England -- fiction

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls

Emma has just graduated from college when she meets Dexter. She’s smitten with his beauty and drawn to his easy self-confidence. For his part, Dexter realizes that Emma is probably the most intriguing person he has ever met. That’s high praise, indeed, from a guy to whom women flock in great numbers. One Day by David Nicholls follows the two over the course of almost twenty years.

While Emma has plans to change the world, life simply happens—and in a big way—to her handsome friend. Despite her considerable talents, Emma can’t seem to jumpstart her career. Dexter, on the other hand, falls into a media job. His natural attributes make him an instant success, and considerable fame and fortune follow shortly. But what Dexter was certain was the path to happiness leads him instead to a hollow existence.

The Mermaid Garden

By Santa Montefiore

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Ten-year-old Floriana is captivated by the beauty of the magnificent Tuscan villa that overlooks the sea just outside her small village. She likes to spy from the crumbling wall into the gardens and imagine that one day she'll escape her meager existence and live there surrounded by its otherworldly splendor. Then one day Dante, the son of the villa's powerful industrialist owner, invites her inside and shows her the enchanting Mermaid Garden. From that moment, Floriana knows that the only destiny for her is there, in that garden, with Dante. But as they grow up and fall in love, their romance causes a crisis, jeopardizing the very thing they hold most dear.

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Doc Martin

Doc Martin

If you are a fan of House, MD and are tired of the summer’s reruns, give Doc Martin a try. This BBC series has a British version of a neurotic and tortured physician. He’s rude, socially awkward, and funny-looking – yet still lovable.

The series takes place in Portwenn in Cornwall, England, and has beautiful scenery of the Cornish coast and village and lots of local color.  In the first episode, Doc Martin (Martin Clunes) leaves his London practice because of a phobia of blood and becomes the general practitioner for the village where he had stayed as a boy with his Aunt Joan.
 

Lamb in Love

By Carrie Brown

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Lamb in Love is set in a rural English village the year of the Apollo moon landing and tells of two people surprised, halfway through their lives by...what? passion? desire? love? They haven't the experience to quite identify it. Norris and Vida have known each other forever. Neither has had any idea how to go about falling in love. Vida Stephen has been nanny for twenty years to the mentally handicapped son of a rich American widower. Every day for most of her life, she nods to Norris Lamb, the postmaster, when calling for her mail. Sometimes Norris offers pretty stamps to the boy. A fussy, stamp-collecting bachelor and church organist, Norris has fallen suddenly, amazingly, and secretly in love with Vida.
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English Ivy

By Catherine Palmer

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Ivy Bowden is engaged to the man her father has chosen for her. But when she finds herself in the arms of her roguish neighbor, her world is thrown into complete disarray.
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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

By P.D. James

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Handsome Cambridge dropout Mark Callender died hanging by the neck with a faint trace of lipstick on his mouth. When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder.
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The Cat Next Door

By Marian Babson

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Returning home to England from New York, Margot finds her family in chaos. Her cousin Chloe is in prison awaiting trial for murdering her twin sister Claudia, their mother has withdrawn into the imaginary world of her romance novels, Claudia's 14-year-old daughter has regressed to early childhood and refuses to leave her bed, and to top it all off, the family cat has decided to live with the neighbors. As Chloe's trial approaches, the atmosphere in the house becomes increasingly fraught and Margot begins to wonder whether someone else is responsible for Claudia's death. Is Chloe taking the blame for the family's sake? It's not until a second murder that the pieces begin to fall into place and the cat agrees to come home.
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Canapes for the Kitties

By Marian Babson

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The cat's out of the bag: dead bodies are piling up in Brimful Coffers, a picturesque English village. Among the deceased is Boswell, a pet white rat. His killers were caught: Had-I and But-Known, two mischievous felines belonging to Lorinda Lucas, mystery writer. Unfortunately, the other victims were all too human-and their killer remains at large... The danger in Brimful Coffers was unforeseen when several authors created an informal writers' colony in this lovely town outside of London. In act, the location was heaven until the undesirables-critics and scholars-began to show up. Soon Lorinda and her friends feel as if they're living in a fishbowl. Worse, they're getting chilling threats, supposedly from their fictional characters! But when fatal "accidents" begin to claim the colony's residents, death isn't make-believe. And unless Lorinda can sniff out the killer, even a cat's nine lives might not be nearly enough...

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Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death

By M.C. Beaton

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Agatha has moved to a picture-book English village and wants to get in the swing. So she buys herself a quiche for the village quiche-making contest and is more than alarmed when it kills a judge. Hot on the trail of the poisoner, Agatha is fearless, all the while unaware, that she's become the next victim....

Also available on audio.

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Sleepyhead

By Mark Billingham

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Dear Detective Inspector Thorne. What can I say? Practice makes perfect. And don't you just envy her that perfect...distance? I invite you to consider the concept of freedom. True freedom. Have you ever really considered it? I'm sorry about the others. Truly. I shall not insult your intelligence with platitudes about ends and means but offer in mitigation the thought that a massive undertaking often has an appropriate margin of error. It's all about pressure, Detective Inspector Thorne, but then you'd know all about that. Seriously, though, Tom, maybe I'll call you sometime.

"Mark Billingham's arresting debut novel Sleepyhead, an international bestseller, is a mesmerizing, psychological thriller. Tense and unnerving, this menacing tale of obsession is as scathingly witty as it is bone chilling, and it introduces a stunning new talent in detective fiction.

"Alison Willetts is unlucky to be alive. She has survived a deliberately induced stroke, and although she can see, hear, and feel, she is completely unable to move or to communicate. In leaving Alison alive, the police believe her assailant has made his first mistake. Until Detective Inspector Tom Thorne discovers the horrifying truth: Alison is the psychopath's first success; the three women he killed before her were the mistakes. 'An appropriate margin of error' is how their killer dismissed them; his true intention was to leave them just like Alison: put to sleep for the rest of their natural lives. And Thorne knows they won't be his last victims. To save innocent lives, he must find a criminal whose agenda is terrifyingly unique. But this untraceable, sadistic madman is smart, elusive, and cryptic -- he enjoys toying with the police almost as much as he savors pursuing his sick fantasy -- and the only lead Thorne has is the tragically uncommunicative Alison."

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