“A killer is out to make sure someone gets his just desserts. Bounty hunter Stephanie Plum has been on countless crime scenes, but this is definitely a first. Her fleeing target has left behind a truck loaded with ice cream and a dead body - frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.
“As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the ice cream factory to find out who’s killing employees and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger.”
“August, 1983: Denton is preparing for a wedding. Detective Sergeant Waters should be on top of the world with less than a week to go until he marries Kim Myles. But the Sunday before the big day, instead of a run-through with his best man, the church is sealed off. The body of a young woman has been found in the churchyard, and their idyllic wedding venue has become a crime scene.”
“Andee Lawrence is in heaven. Well, the South of France to be exact. Ex-detective Andee has swapped freelance investigation and a broken marriage for two months in Provence, renovating a beautiful villa with the new man in her life. Pottering around a small picturesque town on an early summer’s day, she is at peace. But her world is about to be shattered.
“Remember me? Two words spoken by a woman from the back of a car that say so much yet reveal so little. As the car drives away Andee is left reeling, overwhelmed by shock, confusion, self-doubt and mounting trepidation. Almost 30 years ago, 14-year-old Penny had disappeared from her family’s life, never to be heard from again. It is the missing child case that has haunted Andee her whole life; and now Penny - Andee’s sister - is back. The question is: why?”
“Having suffered at the hands of her abusive husband long enough, Mary Grace Winters concocts a risky survival plan. She drives her car into a lake to fake her and her son’s death, changes their names, and relocates to a small university town far away.”
“When Emily’s boyfriend posts compromising photos of her on the Internet, her life goes into sharp decline. She is about to lose everything - including the man she thought she loved. Her best friend, Cara, is determined to mend Emily’s broken heart and she believes that a little magic is all that’s required.”
“Responding to a call at a mansion in an East Bay neighbourhood, Deputy Coroner Clay Edison comes upon the body of Dr Walter Rennert, a controversial Berkeley psychologist, sprawled at the foot of his stairs. There are no wounds and no signs of intrusion or struggle.
“Clay knows the obvious diagnosis is natural death. But ten years ago, Rennert’s partner was found dead and to this day, the crime remains unsolved. Tatiana, Rennert’s daughter, will not let the case lie. She knows her father has been murdered. It is not part of Clay’s job description to investigate crimes, but he is enthralled by Tatiana, drawn in to her twisted, alternate world. His investigation drives him deep into the dark heart of a long-buried scandal, and it won’t be long until he is forced to question where his true loyalties lie.”
“It’s 1944 and Connie is a trainee ‘lumberjill’. She’s been transferred from blitzed Coventry to the Forest of Dean to learn the lumberjack trade as one of the women forming the backbone of Britain’s war effort. She’s nursing a huge secret and running from her tragic past, and will soon have to make a life-changing decision.
“Women like Connie are finding opportunity and liberty like never before, but in this explosive moment of history everything is changing for women - and nothing is changing. Then, as now, is the price Connie must pay for her freedom too great?”
“Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it’s Meghan Shaughnessy’s. At least, that’s how Agatha sees it. There is one thing they have in common: both have buried dangerous secrets they will go to terrible lengths to keep. And soon both will realise just how far from perfect their lives can be. All it takes is one haunting lie that cannot be undone.”
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, by David Lagercrantz, translated by George Goulding, read by Saul Reichlin
“Confinement to the secure unit of a women’s prison is intended as a punishment. Instead, Lisbeth finds herself in relative safety. Flodberga is a failing prison, effectively controlled by the inmates, and for a computer hacker of her exceptional gifts there are no boundaries.
“Lisbeth knows she is coming closer to solving the mysteries of her early life; and even within the confines of the prison, she feels the deadly influence exerted by her twin sister. Lisbeth will stand up for what she believes in. She will find out the truth. Whatever the cost.”
“Frances is twenty-one years old, cool-headed, and darkly observant. A college student in Dublin and aspiring writer, she works at a literary agency by day. At night, she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend. When they are profiled by Melissa, a well-known journalist, they enter an exotic orbit of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence.
“Initially unimpressed, Frances finds herself embroiled in a risky ménage à quatre when she begins an affair with Nick, Melissa’s actor husband. Desperate to reconcile herself to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new - a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment.”
“Antoine is 12 years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone’s business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour’s dog.
