Books

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

£12.99 Paperback £2.99 Kindle
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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Takeout Double by Susan Moody

Takeout Double by Susan Moody

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Two years of teaching biology had been enough. Two years of dissecting frogs and reeking of formaldehyde had finally persuaded Cassie Swann to set up as a bridge professional instead. So far, she has managed to make a reasonable living, operating from her Cotswold cottage. And then, during a Winter Bridge Weekend at a country-house hotel, she finds three of her punters dead around the green-baize table. And at least one of them is indisputably the victim of murder. Nothing to do with Cassie - or is it? When she realises that her livelihood is now threatened by the unwanted notoriety, she is forced to undertake some investigations of her own. Set amid the eccentricities of English village life Takeout Double is the first in a marvellous series featuring an amateur sleuth in the obsessive world of bridge players. More info →
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King of Hearts by Susan Moody

King of Hearts by Susan Moody

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Bridge professional Cassie Swann decides to investigate the twenty-year-old murder of her father, ‘Handsome’ Harry Swann. At the same time, Cassie finds herself embroiled in a case of racially motivated poison-pen letters which someone in the Cotswold village of Larton Easewood is sending to an Indian consultant, Dr Sammi Ray, and his wife. Further complications ensue when Dr Ray is found garotted outside the block of Kensington flats where his mistress resides. Menaced by phone-calls from a psychopath, experiencing problems in her love life, fighting the battle of the bulge and frightened by a midnight prowler, Cassie nonetheless wins through - to discover not only who killed her father, but who is behind the tragedy of Dr Ray. More info →
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Doubled In Spades by Susan Moody

Doubled In Spades by Susan Moody

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When one of Cassie Swann’s bridge partners, Naomi Harris, dies from an overdose, she is shocked but not suspicious. But things look rather different with the appearance of a young woman claiming to be Naomi’s daughter, given up for adoption twenty years earlier, and a secret lover who insists that Naomi was murdered by her husband. Guiltily aware that she was not a good friend to Naomi while she was alive, Cassie decides to try to find the truth – and soon discovers that while Naomi had little reason to kill herself, there are several reasons why someone might have wanted her dead. Complications in her own life don’t make things any easier. Torn between DS Paul Walsh and the persistent attentions of Charlie Quartermain, she suddenly finds a menacing figure is stalking her. As she closes in on the mystery of Naomi’s troubled life, she is about to discover some very dangerous secrets. More info →
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Sacrifice Bid by Susan Moody

Sacrifice Bid by Susan Moody

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Times are looking lean for Cassie Swann. With the bridge supplies business in a slump and no new sources of income on the horizon, she’s shocked to find herself cadging drinks off OAPs. But her own problems are forgotten when one of her bridge group, Lolly Haden White, starts seeming very distressed. Are her lapses of memory and dark moods simply a consequence of growing old, or is there something more sinister behind her sudden decline? Realizing that she knows next to nothing about Lolly’s history, Cassie decides to do a little investigating, only to find that Lolly has done a remarkable job of covering up the details of her early life – in particular the time she spent in Africa as a young woman. Cassie begins to suspect that some long-suppressed secret from those days has come back to haunt Lolly – and when a brutal murder shocks the village, Cassie is convinced that the evil Lolly long ago battled against has to be confronted again. More info →
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Dummy Hand by Susan Moody

Dummy Hand by Susan Moody

£10.99 Paperback £2.99 Kindle
The sixth mystery featuring Cassie Swann. When Cassie becomes the victim of a hit-and-run driver, she doesn't expect him to walk later into a police station and confess. Then a young student at Oxford is murdered. Cassie's relentless suitor, Charlie Quartermaine, feels the events are somehow connected. More info →
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Penny Black by Susan Moody

Penny Black by Susan Moody

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A PENNY WANNAMAKE MYSTERY Meet PENNY WANAWAKE, philanthropist, free-thinker, part-time sleuth. Very tall, very classy, very black, a beautiful tigress in tigress' clothing. And her lover and friend, BARNABY, cool, witty, high-class thief, dedicated low-life. Stand by as Penny meets KIMBELL black American detective, and blows his mind. Thrill as between them they track down the brutal killer of Penny's wacky friend MARFA, and exact poetic justice among banks of orchids... PENNY BLACK-the most dynamic debut in the world of crime. More info →
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