Top Picks - Fiction

D (A Tale of Two Worlds)

$32.99

A modern-day Dickensian fable and a celebration of friendship and humanity, by the acclaimed author of The Crimson Petal and the White.

It all starts on the morning the letter D disappears from the language.
First, it vanishes from her parents’ conversation at breakfast, then from the road signs outside. Soon the local dentist and the neighbour’s Dalmatian are missing, and even the Donkey Derby has been called off.

Though she doesn’t know why, Dhikilo is summoned to the home of her old history teacher Professor Dodderfield and his faithful Labrador, Nelly Robinson. And this is where our story begins.

Set between England and the wintry land of Liminus, a world enslaved by the monstrous Gamp and populated by fearsome, enchanting creatures, D (Tale of Two Worlds) is a mesmerising tale of friendship and bravery in an uncertain world. Told with simple beauty and warmth, its celebration of moral courage and freethinking is a powerful reminder of our human capacity for strength, hope and justice.

Deacon King Kong

$39.99

From the winner of a National Book Award and author of the bestselling memoir,The Color of Water, and The Good Lord Bird, soon to be a TV series starring Ethan Hawke

The year is 1969. In a housing project in south Brooklyn, a shambling old church deacon called Sportcoat shoots – for no apparent reason – the local drug-dealer who used to be part of the church’s baseball team. The repercussions of that moment draw in the whole community, from Sportcoat’s best friend – Hot Sausage – to the local Italian mobsters, the police (corrupt and otherwise), and the stalwart ladies of the Five Ends Baptist Church.

DEACON KING KONG is a book about a community under threat, about the ways people pull together in an age when the old rules are being rewritten. It is very funny in places, and heartbreaking in others. From a prize-winning storyteller, this New York Times bestseller shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, and that the communities we build are fragile but vital.

Death in Daylesford

$32.99

Surrounded by secrets, great and small, the formidable Miss Phryne Fisher returns to vanquish injustice.

When a mysterious invitation arrives for Miss Phryne Fisher from an unknown Captain Herbert Spencer, Phryne’s curiosity is excited. Spencer runs a retreat in Victoria’s spa country for shell-shocked soldiers of the First World War. It’s a cause after Phryne’s own heart but what could Spencer want from her?

Phryne and the faithful Dot view their spa sojourn as a short holiday but are quickly thrown in the midst of disturbing Highland gatherings, disappearing women, murder and the mystery of the Temperance Hotel.

Meanwhile, Cec, Bert and Tinker find a young woman floating face down in the harbour, dead. Tinker, with Jane and Ruth, Phryne’s resilient adopted daughters, together decide to solve what appears to be a heinous crime.

Disappearances, murder, bombs, booby-traps and strange goings-on land Miss Phryne Fisher right in the middle of her most exciting adventure.

Dictionary of Lost Words

$32.99

In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the ‘Scriptorium’, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: THE DICTIONARY OF LOST WORDS.

Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It’s a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it.

Driving Stevie Fracasso

$32.99

Two estranged brothers, one stolen car and a road trip from Texas to New York. What could possibly go wrong? For fans of Nick Hornby, David Nicholls and Jonathan Tropper.

Jaded music journalist Rick McLennan knows his life is going south when he loses his job, his apartment and his long-term girlfriend all on the same day. But then he is thrown a lifeline – a commission to write the story of his ex-rock-star brother, Stevie, and drive him from Austin, Texas, to New York to play one final gig. One small problem: the brothers haven’t spoken in thirty years.

Rick knows it’s a bad idea. But he’s out of choices. So he gets behind the wheel of a beaten-up 1985 Nissan Stanza and drives towards his destiny. He’s about to find everything he didn’t know he was missing. It’s September 2001.

From award-winning journalist and author Barry Divola comes a glorious, music-infused, rollicking road-trip novel – think High Fidelity meets The Big Lebowski meets The Darjeeling Limited. A smart, funny and wholly endearing story about how, though we may at times lose ourselves along the way, the road always leads back to family and the things that bring us joy.

Edge of The Grave

$32.99

Glasgow, 1932. When the son-in-law of one of the city’s wealthiest shipbuilders is found floating in the River Clyde with his throat cut, it falls to Inspector Jimmy Dreghorn to lead the murder case – despite sharing a troubled history with the victim’s widow, Isla Lockhart.

From the flying fists and flashing blades of Glasgow’s gangland underworld, to the backstabbing upper echelons of government and big business, Dreghorn and his partner ‘Bonnie’ Archie McDaid will have to dig deep into Glasgow society to find out who wanted the man dead and why.

All the while, a sadistic murderer stalks the post-war city leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake. As the case deepens, will Dreghorn find the killer – or lose his own life in the process?

Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison is a dark historical crime novel set in Glasgow, 1932. A city still recovering from the Great War; split by religious division and swarming with razor gangs. For fans of William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw, Denise Mina and Philip Kerr.

Empires

$32.99

Alaska, 2018, and Mike is a long way from home, nursing a wrecked knee and an unspoken grief, striking out into real estate and parenting his partner’s son. London, 1978, and Simon is an Australian fish out of water navigating adolescence during the Winter of Discontent, and drawn to an eccentric impresario next door. Washington, DC, 1928, and a retired US senator is interviewed about his time in Russia in 1916, and his mission to save a young heir to an empire. Vienna, 1809, and an Irish teenager on the run from the law takes refuge among composers as Napoleon besieges and shells the city. Hong Kong, 2019, and estranged brothers Mike and Simon reunite in midlife to face the secrets of the past, and reconnect in more ways than one.

Empires rise and fall, human lives play out, encounters, collisions and connections occur more than we can ever know – and yet, the unexpected can still happen.

Endlessly compelling and inventive, Empires is a masterful novel in five parts with boys and men at its heart. Spanning centuries and crossing continents, it explores the empires we build, the way we see ourselves, the narratives we construct and the interconnectedness of all things. This is Nick Earls at his finest.

Fair Warning

$32.99

Stalwart journalist Jack McEvoy – the hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow – tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar – until now – in this thriller from #1 bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, he realises he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.

Jack investigates against the warnings of the police and his own editor, walking a thin line between investigation and obsession, and makes a shocking discovery, connecting the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But then he himself becomes a suspect, and as he races to clear his name, Jack’s findings point to a serial killer who uses personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.

Featherweight

$27.99

A story of overcoming all the odds, and a woman centuries ahead of her time, set on the canals of nineteenth-century England

Annie Perry is born beside the coal-muddied canals of the Black Country, at the height of the industrial revolution. The youngest in a large Romani family who cannot afford to keep her, when she is eight years old Annie is sold as a servant to the famous and feared bare-knuckle boxer Bill Perry, The Tipton Slasher.

Bill is starting to lose his strength, but refuses to give up his crown. When it looks like a fight might become Bill’s last, Annie steps into the ring, fists raised in his defence. From that moment she is determined to train and follow in Bill’s footsteps, to learn to fight for herself. But Annie has been doing this all along.

A whole new world opens up for Annie, one of love, fortune, family and education, but also of danger. One wrong move, one misstep, and the course of her life will be changed forever.

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