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It is impossible to be nothing; no one comes to Spain with- out an idee fixe. About forty miles from Madrid we were stopped by sentries who told us we would have to branch off on a side road and swing around by the village of Alcala de Henares. The main road to Madrid was under enemy fire from this point on. It was growing dark and we were warned to be careful about our lights.

The country roads were bad, but fortunately there was a new moon which helped a little. At nine o'clock we swung down the Gran Via, Madrid's main thoroughfare. The city was blacked out and the streets were de- serted and still. The silence was oppressive and there was a strange atmosphere of foreboding. I had never heard the sound of war before and my heart beat fast.

The others were unperturbed, and when we reached the Hotel Florida, Mellie went inside to get a porter to carry out the food. While she was gone the priest bent down quickly, slit open one of the packages with a penknife and stole three packages of Chesterfield cigarettes. He smiled at me, put a yellow-stained finger over his lips, and said: "Shhh! The hotel was crowded, however, so the best the manager could do was to switch me to a large outside room on the fourth floor; but this, too, had its disadvantages.

It faced a broad square and overlooked a jumble of grey roof -tops that dwindled into a distant landscape of rolling green hills. And these hills belonged to the enemy. Although this placed me in the direct line of shell-fire, the desk clerk refused to let me move.

He said the inside rooms were dark and stuffy, and, besides, the hotel was not a military objective, so if a shell went through my room it would only be a mistake. Madrid, dark and gloomy at night, was transformed into a new world with the daylight. The sun was shining and the air resounded with the clatter of humdrum business. I leaned out of the window to find the square thronged with people.

Khaki-clad militiamen with red ties around their necks threaded their way into a cafe across the street, while black-shawled housewives with children tagging after them hurried off to do the day's marketing. A trio of peroxide blondes swayed along the rough pavement on high-heeled shoes to the intense interest of a group of young men in dark blue berets who stood in the sun prodding their teeth with toothpicks. Donkey-carts rumbled across the cobble-stones, newspaper sellers shouted their wares, and from a movie house half a block away came a lively melody from Al Jolson's Casino de Paris.

For a city subjected to daily bombardments Madrid seemed as unreal as a huge movie set swarming with extras ready to play a part. I had often heard of Tom, who was noted for his quick wit and had the reputation of being one of the shrewdest journalists in Europe. He was a large bulk of a man with a smiling face. He greeted me by asking hopefully if I had brought any food from France. The fact that I hadn't I soon realized was an unforgiveable oversight.

We strolled down the streets and Tom told me he had covered the war on the Nationalist side until he made the mistake of writing the story of Knickerbocker's trip to Burgos. The latter's plane had been mistaken for an enemy machine and fired upon by anti-aircraft guns. Tom pointed out in his story that Knickerbocker had been unaware of the episode until he was informed of it by the aerodrome authorities. The Nationalists claimed this was an attempt to cast reflection on their anti-aircraft defences and Tom was thereby ex- pelled.

Since then he had been covering the news from Madrid: "All Spaniards are mad," he said, "but the people over here are less dangerous to England. There was a good deal of traffic on the streets. Ministry of War cars, evacuation lorries, bicycles and ambulances all raced past us, and once a despatch rider on a motor-cycle roared by headed for the front. Parked on a side street we saw a brown and green camou- flaged truck bearing proud white letters that said: "Captured from the enemy at Guadalajara.

It was this that lent the city its curious air of theatre. There was a small jagged hole in the ceiling where a shell had come through; beside it a card had been tacked "Art as practised by Gen- eral Franco. Only the queue lines carried a sense of tragedy. On a side street a procession of women and children were lined up before a grocery store, with empty baskets over their arms.

Some leaned wearily against the building, others sat on the curb staring into space with a strange Oriental impassiveness. All over Madrid these queue lines were formed. The city's main diet was beans, bread and rice, but food was so scarce that only a limited number could be served. Tom said that often the lines waited from midnight till noon the next day. We crossed the Puerta del Sol and Tom stopped at a small shop to look at some cavalry cloaks which he was thinking of taking back to England as presents.

We had to step over an old peddler woman who was selling red and black anarchist ties and small tin ornaments made in the shapes of tanks and aeroplanes which she had carefully spread over the pavement. The proprietor welcomed Tom warmly and brought out an assort- ment of capes of different lengths and cuts with a variety of brightly- coloured linings.

They discussed them for some time and Tom de- cided to come back again. When we said good-bye he asked the proprietor how his business was going and the man sighed and shook his head: "It is very difficult, Sefior.

There are so few gentlemen left in Madrid. They usually drop a few before lunch. It was gentle at first, then it grew into a hiss; there was a split second of silence, followed by a bang as a shell hurtled into the white stone telephone building at the end of the street. Bricks and timber crashed to the ground and dust rose up in a billow.

A second shell plunged into the pavement thirty yards away and a third hit a wooden block of flats on a corner. Everyone started running, scattering into vestibules and doorways, like pieces of paper blown by a sudden gust of wind. Tom and I took cover in a perfume shop and the explosions con- tinued one every minute.

My heart pounded uncertainly; the crash of falling bricks and breaking glass and the thick dust that rose up to blot out the sunshine seemed like some fearful Bible plague tuned up and mechanized for the twentieth-century appetite. The pro- prietress of the shop, however, appeared to be far more concerned with the preservation of property than possible death. She hastily began removing the perfume bottles from the window and laid them in neat rows on the floor.

With each explosion she broke into a fresh flow of expletives. Tom explained she was afraid the windows would break. And glass, she said, was very dear. The bombardment lasted about half an hour. When it was over we walked down the street; the pavements were strewn with bricks and sharpnel and a telephone pole leaned drunkenly across one of the buildings, the wires hanking down like streamers. The second floor of a hat-shop had a gaping hole and at the corner an automobile was a twisted mass of steel.

Nearby, the pavement was spattered with blood where two women had been killed. Desolation hung over the thoroughfare, but the loud-speaker was still screaming a tune from the Casino de Paris. Trucks rolled up and men got out and began to clear up the debris, the music ringing in their ears as they worked. Groups of people gathered on the cor- ners and little boys ran out to collect pieces of shrapnel as souvenirs, and newspaper sellers drifted back to their boxes, the bootblacks called for customers and the shopkeepers re-arranged their wares.

Auto- mobiles hooted their way over the cobble-stones, and once again people sauntered arm-in-arm in the sunshine. That, I learned, was Madrid. Hyde had vanished and Dr. Jekyll once more had control of the city. I had never before felt the sort of fear that sends the blood racing through your veins.

As intense an emotion as it was, I was surprised to find that with the passing of danger it disappeared so completely it was difficult even to recall the sensation. More curious still, it left no hang-over of apprehension. In between bombardments you liter- ally forgot about them. Why this was I don't know; Nature, I sup- pose, taking its course. At any rate, the whine of a shell never failed to come as an utter surprise, and, to my way of thinking, a very nasty one at that.

I greatly admired the indifference, often bordering on nonchalance, with which the Spaniards accepted these bombard- ments. Strategically, Madrid was a third-line trench and the population had received their training. Civilian ears had become so acute that the ordinary man or woman could judge the proximity of a shell by the sound of the whistle.

When shells fell at four- and five-minute intervals it indicated that only one battery was firing and there was always "a safe side" of the street. But if the explosions came fast it meant a cross fire then there was nothing to do but take cover and trust to luck.

During innumerable shellings I never once saw a sign of panic. People conducted themselves as coolly as trained sol- diers; narrow escapes became so much a part of daily life they were not even major topics of conversation. I soon discovered that food was much more of a preoccupation than danger. Occasionally, when a donkey-cart, filled with lettuces or bread, moved through the streets a crowd gathered and tagged it breathlessly to its destination.

In spite of this terrible shortage of essentials, the cognac and gin supplies had held up well and every afternoon the cafes were crowded. One of the most popular cafes was on the Puerta del Sol. A bomb had gone through the top of the building and you could see chunks of sky through the roof, but the ground floor did a thriving business. Although these cafes were on the Gran Via, the most frequently-bombarded street in Madrid, every afternoon they were crowded with soldiers with guns dangling from their hips and platinum blondes whose hair was growing out very black due to the fact that all the peroxide had been confiscated by the hospitals.

At Molinero's you found a last lingering badge of class-conscious Spain. The waiters were the same waiters who used to serve the wealthy Madrilenos and they were dressed in the conventional uni- form of black suit and white shirt. Some pushed their way through the noisy, singing throngs with obvious disdain; others took advan- tage of the camarada spirit and served you with unshaven faces and cigarettes hanging from their mouths.

The owners of Chicote's and Molinero's and most of the big shops and hotels had either been shot, were in gaol, or had fled from the city. Their concerns had been taken over by the Trade Unions and many were run collectively by the employees. Palaces and country villas were used as ministries and headquarters. Often journalists went to get their permits from officials in sweaters and leather jackets, reclining in sixteenth-century chairs in rooms with carved walls and priceless tapestries.

More than once interviews were brought to a halt while the "comrade" proudly insisted upon your making an inspection of the books and paintings, and even the statues in the garden. During those first few days in Madrid, it all seemed like a strange carnival to me. It was only at night when the capital was swallowed up in a suffocating darkness that the atmosphere took on a note of grim reality.

The buildings jutted up so blackly the sky looked almost white, and as you threaded your way along the pavement, guards moved noiselessly out of the doorways and asked to examine your credentials. Everything was deserted and still. The only noise was a distant one: the noise of fighting on the Casa del Campo, a mile and a half away. You could hear the dull thud of trench mortars like far-off thunder, and the thin crack of rifles like sheets snapping in the wind.

And as you walked through the night, stumbling over shell-holes, you wondered whether this was just the beginning and how long it would be before the lights went out somewhere else. It was run by the Government and had a re- stricted clientele made up mostly of officials, police agents, army officers and prostitutes. The room was always noisy and crowded and blue with smoke.

