Summer Reading

  • Summer Reading

    Quercus Summer Reading

    Summer Reading
    • Rosanna Ley

      Last Dance in Havana

      From bestselling author Rosanna Ley comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship set between England and Cuba. Perfect for fans of Kate Furnivall, Dinah Jefferies and Leah Fleming.
      • Tracy Rees

        Florence Grace

        'Tracy Rees is the most outstanding new voice in historical fiction' Lucinda Riley. The stunning second novel from the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller Amy Snow. Perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Dinah Jefferies' The Tea Planter's Wife.
        • Hilary Boyd

          The Lavender House

          A new novel on risking everything for a second chance at love, for fans of Erica James
          Travel the World with Quercus

          Perfect Poolside Picks

          The Campaign In June, July and August 150 libraries around the UK will be promoting our fantastic summer paperback programme to thousands of readers by creating summer reading displays, using materials we have supplied, and championing seven of our books. Each library will receive a pack that contains posters, shelf talkers, bookmarks, an ideas document and a set of the seven summer reads. The seven books featured in the campaign are: The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, Last Dance in Havana, Florence Grace, Love Notes for Freddie, Asking For It, The Tenderness of Wolves 10th Anniversary We’ll also be spotlighting each of the seven titles over the three months online with an abundance of additional content provided by authors and editors. Alongside recipe cards, extracts, reading group questions we’ll also be hearing from editors and authors on their top summer reads, favourite settings and their best (and worst…) holidays. The order we will spotlight the titles The Girl in the Spider’s Web (1-15 June) Kitchens of the Great Midwest (16-26 June) Last Dance in Havana (27 June – 10 July) Florence Grace (11-24 July) Asking For It (25 July – 7 August) Love Notes for Freddie (8-21 August) The Tenderness of Wolves (10th Anniversary) (22 August – 1 September) Display competition Libraries will be invited to take part in a display competition by tweeting us photos of their displays using the hashtag #QuercusSummer. The winning library will receive a summer hamper and Pimms set so it’s all to play for! We also have a data capture initiative running whereby readers can enter into a prize draw to win £200 travel vouchers and sign up to hear more from Quercus. Blogger Book Club We've teamed up with fifty influential book bloggers who will be reading along with us and reviewing three of our key summer titles between June and August. We'll also be launching a competition to find the best summer-inspired photo of one of our books, and the winner will receive a fantastic beach bag filled with summer essentials.
          MacLehose Press

          The Girl in the Spider's Web

          By David Lagercrantz, George Goulding


          Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist have not been in touch for some time.

          Then Blomkvist is contacted by renowned Swedish scientist Professor Balder. Warned that his life is in danger, but more concerned for his son's well-being, Balder wants Millennium to publish his story - and it is a terrifying one.

          More interesting to Blomkvist than Balder's world-leading advances in Artificial Intelligence, is his connection with a certain female superhacker.

          It seems that Salander, like Balder, is a target of ruthless cyber gangsters - and a violent criminal conspiracy that will very soon bring terror to the snowbound streets of Stockholm, to the Millennium team, and to Blomkvist and Salander themselves.

          The Girl in the Spider's Web is book four in the Millennium series. Book five, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, was published in September 2017.

