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New fiction for September 2014

Written by · Published Aug 21, 2014

The bone clocks by David Mitchell

Thin air by Ann Cleeves

Ann Cleeves is rapidly becoming one of our most popular crime writers. Creator of the Vera Stanhope series, she took up writing when her husband Tim was appointed as warden of Hilbre, a tiny tidal island nature reserve in the Dee Estuary.

They were the only residents; there was no mains electricity or water and access to the mainland was at low tide across the shore. If a person’s not heavily into birds – and Ann isn’t – there’s not much to do on Hilbre and that was when she started writing.

In her latest book a group of old university friends leave the bright lights of London and travel to Unst, Shetland’s most northerly island, to celebrate the marriage of one of their friends to a Shetlander. But late on the night of the wedding party, one of them, Eleanor, disappears – apparently into thin air.

It’s midsummer, a time of light nights and unexpected mists. The following day, Eleanor’s friend Polly receives an email. It appears to be a suicide note, saying she’ll never be found alive. And then Eleanor’s body is discovered, lying in a small loch close to the cliff edge. Detectives Jimmy Perez and Willow Reeves are dispatched to Unst to investigate.

The monogram murders by Sophie Hannah and Agatha Christie

Staying with the theme of crime, Sophie Hannah steps into some daunting shoes by writing a new Poirot novel. You may remember her recent book Kind of Cruel.

The new Poirot is described as “another brilliant murder mystery that can only be solved by the eponymous Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells”.

Printer’s Devil Court by Susan Hill

One murky November evening after a satisfying meal in their Fleet Street lodgings, a conversation between four medical students takes a curious turn; and Hugh is initiated into a dark secret.

In the cellar of their narrow lodgings in Printer’s Devil Court and a little used mortuary in a subterranean annex of the hospital, they have begun to interfere with death itself, in shadowy experiments beyond the realms of medical ethics. They call on Hugh to witness an event both extraordinary and terrifying.

Years later, Hugh has occasion to return to his student digs and the familiar surroundings resurrect peculiar and unpleasant memories of these unnatural events, the true horror of which only slowly becomes apparent.

The sunrise by Victoria Hislop

Victoria Hislop is massively popular here in Suffolk. As I write this a waiting list is already forming for her latest book.

In 1972, Famagusta in Cyprus is the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean. Tourism and commerce boom in the city, with Greek and Turkish Cypriots living and working harmoniously side by side.

Elsewhere on the island, there has been a decade of unrest and violence between the communities and in 1974, following a Greek military coup, Turkey invades the island to protect the Turkish Cypriot minority.

As Famagusta is shelled, its population flees. In the now deserted city, just two families are left behind. The Sunrise tells the story of this small group living in hiding.

The assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel

A change of theme for the double Booker Prize winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. This is a collection of short stories.

Death is a word by Hazel Holt

Eva Jackson is Rosemary’s cousin and she has moved back to her childhood home in Taviscombe after the untimely death of her beloved husband Alan.

As is the way of the village, Eva has been pounced upon by the local charities, and it is during a coffee morning that she mentions to Sheila Malory that she fears Alan might have died an unnatural death.

Sheila is intrigued and sets out to find out more. But when Eva’s body is discovered after a supposed insulin overdose, Sheila wonders if the killer might still be at large in the charming Devon countryside. The latest whodunnit from the author of the Mrs Malory Investigates mysteries.

The bone clocks by David Mitchell

One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’.

Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking. The Bone Clocks has been longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

Murder in Time by Veronica Haley (eBook)

Ellie Quicke has her work cut out when past wrongdoings put the future of a child she’s grown to love at stake.

Ellie opens the door to a man who is a stranger but instantly recognisable as the father of her housekeeper’s brilliant but difficult young son. Mikey had been conceived at a party during which his mother Vera, a schoolgirl, had been drugged and raped. Abdi hadn’t wanted anything further to do with her – then. Twelve years later he is a high-flying consultant whose wife cannot have children, and he aims to pay off Vera and adopt Mikey: a suggestion that does not go down well.

Ellie discovers that Vera still thinks fondly of her then boyfriend, even though he had also rejected her after that fatal night. But was that because he had fallen out of love with her, or because his father had been murdered that same weekend? Could the two events have been connected? And what part had Vera’s closest friends and her family played in the tragedy?

