circus, Louise fantasises about the muscular trapeze artists. And now her fantasy is about to come true...

Festival fever – Leanna shares a tent with her friends Dee and Mar. And they get up close and very personal...

Top Brass – She’s the boss’s wife and Cindy knows she shouldn’t say no to any of her demands...

The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle

Russell Miller (Author)

As the creator of Sherlock Holmes, 'the world's most famous man who never was', Arthur Conan Doyle remains one of our favourite writers; his work is read with affection - and sometimes obsession - the world over. Writer, doctor, cricketer, public figure and family man, his life was no less fascinating than his fiction.


Conan Doyle grew up in relative poverty in Edinburgh, with the mental illness of his artistically gifted but alcoholic father casting a shadow over his early life. He struggled both as a young doctor and in his early attempts to sell short stories, having only limited success until his Sherlock Holmes stories became a publishing phenomenon and propelled him to worldwide fame. Whilst he enjoyed the celebrity Holmes brought him, he also felt that the stories kept him from more serious work.

Beyond his writing, Conan Doyle led a full life, participating in the Boer War, falling in love with another woman while his wife was dying of tuberculosis, campaigning against injustice, and converting to Spiritualism, a move that would ultimately damage his reputation.

During his lifetime Conan Doyle wrote more than 1,500 letters to members of his family, most notably his mother, revealing his innermost thoughts, fears and hopes: Russell Miller is the first biographer to have been granted unlimited access to Conan Doyle's private correspondence. The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle also makes use of the writer's personal papers, unseen for many years, and is the first book to draw fully on the Richard Lancelyn Green archive, the world's most comprehensive collection of Conan Doyle material.

Told with panache, The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle is an unprecedentedly full portrait of an enduringly popular figure and an outstanding literary biograhy.

The Island of Doctor Moreau

H.G. Wells (Author) , Patrick Parrinder (Edited by), Steve McLean (Edited by) , Margaret Atwood (Introducer)

A parable on Darwinian theory, and a biting social satire, H.G. Wells's science fiction classic The Island of Dr Moreau is a fascinating exploration of what it is to be human. This Penguin Classics edition is edited by Patrick Parrinder with notes by Steven McLean and an introduction by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid's Tale.

Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying a profoundly unusual cargo - a menagerie of savage animals. Tended to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. Here, he meets Montgomery's master, the sinister Dr. Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.

This edition includes a full biographical essay on Wells, a further reading list and detailed notes. Margaret Atwood's introduction explores the social and scientific relevance of this influential work.

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) was a professional writer and journalist. Wells's prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction, but later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress. Among his most popular works are The Time Machine (1895); The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), filmed with Bela Lugosi in 1932, and again in 1996 with Marlon Brando; The Invisible Man (1897); The War of the Worlds (1898), which was the subject of an Orson Welles radio adaptation that caused mass panic when it was broadcast, and a 2005 film directed by Stephen Spielberg; and The First Men in the Moon (1901), which predicted the first lunar landings.

If you enjoyed The Island of Doctor Moreau, you might like Wells's The Time Machine, also available in Penguin Classics.

Do No Harm

Carol Topolski (Author)

Do No Harm is a chilling psychological thriller from the author of Monster Love, Carol Topolski.

What happens when someone whose job it is to do good is secretly bad?

Everyone knows about Virginia: about her stellar reputation as a gynaecologist; about her commitment to her women patients. But who knows about the knives?

Everyone knows about Faisal too: about his gentle charm and his family; about his brilliance in the operating theatre. But who knows he's a traitor?

And Gilda - everyone knows about Gilda: she never poops a party; she's a loyal friend. But who knows about the rubber?

But there's someone who really does know Virginia, who knows all about her because they've been this close from birth. Someone who knows what she does when they're alone together. What they do with the rosewood box. With the belts.

Who knows that good doctors can go bad . . .

'Topolski adroitly probes the murkiest crannies of the human soul, while ratcheting up the tension. A tautly strung very dark tale' Time Out

'A chilling portrait of madness and evil' Daily Express

Carol Topolski is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Her many previous roles include working on the Woodstock festival, in advertising, and as a prison teacher, nursery-school director, director of a rape crisis centre and refuge for battered women, probation officer and film censor. She lives in London and is married with two daughters and two grandchildren. Her first novel, Monster Love, which was shortlisted for the 2008 Orange Prize for Fiction, is available in Penguin.

