Related to: 'A Countryman's Lot'

Sphere

The Luck Of A Countryman

Max Hardcastle

The enchanting sequel to A Countryman's Lot, which told the story of Max Hardcastle's move to the Yorkshire Dales and the richness of life as an antiques dealer, The Luck of a Countryman contains an array of eccentric characters and curious situations which are guaranteed to delight and amuse. Old favourites reappear in new -- and sometimes alarming -- situations. And a myriad of new personalities join in the ups and downs of life in the Dales.Life is not all plain sailing, but the Hardcastles join in wholeheartedly with the trials and triumphs that beset the peaceful village of Ramsthwaite. How will they ever shift Thievin' Jack's van from the pond? And will the wedding of the year go off smoothly?

Sphere

This Country Business

Max Hardcastle

Max and Vicky Hardcastle, newcomers to the beautiful Yorkshire village of Ramsthwaite, are finallly settled into their tumble-down old farm. But their new rural life doesn't always go to plan, for whether Max is plotting to get the better of rival antiques dealers or battling Elspeth the obstinate goat or restoring the burnished nether-regions of a Greek statue, every day seems to bring new excitement and intrigue. Meanwhile fellow villager Canary Mary finds romance, Long John gets a scorching surprise and local poacher Rabbit Joe devises a wily scheme to make a few bob on the races. And somehow Max ends up right in the middle of every incident!

Max Hardcastle

Max Hardcastle was born in the old West Riding of Yorkshire, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He started collecting antiques at an early age, hoarding his treasures ? including a five-foot stuffed crocodile ? in a disused hen house, known ever after as the 'junk hut'. After National Service and a brief period working for an engineering company, Max and his family heard the call of the Yorkshire Dales, where they bought a cottage, hung out their sign ? Bullpen Antiques ? and made a happy living for many years. Max and his family now live in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, with two dogs, two ponies and an ever-fluctuating population of hens, ducks and pigeons. His only regret is that he no longer has contents of his treasured 'junk hut'.

The start of a magnificent new trilogy

An Extract from The Summer Queen

Overflowing with scandal, sex, triumph and tragedy. Read the first chapter of The Summer Queen, the gripping new novel from New York Times Bestseller, Elizabeth Chadwick.

by Amanda Carlson

Full Blooded

Read the first chapter of Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson, the start of an exceptionally fast-paced and irresistibly sexy new urban fantasy trilogy!

Robinson

Mammoth Books presents Demonic Dreams

Christopher Fowler, Norman Partridge, Robert Shearman

Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside - Christopher FowlerChristopher Fowler explains "'. . . Seaside' came about firstly because I was commissioned to write a story for the World Horror Convention souvenir book and, as the event was to take place in Brighton, it seemed logical to set a tale on the South coast of England."I had written a fantasy novel, Calabash, some years earlier, hinting at the dark madness of such seaside towns, which are the antithesis of their Mediterranean counterparts. I thought of the depressing Morrissey song "Every Day is Like Sunday", which captures the awfulness of English resorts."Coincidentally, Kim Newman and I were discussing the inherent creepiness of pantomime dames, and I decided it was time to give vent to my horror of these coastal pleasure domes. I wish I'd thought to include screaming gangs of hen-nighters as well. And I thought it was a nice touch to have everyone in the story telling the hero to 'fuck off' until he finally does."Featherweight - Robert Shearman"I don't like writing at home much," admits the author. "Home is a place for sleeping and eating and watching afternoon game shows on TV. There are too many distractions. So, years ago, I decided I'd only write first drafts in art galleries."And the best of them all is the National Gallery, in London, a pigeon's throw from Nelson's Column. I can walk around there with my notebook, thinking up stories - and if I get bored, there are lots of expensive pictures to look at. Perfect."A lot of those paintings, however, have angels in them. They're all over the place, wings raised, halos gleaming - perching on clouds, blowing trumpets, hovering around the Virgin Mary as if they're her strange naked childlike bodyguards. And I began to notice. That, whenever the writing is going well, the angels seemed happy, and would smile at me. And whenever the words weren't coming out right, when I felt sluggish, when I thought I'd rather take off and get myself a beer, they'd start to glare."I wrote this story in the National Gallery. Accompanied by a lot of glaring angels. Enjoy."Lesser Demons - Norman Partridge"I was surprised to receive an invitation for S.T. Joshi's Black Wings," reveals Partridge, "an anthology of Lovecraftian fiction. Although I knew S.T. admired my work, I've never quite seen myself as a Mythos writer."While I respect H.P. Lovecraft and his contribution to horror, I've never felt that his worldview (or maybe I should say universeview) meshed with mine."In the end, that's what made the story work . . . at least for me. I concentrated on my differences with Lovecraft, and approached the material from a place where Jim Thompson would be more comfortable than HPL. And I'm delighted that so many people have enjoyed the tale - it was a lot of fun to write."