Once during a bombardment a group of militia raised their wine- glasses and toasted each crash with shouts and bursts of song. When a six-inch shell smashed through the pavement in front of the door, twisting the steel frame of the awning, the waiter drew a tumult of applause by offering everyone a drink on the house.

The door of the restaurant was heavily guarded by armed sentries, and often I saw women crying and begging to be let in, but no one was allowed to enter without an official pass. Once inside, the food was meagre and at times scarcely eatable. The routine menu was salami and a plate of rice for luncheon, more salami and a plate of beans for supper.

Once we had a three-day run of eggs, but they had a queer taste and word spread around quickly that they were bombed eggs from Cordoba. Exactly what shape a bombed egg took on I never discovered. We always left the restaurant hungry, and although I'd never experienced discomfort from lack of food before, our lot was so much better than the average Spaniard's, that we seldom passed through the guarded door without a guilty feeling as though we had no right to be there.

Tom had equipped the room with electric burners and chafing dishes. A ham was suspended from a coat- hanger on the cupboard door and the table was littered with crackers and sardine tins. Although the food was distributed gingerly, there was always plenty of beer and whisky and the gather- ings seldom broke up before the early hours of the morning. When the room got hot Tom used to switch out the lights and open the windows.

He often turned on the gramophone and played Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Between the chords of music we could hear the distant rumble of artillery; it was always a strange mixture. Tom's parties came to an abrupt end when a shell plunged into his room and turned the chafing dishes and furniture into pulverised debris.

Fortunately no one was there at the time. I came into the hotel lobby shortly afterwards and found the hotel manager sitting at his desk, pouring over his accounts as though nothing had hap- pened. When I asked him what damage had been done, he regarded me coldly and denied the hotel had been hit. Only a gas-main had broken, he said. Although the gaping hole in Tom's room was there for everyone to see, he stubbornly clung to his story for fear his guests would grow alarmed and leave.

One guest did leave. He was a nameless American aviator who had come to Madrid on a few days' leave. He was in the corridor near the room when the shell hit and was knocked down by the blast. He was a little tipsy anyway, and came swaying down the stairs, shouting: "A fine type of relaxation. For fun, I'll do my own bomb- ing!

As it was frequently used as an observa- tion post, it was a legitimate military objective, and during the time I was in Madrid received over eighty direct hits. The building was made of steel and concrete, however, and the walls proved too solid for six-inch explosives, so little damage was done. Once a three-inch shell made a hole in the roof of the telephone-room, but none of the operators was hurt. All newspaper stories were telephoned to London and Paris and from there cabled on to various parts of the world.

There was a good deal of competition between the agencies as to who got the first call through. As there were only two outside lines it sometimes took four or five hours to establish connections. The majority of special corre- spondents were working for morning papers, which meant that the greatest rush came at nine o'clock in the evening; there were several cots in the telephone-room, and some of them went to sleep there until their 'urgents' came through.

All stories had to be submitted to the censor and each page ap- proved by an official stamp. When they were read over the telephone an operator sat beside the journalist ready to cut the line if anything was inserted not included in the approved copy. There were fre- quent attempts "to beat the censor" by employing American slang expressions, but this came to an end when a Canadian girl joined the staff. The International Brigades were not allowed to be publicized; no reference could be made to Russian armaments, and buildings and streets which suffered bombardments could not be identified.

It was only in the realm of the human interest story that the jour- nalists had a free hand. They could describe bombardments to their heart's content. It was dramatic to sit in the darkened room at night and listen to versions of the day's news being sent over the wires in German, French, Spanish and English to be relayed to the most re- mote corners of the earth. The despatches were always varied, for some described the bombardments with indifference and others with fevered intensity.

I began to realize that much depended on where the writer had been when the shells fell. In the darkness of the be- leaguered capital it seemed odd to think of the telephone wires run- ning through the misery of Spain into the free fields of France and across the Channel to the sleepy peace of London. Listen, Eddie, how about sending some more dough? I was not covering daily news so I worked out an outline for a series of articles. One of the first things I wanted to do was to go to the front.

Now this was not difficult. Although journalists were sup- posed to get a proper authorization, few of the Spanish sentries could read and almost any bit of paper no matter how far out of date would do. When you wanted to go to the front, you just got into a car and went. The most convenient front, however, ran through the Casa del Campo and the University City, only two miles from the main shop- ping district of Madrid.

You took a tram halfway, walked the other half, and you were there. The two armies had been stalemated at this point ever since the previous November, when the Republican Inter- national Brigades had halted the Franco advance and at the eleventh hour saved Madrid.

Neither side had been able to dislodge the other and for the past five months the soldiers had sat in opposite trenches, breaking the monotony by machine-gunning each other and lobbing grenades and mortars back and forth. I didn't have to wait long for an opportunity to visit the Casa del Campo. Haldane, an English scientist and former don at Cambridge Univer- sity, who was lunching at the Gran Via restaurant.

The Professor cut an eccentric figure in a pair of breeches too tight for him and a tin hat with a broken chin-strap, left over from the Great War, which he'd brought from England. As it was the only tin hat in the whole Republican Spain it attracted a good deal of attention from passers-by and twice sentries saluted us respectfully, obviously impressed.

Although Haldane had come to Spain to advise the Government on antidotes for gas, he liked to pass himself off as a joke character. Enjoyed the last war so much I thought Fd come to Spain for a holiday. Guards in sweaters and corduroy trousers, with rifles propped up beside them, said Salud and asked to see our passes. Most of them could not read, and some even held the papers upside down, but they all studied them with knitted brows, raised a clenched fist in the Popular Front salute, and let us pass.

At the end of the avenue the streets grew desolate and blocks of houses were gutted and empty. Some had only the frames standing where bombs had plunged through the middle; others looked like stage sets with whole fronts ripped off. High up on one was a table all set for dinner, napkins in place, chairs pulled up, but for a wall it had only a piece of blue sky. It was ghostly and sad with the wind whistling through the win- dow-frames, and doors high above banging back and forth on empty caverns, but the Professor's spirits were high.

He was just remarking on how fine the weather was when there was a loud whistle. A shell hit the brick house on the corner and another plunged into the pave- ment. We stumbled into a doorway and stood against a dark wall while several more passed overhead. After a few minutes the Pro- fessor decided it was safe to continue. I thought he was mak- ing too light of the situation, and the prospect of the front was growing more alarming every minute.

However, at this stage there seemed little else to do but follow. The communication trenches started at the park at the end of the street. They were narrow, dirt trenches with a row of sandbags at the top. As they were only five feet high we had to bend down to keep under cover. The lines twisted and curved through the fields and as we crawled along, the mud slopping over our shoes, the guns grew louder. Bullets passed over our heads with an angry ring, some of them hitting the sides of the parapet with staccato cracks.

The Professor called out to me cheerfully and asked how I liked it. I said, not much, and he seemed to resent this, for he yelled back that in the last war women were not allowed within six miles of the front lines. Suddenly the trench turned and we found ourselves in the front line. Long streams of soldiers were firing through the openings in the sandbags. Their faces were unshaven and their jackets and khaki trousers were smeared with grease and mud.

Some looked not more than sixteen or seventeen years old. I should think we must have been a strange pair, but they didn't seem surprised to see us. They smiled warmly and the greeting Salud echoed up the line. One of them put down his rifle and pulled out a wooden box for me to sit on. Another, with a hand in a dirty band- age, offered us a package of dark brown cigarettes; then they all talked at once in eager Spanish.

I couldn't understand but it didn't matter, for someone suddenly opened up with an ear-splitting rattle of machine-gun fire. I put my hands over my ears and wondered how anyone ever got used to the noise. One of the soldiers handed me a rifle and asked if I did not want to take a shot at los facciosos, and then a young boy with pink cheeks and large brown eyes stepped up and held a periscope over the trench so I could see the enemy lines.

They were a jumble of stones and grass only fifty yards away. On the no-man's land in between lay three twisted bodies. The Professor squinted through the sandbags but said he didn't like the view. He explained that he wanted to get a look at the Clinico a building in which the enemy was entrenched and that we could probably see better from another position, so once again we started crawling along the line.

There were forks to the right and left, and once he called out that he hadn't the foggiest idea where we were. Directly ahead was a small green slope. Stray bullets were passing overhead and I refused to move until he found where he was going. As there was nobody in sight, I admit it offered a problem; nevertheless, I was unprepared for the Professor's quick solution. I stood alone in the trench and wondered why I had ever come to Spain.

I could hear the long swish of shells overhead and the ex- plosions as they fell in the distance. Bullets whined past and I ducked my head again and again, although I'd been carefully instructed that when you hear the whine, you're safe. The sun had gone behind a cloud and it was getting cold.

I looked up and down the deserted line and wondered if the Professor would ever find his way back. Suddenly there was an explosion and twenty yards in front of me the earth shot up in a fountain. I went down on the ground as dirt and stones sprayed the air. When I found I was still intact I got up and tried to wipe the mud off my clothes with a handkerchief.

Just then I heard someone whistling a tune and I looked up to see an officer approaching. He was a jaunty little man with a forage cap tilted over one eye. He spoke Spanish, but when I said I couldn't understand broke into a jumble of French. They are throwing trench mortars. He laughed and told me to follow him. To the right of it was a white shack surrounded by trees and bushes and protected by a small hill.

The room inside was crowded with soldiers. The blinds were drawn and the only light was a feeble bulb suspended from the ceil- ing. The lieutenant explained that I was an American writer who'd got lost in the trenches, and told them to look after me while he tried to find my friend. The soldiers grinned and all talked at once in Spanish I couldn't understand. I took off my shoes and someone wiped them with a rag.

