Late summer in North Dakota, 1999: Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence but only when he staggers closer does he realise he has killed his neighbour's son. Dusty Ravich, the deceased boy, was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have been close for years and their children played together despite going to different schools. Landreaux is horrified at what he's done; fighting off his longstanding alcoholism, he ensconces himself in a sweat lodge and prays for guidance. And there he discovers an old way of delivering justice for the wrong he's done. The next day he and his wife Emmaline deliver LaRose to the bereaved Ravich parents. Standing on the threshold of the Ravich home, they say, 'Our son will be your son now'. LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Gradually he's allowed visits with his birth family, whose grief for the son and brother they gave away mirrors that of the Raviches. The years pass and LaRose becomes the linchpin that links both families. As the Irons and the Raviches grow ever more entwined, their pain begins to subside. But when a man who nurses a grudge against Landreaux fixates on the idea that there was a cover-up the day Landreaux killed Dusty - and decides to expose this secret - he threatens the fragile peace between the two families...
'Finely judged writing like this comes from a place of instinct, and it marks Melrose out as someone to watch . . . Midwinter is a great success' Melissa Harrison, Guardian Father and Son, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, are Suffolk farmers, living together on land their family has worked for generations. But they are haunted there by a past they have long refused to confront: the death of Cecelia, beloved wife and mother, when Vale was just a child. Both men have carried her loss, unspoken. Until now. With the onset of a mauling winter, something between them snaps. While Vale makes increasingly desperate decisions, Landyn retreats, finding solace in the land, his animals - and a vixen who haunts the farm and seems to bring with her both comfort and protection. Tender and lyrical, alive to language and nature, Midwinter is a novel about guilt, blame, lost opportunities and, ultimately, it is a story about love and the lengths we will go to find our way home. 'Melrose elegantly weaves narratives detailing the men's internal tumult with lush descriptions of their natural surroundings . . . A moving story about the cruelty of chance, modern masculinity and the transformative power of the bonds between men' Financial Times 'I have rarely read a narrative voice as distinctive as Landyn's, and the loving depiction of regional English working-class masculinity is unusual and timely . . . This is certainly not a light-hearted book, but it offers the true consolation of some very good writing' Sarah Moss, TLS 'A penetrating study of grief and guilt' Daily Mail
M.C. Beaton (1936-2019) was the author of both the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series, as well as numerous Regency romances. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages and have sold more than twenty-one million copies worldwide. She is consistently the most borrowed UK adult author in British libraries, and her Agatha Raisin books have been turned into a TV series on Sky.
'No wonder she's been crowned Queen of Cosy Crime' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'A Beaton novel is like The Archers on speed' DAILY MAIL 'The detective novels of M C Beaton have reached cult status' THE TIMES 'Irresistible, unputdownable, a joy' ANNE ROBINSON Agatha Raisin returns for her 30th adventure . . . _____________ When private detective Agatha Raisin comes across a severed leg in a roadside hedge, it looks like she is about to become involved in a particularly gruesome murder. Looks, however, can be deceiving, as Agatha discovers when she is employed to investigate a case of industrial espionage at a factory where nothing is quite what it seems. The factory mystery soon turns to murder and a bad-tempered donkey turns Agatha into a national celebrity, before bringing her ridicule and shame. To add to her woes, Agatha finds herself grappling with growing feelings for her friend and occasional lover, Sir Charles Fraith. Then, as a possible solution to the factory murder unfolds, her own life is thrown into deadly peril. Will Agatha get her man at last? Or will the killer get her first? _____________ Praise for M. C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series 'The detective novels of M C Beaton, a master of outrageous black comedy, have reached cult status' The Times 'A Beaton novel is like The Archers on speed' Daily Mail 'Agatha is like Miss Marple with a drinking problem , a pack-a-day habit and major man lust. In fact, I think she could be living my dream life' Entertainment Weekly ' Agatha Raisin is sharp, witty, hugely intelligent, unfailingly entertaining. . . M C Beaton has