Dare you close your eyes for even a few seconds? One, two, three... Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to 100 during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter, Ella, is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa's family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn't a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa's little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?
London, 1883: All is quiet at 125 Gower Street. So, when a young woman turns up at the door, imploring London's foremost personal detective, Sidney Grice, to solve her father's murder, Grice can barely disguise his glee. Mr Nathan Garstang was found slaughtered, with no trace of a weapon or intruder. A classic locked-room case. But what piques Grice's interest is the link to the unsolved murders of Nathan's uncle, aunt and servants in the very same house....
"Omg! Is he, her father?"
Abby Rogers has been on health kicks before - they involve eating one blueberry muffin for breakfast instead of two. When Abby is encouraged to join her sporty best friend's running club - by none other than its gorgeous new captain - she finds a mysterious compulsion to exercise. Then her colleague, Heidi, turns up at work and makes a devastating announcement, one that will change her life - and Abby's - forever.
"So funny with true to life experiences"
Gower Street, London, 1882: Sidney Grice, London's most famous personal detective, is expecting a visitor. He drains his fifth pot of morning tea, and glances outside, where a young, plain woman picks her way between the piles of horse-dung towards his front door. Sidney Grice shudders. For heaven's sake - she is wearing brown shoes. The Mangle Street Murders is for those who like their crime original, atmospheric, and very, very funny.
After being jilted at the altar, Zoe Moore flees to Boston, America, where she works as nanny to five-year-old Ruby Miller and her little brother, Samuel. Ruby and Samuel lost their mother in an accident; their father, Ryan Miller, is so wrapped up in his grief that he barely notices his two children. Whatever happened to the loving man she keeps hearing about from his neighbours?
"Ending felt rushed"
Gower Street, 1883: March Middleton is the niece of London's greatest (and most curmudgeonly) personal detective, Sidney Grice. March has just discovered a wealthy long-lost relative she never knew she had. When this newest family member meets with a horrible death, March is in the frame for murder, and only Sidney Grice can prove her innocence.
"another great book"
Dan and Gemma have found their dream first home, but the asking price is the stuff of nightmares. The only way they'll ever save for a deposit is by returning, rent free, to Dan's childhood home. Obviously no one wants to move back into a bedroom still adorned with Kylie posters, with a mother whose culinary skills are noted for their spectacular gastrointestinal effects. But it's for only six months. Even they can manage that. Surely.
125 Gower Street, 1882: Sidney Grice was once London's premier personal detective. But since his last case led an innocent man to the gallows, business has been light. Listless and depressed, Grice has not even gathered the strength to re-insert his glass eye. Then an eccentric member of a Final Death Society has the temerity to die on his study floor. Finally Sidney and March have an investigation, one that will draw them to an eerie house in Kew, and the mysterious Baroness Foskett....
"Unusual combination of gruesome and funny"
On Christmas morning Kitty Doherty gives birth to her baby - who is immediately taken away for adoption in America. But Kitty's life is hanging by a thread, her only hope a dangerous journey through snow to Ballymara and her Irish family. Meanwhile, in Chicago, Sean and Alice try to set up a new life far away from the families they have deserted in Liverpool.
"Beautiful - A fine end to the story."
In these short stories, it's the ordinary things that turn out to be most extraordinary. Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance; a child awake in the night explores her home; a housekeeper caring for an elderly man uncovers secrets from his past. The stories focus in on crucial moments of transition. Small acts have large consequences, and some of them reverberate across decades. The real things that happen to people and the accidents that befall them are every bit as mysterious as their longings and their dreams.
Beatrice Scarlet is the apothecary's daughter. She can mix medicines to save lives - but she can't save the lives of her parents. An orphan at just sixteen, Beatrice marries and emigrates to America. New Hampshire, 1756: In the farming community where Beatrice now lives, pigs are found dead with slices of looking-glass embedded in their mouths. According to scripture this is the work of Satan, but Beatrice suspects the hands of men. She must act quickly to unmask the killer - or become the next victim herself....
"A very different setting for a thriller"
1950s Liverpool. In the tight-knit community of the Four Streets, two girls are growing up. One is motherless and hated by the cold woman determined to take her dead mother's place. The other is hiding a dreadful secret which she dare not tell to anyone. The people of Four Streets laugh, grieve and hope together. But what can they do when a betrayal at the heart of their world comes to light?
"Could have been so much more"
No one knows who did it, least of all the police. Somewhere, in this tight-knit Irish Catholic community, someone must know something. Fourteen-year-old Kitty Doherty, pregnant with the dead man's child, is a danger to everyone who needs to keep the secret. Her mother, Maura, and best friend Nellie's grandmother decide the girls must be spirited away to Ireland to await the birth of the baby. But it isn't easy to keep a secret that big.
Ashcombe was the most beautiful house Saskia had ever seen as a little girl, providing a perfect sanctuary to hide from the tragedy which shattered her childhood. Now an adult, Saskia is still living at Ashcombe and, as a book restorer ,devotes her days tending to broken, battered books. When she discovers a notebook carefully concealed in an old Bible, Saskia finds herself drawn into a heart-rending tale of wartime love....
"Lovely story nicely read"
This is the story of Ian - husband, father, and Mormon bishop - and his unshakeable belief.
It is the story of his wife Claire's lonely wait for a sign from God. And it is the story of seven-year-old Jacob. His faith is bigger than a mustard seed, probably bigger than a toffee bonbon, and he's planning to use it to mend his family with a miracle.
"Well written and narrated, but a sad book"
It's hard being that woman, the one whose husband disappeared. He went out five years ago for a pint of milk and never came back. So here I am with a daughter who blames me for everything, a son trying his best to pick up the pieces and a gaggle of neighbours who are incredibly nosy. Then I find a left luggage ticket in the pocket of one of his old coats and suddenly I'm thinking... What if he's not dead? What if he's still out there somewhere?
"Lost its way a little"
Everything you've built your life on is a lie. Willow's memories of her parents are sun-drenched and full of smiles, love and laughter. But a mysterious invitation to a photographic exhibition exposes a secret that's been buried since a tragic accident years ago. Willow is forced to question everything she knew about Charity, her late mother, and Hope, the aunt she's lived with since she was a child. How was the enigmatic photographer connected to Willow's parents?
"A light and enjoyable story"
Dan's life has fallen apart at the seams. He's lost his house and his job, and now he's going to lose his family, too. All he's ever wanted is to keep them together, but is everything beyond repair? Maria is drowning in grief. She spends her days writing letters that will never be answered. Nights are spent trying to hold terrible memories at bay, to escape the pain that threatens to engulf her. Jack wakes up confused and alone. He doesn't know who he is, how he got there, or why he finds himself on a deserted clifftop, but will piecing together the past leave him a broken man?
Pearl Street, Liverpool, Christmas 1942. Despite the drama and tragedy of the War, the street's spirit and friendship in adversity binds them together. Since her husband was injured, Eileen has worried about the growing distance between them. Lena Newton longs for a baby but with her husband posted in the Navy, it's looking unlikely. And Kitty has hidden away since she discovered her lover was married, too ashamed to return in disgrace with her baby.
"Great book ruined by the ending."
When Grace Manners takes up residence on Wittering Manor estate, she little realises working alongside eccentric Fraser Stratton will change her life. Grace has struggled to make ends meet, and the little cottage on the estate is both a refuge and a workshop for her jewellery business. It's only when Grace uncovers the story behind a diamond brooch she inherited that she becomes drawn into a family secret that threatens to destroy what little she has left....