Classic crime and mystery fiction

A Corruption of Blood

A Corruption of Blood

Author: Ambrose Parry Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2022

A Raven and Fisher Mystery: Book 3 Edinburgh, 1850. This city will bleed you dry. Dr Will Raven is a man seldom shocked by human remains, but even he is disturbed by the contents of a package washed up at the Port of Leith. Stranger still, a man Raven has long detested is pleading for his help to escape the hangman. Back in the townhouse of Dr James Simpson, Sarah Fisher has set her sights on learning to practise medicine. Almost everyone seems intent on dissuading her from this ambition, but when word reaches her that a woman has recently obtained a medical degree despite her gender, Sarah decides to seek her out. Raven's efforts to prove his former adversary's innocence are failing and he desperately needs Sarah's help. Putting their feelings for one another aside, their investigations take them to both extremes of Edinburgh's social divide, where they discover that wealth and status cannot alter a fate written in the blood.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Little Drummer

Little Drummer

Author: Kjell Ola Dahl Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/05/2022

With two spectacularly contrasting settings and two oh-so different officers you’ll find yourself with an eloquently compelling novel on your hands. A murder investigation enters the heavyweight corporate world of international deals and exploitation. Award-winning Kjell Ola Dahl began writing in 1993, this book in his successful Oslo Detective series was first published in Norway in 2003 and is just as bitingly relevant today. Little Drummer is book four to be translated into English, and as ever, Don Bartlett does a cracking job, fully immersing you in the story. Gunnarstranda and Frolich make a fabulous pairing, even though they are only together on the page on a handful of occasions. With Frolich jetting off to Kenya, and journalist Lise on the scene, Gunnarstranda still holds his own in Oslo. The fiercely political and social aspects of this novel are highlighted when you consider that this was written twenty years ago, human greed, power, and corruption are our constant companions. Little Drummer is as chillingly Nordic Noir in the dry heat of Africa as it is in Oslo, ensuring an absolutely thrilling and rewarding read.

eBooks of the Month
A Spoonful of Murder

A Spoonful of Murder

Author: J.M. Hall Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Retirement can be murder... Once a week, three retired school teachers have their 'coffee o'clock' sessions at the Thirsk Garden Centre cafe. But one fateful Thursday morning, they bump into their ex-colleague, Topsy, during their weekly coffee and catch-up. By the next Thursday, Topsy's dead. The last thing Liz, Thelma and Pat imagined was that they would become embroiled in a murder. But they know there's more to Topsy's death than meets the eye - and it's down to them to prove it... Sit down with a cup of tea, a slice of cake and this perfectly witty, page-turning cosy crime novel. Fans of The Thursday Murder Club, Death in Paradise and Midsomer Murders will be hooked from the very first page.

Faceless

Faceless

Author: Vanda Symon Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

If you’ve read the Sam Shephard series, you’ll know all about Vanda Symon, New Zealand’s Queen of Crime. If you’ve not read them, please do, they are cracking. Faceless is jam-packed with suspense, utterly gripping and I promise you’ll clench all the way through. Certain bits I felt I stopped breathing altogether! And don’t get me started on the final few chapters… Billy is a vulnerable, homeless artist who turns tricks to fund her art. When Bradley, a stressed, middle-aged man picks up Billy, his frustration leads him down a path, and pushes him into acting to prove he’s not weak, he lashes out and kidnaps Billy. Pals from the streets, Max is forced to come out of the shadows to find his only friend, confront his demons and boy, he’s committed. Your heart breaks as you follow Billy’s ordeal and as her plight becomes more and more desperate. Symon’s powerful storytelling delivers an emotional rollercoaster of a thriller, and doesn’t let you go. You follow the jaw-dropping journey as the faceless street dwellers become real people and we understand what led them to the streets; a thought-provoking thriller that will have your heart racing.

The Paris Apartment

The Paris Apartment

Author: Lucy Foley Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Populated with dysfunctional, unreliable characters who live in the eponymous upmarket building, Lucy Foley’s The Paris Apartment is as potent as its stifling, steamy summer-in-the-city setting. With this clearly-defined space providing the tingling tension of a classic mystery, this will have fans of twisty, psychological thrillers on the very edge of their seats. Pretty much penniless, Jess has fled her bar job in Brighton hoping to start afresh in Paris, where her half-brother Ben is working to make a name for himself as a journalist. Though they shared a mother, their lives took very different paths when Ben was taken-in by a well-to-do family who helped him make it to Cambridge University, which is kind-of how he came to be living in a stunning Paris apartment while Jess has been struggling. But Jess’s hopes for a new life are immediately thrown off-course when Ben’s not home when she arrives. As the hours - and days - pass, with Jess wondering how Ben can possibly afford to live in a place like this, she begins to ask questions of the apartment’s extremely well-heeled residents. It’s clear all the dysfunctional occupants are harbouring secrets (and carrying a whole lot of high-end Hermès baggage), but what might they have to do with Ben’s disappearance? And who is the most likely suspect? Readers are led on a grippingly twisting journey alongside Jess, one that lays bare many monsters beneath the luxury beds.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Quiet People