Another soldier pushed his way through the group and offered me a piece of stale bread. The others laughed and explained with empty hands it was all they had to offer. Half an hour later the lieutenant reappeared and said he had found the Professor. While I was shaking hands all round they told the lieu- tenant to apologize for the poor hospitality, and one of them asked if I were going to write about them in an article.

When I nodded a tall soldier standing near the door, obviously an accepted wit, said to be sure to say that they liked fighting Fascists a good deal better than their grandfathers had liked fighting Americans. And did I think the United States would send some guns and planes to show what a fine new friendship it had turned out to be? Everybody laughed and I followed the lieutenant out of the door amid a fare- well of Salud.

Once again we crawled through the trenches and finally came to a small dug-out. Inside, two soldiers were lying on a cot eating rice from a battered tin plate; a wireless operator sat at a wooden table with earphones on his head, and in the middle, crouched on a low wooden stool drinking a bottle of wine, was the Professor.

Appar- ently, for him, at any rate, the trip had been a great success. The lieutenant led us through the communicating lines and finally set us on our way down the avenue. Before he said good-bye, he drew a bottle of gin from his pocket, gave the Professor a swig, then took one himself. With a parting salute, he disappeared back into the trenches again, whistling as he went. The Republicans had taken great heart at their Guadalajara victory, and now regarded the future with a robust optimism.

They talked in terms of large-scale offensives and of the peace they would impose at the end of the war. Even to an inexperienced military observer like myself, all this seemed premature, but faith in victory had become a fierce necessity to soldiers and civilians who had suffered much during the cold winter months.

Now the spring had come to dry the ground and warm the houses, and the people had gathered new strength. The daily bombardments of Madrid had become a routine matter; it was always quiet at siesta time and the capital was seldom shelled at night. For some unknown reason, after the first seven or eight months of the war, Madrid proper was never again bombed from the air. There was an average of approximately fifty or sixty casualties a day, but as there were nearly a million inhabitants, proportionately this was not high.

As I have said before, the worst phase of Madrid life was the shortage of food. Although many of the surrounding villages were well supplied with vegetables, eggs and milk, there was no proper organization for transporting food into the capital. Several times I saw crowds running after food trucks, shouting at the drivers and imploring them to stop.

And more than once people tried to storm the heavily-guarded doors of the Gran Via restaurant. I remember a scene in the restaurant when the Duchess of Atholl, a member of the House of Commons, visited Madrid. After she had left, one of the anarchists upbraided him fiercely for showing "class distinction". A group gathered around and the argument became many-sided. If she were not a Duchess you would have given her rice. She is a friend.

There can be nothing wrong in making an impression for the sake of the cause. But that night the Duchess ate the ordinary fare of salami and rice. The war atmosphere in Madrid was confusing to the newcomer. Although all the propaganda was concentrated on the German and Italian invasion of Spain, rather than on the class issue, the character of Madrid was distinctly revolutionary. Apart from a handful of Government officials, Madrid was proletarian with a vengeance. Almost without exception, members of the upper and middle-classes had sided with General Franco.

Many, of course, had been unable to escape from Republican territory and were in hiding; others were in gaol or had been shot. The hotels and cafes were run by the waiters and employees. All businesses and shops had been taken over by the Government and the profits confiscated for the prosecution of the war. Only a few proprietors were allowed to continue the direction of their firms and they were paid a weekly salary.

Natu- rally, enormous disorganization had resulted in this upheaval and the problem of internal re-orientation was almost as great as waging the war. The Communists were by far the most powerfully organized party in Spain and their influence was widely felt. Although they declared vehemently that they were fighting to re-establish the Republic, I found this difficult to believe. The fact that I was not a Communist immediately stamped me as suspect.

Although at that time they had orders from Moscow to support the democracies against the Fascists, their efforts were entirely spent on spreading the Marxist doctrine. For this reason they insisted fiercely on the system of political com- missars in the army in order that they might convert many of the men. Certainly many Spaniards were not in sympathy with the extreme Left. The petits bourgeois, whose small properties had been con- fiscated, could not be counted as loyal supporters; neither could the deeply religious people, even among the poor.

I remember one day Thomas Loyetha, the International News Service correspondent, taking Tom Delmer and me to a small flat for lunch, which was kept by a middle-aged Spanish woman, who, before the war, had been a procuress. Since all the wealthy young men were on the Franco side her livelihood had fallen off, and now she earned a few pesetas as a cook. Somehow she always managed to get hold of a few chickens and once a week Loyetha went there for a really good meal. During lunch she showed us a small cupboard in which sev- eral crucifixes were hidden.

She said that when the bombardments came she took them out and prayed. There was little doubt where her sympathies lay, and if the crucifixes had been discovered by the police she would have been imprisoned if not shot. I also remember the surprise I had when I visited one of the gaols in Madrid.

It was inside a hastily converted monastery. When I walked in I found the anarchist warden seated behind a huge oak desk with a background of dark red tapestries, hung with pictures of the Virgin. He led me through long corridors, with small rooms on either side, crowded with men. Some of the prisoners were scrub- bing floors, other were wandering aimlessly along the corridors, and still others were standing in groups, talking and smoking.

Most of them were ordinary working-class people, and it was then that I realized how deep the political cleavage had gone. For this reason Republican propaganda was directed almost entirely against the foreign invader, and many Spaniards who varied on the class issue rallied to the call of the great posters picturing a peasant's foot crushing the iron swastika with the words: "Madrid shall be the tomb of Fascism.

Sometimes one of the soldiers who thronged into Chicote's bar in the afternoon drank too much and the air resounded with revolver shots, and occasionally the police reminded people of the blackout restrictions by shooting up at rooms whose lights were showing. Martha Gellhorn went back to the hotel one night to find a neat round bullet-hole in her window because the maid had 'forgot- ten to draw the curtain. The city's streets were deserted at night and sentries were posted at the barricades on the corners.

You could wander about without being molested, but if you rode in a car you had to know the pass- word. When Tom Delmer first arrived he was not familiar with this regulation, and drove through the streets in a car with another jour- nalist. A sentry accosted the pair: "Halt! Madrid was honeycombed with Fifth Columnists and spies, and the Republicans had a large secret police force working to combat the leakage of information.

Dossiers were kept on thousands of sus- pects, including the entire foreign press, and garish posters pasted on the buildings warned the population of the dangers of spies even among friends. A favourite poster showed a green-faced man with a hand cupped to his ear and in front of him a senorita with fingers raised to her red lips, saying: "Sh! There is no doubt, either, that many thousands of innocent persons were dragged from their beds and shot without trial. Although I never witnessed any "atrocities" myself there is one episode that stands out in my mind.

Shells were dropping on the street outside the cafe and it was impossible to leave, so we sat lingering over our coffee. At the next table I noticed a fastidious-looking man dressed from head to toe in dove grey. He had the high forehead and long fingers of the intellectual and wore horn-rimmed spectacles which added to his thoughtful appearance.

His manner was in- gratiating to the point of sycophancy, but I shall never forget the look in his bright, marble-brown eyes. Perhaps it was my imagination, but to me they mirrored all the traditional sadism of Spain. Heming- way was passionately interested in details of death and soon was pressing the man with questions. It is only human to err. His voice rose on the last word to a note of rapture and his eyes gleamed with relish. He reached out for the carafe of wine and filled my glass.

It gurgled into the tumbler, thick and red, and I could only think of blood. When we got out of the restaurant, Hemingway said: "A chic type, eh? Now remember, he's mine. Sometimes there must have been mistakes, eh? When you had to work in a hurry perhaps. Or you know, just mis- takes, we all make mistakes. I just made a little one yesterday. Tell me, Antonio, were there ever any mistakes? Antonio: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Very regrettable mistakes.

A very few. Philip: And how did the mistakes die? Antonio proudly : All very well. Hemingway was greatly admired in Spain and known to everyone as "Pop. On days when the front was quiet, he used to prowl around trying to borrow cartridges to go out to the country and shoot rabbits. His room on the second floor of the Florida shared honours with Tom Delmer's suite as a meeting-place for a strange assortment of characters.

I don't suppose any hotel in the world has ever attracted a more diverse assembly of foreigners. They came from all parts of the globe and their backgrounds read like a series of improbable adventure stories. They were like an odd assortment of beads strung together on a common thread of war. Any evening you could find them in the Florida; Dutch photographers, American airmen, Ger- man refugees, English ambulance drivers, Spanish picadors and Com- munists of every breed and nationality.

Hemingway's room was presided over by Sydney Franklin, a tough young American bull-fighter. He had often fought in the bull- rings of Spain and had a collection of rings and heavily-embossed cigarette-cases which had been presented to him by various fans. When I asked him how he had happened to come to Madrid, he said: "Well, see, one day Ernest rings me up and says: c 'lo, kid, want to go to the war in Spain? Which side we on? Whenever he quarrelled with her he had her arrested and sent off to gaol for a few days, which always resulted in fearful agitation to get her out again.

And there was Kajsa, a Swedish girl who dressed in men's clothes and wore her hair in a Greta Garbo bob. She had held jobs all over Europe ranging from governess to tourist guide, and had finally wound up in Barcelona as a marathon dancer. On the twelfth day of the dance war broke out and she went to the front as a nurse. She spoke seven languages fluently and her talents finally had been employed by the Press Bureau who appointed her as a semi-official interpreter for the foreign journalists.

The extraordinary personalities which became part of our daily life all held decided opinions, and there were endless and fierce discus- sions on the issues of the day. The Communist "intellectuals" provided a cosmopolitan atmosphere, for their activities were not confined to Spain. The world was their battlefield and the political evolutions of Leon Blum, Neville Chamberlain and Franklin Roosevelt were of more interest to them than the immediate leadership of Largo Caballero.

