The Call of the Wild
He had Learned Well the Law of Club and Fang
Set in the Yukon during the 1890s Gold Rush, Jack London’s short novel tells of Buck, a pet mongrel – a cross between a St Bernard and a Scottish sheepdog – who is stolen and taken to Alaska to work as a sled dog and has to adapt to life in a pack.
Far from the Madding Crowd
As a young, independent woman taking over the running of a rural estate, Bathsheba Everdene attracts the attentions of three very different men: a respectable local farmer, a dashing soldier, and a devoted young shepherd, Gabriel Oak, who works on her land. This was the first of Hardy’s great novels, originally published in 1874.
In this early masterpiece of detective fiction, Rachel Verinder is given the Moonstone, a large Indian diamond, on her 18th birthday. That very night, the jewel is stolen, and the curse of the Moonstone begins; a renowned detective is called in to unravel a mystery involving hypnotism, opium and Indian jugglers. First published in 1868.
The Seventh Cross
Seven prisoners escape from a concentration camp, so the commandant prepares crosses for their punishment: as they strive to reach asylum the prisoners encounter a cross-range of ordinary Germans. Published in 1942, this novel highlighted the horrors of the Nazi regime, which the author had escaped.
The Gorse Trilogy
The West Pier, Mr Stimpson and Mr Gorse, Unknown Assailant
Best known for Gaslight and Hangover Square, Patrick Hamilton captured the seedy side of English life between the wars in his fiction. This darkly humorous trilogy chronicles the crimes and misadventures of the charming but heartless conman Ernest Ralph Gorse.
Syd Moore - 2 Books
Confident, down-to-earth Rosie Strange doesn’t believe in witches. Then she inherits the ramshackle Essex Witch Museum and, with its enigmatic curator Sam Stone, finds herself investigating a series of eerie, unsettling mysteries. The two titles included in this set are: Strange Sight (Read more...) Strange Fascination (Read more...)
Betty Burton - 3 Books
Betty Burton creates a powerful sense of place in her stories, which are often set in her own home county of Hampshire and characterized by strong female characters. The three novels in this set follow a working-class Portsmouth girl as she breaks free of her roots and plays her part in the fight against fascism in the 1930s and 1940s. The three titles included in this set are: Not Just a Soldier's War (Read more...) The Girl Now Leaving (Read more...) The Face of Eve (Read more...)
Described by Mary Beard as ‘A satisfyingly alternative look at Caligula’, Turney’s novel is narrated by the emperor’s sister Livilla, who tells of a quiet, cautious younger brother transformed into the most powerful man in the Roman world; and of Rome itself, a city of bloodshed and betrayal.
A Place Called Armageddon
For 1,000 years Constantinople had ruled its Byzantine empire; now Mehmet’s 100,000-strong army of Turks is at the gates and the city’s survival lies in the hands of one tortured and long-exiled man – Gregoras. CC Humphreys’s novel tells the story of one of history’s greatest battles.
History is two things: event and report, which are not necessarily the same. In this provocative book, historian Simon Schama uses the techniques of fiction to explore the eccentric 19th-century Parkman family of Boston – and to interrogate the practice of his own profession.
Twenty-five years after the writer MR James gathered friends and fellow academics around the fire on Christmas Eve to listen to ghost stories, the same men are being brutally murdered, one by one. Can CI Archie Penrose and Josephine Tey unite to solve their most challenging case to date?
Her Every Fear
Traumatized following a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy surprises everyone, herself included, when she impulsively accepts an apartment swap offer from her cousin and moves from London to Boston. When she arrives to find her stateside neighbour has been murdered, she needs to work out who, if anyone, she can trust.
With the publication of the explosive biography of a media business tycoon at stake, this thriller follows literary agent Isabel Reed, CIA Station chief Hayden Gray and book editor Jeffrey Fielder through 24 crucial hours as the politically connected magnate tries to suppress its release.
A Jefferson Winter Thriller
An ex-FBI profiler, Jefferson Winter is a freelancer now, specializing in serial criminals. When the Sheriff’s office in Eagle Creek, Louisiana, send him a video clip of a man being burned alive, Winter knows they are dealing with a serial killer – but the film is their only clue.
In Dust and Ashes
A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel
In the series’ finale, Detective Henrik Holme investigates a father questionably convicted of killing his wife and child. Working together, he and Hanne Wilhelmsen discover connections between the case, an eccentric blogger’s suicide, and a EuroJackpot millionaire’s grandson’s kidnap. Off-mint.
The Colours of all the Cattle
While Precious Ramotswe toys with entering local politics, the latest case for the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – involving a ruthless property developer’s plans for a ‘Big Fun Hotel’ – falls to the Agency’s mechanic. When danger looms over his investigation, Precious abandons politics to rescue Charlie.
The Whole Art of Detection
Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes
Lyndsay Faye, a lifelong fan and author of Dust and Shadows (in which Sherlock pursues Jack the Ripper), presents fifteen new stories featuring the classic sleuth, recreating Conan Doyle's style while delving deeper into the psychology of Holmes and Watson. Slightly off-mint.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The story of a young hobo and an escaped slave who set off to find freedom, journeying by raft down the Mississippi, Huckleberry Finn started out as a sequel to Tom Sawyer, but quickly became accepted as Mark Twain’s masterpiece and one of the great works of American literature. First published in 1884.
Confessions of an English Opium Eater
Thomas De Quincey's powerful autobiographical study describes his addiction to opium and its psychological effects: childhood experience is turned into dreams that are at first euphoric, but become horrific as his dependence on the drug deepens. Published in 1822, the book brought De Quincey literary fame and became an important influence on later writers.
