New Acquisitions – December 2013

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

A lovely paperback version sent to me by Harper Collins (I must stop interacting with Publishers on twitter!)

Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose. But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. Unfortunately, before he could finish the letter, he was stabbed to death…

medeaThe Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

An ebook version obtained free from

1885. Anne Stanbury. Committed to a lunatic asylum, having been deemed insane and therefore unfit to stand trial for the crime of which she is indicted. But is all as it seems? Edgar Stanbury. The grieving husband and father who is torn between helping his confined wife recover her sanity and seeking revenge on the woman who ruined his life.

Dr George Savage. The well-respected psychiatrist and chief medical officer of Bethlem Royal Hospital. Ultimately, he holds Anne’s future wholly in his hands.

burnablebookA Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger.

Another book received from HarperCollins, due out at the end of January

In Chaucer’s London, betrayal, murder and intrigue swirl around the existence of a prophetic book that foretells the deaths of England’s kings. A Burnable Book is an irresistible thriller, reminiscent of classics like An Instance of the Fingerpost, The Name of the Rose and The Crimson Petal and the White.

London, 1385. Surrounded by ruthless courtiers—including his powerful uncle, John of Gaunt, and Gaunt’s flamboyant mistress, Katherine Swynford—England’s young, still untested king, Richard II, is in mortal peril, and the danger is only beginning. Songs are heard across London—catchy verses said to originate from an
ancient book that prophesies the end of England’s kings—and among the book’s predictions is Richard’s assassination. Only a few powerful men know that the cryptic lines derive from a “burnable book,” a seditious work that threatens the stability of the realm. To find the manuscript, wily bureaucrat Geoffrey Chaucer turns to fellow poet John Gower, a professional trader in information with connections high and low.

manningsistersThe Manning Sisters by Debbie Macomber

When Taylor Manning accepts a teaching job in Cougar Point, Montana, she discovers that life there is very different from life in Seattle. So are the men She soon notices a handsome, opinionated, stubborn rancher named Russ Palmer, and he notices her. In fact, they more than notice each other…. After only a few months, Taylor’s certain of one thing. Despite their conflicting backgrounds, she’d love to be The Cowboy’s Lady.

The first day Christy Manning visits her sister, Taylor, she meets Sheriff Cody Franklin. To Christy’s shock–and Cody’s–they’re immediately attracted to each other. Intensely attracted. There’s a problem, though. Christy’s engaged to someone else, someone back in Seattle. So what’s the solution? See what happens when The Sheriff Takes a Wife…

On loan from another Macomber fan (with warnings about being rather “romance-y”….!

strangenorrellJonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Read this years ago, but found a copy in a charity shop over the Christmas period, so brought another copy

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England’s history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England—until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.

Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell’s student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.


And coming into the books I received at Christmas!

12251225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber

The people of Cedar Cove know how to celebrate Christmas. Like Grace and Olivia and everyone else, Beth Morehouse expects this Christmas to be one of her best. Her small Christmas-tree farm is prospering, her daughters and her dogs are happy and well, and her new relationship with local vet Ted Reynolds is showing plenty of romantic promise.But…someone recently left a basket filled with puppies on her doorstep, puppies she’s determined to place in good homes. That’s complication number one. And number two is that her daughters Bailey and Sophie have invited their dad, Beth’s ex-husband, Kent, to Cedar Cove for Christmas. The girls have visions of a mom-and-dad reunion dancing in their heads.As always in life ? and in Cedar Cove ? there are surprises, too. More than one family’s going to have a puppy under the tree. More than one scheme will go awry. And more than one romance will have a happy ending What would the holidays be without a newChristmas story from Debbie Macomber?

The ShuttleThe Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Shuttle is about American heiresses marrying English aristocrats; by extension it is about the effect of American energy, dynamism and affluence on an effete and impoverished English ruling class. Sir Nigel Anstruthers crosses the Atlantic to look for a rich wife and returns with the daughter of an American millionaire, Rosalie Vanderpoel. He turns out to be a bully, a miser and a philanderer and virtually imprisons his wife in the house. Only when Rosalie’s sister Bettina is grown up does it occur to her and her father that some sort of rescue expedition should take place. And the beautiful, kind and dynamic Bettina leaves for Europe to try and find out why Rosalie has, inexplicably, chosen to lose touch with her family. In the process she engages in a psychological war with Sir Nigel; meets and falls in love with another Englishman; and starts to use the Vanderpoel money to modernize ‘Stornham Court’.

twomrsabbottsThe Two Mrs Abbotts by D. E. Stevenson

Mrs Abbott is flustered at the thought of putting up a lady from the Red Cross, but is happily surprised when she turns out to be an old friend from her previous life as Miss Buncle, infamous writer.

Of course, she’s now far too busy with her children to write, not to mention helping out in the lives of the villagers. And with a possible spy in their midst, evacuated families, potential love matches and a visit from a famous writer, she’s got her work cut out for her. Luckily for her, the other Mrs Abbott is around to help.

My Review of Miss Buncle’s Book

highwagesHigh Wages by Dorothy Whipple

Read this recently, but didnt get my own Persephone edition, so this is it!

It is about a girl called Jane who gets a badly-paid job in a draper’s shop in the early years of the last century. Yet the title of the book is based on a Carlyle quotation – ‘Experience doth take dreadfully high wages, but she teacheth like none other’ – and Jane, having saved some money and been lent some by a friend, opens her own dress-shop.

My review of the book can be found here

greenbanksGreenbanks by Dorothy Whipple

An early novel by Persephone’s most popular author about an early 20th century family and, in particular, the relationship of the grandmother and granddaughter.

Greenbanks was Dorothy Whipple’s third novel – her first was Young Anne and her second High Wages (see above!)






13 thoughts on “New Acquisitions – December 2013

  1. So jealous of your copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as I think that is Agatha Christie’s best book. I enjoyed The Medea Complex too. The Shuttle looks intriguing, I loved Frances Hodgeton Burnett’s books as a child, so off to check this one out.


  2. check out Persephone books for The Shuttle – their grey covers are lovely! (and interact with publishers on twitter – that’s how I got Agatha Christie!)


  3. Agatha Christie–I used to LOVE reading her books! I still have quite a few of them on my shelves. My favorites where Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express, and Funerals Are Fatal. Enjoy!


    • It’s always interesting to see the difference between the source material and all the adaptations. You think you know “whodunnit” but quite often how you get there is not the same!


  4. I also like Debbie Macomber books, and I have a few Agatha Christie books on my bookshelf to read, maybe I will get to them in 2014. It looks like you will have a fun reading year in 2014.


    • I was sent “Roger” by the publishers, who were releasing it under a new print. Lovely edition too, with great paper and front cover (couldnt find one on the internet to match)


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