Books

Recipe For Death by Janet Laurence

Recipe For Death by Janet Laurence

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Parted from her detective boyfriend William Pigram, cookery writer Darina Lisle is helping judge a cookery competition. Shades of the Great British Bake Off and all its stresses and strains accompany the judging process. In the chaos that follows the winning announcement, Darina accepts an invitation from Somerset chef Simon Chapman to his restaurant. Soon she is involved with the Fry family, their organic farm, the winner of the competition, and with Natasha, the haunted cousin of renowned cookery writer Natalie Duke. All too soon death arrives at the Fry's and Darina, without William, employs all her detective instincts in delving into the past to solve the present - for there's a killer upsetting the culinary ambitions of several people. More info →
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Death and the Epicure by Janet Laurence

Death and the Epicure by Janet Laurence

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When cordon bleu cook Darina Lisle is commissioned to write a cookery book for Finer Foods – a family firm importing gourmet delicacies from the Far East among other places – it comes as an exciting challenge. But Darina soon discovers that Finer Foods is in deep trouble. Profits are plummeting and the managing director, epicure Joe Madoc, is at loggerheads with the board both personally and professionally. Then tragedy strikes in the demonstration kitchen. But was it an accident or a brilliantly planned murder? While a police enquiry proceeds, Darina becomes more and more closely involved in the doings at Finer Foods, and the quick thinking of her detective fiancé, William Pigram, narrowly averts a second death. As the misfortunes of the company mount, Darina finds herself out of a job. Unable to investigate further, she accompanies William’s sister on a trip to Hong Kong, hoping to increase her knowledge of oriental cuisine. And it is there that an unexpected encounter finally enables Darina to unravel deep secrets surrounding Finer Foods … More info →
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Death At The Table by Janet Laurence

Death At The Table by Janet Laurence

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Cookery writer Darina Lisle’s great chance comes along with a place on a weekly food and wine TV programme. Charismatic Australian wine expert, Bruce Bennett, also comes along bringing trouble. Tensions rise till there seems hardly an aspect of the programme unaffected and even Darina’s relationship with her detective partner is under strain. Then death occurs on camera. It’s a suspected heart attack but Darina receives a call that claims it was murder. More death follows. Suspects are everywhere and Darina is fighting to prove her suspicions at the same time as coping with her performance on the programme, and her relationship with William. Then someone tries to break into her home. Suddenly she is face to face with a killer who has nothing to lose. More info →
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Death A La Provencale by Janet Laurence

Death A La Provencale by Janet Laurence

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Cookery expert Darina Lisle and her Detective Inspector husband, William Pigram, are honeymooning in the south of France. Entertained to lunch by another cookery expert, Helen Mansard, her partner, Bernard Barrington Smythe a retired Lloyd’s member and agent, shows them the olive oil mill he hopes will make a fortune. Soon Darina and William find themselves meeting a series of interesting ex-pats enjoying the sunshine life in the south of France. Then death arrives at the oil mill and Darina and William find themselves a team investigating murder. More info →
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Diet For Death by Janet Laurence

Diet For Death by Janet Laurence

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Darina Lisle is accompanying her recently widowed mother for a reviving stay at the Conifers Spa health farm, hoping it will enable her to lose some of the weight gained since her honeymoon in the south of France. Weight is not the only challenge being faced by an entertaining and varied collection of guests: what is healthy eating? Is being overweight something to worry about? The spa itself, run by a friend of Darina’s, is in a severe financial crisis, and there are staff troubles. Darina’s husband, William, is part of the investigating team called in when death is discovered. Possible motives multiply. Darina herself is faced by personal and career challenges that force her to reassess some long held preconceptions as she tries to sort out the puzzles surrounding the murder, then finds that she is confronting an unexpectedly strong and violent killer. More info →
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Appetite For Death by Janet Laurence

Appetite For Death by Janet Laurence

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Darina Lisle is surprised to hear from an old school friend, even more when she discovers why. Jemima Ealham wants her to find out who the father of her toddler nephew is. Sophie, Rory’s mother, died giving birth without revealing her son’s parentage. Basil Ealham, Jemima and Sophie’s multi-millionaire father, dismisses it as unimportant and Darina’s investigation, taken on out of loyalty to her friend, soon runs into trouble. Meanwhile, her husband, DCI William Pigram also comes up against Basil Ealham. A fire in a food factory has killed a security guard, and the owner is Basil’s girlfriend. It’s not long before the millionaire is the prime suspect for murder. And for Darina, her involvement with Rory becomes much closer than she’d ever imagined. More info →
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The Mermaid’s Feast by Janet Laurence

