The ‘T’ Books… #A-Z books

This series is an adaptation of something I saw on Twitter – people were posting 26 books in 26 days, each title beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. However, I’m planning on taking around 26 months to get to Z. Each month I’ll post a newish book I’ve enjoyed, plus a children’s book and an older book.

Today, it’s the ‘T’ books.

‘Deeply compelling, quietly threatening.’

It’s the summer of 1984 and there is a sense of unease on the troubled Sweetmeadows estate. The residents are in shock after the suspicious death of a baby and tension is growing due to the ongoing miners’ strike.

Journalist Clare Jackson follows the story as police bungle the inquiry and struggle to contain the escalating violence. Haunted by a personal trauma she can’t face up to, Clare is shadowed by nine-year-old Amy, a bright but neglected little girl who seems to know more about the incident than she’s letting on.

As the days go on and the killer is not found, Clare ignores warnings not to get too close to her stories and, in doing so, puts her own life in jeopardy.

This Little Piggy is one of those books that stays with you. I can remember the miner’s strike, and the atmosphere of the time is brilliantly recreated in the novel. And to say the ending is chilling is an understatement.

When her mother and father are killed in a car crash, thirteen-year-old Emma goes to live with her aunt in Edinburgh. Aunt Patsy, a freelance designer, is eccentric, forgetful, untidy and always waiting for the next cheque to arrive…

Emma’s music-loving brother, Richard, is sent to live with another aunt, Laura, who has meals on the dot and everything organised.

It looks as thought the well-organised Emma has chosen the wrong aunt – and yet…

I have an aunt in Edinburgh too, and this made The High House a very attractive read when I was a girl. This is the first of three Emma books – I loved them all, but I’m not sure they’re still available.

A cosy Cotswolds crime novel

When Meredith Mitchell’s old friend Toby Smythe turns up on leave, she is delighted to see him. But Toby has a problem – or rather his relative Alison Jenner has – and he wants to enlist the help of Meredith’s fiance, Detective Superintendent Alan Markby. Alison has been receiving anonymous hate mail which alludes to the murder of her aunt, Freda Kemp, of which Alison was acquitted when she was just twenty. Who is the writer, and how does he or she know about this secret in Alison’s past?

Markby is at first reluctant to become involved, especially as he and Meredith are busy planning their wedding, but enquiries into a poison pen campaign soon turn into a murder hunt. With the help of Inspector Jessica Campbell, a new member of Markby’s team, the investigation unravels a twenty-five-year-old mystery and its dreadful legacy of violence.

I have all the Mitchell and Markby mysteries – I wish there were more!

Coming next month, the ‘U’ books. Watch this space.

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