North West India, July 1897. Simon and Alice Fonthill are travelling with their old friend Jenkins to Marden, India for an anniversary party with the Guides Corps. But their journey takes a dangerous turn when they are ambushed and they realise the land may not be as peaceful as believed. As the Pathans begin their revolt, Simon is tasked by Viceroy Elgin to deliver a very important letter to the Amir in Kabul. But he must battle against time and incredible odds when Alice is kidnapped by the Mullah leading the revolt.
Among the coral outcrops of the island of Rota in the Marianas Island, off the Philippines, lies the wreck of a Spanish galleon, the Santa Margarita. Here we are told a tale of the disastrous last voyage, beset by an extraordinary sequence of typhoons and storms, of the Santa Margarita on her way to Acapulco in the spring of 1601.
"A tale of when men were iron and ships were wood"
First published in 1956, The Ascent of Rum Doodle quickly became established as mountaineering classic. As an outrageously funny spoof about the ascent of a 40,000-and-a-half-foot peak, many thought it inspired by the 1953 conquest of Everest. But Bowman had drawn on the flavour and tone of earlier adventures, of Bill Tilman and his 1937 account of the Nandi Devi expedition. The book's central and unforgettable character, Binder, is one of the finest creations in comic literature.
"Hilarious. Definitely a find, not to be missed."
Events that took place on the Northwest Frontier of India in 1910 are resurrected for Joe Sandilands 12 years later. On a welcome break from his duties, he is spending a fortnight with his old army friend James Lindsay, commander of the British army's fort at Gor Khatri on the Afghan border. There is an uneasy peace in operation, but into the delicate situation is injected an ill-assorted group of visitors. After a skirmish that results in the death of a Pathan prince and the taking of hostages, Joe and James are given a week in which to find the killer.
"Adventure and murder mystery set during the British Raij"
Simla 1922, and the summer capital of the British Raj is fizzing with the energy of the Jazz Age. Simla is where detective Joe Sandilands is heading as the guest of Sir George Jardine, the Governor of Bengal. But when Joe’s travelling companion, a Russian opera singer, is shot dead at his side in the Governor’s car, he finds himself plunged into a murder investigation. Confronted by the mystery of an identical unsolved killing a year before, Joe realizes that Sir George’s hospitality comes at a high price.
"Fascinating Story, Great Setting"
David Rogers was a doctor, handsome, charming and rich. He lived the lifestyle of the consultant - expensive clothes, top restaurants, exclusive clubs - until someone killed him in the hallway of his lovely million-plus-pound house. Was he killed for passion, professional jealousy, or plain old money? Bill Slider and his firm are thrown into the mystery, but they soon discover that nothing is as it seems, for though David’s girlfriends are plenty, none of them can tell Slider anything about where he worked or exactly what it was he did.…
A scorching August day, and a handsome young man is found dead in his bath. Suicide is not a detective inspector’s business, but Bill Slider’s colleague takes one look at the body and calls in his boss: 'It don’t look right to me, guv.' Slider has to agree. There’s the method of death, a single slash to the jugular; men don’t usually cut. And his wallet and keys are missing. Either this was suicide with concealment in mind - or murder.
It's 1926: Joe Sandilands is back from India enjoying the frantic pleasures of Jazz Age London. But post-war gaiety soon wears off when Scotland Yard ask Joe to conduct a swift enquiry. Dame Beatrice Joliffe, a much-respected member of the British establishment, has been bludgeoned to death in her suite at the Ritz. It seems that death dogged the footsteps of Dame Beatrice, and Joe finds himself investigating the apparent suicides of three young women who had been close to her.
"Another excellent British police procedural set in the 1920s!"
Cambridge, October 1933. Inside the old All Hallows Church on All Hallows' Eve, Doctor Adelaide Hartest bears witness to the final moments of a dying stranger. Despite the dagger plunged into the stranger's chest, the death is ruled a suicide, compounded by a formal confession before death. The victim, it is revealed, is known to Scotland Yard, and Assistant Commissioner Joe Sandilands is sent all the way from London to investigate.
December, 1380. When the corpse of Sir Robert Kilverby is discovered in a locked room, Brother Athelstan accompanies the King’s coronor to investigate. For the late Sir Robert had in his possession a sacred bloodstone which he was planning to donate to the Abbey of St Fulcher-on-Thames.