          Lagercrantz has constructed an elegant plot around different concepts of intelligence . . . his continuation, while never formulaic, is a cleaner and tighter read than the originals . . . Without ever becoming pastiche, the book is a respectful and affectionate homage to the originals.As I read Lagercrantz's The Girl in the Spider's Web, I found that I kept forgetting for several pages at a time that I wasn't reading genuine Larsson . . . One devours Larsson's books for the plots, the action, the anger, and most of all for Lisbeth Salander . . . Lagercrantz has caught her superbly, and expertly spun the sort of melodramatic yarn in which she can thrive.Fans of Stieg Larsson's captivating odd couple of modern detective fiction - the genius punk hacker Lisbeth Salander and her sometime partner, the crusading investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist - will not be disappointed . . . Salander and Blomkvist have survived the authorship transition intact and are just as compelling as ever.Elegantly paced, slickly executed, and properly thrilling.First, the conclusion. David Lagercrantz has done well . . .The Girl in the Spider's Web conveys the essence and atmosphere of Larsson's Millennium novels. He has captured the spirit of their characters and devised inventive plots, most of them suitably exaggerated . . . On the evidence of Spider's Web, most Millennium fans will want to continue following their Lisbeth.Lagercrantz's real achievement here is the subtle development of Lisbeth's character; he allows us access to her complex, alienated world but is careful not to remove her mystery and unknowability. Lisbeth Salander remains, in Lagercrantz's hands, the most enigmatic and fascinating anti-heroine in fiction.Rest easy, Lisbeth Salander fans - our punk hacker heroine is in good hands . . . Swedish crime novelist David Lagercrantz takes the reins with prowess, not only mimicking Larsson's shamelessly pulpy prose, but admirably expanding the deliciously depraved world of the novels.The girl with the dragon tattoo is back: Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist return in the #1 bestselling continuation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium series.David Lagercrantz was born in 1962, and is an acclaimed author and journalist. In 2015 The Girl in the Spider's Web, his continuation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, became a worldwide bestseller, and it was announced that Lagercrantz would write two further novels in the series. He is also the author of the acclaimed and bestselling I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Fall of Man in Wilmslow.400,000 copies of the MacLehose edition sold worldwide, including more than 60,00 hardbacks and 20,000 trade paperbacks through the UK TCM in ten weeksThe Girl in the Spider's Web was the bestselling fiction hardback in the UK on publication78 million copies of the original trilogy sold worldwide15 million of the original trilogy sold in the UK; each book was a number one bestsellerI Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic has sold 40,000 copies through TCM; Lagercrantz's Fall of Man in Wilmslow, a novel about Alan Turing, is published in May 2015

          Kitchens of the Great Midwest

          By J. Ryan Stradal

          'A tremendous novel that combines powerfully moving moments with hilarious satire' Daily Mail

          'Eva Thorvald is the new Olive Kitteridge' Elisabeth Egan

          'Kitchens of the Great Midwest is terrific' Jane Smiley, Guardian

          Have you met Eva Thorvald?

          To her father, a chef, she's a pint-sized recipe tester and the love of his life. To the chilli chowdown contestants of Cook County, Illinois, she's a fire-eating demon. To the fashionable foodie goddess of supper clubs, she's a wanton threat. She's an enigma, a secret ingredient that no one can figure out. Someday, Eva will surprise everyone.

          One by one, they tell their story; together, they tell Eva's. Joyful, quirky and heartwarming, this is a novel about the family you lose, the friends you make and the chance connections that make a life.

          On the day before her eleventh birthday, she's cultivating chilli peppers in her wardrobe like a pro. Abandoned by her mother, gangly and poor, Eva arms herself with the weapons of her unknown heritage: a kick-ass palate and a passion bordering on obsession.

          Over the years, her tastes grow, and so do her ambitions. One day Eva will be the greatest chef in the world. But along the way, the people she meets will shape her - and she, them - in ways unforgettable, riotous and profound. So she - for one - knows exactly who she is by the time her mother returns.

          Special paperback edition with questions for reading groups, interview, guide to the Midwest, recipes and more!