The Quiet People

Author: Paul Cleave Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/11/2021

If you love a page-turning police-procedural with more twists and turns than a rollercoaster, then stop right now. Cleave has become one of my go-to authors for a chilling slice of cleverly crafted crime. You feel the heat intensifying chapter by chapter as you burn through the book, unable to put it down. Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are a successful crime writing duo living in Christchurch, New Zealand. The book opens with Cameron and their 7 year old Zach at a funfair where there’s an altercation when Cameron loses sight of his son for a second and it escalates. Zach is a challenging child, prone to frequent outbursts and after threatening to run away that night, he disappears and the guilt, recriminations and remonstrations set in and start eating away at their seemingly perfect marriage. They know better than anyone, that the parents are always the first to be suspected. The pace rockets as the community turns against the Murdochs and jokes on the promotional circuit are remembered and paraded for all to judge. Comments like: “I have no doubt that we could plot the perfect crime if we had to” comes to haunt them. Did they, or didn’t they? You decide for yourself in this cracking adrenalin rush of a crime thriller. You’ll be on the edge of your seat, I promise.

Books of the Month
April in Spain

April in Spain

Author: John Banville Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/10/2021

The sumptuous, propulsive, sun-kissed follow up to the bestselling Snow, from the Booker Prize winning author 'He wanted to know who she was, and why he was convinced he had some unremembered connection with her. It was as simple as that. But he knew it wasn't. It wasn't simple at all.' When Dublin pathologist Quirke glimpses a familiar face while on holiday with his wife, it's hard, at first, to tell whether his imagination is just running away with him. Could she really be who he thinks she is, and have a connection with a crime that nearly brought ruin to an Irish political dynasty? Unable to ignore his instincts, Quirke makes a call back home and Detective St John Strafford is soon dispatched to Spain. But he's not the only one on route: as a terrifying hitman hunts down his prey, they are all set for a brutal showdown.

Daggers Drawn

Daggers Drawn

Author: Maxim Jakubowski Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/2021

Dive in and discover 19 winning short stories by some of the greats in the crime writing world. You can sink in and totally immerse yourself in the writing, or pick and choose at your leisure. The Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) was founded in 1953, and they have run their annual awards, The Daggers, since 1956. Take a look at the shortlists of each Dagger and you are set up with a beautifully meaty reading list, the Short Story Dagger is no exception. Maxim Jakubowski, the current chair, has assembled this collection and as he declares in his introduction: “Every story a winner!”. The first, Swiftwing 98 by Peter O’Donnell in 1985 was from a time when the Short Story Dagger had to submitted and include certain ingredients. He had to work in a bottle of champagne, a cryptic message on a micro computer screen, a beautiful blonde Hungarian pianist and Victoria Station, and it is fascinating to see how these feature in the story. Maxim explains that not long after, the rules changed, and the award was given to what was judged to be just the best crime short story of that year. Particular stand outs for me were the amusing intrigue of Herbert in Motion by Ian Rankin, the slicing horror of the Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing by Danuta Reah, and the heartbreak of Martha Grace by Stella Duffy. Chosen as one of my Liz Picks of the Month, Daggers Drawn is a perfect gift for any crime fiction lovers and short story aficionados out there.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
The Khan

The Khan

Author: Saima Mir Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2021

Be twice as good as men and four times as good as white men. Jia Khan has always lived like this. Successful London lawyer Jia Khan is a long way from the grubby Northern streets she knew as a child, where her father, Akbar Khan, led the Pakistani community and ran the local organised crime syndicate. Often his Jirga rule - the old way - was violent and bloody, but it was always justice of a kind. Now, with her father murdered, Jia must return to take his place. The police have always relied on the Khan to maintain the fragile order of the streets. But a bloody power struggle has broken out among warring communities and nobody is safe. Justice needs to be restored, and Jia is about to discover that justice always comes at a cost.

The Murder at the Vicarage

The Murder at the Vicarage

Author: Agatha Christie Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/12/2016

The Books in the Miss Marple Series: 1. The Murder at the Vicarage 2. The Body in the Library 3. The Moving Finger 4. A Murder is Announced 5. They Do It With Mirrors 6. A Pocket Full of Rye  7. 4.50 From Paddington 8. The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side 9. A Caribbean Mystery  10. At Bertram's Hotel  11. Nemesis 12. Sleeping Murder   

Strong Poison

Strong Poison

Author: Dorothy L. Sayers Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/08/2016

Can Lord Peter Wimsey prove that Harriet Vane is not guilty of murder - or find the real poisoner in time to save her from the gallows? Impossible, it seems. The Crown's case is watertight. The police are adamant that the right person is on trial. The judge's summing-up is also clear. Harriet Vane is guilty of the killing her lover. And Harriet Vane shall hang. But the jury disagrees.

Last Bus to Woodstock

Last Bus to Woodstock

Author: Colin Dexter Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

The Inspector Morse series: 1. Last Bus to Woodstock 2. Last Seen Wearing 3. The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn 4. Service of All the Dead 5. The Dead of Jericho 6. The Riddle of the Third Mile 7. The Secret of Annexe 3 8. The Wench is Dead 9. The Jewel That Was Ours 10. The Way Through the Woods 11. The Daughters of Cain 12. Death is Now My Neighbour 13. The Remouseful Day