A tragic accident - or something more sinister? Carole and Jude make it their business to find out.
Short staffed, Suzy recruits Jude as a waitress to help keep the spirits flowing. But the next morning, Jude discovers that one spirit has flown away for good, when she finds the body of a young man—supposedly an initiate for Pillar membership—hanging from the beam of a four-poster bed.
The police are quick to rule the death a suicide. The Pillars of Sussex deny that the victim was ever considered for membership. Suzy just wants to forget the incident ever happened. But Jude knows that both parties have something to hide—so she enlists a reluctant Carole to nurture her relationship with a flirtatious Pillar in the hope that they’ll topple him over and uncover the truth...
Exploring the South Downs of the well-to-do town of Weldisham, Carole Seddon is caught in a sudden rainstorm. She finds refuge in an old barn—but relief turns to revulsion when she discovers the bones of a human skeleton packed inside two bags.
Some townspeople believe the remains are those of a missing girl named Tamsin Lutteridge, who disappeared after becoming involved with several practitioners of alternative medicine—including Carole’s friend Jude. On her own investigation, Jude discovers that Tamsin is very much alive and keeping close company with a very charismatic New Age healer.
Now Jude and Carole have two mysteries to unravel. Why is Tamsin deliberately hiding from her father? And if the skeleton wasn’t hers…whose was it?
But when a stranger warns her to keep quiet or else, Carole does the unthinkable and confides in Jude—who suggests that if the police cannot be bothered to catch a killer, then they should do it themselves.
The police attribute the stabbing death to the mysterious “Horse Ripper,” who’s been mutilating mares across West Sussex—and who Walter obviously caught in the act. But considering Walter’s track record out of the saddle, Jude and Carole find that there are plenty of suspects—including Walter’s put-upon wife and more than a few jealous husbands—who wanted Walter put out to pasture...
The Bashusky's arrival at Tawcester Towers causes a stir, and it's up to Blotto and Twinks, that indefatigable duo, to provide a solution to get them back to Russia. Reversing the Russian Revolution and getting a Tsar back into St Petersburg's Winter Palace is just the sort of challenge the fiercely bright Twinks relishes, though her dim-witted brother Blotto shows less aptitude for the subtleties of international politics, despite his commendable bravery.
The siblings soon find themselves in Berlin to try and broker a meeting with the White Russian community, and swiftly become embroiled in a world of spies, counterspies, conspiracies and counter-conspiracies. Just when things seem to be looking up, little do Blotto and Twinks realise that their plans are being monitored by the spymaster Fyodor Vlachko, a former worker on the Bushusky's estate who has now risen to a senior post in the secret police of the newly-formed Soviet Union . . .
This all came as a bit of a shock to Bill. Hence the soul searching. Brought up to be a responsible sort of chap, and hitting young adulthood just the wrong side of the sixties, Bill had not had much experience of dating (or sex, for that matter) before he met and married Andrea.
Post menopausal dating might be very different to dating in your twenties or thirties, but then he didn't know much about either scene. Still, as a mildly famous television newsreader who'd managed to hold on to (most of) his looks, it seemed he was about to have plenty of opportunities to find out.
Simon Brett is the winner of The CWA Diamond Dagger 2014.
Landing a minor part in the Empire Theatre Eastbourne’s Christmas production of Cinderella, Charles Paris soon discovers that his main role is to gently introduce the show's baffled American star, famous sitcom actor Kenny Polizzi, to the bizarre customs of English pantomime.
During their convivial sessions in the local pub, Charles finds himself increasingly caught up in Polizzi’s tangled affairs as the American fends off a vengeful soon-to-be-ex-wife, an obsessed groupie, and a barely-controlled drink problem. But Charles is about to be far more involved than he might wish when he stumbles across a body beneath Eastbourne Pier, a neat bullet hole in the centre of the forehead.
As the world’s press descends on Eastbourne, the pantomime rehearsals descend into chaos and he himself comes under suspicion, it’s up to Charles to put his renowned sleuthing skills to the test to find out who really killed his fellow cast member – and why.
Simon Brett is the winner of The CWA Diamond Dagger 2014.
