In this provocative novel Mark Blacklock portrays the true and complex history of John Humble, aka Wearside Jack, the Ripper Hoaxer, a timewaster and criminal, sympathetic and revolting, the man hidden by a wall of words, a fiction-spinner worthy of textual analysis. In this remarkable work, John Humble leads the reader into an allusive, elusive labyrinth of interpretations, simultaneously hoodwinking and revealing. I'm Jack is a riveting novel about truth, lies, prison and shame. It is also a profound and furious love letter to Sunderland. It is a puzzle, a hoax, a multi-voice portrait and a virtuoso assemblage of textual elements. I'm Jack announces the arrival of a radically talented and innovative novelist.
Sicily, 1880. When a stranger arrives in Vigata, the town's inhabitants immediately become unsettled. It seems the young man, Fofo, is the son of a local peasant legendary for his home-grown medicines; a man who was murdered many years before.
Fofo opens his own pharmacy in Vigata and his remedies are sought by many. But he soon finds himself entangled with the local nobility: Don Filippo - a philandering marchese set on producing a new heir, his long-suffering wife Donna Matilde, his eccentric elderly father Don Federico, his son Federico and beautiful daughter Ntonto above all. But it won't be long before death visits Vigata and the town and its most noble family will never be the same again...
Both a delightful murder mystery and a comic novel of huge brio, fired by love and obsession and filled with memorable characters, Hunting Season is the captivating new book from the bestselling author of the Inspector Montalbano series.
It's 1841, and three years after we left them at the close of The Strangler Vine, Blake and Avery are reunited in very different circumstances in London. There has been a series of dreadful murders in the slums of the printing district, which the police mysteriously refuse to investigate, and Blake and Avery must find the culprit before he kills again.
Apprentice healer Lassair encounters a mysterious veiled noblewoman who brings unexpected peril When Lassair encounters a veiled noblewoman on the quay at Cambridge one morning, set on by an angry mob, she assumes involvement with her will be brief. She has no idea that the woman, alone but for her infant child, brings both mystery and peril. Then a devastating flood hits the fens, and among the wreckage and debris washed up at Aelf Fen is a body; Lassair, in the company of a sheriff's officer, wonders if she is dealing with murder...
Meanwhile, in the south, Lassair's partner Rollo is moving with relief towards the conclusion of his mission for King William in the Holy Land. But then disaster strikes, and, with the mighty forces of an emperor on his heels, abruptly he turns from hunter to hunted. In order to escape alive, he risks help from a stranger, and embarks on a voyage that turns out to be far more dangerous than he could ever have imagined.
When Mara, Brehon of the Burren, is summoned to the sandy beach of Fanore, on the western fringe of the kingdom of the Burren, she sees a sight that she has never witnessed before during her thirty years as law-enforcer and investigating magistrate: a dead man lying in a boat with no oars. Immediately her scholars jump to the conclusion that the man has been found guilty of kin-murder. The Brehon sentence for this worst of all crimes is that the murderer be towed out to sea and left to the mercy of wind and waves and the ultimate judgement of Almighty God. But Mara notices something odd about the body, something which arouses her suspicions. And something familiar about the boat in which he lies. Soon she has embarked on a full-scale murder investigation. And gradually suspicion dawns that someone near and dear to her is involved in the murder.
Nicholas Bracewell befriends a young beggar who is trying to eke out a living as a counterfeit crank, pretending to have spectacular epileptic fits in order to get money from gullible bystanders. When the beggar is murdered inside Bridewell, Nicholas has to pose as a beggar himself in order to get inside the notorious institution so that he can solve the crime. Counterfeiting of all kinds is exposed.
When unexpected disaster strikes Lord Westfield's Men during a packed performance, Nicholas Bracewell must save the day. Will a vagabond clown prophesy the end of the troupe, and perhaps the demise of Nick himself?
1859. St Mary's Church, Spondon. A little girl playing hide-and-seek jumps into a freshly-dug grave to find a dead man already occupying it. It is the body of a senior director of the Midland Railway. Inspector Colbeck and Sergeant Leeming travel to Derbyshire to investigate.
It is 1906 and Will Prior is in self-imposed exile on a remote South Pacific island, working a small, and failing, plantation. He should never have told anyone about his previous existence as a military foot policeman in the Boer War, but a man needs friends, even if they are as stuffy and, well, German, as Hauptmann Kessler, the local government representative. So it is that Kessler approaches Will one hot afternoon, with a request for his help with a problem on a neighbouring island, inhabited by a reclusive, cultish group of European 'cocovores', who believe that sun worship and eating only coconuts will bring them eternal life. Unfortunately, one of their number has died in suspicious circumstances, and Kessler has been tasked with uncovering the real reason for his demise. So along with a 'lady traveller', Bessie Pullen-Burry, who is foisted on them by the archipelago's eccentric owner, they travel to the island of Kabakon, to find out what is really going on.
From the author of The English Monster comes Savage Magic, a brilliant new historical thriller, a riveting tale of villainy, madness and murder. Covent Garden, 1814: a centre of vice to which rich and poor alike are drawn by the promise of gin, ale and other carnal diversions. In opulent private rooms, several fashionable young men have been found murdered, each wearing a satyr's mask, each behind a locked door. Constable Charles Horton of the River Police Office is called in to investigate and soon finds himself at Thorpe Lee House in Surrey, where accusations of witchcraft have swept through the village. What connects those London aristocrats in pursuit of pleasure and a country backwater suddenly awash with folklore and talk of burning witches? In this strange, captivating world, it is a savage magic indeed that holds its victims in its thrall.
The Apothecary Melchior series plunges the reader into fifteenth-century Tallinn when Estonia is at the edge of Christian lands and the last foothold before the East: a town of foreign merchants and engineers, dominated by the mighty castle of Toompea and the construction of St Olafs Church, soon to become the tallest building in the world...
Apothecary Melchior is a divisive figure in the town: respected for his arcane knowledge and scientific curiosity but also slightly feared for his mystical witchdoctor aura. When a mysterious murder occurs in the castle, Melchior is called in to help find the killer and reveals a talent for detection.
Christopher Marlowe tackles his most baffling case yet. June, 1589. Now a feted poet and playwright, Kit Marlowe is visiting his family in Canterbury. But it's not the happy homecoming he had hoped for. A long-standing family friend has been found dead in her bed, killed by several blows to the head. Convinced that the wrong person has been found guilty of the crime, Marlowe determines to uncover the truth. What did the dead woman mean when she spoke of 'owning the whole world'? If Marlowe could discover what she had in her possession, he would be one step closer to catching her killer. And why is the Queen's spymaster, Sir Francis Walsingham, taking such an interest in the investigation?
London, 1881: When a body is found in the Paddington canal basin, a woman with a hearing impairment claims that the remains are those of her missing husband, who disappeared three years ago. Unable to prove her case, she appeals to Frances Doughty, the lady detective, to investigate. In this, her fifth case, Frances soon learns that the missing man has secrets of his own, and, when another body is discovered and a witness is viciously attacked, it becomes clear that she must choose her allies wisely. The fifth book in the popular Frances Doughty Mystery series.