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21. The Half Sister - Catherine Chanter

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The psychologically intense second novel from Catherine Chanter, author of The Well - a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. When she was sixteen, Diana left her unhappy family and set out to make a new life. Twenty-five years later, she has arrived. Recently married to Edmund, she lives with him at his family's historic country home. But when Diana hears that her mother has died, she impulsively asks estranged half-sister Valerie and her nine-year-old son to stay. The night of the funeral, fuelled by wine and years of resentment, the sisters argue and a terrible accident occurs. The foundations of a well-ordered life start to crack and the lies begin to surface, one dangerous secret after another. And then there's the boy, watching, waiting. “Gripping . . . Filled with the acute psychological insights that distinguished the author's debut The Well.” ANITA SETHI, OBSERVER

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22. Lethal White - Robert Galbraith

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Lethal White is the fourth book in the Cormoran Strike series from the international bestselling author Robert Galbraith. When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency - set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike's newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been - Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much more tricky than that.... “The best Strike novel yet.” SUNDAY MIRROR

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23. Sunday Morning Coming Down - Nicci French

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Psychotherapist Frieda Klein’s home is her refuge until she returns to find it has become a grisly crime scene. Beneath the floorboards is the body of a man who was helping her track down the serial killer, Dean Reeve. The investigation takes an even darker turn when her friends become targeted. Once again Frieda finds herself drawn into the police inquiry, risking everything to save those closest to her.

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24. The Texan Rides Alone - Lauran Paine

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Stormy Merrill having outdistanced the pursuit caused by the daring robbery he had committed in the town of Colville pauses on a ridge above Marais Valley. The two large ranches that comprise all the land in Marais Valley are rich and will be inherited by two single women -- daughters -- or their husbands. Stormy could gain control of one within the law by marrying Geraldine Proctor of the MVP Ranch. But Merrill also wants possession of the Big B Ranch that will be inherited by Toni Buttrick. Step by devious step in an atmosphere of passion intrigue love and hate, Stormy Merrill's grand scheme for incredible personal enrichment is about to be played out in Marais Valley.

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25. Lone Rider - Lewis B Patten

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J. W. Regal, on his deathbed, wants to make sure his unofficially adopted son, Lew Stark, will inherit the great ranch they have built together. There isn’t time to make a formal will, so Regal has his second wife, Leona, witness the scrap of paper on which he states his intention. Leona keeps this a secret. Without a will, she gets half of the .45 Ranch, and the other half is divided equally among Regal’s four biological sons, all of whom hate Lew Stark. Confronted with this formidable opposition and knowing Regal’s intentions to leave the ranch to him, Lew stubbornly decides to hang on and fight the heirs with the same determination J. W. Regal demonstrated while building up the .45 Ranch in the first place, even though he will certainly have to do it alone

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26. Guns of Darkness - Carter Travis Young

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Bitter Creek was as deserted and quiet as a cemetery. Conagher could feel eyes were watching him in the dark as he rode through. Suddenly, all hell broke loose and he became the target for a group of vigilantes so crazed for blood that they never suspected that their target was the wrong man. As he threw himself from the saddle, Owen Conagher felt something tug at his left side. Gunfire exploded all around him. He saw powder flashes off to his left and above him as well as from within the barn. He knew he had been hit. There was a stickiness at his side, at the bottom of his ribcage. His leg, at first numb, telegraphed hot flashes of pain as he drove himself across the dirt floor. He was cut-off, surrounded and caught in a crossfire. Unless he wanted to leave the barn feet first, Conagher had to think fast, act faster…

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27. Heller from Texas - William Heuman

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At twenty-eight, Trev Buchman decides to return to Cannon Basin and the Box B Ranch. His father had been dead for four years now and Trev wanted to see his brother, Jim. But he'd come six weeks too late. According to stories he'd been told, Jim was trampled to death by a milling crowd of cattle. Feeling for a while now that someone was following him, Trev turned off the road to watch his back trail from the cover of some trees. His attention was diverted when he heard shots coming from the direction of old Joe Fineran’s place, then saw two riders galloping past him heading towards Rawdon. Tempted to follow the riders, he decided to check on Joe first. He found Joe, who lived long enough to tell him it was Red Fogarty who shot him. Trev rode into Rawdon with the look of a hunter. He had come to kill Fogarty for killing the unarmed Joe Fineran in cold blood. When that was done, there was the matter of his brother’s ranch, of the beautiful woman who now ran it, of her lawyer who seemed a little too cozy with the new widow, and of the son of a reptile who ramrodded her crew.