The rebellion of '45 and the bloody massacre at Culloden thrust Jemima into the spotlight as the savior of the Morland family. Independent, single-minded, and a rare beauty, Jemima is a capable caretaker of the Morland heritage. Although Morland Place and its lands suffer from the excesses of her dissolute husband, Jemima's quiet courage earns her an abiding love and loyalty.
1670: King Charles II's reign has brought peace and prosperity to the Morland family, but James II's ascent to the throne will shatter their restored fortunes. In Yorkshire, Morland Place has flourished during the Restoration, and in London the beautiful and sprited Annunciata, is now Countess of Chelmsford, a wealthy and well-connected woman, intimate with the Royal Family. But storm clouds gather over them all when the reign of James II brings rebellion and discord.
Bank Holiday Monday, and beautiful Zellah Wilding, straight-A student at St Margaret's, prefect and future Head Girl, lies dead near the famous Wormwood Scrubs prison in London. What was this good girl from a strict Christian family doing out there, dressed to kill, when she was supposed to be at a sleepover with school friends? A secret boyfriend from a run-down estate and a recently-released rapist look tasty; or could the nearby fairground or the eponymous prison have something to do with it?
"Good book, problematic narration"
1689: The Restoration enabled the Morland family to restore their own fortune, but now the Jacobite Rebellion brings another threat to their security. Annuciata Morland, fiercely loyal to the Stuart cause, follows her beloved king, James II, into exile. She leaves her gentle grandson, Matt, to oversee Morland Place in her absence. Without her wise presence, Matt finds himself in an arranged marriage to India Neville and at the mercy of a woman as heartless as she is beautiful.
Antiques expert Rowland Egerton, the darling of daytime TV, has been stabbed to death in his luxurious West London home. The press are going to be all over this one like a nasty rash: the pressure's on Slider for a result, and soon. Egerton's partner, the bulky, granite-faced John Lavender, found the body; did he also do the deed? Or was it a burglary gone wrong? A missing Faberge box and Impressionist painting point that way. But as Slider and his team investigate, none of the facts seem to fit.
"Terry Wale is an awful narrator"
1659: Cromwell's protectorate is drawing to a close, and the restoration of the monarchy can only improve the fortunes of the Morland family. The years of civil war and their aftermath have left Morland Place in dire straits, but with the return of the King, Ralph Morland believes he can rebuild the family estates. For his beautiful and ambitious cousin, Annunciata, the Restoration means a journey to London - one that leads to the amours and intriges of Charles's court and to the unlocking of her mysterious past.
India 1922. When a tiger, turned man-eater, starts terrorising the northern villages of Ranipur, Governor Sir George Jardine dispatches Joe Sandilands, war hero and Scotland Yard detective, to join in a hunt for the beast as the guest of the maharajah. But Joe's suspicions are soon roused about the true nature of his trip. The maharajah is dying and his succession is unclear. The first heir to the throne has already died in a panther-wrestling incident and a second violent death occurs as Joe approaches the city.
"Excellent British Raij Police Procedural"
1793. HMS Amazon is returning from an arduous duty in the Indian Ocean when she encounters a French frigate in the Atlantic. When Amazon left England nearly two years before the countries were not at war but any hopes that the peace still holds are shattered as the Frenchman unexpectedly opens fire- a bloody sea battle ensues resulting in both triumph and personal tragedy for Acting Lieutenant John Fury.
"battle of Toulon"
1630: after long years of peace the reign of Charles I brings brutal civil war to England. The clash between King and Parliament is echoed at Morland Place when Richard brings home a Puritan bride while his brother, Kit, joins Prince Rupert and the Royalist cavalry, leaving their father Edmund desperately trying to steer a middle course between the fighting factions. As the war grinds on, bitterness and disillusion replace the early fervour, and the schisms between husband and wife, father and son, grow deeper.
"History Made Clear For Me"
Folies Bergère, Paris, 1927. Joe Sandilands hurries to the assistance of an old friend who has been arrested for murder. In a cell of the Quai des OrfÃ¿vres he meets with Sir George Jardine, still in the evening dress stained with the blood of the dead man. The only other witness, a blonde who was sharing the victim's box, has vanished.
"A wonderful step back to the 20s and mystery"