Flavia Albia is a private investigator, always drawn to an intriguing puzzle - even if it is put to her by her new husband's hostile ex-wife. On the Quirinal Hill, Clodia Volumnia, a very young girl with stars in her eyes, has died, amid suggestions that she was poisoned by a love-potion. It will have been supplied by a local witch, who goes by the name of Pandora, though Albia learns that Pandora carries on a trade in herbal beauty products while hiding much more dangerous connections. Pandora's beloved grandson, a trainee hack lawyer, is one of the dead girl's empty-headed friends; can this be relevant?
As she homes in on the truth, Albia has to contend with the occult, organised crime, an unusual fertility symbol, and celebrity dining. She discovers the young girl was a handful; her father mediates in disputes, yet has divorced his grief-stricken wife and is now suing his own mother-in-law; Clodia's so-called friends were none too friendly. The supposedly sweet air of the Quirinal hides the smells of loose morality, casual betrayal and even gangland conflict. When a friend of her own is murdered, Albia determines to expose as much of this local sickness as she can - beginning with the truth about the death of little Clodia.
Somewhere in the soot-stained ruins of Restoration London, a killer has gone to ground...
The Great Fire has ravaged London, wreaking destruction and devastation wherever its flames spread. Now, guided by the incorruptible Fire Court, the city is slowly rebuilding, but times are volatile and danger is only ever a heartbeat away.
James Marwood, son of a traitor, is thrust into this treacherous environment when his ailing father claims to have stumbled upon a murdered woman in the very place where the Fire Court sits. Then his father is run down and killed. Accident? Or another murder...?
Determined to uncover the truth, Marwood turns to the one person he can trust – Cat Lovett, the daughter of a despised regicide. Marwood has helped her in the past. Now it's her turn to help him. But then comes a third death… and Marwood and Cat are forced to confront a vicious and increasingly desperate killer whose actions threaten the future of the city itself.
1817. Dawn breaks on a summer's day in Chalk Farm, London, and the scene is set for a duel between a lady's two ardent admirers. Paul Skillen has been teaching Mark Bowerman how to shoot properly and, although he is not sanguine of his chances, stands as his second. Although the duel is broken up, the passions behind the duel seem to spill out into the full light of day when Bowerman is stabbed to death in a stranger's garden. Paul and his twin Peter are determined to see justice done and are soon enmeshed in threads of inheritance, treachery and fraud.
October 1143. His task dispatched, a mysterious archer melts back into the forest leaving a pile of corpses in his wake. The lord Sheriff of Worcester cannot ignore such a brazen attack on the salt road from Wich, nor the death of a nobleman in the wrong place at the wrong time. And so Hugh Bradecote and Serjeant Catchpoll are dispatched to hunt an elusive killer and his gang and put a stop to the mounting attacks. But it is not easy to get the culprits in their sights with a reeve keen to keep his position at all costs, a lord with his own ends to serve and a distrusting and vengeful widow to whom Bradecote is increasingly attracted.
The Whitstable Pearl restaurant has been busy all summer while Pearl's detective agency has brought few interesting cases - until a prospective client calls...
Christina Scott confides that seven years ago she had the perfect life with a seaside home, a confirmed pregnancy and Steven, a loving husband - until one morning she woke to find herself alone. Christina's husband had vanished, taking nothing with him but his car - which was later found abandoned at the beautifully mysterious Oare Marshes.
Now, with the legal presumption of Steven's death about to be made, Christina shows a photograph to Pearl. It's not of him, but of her young son, Martin, who has grown up without his father but Christina is adamant he now deserves to know the truth. And will Pearl help her solve the riddle of Steven's disappearance?
DCI Mike McGuire warns Pearl she's on a fool's errand but the case resonates with Pearl as she begins to uncover secrets and lies that take her on a dangerous journey back into her own past, as well as Christina's...
'A tried-and-tested crime recipe with Whitstable flavours that makes for a Michelin-starred read' Daily Mail
When Ursula's young son is kidnapped, she is lured into an impossible dilemma.
March, 1581. Queen Elizabeth is once again being urged to consider marriage to the Duke of Alençon, a French Catholic twenty years her junior. The prospect of the match is causing unrest throughout the kingdom.
Ursula Blanchard however has more immediate matters to worry about when her 9-year-old son is snatched away while out riding. If she is ever to see him again, Ursula must undertake an impossibly difficult and dangerous mission - and commit an act of high treason. Can she rely on her half-sister, Queen Elizabeth, for help?
I knew the smell of death well enough. But here the sweetness of decay was tainted with something else, something new and different. It was a curious, moist smell; a smell that spoke of the ooze and slap of water, of gurgling wet spaces and the sticky, yielding mud of low-tide...
