Ebook Spring Sale Titles

Spring has arrived and with it some great new books for your e-reader, currently on sale for under a pound!

EVT saleHead to the country with two of our most beloved authors. Three titles from the great E.V. Thomspon are available: God’s Highlander, Blue Dress Girl and The Bonds of Earth. Alternatively, head further north to Yorkshire and try two reads from Nicholas Rhea, the author of the Constable… books: Constable Across and the Moors and Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey.

kitsonIf crime fiction is more your style, two of Bill Kitson’s Mike Nash crime stories are part of the sale: Depth of Despair and Chosen.

Author Wendy Perriam heads to Broken Places for her story but if you prefer things a little more regal then don’t despair – A Crown of Despair by Jenny Mandeville is also part of the sale.

Sh! A Vow of Silence by Veronica Black is available, or you could enjoy a Star-Crossed Summer with Sarah Stanley.

Nicholas RheaIf the spring has made you want to travel the world, you can head to Berlin with The Boy from Berlin by Michael Parker or see for yourself what living in Venice is really like with Polly Coles’s The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice.

If you like your stories dark then try The Pershore Poisoners by Kerry Tombs or wartime fiction The Lambs by Peter James Cottrell.

For those with a Nook, there are also two great Maggie Lane titles available on Jane Austen.

Jane AustenHappy reading and here’s to more great weather and reading outdoors!

David C. Hanrahan on the The Great Fraud on the Bank of England

The Great Fraud on the Bank of EnglandDavid C. Hanrahan is a former headteacher who lectures at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has authored a number of books on British history, including The First Great Train Robbery. He has also written for BBC History Magazine and has worked as historical consultant on the BBC television programme Days That Shook the World.

Here he discusses what made him write The Great Fraud on the Bank of England

I SUPPOSE one of the first things that attracted me to the story of The Great Fraud on the Bank of England was that, although an actual true event that occurred in March 1873, it seems more like a fictional crime thriller featuring a bank robbery, daring escapes, exotic international locations, opulent lifestyles, danger, violence, romance and treachery. The fraud on the bank was an audacious crime of unprecedented proportions for Victorian England, perpetrated by an experienced gang of professional American criminals.

When the news broke that the Bank of England had been robbed of over £100,000, it caused a sensation not only in London but all around the world. The fraud had been planned and executed by an American criminal gang made up of two brothers, George and Austin Bidwell, and their accomplices, George Macdonnell and Edwin Noyes Hills. My book tells the full story of their fascinating crime for the first time, detailing their somewhat surprising backgrounds, their meticulous preparations, and the life of luxury they enjoyed in London from the proceeds of the daring fraud.

As I reseached the crime, I found myself interested not only in the efforts made by the perpetrators to escape justice, but also in the determination shown by their pursuers to have them arrested. The investigation into the fraud involved police forces from both sides of the Atlantic and even the famous Pinkerton National Detective Agency. The hunt became every bit as intriguing as the crime itself and led the investigators to Ireland, Scotland, France, the United States and even Cuba, where one of the gang members was living as a respected member of the community.

I think an eminent judge, speaking at the time, put it best when he said that ‘for the audacity of its conception, the magnitude of the fraud perpetrated, and the misdirected skill and ingenuity with which it was attempted to be carried into effect [the crime was] without a parallel.’

- David C. Hanrahan

The Great Fraud on the Bank of England by David C. Hanrahan will be published on 30th April 2014

Millie Vigor discusses the legend of Davy Jones’s Locker

Millie VigorMillie Vigor was born in Dorset and was educated at Ludwell village school. At fourteen she left to start work and she considers this the beginning of her real education. Throughout her many jobs; kitchenmaid, farm-worker, glove-maker, canteen cook and B&B landlady she took note of what made people tick and of sights and sounds, and stored this all away to use later, in her writing.

In addition to articles and short stories sold to various magazines, her autobiographical book, Kippers for Breakfast, was published in 2003. She lives in Shetland with her constant companion, a cat called Harriet.

Her previous books in this Shetland trilogy, Catherine of Deepdale and No Skylarks Sing, were also published by Robert Hale.

Here she explains why Paying Davy Jones was chosen as the title of her new book…

The Catherine of Deepdale trilogy follows Catherine’s life from 1946 up to the 1970s, time of the North Sea Oil boom. The discovery of North Sea Oil radically changed the life of the Shetland Islands people. The population, then about 22,000, doubled almost overnight when workers were brought in to build the oil terminal at Sullom Voe. There was work for everyone and good money to be earned.

