As a boy, he spied for Sherlock Holmes. As a man, he must save the Empire. London 1909: The British Empire seems invulnerable. But Captain Vernon Kell, head of counter-intelligence at the War Office, knows better. In Russia, revolution; in Germany, an arms race; in London, the streets are alive with foreign terrorists. Kell wants to set up a Secret Service, but to convince his political masters he needs proof of a threat - and to find that, he needs an agent he can trust. The playing fields of Eton may produce good officers, but not men who can work undercover in a munitions factory that appears to be leaking secrets to the Germans. Kell needs Wiggins. Trained as a child by Kell's old friend Sherlock Holmes - he led a gang of urchin investigators known as the Baker Street Irregulars - Wiggins is an ex-soldier with an expert line in deduction and the cunning of a born street fighter. 'The best', says Holmes. Wiggins turns down the job - he 'don't do official'. But when his best friend is killed by Russian anarchists, Wiggins sees that the role of secret agent could take him towards his sworn revenge. Tracking the Russian gang, Wiggins meets a mysterious beauty called Bela, who saves his life. Working for Kell, he begins to unravel a conspiracy that reaches far beyond the munitions factory. The Irregular is by H B Lyle.
All trails became dead-ends. Tips that had at first seemed urgent now faded away. The waiting game began. Whoever had the manuscripts would want money, and a lot of it. They would surface eventually, but where and when, and how much would they want? The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University. Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald's only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace. Dealing in stolen books is a dark business, and few are initiated to its arts - which puts Bruce Kable right on the FBI's Rare Asset Recovery Unit's watch list. A struggling writer burdened by debts, Mercer Mann spent summers on Florida's idyllic Camino Island as a kid, in her grandmother's beach cottage. Now she is being made an offer she can't refuse: to return to the peace of the island, to write her novel - and get close to a certain infamous bookseller, and his interesting collection of manuscripts ... Camino Island is by John Grisham
Ravi Chandra Singh is the last guy you'd expect to become a private detective. A failed religious scholar, he now works for Golden Sentinels, an upmarket London private investigations agency. His colleagues are a band of gleefully amoral and brilliant screw-ups: Ken and Clive, brutal ex-cops who are also a couple; Mark Chapman, a burned-out stoner hiding a great mind; Marcie Holder, a cheerful former publicist; Benjamin Lee, a techie prankster from South London; David Okri, an ambitious lawyer from a well-connected Nigerian family; and Olivia Wong, an upper-class Hong Kong financial analyst hiding her true skills as one of the most dangerous hackers in the world-all under the watchful eye of Roger Golden, wheeler-dealer extraordinaire, and his mysterious office manager, Cheryl Hughes. Thrust into a world where the rich, famous, and powerful hire him to solve their problems and wash their dirty laundry, Ravi finds himself in over his head with increasingly bizarre and complex cases - and the visions that he's been having of Hindu gods aren't helping. As Ravi struggles to stay ahead of danger, he wonders if the things he's seeing are a delusion - or if he might, in fact, be an unrecognised shaman of the modern world... Her Nightly Embrace is by Adi Tantimedh.
Sleeping in the Ground is by Peter Robinson. A shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course. But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for. When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.
Light Touch is by Stephen Leather. Working undercover is all about trust - getting the target to trust you and then betraying them in order to bring them to justice. But what do you do when you believe an undercover cop has crossed the line and aligned herself with the international drugs smuggler she was supposed to be targeting? When a deep-undercover cop stops passing on intelligence about her target, MI5 sends in Dan 'Spider' Shepherd to check that she is on the straight and narrow. Now two lives are on the line - and Shepherd discovers that the real danger is closer to home than he realised. As Spider finds his loyalties being tested to the limit, an SAS killer is on a revenge mission in London and only Spider can stop him.
Scotland, 1934. Fair is foul and foul is fair as aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver heads off to Castle Bewer to solve a mystery of a missing ruby necklace and a tragic family curse. She arrives as the residents are preparing to stage a production of Macbeth, yet sinister goings on seem to be more than amateur dramatics. Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is by Catriona McPherson.