The Mermaid’s Feast by Janet Laurence

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A free luxury cruise to advise the chef on Scandinavian food seems a wonderful chance to Darina Lisle: it means two weeks away enjoying every comfort with her husband, DCI William Pigram. The ship has an interesting assortment of passengers and a crew dedicated to their entertainment amongst the glories of Norway’s spectacular fjörds. All seems set fair for a wonderful time. Then one of the ship’s officers disappears and the question is asked: could he have thrown himself overboard, or was he pushed? William is enlisted to help investigate, spending time questioning the crew and officers. An abandoned Darina becomes involved with the other passengers and finds unexpected tensions amongst them: mischief-making, prejudice, ambition, and greed, all threaten scandal, and produce another tragedy. More info →
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Canaletto and the Case of Westminster Bridge by Janet Laurence

Canaletto and the Case of Westminster Bridge by Janet Laurence

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It’s 1746 and Canaletto arrives in London to rescue his painting career. The continent is at war and the aristocracy no longer flock to Venice to buy his pictures. London, though, is full of activity and interesting personalities; fortunes are being made every day, and corruption is everywhere. Canaletto’s arrival signals danger to a variety of Londoners, amongst them an aristocrat eager to mend his fortunes, an ambitious young man who fears failure, an avaricious alderman, a socially ambitious merchant, and an ageing beauty. Canaletto is attacked and robbed, his life saved by apprentice engraver Fanny Rooker, the one person who offers him help. Soon Canaletto is forced by Paymaster General Pitt to employ his Venetian investigative talents in discovering why the completion of Westminster Bridge is so delayed. Canaletto is still seeking a painting commission and the danger to his life increases as he embarks on the task. More info →
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Canaletto and the Case of the Privy Garden by Janet Laurence

Canaletto and the Case of the Privy Garden by Janet Laurence

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In 1747 Canaletto, the acclaimed Italian vedute artist, stumbles across the body of a stabbed girl in a London alley. He can’t shake off the mystery of her end or the violent mutilation of her face. Perhaps because she reminds him of his apprentice, young Fanny Rooker, who, to his distress, now seems to be spreading her wings. Preparing to paint a view over the Privy Gardens from the Duke of Richmond’s house in Whitehall while trying to find out more about the dead girl, leads Canaletto and Fanny into the path of a serial killer. There is also the matter of the foundling boy dragged into a life of crime plus a headstrong girl’s beautiful African slave. More info →
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Canaletto and the Case of Bonnie Prince Charlie by Janet Laurence

Canaletto and the Case of Bonnie Prince Charlie by Janet Laurence

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Canaletto is commissioned by the Duke of Beaufort to paint Badminton, his Gloucestershire seat. Canaletto is delighted to leave London as he fears a smallpox epidemic. He is less delighted to be enlisted as a spy by William Pitt, Paymaster General. There is a danger Prince Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, could be visiting his old friend, the Duke, to enlist his support for another attempt to restore the Stuarts to the throne. There is the threat of civil war. Canaletto and his apprentice, Fanny, arrive in Gloucestershire to find that Bonnie Prince Charlie is not the only danger. Arson and murder are going to require the painter’s investigative skills. More info →
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To Kill The Past by Janet Laurence

To Kill The Past by Janet Laurence

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'Fear was back like a wild cat that had leaped on to her shoulders. Her body jerked and twisted as she fought the unnameable, the unidentifiable. The darkness never lifted. The fear never lessened. Gradually, she realized that she was in hospital. But the major part of her consciousness was grappling to come to terms with the appalling nature of her situation. She couldn’t remember who she was.’ After a terrifying car crash in which her two closest relatives are killed, Felicity Frear comes to in a Devon hospital blinded, burned and amnesiac. Even the news that she has been left Kingsleigh, the historic and beautiful family home of the Dashwoods, means nothing to her. Discharged from hospital, Felicity heads straight for her new home, hoping that the sight of a place she’s apparently known since childhood might bring her memory back. It doesn’t. Felicity finds herself alone and vulnerable, unable to understand her hostile reception. Then her nightmare begins as the phone rings and a cold, detached voice says: ‘Now you’re back, I want what what’s mine’... Bit by bit, Felicity learns of the horrific sequence of events which took place at Kingsleigh the week before her accident. In a desperate attempt to make sense of the mysteries which surround her, Felicity sets about uncovering her past. But even in her worst imaginings she could never have guessed what might confront her there... More info →
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Grand Slam by Susan Moody

Grand Slam by Susan Moody

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Who killed Lady Portia Wickham? Although the two never met, Cassie Swann had felt an instant, rapport with the sensual victim after noticing her portrait during an evening of bridge-playing at Halkam Court. So why was Portia walking up her own drive in the rain, after midnight? How did the murderer know she would be there? And why should Cassie get involved, when the police have no shortage of suspects? It is the arrest of Lady Wickham’s good looking young butler Jamie which forces Cassie to seek out the real killer - at the same time plunging herself into extreme danger. High life, low life and plenty of life in-between characterise this second novel featuring a marvellous amateur sleuth and the obsessive world of bridge players. More info →
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