          An oven-warm yet bittersweet collection of character studies circling the story of Eva Thorvald . . . Hilariously precise in its cultural geography . . . But in spite of its locavorous detail, the novel's plot is driven by a universal truth: that food brings people togetherThis offbeat debut features many satisfying ingredients, including triumph over adversity, recipes and a warm Midwestern backdropStradal creates something quirky, affecting and deliciousFun and originalStradal's delicious debut reveals Eva's sweet, sad, funny self in a series of funny vignettesA gorgeous feast that feeds both the senses and the soulA tender coming-of-age story with a mix of finely rendered pathos and humour . . . Ultimately, Kitchens reveals the strong interplay among food, family and our most cherished memories . . . Stradal suggests that love - or the absence of love - is the most powerful condition of allTime flew by when we sat down with Kitchens of the Great Midwest, a charming and unusual first novel . . . We were blown away by Stradal's flair for depicting messy emotions and mixed-up families, and delighted by his insightful and funny reflections on foodie culture and class dynamicsA warm and enjoyable read about life, love, food, family . . . and chilli eating contestsThis wise and witty tale of immigrant assimilation wholeheartedly embraces a passion for food . . . Laugh-out-loud funny . . . Stradal is so good at evoking the inner lives of his characters, male and female, young and old . . . Stradal has a sharp eye for the evolution of culture and for landscape; his tone is light, always a little askew . . . Midwesterners never forget what things cost, and Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a terrific reminder of what can be wrested from suffering and struggle - not only success, but also considerable irony, a fair amount of wisdom and a decent mealThis lovely, poignant, hilarious book is the best thing I have read this year. Everything about it is original and wonderful . . . The writing is whipcrack smart and it's both powerfully moving and brilliantly satirical, especially about kitchen snobbery. Read it, read it!Despite a life pockmarked by poverty and other adversities, Eva has an equally outsize heart. A warring mass of desires, talents and imperfections, she's an attractively flawed, completely likable demigoddess . . . Kitchens of the Great Midwest is not only Eva's story but also a gastronomic portrait of a region . . . It's an impressive feat of narrative jujitsu . . . This colorful, character-driven story . . . keeps readers turning the ­pages too fast to realize just how ingenious they areEva Thorvald is the new Olive KitteridgeTeenagers and foodies (teenage foodies especially), will love this book. It's about Eva, a bullied girl who triumphs over her adversaries to become a legendary chef. This is great in itself, but there's so much more to it than that . . . The story-within-a-story action ranges all over the U.S. and is a celebration of great American food as well as the great American underdog. A tremendous novel that combines powerfully moving moments with hilarious satire, especially about kitchen snobberyJoyful, quirky and heartwarming, this is the story of a girl who becomes a world-famous chef, told by those who love her, envy her and never forget her.J. Ryan Stradal's writing has appeared in The Rumpus, Los Angeles Review of Books, Rattling Wall, McSweeney's: The Goods, and Hobart, among other places, and he edits the fiction section of The Nervous Breakdown. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles, where he co-hosts a literary-culinary events series called Hot Dish and has worked as a TV producer, notably for Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. He does not own a gun and a motorcycle, which makes him unique among the men in his extended family.Multi-platform campaign expected to generate half a million impressionsHas the verve and fresh delivery of Olive Kitteridge and Where d'Ya Go, Bernadette?Pitched for literary crossover and reading groups.Rights have been sold in eleven territories worldwide, including German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.

          Last Dance in Havana

          By Rosanna Ley

          From the #1 Kindle Bestseller comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendship

          'The perfect holiday companion' - Heat

          'The ultimate feel-good read' - Candis

          'Sun-soaked escapism' - Best


          Cuba, 1958

          Elisa is only sixteen years old when she meets Duardo and she knows he's the love of her life from the moment they first dance the rumba together in downtown Havana. But Duardo is a rebel, determined to fight in Castro's army, and Elisa is forced to leave behind her homeland and rebuild her life in distant England. But how can she stop longing for the warmth of Havana, when the music of the rumba still calls to her?

          England, 2012

          Grace has a troubled relationship with her father, whom she blames for her beloved mother's untimely death. And this year more than ever she could do with a shoulder to cry on - Grace's career is in flux, she isn't sure she wants the baby her husband is so desperate to have and, worst of all, she's begun to develop feelings for their best friend Theo. Theo is a Cuban born magician but even he can't make Grace's problems disappear. Is the passion Grace feels for Theo enough to risk her family's happiness?



          'An impeccably researched and deftly written narrative that kept me hooked until the end' - Kathryn Hughes, bestselling author of The Letter

          'Loved it from start to finish. A brilliant holiday read' - Amazon reviewer

          'Perfect for fans of Santa Montefiore, Victoria Hislop and Leah Fleming' - Candis

          'On so many levels a fantastic read' - Amazon reviewer

          'A fascinating story with engaging themes' - Dinah Jefferies, bestselling author of The Tea Planter's Wife

          'Warm, enthralling, one of my favourite authors' - Amazon reviewer

          I loved the sultry sensuous feeling of being in Havana so much that reading about it makes me want to go there. A fascinating story with engaging themesA great page-turner, which really captures Cuba's turbulent history. It's also a tender portrayal of how love can flourish in one's later yearsAn impeccably researched and deftly written narrative that kept me hooked until the endFrom the #1 Kindle Bestseller comes an exotic tale of love, family and friendshipRosanna Ley works as a creative tutor and has written many articles and stories for national magazines. Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.The Villa has sold more than 310k copies across both editions.For fans of Santa Montefiore, Victoria Hislop and Leah Fleming.

          Florence Grace

          By Tracy Rees

          'Possibly the most wonderful book I've ever read. A complete joy' Amazon reviewer. The stunning new novel from the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller Amy Snow. Perfect for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Island of Secrets.

          Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. It's a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape. She thinks her destiny is set in stone. But when Florrie is fourteen, she inherits a never-imagined secret. She is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Overnight, Florrie's life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth. Cut off from everyone she has ever known, Florrie struggles to learn the rules of this strange new world. And then she must try to fathom her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own.

          Tracy Rees writes from the heartTracy Rees is the most outstanding new voice in historical fictionFlorence is such a strong, intriguing character and the plot is so clever, real and truthful. The whole book feels so very wise, as if it contains half the answers to lifeA beautifully crafted story with added romanceAn enthralling, emotional page-turnerA feisty appealing heroine, a fast-paced, gorgeously descriptive narrative and a mystery to be uncovered . . . What more could a reader wish for?A sparkling and compelling mystery . . . [it] captured our hearts from the very first pageTracy's writing is so fresh, original and authenticThe stunning new novel from the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller Amy Snow. Perfect for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Island of Secrets. Tracy Rees was born in South Wales. A Cambridge graduate, she had a successful eight-year career in nonfiction publishing and a second career practising and teaching humanistic counselling. She was the winner of the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition and the 2015 LoveStories 'Best Historical Read' award.Amy Snow was a Glamour 'Hot Summer Reads' 2015 pick, a Amazon Rising Stars 2015 pick and a Hello online new releases pick.Amy Snow was the runaway winner of the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition when it stole the hearts of Richard, Judy and the panel of judges.

          Florrie Buckley is an orphan, living with her grandmother on the wind-blasted moors of Cornwall. Part of a close-knit community, they scrape a meagre living from the difficult land. It's a hard existence but Florrie is content; she runs wild in the mysterious landscape - she has a strong connection to the natural world. She thinks her future and destiny are set in stone.

          But when Florrie is fourteen, her grandmother dies, revealing a never-imagined secret. Florrie is related to a wealthy and notorious London family, the Graces. Thus Florrie Buckley must become Florence Grace. Overnight, her life changes and she moves from country to city, from poverty to wealth.

          Cut off from everyone she has ever known, she struggles to adapt while learning the rules of a strange and confusing world. And the Graces are no ordinary Victorian family: they are the conflicted and dysfunctional fragments of a once-great dynasty. Florrie's sensitive spirit battles for survival as she tries to stay true to herself.

          Last but not least Florrie must try to fathom and conquer her destructive pull towards the enigmatic and troubled Turlington Grace, a man with many dark secrets of his own.


          Asking For It

          By Louise O'Neill

          'A soul-shattering novel that will leave your emotions raw. This story will haunt me forever. Everyone should read it' Guardian

          In a small town where everyone knows everyone, Emma O'Donovan is different. She is the special one - beautiful, popular, powerful. And she works hard to keep it that way.

          Until that night . . .

          Now, she's an embarrassment. Now, she's just a slut. Now, she is nothing.

          And those pictures - those pictures that everyone has seen - mean she can never forget.

          For fans of Caitlin Moran, Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult.

          BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS 2015. The award-winning, bestselling novel about the life-shattering impact of sexual assault, rape and how victims are treated.

          'Riveting and essential'Brilliant, harrowingA brutal and shocking novel that strikes to the heart of the current debates around consent'Establishes Louise O'Neill as a literary tour de force'A difficult, confronting and vital readHeartbreakingly accurate . . . handled with both sensitivity and unflinching honesty. A compelling and brave story that deserves to be read by allA stunning portrait of a girl, a family and a town in troubleA brutal, unflinching look at the culture of slut-shaming and trial by social media. It broke my heart.A brave and important book about rape culture, sexism and victim-blaming in modern society.Bold, brave . . . and brutalO'Neill has a keen ear for the catty argot of teenage girls and her writing is razor sharp . . . unsparing and unsentimentalA razor-sharp look at gender issues - Glasgow HeraldRiveting . . . a timely, gripping and vital novel.A nuanced and insightful commentary on the intricacies of teenage female friendship and the internal and external pressures that young women face as they reach adulthoodBlistering, unapologetic and vitally importantThis unflinching, timely novel asks important questions about rape culture, sexism and social media abuse, tackling taboo themes with subtlety and sensitivity BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS 2015. The award-winning, bestselling novel about the life-shattering impact of sexual assault, rape and how victims are treated. For fans of Caitlin Moran, Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult.BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS 2015SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKSELLER YA PRIZE 2016SHORTLISTED FOR THE CBI BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2016 Asking For It address the topical issues of consent and victim-blaming. It was the most talked-about book of the summer in Ireland in 2015 with blanket review coverage and TV appearances.Only Ever Yours won Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2014, the Bookseller Young Adult Book Prize 2015 and the CBI Eilis Dillon Award 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2015, the Children's Books Ireland Book of the Year 2015, and the Lancashire Book Prize 2015. Movie rights have been optioned.
          Heron Books

          Love Notes for Freddie

          By Eva Rice

          'Beautifully written, intelligent and gripping' Daily Mail. From the Richard and Judy bestselling author of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets.

