Susan Hill—the Man Booker Prize nominee and winner of the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards—returns with a hair-raising new novel, the ninth book in one of the most acclaimed mystery series of our time. Featuring the enigmatic and brooding chief police inspector Simon Serrailler, this intricate and pulse-pounding series follows a collection of grisly crimes plaguing the city of Lafferton—and The Comforts of Home is the most chilling and unputdownable installment yet.
In this gripping new thriller, Simon, eager to be back at work after recovering from a near-fatal injury, takes on a cold-case review for the Lafferton police about a girl who disappeared some years before. Meanwhile, his family adjusts to changes of its own; namely his sister’s marriage to Chief Constable Kieron Bright. But when events take an unfavorable turn for the Chief Constable and an arsonist goes on a deadly rampage in Lafferton, Simon’s personal and professional lives intertwine in more complex and devastating ways than ever before.
In the tradition of the fabulous mysteries of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, The Comforts of Home is Susan Hill’s best work yet—a heart-pounding new addition to a highly-applauded and “elegant” (The New York Times) series.
At first he is merely puzzled by the odd incident but then begins to suffer attacks of fear and panic, and is visited by nightmares. He is determined to learn more 'about the house and its once-magnificent, now overgrown garden but when he does so, he receives further, increasingly sinister, visits from the small hand.
At the very end of the Ladies’ Frocks Departments, past Cocktail Frocks, there was something very special, something quite, quite wonderful; but it wasn’t for everybody: that was the point. Because there, at the very end, there was a lovely arch, on which was written in curly letters Model Gowns.
Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, Ladies in Black is a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives. The women in black are run off their feet, what with the Christmas rush and the summer sales that follow. But it’s Sydney in the 1950s, and there’s still just enough time left on a hot and frantic day to dream and scheme...
By the time the last marked-down frock has been sold, most of the staff of the Ladies’ Cocktail section at F. G. Goode’s have been launched into slightly different careers. With the lightest touch and the most tender of comic instincts, Madeleine St John conjures a vanished summer of innocence. Ladies in Black is a great novel, a lost Australian classic.
Madeleine St John was born in Sydney in 1941. Her father, Edward, was a barrister and Liberal politician. Her mother, Sylvette, committed suicide in 1954, when Madeleine was twelve. Sylvette’s death, Madeleine later said, ‘obviously changed everything’.
St John studied Arts at Sydney University, where her contemporaries included Bruce Beresford, Germaine Greer, Clive James and Robert Hughes. In 1965 she married Chris Tillam, a fellow student, and they moved to the United States where they first attended Stanford and later Cambridge. From Cambridge, St John relocated to London in 1968. The couple did not reunite and the marriage ended.
St John settled in Notting Hill. She worked at a series of odd jobs, and then, in 1993, published her first novel, The Women in Black (adapted for the stage and screen as Ladies in Black), the only book she set in Australia. When her third novel, The Essence of the Thing (1997), was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, she became the first Australian woman to receive this honour.
St John died in 2006.
‘Seductive, hilarious, brilliantly observed, this novel shimmers with wit and tenderness.’ Helen Garner
‘A major minor masterpiece, a witty and poignant snapshot of Sydney the year before yesterday.’ Barry Humphries
‘A delicious book. Funny and happy, it’s like the breath of youth again.’ Jane Gardam
‘St. John casts an airy spell with the deftness of her prose, which moves gracefully, swiftly and with perfect manners.’ Delia Falconer
‘Funny, affectionate, moving and written with a light, comic touch.’ Monica McInerney
‘Brimming with elegance, uncannily modern and sparkling with mischief.’ Zoë Foster Blake
‘A pocket masterpiece. A jewel.’ Hilary Mantel
A chilling ghost story by the author of The Woman in Black.
One murky November evening after a satisfying meal in their Fleet Street lodgings, a conversation between four medical students takes a curious turn and Hugh is initiated into a dark secret. In the cellar of their narrow lodgings in Printer's Devil Court and a little used mortuary in a subterranean annex of the hospital, they have begun to interfere with death itself, in shadowy experiments beyond the realms of medical ethics. They call on Hugh to witness an event both extraordinary and terrifying.
Years later, Hugh has occasion to return to his student digs and the familiar surroundings resurrect peculiar and unpleasant memories of these unnatural events, the true horror of which only slowly becomes apparent.
• The original, unabridged, and proofread text
• Stoker’s short story, “Dracula’s Guest”
• Full-color maps and historical illustrations
• Author bio
Told in a series of first-person missives and reports, and set in 1890s Transylvania and England, Dracula is the source of every vampire story told since, the founding text of the entire genre. Count Vlad Dracula—as Jonathan Harker, Lucy Westenra, Mina Murray, and Dr. Abraham Van Helsing learn—is a dangerous and powerful creature who’s lived for hundreds of years and possesses powers no mortal can claim. Bent on creating legions of Un-Dead followers in populous London, Dracula must be stopped—but how?
From rural England to colonial India, in murky haunted mansions and under modern electric lighting, these master storytellers - some of the best writers in the English language - unfold spinetinglers which pull back the veil of everyday life to reveal the nightmares which lurk just out of sight. They are lessons in ingenuity and surprise, sometimes building slowly to a chilling climax, sometimes springing horror on you from the utterly banal. And as you'd expect from these writers, the stories are more than simply frightening - they're also disquieting exposures of mortality, loneliness and the human capacity for both evil and remorse.
We wish you pleasant dreams.
Contains ghost stories by: Ruth Rendell, M. R. James, Rudyard Kipling, Edith Wharton, E. F. Benson, E. Nesbit, Saki, W. W. Jacobs, W. F. Harvey, Hugh Walpole, Chico Kidd and LP Hartley.