By Claire North, Peter Kenny
Novella 1: The SerpentIn seventeenth century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse. There, fortunes are made and fortunes are broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman who is about to play may just exceed everyone's expectations.Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules . . .Novella 2: The ThiefThe Gameshouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost though games of Chess, Backgammon - every game under the sun.But a select few, who are picked to compete in the higher league, know that some games are played for higher stakes - those of politics and empires, of economics and kings . . .In 1930s Bangkok, one higher league player has just been challenged to a game of hide and seek. The board is all of Thailand - and the seeker will use any means possible to hunt down his quarry - be it police, government, strangers or even spies . . .Novella 3: The MasterThe Gamehouse is an unusual institution. Many know it as the place where fortunes can be made and lost though games of Chess, Backgammon - every game under the sun.But a select few, who are picked to compete in the higher league, know that some games are played for higher stakes - those of politics and empires, of economics and kings . . .And now, the ultimate player is about to step forward.
By Ngaio Marsh, Jane Asher
With two husbands dead, a daughter marrying the wrong man and a debilitating disease, it is no wonder that Sybil Foster took her own life. But Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn doesn't believe she was the type to kill herself - and he thinks someone else has made a very grave mistake...
By Joseph Murray, Malcolm Hamilton
The Gallipoli Campaign stands out as a landmark in the history of the First World War, and it was perhaps the most controversial action; it certainly ended in tragedy. Joseph Murray was among the 400,000 British and Commonwealth troops taking part, and he served as a naval rating turned soldier in Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division. Gallipoli 1915 is based on a diary he kept at the time and his later letters home.The Battle of Gallipoli was a war of nerves, largely played out underground in the tunnels constantly being built by either side. Joseph Murray's unflinching and compelling account gives us an insight into the daily life of a First World War soldier, as well as providing an eye-witness report of the horrors and tragedy of the conflict.
The Grapes Of Wrath
By John Steinbeck, John Chancer
Shocking and controversial when it was first published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning epic remains his undisputed masterpiece. Set against the background of dust bowl Oklahoma and Californian migrant life, it tells of the Joad family, who, like thousands of others, are forced to travel West in search of the promised land. Their story is one of false hopes, thwarted desires and broken dreams, yet out of their suffering Steinbeck created a drama that is intensely human, yet majestic in its scale and moral vision; an eloquent tribute to the endurance and dignity of the human spirit.
The Girl Who Married A Lion
By Alexander McCall Smith, Adjoa Andoh
Mma Ramotswe reads the foreword she has written to these tales, then goes on to narrate them all herself, passing them on to us verbally as did her father's aunt to her. From animal fables to mysterious forces residing in the landscape, this collection demonstrates the wealth and variety of African folk tales and the particular magic of Africa's spiritual roots.Simple, surprising and humorous, these beautifully rendered tales demonstrate McCall Smith's renowned storytelling skill and his love of Africa, and remain as fresh and vital as in the original idiom.