PRECIOUS AND GRACE
Alexander McCall Smith
Is it a summer without a No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel? We think not – luckily, the 17th story in the popular best-selling series is just as good as the others, with an unusual case challenging Precious and Grace’s cognitive abilities to the max. £11.59, Anchor Books
POLICE AT THE STATION AND THEY DON’T LOOK FRIENDLY
Okay, so the title might be overwrought but the latest Sean Duffy crime thriller (set in Belfast in 1988 in the days and weeks after a man has been shot in the back with an arrow) will leave you turning the pages, all agog.
£7.99, Serpent’s Tail
FLOWER FOR ALGERNON
Charlie Gordon’s a floor sweeper with a low IQ who desperately wants to become smart. An experimental procedure tested on a lab mouse called Algernon promises big things – but when Charlie starts the treatment, Algernon fades. A riveting read.
AND THE REST IS HISTORY
Book eight in the witty time-travelling series of books called The Chronicles of St Mary’s, And the Rest is History charts the work of those at the St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around history, getting into trouble along the way.
£10, Night Shade Books
BAY OF SIGHS
Nora Roberts has been called ‘the most popular author on Planet Earth’ by the Washington Post. We’re not sure we’d go that far, but Bay of Sighs, the latest instalment in her Guardians trilogy, ought to be first into your suitcase.
EAST OF EDEN
A classic when it was first released, John Steinbeck’s famed novel that replays the fall of Adam and Eve is an erudite beach read. There’s also the added bonus that this new, lo-fi illustrated cover would look perfect in an Instagram snap.
£8.99, Penguin Modern Classics