          Every ending is a new beginning . . .
          No one expected Marnie Fitzpatrick to be expelled from school . . . but the aftermath will haunt her forever.
          No one imagined she'd fall for the boy from the wrong side of town . . . until the day she saw him dancing alone.
          No one could know she had the one thing he needed to capture his dreams . . . the courage to chase them.

          From the author of the Richard and Judy classic The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets comes a story about how sometimes the cruelest beginnings can lead to the most unexpected of endings.

          I so enjoyed this emotional, engaging, vivid and different coming-of-age story . . . The thought-provoking narrative twists between Marnie's and Julie's points of view, and is beautifully written, intelligent and grippingA beautiful tale of first loves, secret passions and, er, mathsIt seems there is a ready audience for novels set in the relatively recent past, with characters' quaint attitudes and period detail of clothes and music forming a large part of attraction - nostalgia-lit? This fine example of the genre offers intelligent, undemanding entertainment, which is sometimes all you need on a hot summer's day'Beautifully written, intelligent and gripping' Daily Mail. From the Richard and Judy bestselling author of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets. Eva Rice has written four novels and one non-fiction book. She is married to a musician and has three children. She lives in London.

          No one expected Marnie Fitzpatrick to be expelled from school . . . but the aftermath will haunt her forever.

          No one imagined she'd fall for the boy from the wrong side of town . . . until the day she saw him dancing alone.

          No one could know she had the one thing he needed to capture his dreams . . . the courage to chase them.

          From the author of The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets comes a story about how sometimes the cruelest beginnings can lead to the most unexpected of endings.

          The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice and has sold over 250,000 copies through the UK TCM.The author is the daughter of Sir Tim Rice, and a songwriter in her own right.A coming-of-age story about dancing beyond class and gender boundaries in the vein of Billy Elliot.For fans of Elizabeth Jane Howard, Katie Fforde and Joanna Trollope.
          Paul Engles: MacLehose Editor in the hot seat

          Quercus Summer Quiz

          What would you pick as your perfect poolside read? I might go nuts and re-read Game of Thrones or Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses series. Though last time I was away I read a submission that ended up being too good to turn down: The President's Gardens by Muhsin Al-Ramli, out in April. What five items would you take with you to a desert island? A drum kit, a kindle, an ice cream van, a Blackadder Boxset and a football (and 9 other people to play with if possible). If you could travel for 6 months with a fictional character, who would that be? Oedipa Maas from The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. We'd be guaranteed crazy adventures. Describe the best meal you’ve had while on holiday Fresh fish from the sea in Sri Lanka -- but bear in mind that was the most recent holiday. What’s your favourite setting in a book that you’ve read? The world building in A Song of Fire and Ice is the most convincing I've ever come across. Jurassic Park would be fun to visit, of course. Quick fire round Beach break or city break? City Hot climate or cold climate? Hot Plane or boat? Boat Scuba dive or pedalo? Pedalo Sandcastle or bat and ball? Sandcastle UK or abroad? Abroad Pool or beach? Beach Have you ever had a nightmare holiday? I went one too many times to celebrate King's Day in Amstersdam. And the vibe is changing there, seems more narrow-minded to me. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? I'm not falling for that one!

          The Tenderness of Wolves

          By Stef Penney


          COSTA AWARD WINNER and WORLDWIDE BESTSELLER. A breathtaking tale of mystery, buried secrets and romance, set in nineteenth century frontier Canada - for fans of THE SNOW CHILD and A PLACE CALLED WINTER.

          'Unquestionably atmospheric, evocative and rewarding' Independent on Sunday

          'A tense and delicately written thriller' Observer

          Canada, 1867. A young murder suspect flees across the snowy wilderness. Tracking him is what passes for the law in this frontier land: trappers, sheriffs, traders and the suspect's own mother, desperate to clear his name. As the party pushes further from civilisation, hidden purposes and old obsessions are revealed. One is seeking long-lost daughters; another a fortune in stolen furs; yet another is chasing rumours of a lost Native American culture. But where survival depends on cooperation, their fragile truce cannot afford to be broken, nor their overriding purpose - to find justice for a murdered man - forgotten.

