By Christopher Lee
Between 1858 and 1947, twenty British men ruled millions of some of the most remarkable people of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.From the Indian Mutiny to the cruel religious partition of India and the newly formed and named Pakistan, the Viceroy had absolute power, more than the monarch who had sent him. Selected from that exclusive class of English, Scottish and Irish breeding, the aristocracy, the Viceroys were plumed, rode elephants, shot tigers. Even their wives stood when they entered the room. Nevertheless, many of them gave everything for India. The first Viceroy, Canning, exhausted by the Mutiny, buried his wife in Calcutta before he left the subcontinent to die shortly afterwards.The average Viceroy lasted five years and was granted an earldom but rarely a sense of triumph. Did these Viceroys behave as badly as twenty-first century moralists would have us believe? When the Raj was over, the legacy of Empire continued, as the new rulers slipped easily into the offices and styles of the British who had gone. Being 'British' was now a caste.Viceroys is the tale of the British Raj, the last fling of British aristocracy. It is the supreme view of the British in India, portraying the sort of people who went out and the sort of people they were on their return. It is the story of utter power and what men did with it. Moreover, it is also the story of how modern British identity was established and in part the answer to how it was that such a small offshore European island people believed themselves to have the right to sit at the highest institutional tables and judge what was right and unacceptable in other nations and institutions.
Vengeance in Venice
By Philip Gwynne Jones
'An unputdownable thriller' Gregory Dowling'It is no surprise to find that Philip Gwynne Jones lives in Venice... art and architecture interweave into a story that builds to an almost surreal climax' Daily Mail*****Murder is the deadliest art . . . An invitation to an exclusive event during the Venetian Biennale gives Honorary Consul Nathan Sutherland the perfect chance to drink prosecco in the sunshine and meet some of the greats of the art world. And then a world-famous critic is decapitated by one of the installations in the British Pavilion. A terrible accident, it seems, until a postcard is discovered in the victim's pocket: an image of Judith beheading Holofernes.But this is not just a one-off. Before long, three more postcards have been sent out with deadly results. As the bodies pile up, Nathan finds himself getting closer and closer to the truth, but when he himself receives an image of Death bearing a scythe, it becomes a race against time to save his own life . . .*****Praise for Philip Gwynne Jones'Superb - always gripping, beautifully constructed and vivid' Stephen Glover'Clever and great fun' The Times'Sinister and shimmering, The Venetian Game is as haunting and darkly elegant as Venice itself' L.S. Hilton, bestselling author of Maestra'The Venetian setting is vividly described... good, fluid writing makes for easy reading' Literary Review'Un-put-downable . . . If you love Venice, you'll love this because you'll be transported there in an instant. If you've not been to Venice, read this book and then go. If you like intrigue, and a clever plot, you'll love this book' Amazon reviewer, 5*****
A Vicky Hill Mystery: Scoop!
By Hannah Dennison
Vicky will do anything to get off the obituary circuit and on to the front page!If there's one thing Vicky has learnt as an obituary writer, it's how to spot something fishy at a funeral - and plenty is amiss at the service for Gordon Berry. The man was a champion hedge cutter so why are people willing to believe he electrocuted himself by striking a power line with his own clippers?At the reception there are rumblings of foul play - not to mention a fistfight between a mourner and the local Lothario. And in her quest for a scoop, Vicky will find she has to confront everything - from bad dates to mortal danger...'A dizzy romp with an endearingly gullible investigator' Ann Purse'Dennison delivers a novel that both Monty Python and Miss Marple would approve of' Fresh Fiction'A laugh a page ... a hilarious debut' Carolyn Hart on A Vicky Hill Exclusive!
A Vicky Hill Exclusive!
By Hannah Dennison
Vicky Hill has two goals in life: to escape the never-ending boredom of funeral reporting and find the right man. Then a tip leads to what might be the scoop of a lifetime. There is a bizarre connection between three grisly chicken corpses and the unusual death of a local hedge-jumping enthusiast Sir Hugh Trewallyn. Suddenly, it seems that this quiet market town harbours more than its fair share of secrets but when Vicky opens Gipping's Pandora's box, her own secrets come back to haunt her...'A dizzy romp with an endearingly gullible investigator' - Ann Purse'A laugh a page ... a hilarious debut' - Carolyn Hart
A Vicky Hill Mystery: Exposé!
By Hannah Dennison
When an early morning call wakes Vicky from the arms of her dream man, reality had better be worth it - and it is. A tipster tells her about the secret funeral of local celebrity Scarlett Flemming, organised by her grieving husband Doug. The entire town is baffled by the sudden death and oddly discreet funeral. After all, in life Scarlett had hardly been a shrinking violet.Vicky's suspicions are heightened when she learns of the Flemmings' shaky finances - and that Doug has as many admirers as Scarlett had enemies. And while canvassing suspects and juggling three potential suitors, Vicky must stay one step ahead of a killer once she realises she's no longer writing an obituary - she's writing an expose!'A dizzy romp with an endearingly gullible investigator' - Ann Purse'A laugh a page ... a hilarious debut' - Carolyn Hart on A Vicky Hill Exclusive!
