Jack McNulty is a temporary gentleman, an Irishman whose commission in the British army in the Second World War was never permanent. In 1957, sitting in his lodgings in Accra, he urgently sets out to write his story.
He feels he cannot take one step further, or even hardly a breath, without looking back at all that has befallen him. He is an ordinary man, both petty and heroic, but he has seen extraordinary things. He has worked and wandered around the world – as a soldier, an engineer, a UN observer – trying to follow his childhood ambition to better himself.
Celebrated by The Times as one of the 50 Greatest Crime Writers, Donna Leon returns to Venice for the 22nd Brunetti novel.
When several valuable antiquarian books go missing from a prestigious library in the heart of Venice, Commissario Brunetti is immediately called to the scene. The staff suspect an American researcher has stolen them, but for Brunetti something doesn’t quite add up.
Taking on the case, the Commissario begins to seek information about some of the library’s regulars, such as the ex-priest Franchini, a passionate reader of ancient Christian literature, and Contessa Morosini-Albani, the library’s chief donor, and comes to the conclusion that the thief could not have acted alone.
Stuck in a traffic jam, Nicki Clements sees a face she hoped never to see again. It’s definitely him, the same police officer, stopping each car on Elmhirst Road. Keen to avoid him, Nicki does a u-turn and makes a panicky escape – or so she thinks.
The next day, Nicki is pulled in for questioning in connection with the murder of Damon Blundy, controversial newspaper columnist and resident of Elmhirst Road.
Nicki can’t answer any of the questions detectives fire at her. She has no idea why the killer used two blunt knives in a way that involved no spilling of blood, or why he is no less dead was painted across Blundy’s study.
And she can’t explain why she avoided Elmhirst Road that day without revealing the secret that could ruin her life. Because although Nicki is not guilty of murder, she is far from innocent.
July 1914. Young Englishwoman Vivian Rose Spencer is running up a mountainside in an ancient land, surrounded by figs and cypresses. Soon she will discover the Temple of Zeus, the call of adventure and the ecstasy of love. Thousands of miles away a 20-year old Pathan, Qayyum Gul, is learning about brotherhood and loyalty in the British Indian army.
July 1915. Qayyum Gul is returning home after losing an eye at Ypres, his allegiances in tatters. Viv is following the mysterious trail of her beloved. They meet on a train to Peshawar, unaware that a connection is about to be forged between their lives – one that will reveal itself 15 years later, on the Street of Storytellers, when a brutal fight for freedom, an ancient artefact and a mysterious green-eyed woman will bring them together again.
In 1875, Sisi, the Empress of Austria is the woman that every man desires and every woman envies. Beautiful, athletic and intelligent, Sisi has everything – except happiness.
Bored with the stultifying etiquette of the Hapsburg Court and her dutiful but unexciting husband, Franz Joseph, Sisi comes to England to hunt. She comes looking for excitement and she finds it in the dashing form of Captain Bay Middleton, the only man in Europe who can outride her. Ten years younger than her and engaged to the rich and devoted Charlotte, Bay has everything to lose by falling for a woman who can never be his. But Bay and the Empress are as reckless as each other, and their mutual attraction is a force that cannot be denied.
The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own.
And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town.
But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. The Independent recently described this series as “The finest crime series currently in existence”.
The House at Old Vine is the second in a trilogy of novels by Norah Lofts about the inhabitants of a country house in Suffolk from the late 14th century to the middle of the 20th.
Covering the turbulent period 1496–1680, it follows 6 generations of the descendants of Martin Reed, who founded the ‘House’ dynasty through his act of rebellion in The Town House, through persecution, war and revolution, from the era of Christopher Columbus to the Restoration of Charles II.