She was lying as if asleep on the wooden kitchen floor, beneath the fridge covered with a child’s colourful crayon drawings. But her frozen expression showed she would never wake again… When Detective Jackie Cooke is called out to the scene, she’s expecting a routine check. The bottle of pills on the kitchen table, next to the note with the single word SORRY written in a shaky hand, make it seem obvious what’s happened. But Jackie is shocked when she recognises her old schoolfriend Claire – and she is convinced Claire would never take her own life. Determined to dig deeper, Jackie soon discovers evidence that proves her right: a roll of notes has been thrust down the victim’s throat. And when she finds another woman killed in the same way, she realises someone may be targeting lonely single mothers. As Jackie talks to Claire’s distraught children, one of them too young to understand his mummy is never coming home, she vows to find answers. Both victims were in touch with someone calling himself Nice Guy – could he be the killer? Pursuing every clue, Jackie is sure she’s found a match in dead-eyed Tyler, part of a dark world of men intent on silencing women for daring to reject them. But just as she makes the arrest, another single mother is found dead – a woman who never dated at all. Forced to re-evaluate every lead she has, with her boss pressuring her to make a case against the obvious suspect, Jackie knows she is running out of time before another innocent woman is murdered. And, as a single mother herself, she cannot help but wonder if she is in the killer’s sights. Can she uncover his true motivation and put an end to his deadly game… or will he find her first? The Silent Dead is by Marnie Riches.
Your new husband has a shocking secret. Would your mother-in-law kill to protect it. From the moment I meet my new mother-in-law in her beautiful country house, she makes it clear I’m not welcome. Lilian Fletcher hates me for marrying her precious boy on a golden beach far away from her. Starting our marriage living in the Fletchers’ family home is a nightmare. Then I discover Seb was married before and his first wife is dead. I wonder why the man I love didn’t tell me the truth. And I wonder what happened to her: the woman who came before me. How did she die? Lilian’s steely blue gaze follows me everywhere. Then the accidents start to happen, and I know she is behind them. It starts with small things, like a dropped birthday cake, a spilt glass of wine. But then my mother-in-law accuses me of something terrible. This woman is determined to get me out of her son’s life. Now I wish I’d never met my handsome, clever husband. Or come to this luxurious house that feels more like a prison. But I have secrets too. And no-one knows who I really am… The Daughter in Law is by Shalini Boland.
A Body at Lavender Cottage is by Dee MacDonald. Nurse Kate Palmer is Cornwall’s answer to Miss Marple! But when a body turns up in her own garden can Kate solve the crime? Or is the murder a bit too close to home? Kate Palmer is stunned when she wakes up one morning to discover the body of a man in the beautiful garden of Lavender Cottage. She’s spent the last few years renovating her cozy, clifftop cottage with its gorgeous views of the sparkling Cornish sea. And a death right under her nose is more than a little unsettling… When Woody Forrest, Kate’s new husband and the village’s retired detective inspector, takes a closer look he realises the victim is none other than Frank Ford – Woody’s old nemesis. Now, Frank is lying dead amongst the daisies… strangled with Woody’s blue police tie. Kate is certain the man she loves is not a murderer and is determined to prove his innocence. But who would want to kill Frank and frame Woody? As Kate investigates, Frank’s family seem to be the obvious suspects. Could it be Jason Ford, the youngest son, who has an odd obsession with birdwatching? Sid Kinsella, the angry father-in-law? Or Sharon Mason, the troublesome daughter? When another member of the Ford family bites the dust while Woody is tending his allotment, it’s clear the killer is determined to bury Woody’s reputation. But when a chance conversation on Bluebell Road provides Kate with a clue, she must find a woman named Rose, who could hold the answers Kate is looking for. But Kate needs to dig up the truth – and fast! – before poor Woody is thrown behind bars. Can she solve the case and save her husband before it’s too late?