Boys in Zinc

Svetlana Alexievich (Author) , Andrew Bromfield (Translator)

'The least well-known wonderful writer I've ever come across' - Jenni Murray, BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour

'Alexievich's artistry has raised oral history to a totally different dimension' - Antony Beevor

Haunting stories from the Soviet-Afghan War from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

- A new translation based on the revised text -

From 1979 to 1989 Soviet troops engaged in a devastating war in Afghanistan that claimed thousands of casualties on both sides. While the Soviet Union talked about a 'peace-keeping' mission, the dead were shipped back in sealed zinc coffins. Boys in Zinc presents the honest testimonies of soldiers, doctors and nurses, mothers, wives and siblings who describe the lasting effects of war.

Weaving together their stories, Svetlana Alexievich shows us the truth of the Soviet-Afghan conflict: the killing and the beauty of small everyday moments, the shame of returned veterans, the worries of all those left behind. When it was first published in the USSR in 1991, Boys in Zinc sparked huge controversy for its unflinching, harrowing insight into the realities of war.

The Shadow Killer

Arnaldur Indridason (Author) , Victoria Cribb (Translator)

Reykjavík, August 1941. When a travelling salesman is found murdered in a basement flat, killed by a bullet from a Colt .45, the police initially suspect a member of the Allied occupation force.

The British are in the process of handing over to the Americans and the streets are crawling with servicemen whose relations with the local women are a major cause for concern.

Flóvent, Reykjavík’s sole detective, is joined by the young military policeman Thorson. Their investigation focuses on a family of German residents, the retired doctor Rudolf Lunden and his estranged son Felix, who is on the run, suspected of being a spy.

Flóvent and Thorson race to solve the case and to stay ahead of US counter-intelligence, amid rumours of a possible visit by Churchill. As evidence emerges of dubious experiments carried out on Icelandic schoolboys in the 1930s,Thorson becomes increasingly suspicious of the role played by the murdered man’s former girlfriend, Vera, and her British soldier lover.

Frieda And Min

Pamela Jooste (Author)

When Frieda first met Min, with her golden hair and ivory bones, what struck her most was that Min was wearing a pair of African sandals, the sort made out of old car tyres. She was a silent, unhappy girl, dumped on Frieda's exuberant family in Johannesburg for the summer of 1964 so that her mother could go off with her new husband. In a way, Min and Frieda were both outsiders - Min, raised in the bush by her idealistic doctor father, and Frieda, daughter of a poor Jewish saxophone player who lived almost on top of a native neighborhood. The two girls, thrown together - the 'white kaffir' and the poor Jewish girl - formed a strange but loyal friendship, a friendship that was to last even through the terrible years of oppression and betrayal during the time of South Africa under Apartheid.

Silent Treatment

Michael Palmer (Author)

Dr Harry Corbett is on his way to visit his estranged wife, Evie, who is scheduled for surgery the next day, for what he hopes will be a quiet evening of reconciliation. In recent weeks Evie, never quick to share her feelings, has been more closed and distant than ever.

But, without warning, he arrives to find her dead in her hospital bed. The police suspect murder, and Corbett is their only suspect...

Harry is unprepared for the stunning revelations that follow. Leading a double life, his beautiful wife had uncovered a deadly secret, and when the killer strikes again, Harry is once more the sole suspect.

Medically sophisticated, coolly arrogant, moving undetected through a busy urban hospital, it is clear to Harry that the killer, can only be a doctor. But can he stop the killer in his tracks before any more patients receive his lethal silent treatment?

Gattefosse's Aromatherapy

Rene Maurice Gattefosse (Author)

Here is the missing link in Essential Oil literature, the first modern work written by the man who coined the word 'Aromatherapy.'

In July 1910 René- Maurice Gattefossé discovered the healing properties of lavender oil after severely burning his hands in a laboratory explosion. This led him into a lifetime of research into Essential Oils.

His remarkable book was first published in 1937 and has been out of print for many years. Now translated, it has been edited by Robert Tisserand, author of three books on aromatherapy (including the best-seller, The Art of Aromatherapy), editorial adviser of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine and editor of The International Journal of Aromatherapy.

The book is a fascinating blend of ancient and modern knowledge and aromatherapists will find it an essential tool of reference. Extensive notes are provided by Robert Tisserand at the back of the book.

Chapters include those on human smells and animal smells, toxicity, the properties of essential oils and their constituents, the treatment of many diseases, and over fifty case studies from doctors.

Tick Bite Fever

David Bennun (Author)

Tick Bite Fever is the unconventional memoir of a very unconventional childhood.