created a new national treasure... the stories zing along and are irresistible, unputdownable, a joy. If you buy one book a year, let it be this. Agatha Raisin is The Strongest Link' Anne Robinson 'M. C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' Publishers Weekly 'Being a cranky, middle-aged female myself, I found Agatha charming!' Amazon customer review '[Agatha] is a glorious cross between Miss Marple, Auntie Mame, and Lucille Ball , with a tad of pit bull tossed in. She's wonderful' St. Petersburg Times 'Anyone interested in . . . intelligent, amusing reading will want to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Agatha Raisin' Atlanta Journal-Constitution ' Few things in life are more satisfying than to discover a brand-new Agatha Raisin mystery' Tampa Tribune-Times 'Beaton has a winner in the irrepressible, romance-hungry Agatha' Chicago Sun-Times
The latest Agatha Raisin mystery from bestselling author M. C. Beaton The team of bells at St. Ethelred church is the pride and glory of the idyllic Cotswolds village of Thirk Magna, together with the most dedicated bell ringers in the whole of England: the twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin. As the village gets ready for the Bishop's visit, the twins get overly excited at the prospect of ringing the special peal of bells created for the occasion and start bullying the other bell ringers, forcing them to rehearse and rehearse . . . so much so that Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer, yells at the sisters that he 'felt like killing them'! When the twins' home is broken into one night and Millicent is found dead, struck from a hammer blow, suspicion falls onto the lawyer. Will Agatha unmask the real killer and clear Joseph's name?
A therapist had moved into the village of Carsely and Agatha Raisin hates her. Not only was this therapist, Jill Davent, romancing Agatha's ex-husband, but she had dug up details of Agatha's slum background. Added to that, Jill was counselling a woman called Gwen Simple from Winter Parva and Agatha firmly believed Gwen to have assisted her son in some grisly murders, although has no proof she had done so. A resentment is different from a dislike and needs to be shared, so as the friendship between James and Jill grows stronger, the more Agatha does to try to find out all she can about her. When Jill is found strangled to death in her office two days' later, Agatha finds herself under suspicion - and must fight to clear her name.
Toil and trouble in store for Agatha! Cotswolds inhabitants are used to bad weather, but the night sky is especially foggy as Rory and Molly Harris, the new vicar and his wife, drive slowly home from a dinner party in their village of Sumpton Harcourt. They struggle to see the road ahead - but then screech to a halt. Right in front of them, aglow in the headlights of their car, a body hangs from a lightning-blasted tree at the edge of town. But it's not suicide; Margaret Darby, an elderly spinster of the parish, has been murdered - and the villagers are bewildered as to who would commit such a crime, and why. Agatha Raisin rises to the occasion, delighted to have some excitement back in her life as if truth be told, she was getting bored of the long run of lost cats and divorces on the books. But Sumpton Harcourt is an isolated and unfriendly village, she finds a place that poses more questions than answers. And when two more murders follow the first, Agatha begins to fear for her reputation - and her life. That the village has its own coven of witches certainly doesn't make her feel any better...
The bossy, vain and irresistible Agatha is back in her latest adventure - her 24th in the series.
@2@@20@Love, like hell, is a four-letter word for Agatha . . . @21@@3@@2@No happily ever after for her! Recently married to neighbour James Lacey, Agatha quickly finds that love is not all it's cracked up to be - soon the newly-weds are living in separate cottages and accusing each other of infidelity. Then, after a fight down the local pub, James vanishes - a bloodstain the only clue to his fate. Naturally, Agatha is Suspect Number One. Determined to clear her name - and find her husband - Agatha begins her investigation and promptly discovers a murdered mistress . . .@3@@16@@2@@20@Praise for the Agatha Raisin series:@21@@3@@2@'Sharp, witty, hugely intelligent, unfailingly entertaining, delightfully intolerant and oh so magnificently non-PC, M.C. Beaton has created a national treasure' Anne Robinson@3@@2@'M.C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' @18@Publishers Weekly@19@@3@@2@'The Miss Marple-like Raisin is a refreshing, sensible, wonderfully eccentric, thoroughly likeable heroine' @18@Booklist@19@@3@
Former naval doctor Peter Crane is summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to diagnose a bizarre medical condition. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies on "Deep Storm," a research facility on the ocean floor.
