A Painted Doom
By Kate Ellis
Teenager Lewis Hoxworthy discovers a disturbing painting in a medieval barn; a discovery which excites archaeologist Neil Watson who is excavating an ancient manor house nearby. But when former rock star Jonny Shellmer is found shot through the head in Lewis's father's field and Lewis himself goes missing after contacting a man on the internet, Detective Inspector Wesley Peterson and his boss, Gerry Heffernan face one of their most intriguing cases yet. It seems that the Devon village of Derenham is not only full of resident celebrities seeking the rural idyll, but full of secrets, ancient and modern. Lewis's distraught parents seem to have something to hide. Then the mysterious owner of a new age shop is silenced before she can reveal what she knows about Jonny Shellmer. Is Jonny's death linked to Lewis's disappearance? And does Jonny's best known song, 'Angel' contain a clue? As Neil Watson uncovers the story of Derenham's medieval past, it becomes clear that the Derenham Doom - a painted portrayal of hell and judgement more than half a millennium old - holds the key to the mystery. And as events reach a terrifying climax, Wesley Peterson has to act swiftly if he is to save a young life.
The Plague Maiden
By Kate Ellis
When a letter arrives at Tradmouth police station, addressed to a DCI Norbert it causes quite a stir. For though DCI Norbert has long since moved on, the letter claims to have evidence that the man convicted of murdering the Rev. Shipbourne, Vicar of Belsham, during the course of a robbery in 1991, is innocent. Despite having a full case load, including investigating a series of vicious attacks on a local supermarket chain, DI Wesley Peterson is forced to at least follow up on the letter writer's claims. Meanwhile archaelologist Neil Watson is excavating as site in Pest Field near Belsham church. He discovers a mass grave that leads him to conclude that the site - earmarked for development - is one of an ancient medieval plague pit. But, more disturbing, is the discovery that the grave is home to a more recent resident...
The Painted Queen
By Elizabeth Peters, Joan Hess
Egypt, 1912. Amelia Peabody and her dashing archeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters's bestselling series.Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia Peabody is relaxing in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into her chamber and utters a single word-"Murder"-before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he is carrying is a sheet of paper with Amelia's name, and a calling card bearing one word: "Judas." Most peculiarly, the stranger is wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye. It quickly becomes apparent that someone has saved Amelia from a would-be assassin-someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid archaeologist. And there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos. But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Armana, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic bust of Nefertiti, stepmother to King Tutankhamun.For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge . . . and perhaps be unmasked at last.'Think Miss Marple with early feminist gloss crossed with Indiana Jones' The Guardian
A Plague On Both Your Houses
By Susanna Gregory
For the twentieth anniversary of the Matthew Bartholomew series, Sphere is delighted to reissue the first three books with beautiful new series-style covers.Matthew Bartholomew, unorthodox but effective physician to Michaelhouse college in medieval Cambridge, is as worried as anyone about the pestilence that is ravaging Europe and seems to be approaching England. But he is distracted by the sudden and inexplicable death of the Master of Michaelhouse - a death the University authorities do not want investigated. But Matt is determined to get to the truth, leading him into a tangle of lies and intrigue that cause him to question the innocence of his closest friends - and even his family - just as the Black Death finally arrives...A Plague on Both Your Houses is the book that introduced Matthew Bartholomew to the world.
By Kate O'Riordan
'You know I did a terrible thing. What you cannot know is that there exists an extreme irony, in that, but for one unforgivable sin - far more terrible things might have transpired.' The lives of Rosalie Douglas and her teenage daughter, Maddie, are changed forever when they meet Jed, a beautiful, charismatic young man at Bereavement Counselling. Inexplicably and self-destructively, Maddie holds herself accountable for her brother's drowning accident in Thailand. Jed moves into their lives and their home. Calming the tensions between mother and daughter. He understands the twisted wilderness of grief. Lover and confidante to a besotted Maddie, gentle surrogate son to a grateful Rosalie - on the surface their lives are transformed. But underneath a deadly and morally corrupt triangle is taking shape... Rosalie commits an unspeakable act which forces her to unravel the truth behind the beautiful stranger in their midst. The truth behind the death of her son. And the true extent of just how far she's prepared to go - to save what remains of her family.
A Painted Smile
By Frances Fyfield, Sean Barrett
Young, rich widow Diana Porteous has inherited a vast collection of paintings, but she feels without purpose again. Then her beloved stepgrandson comes up with the idea for an exhibition of portraits with the title 'A Question of Guilt'. It starts as a joke, but soon they are preparing the huge wine cellar of the old schoolhouse by the sea, in spite of those with misgivings as to its suitability. Soon Di has plenty to occupy her: a mysterious woman encourages Di and her friend Sarah Fortune, both natural thieves, to steal from a public collection. And then there's the life-drawing class, where an artist dies and someone steals from him, placing his finds in the cellar.A novel of conundrums, paintings, moral uncertainties and family relationships, A Painted Smile continues the adventures of two of Frances Fyfield's most beloved characters and will win over many more fans of quality fiction.
