Kate Ellis - The Mermaid's Scream - Little, Brown Book Group

The Mermaid's Scream

By Kate Ellis

  • Hardback
  • £19.99

The twenty-first Wesley Peterson mystery from captivating crime star Kate Ellis.

Why did Wynn Staniland, a legend in the literary world, suddenly become a recluse in the 1980s? Most assumed he stopped writing because of his wife's bizarre suicide; a death that mirrored a murder case from the nineteenth century. And now a promising young author called Zac Wilkinson is working on Staniland's biography and hopes to reveal the true story to a waiting world - while at the same time keeping his own troubled past hidden from public view.

When Wilkinson is found brutally murdered, DI Wesley Peterson finds links to the unexplained poisoning of a middle-aged couple at a local caravan park - and Wynn Staniland appears to be the connection.

As Wesley delves further into the case he suspects a sinister puppet show might provide the solution: a grim re-enactment of the murder of Mary Field, a cause celebre from the reign of Queen Victoria that inspired Staniland's best-known novel.

The case becomes personal for Wesley when he discovers his son is involved, and as he begins to unravel decades of secrets and deception, the shocking truth proves almost too much to bear . . .

Biographical Notes

Kate Ellis is the author of the Wesley Peterson Murder Mysteries and the Joe Plantagenet Murder Mysteries. She has twice been nominated for the Crime Writers' Association Short Story Dagger Award.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349413099
  • Publication date: 02 Feb 2017
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Piatkus
A beguiling author who interweaves past and present — The Times
Kate Ellis skilfully weaves crimes of past and present into a seamless narrative...The plotting is intricate and the finale totally unexpected — Bookseller
The chilling plot will keep you spooked and thrilled to the end — Closer
Well worth a read for anyone who enjoys a traditional detective story with an intriguing historical twist . . . Ellis is a fine storyteller, weaving the past and present in a way that makes you want to read on — Peterborough Evening Telegraph
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Greyfriars House

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Once a home full of love, all that remains in Greyfriars House are secrets and lies . . .On a remote Scottish island sits Greyfriars House, a house haunted by unspoken words and family mysteries. But once it was a happy and comforting place and in the summer of 1939, family and friends gather to forget their fears about the impending war. Nine-year-old Olivia watches the grown-ups with fascination particularly her mother and her two aunts, the three daughters of the family who own the island. Then Olivia she sees something she isn't meant to and when the truth comes out it reverberates through the generations.Almost fifty years later, Olivia has fallen ill and urges her own daughter, Charlotte, to visit Greyfriars to reconnect the existing branches of the family. Charlotte is hesitant to get to know her great-aunts, women who have always shunned her mother, but curiosity and a desire to run from her own life get the better of her and she goes to the island.But Greyfriars House is a shadow of its former self and Charlotte finds her great-aunts tense and cautious. There is something they want to share with Charlotte, but in order to truly understand their secret Charlotte must first understand what happened to them before and during the war . . .

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Since the death of Ragnvald's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill Ragnvald on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising. But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King tells the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.

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The Death of Robin Hood

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The Mole Catcher's Daughter

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The lips had been darned closed with six long, black, stitches. Clumsily executed, they gave the face a crude deaths-head appearance, like a child's drawing scrawled upon a wall . . .1851, Angel Meadow Asylum. Dr Rutherford, principal physician to the insane, is found dead, his head bashed in, his ears cut off, his lips and eyes stitched closed. The police direct their attention towards Angel Meadow's inmates, but to Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain the crime is an act of calculated retribution, rather than of madness. To discover the truth Jem and Will must pursue the story through the darkest corners of the city - from the depths of a notorious rookery, to the sordid rooms of London's brothels, the gallows, the graveyard, the convict fleet and then back to the asylum. In a world where guilt and innocence, crime and atonement, madness and reason, are bounded by hypocrisy, ambition and betrayal, Jem and Will soon find themselves caught up in a web of dark secrets and hidden identities.'Following on from the events of acclaimed debut Beloved Poison, Dark Asylum vividly portrays the Gothic horror and questionable science of Victorian mental asylums in chilling detail. Meticulously researched and masterfully plotted, E.S. Thomson has written a complex, harrowing and highly enjoyable tale' - Daily Express'Here's a tale of Victorian London to freeze your blood on a cold winter's night' - Evening Telegraph

