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Shorter Reads

Want to read a story with all the depth, questions and quality of a novel, written by highly skilled writers in about 5% of the space? Short stories can be heartbreaking, mysterious and incredibly detailed; for a perfectly formed, bite-sized smorgasbord of stories, browse our Short Story recommendations here.

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

Author: P. D. James Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2016

As the acknowledged 'Queen of Crime', P. D. James was frequently commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write a special short story for Christmas. Four of the best of these have been drawn from the archives and published here. P. D. James' prose illuminates each of these perfectly formed stories, making them ideal reading for the darkest days of the year. While she delights in the secrets that lurk beneath the surface at family gatherings, her Christmas stories also provide tantalizing puzzles to keep the reader guessing. P. D. James embraces the challenge of the short-story form, and ingeniously weaves the strands of plot, setting, characterisation and surprise to create a satisfying whole within only a few thousand words.

ebook of the month
The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding

Author: Agatha Christie Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2016

 First came a sinister warning to Poirot not to eat any plum pudding...then the discovery of a corpse in a chest...next, an overheard quarrel that led to murder...the strange case of the dead man who altered his eating habits...and the puzzle of the victim who dreamt his own suicide.

ebook of the month
Love Across a Broken Map Short Stories from the Whole Kahani

Love Across a Broken Map Short Stories from the Whole Kahani

Author: Susmita Bhattacharya Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2016

This eclectic mix explores love and loss across the dividing lines of culture, race and ethnicity. Love is celebrated, broken and forgotten; is embraced and remembered, in this collection of stories of heartbreak and resilience. "The Whole Kahani" (The Complete Story), is a collective of British fiction writers of South Asian origin. The group was formed in 2011 to provide a creative perspective that straddles cultures and boundaries both emotional and geographical. Its aim is to give a new voice to old stories and increase the visibility of South Asian writers in Britain. Members of The Whole Kahani are: Kavita A. Jindal, Dimmi Khan, Reshma Ruia, Mona Dash, Radhika Kapur, Rohan Kar, C.G. Menon, Farrah Yusuf, Iman Qureshi and Shibani Lal.

The Pier Falls

The Pier Falls

Author: Mark Haddon Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2016

This is an expedition to Mars goes terribly wrong. A seaside pier collapses. A thirty-stone man is confined to his living room. One woman is abandoned on a tiny island in the middle of the ocean. Another woman is saved from drowning. Two boys discover a gun in a shoe box. A group of explorers find a cave of unimaginable size deep in the Amazon jungle. A man shoots a stranger in the chest on Christmas Eve.

ebook of the month
Beneath the Earth

Beneath the Earth

Author: John Boyne Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

Drawing on a host of enthralling characters - a farmer, a cuckold and a teenager exploring his sexuality; good parents, bad parents, writers and soldiers; a student, a rent boy and a hitman - Boyne examines the hopeful and the damaged without prejudice or judgement. This, his first collection of short stories, is some of John Boyne's finest writing to date. It includes 'Rest Day' which won the 2015 Writing.ie Short Story of the Year award in Ireland.

ebook of the month

There is a real skill in being able to conjure a whole life in just a few pages, to be able to leave a reader with an enduring feeling in just a short time. Here you will find lasting stories about life the universe and everything, from authors you already know as novelists and some that will be knew and welcome friends. We love a good short story, not just because they provide great reading in bite-size chunks - perfect for the trip to work, or a moment when you just want a small piece of brilliance in your life – but also because they are (if they are good) a perfect piece of art, capturing the human condition in a snapshot that stays with the reader for much longer than it took to write. As Graham Greene put it; “a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov’s story, The Lady with the Dog.” From Chekhov to Julian Barnes via a whole host of other perfectionists, we have hand-picked the very best of short story collections for readers of all tastes.