“From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour’s six-year-old son are bound forever. In the years following Rémi’s disappearance, Antoine wrestles with the role his actions played. As a seemingly inescapable net begins to tighten, breaking free from the suffocating environs of Beauval becomes a gnawing obsession.”
“June 1940: the first summer of the war. Berlin is being bombed and nightly blackouts suffocate the city. Then France falls and a shadow descends. A shadow has fallen over Clara Vine’s own life, too. She is an Anglo-German woman in a country that hates England. Virulent anti-British propaganda is everywhere. Then she is summoned to meet the Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels who has decided that Clara should adopt a new role - as his spy - and that she must go to Paris on a mission.
“Much as she dislikes the idea, Clara realises this might be the chance to find an escape route to England. But Goebbels has other ideas and soon Clara is drawn into a web that threatens to destroy her. As everything she holds dear is taken as ransom, she must fight to protect her family - and to survive.”
“Injured on the battlefield, Lord Alleyne Bedwyn awakens in a ladies’ brothel, with no memory of who he is, in the care of the lovely Rachel York, who decides to use the dashing soldier she rescued to try to reclaim her stolen fortune.”
“Storm-bound over the New Year at a Fenland rectory, Lord Peter Wimsey willingly lends a hand in the ringing of a New Year’s Eve peal of the church bells. Some months later, a handless, disfigured corpse is discovered in a fresh grave in the churchyard. Lord Peter receives a plea for help from the rector and embarks on one of his most complicated investigations - for this is not the first crime the village has experienced. Fifteen years ago the Wilbraham Emeralds were stolen, and they are still missing. Can there be any link?”
“When an offshore container turns up at Aberdeen Harbour full of human meat, it kicks off the largest manhunt in the Granite City’s history. Twenty years ago ‘The Flesher’ was butchering people all over the UK – turning victims into oven-ready joints – until Grampian’s finest put him away. But eleven years later he was out on appeal. Now he’s missing and people are dying again. When members of the original investigation start to disappear, Detective Sergeant Logan McRae realizes the case might not be as clear cut as everyone thinks…”
Book 11 of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Short Stories series.
“Thousands of years ago, Time Lords built a prison for the Kin. They made it utterly impregnable and unreachable. As long as Time Lords existed, the Kin would be trapped forever and the universe would be safe. They had planned for everything … everything, that is, other than the Time War and the fall of Gallifrey. Now the Kin are free again and there’s only one Time Lord left in the universe who can stop them!”
“Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay and Brian Wilde star in two classic episodes written by Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais.
In An Evening In, Godber is moved into Fletch’s cell, and confides that he finds it tough each time the door bangs shut. Fletch advises him to think of it as a quiet night in, but the trouble is Godber has 698 more nights to get through.
In Heartbreak Hotel, Godber has an uncharacteristically violent episode after receiving a Dear John letter from his fiancée Denise. Fletcher tries to help him - but Fletch’s daughter Ingrid proves more of a consolation.”
“She took 1930s New York by storm, working her way up writing copy for R.H. Macy’s to become the highest paid advertising woman in the country. It was a job that, she says, ‘in some ways saved my life, and in other ways ruined it.’
“Now it’s the last night of 1984 and Lillian, 85 years old but just as sharp and savvy as ever, is on her way to a party. It’s chilly enough out for her mink coat and Manhattan is grittier now – her son keeps warning her about a subway vigilante on the prowl – but the quick-tongued poetess has never been one to scare easily. On a walk that takes her over 10 miles around the city, she meets bartenders, bodega clerks, security guards, criminals, children, parents and parents-to-be, while reviewing a life of excitement and adversity, passion and heartbreak, illuminating all the ways New York has changed – and has not.”
“Before he retired, J. P. Beaumont had looked forward to having his days all to himself. But too much free time doesn’t suit a man used to brushing close to danger. When his longtime nemesis, retired Seattle crime reporter Maxwell Cole, dies in what’s officially deemed to be an accidental fire, Beau is astonished to be dragged into the investigation at the request of none other than the deceased victim himself. In the process Beau learns that just because a long-ago case was solved doesn’t mean it’s over.
“Caught up in a situation where old actions and grudges can hold dangerous consequences in the present, Beau is forced to operate outside the familiar world of law enforcement. While seeking justice for his frenemy and healing for a long fractured family, he comes face to face with an implacable enemy who has spent decades hiding in plain sight.”