Winter Parva, a traditional Cotswolds village next door to Carsely, has decided to throw a celebratory hog roast to mark the beginning of the winter holiday festivities and Agatha Raisin has arrived with friend and rival in the sleuthing business, Toni, to enjoy the merriment. But, as the spit pig is carried towards the bed of fiery charcoal, Agatha - and the rest of the village - realise that things aren't as they seem... Very quickly it transpires that the spit pig is in fact Gary Beech, a policeman not much loved in Winter Parva. And although Agatha has every intention of leaving the affair to the police, she rapidly changes her mind when she finds out Gary's ex-wife has hired Toni to investigate. Cantankerous and competitive as Agatha is, she has to now join the fray and try and solve the case herself! Praise for M C Beaton's Agatha Raisin series: 'I know I once vowed to read only Agatha Christie for a year but I cheated. My No. 1 mistress, M.C. Beaton and her Agatha Raisin whodunits. Agatha is like Miss Marple with a drinking problem, a pack a day habit and major man lust. In fact, I think she may be living my dream life' Entertainment Weekly. 'Once again M. C. Beaton has concocted an amusing brew of mystery and romance that will keep her fans turning the pages' Publisher's Weekly. 'Pure entertainment ' The Guardian.
When Agatha finds the council chairman murdered at the basin of Ancombe village spring, tongues start wagging. The seventh Agatha Raisin murder mystery with brand new cover design.
*** WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016 *** WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL 2016 WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION 2016 'A fierce novel written in a refreshingly high style and charged with intelligent rage' Financial Times It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today. 'A bold, artful and globally minded reimagining of the Vietnam war . . . The Sympathizer is an excellent literary novel, and one that ends, with unsettling present-day resonance, in a refugee boat where opposing ideas about intentions, actions and their consequences take stark and resilient human form' the Guardian 'Beautifully written and meaty' Claire Messud '[A] remarkable debut novel . . . In its final chapters, The Sympathizer becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet' New York Times 'This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War ... Nguyen's darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we've rarely seen' Oprah.com (Oprah's Book Club Suggestions)
Sergeant Hamish Macbeth - Scotland's most quick-witted but unambitious policeman - returns in M.C. Beaton's new mystery in her New York Times bestselling series. Nobody loves an honest man, or that was what police sergeant Hamish Macbeth tried to tell newcomer Paul English. Paul attended church in Lochdubh. He told the minister, Mr. Wellington, that his sermons were boring. He told tweedy Mrs. Wellington that she was too fat. Angela Brody was told her detective stories were pap for the masses and it was time she wrote literature instead. He accused Hamish of having dyed his fiery red hair. He told Jessie Currie - who repeated all the last words of her twin sister - that she needed psychiatric help. 'I speak as I find,' he bragged. Voices saying, 'I could kill that man,' could be heard from Lochdubh to Cnothan. And someone did. Now Hamish is faced with a bewildering array of suspects. And he's lost the services of his clumsy policeman, Charlie, who has resigned from the force after throwing Chief Inspector Blair into the loch. Can Hamish find the killer on his own? Praise for M. C. Beaton 'The much-loved Hamish Macbeth series . . . a beguiling blend of wry humour and sharp observations of rural life' The Good Book Guide 'It's always a special treat to return to Lochdubh' New York Times ' First rate . . . deft social comedy and wonderfully realised atmosphere' Booklist ' M C Beaton's Hamish Macbeth books are a delight: clever, intricate and sardonic ' Kerry Greenwood