Catherine worried about the outcome of it all. ‘The oil companies are robbing Davy Jones’s Locker,’ she said to a friend. ‘And he will have to be paid.’

Paying Davy Jones by Millie VigorBut who was Davy Jones and where was his locker?

Davy Jones is thought by men of the sea to be the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep. They hate him because he is seen as a portent of death. All things that go to the bottom of the sea go to Davy Jones’s locker. Davy Jones’s locker is the sea bed. And what is under it? Oil.

Was Catherine right? Did Davy Jones exact his fee?

Yes, he did. Tankers spilled oil. Torrey Canyon foundered off Cornwall. In 1982 the Esso Bernicia at Sullom Voe caused a major disaster. There were many others. A Dan Air plane carrying oil workers on leave crashed on take-off.  17 died. A Chinook helicopter went into the sea a mile and a half from shore. 43 died that day. And who doesn’t know about the fire on the Piper Alpha drilling platform. 167 men died, 61 survived.

Paying Davy Jones is dedicated to ‘the oilies’, the men who worked on the rigs, but is not just about all that. The story still follows Catherine and the lives of her family. Her children are now adult, her eldest boy working on an oil rig in order to earn enough money to buy the fishing boat he has set his heart on. He is on Piper Alpha, said to the safest rig in the North Sea.

Is he going to be among the survivors of the fire that destroyed it?

I’m not going to tell you.

- Millie Vigor

You can find out for yourself what happens when Paying Davy Jones by Millie Vigor is published by Robert Hale Ltd on 30 April

Joyce Cato discusses the origin of travelling cook Jenny Starling

Deadly Stuff by Joyce CatoJoyce Cato was born in Oxford and went on to work as a secretary before becoming a full-time writer. She returns this month with the latest offering in the Jenny Starling series.

Here, she discusses what made her write such a character.

Having created my own version of an ideal professional police detective in the Hillary Greene series (written under the name of Faith Martin) I found myself yearning for the more nostalgic, classic-style country-house mysteries of the golden age of English crime fiction. Like a lot of readers, I devoured every Agatha Christie novel I could find, from my early teens on, and never forget the delight to be found in coming across a previously unread Dorothy L Sayers or Edmund Crispin.  So, having read everything I could find from that period, I thought, why not write my own!  (Not that I would ever presume or dream to be counted in such esteemed company, naturally!)  Hence Jenny Starling was born – after all, a cook who travelled to country houses and other prime whodunnit destinations, she was just asking to become an amateur sleuth.  Add a dash of humour and a little more modern-day thinking to the mix, and the travelling cook mysteries were born.  And I can only hope that readers have had as much fun reading them as I have had writing them.

Jenny is the only child of a famous celebrity chef, and an eco-warrior mother, who went their separate ways during Jenny’s formative years.  She learned her culinary arts at her capricious Daddy’s knee of course, but also attended a local catering college, where she spent most of her time teaching her tutors how to make a proper Dundee cake.   Her tall, Junoesque figure attracts plenty of male attention, but now firmly in her mid-twenties (or so!) she is dedicatedly single, and likely to remain that way.  Her unrivalled sense of humour and steady head allow her to cope with most of the slings and arrows that outrageous fortune cast her way (usually in the form of murderous mayhem) and her moral compass keeps her (mostly) on the straight and narrow.  Although she doesn’t see herself as a detective, her clever mind and instinctive knowledge of human nature certainly helps her whenever she’s called upon to give the long-suffering local constabulary a helping hand.

- Joyce Cato

Praise for the Jenny Starling series

‘Joyce Cato has created a wonderful protagonist in Jenny Starling.’ – Mystery Women

‘Jenny is an attractive, intelligent Rubenesque heroine, and the cast of characters above and below stairs are captured affectionately and wittily’ – Euro Crime

‘[a] tenacious cook, with a razor-sharp mind’ – Oxford Times

This is the fifth book in the Jenny Starling series:

Birthdays Can Be Murder

A Fatal Fall of Snow

Dying for a Cruise

An Invisible Murder

Deadly Stuff by Joyce Cato is scheduled for publication on 30 April 2014

OUT NOW: Presentation Fly-Fishing by Jeremy Lucas

Presentation Fly-Fishing by Jeremy LucasJeremy Lucas is one of the most internationally recognized figures in the contemporary sport of fly-fishing for trout and grayling. A former England international in all disciplines – both river and still water – he has been European open champion and a world championship individual bronze medallist, while also winning team gold, silver and bronze medals in European and world championships. He is also one of only a few anglers ever to have won both the loch-style and the rivers home internationals. Jeremy is qualified by the Game Angling Instructors Association to APGAI level and has guided and coached throughout Britain and Europe. He has also been the coach for the Australian national fly-fishing team for world championships in Poland, Italy and Slovenia.