“Precious Ramotswe has always idolised her father, the late Obed Ramotswe. She feels that she knows all about his life – but does she? Sometimes our parents surprise us, and we discover that things were not quite what we thought them to be. And the same goes for Mma Makutsi, Mma Ramotswe’s feisty assistant, who also makes certain discoveries about her own past that cause some surprise.
“The placid world of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is further disturbed by the arrival in Gaborone of somebody whom Mma Ramotswe – and Mr J.L.B. Matekoni, for that matter – definitely do not want to see. Of course calm eventually prevails - as it always does in the timeless world of these remarkable ladies.”
“When Aidan Lloyd’s bleak funeral is followed by a nocturnal ritual in the fog, it becomes all too clear that Aidan, son of a wealthy farmer, will not be resting in peace. Aidan’s hidden history has reignited an old feud, and a rural tradition begins to display its sinister side.
“It’s already a fraught time for Merrily Watkins, her future threatened by a bishop committed to restricting her role as diocesan exorcist for Hereford. Suddenly there are events she can’t talk about as she and her daughter Jane find themselves potentially on the wrong side of the law.
“In the city of Hereford, DI Frannie Bliss, investigating a shooting, must confront the apparent growth of organised crime, also contaminating the countryside. On the Welsh border, the old ways are at war with the modern world.
“As the days shorten and the fog gives way to ice and snow, a savage killing draws Merrily Watkins into a conflict centred on one of Britain’s most famous medieval churches, its walls laden with ancient symbolism.”
“Marc Dane is a MI6 field agent at home behind a computer screen, one step away from the action. But when a brutal attack on his team leaves Marc as the only survivor – and with the shocking knowledge that there are traitors inside MI6 – he’s forced into the front line.
“However, the evidence seems to point towards Marc as the perpetrator of the attack. Accused of betraying his country, he must race against time to clear his name.
“With nowhere to turn to for help and no-one left to trust, Marc is forced to rely on the elusive Rubicon group and their operative Lucy Keyes. Ex US Army, Lucy also knows what it’s like to be an outsider, and she’s got the skills that Marc is sorely lacking.
“A terrorist attack is coming, one bigger and more deadly than has ever been seen before. With the eyes of the security establishment elsewhere, only Lucy and Marc can stop the attack before it’s too late.”
“Fifteen years ago in small-town New Jersey, a teenage boy and girl were found dead.
“Most people concluded it was a tragic suicide pact. The dead boy’s brother, Nap Dumas, did not. Now Nap is a cop – but he’s a cop who plays by his own rules, and who has never made peace with his past.
“And when the past comes back to haunt him, Nap discovers secrets can kill…”
“In the depths of the Norwegian winter, a woman’s frozen corpse is discovered in the garden of a notorious ex-lawyer, Vilhelm Thygesen. She has been stabbed to death.
“A young biker, a member of a gang once represented by the lawyer, is found dead in suspicious circumstances.
“Thygesen starts receiving anonymous threats, and becomes ensnared in a web of violence, crime and blackmail that spreads across Northern Europe.
“Does the frozen woman hold the key?”
“Polly’s life is great. Her children are away at uni, her glamorous mother – still modelling at 85 – is happily settled in a retirement village, and her perfume blog is taking off. Then her husband announces he needs some space and promptly vanishes.
“As Polly grapples with her bewildering situation, she clings to a few new friends to keep her going – Shirlee, the loudmouthed yoga student; Guy, the mysterious, infuriating and hugely talented perfumer; and Edward, an old flame from university.
“And while she distracts herself with the heady world of luxury perfume, Polly knows she can’t keep reality at bay forever. Eventually she is forced to confront some difficult truths: about her husband, herself and who she really wants to be.”
“Peri, a wealthy Turkish housewife, is on her way to a dinner party at a seaside mansion in Istanbul when a beggar snatches her handbag. As she wrestles to get it back, a photograph falls to the ground – an old polaroid of three young women and their university professor. A relic from a past – and a love – Peri had tried desperately to forget.
“The photograph takes Peri back to Oxford University, as an 18-year-old sent abroad for the first time; to her dazzling, rebellious Professor and his life-changing course on God; to her home with her two best friends, Shirin and Mona, and their arguments about Islam and femininity; and finally, to the scandal that tore them all apart.”