Right Way

Afternoon Tea

Sue Simkins
Robinson

Sugar-Free Baking

Sue Simkins
New Harbinger

Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding

Fugen Neziroglu
How To Books

The Urban Hen

Paul Peacock

Paul Peacock shows you how to: find the best poultry for the small garden and house them properly, feed your birds, tune in to their daily needs and enjoy your own eggs; avoid annoying the neighbours by showing that it is possible to keep poultry without attracting unwelcome pests; recognise healthy happy birds and learn their daily routine; recognise poorly hens; treat them or get help; and, incubate and care for fertilised eggs and raise chicks.

How To Books

Chickens, Ducks and Bees

Paul Peacock
Sphere

No Going Back

Martin Kirby
Constable

Now Then Lad...

Mike Pannett
Sphere

The Last Matchmaker

Willie Daly
Sphere

The Actresses

Barbara Ewing

Sometimes successful, often not, the life of an actress is never dull but what happens when you reach fifty? If you're an actor, the work pours in; if you're an actress, suddenly the wrinkles start showing, the boobs sag, that young sprite who's just left college last year is the tops. So it seems, anyhow, to this group of thespians, now all in their fifties, meeting for a drama school reunion. There's Juliet, beautiful, brittle star of the stage, all out for her big screen break; lovely Pauline, a good actress in her own right but often overshadowed by her ebullient actor husband Anthony; blowsy, breezy, sexy soap star Molly; the three wise monkeys Emmy Lou, Franny and dear old Harry; sweet Izzy and gorgeous Terence Blue, Hollywood superstar, heart throb extraordinaire. But age doesn't wipe out desire, ambition or memory. So when the celebrations culminate in an accusation of rape, the past comes flooding back and the present takes extraordinary and unexpected turns.

Sphere

Barefoot

Elin Hilderbrand
Sphere

One Girl And Her Dogs

Emma Gray
How To Books

A Family Guide To Keeping Chickens

Anne Perdeaux

Chickens are an ideal family pet, requiring less attention than a dog yet being entertaining, productive and educational. For the family and would-be smallholder, chickens are the obvious first step when venturing into keeping livestock. This practical, full colour book, is ideal for the complete beginner. Even someone who has never kept animals before should be able to follow the clear, detailed guidance that is given at every stage. It includes: Planning for your first chickens.Understanding chicken behaviour.Choosing housing for different sized gardens.Choosing the right chickens for the job.Exploring useful equipment such as poultry feeder and drinkers. What to feed your chickens on.Buying your chickens and introducing them to their new home.Routine care for your chickens.Outfoxing The Fox - and other predators.Eggs - and What to do With Them.Dealing with parasites and ailments.Keeping a cockerel.Broody hens and hatching eggs.When Chickens Die.Chickens and the Changing Seasons.With true-life portraits of chicken keepers, little known facts, and personal anecdotes this accessible book is an easy and enjoyable read, suitable for both adults and children.

C & R Crime

The Lovejoy Omnibus (Books 1-4)

Jonathan Gash

The Judas Pair Every antique dealer is a bit of a detective, following clues to find the trophies that pay the rent, but when Lovejoy takes on the job of tracking down a pair of duelling pistols so rare that he's not even sure actually exist, he needs all the instincts of a detective to pick his way through an unsolved crime. Along the way, he becomes convinced that the weapons do exist but that they have fallen into the hands of a vile murderer. Locating the ancient weapons seems like the least of his problems when Lovejoy then finds himself fighting for his life in a duel to the death! Gold From Gemini Lovejoy discovers how the lure of gold brings out the worst kind of treasure seeker when, broke as usual and earning a crust as an unlikely babysitter, he stumbles across the diaries of a painter that appear to point to the whereabouts of a fabled hoard of Roman gold coins. Lovejoy is tempted to dismiss the whole thing as a hoax, but vile threats and violent intimidation have a way of changing his mind. He sets out to unravel the clues in the diaries, with some particularly nasty characters dogging his every move. The Grail Tree Lovejoy has heard of more nutters who have claimed to be in possession of the one, true Holy Grail than he has had hot dinners. He's not too impressed with the eccentric clergyman making the latest claim - especially when the good vicar turns out to be one of the finest forgers Lovejoy has ever met. But when the vicar and his lady companion end up dead it becomes clear that someone else is after the old man's artefact. To solve the mystery and protect a precious piece of history, Lovejoy puts his life on the line and acquires a surprising new partner... Spend Game When Lovejoy witnesses a car crash that turns out to be a murder - with one of his oldest antique-dealer friends the victim - he sets out on a trail of revenge that leaves him pondering several bewildering questions. Why did his friend buy up a load of junk furniture? What did he want with an old doctor's bag? Why was his friend killed? Who was trying to kill Lovejoy and - most perplexing of all - what the hell is he doing potholing through underground tunnels dodging armed hit men?

New digital literary imprint from Little, Brown

Announcing Blackfriars

In June 2013, Little, Brown Book Group will launch the first digital literary imprint from a major UK publisher. Blackfriars has been created with the aim of discovering and nurturing new talent (or talent that has been away for a while) by Clare Smith of L,B/Abacus and Ursula Doyle of Virago.