Carole Seddon has never enjoyed holidays much. Nevertheless, she has allowed herself to be persuaded by her friend Jude to accept a fortnight’s free accommodation at a luxurious Turkish villa owned by Jude’s property developer friend Barney Willingdon. But from the outset the holiday is marred by a series of menacing incidents: threatening messages daubed on the villa walls; and their host being accosted by a knife-wielding man at a local restaurant. As Carole and Jude launch into what they do best - investigating - it becomes clear that Barney Willingdon has made plenty of enemies, with his ruthless business deals and complicated love life. Matters come to a head when Carole’s sightseeing trip to nearby Pinara is curtailed by the discovery of a body in one of the ancient Lycian tombs. And what really did happen to Barney’s first wife, Zoe?
Polly’s Cake Shop has been a feature of the shopping parade for many years, but when its owner announces her retirement, the Fethering residents start to worry about the loss of this popular amenity. Alarmed by rumours that the café might become a Starbucks, a group clubs together to form the Save Polly’s Cake Shop Action Committee.
The plan is that Polly’s should become a community venture, managed and run by volunteers from the village. Roped in to help, Jude finds the committee meetings fraught with petty power struggles, clashing personalities and monstrous egos. Matters take a turn for the worse when she and Carole come across a badly-decomposed body on Fethering beach – and uncover a link to Polly’s. Not only do the two neighbours have to find out whodunit, they are also faced with the thorny question: is it possible to run a business on that most volatile of commodities - goodwill?
But when the company reach the first staging post of their tour, the Grand Theatre Marlborough, matters get more serious, with one member of the company seriously injured in what appears to be an accident, and another dead. Once again, Charles Paris is forced to don the mantle of amateur detective to get to the bottom of the mystery.
It is her characteristic generosity rather than her love of animals that finds Mrs Pargeter supporting her friend, Jasmine Angold, at a charity reception for PhiliPussies, whose worthy aim is to rehabilitate stray cats from the Greek island of Atmos into caring English homes. But the evening is to have unexpected consequences. At the event, Mrs P is taken aback to meet a woman who claims to be the sister of her late husband, the much-missed Mr Pargeter.
This surprising encounter leads to unwelcome digging into past secrets, the discovery of a body in Epping Forest, an eventful trip to Greece - and unexpected danger for Mrs Pargeter. In the course of her investigations, she learns the true nature of charity and the dubious skills by which Public Relations can make evil look good.
Yet another financial crisis at Tawcester Towers! So this time the Dowager Duchess decides to sell off the less important family possessions, which have, for a long time, been consigned to the attics of the ancestral home.
Blotto and Twinks are dispatched to help the valuer as he carries out an inspection. Not much of any worth is found but then the valuer spies some Egyptian artifacts, collected by the tenth duke, Rupert the Egyptologist. In some excitement he rushes back to London to consult his reference books, leaving Blotto and Twinks alone in the attic, where they are drawn to a sarchophagus decorated with hieroglyphs. Twinks starts to translate: 'Anyone who desecrates this shrine will be visited by the Pharoah's curse...' - just as Blotto prises the lid off.
From that moment on a series of unpleasant incidents start happening at Tawcester Towers but it is only when the Dowager Duchess's precious pug is struck down with a stomach bug that she instructs her son to sort things out and stop the accelerating sequence of disasters.
It's the brainy Twinks who decide the only thing to be done is to put the genie back in the bottle and so she, together with Blotto and their trusty chauffeur Corky Froggett, undertake take the sarcophagus back to Egypt, to the Valley of the Kings as only when this is done will the effect of the Pharoah's curse be lifted...
Simon Brett is the winner of The CWA Diamond Dagger 2014.
Someone has stolen valuable paintings from Tawcester Towers, ancestral home of Blotto and his sister, Twinks. Twinks tracks the thieves to France and she and Blotto go zipping off to Paris—where they have rather a jolly time with the Left Bank bohemian set—but before the hangovers can take hold Twinks has redirected the search to the Riviera, headquarters of that dastardly criminal mastermind, la Puce! Will the noble Blotto and the brilliant Twinks recover their paintings, vanquish la Puce, and rescue the kidnapped film star we neglected to mention?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Seconds before the Earth is demolished for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is saved by Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised Guide. Together they stick out their thumbs to the stars and begin a wild journey through time and space.