The Primrose Path
By Rebecca Griffiths
Haunted by her past. In danger from her present.Isolated, alone, vulnerable.Sometimes the danger is closer than you think.As a teenager, Sarah D'Villez famously escaped a man who abducted and held her hostage for eleven days. The case became notorious, with Sarah's face splashed across the front of every newspaper in the country.Now, seventeen years later, that man is about to be released from prison. Fearful of the media storm that is sure to follow, Sarah decides to flee to rural Wales under a new identity, telling nobody where she's gone.Settling into the small community she is now part of, Sarah soon realises that someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her . . .
Puppet For A Corpse
By Dorothy Simpson
Prominent GP Arnold Pettifer is found dead of an overdose, alone in his house and with a note by his side. All the evidence points to suicide, but Inspector Luke Thanet is immediately suspicious. Something doesn't add up, for Dr Pettifer apparently had everything to live for. Could it have been murder? The finger of suspicion points at Mrs Pettifer, particularly when it emerges that she has a lover. But Inspector Thanet suspects there is more to this case than meets the eye.
A Poisonous Plot
By Susanna Gregory
In 1358, over a century after its foundation in Cambridge, the college of Michaelhouse is facing a serious shortfall of funds and competition from upstarts rivals such as Zachary Hostel. Their problems are made no easier by the hostility of the town's inhabitants who favour the university moving away to the Fens. This simmering tension threatens to break into violence when a well-known tradesman is found dead in one of the colleges. Matthew Bartholomew knows he was poisoned but cannot identify the actual substance, never mind the killer. He also worries that other illnesses and deaths may have been caused by the effluent from his sister's dye works. Torn between loyalties to his kin and to his college, he fears the truth may destroy both his personal and professional life, but he knows he must use his skills as a physician to discover the truth before many more lose their lives entirely.
By Alison Bruce
In a single night, Kyle Phipps's life is derailed. His relationship is over, he is denied access to his young son and everything important to him is at risk.His thoughts stumble between fear and revenge. Kyle Phipps has a choice to make.Meanwhile, after the tragic end to a previous case, DC Gary Goodhew finds himself questioning his reasons for returning to work until the badly beaten body of a homeless man is found on Market Hill. Having known the homeless man for several years Goodhew feels compelled to be part of the investigation - but routine lines of enquiry soon take a dark and unexpected turn...Suddenly the Cambridge back streets hold deadly secrets for Goodhew and the only person who has the answers is planning one final, desperate act.
Preserve The Dead
By Brian McGilloway
'Preserve the Dead is storytelling of the highest order from one of Irish crime writing's most unassuming masters' - Irish IndependentDetective Sergeant Lucy Black is visiting her father, a patient in a secure unit in Gransha Hospital on the banks of the River Foyle. He's been hurt badly in an altercation with another patient, and Lucy is shocked to discover him chained to the bed for safety. But she barely has time to take it all in, before an orderly raises the alarm - a body has been spotted floating in the river below...The body of an elderly man in a grey suit is hauled ashore: he is cold dead. He has been dead for several days. In fact a closer examination reveals that he has already been embalmed. A full scale investigation is launched - could this really be the suicide they at first assumed, or is this some kind of sick joke? Troubled and exhausted, Lucy goes back to her father's shell of a house to get some sleep; but there'll be no rest for her tonight. She's barely in the front door when a neighbour knocks, in total distress - his wife's sister has turned up badly beaten. Can she help? In Preserve The Dead, Brian McGilloway weaves a pacy, intricate plot, full of tension to the very last page. DS Lucy Black's third outing since the bestselling Little Girl Lost, confirms her as one of the decade's most original female detectives: strong, sensitive and ever determined.
The Puppet Show
By Patrick Redmond
Michael Turner is about to make a big mistake. Having struggled for years to escape the demons of his childhood - an orphan lost in a maze of institutions and foster homes - he is finally happy. Now in his early twenties, he has a loving fiancée and is taking the first steps in a promising legal career. And then he meets Max. The father figure that Michael has always craved, Max strides into Michael's life, realising all the childhood dreams that have lain dormant for so many years. But dreams come with a price. Despite his supportive exterior, Max is plagued by his own demons and is a violently skilled manipulator when it comes to getting exactly what he wants from everyone around him. As Michael's fears and vulnerabilities begin to push everyone else away, Max sets to work . . .A taut, sophisticated and engrossing thriller that will have you turning pages furiously into the night.