The Visitors' Book
By Jon Lys Turner
Denis Wirth-Miller and Dicky Chopping were a couple at the heart of the mid-twentieth century art world, with the visitors' book of the Essex townhouse they shared from 1945 until 2008 painting them as Zeligs of British society. The names recorded inside make up an astonishing supporting cast - from Francis Bacon to Lucian Freud to Randolph Churchill to John Minton. Successful artists, although not household names themselves, writing Dicky and Denis off as just footnotes in history would be a mistake. After Denis's death in 2010, Jon Lys-Turner, one of two executors of the couple's estate, came into possession of an extraordinary archive of letters, works of art and symbolically loaded ephemera the two had collected since they met in the 1930s. It is no exaggeration to state that this archive represents a missing link in British art history - the wealth of new biographical information disclosed about Francis Bacon, for example, is truly staggering. The Visitors' Book is both an extraordinary insight into the minutiae of Dicky and Denis's life together and what it meant to be gay in pre-Wolfenden Britain, as well as a pocket social history of the era and a unique perspective into mid-twentieth century art. With reams of previously unseen material, this is a fascinating and unique opportunity to delve into post-war Britain.
The Very Last Gambado
By Jonathan Gash
In the world of antiques there is one great remaining scam. The very last gambado. Robbing the British Museum.Of course, the murder, mayhem and double crossing is only going to happen in a film. Or is it? After all, Lovejoy has been employed on the set as antiques advisor.Praise for Jonathan Gash: 'Irrepressible... bounteous entertainment' Sunday Times'Lovejoy is up to his old tricks again... compelling stuff' Today'Unabashedly amoral, witty and crammed with treasures of every sort... Pure, unadulterated Lovejoy' Publishers Weekly
The Venetian Game
By Philip Gwynne Jones
'An unputdownable thriller' Gregory Dowling'It is no surprise to find that Philip Gwynne Jones lives in Venice... art and architecture interweave into a story that builds to an almost surreal climax' Daily Mail*****A game of cross and double-cross in Venice, one of the most beautiful cities on earth.From his office on the Street of the Assassins, Nathan Sutherland enjoys a steady but unexciting life translating Italian DIY manuals. All this changes dramatically when he is offered a large sum of money to look after a small package containing an extremely valuable antique prayer book illustrated by a Venetian master. But is it a stolen masterpiece - or a brilliant fake?Unknown to Nathan, from a vast mansion on the Grand Canal twin brothers Domenico and Arcangelo Moro, motivated by nothing more than mutual hatred, have been playing out a complex game of art theft for twenty years. And now Nathan finds himself unwittingly drawn into their deadly business . . .*****Praise for Philip Gwynne Jones'Superb - always gripping, beautifully constructed and vivid' Stephen Glover'Sinister and shimmering, The Venetian Game is as haunting and darkly elegant as Venice itself' L.S. Hilton, bestselling author of Maestra'Clever and great fun' The Times'The Venetian setting is vividly described... good, fluid writing makes for easy reading' Literary Review'Un-put-downable . . . If you love Venice, you'll love this because you'll be transported there in an instant. If you've not been to Venice, read this book and then go. If you like intrigue, and a clever plot, you'll love this book' Amazon reviewer, 5**********Vengeance in Venice, the second book in Philip Gwynne Jones' sensational Venice series, is available now
A Vicky Hill Mystery: Accused!
By Hannah Dennison
Murder is in the air when hedge-jumping champ Dave Randall accuses his arch enemy, Jack Webster, of sabotaging his dream to compete at the upcoming European Games. Vicky is used to Dave's histrionics and she turns a blind eye. After all, she has bigger fish to fry-namely solving the mysterious death of worm charming diva Ruth Reeves, whose sudden inheritance has made her very unpopular with old friends and neighbours alike. But when Jack Webster ends up dead, too, there seems to be a strange connection between the pair and Dave becomes the prime suspect. The perfect classic English village mystery but with the addition of charm, wit and a thoroughly modern touch. (Rhys Bowen)Downton Abbey was yesterday. Murder at Honeychurch Hall lifts the lid on today's grand country estate in all its tarnished, scheming, inbred, deranged glory. (Catriona McPherson)A fun read (Carola Dunn)Sparkles like a glass of Devon cider on a summer afternoon. (Elizabeth Duncan)
The Very Hungover Caterpillar
By Emlyn Rees
'Hilarious and painfully accurate, The Very Hungover Caterpillar is liable to be one of those parodies that becomes more famous than the original.' IndependentIn the gloom of the room, a fully dressed man lies on the sofa. The next morning, the TV comes on and - ugh! - ! up lurches a thirsty and very hungover caterpillar. From the bestselling authors of We're Going on a Bar Hunt, comes another hilarious parody of a much-loved children's book. This time, we follow the quest of one man as he attempts to shake off his hangover, through eating whatever he can get his hands on, and annoying his family in the process. The perfect book for anyone who fondly remembers the original, but has now grown up and knows all too well just how painful hungover days can be . . .