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Facing annihilation at the hands of warmongers is a curious time to crave tea. It could only happen to the cosmically displaced Arthur Dent and his comrades as they hurtle across the galaxy in a desperate search for a place to eat.
Life, the Universe and Everything
The unhappy inhabitants of planet Krikkit are sick of looking at the night sky– so they plan to destroy it. The universe, that is. Now only five individuals can avert Armageddon: mild-mannered Arthur Dent and his stalwart crew.
So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Back on Earth, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination. But a gift-wrapped fishbowl with a cryptic inscription conspires to thrust him back to reality. So to speak.
Just when Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life, all hell breaks loose. Can he save the Earth from total obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter from herself?
Stephanie Plum might not be the world’s greatest bounty hunter, but she knows when she’s being played. Ken Globovic (aka Gobbles), hailed as the Supreme Exalted Zookeeper of the animal house known as Zeta fraternity, has been arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College. Gobbles has missed his court date and gone into hiding. People have seen him on campus, but no one will talk. Things just aren’t adding up, and Stephanie can’t shake the feeling that something funny is going on at the college—and it’s not just Zeta fraternity pranks.
As much as people love Gobbles, they hate Doug Linken. When Linken is gunned down in his backyard it’s good riddance, and the list of possible murder suspects is long. The only people who care about finding Linken’s killer are Trenton cop Joe Morelli, who has been assigned the case, security expert Ranger, who was hired to protect Linken, and Stephanie, who has her eye on a cash prize and hopefully has some tricks up her sleeve.
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is certain of three truths: People don’t just vanish into thin air. Never anger old people. And don’t do what Tiki tells you to do.
After a slow summer of chasing low-level skips for her cousin Vinnie’s bail bonds agency, Stephanie Plum finally lands an assignment that could put her checkbook back in the black. Geoffrey Cubbin, facing trial for embezzling millions from Trenton’s premier assisted-living facility, has mysteriously vanished from the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Now it’s on Stephanie to track him down. Unfortunately, Cubbin has disappeared without a trace, a witness, or his money-hungry wife. Rumors are stirring that he must have had help with the daring escape . . . or that maybe he never made it out of his room alive. Since the hospital staff’s lips seem to be tighter than the security, and it’s hard for Stephanie to blend in to assisted living, Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur goes in undercover. But when a second felon goes missing from the same hospital, Stephanie is forced into working side by side with Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, in order to crack the case.
The real problem is, no Cubbin also means no way to pay the rent. Desperate for money—or maybe just desperate—Stephanie accepts a secondary job guarding her secretive and mouthwatering mentor Ranger from a deadly Special Forces adversary. While Stephanie is notorious for finding trouble, she may have found a little more than she bargained for this time around. Then again—a little food poisoning, some threatening notes, and a bridesmaid’s dress with an excess of taffeta never killed anyone . . . or did they? If Stephanie Plum wants to bring in a paycheck, she’ll have to remember: No guts, no glory.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Janet Evanovich's Takedown Twenty.
Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.
Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.
To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.
Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.
Praise for Top Secret Twenty-One
“The combination of biting dialogue, outrageous characters and intense story lines are consistent throughout. And [Janet Evanovich] novels are the true definition of a guilty pleasure.”—Associated Press
“Evanovich doesn’t disappoint. . . . [She] weaves setting, family, romance and crime to pull the plot of Top Secret Twenty-One forward.”—Bookreporter
From the Paperback edition.
Powerhouse author Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels are “as entertaining as ever” (Entertainment Weekly), “brilliantly evocative” (The Denver Post), and “making trouble and winning hearts” (USA Today).
Stephanie Plum has her sights set on catching a notorious mob boss. If she doesn’t take him down, he may take her out.
New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.
It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.
With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Janet Evanovich's Top Secret Twenty-One.
Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.
