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41. Sisters of Gold - Anne Murray

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Sisters Margaret and Annie lost their mother years ago, they long for her every day. Their frightfully protective father keeps the girls close but he can’t protect them forever . . . When a scandal rocks the family, the girls are forced to leave their home. The girls flee to Birmingham’s jewellery quarter to stay with the one person they can rely on – their uncle, goldsmith Ebenezer Watts and his warm-hearted wife, Hatt. Annie takes up work at a nearby factory, where she learns to forge cutlery, and Margaret is employed as a chain maker. By day Margaret works in cramped confines, alongside a local silversmith, and soon the links between the pair begin to bond . . . Annie’s work in the factory exposes her to great horrors but it also opens her heart to great possibility. But what are the Sisters of Gold hiding? They’ve escaped their past once – can it remain hidden?

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42. The Perfectly Imperfect Woman - Milly Johnson

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Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change. Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks. But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

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43. Letters to My Daughters - Emma Hannigan

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To sisters Bea, Jeannie and Rose, the death of their beloved childhood nanny is a devastating loss. As the girls grew up, Nanny May had become so much more to them all: confidant, advocate, comforter, friend. In whom will they confide their hopes, fears and failures now she has gone? Especially now each sister needs a mother's wisdom more than ever... Martha cannot understand why her daughters are so upset about losing their childhood nanny. Yes, Martha was always in demand as a busy midwife, but that doesn't mean she loved her own children any less. But why don't the girls realise that? And has she left it too late to let them know...?

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44. An Unexplained Death - Mikita Brottman

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When the body of a missing man is discovered in the Belvedere, an apparent suicide, resident Mikita Brottman becomes obsessed with the mysterious circumstances of his death. The Belvedere used to be a hotel dating back to Baltimore's Golden Age but is now converted into flats, and as Brottman investigates the perplexing case of the dead man, she soon becomes caught up in the strange and violent secrets of the Belvedere's past. Her compulsions drive her to an investigation lasting over a decade. Utterly absorbing and unnerving, An Unexplained Death will lead you down the dark and winding corridors of the Belvedere and into the deadly impulses and obsessions of the human heart.

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45. The Epic Voyages of Maud Berridge - Sally Berridge

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Maud Berridge (1845-1907) was the wife of a Master Mariner, and she travelled with him on at least five occasions (1869, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1886), sailing to Melbourne with emigrants and cargo. The first occasion was 1869 just after they were married, when Henry was Captain of the Walmer Castle, and they returned via New Zealand instead of travelling east and around Cape Horn. However, most of Henry and Maud's voyages were undertaken in the three-masted clipper Superb, sailing from Gravesend at the start of summer and leaving Melbourne for home at the end of the year (the southern summer, best for heading east with the trade winds and rounding Cape Horn). Record times taken from London to Melbourne under Captain Henry were 79 days (1878), 76 days (1881) and a final time of 74 days (1886). In 1880, Maud and Henry took their two sons (aged six and eight) with them. In 1883, they sailed on from Melbourne to Newcastle in New South Wales to take on a load of coal, then on through the Windward Isles to San Francisco (51 days). Here they stayed for two months exploring SF and surrounds, unloaded the coal and took on a load of wheat (in large bags) at Port Costa. They then sailed down the west coast of the Americas, around Cape Horn and on to Queenstown in County Cork (134 days). The whole voyage took 14 months. There are also some photographs of Henry, Maud and the crew taken in San Francisco, and a photo from the State Library of Victoria showing the Superb at dock in Melbourne. Maud wrote diaries of these voyages of which one in particular, that of the 1883 voyage, comprise some 50 000 words. The book will tell Maud's story through her own words and through a number of relevant contemporary documents and will paint a picture of the life of a captain's wife in the Victorian era as well as aspects of society in Britain, the US and Australia at the time. Her enthusiasm for new experiences shines through her writing.

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46. The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry

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London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne's controlling husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Along with her son Francis - a curious, obsessive boy - she leaves town for Essex, in the hope that fresh air and open space will provide refuge. On arrival, rumours reach them that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for superstition, is enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a yet-undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter's vicar, who is also deeply suspicious of the rumours, but thinks they are a distraction from true faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, Will and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves at once drawn together and torn apart, affecting each other in ways that surprise them both. The Essex Serpent is a celebration of love, and the many different shapes it can take.

