Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Books to look forward to from Allison and Busby

Charlie’s latest assignment looked so simple and a perfect distraction from her personal life. Protecting the naive daughter of an investment banker from the kidnappers who prey on the wealthy Long Island set should mean a round of charity auctions, luxurious parties and boutiques— and few risks for an experienced operative. But when her instincts lead Charlie to suspect an inside job, she finds out that defending a girl determined to put herself in danger is far from easy, that not everyone who mingles with the jet set is what they seem - and the idle rich can be as ruthless as any criminal. Fifth Victim is by Zoë Sharp and is due to be published in March 2011

A Mansion and its Murder is by Robert Barnard and is due to be published in Feb 2011. Sarah Jane Fearing is youngest scion of one of England’s most influential banking families. At the centre of her world stands her generous uncle Frank, the only relative to have escaped the family’s straitjacket of ponderous respectability. But while Frank’s ill-considered marriage to a coldly ambitious woman produces the family’s longed-for male heir, the parents fall to quarrels and then to murder. And Sarah is drawn inexorably into a morass that threatens the survival of the entire family.

A missing woman and an apparently accidental death of the new Head of Art are the macabre events that signal a new year at Leighford High School for Peter ‘Mad Max’ Maxwell. The suspect list is non-existent but Maxwell, researching with paper and pencil, stumbles by accident on the linchpin to the whole case and a very powerful motive for murder. M J Trow's Maxwell's Island is due to be published in January 2011.

The Law of Angels by Cassandra Clark is the third book in the Abbess of Meaux series. It is Summer, 1384 and the harvest may be promising but storm clouds of insurrection are gathering over England. John of Gaunt still refuses to step aside for his ward, the boy king Richard II. Heretics roam the land sowing sedition. A return to the bloodshed of the Great Rebellion seems certain. Hildegard of Meaux – sleuth, spy and now abbess – has founded a religious refuge but by taking in a bonded maid Hildegard has made a dangerous enemy, willing to destroying her sanctuary. Meanwhile her own history threatens to drag her into the schemes of traitors – including the ruthless Henry Bolingbroke. – The Laws of Angels is due to be published in February 2011

The year is 1861 and Constable Faro is heading back to Orkney to enjoy some home comforts, armed with a private investigation into the death of champion swimmer Dave Claydon, who drowned in mysterious circumstances. Was this an accident or is there a sinister connection with missing artefacts recovered from an Armada galleon? At Lammastide the legend of the seal king’s annual claim of a human bride becomes reality and Faro’s holiday and his original secret mission turn into a nightmare. With himself as the prime suspect in the girl’s disappearance, he is in deadly danger. The Seal King Murder is by Alanna Knight and is due to be published in January 2011.

Set in the medieval town of Shrewsbury, Frozen Charlotte is the third in the Martha Gunn' series by Priscilla Masters. When a woman arrives in A and E clutching a child in a pink blanket, Martha Gunn is not quite ready to make the discovery that the evening has in store for her. The baby is dead, and not only that, it has been mummified. Post mortem reveals the child to be a new born, deceased for over five years and, despite the mysterious woman's protestations that it is called '-poppy', most certainly a boy. As always coroner Martha Gunn reserves judgement until she is able to get to the bottom of the case. Frozen Charlotte is due to be published in January 2011.

Deception in the Cotswold’s by Rebecca Tope is due to be published in April 2011. In the wake of a series of unfortunate experiences house-sitting in the Cotswolds, Thea Osbourne, accompanied as ever by her spaniel Hepzibah, is perhaps over-optimistic about the English summertime and the possibilities of her latest assignment – house-sitting for transatlantic reptile breeder Harriet Young. However, yet again, the region’s bucolic charms prove to be more than deceptive, and Thea is thrust once more into the heart of a Cotswolds mystery.

The year is 1855, and on the Birmingham express train a criminal is being escorted to his appointment with the hangman. But the wily Jeremy Oxley, con-man, thief and murderer, has one last ace up his sleeve: a beautiful and ruthless accomplice willing to do anything to save her lover. A daring rescue is about to take place and cold-blooded murder is on the cards. This is another puzzling case for the Railway Detective Robert Colbeck and his trust deputy Victor Leeming, which will see them travelling across the UK and to New York in their attempts to capture their nemesis Oxley. Blood on the Line is by Edward Marston and is due to be published in April 2011.

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