Murder, Magic and Magnificence

Presenting Our Books of the Month for October

Murder mysteries may be a staple of fiction, but two debut talents have separately discovered bold new directions. In the time-looping The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, Stuart Turton turns the genre on its head (think Poirot meets Inception), whilst Nicki Thornton’s The Last Chance Hotel takes a pinch of Agatha Christie and mixes it into a magic cauldron of children’s adventure. Norwegian Woods Lars Mytting takes up his novelist’s pen for a charged account of families and war in The Sixteen Trees of Somme, and Matthew Kneale brings intimate local knowledge to Rome: A History in Seven Sackings.


Fiction Book of the Month

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For decades, secrets have haunted Edvard’s family. The arrival of a beautifully-made coffin from his grandfather’s supposedly-dead brother opens a journey that will take Edvard across Europe and the devastating legacy of two world wars. From the author of the breakaway hit Norwegian Wood, European literary superstar Lars Mytting reveals his elegant skills as novelist in this perfectly-plotted tale of family conflict and the divisive toll of war.

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Non-Fiction Book of the Month

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English Passengers author Matthew Kneale is your expert guide to the city that has truly outlived all others - Rome. Even today, visitors can regard the same sights gazed upon by Cicero and Julius Caesar, but from the Gauls to the Nazis, how has Rome continued to flourish? Through the histories of seven key sackings, Kneale sets out to prove that threat has served as the city’s lifeblood, revealing along the way a fascinating tapestry of travelogue and cultural history.

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Thriller of the Month

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‘Original’, ‘unique’, ‘fiendishly clever’ and ‘remarkable’: critics have been knocked for six by Stuart Turton’s mind-blowing take on the country house thriller. The setup – a murder, a set of assembled guests – seems familiar, but the execution is anything but: our narrator is to assume a different life at the outset of each day, doomed to witness the act again and again. He must discover the killer’s identity to be released from the loop, but plot twist after plot twist will render freedom ever more remote...

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Children's Book of the Month

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Nicki Thornton’s debut fuses magic and whodunit together in an exuberant mystery for 9 to 12-year-olds. Aspirant chef Seth is the downtrodden kitchen boy for The Last Chance Hotel, an unusual guest house for very unusual guests. Wrongfully accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Seth – with the help of Nightshade, the kitchen cat – sets about proving his innocence. A wild imagination, fabulous cast and a plot Agatha Christie would be proud of make for one of the year’s must-reads for children.

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Scottish Book of the Month

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Over the course of more than 20 novels (including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Loitering with Intent), Muriel Spark became a gifted giant of British literature. Personal friend Alan Taylor plunges into the myths and controversies of Spark’s eventful life, emerging with a portrait of a spirited talent who never lost sight of her Scottish origins, despite being fêted across the world. ‘it’s a delight to read a memoir of an author,’ writes Allan Massie in the Scotsman, ‘that celebrates friendship rather than disparaging its subject.’

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Irish Book of the Month

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Travelling in a Strange Land is a novel of atonement. Tom is middle-aged, a father of three, a man juggling with the present to push aside spectres of the past. Laying ahead, a mission to collect his son Luke from university in Sunderland; the weather, however, has set in, making passage by air from Belfast impossible. The rescue must be by ferry and car. What follows is an extraordinary voyage into Tom’s sense of his flawed self, punctuated by random incident and the gulf of his own inner anger and grief. Brilliant, sparse, knowing, David Park’s eleventh book lives long with its essential truth.

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Books of the Month

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
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Gail Honeyman
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
This is Going to Hurt
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Adam Kay
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
Sapiens
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Yuval Noah Harari
In stock online £9.99   £7.49 Paperback
The Hate U Give
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Angie Thomas
In stock online £7.99   £5.99 Paperback
A Gentleman in Moscow
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Amor Towles
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
The Shortest History of Germany
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James Hawes
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
Travellers in the Third Reich
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Julia Boyd
In stock online £10.99   £8.99 Paperback
Reasons to Stay Alive
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Matt Haig
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
Boy Underwater
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Adam Baron
In stock online £6.99   £4.99 Paperback
Heartburn
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Nora Ephron
In stock online £9.99   £7.49 Paperback
The House with Chicken Legs
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Sophie Anderson
In stock online £6.99   £4.99 Paperback
The Seabird's Cry
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Adam Nicolson
In stock online £9.99   £7.49 Paperback
The Hidden Life of Trees
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Peter Wohlleben
In stock online £9.99 Paperback
When Breath Becomes Air
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Paul Kalanithi
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
Autumn
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Ali Smith
In stock online £8.99 Paperback
The Silk Roads
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Peter Frankopan
In stock online £10.99   £8.49 Paperback
Grief is the Thing with Feathers
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Max Porter
In stock online £7.99 Paperback
The History of Bees
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Maja Lunde
In stock online £8.99 Paperback
The Girl of Ink & Stars
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Kiran Millwood Hargrave
In stock online £6.99   £4.99 Paperback
Slow Horses
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Mick Herron
In stock online £8.99 Paperback
The End We Start From
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Megan Hunter
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
If We Were Villains
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M. L. Rio
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
The Diary of a Young Girl
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Anne Frank
In stock online £8.99   £6.99 Paperback
Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball
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Laura Ellen Anderson
In stock online £6.99 Paperback