Six great books for a winter's afternoon

23 November 2016

Detective stories, romances and historical adventures to curl up in front of the fire with, chosen by Kate Saunders for Saga Magazine.

Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah

A brand new (and fiendishly puzzling) case for Hercule Poirot - seriously, what could be more blissful? The beloved Belgian detective is in a country house in Ireland, where his hostess suddenly announces that she is disinheriting her children. Sophie Hannah brings extra intelligence and humour to the Poirot brand. Gorgeous

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Under a Pole Star by Stef Penney

Flora Mackie, heroine of this heart-thumping historical adventure by the author of the Costa-winning The Tenderness of Wolves, is leading an expedition to the Arctic. There she promptly - and disastrously - falls in love with a rival expedition leader. Caution: read when warm and cosy. Descriptions of the frozen landscapes are spine-tinglingly good

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Swing Time by Zadie Smith

The energy, wit and intelligence of Smith's writing give her novels the ultimate feelgood buzz. Swing Time follows the friendship and rivalry of two women who meet as little girls at dance class in 1982; the unnamed narrator notices Tracey because she's the only other 'brown girl'. Brilliant.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Death in the Tuscan Hills by Marco Vichi

Inspector Bordelli has resigned in disgust over a botched murder investigation. He retreats into the hills, being bitter and cooking, until fate takes another twist. The descriptions of Tuscany are mouthwatering, never mind the lovely food.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


A Year and a Day by Isabelle Broom

A glorious romance in Prague over one fateful weekend. Megan is kidding herself that her trip with Ollie is purely business. Hope has been whisked away as a surprise, but can't stop fretting about her daughter, and Sophie is waiting for her boyfriend. Delicious armchair travel-porn.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


Bark! The Herald Angels Sing by Peter Thorpe

Just how cute is this! For 25 years, photographer Peter Thorpe's terriers Paddy and, later, Raggle have posed for his Christmas card to family and friends. Their howling success is chronicled in this delightful little festive volume, interspersed with carols and out-takes from the shoots. Even Scrooge's heart would melt.

Available to buy online from Amazon.


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