He had a wealth of "inside" stories dealing with banking scandals, international conspiracies and corrupt politicians. The world I had always found so innocent suddenly became alive with hideous melodrama, and for hours I sat enthralled. The solution for all pana- ceas lay, of course, in the theory of dialectical materialism. I was surprised to find that so ardent a champion of Marx had never visited the Soviet Union, but Claud explained it by saying: "Russia is fixed; I am not interested in watching revolutions; my job is making them.

Fascism, they declared, would put the issue to a test and out of the chaos of a world conflagration the workers would rise. Few of us went to bed before the early hours of the morning. We rose late and did most of our work in the afternoon. Martha Gellhorn was writing articles for Collier's, so we often visited prisons and hos- pitals together, collecting data and interviewing officials.

Here it is: Woke up at eight o'clock starved from lack of food. Went downstairs to the lobby and found George and Helen Seldes talking to a newly- arrived journalist who had a package of butter and honey. George had some tea, so I quickly attached myself to the party; we went upstairs and ate a luxurious breakfast. About eleven, walked down to the Puerta del Sol with Tom Delmer who wanted to buy some wine, but instead got caught in the middle of a bombardment.

I thought it was our guns that were firing until everyone started running for cover. The only people who refused to move were the women standing in a queue line outside a bread shop. I suppose a quick death is preferable to starvation. We started home but my shoe hurt, and instead of going around the long way we walked down the Gran Via, which was a very foolish thing to do as the shells were whistling over every few seconds.

Tom said he had written so often about the inaccuracies of rebel gunfire it would be ironical to have one of them put an end to his promising career. At the hotel we ran into Martha Gellhorn and Hemingway and arranged to meet at twelve to go to a festival for the benefit of the FAI and hear Pastoras sing.

Pastoras never sang and the show was bad; a tap dancer in tails and top hat, a very old flamenco singer and a skit between a priest and a housewife, both of whom kept their backs turned squarely on the audience so that no one could hear what they said. Everyone cheered a lot, so it was evidently a success. The Republicans are trying to take three houses in which the Rebels are entrenched. We watched them shelling the houses, then saw two tanks come down a narrow path.

One of them caught fire and turned into a sheet of flames and the other turned back. Herbert thought we might see a big offensive, but nothing doing, so finally went back to the hotel. The battle we watched was an offensive launched by the Repub- licans; it extended from Las Rozas, on the Escorial road, through the Casa del Campo to Carabanchel.

It lasted three days and in the end was repulsed with heavy casualties. The "Old Homestead" was a house which Hemingway found on the outskirts of the capital. I was surprised to find how banal war became from a distance. Against the wide panorama of rolling hills the puffs of smoke were daubs of cotton and the tanks children's toys. When one of them burst into flames it looked no bigger than the flare of a match. Against the great sweep of Nature, man's struggle became so diminutive it was almost absurd.

Hemingway, however, followed the moves eagerly. He greeted us with his usual cordiality and looked around for a place to sit. The house was gutted with pulverized furniture, old clothes and broken pictures. From the debris he dragged a dilapidated red plush chair, placed it in the middle of the room, and sat down in full view of the battlefield.

He put his elbows on his knees and adjusted his field-glasses. Hemingway warned him it was dangerous to remain exposed, but Haldane waved him aside. A few minutes later Hemingway spoke again: "Your glasses shine in the sun; they will think we are military observers. Two more screamed overhead and we all went down on the floor all except Haldane, who scrambled down the stairs and disappeared.

We were shelled for fifteen or twenty minutes, and when at last we got back to the Florida we found him sitting in the lobby, drinking beer. When the fighting was over the Republicans had a total of nearly three thousand dead and wounded. The two largest hotels in Madrid, the Palace and the Ritz, which had been turned into hospitals, were both crowded. I went into the Palace and I shall never forget the sight. The steps were spattered with blood and the lobby was crowded with wounded men on stretchers waiting to be operated on.

The nurses were not dressed in uniforms and went drift- ing in and out as though it were a smoking lounge. Most of them were peroxide blondes with dirty hands and nails painted vermilion. I learned that the nursing profession had been almost entirely re- stricted to the nuns; since they were on the Franco side the doctors had been forced to use whatever help they could find.

Do not imagine that hardship and suffering had tamed the natural high spirits of the Spaniard. Bitter trials had drawn them together and the atmosphere was quick and friendly. Everyone was camarada and everyone was fighting the Fascists. I took a great liking to the Spanish people; temperamentally, they were as quick and changing as the country they lived in, with its great mountains and its arid plateaux, its bitter cold and its tropical heat.

If they cried one day, they laughed the next. Even in their darkest hours they retained a sense of humour and a zest for living. Anyone who travelled through the country could scarcely fail to be shocked by the miserable living conditions in the villages. The houses were dilapidated and filthy, and often there were no sanitary arrangements of any kind.

Children with sores on their faces and bodies sprawled in the dust like animals. I soon began to understand the grievance against the Church, for in many of these villages cathedral spires rose splendidly over scenes of unforgettable squalor spires fashioned by the money of the peasants. The hospitality of the poor was touching.

They welcomed visitors eagerly and insisted on sharing whatever food and wine they had in the house. If you offered them payment, they were offended. Their spirits were exuberant and they took a passionate interest in the lighter side of life. One day I visited a small village about forty miles outside Madrid with Sydney Franklin, the American bull-fighter. One of the peasants had seen him fight in Seville and the word spread through the village like wildfire.

I think it was this natural buoyancy of spirit that kept the morale in Madrid so high during the long months of bombardment and semi- starvation. Their courage did not consist in bearing their burden patiently, but in ignoring it. Indifference to danger was almost a matter of honour to a nation that had long worshipped the courage of the bull-fighter. Once I sat in a cafe while a bombardment was going on outside. One of the journalists had left his car and chauffeur waiting for him, and when we went out we found the driver slumped over the wheel.

We ran up to him thinking he had been injured, but he sat up, rubbed his eyes, and apologized for having fallen asleep. To the average Spaniard the struggle for daily bread was far more worrying than shell-fire. A few days after Tom Delmer's suite had been hit the hotel was struck again. This time I found the manager having a tantrum in the lobby, denying that anything had happened. The stubborn Republican defence had forced Franco to abandon his immediate drive to the capital and now he was preparing for a major offensive in the north.

At many points along the north front opposing battalions faced each other from trenches only a few hundred yards apart. During periods of inactivity they lobbed grenades and mortars back and forth and broke the monotony by shouting insults across the short no-man's land; other times they sang flamenco love-songs and occasionally, in the quiet of the night, the enemy picked up the chorus.

No one who saw the Republican troops could fail to be moved by the odds against which they fought. They were a ragged unkempt lot. Their army numbered about six hundred thousand, but few had had any previous military experience. They were untrained, un- equipped and badly fed. Many had learned how to fire a rifle in the front line and many had paid for it with their lives. Few had uni- forms; they wore an odd assortment of sweaters and jackets, corduroy trousers and rubber-soled shoes.

They were peasants drawn from the villages of Spain to fight Europe's first war against totalitarianism. I made many trips to the front. I saw soldiers in the trenches at Escorial, in the mountains of Guardarrama, and in the rolling fields of Guadalajara. As there was only a handful of officers to train the men, it became necessary to recruit them from the ranks.

Since few of the peasants could read or write, an accomplishment essential for officers, schools were opened at many headquarters and education became a feverish part of military life. On the wall was a sign that said: "Beat Fascism by learning to read and write.

Foreigners who went to the front were smothered with hospitality and the soldiers demonstrated their guns and tanks with childish delight. The wretched visitor was often sub- jected to terrifying experiences. When I went to the Guadarrama front with Ernest Hemingway, it was considered a friendly gesture to take us for a drive in an armoured car and run us down a road which was under enemy fire in order that we might hear the bullets cracking up against the steel sides.

This particular front consisted of a series of strong points scattered through the mountains and woods. One of the positions was at the top of a hill and I shall never forget the scene that met us as we approached it. Behind a jagged boulder, jutting up against the sky, stood a group of ragged soldiers. One of them was sitting on a wooden box playing a guitar and the others stood around clapping their hands to the steady beat of the music.

The guitar-player threw back his head and broke into a Spanish love-song; his voice cut through the afternoon air in a mournful and passionate cry. Suddenly there was the sharp retort of machine-gun fire. Some of the bullets cracked up against the boulder and others went overhead with a sing-song whine. But the soldiers kept on beating a steady clap-clap to the time of the music.

When we got to the top of the hill they shook hands warmly and offered us cheese and wine. They made us look through an opening in the sandbags and told us the white house sixty yards away at the foot of the hill belonged to the enemy. Far to the right was another house which belonged to the Colonel of the Republican Brigade. Then one of the soldiers came forward and said he was sure the lady would like to see how a trench-mortar worked.

It was impossible to stop him and soon several of them had begun a minor offensive against the enemy position. It seemed only logical that the latter should retaliate and I waited, terrified, for the battle to develop. The soldiers considered this an enormous joke and many of them laughed until they had to hold their sides. The commander of this particular battalion, in boots and breeches and green turtle-necked sweater, had a forage cap pulled rakishly over one eye.

In peace time he had driven a truck in Madrid, but now his swagger and bravado had won him the name of El Guerrero. He had fought all winter in the mountain passes of Guadarrama and although his battalion had been wiped out on several occasions he had managed to get more replacements, and, fighting a desperate guerrilla warfare, had prevented the enemy from moving their columns along the narrow roads. At Headquarters he introduced us to a girl who had fought side by side with them during the winter months.

She had plucked eyebrows and rouged lips and was wearing a man's uni- form. El Guerrero proudly told us his wife had also fought with them, but he had had to send her back to Madrid a few weeks before as she was expecting a baby. El Guerrero's men were the toughest of the tough. They were few against many and their chances of survival were limited. Most of their work consisted of surrounding enemy positions in the night and launching desperate surprise attacks. Besides the danger of war they had to endure the rigorous mountain climate, inadequately clothed and badly fed.