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47. Johannesburg - Fiona Melrose

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It is a searing hot day in Johannesburg. Gin has returned to the city of her birth to throw a party for her mother's eightieth birthday. She is determined, with lists and meals and flower arrangements, to show that she has become a fully capable woman. She knows, deep down, her mother will only ever see a lost cause. Meanwhile outside, crowds of citizens and the world's media have gathered to hear the expected announcement: Nelson Mandela has died. Set across the course of a single momentous day and narrated by a chorus of voices, Fiona Melrose's second novel is a hymn to an extraordinary city and its people, an ambitious homage to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on mothers and daughters, justice and love.

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48. The Sealwoman’s Gift - Sally Magnusson

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In 1627 Barbary pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted some 400 of its people, including 250 from a tiny island off the mainland. Among the captives sold into slavery in Algiers were the island pastor, his wife and their three children. Although the raid itself is well documented, little is known about what happened to the women and children afterwards. It was a time when women everywhere were largely silent.

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49. Three Weddings and a Scandal - Wendy Holden

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Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. Instead she's an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping in the fashion cupboard and living on canapés. But she's just got her first big break: infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy exposé. Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be? Cue disappearing brides, demanding socialites – and a jealous office enemy who will do anything to bring her down...

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50. Pulse - Michael Harvey

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Boston, 1976. In a small apartment above Kenmore Square, sixteen-year-old Daniel Fitzsimmons is listening to his landlord describe a seemingly insane theory about invisible pulses of light and energy that can be harnessed by the human mind. He longs to laugh with his brother Harry about it, but Harry doesn't know he's there--he would never approve of Daniel living on his own. None of that matters, though, because the next night Harry, a Harvard football star, is murdered in an alley. Detectives "Bark" Jones and Tommy Dillon are assigned to the case. The veteran partners thought they'd seen it all, but they are stunned when Daniel wanders into the crime scene. Even stranger, Daniel claims to have known the details of his brother's murder before it ever happened. The subsequent investigation leads the detectives deep into the Fitzsimmons brothers' past. They find heartbreaking loss, sordid characters, and metaphysical conspiracies. Even on the rough streets of 1970s Boston, Jones and Dillon have never had a case like this.

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51. On the Bright Side - Hendrik Groen

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Chaos will ensue as 85-year-old Hendrik Groen is determined to grow old with dignity: to rise up against the care home director. NO more bingo. NO more over-boiled vegetables. NO more health and safety. 85-year-old Hendrik Groen is fed up to his false teeth with coffee mornings and bingo. He dreams of escaping the confines of his care home and practising hairpin turns on his mobility scooter. Inspired by his fellow members of the recently formed Old-But-Not-Dead Club, he vows to put down his custard cream and commit to a spot of octogenarian anarchy. But the care home's Director will not stand for drunken bar crawls, illicit fireworks and geriatric romance on her watch. The Old-But-Not-Dead Club must stick together if they're not to go gently into that good night. Things turn more serious, however, when rumours surface that the home is set for demolition. It's up to Hendrik and the gang to stop it - or drop dead trying . . He may be the wrong side of 85, but Hendrik Groen has no intention of slowing up - or going down without a fight.

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52. The Cast - Danielle Steel

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Kait Whittier has built her magazine column into a hugely respected read. But after two marriages, she prefers to avoid the complications and uncertainties of a new love. Then, after a chance meeting with television producer Zack Winter, everything changes. Inspired by the true story of her own grandmother, Kait creates the storyline for a TV series. Within weeks, Kait is plunged into a colourful, star-studded world which will bring her vision to life. As secrets are shared and revelations come to light, friendships deepen. But in the midst of this charmed year, Kait is forced to confront the greatest challenge a mother could ever know.

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53. Forever and a Day - Anthony Horowitz

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A spy is dead. A legend is born. This is how it all began. The explosive prequel to Casino Royale, from bestselling author Anthony Horowitz. M laid down his pipe and stared at it tetchily. 'We have no choice. We’re just going to bring forward this other chap you’ve been preparing. But you didn’t tell me his name.' 'It’s Bond, sir,' the Chief of Staff replied. 'James Bond.'

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54. Strangeways - Neil Samways

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Neil ‘Sam’ Samworth spent eleven years working as a prison officer in HMP Manchester, aka Strangeways. A tough Yorkshireman with a soft heart, Sam had to deal with it all – gangsters and gangbangers, terrorists and psychopaths, addicts and the mentally ill. Men who should not be locked up and men who should never be let out. Strangeways is a shocking and at times darkly funny account of life in a high security prison. Sam tackles cell fires and self-harmers, and goes head to head with some of the most dangerous men in the country. He averts a Christmas Day riot after turkey is taken off the menu and replaced by fish curry, and stands up to officers who abuse their position. He describes being attacked by prisoners, and reveals the problems caused by radicalization and the drugs flooding our prisons.

