Essie Fox’s THE LAST DAYS OF LEDA GREY published in paperback!

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Today Orion publish the UK paperback edition of Essie Fox’s enchanting novel THE LAST DAYS OF LEDA GREY which follows the life of a mysterious silent film actress and the turbulent events that left her isolated for over fifty years.

Follow this link for a look at the stunning trailer for the book.

On its initial publication last year it was selected as The Times’ Book of the Month. Antonia Senior described it as ‘luminous … with a sensuousness to the prose … Leda Grey’s world is utterly beguiling.’

During the oppressive heat wave of 1976 a young journalist, Ed Peters, finds an Edwardian photograph in a junk shop in the seaside town of Brightland. It shows an alluring, dark-haired girl, an actress whose name was Leda Grey. Enchanted by the image, Ed learns Leda Grey is still living - now a recluse in a decaying cliff-top house she once shared with a man named Charles Beauvois, a director of early silent film. As Beauvois's muse and lover, Leda often starred in scenes where stage magic and trick photography were used to astonishing effect.

But, while playing a cursed Egyptian queen, the fantasies captured on celluloid were echoed in reality, leaving Leda abandoned and alone for more than half a century - until the secrets of her past result in a shocking climax, more haunting than any to be in found in the silent films of Charles Beauvois.

Essie’s debut novel, THE SOMNAMBULIST, was shortlisted at the National Book Awards for New Writer of the Year, and was also picked up by TV Book Club. It has been published by Castelvechi in Italy and Damm in Sweden. Her other dazzling historical novels have also received glowing reviews. The Independent praised ELIJAH’S MERMAID for being ‘deliciously unsettling’ and John Koski from the Daily Mail You Magazine commended THE GODDESS AND THE THIEF as a ‘brilliantly imagined and wonderfully sustained piece of storytelling’.

Visit Essie Fox's website here

Visit Essie Fox's blog The Virtual Victorian here

You can also follow her on Twitter

 

Praise for THE LAST DAYS OF LEDA GREY

'...luminous...there is a sensuousness to the prose...Leda Grey's world is utterly beguiling.' -- Antonia Senior, The Times Book of the Month

‘a deliciously eerie affair…a story of obsession, jealousy, mysterious deaths and theatrically supernatural goings on as very strange truths are tantalisingly revealed’ – The Sunday Express

'Fans of Daphne du Maurier will love this haunting, atmospheric novel about a silent film actress: I was hooked from Page 1!' - Jane Harris, author of THE OBSERVATIONS and SUGAR MONEY

Essie Fox writes with passion and authority…bring[ing] to life some of the film stories of yesteryear, giving the reader a tantalising glimpse into the intriguing world of cinema history. Evocative and haunting, this story is beautifully told, it is multi-layered and hugely engaging. The characters are rich, mysterious and surprising and the setting is fabulous…The author has created a stifling atmosphere…so inventive, so surprising and quite enchanting.’ -- Random Things Through My Letter Box

‘Dark, haunting, compelling…equal to Daphne du Maurier’s novels. This book held me in its grip. Loved it.’ -- Liz Fenwick

‘Spent a sunny day hunched tensely over THE LAST DAYS OF LEDA GREY...Macabre, transporting, thick with atmosphere and allusion.’ -- Morgan McCarthy

‘I loved THE LAST DAYS OF LEDA GREY, I was haunted by it … a memorable and spooky read.’ – Barbara Erskine

Get ready for another thrilling adventure! Julian Stockwin’s THE BALTIC PRIZE out now in hardback

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THE BALTIC PRIZE, the latest addition to the acclaimed KYDD series published by Hodder & Stoughton is now out in hardback. THE BALTIC PRIZE is the nineteenth instalment of the historical fiction series which the Daily Mail called ‘engrossing’.

1808. Parted from his new bride, Captain Sir Thomas Kydd is called away to join the Northern Expedition to Sweden, now Britain's only ally in the Baltic. Following the sudden declaration of war by Russia and with the consequent threat of the czar's great fleet in St Petersburg, the expedition must defend Britain's dearly-won freedom in those waters.

However Kydd finds his popular fame as a frigate captain is a poisoned chalice; in the face of jealousy and envy from his fellow captains, the distrust of the commander-in-chief and the betrayal of friendship by a former brother-in-arms now made his subordinate, can he redeem his reputation?

In an entirely hostile sea Tyger ranges from the frozen north to the deadly confines of the Danish Sound - and plays a pivotal role in the situation ensuing after the czar's sudden attack on Finland. This climaxes in the first clash of fleets between Great Britain and Russia in history. To the victor will be the prize of the Baltic!

Julian will be attending a variety of events and book-signings around the UK this month to coincide with the book’s release.

The action-packed KYDD series has been published in seven countries including France, Japan and Russia.

