Historical Fiction & Romance
Blackberry and Wild Rose
When Esther Thorel, the wife of a Huguenot silk weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel, she is too preoccupied with her passion for silk design to notice Sara's disgruntled attitude to her new role as lady's maid. Before long, a toxic mix of ambition and betrayal taints everyone living in the elegant house in Spitalfields.
A Brighter Day Tomorrow
When best friends Liz and Marg are swept off their feet by a pair of handsome American servicemen they meet at their local ice rink, it's the perfect distraction from the perils of wartime London. Then tragedy strikes, and Liz makes a discovery that threatens to tear her whole family apart.
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.
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.
The Chosen Ones
In 1941, eleven-year-old Adrian Ziegler was sent to Am Spiegelgrund in Vienna, ostensibly a reform school for boys and girls and clinic for chronically ill children. Through Adrian’s experience, this novel examines one of the Nazis’ cruellest institutions. Translated by Anna Paterson.
A Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars, Horatio Hornblower was created by CS Forester in 1937 and his adventures continued through eleven novels and many more adaptations for film and television. Sent north to protect British interests in the Baltic, Hornblower has to confront atrocious weather, Russian political intrigues, assassins and French privateers as well as halting Napoleon’s advance into Sweden and Russia.
The Cuckoo Child
One day during a game of hide-and-seek Dot McCann overhears a conversation between two hardened criminals and inadvertently ends up in possession of a stolen necklace. Together with a motley crew of new companions, she sets out to bring the thieves to justice, unaware that her life is in danger.
The Curse of Anne Boleyn
Twenty years have passed since Jean Rombaud kept his promise to the woman he executed; he wanted to forget his days as an executioner, but he can't shake off the dark legacy of Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand. Humphreys's thriller is the sequel to The French Executioner.
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.
The Devil Aspect
Or, Where the Devil Hides
In 1934, in a Gothic Czechoslovakian castle used as an asylum, a young psychiatrist works to unlock the minds of six homicidal maniacs known as the ‘Devil’s Six’; while outside in Prague, a killer known as ‘Leather Apron’ is butchering victims. Can Dr Kosárek discover what links the killers?
The Dollmaker's Daughters
Gentle Ruby dreams of escaping the sweatshop by training as a nurse, while her flamboyant twin Rosetta craves the bright lights of the music hall. When the twins meet handsome Jonas Crowe, a toxic combination of love, ambition and jealously threatens to fracture their fragile bond.
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.
Iron and Rust
Throne of the Caesars
Set in 235–8 CE, the first novel in Sidebottom’s trilogy brings alive the events that started Rome’s ‘3rd-century crisis’. Old certainties disappear after the Severan dynasty ends in assassination; the new Caesar, Maximinus Thrax, is the first ruler to have risen from the barracks. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge
When mudlark Kitty Cox secures a position with a wealthy Mayfair family, she starts to believe a better life is within her grasp. However, her beloved mistress Lady Arabella is harbouring a dark secret – the repercussions of which may see Kitty forced back to the slums she worked so hard to escape.
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.
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.
The Prisoner's Defence
and Other First World War Stories
PG Wodehouse, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Wallace and ‘Sapper’ (HC McNeile) are among the authors of the 15 short stories in this anthology. There are tales from both home and abroad, including Mary Borden’s story drawing on her own dilemmas as a French Red Cross nurse.
Rivals of the Republic
A Blood of Rome Novel
Following two suspicious deaths, Hortensia, the daughter of Rome’s most celebrated lawyer, investigates a trail of murders amid the high political drama of 70 BCE. Why have the authorities turned a blind eye and why are key witnesses being silenced? Young adult.
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.
In the Beklan Empire, the medieval realm of Richard Adams’s fantasy epic, Shardik is the mythic giant bear, worshipped and feared by the Ortelgan people. His reappearance, after a cataclysmic forest fire, sets off a violent chain of events as faith in his divinity sweeps across the land. Young Adult
Kailen’s Twenty, a group of mercenaries with superhuman strength, have long since disbanded and their leader has gone into hiding, but with members of the group being hunted and killed they are paying the price for their former glory. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Unpublished writings by the 16th-century philosopher and occultist Giodano Bruno disappear from a digitization project in Jordan and the Jesuit priest who was studying them is found dead, raising fears about the stolen manuscript – both the immediate threat and the secret Bruno tried to hide.
The Unfortunate Englishman
A Joe Wilderness Novel
After being arrested for attempted murder, rejoining British Intelligence was the only way out of a German jail for Joe Wilderness in 1963. His new assignment is arranging an MI6/KGB spy swap in Cold War Berlin, but can Joe resist the lucrative opportunities?
A Novel Without a Hero
With the Napoleonic Wars as backdrop, Thackeray's great satire of materialistic society follows the fortunes of two young ladies from Miss Pinkerton's Academy: the orphaned, penniless, yet ruthless Becky Sharp; and Amelia Sedley, her less worldly friend, brought up in comfort and wealth and destined for neither. Slightly off-mint.