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Nick Rennison is a writer, editor and bookseller. His books include Sherlock Holmes: An Unauthorised Biography, Robin Hood: Myth, History, Culture, The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide and 100 Must-Read Historical Novels. He is a regular reviewer of historical fiction for both The Sunday Times and BBC History Magazine.
The ghost of a poor Afghan returns to haunt the doctor who once amputated his hand. A mysterious and malignant force inhabits a room in an ancestral home and attacks all who sleep in it. A man who desecrates an Indian temple is transformed into a ravening beast. A castle in the Tyrol is the setting for an aristocratic murderer’s apparent resurrection. Nick Rennison, editor of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes and The Rivals of Dracula, has chosen fifteen tales from that era to raise the hair and chill the spines of modern readers. What a fantastically fascinating anthology, and perfectly framed by Nick Rennison’s insightful introduction. For the uninitiated, the eponymous ‘Supernatural Sherlock’ refers to the proliferation of occult detective stories that burst forth between 1890 and 1930. Among the authors of this wildly inventive, flamboyantly colourful genre were the likes of Kipling and Conan Doyle himself, along with prominent occult magician Dion Fortune, and stories by each of these are featured here, along with an excellent tale by HP Lovecraft, and other lesser known writers. These supernaturally-charged treats will amuse, astound and send shivers of unadulterated terror down readers’ spines as the intrepid detective protagonists venture where no normal detective would dare tread: into the depths of the dark unknown, investigating everything from ancestral homes occupied by evil forces, to haunted surgeons, risking their very sanity as they pursue a myriad of decidedly elusive otherworldly truths. Aficionados of detective fiction, this is a veritably original trove to explore. Joanne Owen BUY DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER
One of our Books of the Year 2013. A ‘Ripping Yarn’ of the first order. A romantic adventure with suspense and drama in buckets as we are introduced to Adam Carver and his servant Quint. With heroes and villains, and it is not always clear which is which, we have Victorian London, upper classes and the lowest of the low, with mystery, murder, theft, blackmail, buried Greek treasure, infamy, treachery, bandits and a beautiful maiden. What more could you want? The plot is complex and sinuous but it all becomes clear in the end and right triumphs, justice prevails – of course. Great stuff, a real page-turner which begins a series.
From rebel writers and outrageous occultists, to mayhem-making musicians, the exuberant individuals described herein are a heady hotchpotch of hell-raising, trailblazing outsiders, united by their links to London. As the author notes in his introduction, the city has “always been home to outsiders. To people who won't, or can't, abide by the conventions of respectable society” and, beginning with the rabble-rousing antics of Shakespeare’s unrulier contemporaries, this entertaining book takes readers on an exhilarating journey, with the Big Smoke’s most rebellious residents as tour guides. We encounter familiar flamboyant figures afresh - William Blake, Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, Virginia Woolf, Dylan Thomas. We also meet lesser-known figures, such as the wealthy women at the heart of the Bright Young Things scene of the twenties and thirties. Later, we are thrust into the Swinging Sixties, and propelled into punk, which opened a door for London’s working class youth to make their own music and art, and thereby make something of themselves. This miscellany of miscreants comes highly recommended for anyone with an interest in London’s colourful cultural history, and for readers who are fuelled by the flames of rebellion. ~ Joanne Owen BUY DIRECT FROM THE PUBLISHER
London, 1871. Traveller, photographer and sometime intelligencer Adam Carver is asked by a friend from the Foreign Office to find Dolly Delaney, a West End dancing girl who has been involved with a diplomat and since disappeared. What seems a straightforward case soon proves otherwise. Carver is discomfited to come across alluring daguerreotypes of Dolly and he seeks answers from one of her fellow dancers, the feisty Hetty Gallant. Soon, Carver and his stoical manservant Quint are drawn north to York, where they are implicated in a shocking death. The pair flee across the Channel, but soon encounter new treacheries in Berlin, the imposing and dangerous capital of the nascent Germany. Carver's Truth is both a compelling murder mystery and a splendidly full-blooded portrait of mid-Victorian England.
Connecting people with places, London's distinctive Blue Plaque scheme highlights the buildings where some of the most remarkable men and women in our history and culture have lived and worked. From Richard Burton to Karl Marx, Marie Stopes to Jimi Hendrix, this fully updated 4th edition of The London Blue Plaque Guide has over 900 entries and provides an essential companion to the famous people who have made their homes in the city. It includes updated maps and a useful list of names by profession as well as location. As the definitive guide to the fascinating historical figures who have lived in London, it will be invaluable to residents and tourists alike.