Presentation Fly-Fishing by Jeremy Lucas

Presentation Fly-Fishing is your comprehensive guide to fly-fishing for trout and grayling, using a minimalistic approach. It explores leader-to-hand and leader-only techniques with nymphs and dry flies, and from the basis of the contemporary state of the art in fly tackle and skills pushes the boundaries of the sport. The established dogma of the old school is questioned, reaching the limits of what is possible with the conventional approach, and presentation-based technique, which is radically changing the single-handed fly rod sport, particularly on rivers, is explained.

Both the fly line-dominated Western style and the Japanese fixed-line style are considered, converging into the leader-only style. Watercraft, techniques, tackle and flies are explained in depth, with consideration of the potential for development on both rivers and lakes. Taking on a fish-orientated approach, rather than one that focuses on the fly, casting or tackle, has been enormously liberating within the sport, and has resulted in a form of fly-fishing that is comprehensively more effective and efficient than hitherto, whilst also being supremely elegant. This book is ideal for anyone who is interested in the many benefits of this groundbreaking approach to the sport.

Presentation Fly-Fishing by Jeremy Lucas is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Presentation Fly-Fishing by Jeremy Lucas

OUT NOW: Aphrodite’s Island by Hilary Green

Aphrodite's Island by Hilary GreenHilary Green is a trained actress and spent many years teaching drama and running a youth theatre company. She has also written scripts for BBC Radio and won the Kythira short story prize. Hilary now lives in the Wirral and is a full-time writer.

Aphrodite’s Island by Hilary Green

In 1955, Cyprus is torn apart by EOKA and Ariadne’s family family is deeply involved, but her heart skips the divide on seeing the young officer, Stephen Allenby, when her house is searched by the British military. They have an affair, but when it becomes known, he is sent home.

In 1974 Stephen exists in a strained marriage  and miserable job, but resurgence of EOKA activity affords him the opportunity to return to the island, but with his wife and young daughter in tow, where he searches for remembrances of his youth.

In 1998, his daughter, Cressida, is now thirty-six and at a crossroads: her mother has died and her relationship has failed. She travels to Northern Cyprus to seek answers to the pain-filled memories of her father’s disappearance.

Two islands, two generations, and the duality of lovers.

Aphrodite’s Island gives us the eternal cycle of birth, procreation,  death and regeneration through blood sacrifice.

Praise for the author

‘Thrilling and passionate’ – Goodreads.com

‘Heartbreakingly realistic’ – Historical Novels Review

 Aphrodite’s Island by Hilary Green is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Aphrodite's Island by Hilary Green

OUT NOW: Buried in the Past by Bill Kitson

Buried in the Past by Bill KitsonBill Kitson, a retired finance executive, was born in West Yorkshire. He is an avid fan of cricket and cryptic crosswords and is also the former chairman of the Scarborough Writers’ Circle. Buried in the Past is the seventh instalment in the Mike Nash series, following Kitson’s gripping thrillers Depth of Despair, Chosen, Minds That Hate, Altered Egos, Back-Slash and Identity Crisis.

Buried in the Past by Bill Kitson

When a consignment of illicit diamonds en route to London vanishes, together with the couriers, it isn’t long before East End gangster Max Perry is found dead, having suffered horrific torture. Accused of killing a rival, Max’s nephew, Ray, is sentenced to life in prison.

He is released twenty-five years later and heading for Helmsdale when Ray is the victim of a hit and run, and D.I. Mike Nash is convinced it was no accident. Following the murder of a garage mechanic, Nash discovers a link to an unidentified skeleton found years ago in Helmsdale woodland.

How do crimes committed long ago in London connect to the current wave of violence in Helmsdale? As the body count rises, the detectives struggle to keep pace with those who would prefer the truth to remain dead and buried.

