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Looking to try something new? Check out our Debuts of the Month selection. You never know, one might become your favourite new author and a special discovery!
CWA Gold Dagger Winner 2010. CWA Judges’ comments: 'A boy tries to lay to rest the ghost of a murdered uncle, leading to a chilling confrontation with a child killer in this disturbing coming-of-age novel.' February 2010 Debut of the Month. Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 24 January 2010. There is an echo of the Moors Murders of the 1960’s in this story line which adds an extra element of eeriness to this suspense filled thriller. Creepy and gripping this is an excellent debut that bodes well for future novels.
A slow building mystery, an historical tour-de-force, a tale of creeping horror, Jasper Kent’s superb novel is a masterful blending of all three. The elusive and secretive vampires are strangely believable as they hide from extravagance and obey their own rules. An intelligent read with themes of curse and despair as the Russians unleash a true terror in their battle against Napoleon’s invasion. It will succeed with fans of horror, history or alternative history and I hope prove to be a true cross-genre hit. It certainly deserves to be. Comparison: Dan Simmons, Elizabeth Kostova, Naomi Novik.
The making of a propaganda film in the 40s – the script ideas, the untrained people involved, the petty jealousies, the atmosphere of ‘making do’ in wartime and the utter chaos shine through in this warm, comic novel of a by-gone age. It’s a delight. Comparison: Kate Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum), Kate Long (The Bad Mother’s Handbook), David Nobbs.
February 2010 Debut of the Month. With any novel set in Salem, Massachusetts, you sort of know it is going to be haunted with the legacy of witchcraft and this one uses that knowledge with great skill. Uncertain of what is real and what is not, peopled with wonderful characters (living and dead) and carrying an air of excitement through to its cracking denouement, this is great stuff. Comparison: Audrey Niffenegger, Diane Setterfield, Will Davenport.
October 2009 Debut of the Month. If you want a blockbuster novel with plenty of sex, scandal, opulence and characters to love and hate then look no further than this marvellous debut novel from Jessica Ruston. She has hit the nail right on the head with just the right level of scheming, bitchiness, drama and of course luxuriousness. Fabulous in every way!
October 2009 Debut of the Month. A debut crime novel that we think will be the beginning of a great new series. A police procedural with a good dollop of romance too, it’s definitely a page turner. We couldn’t put it down.
A murder-mystery with some nice twists and although the final one is easily guessable, it was satisfying discovering that I was right. See what you think. Clara, our reclusive heroine, enjoys her work preparing the dead for their loved ones and families to view. She is still haunted by memories of an unidentified and horribly murdered child whom she prepared a few years ago. The crime was never solved and the death of an apparently innocent man now reopens the case. What ensues has echoes of The Lovely Bones to it. Atmospheric and dark, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read and a highly accomplished first novel. Comparison: Alice Sebold, Jodi Picoult, Kim Edwards.
Shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year 2010. September 2009 Debut of the Month. Warped, sick, gruesome and very good, this is told in alternating chapters between the police investigation into the killing of pregnant women and the cutting out of their babies, to the killer’s home and coping with the results. It’s very compelling, frightening stuff, not for the squeamish. Comparison: Mo Hayder, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Rose.
September 2009 Debut of the Month. Fifteenth century Venice and a street urchin is ‘rescued’ by the Doge’s master chef and taken on as his apprentice. The court life and culinary snippets add depth to the mystery surrounding an ancient book and its dark secrets. The whereabouts of the book becomes the talk of Italy and the obsession of the Doge, and naturally our young apprentice becomes intrigued. There are secrets within secrets here, mounting in a suspenseful read with an unexpected twist or two. Good fun. Comparison: Robert Goddard, Joanne Harris, Kate Mosse.
February 2010 Debut of the Month. This comic novel is jam-packed with hilarious and very well observed insights in to relationships, not just those between lovers but also work colleagues, friends and family. Daria the main character is feisty and headstrong but also vulnerable and the reader instantly warms to her and her plight to make the best of her life. A real joy to read we hope to see much more from this new author.
Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger 2009. CWA Judges’ comments: ‘A very strong debut with a highly original female protagonist.’ This is a fantastic book that was deservedly shortlisted for a CWA Gold Dagger. It introduces a highly original female protagonist, Jenny Cooper, the troubled new coroner to the Severn Vale District in one of the most exciting new crime series in years. Jenny takes on the establishment in search of truth and justice whilst dealing with a broken personal life you can really relate to. We could not put the book down and can’t wait for the next in the series. Click here to view some Reading Group questions for this title. Jenny Cooper series:1. The Coroner2. The Disappeared3. The Redeemed Comparison: Lynda La Plante, Peter James, Mark Billingham.
September 2009 Debut of the Month. A fresh and amusing approach to crime writing for the action is seen through the eyes of the private investigator’s dog. With a kidnapping at its centre, the Russian mafia to the fore and scents, gnawings, gunmen attacks and the like our hero dog is beset on all sides, and triumphs. Great fun, not to be taken seriously but definitely needing a sequel – I understand one is coming. Comparison: Unique but try Leonie Swann (Three Bags Full), Jasper Fforde (Big Over Easy), Christopher Fowler (Bryant and May series).
Fabulous First-time Fiction
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