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41. A Devious Death - Alyssa Maxwell

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Phoebe and her sister Julia are eager for a summer getaway at High Head Lodge, the newly purchased estate of their cousin Regina. But they are not the only houseguests. Regina's odd friend, Olive, is far from friendly, and Regina's mother and brother—bitter over the unequal distribution of her father's inheritance—have descended on the house to confront Regina. But things go from tense to tragic when their hostess meets an untimely end—mysteriously murdered in her bed with no signs of struggle. Now, with suspects in every room, Lady Phoebe and Eva must uncover secrets hidden behind closed doors—before a killer ensures they never leave High Head Lodge . . . alive.

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42. Should You Ask Me - Marianne Kavanagh

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Just before D-Day in 1944, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, an elderly woman walks into a police station. She has information, she says, about human remains recently discovered nearby. The bodies could have stayed buried for ever. But Mary Holmes is finally ready to tell the truth. The young constable sent to take her statement is still suffering from the injuries that ended his army career. As he tries to make sense of her tale, William finds himself increasingly distracted. Mary's confession forces his own violent memories to the surface - betrayals and regrets as badly healed as his war wounds.

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43. The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop - Abby Clements

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Anna and her partner Matteo are ready to embark on a delicious Italian adventure. After a year and a half running their ice cream shop on Brighton beach and raising their baby Isabella, Matteo is starting to miss Italy. A shared passion for ices means it's easy to settle on a new business idea - they'll open a shop in Sorrento. For a while, life is sweet; but then Matteo's overbearing family get involved… Anna's younger sister, Imogen, feels like things are finally coming together. Then her career stalls, and the lure of Capri - and a man from her past - prove difficult to resist.

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44. The Pharmacist's Wife - Vanessa Tait

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When Rebecca Palmer's new husband Alexander opens a pharmacy in Victorian Edinburgh, she expects to live the life of a well-heeled gentlewoman. But her ideal is turned to ashes when she discovers her husband is not what he seems. As Rebecca struggles to maintain her dignity in the face of his infidelity and strange sexual desires, Alexander tries to pacify her so-called hysteria with a magical new chemical creation. A wonder-drug he calls heroin. Alexander's desire to profit from his invention leads him down a dangerous path that blurs science, passion, and death. He soon discovers that even the most promising experiments can have unforeseen and deadly consequences...

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45. The Outcasts of Time - Ian Mortimer

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December 1348. With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last. John and William choose the future and as they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them. But their time is running out – can they do something to redeem themselves before the six days are up?

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46. To Die But Once - Jacqueline Winspear

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Spring 1940. With Britons facing what has become known as the Bore War – nothing much seems to have happened yet – Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the disappearance of a local lad, a young apprentice craftsman working on a “hush-hush” government contract. As Maisie’s inquiry reveals a possible link to the London underworld, so the country is bracing for a possible enemy invasion amid news of the British expeditionary force stranded along the French coast. And another mother is worried about a missing son - but this time the boy in question is one beloved by Maisie.

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47. In Love and War - Liz Trenow

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The First World War is over. The war-torn area of Flanders near Ypres is no longer home to troops, but groups of tourists. At the Hotel de la Paix in the small village of Hoppestadt, three women arrive, searching for traces of the men they have loved and lost. Ruby is just twenty-one, a shy Englishwoman looking for the grave of her husband. Alice is only a little older but brimming with confidence; she has travelled all the way from America, convinced her brother is in fact still alive. Then there’s Martha, and her son Otto, who are not all they seem to be…

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48. In Search Of Mary Shelley - Fiona Sampson

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Mary Shelley was brought up by her father in a house filled with radical thinkers, poets, philosophers and writers of the day. Aged sixteen, she eloped with Percy Bysshe Shelley, embarking on a relationship that was lived on the move across Britain and Europe. Most astonishingly, it was while she was still a teenager that Mary composed her canonical novel Frankenstein, creating two of our most enduring archetypes today. In this fascinating dialogue with the past, Fiona Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find the real woman behind the story.

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49. SAS Ghost Patrol - Damien Lewis

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SAS Ghost Patrol is the explosive true story of the day in 1942 when the SAS donned Nazi uniforms to perpetrate the most daring mission of the war. Beyond top secret, deniable in the extreme (and of course enjoying Churchill's enthusiastic blessing), this is one of the most remarkable stories of wartime lawlessness, eccentricity and raw courage in the face of impossible odds. What unfolded - the longest mission ever undertaken by Allied special forces - was an epic of daring, courage, tragedy and survival that remains unrivalled to this day, and which rightly became a foundation stone of Special Forces legend.