By Jonathan Aycliffe
Peter and Sarah's marriage has reached an impasse; their holiday in beautiful Cornwall is chosen to mend old wounds and bandage past pain. The house they go to has space - space for their writing, their painting, and their reconciliation. It has space too for its own memories and its own unforgettable horrors. but they are not to know that.When the locals are less than friendly than they might be and when the house sighs with its secrets, the sands of their marriage shift. and then Sarah vanishes and Peter is left alone. Or is he?Praise for Jonathan Aycliffe:'Aycliffe has a fine touch' Independent'Aycliffe conjures up a feeling of dread that deepens with each unsettling incident' Time Out'Naomi's Room must rank among the finest of English ghost stories. They certainly don't come more dark or fearsome.' Newcastle Evening Chronicle
The Vatican Rip
By Jonathan Gash
I always think that a genuine friend is like a genuine antique - you'd go a long way to find one and you'd do anything to stop one getting broken. When an Italian gentleman made me an offer I couldn't refuse, stopping my friends from getting broken meant stealing a very valuable antique. 'Somebody else has got my antique and I want it back,' was how he put it. 'Who has it?' I asked. Without a flicker of a smile he replied, 'The Pope.' If you think of the Vatican as a big church where the Pope lives, then think again. It is a complete walled city with its own shops, its own bank and its own armed security in the shape of the ridiculously costumed Swiss Guards. Look a bit daft, don't they? But they're well trained and well armed young men. Well, if stealing antiques from the Pope was easy, everybody would be doing it, wouldn't they?
Vicky Hill: Thieves!
By Hannah Dennison
When the body of a woman is found in a shallow stream, aspiring investigative journalist Vicky Hill suspects there's a connection between the murder and the string of recent silver thefts plaguing the small town of Gipping-on-Plym. And since both her boss and the local police refuse to investigate, Vicky takes on the case by herself - and she's determined to uncover the answers and clinch her fourth national exclusive!'A dizzy romp with an endearingly gullible investigator' - Ann Purse'A laugh a page ... a hilarious debut' - Carolyn Hart on A Vicky Hill Exclusive!
By Greg Palast
The bestselling author of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy offers a globetrotting, Sam Spade-style investigation that blows the lid off the oil industry, the banking industry, and the governmental agencies that aren't regulating either.This is the story of the corporate vultures that feed on the weak and ruin our planet in the process-a story that spans the globe and decades.For Vultures' Picnic, investigative journalist Greg Palast has spent his career uncovering the connection between the world of energy (read: oil) and finance. He's built a team that reads like a casting call for a Hollywood thriller-a Swiss multilingual investigator, a punk journalist, and a gonzo cameraman-to reveal how environmental disasters like the Gulf oil spill, the Exxon Valdez, and lesser-known tragedies such as Tatitlek and Torrey Canyon are caused by corporate corruption, failed legislation, and, most interestingly, veiled connections between the financial industry and energy titans. Palast shows how the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and Central Banks act as puppets for Big Oil.With Palast at the center of an investigation that takes us from the Arctic to Africa to the Amazon, Vultures' Picnic shows how the big powers in the money and oil game slip the bonds of regulation over and over again, and simply destroy the rules that they themselves can't write-and take advantage of nations and everyday people in the process.
The Venus Throw
By Steven Saylor
On a cold January evening in 50BC, two strangers enter Rome - one an Egyptian ambassador and the other a eunuch priest. Both are seeking Gordianus the Finder, who has a reputation for solving murders. But the ambassador, a philosopher named Dio, asks for something Gordianus cannot give - help in staying alive. And before the night is out, Dio is brutally assassinated.Now Gordianus must begin the most dangerous case of his career. Hired to investigate Dio's murder by a beautiful woman with a scandalous reputation, he will follow a trail of intrigue into the highest circles of political power and the city's secret arenas of debauchery. There Gordianus will learn that nothing is as it seems, not the damning evidence he uncovers, nor the suspect he sends to trial, not even the real truth behind Dio's death which also lies shrouded in secrets - though not of the state, but of the heart.
The Valley of Death
By Garry Douglas Kilworth
Sergeant Jack Crossman's second adventure finds him still in the heat of battle in the Crimea. Having survived a dangerous covert mission in The Devil's Own the man known to his comrades as 'Fancy Jack' now faces new horrors at the Battle of Balaclava. In the confusion of the conflict Jack witnesses the carnage during the hopeless and tragic charge of the Light Brigade when more than six hundred British cavalry troops charged Russian gun emplacements, mistakenly following orders that, as they were passed down the chain of command, had been misinterpreted. Kilworth's rousing narrative of courage on the field and his vivid descriptions of the horrifying realities of the Crimean campaign are related with verve and meticulous historical detail, in the spirit of the great military adventures.