As part of our tie-in to the detective-themed Summer Reading Challenge, it’s time to recommend a few excellent detective series. If you’re looking for a new series to get your teeth into, here are the first books of three fabulous mysteries:
Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley mysteries. Glossing over the rather unsympathetic blurb for book one (Never nice to read a woman being described as “fat and unlovely”, even if she is the prime suspect at a murder scene.), this is where we start Elizabeth George’s dark and suspenseful series. Book one.
Peter May’s trilogy set on the Isle of Lewis. With a wonderful sense of place, this trilogy will transport you to the Scottish Isles as you follow Detective Inspector Fin Macleod’s attempts to get to the bottom of the captivating and sinister mysteries. Book one.
“Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters. With an unforgettable cast of characters that includes young girls with special powers, handsome gardeners, irritable ghosts and an array of irresistible four-legged friends, ‘The Keeper of Lost Things‘ is a debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that will leave you bereft once you’ve finished reading.”
Newly appointed police inspector Domenic Jejeune doesn’t mind ruffling a few feathers. Indeed his success has elevated him into a poster boy for the police. The problem is Jejeune doesn’t really want to be a detective at all; he much prefers watching birds. Recently reassigned to the small Norfolk town of Saltmarsh, located in the heart of Britain’s premier birding country, Jejeune’s two worlds soon collide with the grisly murder of a prominent ecological activist. Jejeune must call on all his birding know-how to solve the mystery and deal with unwelcome public acclaim, the mistrust of colleagues and his own insecurities.
A very popular parent at Plummer Prep, Brighton, Yvonne is left for dead in the school playground. The police think they know who did it but have no evidence. The local Inspector asks Cece an ex police officer for help as she has just started taking her children to the same school as the suspects.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Cece, Maxie, Anaya, and Hazel. It covers a lot of back history of each of them, hidden because it is shameful or even illegal. All the parts are integrated brilliantly to produce a cracking story.
A must read book from a master storyteller.
Reserve The Friend
Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed. Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers. But one day her not–so–perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. Forced to move back home to Somerset, Katie has to restart from square one. But when fate gifts her the chance to take revenge on Demeter, should Katie get medieval on the woman who ruined her dreams?
Out today in shiny new paperback: Elly Griffith’s latest Norwich and Kings Lynn-set mystery.
“Boiled human bones have been found in Norwich’s web of underground tunnels. When Dr Ruth Galloway discovers they were recently buried, DCI Nelson has a murder enquiry on his hands. The boiling might have been just a medieval curiosity – now it suggests a much more sinister purpose. Meanwhile, DS Judy Johnson is investigating the disappearance of a local rough sleeper. The only trace of her is the rumour that she’s gone ‘underground’. This might be a figure of speech, but with the discovery of the bones and the rumours both Ruth and the police have heard that the network of old chalk-mining tunnels under Norwich is home to a vast community of rough sleepers, the clues point in only one direction. Local academic Martin Kellerman knows all about the tunnels and their history – but can his assertions of cannibalism and ritual killing possibly be true? As the weather gets hotter, tensions rise.”
What a wonderful book! If you grew up with tales of Malory Towers or St Clare’s, this book for adults will bring happy memories flooding back. Set in a Cornish boarding school, we follow the adventures of teachers, girls and the Head.
Written by the brilliant Jenny Colgan under a different name.
Two girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either. Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, ‘Swing Time‘ is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them.
Out of print for more than 40 years, this much loved classic has just been reissued. Perfect for a wind-down weekend with a glass of wine…
“In 1879, a wealthy young woman elopes with an impoverished fisherman, leaving her family, who live on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, distraught. In 1968, 23-year-old Perdita West, secretary to the famous author Cora Gresham, visits Lanzarote, the strangest and most wild of the Canary Isles, on a research trip. They meet Cora’s estranged son, Mike, and fall in love with the unusual, beautiful little island. While snorkeling, a landslide traps Perdita in an underwater cave. No one knows where she is, so she can’t count on a rescue. And her efforts to save herself will reveal the solution to a century-old mystery.”
Secrets in a family are like moths in cashmere…They dig themselves in and eat their way out… Freya is a genealogist, but has never paid as much attention to her own family. When her marriage starts to collapse and her grown-up daughters seem more distant than ever, Freya’s reckless abandon startles everyone, and long-hidden secrets begin to emerge.