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50. Islander - Patrick Barkham

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The British Isles are an archipelago made up of two large islands and 6,289 smaller ones. Some, like the Isle of Man, resemble miniature nations, with their own language and tax laws; others, like Ray Island in Essex, are abandoned and mysterious places haunted by myths, ghosts and foxes. In this vividly observed book, Patrick Barkham explores some of the most beautiful landscapes in the British Isles. Meeting all kinds of islanders, from nuns to puffins, from local legends to rare subspecies of vole, he seeks to discover what it is like to live on a small island, and what it means to be an islander.

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51. Before Everything - Victoria Redel

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From youthful scrapes to mid-life turning points, the Old Friends have faced everything together. So as Anna, their brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they've always done: they laugh and eat, and help each other make choices and plans, and talk through dilemmas with children and work and love. But now the sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives takes on a new, urgent meaning. As their shared experiences are recounted and re-lived, this funny, bittersweet ode to friendship shows how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold.

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52. The Red-Haired Woman - Orhan Pamuk

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Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2006

On the outskirts of a town 30 miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before. The pair will come to depend on each other and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world. But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her.

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53. Unleashed - Peter Laws

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Fifteen years ago, 29 Barley Street, South London, became notorious as the scene of alleged poltergeist activity which led to the death of young Holly Wasson. The shadow cast by this episode is still felt in the town and amongst the gang of friends who were caught up in the tragic event. When one of the group dies in horrific and strange circumstances, Matt Hunter, former minister and now professor of sociology, is called in to investigate. And he is forced to ask himself, are forces beyond the grave at work or is a flesh-and-blood killer at large?

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54. Defectors - Joseph Kanon

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Moscow, 1961: With the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Union's international prestige is at an all-time high. And the most notorious of the defectors to the Soviet Union, former CIA agent Frank Weeks, is about to publish his memoirs. What he reveals will send shock waves through the West. Weeks' defection in the early 1950s shook Washington to its core – and forced the resignation of his brother, Simon, from the State Department. Simon, now a publisher in New York, is given the opportunity to read and publish his brother’s memoir. He knows the US government will never approve yet the offer is irresistible.

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55. The Binding Song - Elodie Harper

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Dr Janet Palmer is the new lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. Her predecessor has disappeared - along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of an eyeless woman stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins leading to a spate of suicides. Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels. Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts...

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56. The Dragonfly - Kate Dunn

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When Colin discovers his son is on a murder charge in France, he trails his small boat, ‘The Dragonfly’, across the channel to stay in Paris to try and help him. There he meets his grand-daughter – the irrepressible Delphine – for the first time. They embark on an exciting boat journey through the picturesque French canals, heading south through Burgundy, ‘until the butter melts’. Along the way, they catch up with Tyler, a spirited American, and through various mishaps and misunderstandings, they land big fish, cultivate new loves and uncover a burning secret. But can Colin finally help his son get off the hook?

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57. Bluebird, Bluebird - Attica Locke

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When it comes to law and order, East Texas plays by its own rules, a fact that Darren Mathews, a black Texas Ranger, knows all too well. He was the first in his family to get as far away from Texas as he could. Until duty called him home. When his allegiance to his roots puts his job in jeopardy, he travels up Highway 59 to the small town of Lark, where two murders - a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman - have stirred up a hornet's nest of resentment. Darren must solve the crimes before Lark's long-simmering racial fault lines erupt.

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58. On A Beautiful Day - Lucy Diamond

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Four friends witness a shocking accident which acts as a catalyst for each of them. For Laura, it's a wake-up call to heed the ticking of her biological clock. Sensible Jo finds herself throwing caution to the wind in a new relationship. Eve, who has been trying to ignore the worrying lump in her breast, feels helpless. And happy-go-lucky India is drawn to one of the victims of the accident, causing long-buried secrets to rise to the surface. This is a novel about finding bravery and resilience when your world is in turmoil. But above all, it's about friendship, togetherness and hope.

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59. Hunger - Roxane Gay

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Bestselling author Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and bodies, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. In Hunger, she casts an insightful and critical eye on her childhood, teens, and twenties-including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life. With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and authority that have made her one of the most admired voices of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to be overweight in a time when the bigger you are, the less you are seen.

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60. The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu - Charlie English

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‘An exemplary work of investigative journalism that is also a wonderfully colourful book of history and travel’ Observer, Book of the Year

‘A piece of postmodern historiography of quite extraordinary sophistication and ingenuity… [written with] exceptional delicacy and restraint’ TLS

The fabled city of Timbuktu has captured the Western imagination for centuries. The search for this ‘African El Dorado’ cost the lives of many explorers but Timbuktu is rich beyond its legends. Home to many thousands of ancient manuscripts on poetry, history, religion, law, pharmacology and astronomy, the city has been a centre of learning since medieval times.

When jihadists invaded Mali in 2012 threatening destruction to Timbuktu’s libraries, a remarkable thing happened. A team of librarians and archivists joined forces to spirit the precious manuscripts into hiding. Based on new research and first-hand reporting, Charlie English expertly tells this story set in one of the world’s most fascinating places, and the myths from which it has become inseparable.

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