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Agatha Raisin and Kissing Christmas Goodbye

Author: M C Beaton

Part of a series: Agatha Raisin

Publisher: Constable (2007)

Agatha is dreaming of a white Christmas, with mulled wine, roasting chestnuts and an open fire - but who will be joining her under the mistletoe? In the grey of early October Agatha is obsessed by two things - Christmas, and her ex, James Lacey. Although she claims to feel nothing for James now, secretly she dreams that if she can recreate the perfect Dickensian Christmas for all her friends it will somehow reawaken the old love affair. Even a murder - the sudden demise of Mrs Tamworthy, poisoned with hemlock at the local manor house - finds Agatha reluctant to take a break from organizing her yuletide celebrations. Yet poor Mrs Tamworthy had actually confided in Agatha that someone wanted to see her dead. So feeling a little guilty, Agatha sets out to solve the case with the help of young Toni Gilmour. Toni is just seventeen and alongside her, Agatha does feel decidedly old and weary. But as the 25th comes ever closer, Agatha's efforts are redoubled to catch the murderer - nothing can be allowed to interfere with her perfect Christmas Day!

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Agnes Grey

Author: Anne Bronte

Publisher:

Anne Brontë’s debut novel tells the story of Agnes Grey, a young woman who is determined to seek work as a governess after her family become impoverished. Drawing upon her own experiences as a governess, Anne describes the isolation, insensitivity and occasional harsh treatment bestowed on women in her position by their employers and, through Agnes, demonstrates the resilience, integrity and survival of one woman in the face of upper class snobbery and changing social values.

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Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life

Author: Roald Dahl

Publisher: Penguin Books (1989)

In this compelling collection of tales Roald Dahl's urbane and sophisticated wit is directed at the unfathomable mysteries and eccentricities of rural life. 'All the stories - about rat-catching, maggot-breeding, poaching - sparkle with vibrant characters, humorous dialogue and sly rustic lore and cunning' - Sunday Express 'A sophisticated account of village life ... the rural characters are moulded by the author's dark, inquisitive imagination ... very funny ... As in Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, the writing is compelling' - Time Out 'These are ghost stories without ghosts, and they raise a shiver' - Atlantic

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Alberto's Lost Birthday

Author: Diana Rosie

Publisher: Mantle (2016)

A little boy and his grandfather embark on a quest to find the old man's missing birthday in Diana Rosie's debut novel, Alberto's Lost Birthday.

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Alexander at The World's End

Author: Tom Holt

Publisher: Abacus (2000)

Alexander At The World's End is the story of two remarkable men, one of whom conquered empires with apparent ease and one of whom struggled with the day-to-day problems ofa small provincial town. It is the story of two men whose paths crossed only briefly, but whose encounter changed both their lives - and the course of history. And itis a story which throws an extraordinary new light on theman who became Alexander the Great. Holt is a writer of screamingly funny fantasies as well as more serious historical novels and he combines in this tale humour, warmth and authenticity with vibrant and vivid characterisation.

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Alias

Author: Tracy Alexander

Publisher: Piccadilly Press (2015)

If she can't get justice, she'll settle for revenge . . . When her grandmother and cousin are 'accidentally' killed in a drone strike in Yemen, Samiya wants answers. She writes emails, pesters her MP, starts a petition . . . but no one will help. A less brilliant, less resourceful or less determined girl might have given up. But Samiya won't let their lives mean nothing. Disillusioned with her friends, her parents and life in general, she vents her anger in chatrooms, where she makes online allies who willingly loan her their skills. Her alias, Angel, is born, as is a completely audacious plan which no one will be able to ignore...

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All That A Man Has

Author: Lee Mackenzie

Part of a series: Emmerdale Farm

Publisher: Star Books (1977)

Based on the popular Yorkshire TV series, this is a heart-warming tale of the life of folk at Becdale.

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All That Man Is

Author: David Szalay

Publisher: Penguin Random House (2016)

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home – and each of them striving – in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a cheap Cyprical hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now. Tracing an arc from the spring of youth to the winter of old age, All That Man Is brings these separate lives together to show us men as they are – ludicrous and inarticulate, shocking and despicable; vital, pitiable, hilarious and full of heartfelt longing. And as the years chase them down, the stakes become bewilderingly high in this piercing portrayal of twenty-first century manhood.

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All The Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Publisher: Harper Collins (2014)

‘Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.’ For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers within the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of Natural History. The walled city by the sea, where father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth. In this magnificent, deeply moving novel, the stories of Marie-Laure and Werner illuminate the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

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Ambridge Summer

Author: Keith Miles

Part of a series: Archers of Ambridge

Publisher: Tandem Publishing (1975)

Lilian could not help thinking yet again how unlike his father Nelson Gabriel was. There was no trace of Walter’s idiosyncratic speech or rough edges in Nelson. He looked both successful and self-satisfied. ‘Tell me about the Brigadier’s estate,’ he said. ‘What’s the local interest?’ ‘Ralph Bellamy is after it;’ she blurted out.

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