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55. The Race to Save the Romanovs - Helen Rappaport

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A major new work of investigative history that will completely change the way in which we see the Romanov story. Finally, here is the truth about the secret plans to rescue Russia’s last imperial family. On 17 July 1918, the whole of the Russian Imperial Family was murdered. There were no miraculous escapes. The former Tsar Nicholas, his wife Alexandra, and their children – Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexey – were all tragically gunned down in a blaze of bullets. On the 100-year-anniversary of these brutal murders, historian Helen Rappaport set out to uncover why the Romanovs’ European royal relatives and the Allied governments failed to save them. It was not, ever, a simple case of one British King’s loss of nerve. In this race against time, many other nations and individuals were facing political and personal challenges of the highest order. In this incredible detective story, Rappaport draws on an unprecedented range of unseen sources, tracking down missing documents, destroyed papers and covert plots to liberate the family by land, sea and even sky. Through countless twists and turns, this revelatory work unpicks many false claims and conspiracies, revealing the fiercest loyalty, bitter rivalries and devastating betrayals as the Romanovs, imprisoned, awaited their fate. A remarkable new work of history from Helen Rappaport, author of Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs.

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56. Gloucester Crescent - William Miller

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Gloucester Crescent is a curving, leafy street, tucked between Camden Town and Primrose Hill, filled with the sound of clacking typewriters and children playing. It's unremarkable in many ways, unless you notice the lady in the van outside one house, and the familiar-looking residents crossing the road ... Written through the eyes of a growing child, this is the story of a very particular family and their circle of brilliant, idealistic and intellectual friends in London in the 60s, 70s and 80s. We follow William through the ups and downs of childhood, as he explores the back gardens and homes of his famous neighbours, attends dramatic rehearsals with his dad Jonathan Miller, fails exams and is bullied at school, gets drugs from the philosopher A. J. Ayer's wife, and tries to watch the moon landing with Alan Bennett and a room full of writers. Hilarious, and at times heart-breaking, this is also about how we grow up and move on - and what happens when we come back. Not only a picture of an extraordinary time in Britain's cultural history - and a hitherto unseen portrait of some of the brightest minds of a generation - this book tells the funny, tender and moving story of a young boy trying to find his own identity.

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57. Only to Sleep - Lawrence Osborne

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he year is 1988. The place, Baja California. Private Investigator Philip Marlowe – now in his seventy-second year – has been living out his retirement in the terrace bar of the La Fonda hotel. Sipping margaritas, playing cards, his silver-tipped cane at the ready. When in saunter two men dressed like undertakers. With a case that has his name written all over it. At last Marlowe is back where he belongs. His mission is to investigate Donald Zinn – supposedly drowned off his yacht, leaving a much younger and now very rich wife. Marlowe’s speciality. But is Zinn actually alive? Are the pair living off the spoils? Set between the border and badlands of Mexico and California, Lawrence Osborne’s resurrection of the iconic Marlowe is an unforgettable addition to the Raymond Chandler canon.

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58. The Tattooist of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

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In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

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59. Finisterre - Graham Hurley

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Germany, September 1944: Dozens of cities lie in ruins. Enemy armies are at the gates. For the Thousand Year Reich, time is running out. Desperate to avoid the humiliation of unconditional surrender, German intelligence launch Operation Finisterre - a last-ditch plan to enable Hitler to deny the savage logic of a war on two fronts and bluff his way to the negotiating table. Success depends on two individuals: Stefan Portisch, a German naval officer washed ashore on the coast of Spain after the loss of his U-boat, and Hector GOmez, an ex-FBI detective, planted by Director J. Edgar Hoover in the middle of the most secret place on earth: the American atomic bomb complex. Both men will find themselves fighting for survival as Operation Finisterre plays itself out.

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60. A Long Island Story - Rick Gekoski

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It is 1953, a heat wave is sweeping across America and the Grossmans - Ben, Addie and their two children -are moving their lives from the political heart of Washington DC to suburban Long Island. Benny was a successful lawyer in the Department of Justice, but all that has come tumbling down. With the McCarthy era of paranoia, persecution and propaganda at its height, his past has come back to haunt him, forcing him to pack up his family and leave the capital behind.

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