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28. The Red Address Book - Sofia Lundberg

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A heart-warming debut about 96-year-old Doris, who writes down the memories of her eventful life as she pages through her decades-old address book. But the most profound moment of her life is still to come. Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. When Doris was a girl, she was given an address book by her father, and ever since she has carefully documented everyone she met and loved throughout the years. Looking through the little book now, Doris sees the many crossed-out names of people long gone and is struck by the urge to put pen to paper. In writing down the stories of her colourful past―working as a maid in Sweden, modelling in Paris during the 30s, fleeing to Manhattan at the dawn of the Second World War―can she help Jenny, haunted by a difficult childhood, to unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life? “Written with love, told with joy.” FREDRIK BACKMAN, author of A Man Called Ove

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29. Summer of Love - Caro Fraser

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A standalone sequel to The Summer House Party set in 1960s London and Kent. In the hot summer of 1949, a group of family and friends gather at Harry Denholm's country house in Kent. Meg and Dan Ranscombe, emerging from a scandal of their own making; Dan's godmother, Sonia; and her two young girls, Laura and Avril, only one of whom is Sonia's biological daughter. A secret is revealed to Meg's son, Max, and soon a terrible tragedy unfolds that will have consequences for them all.Afterwards, Avril, Laura and Max must come of age in a society still reeling from the war, haunted by the choices of that fateful summer. Cold, entitled Avril will go to any lengths to take what is hers. Beautiful, naive Laura finds refuge and love in the London jazz clubs, but Max, with wealth and unrequited love, has the capacity to undo it all.

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30. Ella's Journey - Lynne Francis

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A gripping new saga series that fans of Dilly Court and Valerie Wood will adore. Ella is trying to put the past behind her… but the past won’t always stay hidden. The truth is, Ella is hiding from a scandal. A scandal that drove her family out of their beloved Lane End Cottage in the tiny Yorkshire village they had lived in all their lives. A scandal that her sister Alice was blamed for. But Alice is no longer here. So it’s up to Ella to pick up the pieces and do the best she can for the family she loves so dearly. Ella’s luck finally changes when she gains work at Grange House, a gentleman’s residence on the outskirts of York. But can she keep her position there? Or will she follow in her elder sister’s footsteps?

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31. A Cornish Secret - Emma Burstall

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The fourth novel in Emma Burstall's heart-warming series, set in the Cornish seaside village of Tremarnock. Esme Posorsky is an enigma. For as long as people can remember, she has been part of life in Tremarnock, but does anyone really know her? She is usually to be found working in her pottery studio or at home with her cat. But when an old friend turns up with a secret from the past, nothing will ever be the same again. Meanwhile, teenager Rosie is excited to find a bottle washed up on Tremarnock beach with a message from a former German prisoner of war. While the rest of the village is campaigning against a new housing development, little does she know that her discovery will unleash a chain of events that threatens to blow her family apart. “A charming, warm-hearted read ... Lively and full of characters, it made me smile. Pure escapism” ALICE PETERSON

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32. The Scarlet Nightingale - Alan Titchmarsh

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The thrilling wartime love story from national treasure Alan Titchmarsh. It’s the late 1930s when seventeen-year-old Rosamund Hanbury leaves behind her coastal Devonshire home for the fast pace of high society London. Under the expert guidance of her formidable aunt, the country mouse learns how to act like a lady. And when the enigmatic Harry Napier sweeps her off her feet, she could almost forget that Britain has declared war. But the Phoney War ends. Harry is posted, London reels from the first bombings of the Blitz and Rosamund suffers a devastating personal loss that leaves her all the more determined to do her bit for the war effort. Joining the Special Forces she is sent to work alongside the Resistance on a top secret mission in France, where she learns that no one is what they seem: at home or abroad.

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33. A Lady's Guide to Etiquette and Murder - Dianne Freeman

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Frances Wynn, Countess of Harleigh, enjoys more freedom as a widow than she did as a wife. After an obligatory year spent mourning, she rents a home in Belgravia and prepares to welcome her sister, Lily, for her first London season. Frances begins her new life, but the ghosts of her old one make an unwelcome appearance. The police receive an anonymous letter implicating Frances in her husband’s death. She assures them of her innocence, without revealing the scandalous circumstances of Reggie’s demise. Frances learns of mysterious burglaries plaguing London’s elite and rallies her wits, a circle of gossips, and her ever-chivalrous neighbour, Mr. Hazelton, to uncover the truth. A killer is in their midst, and Frances must unmask the villain before Lily’s season - and their lives - come to a most unseemly end.

