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Love and murder

Summer reads are very often a peculiar mix of the two, apparently - the idea of spending time with our nearest and dearest calls for inspiration or perhaps deflection? Whatever your poison, you can pick here. Enjoy!

Photograph: Unsplash

Text: Susan Jessen Spiele

Scenic, humane and captive

Hell Bay

By Kate Rhodes

Ben has returned to his childhood home on a small Cornish island after his partner in the police force died. Back there, the solace he seeks is interrupted by a murder of a young girl. No ferries have sailed, so the murderer is an islander.

Complex, expansive and engaging


By Chris Hammer

In an isolated Australian town, the local priest kills five parishioners before being killed himself. A year later, journalist Martin (struggling with trauma) arrives to write a feature about the anniversary. But, talking to the locals, he realises that something does not add up.

Clever, evocative and immersive

Miss Aldridge Regrets

By Louise Hare

London 1936, Lena is stuck singing in a basement club in Soho when a murder happens. Fortunately, a stranger offers her a role on Broadway and a free ticket on the Queen Mary. Death, however, seems to follow her on board.

More than just romance

Mad About You

By Mhairi McFarlane

Harriet is a wedding photographer who does not believe in romance. So when her boyfriend ambushes her with a public proposal, she panics, breaks up and ends up in a flat with her roommate Cal. Here Harriet needs to face her past to move on.

Did you know? has around 9000 English titles in all genres and unlimited access to over 200 magazines. Most titles are for adults, but you can also find great stuff for children. All you need is to register at your local library, and your summer reading is ready – and free.

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