Uncovering betrayals between friends and discovering the greed and jealousies behind past events only makes it more difficult for Vera and Mikey to decide on their future . . .

Hit & Run by Sandra Balzo (eBook)

Journalist AnnaLise Griggs’ return to her hometown in North Carolina’s western mountains has led to some unexpected surprises – most notably the discovery that legendary womanizer Dickens Hart is her birth father, and she an heir to Hart’s huge fortune.

Founder of the White Tail Lodge – a High Country knock-off of the Playboy concept – Hart now claims he wants to ‘do right’ by any other children he may have fathered. To that end, he’s invited all his former lovers and potential heirs, including AnnaLise and her own mother, Daisy, to what Hart envisions as a festive Thanksgiving weekend at the sprawling lakeside mansion.

But not everybody is in a celebratory mood, and when a body is discovered dead in the bed, AnnaLise is left with the impossible task of identifying the killer.

The Garden of Stars by Zoe Chamberlain (eBook)

Troubled young mother Vivian Myrtle arrives one day in the quiet town of Ivory Meadows, trailing her young daughter Rosie and a mysterious past. Moving into an isolated and eerie house in the woods, she begins to settle in and find her place in the idyllic little town, but soon learns of a corrupt development scheme that is set to destroy the place she now calls home.

Hatching a plan with the rest of the community to save Ivory Meadows, everything is far from plain sailing, with a brawl, a fire, and a near drowning, and to cap it all Vivian’s past finally catches up with her. This is a story of hope, love, friendship – and fighting for what you believe in.

A Case of Crime by Various (eBook)

6 stories by popular crime authors:

  • No Second Chance, by Bill Kitson:

DS Kate Jackson is distraught when a sure-fire prosecution case against a celebrity accused of rape breaks down. The failed prosecution is an excuse for her superiors to move Kate to another police force, where, putting the past behind her, she successfully rebuilds her career. Then the celebrity who was acquitted all those years ago is found dead on Kate’s beat – and, suddenly, she finds herself under suspicion of murder…

  • Libby Sarjeant and the Mystery of the Errant Emeralds by Lesley Cookman:

Libby Sarjeant and her colleagues who run the Oast Theatre are surprised and somewhat apprehensive when the great Miranda Love decides to make her unexpected comeback at their little venue. Miranda is unquestionably a brilliant actress, but she has a fearsome reputation as a diva – and, as rehearsals get underway, Libby and her friends realise that Miranda Love will do anything to get what she wants…

  • Goodbye, My Darling by Cara Cooper:

Sometimes life can seem too perfect. Perfect home, perfect garden, perfect husband… but what if it’s all just an illusion? What if that perfect husband is plotting the perfect murder? And once things have changed for good, do you stick around or say goodbye?

  • Old Bones by J.J. Campbell:

Amateur detective Charles de Lacy is drawn into a case of gangland intrigue when he agrees to meet his old sparring partner, DS Susan McIntyre. McIntyre reveals the recent deathbed confession of a prominent former criminal, an associate of notorious North London family the Whadcoats. It seems there is a body buried in a field just outside London – the victim of a gang execution in the 1970s – but on examination the story seems impossible. De Lacy investigates – with dramatic unforeseen results…

  • Meteors and Myths by Marsali Taylor:

Cass Lynch is sailing her yacht Khalida when she hears a desperate Mayday call over the ship’s radio: a woman’s husband has just disappeared overboard. Cass heads towards the distressed woman, Anita, and comforts her until help arrives. But something doesn’t seem quite right… Cass, together with DI Gavin Macrae, investigates whether Anita’s loss is really all that much of a blow to her…

  • The Adventure of the Dead Wild Bore by Andrea Frazer:

The recently-formed private detective agency of (Sherman) Holmes and (John) Garden is going from strength to strength. Holmes invites Garden to a meeting of the Quaker Street Irregulars, a society for die-hard fans of his near-namesake, Conan Doyle’s own Sherlock Holmes. Garden is somewhat taken aback by the fervour with which members of the Irregulars defend their opinions on the great fictional consulting detective – but nobody expects a run-of-the-mill disagreement to turn into brutal murder…

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team