A large number of people each year make their reading decisions on the basis of prizes like the Booker and Orange Guide to Fiction. This new title in the successful Must-Read series provides an overview of prize-winning fiction over the decades. With 100 titles fully featured and over 500 read-on recommendations, this unique survey of literature incorporates some of the finest contemporary fiction ever produced including Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children (Booker), Jonathan Coe's What a Carve Up (John Llewellyn Rhys), Andrea Levy's Small Island (Orange), Louis de Bernieres's Captain Corelli's Mandolin (Commonwealth Writers' Prize), Zadie Smith's White Teeth (Guardian First Book Award), Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things (Booker). As well as Booker and Pullitzer prize-winners the book also finds room for those that have triumphed in less familiar prizes, such as the Betty Trask and the John Lewellyn Rhys. It looks at prize winners in certain genres such as crime and science fiction, as well as prize winners from other countries: the French Prix de Goncourt and the Australian Miles Franklin award. Because of the sheer range of prizes across countries and genres - this is a diverse and rich list that no book worm would want to be without.
The essential guide to the wild uncharted world of contemporary and 20th century writing. Robert McCrum, The Observer Deciding what to read next when you've just finished an unputdownable novel can be daunting. The Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide features hundreds of authors and thousands of titles, with navigation features to lead you on a rich journey through some of the best literature to grace our shelves. This greatly expanded edition features 40 new author entries including more recently established authors with a proven body of work: Monica Ali, Anne Enright, Jonathan Franzen and Marina Lewycka, more non-fiction writers (Roger Deakin, Robert Macfarlane, Graham Robb, Kate Summerscale), new sections including 'New Writers to Watch' and 'Forgotten Classics' and major revisions throughout. An accessible and authoritative guide that no serious book lover should be without.
Novels which transform our ideas about human possibilities, biographies which celebrate the achievements of extraordinary individuals, polemical works of non-fiction which oblige us to alter our views of the world or of human society: all of us can remember reading at least one book which made us think about the world anew. Here, the author of the popular Bloomsbury Good Reading Guide, selects the very best books which may or may not have changed the world, but which have certainly changed the lives of thousands of people who have read them. Some examples of titles included: Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - a poignant recording of the author's triumph over the obstacles of being black and poor in a racist society. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. Santiago's meeting with the alchemist opens his eyes to the true values of life, love and suffering The Diary of Anne Frank Half a century later the story of a teenager coming to maturity in the most terrible of circumstances remains profoundly moving. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet Gibran's poetic essays reveal his thoughts on everything in life from love and marriage to the enigmas of birth and death. Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Pirsig's narrator creates a philosophical masterpiece that has the power to change lives.
Why did London Underground once employ a one-legged man to ride up and down the escalators at Earl's Court tube station? What did Hitler plan to do with Nelson's Column? Why is London's only medieval mummy a prostitute named Clarice la Claterballock? How did a beer flood in Tottenham Court Road drown nine people? Where can you see a pair of Queen Victoria's knickers? Containing chapters covering London past and present; buildings and streets; famous and unexpected Londoners; arts, literature and crime; plus much much more, the 180 lists will amaze, amuse and inform. More than simply a keepsake for tourists, every self-respecting Londoner needs this book.
Want to become a classic novel buff, or expand your reading of some of the finest novels ever published? With 100 of the best titles fully reviewed and a further 500 recommended, you'll quickly set out on a journey of discovery.
Want to become a crime novel buff, or expand your reading in your favourite genre? This is a good place to start! From the publishers of the popular, Good Reading Guide comes a rich selection of the some of the finest crime novels ever published. With 100 of the best titles fully reviewed and a further 500 recommended, you'll quickly become an expert on the world of crime. The book also allows you to browse by theme, includes 'a reader's fast-guide to the world of crime fiction' as well listing the top 10 crime characters and their creators, award winners and book club recommendations.
Featuring a broad range of contemporary British novelists from Iain Banks to Jeanette Winterson, Louis de Bernieres to Irvine Welsh and Salman Rushdie, this book offers an excellent introductory guide to the contemporary literary scene. Each entry includes concise biographical information on each of the key novelists and analysis of their major works and themes. Fully cross-referenced and containing extensive guides to further reading, Fifty Contemporary British Novelists is the ideal guide to modern British fiction for both the student and the contemporary fiction buff alike.