In the early Seventies, Dave Bennun's family transplanted themselves from Swindon to the wilds of Kenya. His father, who was a doctor, had lived in Africa before (but had felt it expedient to leave when the South African government realised he was carting explosives around in the boot of his car for the ANC). For Dave, Kenya was bemusingly new. It would be his home for the next 16 years.

In Kenya, the childhood memoir takes on a rather surreal tone! On the way home from school, closed because a pair of lions are padding around the playground, Dave is mugged by baboons. Meet Dave's favourite pet Achilles, the almost indestructible dog! Find out about 'Nairobi snow' - and the national radio station that only has three records. And read about Dave and his Dad spending happy Sunday afternoons being chased by a herd of elephants. Enchantingly funny, Tick Bite Fever is a tale of the fading innocence of childhood, miles ahead of the competition.

A Story Like The Wind

Laurens Van Der Post (Author)

This is a story of an almost vanished Africa; a world of myth and magic in which the indigenous peoples of the continent lived for uncountable centuries before the Europeans came to shatter it.

The main character is a boy who has a relationship with this Africa not unlike Kipling's Kim with the antique world of India. François Joubert, whose Huguenot ancestors settled in Africa three hundred years ago, lives as a solitary child on his father's farm. 'Hunter's Drift'. Here, in the far interior of Africa, he experiences the wonder and mystery of an ageless, natural primitive life, his perception of it heightened by the influence of three people in particular - his Bushman nurse, the head herdsman of the local Matabele clan (his father's chosen partners in the pioneering of Hunter's Drift), and a hunter of legendary fame, now the chief ranger of a vast game reserve nearby.

François' meeting with an untamed Bushman, Xhabbo, whose intuitive teaching nourishes his spirit; his strange pilgrimage to the distant krall of a powerful witch-doctor; his dramatic encounter and relationship with the daughter of a retired colonial governor; all are examples of African point and European counterpoint, in a highly original theme, moving to a strangely presaged and omened climax.

After the Fire

Henning Mankell (Author) , Marlaine Delargy (Translator)

Fredrik Welin is a seventy-year-old retired doctor. Years ago he retreated to the Swedish archipelago, where he lives alone on an island. He swims in the sea every day, cutting a hole in the ice if necessary. He lives a quiet life. Until he wakes up one night to find his house on fire.

Fredrik escapes just in time, wearing two left-footed wellies, as neighbouring islanders arrive to help douse the flames. All that remains in the morning is a stinking ruin and evidence of arson. The house that has been in his family for generations and all his worldly belongings are gone. He cannot think who would do such a thing, or why. Without a suspect, the police begin to think he started the fire himself.

Tackling love, loss and loneliness, After the Fire is Henning Mankell’s compelling last novel.

The Secret Rooms

Catherine Bailey (Author)

A plotting Duchess, a mysterious death and a castle full of lies in Catherine Bailey's The Secret Rooms.

At 6 am on 21 April 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain's wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants' quarters of his own home, Belvoir Castle, in Leicestershire.

For weeks, as his health deteriorated, his family, his servants - even the King's doctor - pleaded with him to come out, but he refused.

After his death, his son and heir, Charles, the 10th Duke of Rutland, ordered that the rooms be locked up and they remained untouched for sixty years.

What lay behind this extraordinary set of circumstances?

For the first time, in The Secret Rooms, Catherine Bailey unravels a complex and compelling tale of love, honour and betrayal, played out in the grand salons of Britain's stately homes at the turn of the twentieth century, and on the battlefields of the Western Front. At its core is a secret so dark that it consumed the life of the man who fought to his death to keep it hidden. This extraordinary mystery from the author of Black Diamonds, perfect for lovers of Downton Abbey, Brideshead Revisited and The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Hellraisers

Robert Sellers (Author)

'God put me on this earth to raise sheer hell.' Richard Burton
'I was a sinner. I slugged some people. I hurt many people. And it's true, I never looked back to see the casualties.' Richard Harris
'Booze is the most outrageous of all drugs, which is why I chose it.' Peter O'Toole
'I don't have a drink problem. But if that was the case and doctors told me I had to stop I'd like to think I would be brave enough to drink myself into the grave.' Oliver Reed

This is the story of four of the greatest thespian boozers who ever walked - or staggered - off a film set into a pub. It's a story of drunken binges of near biblical proportions, parties and orgies, broken marriages, drugs, riots and wanton sexual conquests. They got away with it because of their extraordinary acting talent and because the public loved them. They were truly the last of a breed, the last of the movie hellraisers.