Rowan Petty is a conman down on his luck. Tinafey is a hooker who's tired of the streets. Their paths cross one snowy night in Reno, and they hit it off. An old friend of Petty's turns up with a rumour about a crew of American soldiers who smuggled two million dollars out of Afghanistan and stashed the money in an apartment in Los Angeles. He thinks Petty's just the guy to steal the cash. Petty thinks he hasn't got much to lose. He decides to drive down to L.A. to investigate. Tinafey decides to go with him. These might be the last decisions they will ever make. Smack is by Richard Lange.
Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can't afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied - by a man and a teenage girl. A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist - but Cara's fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can't possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder. Cara doesn't know what to trust: everything she's read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life? Did You See Melody is by Sophie Hannah.
Blood Sister is by Dreda Say Mitchell. They say blood is thicker than water. That's not going to stop it being spilled. Life hasn't been easy for the Miller family. Finally, mum Babs has had one bit of luck. She plans to share the profits with her daughters. She thought they'd be pleased...But money always causes trouble, especially when it's desperately needed. Jen wants to make a better life for her kids. Tiff owes a lot of bad men a lot of money. And Dee is worried that her husband is getting back into the criminal life. As the sisters fall out, a gold bullion heist brings more opportunities - and many more dangers. None of them are giving up without a fight...
The Zealot’s Bones is by D M Mark. From Hell, Hull and Halifax, may the Good Lord deliver us. In 1849, Hull is a city forgotten and abandoned; in the grip of a cholera outbreak that sees its poorest citizens cut down by the cartload. Into this world of flame and grief comes Mesach Stone, a former soldier, lost upon his way. He's been hired as bodyguard by a Canadian academic hunting for the bones of the apostle Simon the Zealot, rumoured to lie somewhere in Lincolnshire. Stone can't see why ancient bones are of interest in a world full of them...but then a woman he briefly loved is killed. As he investigates he realises that she is just one of many...and that some deaths cry out for vengeance.
Svalbard, Norway, 1977. Engineer Yuri takes the last boat to the Soviet outpost of Pyramiden, just as the sun sinks for three long months. When his ambitious assistant Semyon is found dead in a mine, the circumstances seem strange. Yuri still plays by Stalin-era rules: Don't trust anyone; Keep your head down; Look after number one. Yet is his tempestuous love affair with the fickle, brooding Anya blinding him? On an island where the vodka follows freely and anyone could be a secret agent, even the people closest to you are not always what they seem. The Reluctant Contact is by Stephen Burke
A family cloaked in secrets. A beguiling woman. A unique setting. Inspector Bordelli is back to solve one of the most difficult cases of his entire career in the sixth book in this atmospheric and evocative crime noir series by Marco Vichi. 1967. It is winter in Florence, and one year has passed since the city was devastated by the flood of the Arno. Though the waters have receded, the memories of that day continue to linger with the stains on the city walls. Residing in his farmhouse in the Florence hills, Inspector Bordelli is weighed down with remorse and yearning for the woman he has lost when a new case presents itself. An old, rich man loved by everyone he knew has been killed in his own Fiesole villa and the murderer has left no trace. While Bordelli questions the relatives and struggles to solve the intricacies of the crime, he encounters a stooped, worn figure, who he recognises as an old acquaintance from the War. Welcoming the man into his home, Bordelli sets out to help him recover with the aid of good food and good wine. But little does Bordelli know that his old friend is leading him ever closer to a mysterious woman - the person who holds the secrets at the heart of the mystery. Ghosts of The Past is by Marco Vichi.
The Deaths of December is by Susi Holliday. No one in the police station pays attention to the advent calendar until DC Becky Greene idly opens one of the windows… and discovers a crime scene. There are twenty-four doors. There’s a murder hidden behind twenty of them. Twenty supposedly unconnected deaths across the country, across the years – and at last the killer is claiming them. As the county relaxes into festive cheer, Greene and DS Eddie Carmine race against time to stop future deaths. Because there are still four doors left, and four murders will fill them.