The Great Adventure Collection
Tracking Magua with Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans; travelling into the Heart of Darkness in search of Kurtz; or entering an extinct volcano on a Journey to the Centre of the Earth ... This set of eight novels could be described as the A-list of adventure stories: the other five are The Man Who Would Be King, Robinson Crusoe, The Odyssey, Gulliver’s Travels and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and a ninth book is a journal to record your own exploits.
Franz Kafka’s strange tale of Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous bug, is open to many interpretations – probably as many as it has readers – and was written in 1912. Translated from the German, with a short introduction, by William Aaltonen.
Jude the Obscure
A self-taught young stonemason whose ambition is to go to university, Jude Fawley has his hopes dashed when he is tricked into a bad marriage. Once free again, he finds a soul-mate, but society and class conspire to deny them happiness. Hardy described his novel as the story of a ‘deadly war waged between flesh and spirit’.
The Mayor of Casterbridge
While he was drunk at a fair, the hay-trusser Michael Henchard sold his wife and child to a sailor for five guineas. Alone the next morning, he vowed to mend his ways and eventually, by hard work and good judgement, he became mayor of Casterbridge. Then, 18 years after being sold, his wife returns and Henchard finds he cannot escape his past.
Based on the ordeal of a real castaway, Alexander Selkirk, Defoe's novel is narrated by Crusoe, who tells how he survived a shipwreck and 28 years on a desert island before being rescued by an English ship. First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe remains one of the most convincing adventure stories ever written.
Georgette Heyer - 4 Books
Georgette Heyer began her hugely successful literary career in the 1920s and was writing up until her death in 1974 – her last book was published posthumously. Mostly set in Regency Bath, with meticulously researched period detail, Heyer’s romances were ignored by critics and adored by her readers. The four titles included in this set are:Lady of Quality (Read more...) Friday's Child (Read more...) Black Sheep (Read more...) Bath Tangle (Read more...)
Dilly Court - 6 Books
Known for her adventurous, fast-moving plots that feature strong female protagonists, Dilly Court is a Sunday Times bestselling author. This set comprises six novels, each one rich with period details that create an evocative picture of life in London’s slums in the early 20th century. The six titles included in this set are: The Dollmaker's Daughters (Read more...) The Cockney Sparrow (Read more...) Mermaids Singing (Read more...) The Best of Sisters (Read more...) The Constant Heart (Read more...) Tilly True (Read more...)
John Grisham - 6 Books
John Grisham was a practising lawyer before he turned to writing but since his first book, The Firm, appeared in 1991, he has become the master of the modern legal thriller. Our set contains five cases, plus a story inspired by Grisham’s own childhood in rural Arkansas. The six titles included in this set are: The Broker (Read more...) The Associate (Read more...) The Testament (Read more...) A Painted House (Read more...) The Pelican Brief (Read more...) The King of Torts (Read more...)
Clive Cussler - 6 Books
Kurt Austin and his teams in the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) take on six more cases including secret conspiracies, criminal masterminds and even environmental catastrophes in this set of NUMA thrillers from Clive Cussler, the master of underwater action and adventure. The 6 titles included in this set are: Zero Hour (Read more...) Nighthawk (Read more...) The Rising Sea (Read more...) Ghost Ship (Read more...) The Pharaoh's Secret (Read more...) Sea of Greed (Read more...)
Katie Flynn - 5 books
Over a career spanning nearly fifty years, the Top Ten Sunday Times bestselling author Katie Flynn published more than 90 romantic sagas, many set in Liverpool in the 1930s and 1940s, under several pen names. This set of five books showcases her talent for creating compelling, likeable characters who face up to life's challenges with courage and determination. The five titles included in this set are: Time to Say Goodbye (Read more...) Sunshine and Shadows (Read more...) The Lost Days of Summer (Read more...) The Forget-Me-Not Summer (Read more...) The Cuckoo Child (Read more...)
The Mirror Thief
In 16th-century Venice, taking the city’s secret technology of making mirrors off the island is punishable by death; but one man has a plan and, in other incarnations of Venice, Venice Beach California, 1953 and the Venetian casino in Las Vegas, 2003, other thieves have similar plans for stealing secrets.
Plague and Cholera
In 1940, as the Nazis invade Paris, an old man reflects on his life, his work and his travels. This fictionalized biography reimagines the life of Alexandre Yersin, the Swiss microbiologist who found a cure for bubonic plague. Slightly off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
How to Stop Time
Tom Hazard looks like an ordinary 41-year-old history teacher, but he has lived for centuries, moving through Elizabethan England, gold-rush Arizona and jazz-age Paris, witnessing wars and witch hunts, and continually changing his identity. The one thing he must never do is fall in love.
The Green Road
The Madigan children are living separate lives, but when matriarch Rosaleen announces she is selling the family home they return to west Ireland for Christmas. Spanning thirty years, the novel explores the tensions that could break the family apart and how they might be overcome. Slightly off-mint.
Days of Wonder
When Hannah was diagnosed with a serious heart condition as a child, her father’s drama group staged a faerie cavalcade for her birthday. The fantastical show became a yearly ritual but with the theatre facing closure and Hannah’s health worsening, another day of magic is desperately needed.
The Mammoth Book of Kaiju
Inspired by the Japanese tradition of Kaiju (‘strange beast’) – from which the original Godzilla emerged – this anthology of tales introduces a new breed of city-destroying monsters, including Gary MacMahon’s terror from the deep and Frank Wu’s 80-foot, fire-breathing lizard.