Falling Freely, as If in a Dream

Leif G W Persson (Author)

From the grand master of Scandinavian crime fiction—and one of the best crime writers of our time—a new critically acclaimed novel centered around the unsolved murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme in 1986.

It's August 2007, and Lars Martin Johansson, chief of the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Sweden has opened the files on the unsolved murder of Prime Minister Olof Palme. With his retirement quickly closing in, Johansson forms a new group comprised of a few trustworthy detectives who doggedly wade through mountains of paperwork and pursue new leads in a case that has all but gone cold despite the open wound the assassination has left on the consciousness of Swedish society. Yet the closer the group gets to the truth, the more Johansson compromises the greater good for personal gain, becoming a pawn for the private vendetta of a shady political spin doctor. Sharply detailed and boldly plotted, Persson's work lifts the veil on one of history's greatest unsolved crimes in a novel that goes toe-to-toe with the best of true crime books.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Petrona Award and the 2015 CWA International Dagger

Demonic Congress

Aishling Morgan (Author)

Eighteenth-century Devon. Old Noah Pargade is a wealthy yet curmudgeonly miser who marries the nubile and game Alice Eden. As anxious to avoid sharing his wife as he is his wealth, he makes sure she is enmured in his desolate old house on the moors. Fortunately for young Alice, there are enough young bucks in the vicinity whose advantage it is in to take pity on her. Noah's fears are well-founded, as Alice is able to continue her cheerfully sluttish goings-on. Especially when the swashbuckling John Truscott returns from his foreign travels, and quack doctor Cyriack Coke, replete with a cartload of bizarre colonic devices, visits the county. When the truth becomes plain, old Pargade is forced to take drastic measures.
Part of the Truscott Saga series - historical erotica following the depraved adventures of the Truscott family from the eighteenth century onwards. Other titles in this series include Demonic Congress, The Rake, Purity, Velvet Skin, Conceit and Consequence, The Old Perversity Shop, Beastly Behaviour and Portrait of a Disciplinarian.

Let Me Make Myself Plain

Catherine Cookson (Author)

In Let Me Make Myself Plain Catherine Cookson may be said to break new ground as an author. The title echoes her first surprised reaction to a television producer's suggestion that she undertake a series of late-night Epilogues. She accepted the challenge with results so successful that many who heard the talks wrote asking for their publication.

Here they form the core of a remarkable collection of essays and the poems she modestly dscribes as "prose on short lines", into which she has distilled over the years a deeply personal and hard-won philosophy. Uncompromisingly honest and free of illusion, but with an ultimate message of hope and encouragement, the book is imbued with characteristic down-to-earth common sense and humour.

Whether writing of priests or doctors, or looking back to episodes in her Tyneside childhood, she constantly displays all the qualities that have made her one of the world's most widely-read and best-loved novelists.

Man Down

Marine Mark Ormond (Author)

Mark Ormrod was a 'gravel belly', a 'bootneck' marine who loved being in the heart of the action when things kicked off, and he relished the prospect of a tour of duty in Afghanistan. And then the unthinkable happened.

In one heartstopping moment Mark's life was brutally shattered when a landmine tore off both his legs and his right arm. The catastrophic injuries he sustained and the shocking truth behind the doctors' battle to save him are all described in graphic detail in this remarkable memoir. So too is the story of how, on the brink of despair, Mark began the greatest battle of his life - to walk again and, using state-of-the-art 'bionic' legs, to stand shoulder to shoulder with his comrades to receive his campaign medal. It was a battle he had to win if he was to rebuild his life.

Told with brutal honesty, Man Down is a moving, action-packed account of courage and comradeship, of life on the frontline and the terrible legacy of war. It is a story of true grit you will never forget.

The Island of Doctor Moreau

H. G. Wells (Author)

The Penguin English Library Edition of The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells

'That black figure, with its eyes of fire, struck down through all my adult thoughts and feelings, and for a moment the forgotten horrors of childhood came back to my mind'

Adrift in a dinghy, Edward Prendick, the single survivor from the good ship Lady Vain, is rescued by a vessel carrying a profoundly unusual cargo - a menagerie of savage animals. Tended to recovery by their keeper Montgomery, who gives him dark medicine that tastes of blood, Prendick soon finds himself stranded upon an uncharted island in the Pacific with his rescuer and the beasts. Here, he meets Montgomery's master, the sinister Dr. Moreau - a brilliant scientist whose notorious experiments in vivisection have caused him to abandon the civilised world. It soon becomes clear he has been developing these experiments - with truly horrific results.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

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