Memento Mori – Muriel Spark, £9.99 paperback
Remember you must die. Dame Lettie Colston is the first of her circle to receive insinuating anonymous phone calls. Neither she, nor her friends, wish to be reminded of their mortality, and their geriatric feathers are thoroughly ruffled. As the caller’s activities become more widespread, old secrets are dusted off, exposing post and present duplicities, self-deception and blackmail. Nobody is above suspicion. Witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.
William Boyd – Sweet Caress, now only available second-hand
Amory Clay’s first memory is of her father doing a handstand – but it is his absences that she chiefly remembers. Her Uncle Greville, a photographer, gives her both the affection she needs and a camera, which unleashes a passion that irrevocably shapes her future. She begins an apprenticeship with him in London, photographing socialites for magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi-monde of 1920s Berlin, New York in the 1930s, the Blackshirt riots in London, and France during the Second World War, where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of the twentieth century, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman.
Catherine O ‘Flynn – What Was Lost, £9.99 paperback
A lost little girl with her notebook and toy monkey appears on the CCTV screens of the Green Oaks shopping centre, evoking memories of junior detective Kate Meaney, missing for 20 years. Kurt, a security guard with a sleep disorder, and Lisa, a disenchanted deputy manager at Your Music, follow her through the centre’s endless corridors – welcome relief from the tedium of their lives. But as this after-hours friendship grows in intensity, it brings new loss and new longing to light.
Alex Preston – Winchelsea, £9.99 paperback
The year is 1742. Goody Brown, saved from drowning and adopted when just a babe, has grown up happily in the smuggling town of Winchelsea. But when she turns sixteen, her father is murdered by men he thought were friends. In a town where lawlessness prevails, Goody and her brother Francis must enter the cut-throat world of her father’s killers in order to find justice. Facing high seas and desperate villains, she discovers what life can be like without constraints or expectations, developing a taste for danger that makes her blood run fast. Goody was never born to be a gentlewoman. But what will she become instead?