While Jamie’s cold, lifeless body lay in the morgue, Detective Kim Stone stared at the empty board in the incident room and felt her anger boil. Why were there no photos, details, or lines of enquiry? When a nineteen-year-old boy, Jamie Mills, is found hanging from a tree in a local park, his death is ruled a suicide. Detective Kim Stone’s instincts tell her something isn’t right – but it’s not her investigation and her temporary replacement is too busy waiting for the next big case to be asking the right questions. Why would a seemingly healthy boy choose to end his life? Why does his mother show no sign of emotional distress at the loss of her son? Still mending her broken mind and body from her last harrowing case, Kim is supposed to be easing back into work gently. But then she finds a crucial, overlooked detail: Jamie had a recent injury that would have made it impossible for him to climb the tree. He must have been murdered. Quickly taking back charge of her team and the case, Kim visits Jamie’s parents and is shocked to hear that they had sent him to a clinic to ‘cure’ him of his sexuality. According to his mother, Jamie was introverted and prone to mood swings. Yet his friend speaks of a vibrant, outgoing boy. The clues to smashing open this disturbing case lie behind the old Victorian walls of the clinic, run by the Gardner family. They claim that patients come of their own accord and are free to leave at any time. But why are those that attended the clinic so afraid to speak of what happens there? And where did the faded restraint marks identified on Jamie’s wrists come from? Then the body of a young woman is found dead by suffocation and Kim makes two chilling discoveries. The victim spent time at the clinic too, and her death was also staged to look like a suicide. Scarred from an ordeal that nearly took her life, is Kim strong enough to stop a terrifying killer from silencing the clinic’s previous patients one by one? Hidden Scars is by Angela Marsons.
Mystery at Southwood School is by Clare Chase. Eve Mallow’s going back to school! But when a former student is murdered, Eve must discover who taught her a deadly lesson…Eve Mallow is delighted when she’s asked to cater Founders’ Day at Southwood School. It’s the best – and most secretive – school for miles around, and Eve can’t wait to see what it’s really like. But when she arrives, the atmosphere is far from scholarly. Natalie Somerson, ex-pupil and professional gossip, is the guest of honour, but nobody seems to want her there… especially when her speech stirs up an old scandal about a secret love affair. So why was she invited? The next morning, Natalie is found dead in a locked attic room. To make matters worse, Eve’s boyfriend Robin becomes the police’s prime suspect. Determined to prove his innocence, Eve starts to investigate everyone with a stake in the school. Is it the prudish principal, worried about Natalie’s influence? Her former teacher, whose life Natalie made miserable? Or the head girl, who seemed to hate Natalie one day and adore her the next? When strange letters arrive at the school and Eve finds a bottle of Natalie’s perfume in the most unexpected place, she senses time is running out to save Robin’s good name. Eve had better study her suspects and unmask the real killer…before they give her a fatal mark!
She’s there to keep your baby safe… Or is she? I’ve always wanted a baby, more than anything. I never meant to do it alone, but it’ll be a fresh start. I can finally leave the past behind me. I’m so lucky to have Jackie, my midwife, who understands how hard this is. She supports me more than anyone could have hoped or expected. But as I sit in this cold white room, that was meant to be full of other mothers to be, a chill creeps up my spine. There’s only one other mother here, and she’s clutching her bump nervously. And as she squirms under Jackie's questions, Jackie can’t stop staring at me. And then something clicks, and my blood freezes. She recognises me, doesn't she? The Midwife is by Victoria Jenkins.
Next to the lake’s dappled water, a woman lies on her yoga mat, her limbs twisted as if she is trying to crawl away. Her mug of tea steams into the cool air and her lips, still warm, are parted mid-sentence. But she will never speak or see again... When Sandra Ashville is found murdered in a sleepy town near Oakhurst, Detective Jo Fournier is first at the scene. Jo is shaken by the similarities between herself and the dead assistant District Attorney, a dedicated woman with a heart for justice. And as she examines Sandra’s body, Jo discovers something that chills her to the bone: the bullet hole is covered by an intact blindfold. Why was Sandra only blindfolded after her death? The very next morning Jo receives a shocking call. A judge has been brutally killed, before she too was blindfolded. Soon it becomes clear that the twisted serial killer is working with a deadly countdown: every morning, another body will be found. Working around the clock, Jo makes an important break-through: all the victims are connected to the same murder trial. And Jo’s dear friend and partner Bob Arnett could be next… With the next morning rapidly approaching, Jo and her team pull out all the stops to catch the killer. But when she uncovers a stain of corruption that includes Bob, Jo faces an impossible choice. Can she trust her partner, when the evidence suggests he turned a blind eye to a grave miscarriage of justice? And as the body count rises, can Jo catch the killer before it is too late for her oldest friend? What They Saw is by M M Chouinard.