By Raymond Khoury, Linwood Barclay
This original short story from the New York Times bestselling thriller anthology FaceOff pairs bestsellers Raymond Khoury and Linwood Barclay - and features characters from their bestselling novels - in a one-of-a-kind thriller match-up. FBI Agent Sean Reilly (hero of Khoury's multi-million-copy bestseller The Last Templar) is tracking a criminal who is in possession of a lethal biological agent and threatening to unleash it on innocent civilians. But now Reilly has a bigger problem: his quarry, known online as Faustus, has created an explosive diversion and stolen a truck from a restaurant car park - and inside that truck is a teenage girl. General contractor and single dad Glen Garber (of Barclay's bestseller The Accident) had stopped to grab a snack for his daughter Kelly when they both got caught up in the chaos in the car park. Thinking she'd be safest in the truck, he ordered her inside, and that was the last time he saw her. Agent Reilly must navigate the chase with nerves of steel, attempting to free Kelly Garber from the madman's clutches without endangering thousands of lives in the process - and all with her terror-stricken father right by his side. For more exciting short story pairings, don't miss all eleven short stories in Face Off!
Princess Elizabeth's Spy
By Susan Elia MacNeal
Susan Elia MacNeal introduced the remarkable Maggie Hope in her acclaimed debut, Mr. Churchill's Secretary. Now, as World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5. Spirited, strong-willed, and possessing one of the sharpest minds in government for mathematics and code-breaking, she fully expects to be sent abroad to gather intelligence for the British front. Instead, to her great disappointment, she is dispatched to go undercover at Windsor Castle, where she will tutor the young Princess Elizabeth in math. Yet castle life quickly proves more dangerous-and deadly-than Maggie ever expected. The upstairs-downstairs world at Windsor is thrown into disarray by a shocking murder, which draws Maggie into a vast conspiracy that places the entire royal family in peril. And as she races to save England from a most disturbing fate, Maggie realizes that a quick wit is her best defense, and that the smallest clues can unravel the biggest secrets, even within her own family.
By Sander Jakobsen
'You will never find me.'Thorkild Christensen stares down at his murdered wife, Karen, and realises he knows almost nothing about her. How did she fill her days? Where did she disappear to every Thursday? Lead investigator Detective Thea Krogh is determined to find out.And then a second woman is shot dead.There is seemingly nothing to link the two victims, and the police move on, desperate for a lead. But someone out there has a deadly secret. And as events begin to play out - masterminded by a strange and bewitching figure - all of their worlds are about to come crashing down . . .An ingenious thriller from an exciting new Danish talent. Will you guess the secret to unlock the killer twist?
By Tony Cavanaugh
Victoria's Top Homicide cop Darian Richards has been seeking out monsters for too long. Surviving a gunshot wound finally persuades him to call it quits and he retires to the Gold Coast, leaving his demons behind. But he should have known: nowhere is free of demons. All Darian wants to do is sit on his jetty and ignore the world. But a serial killer is prowling the Sunshine Coast - girls from all over the area have been disappearing into thin air. Jenny Brown was the first: vanishing on a Saturday the previous year. Despite what everyone who knew her said, after a good three minutes' thought the cops dismissed it as a runaway. Before they'd even walked out of her front gate, they'd forgotten Jenny Brown even existed. But as others start to disappear the cops can't call them all runaways. And Darian can't sit idly by and watch them mess up the investigation. He decides he is going to find the killer and deal with them . . . his way.The first book in the Darian Richards series
By Jim Ford
Two men have been found beaten to death in a Newcastle park. One is a mild-mannered librarian, the other a member of a gang of armed robbers from the 1970s. It's no mystery who killed them. But Walter Oyston - ex-boxer turned violent wino - is also dead, his heart having given out before his liver.Is it a simple case of mistaken identity? Or have the ghosts of Newcastle's criminal underworld returned to seek vengeance on one of their own? Following hot on the heels of their last investigation comes another baffling case for DCI Theo Voss and his team from the Bug House.
By Jonathan Gash
I don't much like working for clients. It means that I have to follow someone else's instructions, and I've never been too good at that. When those instructions came from a spirit guide at a seance, I just had to laugh. Well, you would, wouldn't you? The rather attractive young woman whose husband the spook had said I should help her to fine took me on a quest that turned into a trail of lucrative antiques deals, spoiled only when the police came plodding in and I found myself up to my neck in forgeries and murders. Situation normal, really. Then the killer turned his attentions to me, just as the spirit had said he would, and I certainly wasn't laughing an more.
A Poisoned Season
By Tasha Alexander
London's social season is in full swing, and the aristocracy can't stop whispering about a certain gentleman who claims to be the direct descendant of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Drawing rooms, boudoirs and ballrooms are also abuzz with the latest news of an audacious cat burglar who has been making off with precious items that once belonged to the ill-fated queen. But light gossip turns serious when the owner of one of the pilfered treasures is murdered and the thief develops a twisted obsession with Lady Emily Ashton as a brewing scandal threatens both her reputation and her private life.
A Picture of Innocence
By Matthew Z. Lewin
When professional burglar, Albert 'Wheezy' Wallis, is found dead in a car full of exhaust fumes, with handcuff bruises on his wrists, the police assume it's a case of underworld revenge. But Wheezy's old friend - reporter for the Hampstead Explorer and secret millionaire Horatio T. Parker - is not convinced. After suffering a terrifying ordeal himself, Parker becomes more determined than ever to unravel the mystery.Originally published under the author name Lew Matthews.