Summoned to the riverside by the desperate, scribbled note of an old friend, Jem Flockhart and Will Quartermain find themselves on board the seamen's floating hospital, an old hulk known only as The Blood, where prejudice, ambition and murder seethe beneath a veneer of medical respectability.
On shore, a young woman, a known prostitute, is found drowned in a derelict boatyard. A man leaps to his death into the Thames, driven mad by poison and fear. The events are linked - but how? Courting danger in the opium dens and brothels of the waterfront, certain that the Blood lies at the heart of the puzzle, Jem and Will embark on a quest to uncover the truth. In a hunt that takes them from the dissecting tables of a private anatomy school to the squalor of the dock-side mortuary, they find themselves involved in a dark and terrible mystery.
Beatrice Scarlet, the apothecary's daughter, returns to 18th-century London to solve a murder case steeped in witchcraft. They say the girls were witches. But Beatrice Scarlet, the apothecary's daughter, is sure they were innocent victims...
London, 1758: Beatrice Scarlet, the apothecary's daughter, has found a position at St Mary Magdalene's Refuge for fallen women. The charity is supported by a wealthy merchant who offers the most promising girls steady work in his factor. But when seven girls go missing, Beatrice is uneasy. Their would-be benefactor claims they were a coven of witches, beholden only to Satan and his demonic misdeeds. But Beatrice is convinced something much darker than witchcraft is at play...
The new novel from the author of Art in the Blood. December 1889. Fresh from debunking a ghostly hound in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes has returned to London, only to find himself the target of a deadly vendetta.
A beautiful client arrives with a tale of ghosts, kidnapping and dynamite on a whisky estate in Scotland, but brother Mycroft trumps all with an urgent assignment in the South of France.
On the fabled Riviera, Holmes and Watson encounter treachery, explosions, rival French Detective Jean Vidocq... and a terrible discovery. This propels the duo northward to the snowy highlands. There, in a haunted castle and among the copper dinosaurs of a great whisky distillery, they and their young client face mortal danger, and Holmes realizes all three cases have blended into a single, deadly conundrum.
In order to solve the mystery, the ultimate rational thinker must confront a ghost from his own past. But Sherlock Holmes does not believe in ghosts... or does he?
This stylish new series of the best-loved classics by Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are sure to appeal to all book lovers. From students to adults, to those of us who enjoy rereading our favourite classics and to the newest enthusiasts who have been introduced to these classics through film and TV, there is always something more to discover in these books and the new designs will make them even more irresistible. With their fine attention to detail - including cloth covers, gold foil detail, coloured edges and illustrated endpapers - these volumes will make a highly collectable addition to everyone's bookshelves.
In Victorian London, race-walking, or 'wobbles', are all the rage. So on a Monday morning in November 1879 the crowds gather for Islington's bizarre six-day endurance walking race.
By Tuesday, one of the contestants is dead. Tetanus from a blister is assumed, but then there is a second death, and this time it's definitely murder. A bemused Sergeant Cribb from Scotland Yard is called in, along with Constable Thackeray, and they soon discover that something foul is at play.
Forbidden in Victorian England, the grim and violent world of bare-knuckle fighting has gone underground. So when a headless body is found floating in the Thames, his hands 'pickled' for fighting, Sergeant Cribb knows he is facing a challenge.
Desperate for information, they select the young constable Henry Jago to infiltrate the gang, subjecting him to a rigorous programme of purging, pickling and training. Cribb is certain that the losing fighters are being killed, or worse, so getting Jago out just in time is crucial . . .
A practical joker is haunting the popular music halls of Victorian London - but far from being funny, his intentions are deeply sinister. A trapeze artist misses her timing when the ropes are shortened; a comedian who invites the audience to sing along with him finds the words of his song 'shamefully' altered; mustard has been applied to a sword swallower's blade; a singer's costume has been rigged; the girl in a magician's box is trapped.
And then the mischief escalates to murder. Or was murder intended all along? The indomitable detective team of Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray dive into the back rooms and dark alleyways of London as they pursue the elusive criminal.
`Rats are always bigger than you expect...' Falco, ancient Rome's hangdog investigator, hates sharing a cell with a rodent - though being bailed by his old mother is almost as embarrassing. His high-born girlfriend can't decide if she wants him, and Titus Caesar's reward for past services is a wet fish. Hoping for a better life, or at least a better apartment, he takes on new clients.
On the elegant slopes of the Pincian Hill, three nouveau riche freedmen with two flashy wives are under siege by a clever redhead. Severina Zotica has a foul-mouthed parrot, an odd connection with a snake dancer - and a very suspicious past. As he pursues this flame-haired fortune-hunter, Falco finds himself beset by violent rent-racketeers, poisoners and women without consciences who have dangerous designs on him ...