Praise for the Mike Nash series

‘Intelligent and complex enough to satisfy the most ardent of whodunit fan’ – milorambles.com

‘It’s all here, taking place in Yorkshire, and will please crime aficionados’ – Gazette & Herald

‘Mike Nash is a great creation’ – Shotsmag, Ron Ellis

‘An author who has expertly carved himself a niche in the crime thriller marketplace…he knows how to twist the corkscrew’ – Scarborough Evening News

Buried in the Past by Bill Kitson is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

Buried in the Past by Bill Kitson

OUT NOW: The Chimera Sanction by André Baby

The Chimera Sanction by André BabyAndré K. Baby is a Montreal-born lawyer and author. A former Crown prosecutor, his practice has focused mainly on the corporate and commercial aspects of international business. His appointments have included Regional Counsel to a major oil company, General Counsel to a Quebec airline and General Counsel to a Swiss multinational. He continues to mine the wealth of his varied and rich legal experience to forge the characters of his thrillers. The Chimera Sanction is his first novel published by Robert Hale.

The Chimera Sanction by André Baby

Pope Clement XXI is kidnapped, and the Curia, the Swiss Guard and the Italian police are overwhelmed. Thierry Dulac from Interpol is called in, but he too is thwarted at every turn. His investigations hint at secrets held for centuries, revenge and omerta in the arcane, twisting corridors of the Vatican itself. It seems the pontiff too has been less than open.

From within the hidden, shadowy world of the Vatican, the bustling Parisian boulevards and the charms of the Florentine piazzas, to the searing bleakness of the Great Sand Sea Desert, Dulac fights to prise open the plot which could cause havoc and disbelief amongst the billions of Catholics across the globe and bring the pontiff back to safety.

Nothing is as it seems in this intriguing, exciting novel from a new and talented author.

I made the mistake of cracking open the book on Friday evening. I finished it on Sunday at the expense of a briefcase full of work I’d brought home…  – Jim Duff, Editor, The Hudson Gazette

The Chimera Sanction by André Baby is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

The Chimera Sanction by André Baby

OUT NOW: A Passion for Mountains by Hannah Burrows-Smith

A Passion for Mountains by Hannah Burrows-SmithAmongst the contributors to this book are a number of authors of note, including John Barry, Martin Moran and Boardman Tasker Award-winner Victor Saunders. Many more have contributed articles to climbing and outdoor magazines.

The editor, Hannah Burrows-Smith is a British Mountain Guide. The daughter of a guide, she is originally from Aviemore, near the Cairngorms, and has spent many years climbing and skiing in the Scottish Highlands and widely throughout Europe.

A Passion for Mountains by Hannah Burrows-Smith

A Passion for Mountains presents a compilation of stories written by members of the British Mountain Guides. Documenting both personal climbing and mountaineering adventures as well as those shared with clients, the stories in this book represent the diversity of the mountain activities these professionals thrive on: from first ascents on British winter cliffs to thought-provoking ascents of north faces in the European Alps, and from the big walls of Yosemite and Patagonia to endurance when facing the challenges of the high Himalaya.

This fascinating account of mountaineering gives an insight into the climbing adventures that contribute to every Guide’s experience, and explores the difficulties that even some of the world’s most experienced mountaineers encounter when making decisions in the mountains.

It gives us a unique perspective into what motivates and drives climbers; where they find fulfilment and reward and at the same time how they deal with failure.

A Passion for Mountains by Hannah Burrows-Smith is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

A Passion for Mountains by Hannah Burrows-Smith

OUT NOW: The Fruit Gum Murders by Roger Silverwood

The Fruit Gum Murders by Roger Silverwood Son of a Yorkshire businessman, Roger Silverwood was educated in Gloucestershire before National Service. He later worked in the toy trade and as a copywriter in an advertising agency. Roger went into business with his wife as an antiques dealer before retiring in 1997.

The Fruit Gum Murders by Roger Silverwood

Inspector Angel and his team are faced with a baffling case when a fruit gum found at a murder scene becomes a significant clue in their investigation.  The discovery of a hospital porter, also poisoned, indicates that the killer has struck more than once and Angel is thrown headlong into a world of blackmail and deeply buried family secrets.

This is the intriguing twenty-first story in the highly successful Inspector Angel series.

Praise for the Author

‘Solid plotting, unpretentious writing, thoroughly reliable entertainment’ – Morning Star

‘Silverwood combines a classic mystery plot with well-developed characters’ – Publishers Weekly

The Fruit Gum Murders by Roger Silverwood is available to buy now with a limited time only discount of 30%

The Fruit Gum Murders by Roger Silverwood