Allotment wars! Lord Bellington, Carsely's biggest landholder, has enraged locals by saying he is going to sell off their allotments to make way for a new housing development. So when he turns up dead, poisoned by antifreeze, nobody mourns his passing. On another fine summer's day Agatha visits Carsley's allotments where everything looks peaceful and perfect: people of all ages digging in the soil and working hard to grow their own fruit and veg. Agatha feels almost tempted to take on a strip herself . . . but common sense soon prevails. She doesn't really like getting her hands dirty. She is introduced to three oldtimers who have just taken over a new strip; Harry Perry, Bunty Daventry and Josephine Merriweather are lamenting the neglected condition of the patch. But as Harry starts to shovel through the weeds and grass his spade comes across something hard so he bends down and tries to move the object. And then he starts to yell . . . The body is that of Peta Currie, a newcomer to the village - but who would want to murder her? Blonde and beautiful she's every local male's favourite. And then Lord Bellingham's son engages Agatha to do some digging of her own and very soon Agatha is thrown into a world of petty feuds, jealousies and disputes over land. It would seem that far from being tiny gardens of Eden, Carsley's allotments are local battlefields where passions - and the bodycount - run high! Praise for the Agatha Raisin series: 'Sharp, witty, hugely intelligent, unfailingly entertaining, delightfully intolerant and oh so magnificently non-PC, M.C. Beaton has created a national treasure' Anne Robinson 'M.C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' Publishers Weekly 'The Miss Marple-like Raisin is a refreshing, sensible, wonderfully eccentric, thoroughly likeable heroine' Booklist
There are many ruined castles in Scotland. One such lies outside the village of Drim. Hamish begins to hear reports that this castle is haunted and lights have been seen there at night, but he assumes it's some children or maybe the local lads going there to smoke pot, or, worse, inject themselves with drugs. Hamish says to his policeman, Charlie 'Clumsy' Carson, that they will both spend a night there. The keening wind explains the ghostly noises, but when Charlie falls through the floor, Hamish finds the body of a dead man propped up in a corner of the cellar. After Charlie is airlifted to the hospital, Chief Detective Inspector Blair arrives to investigate the body, but there is none to be found. Dismissed as a drunk making up stories, Hamish has to find and identify the body and its killer before the "ghost" can strike again.
When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joins the local fishing class she wastes no time in ruffling the feathers - or should that be fins? - of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue is Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth, yet not even Hamish thinks someone would seriously want to silence Lady Jane's shrill voice permanently - until her strangled body is fished out of the river. Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must steer a course through the choppy waters of the tattler's life to find a murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren't willing to talk, and the dead woman telling no tales, Hamish may well be in over his head for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers when cornered usually do strike again.
It can be hell in high water! Drowned brides are like buses: nothing for ages, then two come along at the same time . . . ! Abandoned by husband James, Agatha hops on a plane to the South Pacific, hoping to mend her broken heart. But there she meets a happy honeymooning couple, for whom disaster strikes when, tragically, the bride drowns. Back home, alarm bells start ringing for Agatha when a woman, dressed in a wedding gown, is swept down river. The police say suicide, but Agatha, spurred on by recent memories, particularly her own disastrous marriage, sets out to prove them wrong. Praise for the Agatha Raisin series: 'Sharp, witty, hugely intelligent, unfailingly entertaining, delightfully intolerant and oh so magnificently non-PC, M.C. Beaton has created a national treasure' Anne Robinson 'M.C. Beaton's imperfect heroine is an absolute gem' Publishers Weekly 'The Miss Marple-like Raisin is a refreshing, sensible, wonderfully eccentric, thoroughly likeable heroine' Booklist 'Once started, you'll have a job to put it down until you've finished' Amazon reader, Kent 'Another wonderful tale about Agatha and her chums ... Long live Aggie!' Bookworm, Essex