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The House of Secrets

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'Extremely atmospheric and unputdownable. I loved it' Marian Keyes5-star reader reviews for The House of Secrets'Libby and Zoe are complex, courageous and believeable and I found their stories absolutely compelling to read with a very satisfying ending. Highly recommended''I cried, I smiled, I swore in anger at parts . . . such a brilliant piece of writing''Enjoyed every page of this lovely book and its lovely heroines Zoe and Libby. Highly recommended for a great feel good read''Finished the whole book in one night, literally unputdownable'Every home has a story to tell . . .An ordinary house on an ordinary street, built in 1936 and never lived in. Its rooms might be empty, but this house is full of secrets.When Zoe and Win, raw and reeling from a recent tragedy, move into their new home it's meant to be a fresh start and a way to mend the holes in their relationship.But pushed to the back of a cupboard is a suitcase that's been gathering dust for eighty years. Inside is a wedding dress, letters and a diary all belonging to a woman called Libby. And there's something else in the suitcase, something that echoes Zoe's own pain.Zoe follows Libby's trail from Paris to Spain on the brink of Civil War to secret trysts in London, and as Libby finds the courage to live and love again, Zoe begins to let go of her own grief.But when Libby's story takes a darker turn, Zoe becomes increasingly obsessed with discovering what really happened all those years ago. Because if Libby managed to get her happy ever after then maybe Zoe and Win can too . . .

Piatkus

A High Mortality of Doves

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1919. The Derbyshire village of Wenfield is still reeling from four terrible years of war, and now, just when the village is coming to terms with the loss of so many of its sons, the brutal murder of a young girl shatters its hard-won tranquillity.Myrtle Bligh is found stabbed and left in woodland, her mouth slit to accommodate a dead dove, a bird of peace. During the war Myrtle worked as a volunteer nurse with Flora Winsmore, the local doctor's daughter, caring for badly wounded soldiers at the nearby big house, Tarnhey Court.When two more women are found murdered in identical circumstances, Inspector Albert Lincoln is sent up from London, a man not only wounded in war but damaged in peace by the death of his young son and his cold, loveless marriage. Once in Wenfield, Albert begins to investigate the three recent murders and the Cartwright family of Tarnhey Court and their staff fall under suspicion as their hidden lives and secrets are uncovered. With rumours of a ghostly soldier with a painted face being spotted near the scene of the murders, the village is thrown into a state of panic - and with the killer still on the loose, who will be the next to die at the hands of this vicious angel of death?

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A grisly find . . .A year on from the mysterious disappearance of Jenny Bercival, DI Wesley Peterson is called in when the body of a strangled woman is found floating out to sea in a dinghy.The discovery mars the festivities of the Palkin Festival, held each year to celebrate the life of John Palkin, a fourteenth century Mayor of Tradmouth who made his fortune from trade and piracy. And now it seems like death and mystery have returned to haunt the town. A faceless enemy . . .Could there be a link between the two women? One missing, one brutally murdered? And is there a connection to a fantasy website called Shipworld which features Palkin as a supernatural hero with a sinister, faceless nemesis called the Shroud Maker?Will history repeat itself once again?When archaeologist Neil Watson makes a grim discovery on the site of Palkin's warehouse, it looks as if history might have inspired the killer.And it is only by delving into the past that Wesley comes to learn the truth . . . a truth that will bring mortal danger in its wake.

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The Shadow Collector

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Lilith Benley and her mother, rumoured to be witches, were convicted of the brutal murder of two teenage girls. Eighteen years later Lilith is released from prison, and shortly after she returns to her old home, a young woman is found dead at a neighbouring farm where a celebrity reality TV show is being filmed. When DI Wesley Peterson is called in to investigate he has to deal with fragile egos and hidden truths, as well as the possibility that Lilith Benley has killed again.Meanwhile, archaeologist Neil Watson discovers a gruesome wax doll at a house that once belonged to a woman hanged for witchcraft in the seventeenth century. And when Neil has a near fatal accident, some suspect a supernatural connection.Even though Wesley has problems closer to home to solve, it is up to him to uncover terrible secrets, banish dark shadows collected in the past and bring a dangerous killer to justice - a killer who will stop at nothing to dispense vengeance and death.

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Heather Cynster has been waiting her whole life to find what her older brothers Gabriel and Lucifer have found: love. Not the pleasant marriage that most of society enters into, but the passion-filled, adventure-packed kind of love that she'd seen fulfill the lives of her brothers and cousins. But what's a girl to do when her hero just isn't showing up? If she's a Cynster, she takes finding him into her own hands.Determined to actively search in places she hasn't yet ventured, Heather's journey to Scotland is rudely interrupted by a kidnapper. As she and her would-be rescuer, Timothy Danvers, Viscount Breckenridge, team up to bring her kidnapper to justice and foil his grand scheme, Heather begins to realize that there's more to be gained than just her freedom . . .

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The Blood Pit

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