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34. The House Across the Street - Lesley Pearse

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A compelling, page-turning insight into the secrets of domestic life in a suburban avenue in 1960, from one of the world's favourite storytellers. Twenty-three-year-old Katy Speed has always been fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, and other times the women come with children. Hilda, Katy's mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders where these mysterious visitors have come from, and what they want. Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained strangers must be responsible, until her father is arrested and charged with murder. “A narrative that gallops along, this is quintessential Pearse that will delight her army of readers.” DAILY MAIL

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35. The Silversmith's Daughter - Annie Murray

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The Silversmith’s Daughter is the emotional sequel to the Sunday Times bestseller Sisters of Gold by Annie Murray. It’s 1915 and Daisy Tallis, headstrong, impassioned and a talented young silversmith, is desperate to make her parents proud. Having studied at the city’s celebrated School of Jewellery and Silversmithing since the age of fourteen, Daisy is now skilled enough to be a teacher. It’s at the school that she meets the notorious old rival of her father, James Carson. Though he’s a married man, beautiful but naive Daisy finds herself dangerously drawn to his flattery. As war tightens its grip on the country, the jewellery quarter is thrown into turmoil as the men are forced to decide who will enlist. When tragedy strikes can Margaret and Daisy find what it takes to hold both the business and the family together? “This heart-warming story is a gripping read, full of drama, love and compassion.” TAKE A BREAK, on Soldier Girl

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36. Love is Blind - William Boyd

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Love is Blind is William Boyd's sweeping, heart-stopping new novel -- set at the end of the 19th century, it follows the fortunes of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the story of his life. When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future - and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie's love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the 19th century becomes the 20th. Love is Blind is a tale of dizzying passion and brutal revenge; of artistic endeavour and the illusions it creates; of all the possibilities that life can offer, and how cruelly they can be snatched away. At once an intimate portrait of one man's life and an expansive exploration of the beginning of the twentieth century, Love is Blind is a masterly new novel from one of Britain's best loved storytellers.

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37. The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club - Katie May

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Dive into The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club - the uplifting novel about friendship, community spirit and how ordinary people protect what they love. When Deb (ageing bikini, sunglasses) and Maisie (black wetsuit, swimming shoes, goggles) keep meeting on Reeves Beach, they strike up an unlikely friendship based on their love of swimming and their recent divorces. Soon, they are joined by other high tide swimmers, each with a crisis of their own to weather. Ann, a bossy organiser, is caring for her elderly mother at home; Julie has somehow (although she's not quite sure how) managed to produce three children under school age; and Chloe, a bright, brittle girl of fifteen, finds calmness in the water, and Quiet, anxious Bill is soon welcomed into the heart of the club. When the swimmers discover plans for their beach to be paved over for a leisure complex, together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the beach is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community.

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38. The Orphan Girl - Lindsey Hutchinson

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A gritty tale of triumph over hardship, and justice for the downtrodden. Violet Clancy can take no more of her violent stepfather's attentions, so when he meets a tragic end she feels justice has been done. Looking around the bleak and pitiless Black Country town of Wednesbury, she realises that there are many other wrongs that she could help to put right. Joining a coterie of women who call themselves The Wednesbury Wives, Violet and her friends soon set about winning justice for the abused and trying to make life a little easier for those for whom grinding poverty is every day. But even in the hardest lives, some light must shine, and before long the wives find laughter and romance in their close-knit town. But will their friendships survive when some of their good deeds are brought into doubt, and some of their methods are called into question? And is justice always worth it, no matter what the price?

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39. A Home at Honeysuckle Farm - Christine Barlow

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A family secret One shocking argument and ten-year-old Alice Parker’s world was turned upside down. Her peaceful life at Honeysuckle Farm in the quiet rural village of Brook Bridge swapped for the bustling metropolis of New York City. Alice’s life was changed forever… A second chance Now, thirteen years later, Alice’s American dream is over. With her life in tatters, there is only one place Alice wants to be… home at Honeysuckle Farm. So, when Alice learns her beloved Grandie is ill, she knows this is her last chance to heal the family rift. A forever home? But secrets still swirl in Brook Bridge, and Alice is no closer to discovering the truth. And for some reason her new friendship with local heartthrob Sam Reid seems to be making the locals tense. Sick of the lies Alice knows it’s time to lay the past to rest once and for all. But could the truth ruin her hopes of ever calling Honeysuckle Farm home again

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40. Someone to Hold - Mary Balogh

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A reversal of fortune befalls a young woman in the second Westcott novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Only a Kiss and Someone to Love. Humphrey Wescott, Earl of Riverdale, has died, leaving behind a fortune and a scandalous secret that will forever alter the lives of his family - sending one daughter on a journey of self-discovery. With her parents' marriage declared bigamous, Camille Westcott is now illegitimate and without a title. Looking to eschew the trappings of her old life, she leaves London to teach at the Bath orphanage where her newly discovered half-sister lived. But even as she settles in, she must sit for a portrait commissioned by her grandmother and endure an artist who riles her every nerve. An art teacher at the orphanage that was once his home, Joel Cunningham has been hired to paint the portrait of the haughty new teacher. But as Camille poses for Joel, their mutual contempt soon turns to desire. And it is only the bond between them that will allow them to weather the rough storm that lies ahead... This is the sparkling second novel in the Regency romance Westcott series by New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh - perfect for fans of Grace Burrowes and Stephanie Laurens

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