About the Author

At 14 Stockwin joined a tough sea-training school, followed by the Royal Navy, transferring to the Royal Australian Navy when his family emigrated. He saw active service in the Far East, the Antarctic, the South Seas and Vietnam, and was on board the Melbourne at the time of its disastrous peace time collision with the Voyager. Later he worked for NATO on the strategic development of merchant shipping.

He is also the author of the MOMENTS IN HISTORY series (UK, Allison & Busby) - gripping historical fiction which examines and re-imagines turning points of the past. THE POWDER OF DEATH, the second book in the series, tells the story of the re-discovery of gunpowder, after an envoy to China and an English scholar vow to take the deadly secret to their graves. When Edward III uses it to his advantage at the Battle of Crecy, the first full-scale battle at which guns are deployed in the field, the nature of warfare is changed forever.

Find out more about Julian on the Blake Friedmann website and on Julian’s website.

Follow Julian on Twitter here.

Praise for Julian Stockwin and the KYDD series

‘I was soon turning over the pages almost indecently fast’ – The Independent

‘His vantage point of a common sailor gives the nautical novel a fresh twist. In [Stockwin’s] hands … the sea story will continue to entrance readers across the world.’ — The Guardian

‘As a historical fiction writer you have to keep your history in proper shape while combining it with a narrative that someone actually wants to read. Score two out of two for Julian Stockwin...It is engrossing.’ – The Daily Mail

'Stockwin’s eye for authentic detail is faultless.’ — Pennant

‘From the very first novel KYDD Stockwin climbed the dizzy heights of the bestseller lists and has stayed there ever since.’ – Craig Cabell, Book Collector and Magazine

'Stockwin writes brilliantly, bringing wonderful characters to life in a wholly realistic setting exploring history and times in thoroughly researched detail.’ — Alan Eggleston, Booksville

Charles Lambert’s PRODIGAL acquired by Aardvark Bureau and TWO DARK TALES launching at Belgravia Books

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Hot on the heels of TWO DARK TALES: JACK SQUAT AND THE NICHE, Aardvark Bureau – an imprint of Gallic Books - has acquired Charles Lambert’s spectacular novel, PRODIGAL. Founder and MD Jane Aitken bought UK and British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Isobel Dixon of Blake Friedmann.

Aardvark published Lambert’s chilling novel THE CHILDREN’S HOME in 2016, a title lauded by the likes of Owen King and New York Times. Demonstrating his striking versatility as a writer, Lambert’s latest offering takes a step away from the mysterious and macabre. Instead, he interrogates the nature of family, trust, death and what we do to one another in the name of love, all within the wider context of a beautiful, yet troubling, queer coming-of-age tale.

An innovative family drama told across three timelines, PRODIGAL plunges readers into the irregular life of the hapless Jeremy: a man in his late 50s trying to scrape together a living in Paris by writing ham-erotica under the lubricious guise of ‘Nathalie Cray’. When his all-but-estranged older sister, Rachel, calls to tell him that their father is on his deathbed, Jeremy reluctantly travels back to his family home in the depths of Whitstable. Confronted with a life that he was ever-eager to escape, his return marks the start of an emotionally-fraught journey into his – and Rachel’s – chequered past.

Marred by their mother’s death in a provincial Greek hospital some 20 years earlier, and, further back, by the moment at which their family fell apart, this reawakening of shared childhood and formative experience leads the siblings on a journey rife with misunderstanding and revelation, with secrets disclosed and not disclosed, with duplicity and confession, all culminating with something that may, or may not, be precarious reconciliation. PRODIGAL refuses to offer easy answers to the questions it poses: How does one live with what one has? How does one live with what one is? And, what does it mean to love and to be loved?

As ever, all the Lambert hallmarks are there: darkly polished prose, humane wit and acute psychological insights, shot throughout with threads of dark humour. The prodigal of the title – where love (and, by extension, life) is ‘a nice little tale where you have everything as you like it’ (from the DH Lawrence epigraph to the novel) – is undermined by a more complex, and ultimately more enriching, sense of humanity as something improvised, fragile and ultimately precious.

Aitken said: 'Charles Lambert’s writing just gets better and better. In tackling the complexities of familial love, he has written a novel reminiscent of St Aubyn or Hollinghurst, and the result is raw, provocative and deeply moving.’

This Thursday, Charles will attend Belgravia Books in London to celebrate the launch of the darkly intriguing TWO DARK TALES: JACK SQUAT AND THE NICHE. The novellas have already received a warm reception, with Charlotte Heathcote of S Magazine commending the stories as ‘intense and guaranteed to foster a sense of unease’. Houman Barekat of The Times Literary Supplement called JACK SQUAT ‘charming, elegantly written’ and THE NICHE ‘deeply poignant’.

 

Visit Charles’ blog

You can also follow Charles on Twitter.

