"The horror on the train, great though it may turn out to be, will not compare with the horror that exists here, in this house." On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been lit and the table laid for tea - but no one is at home. Trapped together for Christmas, the passengers are seeking to unravel the secrets of the empty house when a murderer strikes in their midst.
It's 1934. When Miss Pongleton is found murdered on the stairs of Belsize Park station, her fellow boarders in the Frampton Hotel are not overwhelmed with grief at the death of a tiresome old woman. But they all have their theories about the identity of the murderer and help to unravel the mystery of who killed the wealthy 'Pongle'. Several of her fellow residents - even Tuppy the terrier - have parts to play in the events that lead to a dramatic arrest.
"A cunning mystery, well read"
When her father remarries, the honest, innocent Molly Gibson suddenly finds herself with a new stepsister, Cynthia, who is beautiful, worldly and impetuous. This would be more than enough to deal with, but the new wife is the deeply snobbish (and darkly secretive) Hyacinth. Thwarted love, scheming ambition and small-town gossip underlie the warmth, irony and brilliant social observation which link the relationships and the inevitable conflicts as profound change comes to rural England.
"A Masterpiece - I LOVE THIS BOOK!"
The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal’s life changes dramatically when her father is suspected of treachery by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father-in-law brings disgrace and heartbreak.
For Miss Cordell, principal of Persephone College, there are two great evils to be feared: unladylike behaviour among her students and bad publicity for the college. So her prim and cosy world is turned upside down when a secret society of undergraduates meets by the river on a gloomy January afternoon only to find the drowned body of the college bursar floating in her canoe.
"Oxford in the 1930's"
Two very different women are linked by destiny and the struggle for the English crown. Matilda, daughter of Henry I, is determined to win back her crown from Stephen, the usurper king. Adeliza, Henry's widowed queen and Matilda's stepmother, is now married to William D'Albini, a warrior of the opposition. Both women are strong and prepared to stand firm for what they know is right. But in a world where a man's word is law, how can Adeliza obey her husband while supporting Matilda, the rightful queen?
"If you are into boring dialogue and steamy sex scenes buy this book"
In 17th century Rotterdam, newly orphaned Saskia is employed as a lady's maid to Vrouw Gibbons. Capable and hard-working, it soon becomes apparent that her talent for the manufacture of beauty products - a legacy from her mother - far exceeds her lowly status. She catches the eye of Grinling Gibbons, her employers' only son, and of his English friend, Robert Harding. When the Gibbons family decides to return to England, Saskia goes with them, and in time the opportunity arises for her to set up in business.
The Dhammapada, a collection of 423 verses in 26 chapters, is perhaps the most famous of all Buddhist texts. It presents the Buddha’s teachings in a clear and highly accessible form and has been used for personal instruction and teaching for centuries throughout the Buddhist world. It comes from the Khuddaka Nikaya section of the Pali Canon and is here collected with two other key texts from the same source.
"Pure common sense !"
Martha Andersson may be 79 years old and live in a retirement home, but that doesn't mean she's ready to stop enjoying life. So when the new management of Diamond House starts cutting corners to save money, Martha and her four closest friends - The Genius, The Rake, Christina, and Anna-Gretta (aka the League of Pensioners) - won't stand for it. Fed up with early bedtimes and overcooked veggies, this group of feisty seniors sets about to regain their independence, improve their lot, and stand up for seniors everywhere.
Floundering in the footsteps of a deliberately downplayed police enquiry, Libby manages to stir up more mud than the rotavator. When television personality Lewis Osbourne-Walker buys Creekmarsh Place, near Steeple Martin in Kent, Libby Sarjeant's son Adam is employed to help with the renovation of the garden. What he doesn't expect is to uncover a long buried skeleton.
Dear Mr Bigelow is an enchanting selection of weekly 'pen-pal' letters written between 1949 and 1961 from an unmarried woman working at the Pier Approach Baths in Bournemouth, to a wealthy American widower, living on Long Island, New York. Frances Woodsford and Commodore Paul Bigelow never met, and there was no romance - she was in her forties when he died aged ninety-seven - yet their epistolary friendship was her lifeline.
For the Spender family, the ancient, beautifully kept house had seemed a godsend, an incredible bargain, almost a gift from its owner - a kindly man who merely wanted someone to protect the family homestead, to make Gad’s come alive again. And it did. Soon a strong-willed, sensible woman would be overtaken by irrational feelings she could not control, all because of the unspeakable secret kept by the women who had lived at Gad’s Hall more than a century ago.…
Robert Browning’s popular poems "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" and "How They Brought the Good News" are often anthologised, but it is in his dramatic lyrics such as "My Last Duchess" and the chilling "Porphyria’s Lover" that his poetic genius shines. Browning, with his unusual use of language, can be a challenging poet, but one who is always rewarding. This selection shows the many imaginative facets of this often neglected Victorian poet.
"Excellent, brief review"
Less Than Angels follows the loves, works and hopes of a group of young anthropologists. Catherine Oliphant is a writer and lives with handsome anthropologist Tom Mallow. Their relationship runs into trouble when he begins a romance with student Deirdre Swann, so Catherine turns her attention to the reclusive anthropologist Alaric Lydgate, who has a fondness for wearing African masks. Added to this love triangle are the activities of Deirdre's fellow students and their attempts to win the competition for a research grant.
Jane Fortune causes a stir when she arrives in the small community of Dingleford. She has bought an old cottage and plans to open a tearoom. Old friends Charles Weatherby and Harold Prestcott both fall for the newcomer, but her behaviour seems to vary wildly – she encourages first one then the other and at other times barely recognises them. Is there more to the fair Miss Fortune than meets the eye?
"A Humorous Look at 1930s English Village Life"
In Paris, January 1943, 230 French women resisters were rounded up and sent on a train to Auschwitz - the only train, in the four years of the German occupation, to take women of the resistance to a death camp. The youngest was a schoolgirl of 15, the eldest a farmer’s wife of 68; there were among them teachers, biochemists, sales girls, secretaries, housewives and university lecturers. The women turned to one another, finding solace and strength in friendship and shared experience.
When former banana-grower Edris Tidson hears of a possible sighting of a water-naiad he insists that his wife, her aunt Prissie and Prissie’s young ward Connie, travel with him to Winchester in search of the nymph. As tensions rise between Connie and Edris, Prissie invites part-time Freudian Mrs Bradley to join them and unofficially observe Edris and his growing obsession. Then two young boys are found drowned and speculation mounts that the naiad is luring them to their deaths.
When Rupert Sethleigh’s body is found one morning, laid out in the village butcher’s shop and minus its head, the inhabitants of Wandles Parva aren’t particularly upset. Sethleigh was a blackmailing money lender and when Mrs Bradley begins her investigation she finds no shortage of suspects. It soon transpires that most of the village seem to have been wandering about Manor Woods, home of the mysterious druidic stone on which Sethleigh’s blood is found splashed, on the night he was murdered.
"classic golden age mystery"
The eleventh book in the Libby Sarjeant series of British murder mysteries which features a retired actress as the female sleuth and is based in the picturesque village of Steeple Martin. Libby Sarjeant is invited to look into the provenance of a jewelled Anglo-Saxon reliquary which has appeared on a website. The nuns at St Eldreda's Abbey are curious, as it apparently contains a relic of St Eldreda herself.
"Not so much a cozy as a good sedative"
It’s 11 years since Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary first got together. They thought they’d found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, a flat became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn’t quite so simple. But through it all Jem and Ralph still loved each other. Now, in the chaos of family life, Ralph feels more and more as if he’s standing on the sidelines, and Jem that she’s losing herself.