Bookshop owner and amateur detective Flora Steele teams up with handsome crime writer Jack Carrington to unravel a curious murder in the village of Abbeymead! Sussex, 1956:When Flora and her partner-in-crime-solving, Jack, arrive at the charming church of St Saviour’s the last thing they’re expecting to find is the curate, Lyle Beaumont, lifeless on the flagstone floor beneath the belltower, with a mysterious note in his hand. Flora is dismayed to find the poor curate dead. But she can’t help being intrigued by the eclectic mix of bell ringers present at the old church –Mr Preece, the local butcher, Dilys Fuller, the busybody postmistress, and Stephen Henshall, a newcomer to the close-knit community. Any one of them could be the culprit – and Flora needs to act fast before someone gets away with murder… When Flora and Jack begin their sleuthing, they quickly realise all is not what it seems with the victim, and the certainty of the dead man’s identity becomes the first twist in the investigation. Just as they’re getting closer to the answer, the death of one of the suspects changes everything. As a series of unexplained accidents unfolds across the village, it seems no-one who was present at the church on the night of the curate’s demise is safe. Has the bell tolled on Flora and Jack’s detective days? And will they work out the truth in time to save themselves? Murder at St Saviours is by Merryn Allingham.
Irish whiskey, rolling green hills, a traditional Christmas feast and… a murder? Lady Swift will need the luck of the Irish to survive this holiday season! Christmas, 1923. Lady Eleanor Swift has received a rather unexpected invitation to the village Christmas party in the tiny, rural hamlet of Derrydee in the west of Ireland. Eleanor is thrilled about exploring her ancestral roots at her late uncle’s estate and spending the festive season in a castle. PackingGladstone the bulldog’scoziest Christmas jumper, they set off to the Emerald Isle with her butler Clifford in tow. Arriving late at night, Eleanor and Clifford are shocked when they find a body sprawled in the snow on the winding country lane outside the estate. The local constable is immediately suspicious and all but accuses the pair of murder. This isn’t the warm Irish welcome Eleanor imagined! Clifford is certain he recognises the poor fellow from the funeral of Eleanor’s uncle – but what was their connection? Undeterred by the villagers’ lack of gossip on the matter, Eleanor is determined to get justice for the victim. The man’s pockets are suspiciously empty of personal effects, but closer inspection reveals an old key hidden in the heel of his boot. Could this unlock more than one mystery for Eleanor? But when a fire breaks out at the castle on Christmas Eve, an even bigger question looms: is someone out to ensure the family line dies with Lady Swift? And will Eleanor’s first Irish Christmas be her last? Murder in an Irish Castle is by Verity Bright.
Missing Girl at Frozen Falls is by Leslie Wolfe. She lay in the frosted grass behind Frozen Falls. Her eyes were wide open, and the wind blew her hair, ash-blond locks reflecting the blue sky. Her face, beautiful even in death, was pale, as if the bitter cold from the mountain had drained the color from her cheeks. On a crisp autumn day in the small town of Mount Chester, Detective Kay Sharp comes face-to-face with the past she has spent the last decade running from. Her ex-husband, Brian, has been accused of murder. Seeing Brian brings a flood of painful memories—he betrayed her in the worst possible way. Yet despite her heartbreak, Kay is willing to put her career on the line to prove his innocence. Brian is accused of killing Kay’s former best friend, Rachel—the woman he cheated on Kay with, getting her pregnant. The blood drains from Kay’s face; she received a voicemail from Rachel two days ago. “I hope you’ll forgive me,” she’d said, her voice fraught with tears. “I know I have no right, but I need you.” Kay’s stomach plummets. By the time she called back, Rachel was already dead. Could Brian really be the murderer? Kay faces pressure from her crime team, who don’t want her working on an investigation so close to home. But she’s willing to risk everything—she vows to get justice for Rachel. When Kay visit’s Rachel’s mother, she uncovers a heart-stopping discovery that makes the case even more critical: Rachel’s eight-year-old daughter, Holly, is missing. Could the little girl still be alive? Up against the most complex—and most personal—case of her career, can she save precious Holly before it’s too late? And will Kay’s determination to find out the truth lead to justice—or be her undoing?