Knowing all this, I was surprised to find many of the soldiers in this tough band of desperadoes were gentle boys with a wistful look in their eyes. One nineteen-year-old peasant, who had thrown a grenade among twelve sleeping men the night before, blushed as he handed me a bunch of wild flowers; another, who had held a machine-gun position single-handed for forty-eight hours, showed me a poem he had written extolling the beauties of nature.

They talked about the war with great optimism, saying that soon their army would be strong enough to take the offensive and that before Christmas the Republican flag would be flying in every vil- lage in Spain. Everyone blames Ben's disappearance at sea on a surfing accident, but Amy has reason to wonder.

Coast Guard officer Curtis Ireland has lost a sibling too. His sister, Gina, was run down by a boat, leaving him to raise her infant daughter. Can two grieving people with secrets find healing on beautiful Hope Island? That is, until her friend uncovers information on a remote island in the Outer Banks - and then disappears!

With the help of Coast Guard captain Kirk, can Libby find Nicole and unearth clues about her extended family before it's too late? Pretty girl thirteen Liz Coley Sixteen-year-old Angie finds herself in her neighbourhood with no recollection of her abduction or the three years that have passed since, until alternate personalities start telling her their stories through letters and recordings.

Now three students will die unless he dares to go back. But this time he has Nick Mason at his side, and maybe Mason's military skills and visceral courage will be enough. Love in disguise Carol Cox Can she solve the crime before they uncover her true identity? Jobless and down to her last dime, Ellie Moore hears about a position with the Pinkerton Detective Agency and believes it's the perfect change to put her acting skills and costumes to use.

Cabal: an Aurelio Zen mystery. Michael Dibdin When, one dark night in November, Prince Ludovico Ruspanti fell a hundred and fifty feet to his death in the chapel at St. Peter's, Rome, there were a number of questions to be answered. Inspector Aurelio Zen finds that getting the answers isn't easy, as witness after witness is mysteriously silenced - by violent death.

To crack the secret of the Vatican, Zen must penetrate the most secret place of all: the Cabal. Cosi fan tutti Michael Dibdin In this, the fifth book in the acclaimed Aurelio Zen series, Zen finds himself in Naples, in disgrace, and having the time of his life. Like the rest of Italy, Naples is concerned about its image and trying to clean up its act.

Unfortunately it seems that someone is taking this rather too literally. Corrupt politicians, shady businessmen and eminent mafiosi are disappearing off the streets at an alarming rate. Amid the quiet fields, autumnal skies and crumbling farmhouses of Piedmont, Zen must try to penetrate a traditional culture in which family and soil are inextricably linked.

Zen must also face up to mysteries from his own past, as well as grapple with the greed, envy, hatred and love that are the human components of any landscape. Vendetta : an Aurelio Zen mystery Michael Dibdin Inspector Zen has a problem: an impossible murder, recorded on the closed-circuit video of Oscar Burolo's top-security Sardinian fortress. As Zen gets to work, he is once again plunged into a menacing and violent world where his own life is soon at risk.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: verily, a new hope Ian Doescher A retelling of Star wars in the style of Shakespeare, in which a wise Jedi knight, an evil Sith lord, a beautiful captive princess, and a young hero coming of age reflect the valour and villainy of the Bard's greatest plays. Paris, Paris David Downie Presents a guide to the districts of Paris, describing the history, buildings, landscape, social customs, and people of the city in each section.

Sherlock Holmes is the famous detective who finds puzzle-solving elementary. When Holmes and his faithful friend Watson are summoned to the country to investigate Douglas's murder, it begins to look as though the past might finally have caught up with him.

Cartwheel Jennifer DuBois When Lily Hayes arrives in Buenos Aires for her semester abroad, she is enchanted by everything she encounters: the colourful buildings, the street food, the handsome, elusive man next door. Her studious roommate Katy is a bit of a bore, but Lily didn't come to Argentina to hang out with other Americans. Five weeks later, Katy is found brutally murdered in their shared home, and Lily is the prime suspect. But who is Lily Hayes?

It depends on who's asking. Uncle Wally's Old Brown Shoe Wallace Edwards The mill on the Floss George Eliot Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict with her family.

As she reaches adulthood, the clash between their expectations and her desires is painfully played out as she finds herself torn between her relationships with three very different men. Silas Marner George Eliot Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his room and his gold Silas hoards a treasure that kills his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired foundling child.

Where she came from, who her parents were and who really stole the gold are the secrets that permeate this moving tale of guilt and innocence. Wanted Kelly Elliott Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone.

The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, her brother's best friend. The midwife's daughter Patricia Ferguson "Violet Dimond", the "Holy Terror", has delivered many of the town children - and often their children - in her capacity as handywoman. But Violet's calling is dying out as, with medicine's advances, the good old ways are no longer good enough. Grace, Violet's adopted daughter, is a symbol of change herself. In the place where she has grown up and everyone knows her, she is accepted, though most of the locals never before saw a girl with skin that colour.

For Violet and Grace the coming war will bring more upheaval into their lives: can they endure it, or will they, like so many, be swept aside by history's tide? The dogs who found me: what I've learned from pets who were left behind Ken Foster Disaster-prone writer and reluctant dog rescuer Ken Foster finds himself adopting an ever-growing collection of stray dogs, from a beagle abandoned in a New York City dog run to a pit bull in a Mississippi truck stop.

The case of the imaginary detective Karen Joy Fowler Rima Lanisell is at a loose end, following the death of her father. She has come to California to stay with her godmother, Addison Early, who once knew Rima's father well. Addison is a best-selling mystery writer. Over the years, she has tried to protect her work and her privacy as her fans have become ever more intrusive. The Jane Austen book club Karen Joy Fowler As six Californians get together to form a book club to discuss the novels of Jane Austen, their lives are turned upside down by troubled marriages, illicit affairs, changing relationships, and love.

The land of mango sunsets Dorothea Benton Frank Frank gives us one woman's journey toward a hard-won truth - life isn't always what it appears to be, and the sooner you realise that pride won't keep you warm at night, the happier you will be. Oh, and one other thing - a truly joyous life comes with a generous heart. Meet Miriam Elizabeth Swanson, in a full-blown snit, buoyed by a fabulous cast who run the gamut from insufferable to wonderful.

Miriam spins out from the revolving door of her postured life as a Manhattan quasi-socialite while she thirsts, no, "starves" for recognition. Remote: office not required Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson While providing a complete overview of remote work's challenges, the authors argue that, often, the advantages of working 'off-site' far outweigh the drawbacks.

Under a Blood Red Sky Kate Furnivall Don't turn around Michelle Gagnon After waking up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there, Noa must team up with computer hacker Peter to stop a corrupt corporation with a deadly secret. It is a fairy tale for the aged - a story that celebrates the belated discovery of amorous passion in old age. This enticingly sensual yet at the same time innocent adventure tells of an unnamed second-rate reporter who on the eve of his 90th birthday decides to give himself 'a night of mad love with a virgin adolescent'.

In a little more than pages, Garcia Marquez proceeds to describe a series of encounters that is hypnotising and disturbing. Too bright to hear too loud to see Juliann Garey Greyson Todd, a successful Hollywood studio executive who leaves his young daughter to travel the world for decade. Now he is able to give free reign to the bipolar disorder that he's been forced to keep hidden for almost 20 years.

The entire narrative unfolds in the time it takes him to undergo twelve second electroshock treatments in a New York psychiatric ward. Wives and daughters Elizabeth Gaskell Set in English society before the Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father.

When he remarries, a new stepsister, Cynthia, enters Molly's quiet life. Loveable but worldly and troubling, Cynthia's arrival alters Molly's daily life. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford. They spend their afternoons with Astrid Donal at the Greys' lush Long Island estate and their nights in Manhattan's bustling metropolis. But Letty's not content to be a mere socialite.

She is ready at last to chase her Broadway dreams - no matter the cost. The luxe Anna Godbersen In Manhattan in , five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.

Rumors Anna Godbersen Penelope takes Elizabeth's tragic absence as an opportunity to remake her image, Lina continues her own identity makeover by latching onto a wealthy benefactor, and ill-fated lovers Diana and Henry struggle with their emotions - and each other. Twerp Mark Goldblatt In Queens, New York, in , twelve-year-old Julian Twerski writes a journal for his English teacher in which he explores his friendships and how they are affected by girls, a new student who may be as fast as Julian, and especially an incident of bullying.

The hex factor Harriet Goodwin Xanthe Fox can't wait to turn thirteen, but as the big day arrives her world starts to fall apart. Set-up at school for something she didn't do, it seems her age-old enemy, Kelly, is making trouble for her and as things escalate, even her best friend Saul starts to doubt her innocence. With the school threatening to expel her, and mysterious glowing Xs appearing in front of her eyes, Xanthe turns to Grandma Alice for help.

But what the old lady tells her will change Xanthe's life for ever. The Crossroads Chris Grabenstein The other woman Jane Green Ellie is happy in her relationship with Dan and glad to be gaining a mother until she starts to take over the wedding and baby preparations. Out of the black land Kerry Greenwood Egypt during the eighteenth dynasty is peacefully prosperous under the joint rule of the pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV - until the younger pharaoh brings terrifying changes.

Child princess Mutnodjme sees her beautiful sister Nefertiti married to the impotent young pharaoh, while the ladies of the court devise a shocking plan to ensure Nefertiti bears royal children. Many believe that the young pharaoh is not only deformed but mad and that the biggest danger to the empire lies within the royal palace itself.

Her surrogate family, the Rivers family, are unlike anyone she has met before and she soon comes to love her new life with them, and in particular with twelve-year old Grace. Over the next few years, as the dog-fights rage ever more fiercely over head and it becomes clear that the Rivers marriage contains deep and irreparable cracks, Nora and Grace grow as close as sisters - though, to Nora's confusion, even this is not quite as close as she would like.