 

About Charles Lambert 

 Born in England, Charles lives in Fondi, near Rome, working as a university teacher and freelance editor. He is the author of several novels including LITTLE MONSTERS and ANY HUMAN FACE (Picador) and the short story collection THE SCENT OF CINNAMON (Salt). His work is included in THE BEST OF BRITISH SHORT STORIES 2013 (Salt) and he has won an O. Henry Award and other short story prizes.

 Praise for Charles Lambert

 ‘Charles Lambert writes as if his life depends on it. He takes risks at every turn.’ –Hannah Tinti

‘Charles Lambert is a seriously good writer.' – Beryl Bainbridge

‘Compelling reading.’ – Patricia Duncker

 ‘Charles Lambert is a terrific, devious storyteller.’ – Owen King

NEED YOU DEAD reaches #1 in Paperback as Peter James is awarded the first Rheinbach Glass Dagger Award

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Peter James’ latest novel in the gripping Roy Grace series, NEED YOU DEAD, has reached #1 in The Sunday Times paperback fiction chart this week, after topping the ebook bestseller chart in June. NEED YOU DEAD which Publishers Weekly praised as a ‘skilful twister’, is the 13th novel in the bestselling series, published in the UK by Macmillan earlier this month.

In NEED YOU DEAD, Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first, it looks an open-and-shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

The Roy Grace series has been translated into 37 languages, with 19 million copies of Peter James’ books sold worldwide. Peter recently travelled to Germany, where he was awarded the first Rheinbach Glass Dagger Award for Crime Fiction in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the crime writing genre. In Germany, Peter’s novels are published by Fischer Scherz.

To see more pictures from the event, you can follow Peter's Instagram.

See much, much more on Peter’s website.

Check out the array of excellent crime writer interviews and information on Peter James TV.

Follow Peter on Facebook, and  Twitter

 Praise for Roy Grace:

‘James’s superior 13th novel … This skilful twister shows why James was awarded the 2016 CWA Diamond Dagger.’ — Publishers Weekly Starred Review

‘Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world.’ – Lee Child

‘Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business’ – Karin Slaughter

‘Peter James is one of the most fiendishly clever crime fiction plotters’ – The Daily Mail

Lyndall Gordon’s OUTSIDERS out from Virago today

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Lyndall Gordon’s brilliant new interlinking biography OUTSIDERS: FIVE WOMEN WRITERS WHO CHANGED THE WORLD is published in the UK by Virago in hardback and as an audiobook today, with the trade paperback out in South Africa and Australia soon too.

OUTSIDERS explores the moments of darkness that fuelled the creative genius of five literary women: Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, George Eliot, Olive Schreiner and Virginia Woolf, all of whom stepped outside the bounds of propriety, challenging social norms and enduring scorn and rejection as a result. OUTSIDERS has already received positive reviews with Claire Lowdon commenting in The Times, that ‘the overlap and interplay between the generations is richly evoked’ and Tessa Hadley praising Lyndall in The Guardian as a ‘natural storyteller… with passionate intelligence.’

At Manchester Literature Festival on 16 October, Lyndall was in conversation with Libby Tempest at The Portico Library about her latest biography. Attending the event, Emma Yates Bradley of Northern Soul said ‘There was something restorative about listening to Gordon talk about these wonderful, smart, capable, literary women – these outsiders.’

Lyndall will be attending several literary festivals over the coming months to discuss the inter-connected biography and the women who shaped it. These include the Oxford Literature Festival on 24 March and Bath Festival on 12 and 13 May 2018. She will also be in South Africa in November this year.

Early next year, 3 February 2018, Lyndall will be focusing on one of these literary greats in her talk VIRGINIA WOOLF: ‘MADNESS’, WAR AND TRAUMA at Bethlem Museum of the Mind. To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Lyndall will also be reading from OUTSIDERS at the National Theatre. OUTSIDERS release coincides with a number of important centenaries for its subjects. Virago Podcast will be recording an episode with Lyndall, centring on Mary Shelley and the creation of FRANKENSTEIN.

Lyndall has written several acclaimed biographies, documenting the lives of notable female literary figures like Charlotte Brontë, Mary Wollstonecraft and Emily Dickinson, and related fascinating accounts from her own life in the memoirs DIVIDED LIVES and SHARED LIVES, all published by Virago. She has been longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Comisso Prize in Italy for her Emily Dickinson biography, LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS, which has recently been republished by Fazi in a new edition. Spanish publisher Gatopardo recently acquired rights for her biography of Virginia Woolf, A WRITER’S LIFE. Her work has been sold in translation in Italy, Germany, Turkey, China and Spain.

Visit Lyndall’s website.

Praise for Lyndall Gordon:

‘A biographer with soul, she reaches into the hearts of those she brings alive for us. She makes the meaning of their lives sing and sweat as she invites us into their experiences, their longings, their struggles and their disappointments.’ – Susie Orbach, The Observer

‘Gordon is one of the best biographers writing today.’ – Catherine Hollis, Sacramento Book Review

‘A gifted storyteller.’ – Carmela Ciuraru, Miami Herald