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Holiday Reading List

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Crime/Detective fiction by women

    Sleeping Murder

    This is a BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation starring June Whitfield as Miss Marple, the sharp-witted spinster sleuth. Gwenda Reed arrives from New Zealand, travelling ahead of her husband with the task of finding the perfect place to make their base. In the quiet village of Dilmouth, she finds a house with immediate appeal. A few renovations will convert it into her ideal home. Then things get very strange indeed. Wanting porch stairs, Gwenda hires a builder to put them in - only to find some old steps, covered up by bushes. She decides on a connecting doorway between the drawing-room and the dining-room, but discovers one already there, now plastered over. When she opens the painted-over doors of an old cupboard to find wallpaper exactly the same as she had imagined, she begins to wonder if she is going mad. It takes Miss Marple to realise that an unsolved murder is behind Gwenda's apparent intuition - but even she does not suspect the murderer will strike again...

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    Murder on the Orient Express

    A facsimile first edition hardback of Poirot's most famous book, published to mark the 80th anniversary of his first appearance. Just after midnight, a snowdrift stopped the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train was surprisingly full for the time of the year. But by the morning there was one passenger fewer. An American lay dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. With tension mounting, detective Hercule Poirot comes up with not one, but two solutions to the crime. To mark the 80th anniversary of Hercule Poirot's first appearance, and to celebrate his renewed fortunes as a primetime television star, this launch title in a collection of facsimile first editions is the perfect way to experience Agatha Christie. Reproducing the original typesetting and format of the first edition from the Christie family's own archive, this book sports the original cover which has been painstakingly restored to its original glory.

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    Fingersmith

    The book that inspired Park Chan-wook's astonishing film The Handmaiden.Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker PrizeLondon 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves - fingersmiths - under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.

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    Among the Mad

    Christmas Eve,1931. On the way to see a client, Maisie Dobbs witnesses a man commit suicide on a busy London street. The following day, the Home Secretary receives a letter threatening a massive loss of life if certain demands are not met. Maisie is invited into Scotland Yard's elite Special Branch as a special adviser on the case - and becomes involved in a race against time to find a man who soon proves he has the knowledge, and will, to murder thousands of innocent people. Before this harrowing case is over, Maisie must negotiate her way through a darkness not encountered since she was a nurse in wards filled with shell-shocked men. In Among the Mad, Jacqueline Winspear combines a heart-stopping story with a rich evocation of a fascinating period to create her most compelling and satisfying novel yet.

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