What happened next is a secret that will gnaw away at Nora for the rest of her life - a secret that she can only begin to tell when she is certain that she is approaching the end. The case of the deadly butter chicken Tarquin Hall Vish Puri is as fond of butter chicken as the next Punjabi. And when there's plenty on offer at the Delhi Durbar hotel where he's attending an India Premier League cricket match dinner, he's the first to tuck in.

Irfan Khan, father of Pakistani star cricketer Kamran Khan, can't resist either. But the creamy dish proves his undoing. After a few mouthfuls, he collapses on the floor, dead. Clearly this isn't a case of Delhi Belly. But who amongst the Bollywood stars, politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists poisoned Khan is a mystery.

And with the capital's police chief proving as incompetent as ever, it falls to Most Private Investigators to find out the truth. Portly, persistent and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swathe through modern India's swindlers, cheats and murderers. In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centers and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests.

But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. The last battle: when U. Hitler is dead, and the Third Reich is little more than smoking rubble. No GI wants to be the last man killed in action against the Nazis. But for cigar-chewing, rough-talking, hard-drinking, hard-charging Captain Jack Lee and his men, there is one more mission: rescue fourteen prominent French prisoners held in an SS-guarded castle high in the Austrian Alps.

Simon Howe, once a promising reporter in Portland, Maine, is the last person anyone would have expected to move back to his childhood home to raise a family. Yet, Simon's quiet existence dramatically changes when he starts receiving threatening messages from an anonymous sender. Brown dog : novellas Jim Harrison Of all Jim Harrison's creations, Brown Dog - a bawdy, reckless, down-on-his-luck Michigan Indian - has earned cult status with readers in the more than two decades since his first appearance.

For the first time, Brown Dog gathers all the Brown Dog novellas, including one never before published, into one volume. Legends of the fall Jim Harrison Set in the Rocky Mountains, Legends of the Fall is the epic tale of three brothers and their lives of passion, madness, exploration, and danger at the beginning of World War I. In Revenge, love causes the course of a man's life to be savagely and irrevocably altered. The seance John Harwood A young girl grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for the child she lost.

Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance Langton takes her to a seance. Perhaps they will find comfort from beyond the grave. But that seance has tragic consequences. Hideous love: the story of the girl who wrote Frankenstein Stephanie Hemphill A free-verse novel about the Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, a teenager whose love story led her to write the literary masterpiece, Frankenstein. Penny and her doll Kevin Henkes Penny instantly loves the doll her grandmother sends her, but finding the perfect name for her is a challenge.

The perfect match Kristan Higgins Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by her lifelong crush. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there. Charming, handsome, British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States, and leave Charlie behind. In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience, and make her ex jealous in the process.

Bloodfever Charlie Higson A family disappears at sea. James uncovers a shadowy society operating in a hidden corner of the school. In the bandit-infested interior of Sardinia, a sinister Italian count has built himself a mountain fortress.

Is there a connection? By royal command Charlie Higson Following a treacherous rescue mission high in the freezing Alps, James Bond is preparing for life back at Eton. But James is under surveillance; his every move is being watched. He alone holds the clue to a sinister plot that will bring bloodshed and carnage to his school - and his country.

Double or die Charlie Higson Teenage James has forty-eight hours to rescue a kidnapped professor and to keep a powerful weapon from falling into the wrong hands. Hurricane gold Charlie Higson As the sun blazes over the Caribbean island of Lagrimas Negras, its ruler is watching and waiting.

On the mainland, in the quiet town of Tres Hermanas, ex-flying ace Jack Stone leaves his son and daughter in the company of James Bond. But a gang of thieves lie in ambush - they want Stone's precious safe, and will kill for its contents. This is the start of an adventure that will take him from the school playing fields to the remote shores of Loch Silverfin and a terrifying discovery that threatens to unleash a new breed of warfare.

It's built in a bowl like an amphitheatre, with the winding gear where the stage would be. The pit lies below. Ted Howker's school is on the edge of Lower Terrace next to the chapel. Upper Terrace in a thunderous echo of the Bible so loved by Ted's grandfather is Paradise. Ted and his father and his brothers live in Middle.

In the beginning: a household of men, all of whom work in the pit. They are content, complete, absorbed in their private idyll. Arabella, who comes to stay one lazy summer, is rich, rootless and amoral - and, as they find out, beautiful and loving.

Blow, snow, blow Amy Hsu Lin Looking forward to having fun in the snow with his friends, Splat the Cat decides he cannot wait for the snow to start falling and takes matters into his own paws with hilarious results, in a story complemented by skill-building phonics components. Twilight Erin Hunter After the warrior cat Clans settle into their new homes, the harmony they once had disappears as the clans start fighting each other, until the day their common enemy - the badger - invades their territory.

Steven Johnson A thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London - and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow's solution revolutionised the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world. The Ghost Map is an endlessly compelling and utterly gripping account of that London summer of , from the microbial level to the macrourban-theory level - including, most important, the human level. Death of a nightingale Lene Kaaberbol Protecting the young daughter of an illegal immigrant who has escaped police custody in the aftermath of a brutal murder, Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg struggles with a belief in the woman's innocence as she learns more about her violent past.

Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets to the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth… Abduction Peg Kehret Thirteen-year-old Bonnie has a feeling of foreboding on the very day that her six-year-old brother Matt and their dog Pookie are abducted, and she becomes involved in a major search effort as well as a frightening adventure.

Bonnie makes one big mistake in her attempt to find her brother. In a chilling climax on a Washington State ferry, Bonnie and Matt must outsmart their abductor or pay with their lives. The burnt house Faye Kellerman A plane crashes in unexplained circumstances and the mystery deepens when police investigate. The owners know nothing of the four bodies found in the wreckage. So who are these unidentified passengers? But the biggest question of all comes from a husband frantic with worry.

His wife was supposed to be on the plane — but never boarded it. Why then is she still missing? It's a riddle detective Peter Decker will have to answer quickly if he is to prevent further lives being lost in a case full of the trademark Kellerman twists and shocks.

The Beast Faye Kellerman The traitor's wife Kathleen Kent After Thomas Carrier saves Martha Allen from a wolf attack, he discovers wild animals are not the only dangers lurking in the Massachusetts woods: assassins have arrived from London to capture Charles I's executioner, said to be living outside Boston under an assumed name. A prequel to "The Heretic's Daughter. Just twenty-five years old, Sparks soon proved a leader of immense fortitude and stamina, participating in four amphibious invasions and leading his men through the mountains of Italy and France before enduring intense winter combat against the diehard SS on the Fatherland's borders.

But what Sparks and his men would find as they finally reached the gates of Dachau, Hitler's first and most notorious concentration camp, would be a horror greater than any they had so far experienced. With victory within his grasp, Sparks had to confront the ultimate test of his humanity: after all he had faced, could he resist the urge to wreak vengeance on the men who had caused such untold suffering and misery?

Reality Boy A. King We are water Wally Lamb Anna Oh, a middle-age wife, mother and artist, divorces her husband after 27 years of marriage to marry Vivica, the Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her professional success. All he knew for certain was that someone wanted him dead - and that he had better learn why. But everywhere he turned there seemed to be more questions - or people too willing to hide the truth behind a smoke screen of lies.

He had only the name he had been told was his own, his mysterious skill with a gun, and a link to a half million dollars' worth of buried gold as evidence of his past life. Heart of glass Jill Marie Landis When Colin forces Kate to promise his dying sister that together they will care for his niece and nephew, she complies. Having been orphaned herself, Kate realizes she must put the children's welfare above her own - even if it means a marriage of convenience. Can her persistent love and faith transform their uncertain future?

Hoping for a new life, she moves to the bayou with her twin "brothers" and fellow tribemates. But her brothers kidnap the daughter of a wealthy carpetbagger and force Maddie to hide the precocious eight-year-old. As Maddie stands at a crossroads in her life, the child escapes. When Pinkerton agent Tom Abbott is assigned to the case, there's no denying their mutual attraction.

Triptych Margit Liesche Budapest, In the darkest year of Hungary's modern history, a national uprising against Soviet occupiers is underway. Eleven-year-old Evike and her firebrand mother steal deep into battle zones in support of civilian freedom fighters. When taken in for interrogation by the secret police, little Evike spins a story to save her mother - a story that will irrevocably alter many lives and reach its tentacles, thirty years later, into the life of Ildiko Palmay.

Threads of Grace Kelly Long In the heart of the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, the beautiful and weary Amish widow Grace Beller is not looking for a husband - especially one so much younger than she is. But handsome, and smitten, Seth Wyse stumbles upon a way to help her, and they marry to keep Grace's autistic son safe from his ill-intentioned uncle. Grace soon discovers that she is far from immune to her young husband's experienced charm and realises that her first marriage has not destroyed her capacity for love.

No safe harbor Elizabeth Ludwig Cara Hamilton had thought her brother to be dead. Now, clutching his letter, she leaves Ireland for America, to find him. Her search leads her to the house of a man who claims to be a friend, Rourke Walsh. She's then thrust into a world of subterfuge.

Her questions guide her ever nearer to locating her brother, but they also bring her closer to destruction as those who want to kill him track her footsteps. He was seven years old when rumours of a coup reached his boarding school in Accra. His father, a minister of state, was suddenly missing, then imprisoned for more than a year.

My First Coup D'Etat offers a look at the country that has long been considered Africa's success story. This is a one-of-a-kind book: Mahama's is a rare literary voice from a political leader, and his stories work on many levels - as fables, as history, as cultural and political analysis, and, of course, as the memoir of a young man who, unbeknownst to him or anyone else, would grow up to be vice president of his nation.

