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Adult fiction: Murder, Mystery and Suspense

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A Monstrous Regiment Of Women

Author: Laurie R King

Part of a series: Mary Russell

Publisher: Allison & Busby (2014)

It is 1920 and Mary Russell - Sherlock Holmes's brilliant apprentice, now an Oxford graduate with a degree in theology - is on the verge of acquiring a sizable inheritance. Independent at last, with a passion for divinity and detective work, her most baffling mystery may now involve Holmes and the burgeoning of a deeper affection between herself and the retired detective. Russell's attentions turn to the New Temple of God and its leader, Margery Childe, a charismatic suffragette and a mystic, whose draw on the young theology scholar is irresistible. But when four bluestockings from the Temple turn up dead shortly after changing their wills, could sins of a capital nature be afoot? Holmes and Russell investigate, as their partnership takes a surprising turn …

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A Murder Of Quality

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Penguin Classics (2011)

A murder mystery in the finest tradition of English detective novels, John le Carré's A Murder of Quality is an ingenious puzzle featuring his best-loved character George Smiley, published in Penguin Modern Classics. Stella Rode has twice disturbed the ancient cloisters of Carne School: firstly by being the wrong sort, with her doilies and china ducks, and secondly by being murdered. George Smiley, who has his own connection with the school, is asked by an old Service friend to investigate. Smiley knows that Stella feared her husband would murder her, but as he probes further beneath Carne's respectable veneer, he uncovers far more than a simple crime of passion. In his second George Smiley novel, le Carré moves outside the world of espionage to reveal the secrets at the heart of another particularly English institution. The result is a pitch-perfect murder mystery, with Smiley as master detective.

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A Necessary End

Author: Peter Robinson

Part of a series: Inspector Banks

Publisher: Avon (2000)

A peaceful demonstration in the normally quiet town of Eastvale ended with fifty arrests -- and the brutal stabbing death of a young constable. But Chief Inspector Alan Banks fears there is worse violence in the offing. For CID Superintendent Richard "Dirty Dick" Burgess has arrived from London to take charge of the investigation, fueled by professional outrage and volatile, long-simmering hatreds. Almost immediately, Burgess descends with vengeful fury upon the members of a sixties-style commune -- while Banks sifts through the rich Yorkshire soil around him, turning over the earthy, unsettling secrets of seemingly placid local lives. Crossing "Dirty Dick" could cost the Chief Inspector his career. But the killing of a flawed Eastvale policeman is not the only murder that needs to be solved here. And if Banks doesn't unmask the true assassin, his superior's misguided obsession might well result in further bloodshed.

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A Painted House

Author: John Grisham

Publisher: Bantam (2001)

Until that September of 1952, Luke Chandler had never kept a secret or told a single lie. But in the long, hot summer of his seventh year, two groups of migrant workers and two very dangerous men came through the Arkansas Delta to work the Chandler cotton farm. And suddenly mysteries are flooding Lukes world. A brutal murder leaves the town seething in gossip and suspicion. A beautiful young woman ignites forbidden passions. A fatherless baby is born ... and someone has begun furtively painting the bare clapboards of the Chandler farmhouse, slowly, painstakingly, bathing the run-down structure in gleaming white. And as young Luke watches the world around him, he unravels secrets that could shatter lives and change his family and his town forever....

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A Perfect Spy

Author: John le Carre

Publisher: Sceptre (2006)

Magnus Pym, ranking diplomat, has vanished, believed defected. The chase is on: for a missing husband, a devoted father, and a secret agent. Pym's life, it is revealed, is entirely made up of secrets. Dominated by a father who is also a confidence trickster on an epic scale, Pym has from the age of seventeen been controlled by two mentors. It is these men, racing each other, who are orchestrating the search to find the perfect spy. Described by the author as his most autobiographical work, John le Carré's eleventh novel masterfully blends wit, compassion and unflagging tension with the poignant story of an estranged father and son.

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A Question Of Blood

Author: Ian Rankin

Part of a series: Rebus

Publisher: Orion (2003)

There is no mystery. Lee Herdman stormed into a private school just north of Edinburgh and killed two boys. He was a loner, a creep, an army veteran who got kicks out of terrifying local teenagers on his speedboat - just the sort of shady character to commit a random and heinous crime. It's a simple case of a man gone mad.

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A Question Of Blood

Author: Ian Rankin

Part of a series: Rebus

Publisher: Orion (2017)

At a private school, two teenagers are killed by an ex-Army loner who then turned the gun on himself. Finding the truth will take Detective Inspector John Rebus into the heart of a shattered community. Ex-Army himself, Rebus becomes fascinated by the killer, and finds he is not alone. It seems the man had friends in high places and enemies to spare. And Rebus has secrets of his own. He's fresh out of hospital, with newly bandaged hands, and won't say what happened. But after the death of a criminal he visited, who had been stalking DS Siobhan Clarke, Rebus is the prime suspect...

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A Quiet Belief In Angels

Author: R J Ellory

Publisher: Orion (2007)

Joseph Vaughan's life has been dogged by tragedy. Growing up in the 1950s, he was at the centre of series of killings of young girls in his small rural community. The girls were taken, assaulted and left horribly mutilated. Barely a teenager himself, Joseph becomes determined to try to protect his community and classmates from the predations of the killer. Despite banding together with his friends as ' The Guardians', he was powerless to prevent more murders - and no one was ever caught. Only after a full ten years did the nightmare end when the one of his neighbours is found hanging from a rope, with articles from the dead girls around him. Thankfully, the killings finally ceased. But the past won't stay buried - for it seems that the real murderer still lives and is killing again. And the secret of his identity lies in Joseph's own history...

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A Quiet Vendetta

Author: R J Ellory

Publisher: Orion (2006)

When Catherine Ducane disappears in the heart of New Orleans, the local cops react rapidly - she is the daughter of the Governor of Louisiana after all. But the case gets very strange, very quickly. Her bodyguard turns up horribly mutilated in the trunk of a beautiful vintage car and when her kidnapper calls he doesn't want money: he wants time alone with Ray Hartmann, who works for a Washington-based organised crime task force.

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A Quiver Full Of Arrows

Author: Jeffrey Archer

Publisher: Coronet Books (1984)

Two friends fall under the spell of a New York beauty - with quite unexpected results. An offhand remark is taken seriously by a Chinese sculptor and a British diplomat becomes the owner of a priceless work of art. An insurance claims advisor has a most unexpected encounter on the train home to Sevenoaks. The openings to three of this marvellous collection of stories that ends with a hauntingly-written, atmospheric account of two undergraduates at Oxford in the thirties, a story of bitter rivalry that ends in a memorable love story.

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