“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”
A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee
Desperate for a fresh start after the rigours of WW1 and the death of his wife from influenza, Captain Sam Wyndham arrives in India in 1919 to take up an important post in Calcutta’s police force.
He is soon called to the scene of a horrifying murder. The victim was a senior official and a note in his mouth warns the British to leave India. With the stability of the Empire under threat, Wyndham and Sergeant “Surrender-not” Banerjee must solve the case quickly. But there are some who will do anything to stop them.
A fast-moving, highly entertaining murder mystery, that convincingly evokes Calcutta and the Indian Raj at the time. Paperback, Vintage, £8.99.
The first in a series of exceptional historical crime novels.
Educated by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was born to Mormon survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, the youngest of seven children. Here she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals and doctors, so the family were treated at home with herbalism, and kept isolated from mainstream society. However, despite having no formal education, Tara began to teach herself and gradually studied her way to college, and then to Harvard and finally Cambridge, where in 2014 she was awarded a PhD in intellectual history.
Tara’s journey is extraordinary and in the course of it, she writes, she found herself through what some might call a ““transformation” and others a “betrayal”, but what she calls an “education”.
This is a superb memoir – an astonishing story about the transformative power of education, but also a tale about the strength of family ties and the grief that family loyalty can cause. Paperback, Windmill Books, £9.99
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
“At once a murder mystery, a coming -of-age narrative and a celebration of nature”. New York Times
For years, rumours of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast, so in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediatedly suspect the so-called March Girl, Kya Clark. However, Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand, but when two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life. Paperback, LittleBrown, £8.99