The gallows curse Karen Maitland It's and a black force is sweeping England and in the village of Gastmere, the consequences grow darker still when Elena, a servant girl, is dragged into a conspiracy to absolve the sins of the lord of the manor. As the terrors that soon begin to plague Elena's sleep grow darker, in desperation she visits the cunning woman, who has been waiting for just such an opportunity to fulfil an ancient curse conjured at the gallows. Elena, haunted by this curse and threatened with death for a crime she didn't commit, flees the village - only to find her nightmare has barely begun.

Pagan spring G. Malliet Vicar Max Tudor, reveling in his new-found personal happiness with Awena Owen, feels that life at the moment holds no greater challenge than writing his Easter sermon. With Awena away, he looks forward to a dinner that includes newcomers to the village like West End dramatist Thaddeus Bottle and his downtrodden wife Melinda.

But when one of the dinner guests is found dead in the pre-dawn hours, Max knows a poisonous atmosphere has once again enveloped his perfect village of Nether Monkslip. Little wolves Thomas James Maltman Their family farms devastated by a Minnesota drought in , a father searches for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, while a pastor's wife returns to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. The Good Daughters Joyce Maynard Dead I well may be Adrian McKinty Appointed by a crime boss to lead a gang of Irish thugs against rival powers in Harlem and the Bronx, young illegal immigrant Michael Forsythe falls out of favor when he seduces his employer's daughter.

The dead yard Adrian McKinty Mercenary Michael Forsythe is forced to infiltrate an Irish terrorist cell, confronting murder, mayhem, and the prospect of his own execution. Bang Lisa McMann Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people's lives and she's finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams.

But the nightmare's not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Feeling responsible for what he's going through and knowing that people's lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer's vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. What happens in Scotland Jennifer McQuiston When Lady Georgette Thorold awoke she saw her corset hanging from the armoire, a very handsome, very naked Scotsman lying beside her … and a wedding ring on her finger!

Before the attractive stranger can tell her his name, Georgette does the only sensible thing - she runs for it. Little does she know, James MacKenzie isn't clear on what happened the night before either. The world as we know it Joseph Monninger A lifetime of friendship begins the day brothers Ed and Allard save Sarah from drowning in an icy river near their rural New Hampshire home.

Though their paths diverge through the years, the connection between the three endures until a heartbreaking tragedy in the remote mountains of Wyoming forces Sarah and Allard to confront the unthinkable. But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated SAT word: to be thrown from a window when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. When sparrows fall Meg Moseley A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life.

When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling brand of "shepherding". But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets only he knows, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she'll be unable to protect her children.

Wild Born Brandon Mull Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world.

Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers and on you. Whittle and the Morning Star Robert Nathan Slummy mummy Fiona Neill A smart, laugh-out-loud debut novel about a deeply flawed but endearing stay-at-home mum, a book for anyone who took Bridget Jones to heart a decade ago-and now has kids. Lucy Sweeney has three sons, a husband on a short fuse, and a tendency toward domestic disaster.

When she begins a flirtation with Sexy Domesticated Dad, a father from the school car-pool lane, the string of white lies to cover up the trail of chaos and illicit desire starts to unravel and disaster looms. The broken token Chris Nickson When Richard Nottingham, Constable of Leeds, discovers his former housemaid murdered in a particularly sickening manner, his professional and personal lives move perilously close.

Circumstances conspire against him, and more murders follow. Not only does the murder investigation keep running into brick walls as family problems offer an unwelcome distraction; he can't even track down a thief who has been a thorn in his side for months. Windward passage Jim Nisbet In the parallel near-future, a ship named for a jellyfish sinks into the Caribbean with its captain chained to the mast.

Left behind is a logbook missing ten pages, presidential DNA hidden in a brick of smuggled cocaine, and a nearly-completed novel. Tipsy, the dead sailor's sister, and Red Means, his erstwhile employer, travel from San Francisco to the Caribbean and back as they attempt to unravel a mystery that rapidly widens from death at sea to international conspiracy.

Having no way to contact his family, and fearing for his life if he told the truth, Solomon Northup was sold from plantation to plantation in Louisiana, toiling under cruel masters for twelve years before meeting Samuel Bass, a Canadian who finally put him in touch with his family, and helped start the process to regain his freedom. But when she realises that her dad and the rest of her family have a lot to learn about ballet, she has a fabulous idea!

What if she opened her own ballet school? Fancy Nancy and the posh puppy Jane O'Connor Nancy wants to adopt a special puppy so that she is no longer the only fancy member of her family, but after a day of puppysitting a papillon, she realizes that being fancy is not always the most important thing. Now enjoy Fancy Nancy like you never have before with this splendiferous audio collection filled with 31 stories.

Taken Niamh O'Connor It's a cold wet winter night when a car pulls into a service station on Dublin quays. Strapped in to the back-seat is a three-year-old boy, asleep. Five minutes later he's gone - kidnapped in the time it's taken his mother to pay for her petrol. Distraught and fearing for his safety,she has only one option: DI Jo Birmingham.

Her search for the little boy takes her into a dark world of lies and corruption, where hard cash is king, where sex is a commodity to be bought and sold - and where the lost and vulnerable are in terrifying danger … The good old days : crime, murder and mayhem in Victorian London Gilda O'Neill The nineteenth century was a time when not only were there massive gulfs being created between the upper, middling and working classes, but there was also a growing awareness of the existence of an even more impoverished underclass - a terrifying demi-monde of criminals, tarts and no-hope low lifes.

The extent of those class divisions and consequent poverty meant that it could honestly be said by commentators of the time that the customs, lives and even language of the poorest in society were less familiar to their more privileged neighbours than those of the inhabitants of what was known then as 'darkest Africa'. Gilda O'Neill's exploration of the teeming underbelly that was to be found in the fog-bound streets, rat-infested slums, common lodging houses, boozers, penny gaffs and brothels in the heart of the greatest empire that the world has ever seen brings to life the real working-class London of Victoria's reign.

Keep it pithy : useful observations in a tough world Bill O'Reilly O'Reilly offers a classic collection of the most memorable writings from his previous books and columns, topped off with a new introduction, and looks back at how his opinions and ideas have been proven right or wrong by the passage of time. Now the anchor of The O'Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Killing Jesus will take listeners inside Jesus's life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and changed the world forever.

As an added bonus, listen to an interview with the author and reader, Mary Pope Osborne. Amelia Bedelia tries her luck Herman Parish Amelia Bedelia's day starts with a crash and a broken mirror. When Amelia Bedelia hears that a broken mirror is bad luck, she's worried. Does this mean that she's doomed for life? Amelia Bedelia is determined to change her luck, but how? Will a four-leaf clover do it? How about a horseshoe? Miss Edwards, Amelia Bedelia's teacher, explains that those are superstitions and don't really affect your luck.

But after Amelia Bedelia tries her luck and steps on every single crack in the sidewalk … she's not so sure! As he greets his family, his kid brother lies stretched out on a steel gurney, battered, bruised - dead. The police say that he drowned in stormy seas, but Jack knows this doesn't ring true.

To uncover the truth, Jack confronts a wall of silence; a barricade of lawyers, police, and shadowy 'professionals' protecting the privileges of the multi-billionaire summer residents. When he finds that his brother had nearly two hundred thousand dollars in the bank, he realises Peter wasn't just parking cars for a living. Two FBI agents are dead, the boss is wounded, and Pellisante vows the Electrician's next move will be from a jail cell.

Andie Echeverra, a part-time actress and a single, full-time mom, is assigned her next role as Juror 11 in the landmark trial against Mafia Don Dominic Cavello. Though Cavello's influence extends across blue uniforms and black robes, the case should be open-and-shut. But the legal system fails with devastating results, and Nick and Andie are the only ones left to seek justice. To stop the Electrician, they must take matters into their own hands. He is involved with Tess, the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and what's more, a million dollars is within touching distance; his share of the score for the robbery of some world-class art.

All he has to do is trigger alarms to throw the cops off the scent. Season of the machete James Patterson Cool and glamourous, they appear to be a successful couple on a holiday. Yet Damian and Carrie Rose are psychopathic murderers for hire. On this picture-perfect vacation island, their target is Peter Macdonald, a dashing young American who forsakes a life of leisure to confront cold-blooded terror.

But when they clash in a shocking endgame, a hideous truth will emerge - one that can destroy them all? The rich and the famous from all over America — and beyond — have arrived to honour a former First Lady after her sudden, unexpected death. Then follows an attack that was three years in the planning.

Hostages are taken — the ex-President among them — ransoms demanded, a couple of hostages shot to show the kidnappers mean business. It's all brilliantly and chillingly co-ordinated, and Michael Bennett, the detective in charge of the case, knows it will be his biggest ever challenge. It ends with a relentless and unforgettable manhunt in the North. In between is the riveting story of a chilling assassin, the woman he loves, and the beloved leader he is hired to kill with extreme prejudice.

Treasure hunters James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein, with Mark Shulman The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and travelling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear on the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They'll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure-hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents - and find out if they're still alive.

One, Tommy Fielding, a senior officer of a company building a new baseball stadium appears to have died from an accidental overdose of heroin. The other, Jack Novak, the local drug dealers' attorney is the victim of a ritual murder. But in each case the character of the dead man seems contradicted by the particulars of his death … Coincidence or connection?

Loss of innocence Richard North Patterson June, America is in a state of turbulence, engulfed in civil unrest and uncertainty. Yet for Whitney Dane spending the summer of her twenty-second year on Martha's Vineyard life could not be safer, nor the future more certain.

Educated at Wheaton, soon to be married, and the youngest daughter of the patrician Dane family, Whitney has everything she has ever wanted, and is everything her all-powerful and doting father, Charles Dane, wants her to be.

But the Vineyard's still waters are disturbed by the appearance of Benjamin Blaine. The profession of violence: the rise and fall of the Kray twins John Pearson In the 's London's gangland was ruled by two men - Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Building an empire of crime by intimidation, extortion and terror on a scale never seen before or since, they feted stars of stage and screen, sportsmen and even politicians to gain the respectability they craved.