As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs—who are naked and afraid—and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate, but for a girl who claims to have “virtually no marketable skills,” these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).
"Wong is like a mash-up of Douglass Adams and Stephen King... 'page-turner' is an understatement."
--Don Coscarelli, director, Phantasm I-V, Bubba Ho-tep
"That rarest of things--a genuinely scary story."--David Wellington, author of Monster Island, Vampire Zero
"JOHN DIES AT THE END has a cult following for a reason: it's horrific, thought-provoking, and hilarious all at once. This is one of the most entertaining and addictive novels I've ever read."--Jacob Kier, Publisher, Permuted Press
STOP. You should not have touched this flyer with your bare hands. NO, don't put it down. It's too late. They're watching you. My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours. You may not want to know about the things you'll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it's too late. You touched the book. You're in the game. You're under the eye. The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.
The important thing is this: The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension. John and I never had the chance to say no. You still do. I'm sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind: None of this was my fault.
You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.
You will dismiss this as ridiculous fear-mongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fear-mongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection -- the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That's just as well, since the "cure" involves learning what a chainsaw tastes like.
You can't feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings. You can't see it, because it decides what you see. You won't even feel it when it breeds. And it will breed. So what happens when your family, friends and neighbors get mind-controlling skull spiders? We're all about to find out.
Just stay calm, and remember that telling you about the spider situation is not the same as having caused it. I'm just the messenger. Even if I did sort of cause it.
Either way, I won't hold it against you if you're upset. I know that's just the spider talking.
This time Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger. Lula, Valerie, and Grandma Mazur are strapped in for the ride of their lives. Stephanie is hired to find a missing child. But things aren't always as they seem and Stephanie must determine if she's working for the right side of the law. Plus, there's the Morelli question: can a Jersey girl keep her head on straight when more than just bullets are aimed for her heart? And with the Plum and Morelli relationship looking rocky, is it time for Ranger to move in for the kill? Janet Evanovich's latest thriller proves that Hard Eight will never be enough.
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!
Praise for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
“A whimsical oddyssey . . . Characters frolic through the galaxy with infectious joy.”—Publishers Weekly
“Irresistable!”—The Boston Globe
But that was before DEATH started pondering the existential. Of course, the last thing anyone needs is a squeamish Grim Reaper and soon his Discworld bosses have sent him off with best wishes and a well-earned gold watch. Now DEATH is having the time of his life, finding greener pastures where he can put his scythe to a whole new use.
But like every cutback in an important public service, DEATH's demise soon leads to chaos and unrest -- literally, for those whose time was supposed to be up, like Windle Poons. The oldest geezer in the entire faculty of Unseen University -- home of magic, wizardry, and big dinners -- Windle was looking forward to a wonderful afterlife, not this boring been-there-done-that routine. To get the fresh start he deserves, Windle and the rest of Ankh-Morpork's undead and underemployed set off to find DEATH and save the world for the living (and everybody else, of course).
FIRST A STRANGER APPEARS
While chasing down the usual cast of miscreants and weirdos Stephanie discovers that a crazed woman is stalking her.
THEN THE STRANGER REVEALS HER SECRETS
The woman dresses in black, carries a 9mm Glock, and has a bad attitude and a mysterious connection to dark and dangerous Carlos Manoso ...street name, Ranger.
NEXT, SOMEBODY DIES
The action turns deadly serious, and Stephanie goes from hunting skips to hunting a murderer.
SOON, THE CHASE IS ON
Ranger needs Stephanie for more reasons than he can say. And now, the two are working together to find a killer, rescue a missing child, and stop a lunatic from raising the body count. When Stephanie Plum and Ranger get too close for comfort, vice cop Joe Morelli (her on-again, off-again boyfriend) steps in.
Will the ticking clock stop at the stroke of twelve, or will a stranger in the wind find a way to stop Stephanie Plum...forever? Filled with Janet Evanovich's trademark action, nonstop adventure, and sharp humor, Twelve Sharp shows why her novels have been called "hot stuff" (The New York Times), and Evanovich herself "the master" (San Francisco Examiner).