Battle magic Tamora Pierce When messengers arrive in Gyongxe "inviting" Dedicate Initiate Rosethorn and her two young companion mages, Evumeimei and Briar, to court to celebrate the birthday of the Emperor of Yanjing, Rosethorn is eager to go, but Briar suspects that there is an ulterior motive behind the invitation. Eight brothers and sisters, assorted in-laws, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews not to mention an overweight corgi plus an irrepressible matriarch who's a match for any of them.

These are the Bridgertons: less a family than a force of nature. Now, with The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, Julia Quinn delivers eight sexy, funny, and heartwarming "2nd Epilogues" plus a bonus story about none other than the wise and witty matriarch Violet Bridgerton herself. It's in his kiss Julia Quinn What happened to the diamonds????

If you've read It's in His Kiss, you want to know. Don't miss this charming and passionate addendum, in which Gareth proves that some things get better with age, Hyacinth gains new respect for her mother with a daughter like Isabella she'd have to, wouldn't she? Romancing Mister Bridgerton Julia Quinn We can't really say more without giving away a big, fat spoiler, but it turns out that: Colin is a bit of a meddler, Hyacinth is more of a meddler, and the only time all of the Bridgertons stop talking at once is when Penelope has something really embarrassing to say.

Hey, we never said it was easy to marry a Bridgerton, just that it was fun… The sum of all kisses Julia Quinn Hugh Prentice has never had patience for dramatic females, and if Lady Sarah Pleinsworth has ever been acquainted with the words shy or retiring, she's long since tossed them out the window.

Besides, even if Hugh did grow to enjoy her company, it wouldn't matter. A reckless duel has left this brilliant mathematician with a ruined leg, and now, unable to run, ride, or even waltz, he could never court a woman like Sarah, much less dream of marrying her. The viscount who loved me Julia Quinn Fifteen years have passed, but the Bridgertons are as devious and diabolical as ever when it comes to life on the croquet field.

Join Anthony, Kate, Simon, Daphne, Colin, Edwina, and of course the mallet of death, as Julia Quinn shows that happily ever after can still be a little bit wicked… and a whole lot of fun. When he was wicked Julia Quinn Three years have passed since Francesca's and Michael's marriage, and they are still childless.

And Francesca wonders - can a woman be truly and completely happy when a little piece of her heart remains empty? But just when she makes peace with her fate, something unexpected occurs… The Edge of Always J. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying exsitence. The wolves of midwinter Anne Rice For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest.

From out of the shadows of the exquisite mansion comes a ghost tormented, imploring, unable to speak yet able to embrace and desire with desperate affection. He was only king for the last nine years of his life. The eldest son of Victoria and Albert, Bertie was bullied by both his parents. Victoria blamed his scandalous womanising for Albert's early demise, and this richly entertaining biography reveals his power struggle with Queen Victoria as one of the stormiest mother-son relationships in history.

This magnificent and exhaustively researched book which draws on numerous new discoveries and primary sources gives Bertie due credit while painting a vivid portrait of the age in all its excess and eccentricity.

The curious habits of Doctor Adams: a s murder mystery Jane Robins In July , the press descended in droves on the south-coast town of Eastbourne. An inquest had just been opened into the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of Mrs Bobbie Hullett. She died after months of apparent barbiturate abuse - the drugs prescribed to calm her nerves by her close friend and doctor, Dr John Bodkin Adams. The inquest brought to the surface years of whispered suspicion that had swept through the tea rooms, shops and nursing homes of the town.

As expertly crafted as the best period detective novel, this book casts an entertainingly chilling light on a man reputed to be one of England's most prolific serial killers. The wicked wallflower Maya Rodale Lady Emma Avery has accidentally announced her engagement - to the most eligible man in England. As soon as it's discovered that Emma has never actually met the infamously attractive Duke of Ashbrooke, she'll no longer be a wallflower; she'll be a laughingstock.

And then Ashbrooke does something Emma never expected. He plays along with her charade. Roquelaure Anne Rice's retelling of the Beauty story probes the unspoken implications of this lush, suggestive tale by exploring its undeniable connection to sexual desire. Here the Prince reawakens Beauty, not with a kiss, but with sexual initiation.

His reward for ending the hundred years of enchantment is Beauty's complete and total enslavement to him. Special Agent James Nessheim has a local informant who's willing to help, but right after telling Nessheim he's discovered something important, Billy Osaka disappears. Instead of focusing on the inhuman conditions of the prison, Rostampour and Amirizadeh reflected on God's love and strengthened their faith.

Tales from a not-so-graceful ice princess Rachel Renee Russell Nikki Maxwell is determined to help out her crush Brandon save an animal shelter. So Nikki and her friends Chloe and Zoey enter an ice skating competition to help raise money for the shelter, but big surprise Mackenzie has to stick her nose in and cause trouble. It's the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesn't ask her? Or worse…what if he asks Mackenzie?!!

Tales from a not-so-talented pop star Rachel Renee Russell Nikki Maxwell has been doing everything she can to keep everyone at school from learning the truth - that she's there on scholarship in exchange for her Dad working as the school's exterminator. The last thing Nikki needs is having her friends and - worst case scenario - her crush, Brandon, associating her with the humongous roach on top of her Dad's van!

The countess Lynsay Sands The fairy tale courtship did not turn into a happily-ever-after. Not until her husband dropped dead, that is. He had been horrible enough to Christiana during their short marriage, and she was not going to allow the traditional period of mourning to ruin her sisters' debuts as well. So she decides to put him on ice and go on as if nothing's happened, until the real earl appears! The Heiress Lynsay Sands The Hellion and the Highlander Lynsay Sands Love you hate you miss you Elizabeth Scott After coming out of alcohol rehabilitation, sixteen-year-old Amy sorts out conflicting emotions about her best friend Julia's death in a car accident for which she feels responsible.

Accused Lisa Scottoline Love, Splat Rob Scotton The second hilarious story about Splat the Cat, the irresistible character from Rob Scotton, bestselling creator of Russell the Sheep Splat the cat is desperate to become friends with one of the girls at school! But he's much too shy to talk to her.

However will he get her attention? Perhaps Valentine's Day will provide the perfect opportunity? Merry Christmas, Splat Rob Scotton Splat the cat is worried that he has not been good enough to deserve a visit and a present from Santa Claus. Splat the Cat audio collection Rob Scotton Join Splat in his outrageously funny and endearing adventures: from his first day at school, to Valentine's Day, to going camping with his rival, Spike.

Collection of 8 Splat titles. Lady of the shades Darren Shan Ed, an American author on the hunt for a story for his next book, arrives in London looking for inspiration. A stranger in a strange city, he's haunted by a deadly secret that refuses to stay buried, and no matter how hard he tries he cannot escape the manifest sins of his past.

What Ed wants is answers, what he finds is something he definitely didn't bargain for: the beautiful and untouchable Andeanna Menderes. Andeanna is a woman who is dangerously bound to one of London's most notorious crime lords, and if they are caught together it could mean death for them both. A living nightmare Darren Shan Two boys who are best friends visit an illegal freak show, where an encounter with a vampire and a deadly spider forces them to make life-changing choices.

Tunnels of blood Darren Shan Darren, the vampire's assistant, gets a taste of the city when he leaves the Cirque du Freak with Evra the snake-boy and Mr. When corpses are discovered - corpses drained of blood - Darren and Evra are compelled to hunt down whatever foul creature is committing such horrendous acts. Meanwhile, beneath the streets, evil stalks Darren and Evra, and all clues point to Mr. The vampire's assistant Darren Shan After traveling with Mr. Crepsley, the vampire who made him into a half-vampire, Darren returns to the freak show known as the Cirque du Freak and continues to fight his need to drink human blood.

My promised land : the triumph and tragedy of Israel Ari Shavit My Promised Land tells the story of Israel as it has never been told before. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Through revealing stories of significant events and of ordinary individuals - pioneers, immigrants, entrepreneurs, scientists, army generals, peaceniks, settlers, and Palestinians - Israeli journalist Ari Shavit illuminates many of the pivotal moments of the Zionist century that led Israel to where it is today.

The result is a landmark portrait of a small, vibrant country living on the edge, whose identity and presence play a crucial role in today's global political landscape. A cruel and shocking act: the secret history of the Kennedy assassination Philip Shenon Groundbreaking new history of the Kennedy assassination, investigative reporter and bestselling author Phil Shenon writes the ultimate inside account of what has become the most controversial murder investigation of the 20th century, the aftermath of the assassination of President John F.

Jack and Lydia are already in love, but because of Lydia's obsession with romantic novels, Jack has disguised himself as a poor officer named Ensign Beverly — and he is only one of Lydia's many suitors.

The Rivals was Sheridan's first play, and this charming comedy of manners continues to be widely performed today. The school for scandal Richard Brinsley Sheridan Beware the gossips! Lady Sneerwell and her hireling Snake are certainly up to no good in this timeless send-up of hypocritical manners. Thanks to their scandal-mongering, the comely Lady Teazle must fend off the slanderous barbs that have caught the ear of her elderly husband - as well as every other gossip in London!

What follows is a torrent of mistaken identities and sex-crazed scheming in which the upper classes have never looked so low class. Body surfing Anita Shreve At the age of twenty-nine, Sydney has already been once divorced and once widowed. In her grief she left behind her settled life, and has now come to tutor the teenage daughter of the well-to-do Edwards family as they spend a sultry summer in their beachfront New England cottage.

But when the Edwards's two grown sons, Miles and Jeff, show up at the beach house, it becomes clear that the placid, anonymous existence Sydney had hoped for is not to be. Instead, tensions mount between the brothers as they compete for the love of a woman who has vowed never to risk her heart again.

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