          The Tenderness of Wolves is a must-read historical epic, weaving adventure, suspense and humour into an exhilarating thriller, a panoramic romance and ultimately, one of the books of the last ten years.

          a tense and delicately written thriller - The Observer. a quite remarkable debut novel.' Birmingham Post"This subtle and superb novel brings the freezing landscape of the Canadian woods to such vivid life that the landscape itself becomes a strong character within the story. Once you have dived into the tiny, closeted world of Caulfield and its forbidding surroundings, you will certainly not wish to leave." a highly-assured debut..Stef Penney has written an absorbing and stylish mystery. The Glasgow Herald".Stef Penney's hefty first novel The Tenderness of Wolves, mines her setting and period for all it's got and then some, injecting plenty of invented intrigue and Da Vinci Code like revelations of Huge Cultural Importance whenever she can. The result is an entertaining, well-constructed mystery that jazzes up the "real" history in a way that's more Ron Howard than Pierre Berton. It', suspenseful, densely plotted storytelling.The Tenderness of Wolves remains a first-rate gripper with a notably sensual as well as psychological understanding of its main characters. More than this, it is a novel with far greater ambitions than your average thriller, combining as it does the themes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness with Atwood's Survival, and lashing them to a story that morphs Ian Rankin." Andrew Pyper, The Globe and Mailunquestionably atmospheric, evocative and eventually rewarding - Independent On SundayA panoramic epic, a magnificent piece of storytelling, an unforgettable debut novelStef Penney grew up in Edinburgh. She has degrees in Philosophy and Theology and Film and TV, and was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme and has since written and directed two short films. She is the author of The Tenderness of Wolves and The Invisible Ones.

          1867, Canada.
          As winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a woman steels herself for the journey of a lifetime. A man has been brutally murdered and her seventeen-year-old son has disappeared. The violence has re-opened old wounds and inflamed deep-running tensions in the frontier township - some want to solve the crime; others seek only to exploit it.
          To clear her son's name, she has no choice but to follow the tracks leaving the dead man's cabin and head north into the forest and the desolate landscape that lies beyond it.
          "a remarkable literary debut . brilliantly assured, subtly written." Scotsman
          "a fascinating, suspense-filled adventure." Sunday Telegraph
          "a suspenseful epic, offering a leitmotif of constant unease . impressive." Guardian

          Special ten-year anniversary edition, containing the first chapter of Stef's stunning new historical epic, Under A Pole Star, as well as an interview with Stef and brand new reading group questionsThe Tenderness of Wolves won the 2006 Costa prize for Book of the Year and has sold 400,000 copies through the UK TCM in printStef's second novel, The Invisible Ones, has sold 30,000 paperbacks through the UK TCM to date.
          First stop: Sweden

          Discover Lisbeth Salander

          The first stop on our summer reading round the world tour is Sweden, to visit the one and only Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth stormed back into the bestseller charts last summer in the gripping fourth installment in the Millennium series, The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz. Here we talk to Team MacLehose about what they think makes Lisbeth so special... The typescripts of the first two and a half volumes of the Millennium trilogy that came from the Swedish publisher Norstedts came in English. The first book was then called MEN WHO HATE WOMEN, bizarrely translated by the French as MEN WHO DO NOT LOVE WOMEN. I have often wondered about the reactions of the many editors who read it before it came to the embryo MacLehose Press. I know of the response of one very distinguished American editor, who said that he had spent three weeks working on the first 70 pages, trying to edit them into shape, but it wasn’t worth the candle or he had no more time, I don’t remember which. The beginning of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, as it came to be known, is, it is true, unlike the rest of the novel. It covers ground that readers of modern crime stories will have found familiar. The first fifty pages of the novel betray almost no hint of the furnace of excitement to come. And then the reader meets Lisbeth Salander, a character who has no match in contemporary fiction, and from that moment Stieg Larsson and his Ariel-like spirit held the world in their hands, and still do. This wild, vengeful and exceedingly clever anarchist is a spirit for our times, a beautiful and brilliant creation. Impossible not to think of her own Prospero with terrible sadness even as we are reminded of Salander’s birthday. Of all the homages to the birthday girl, is there an apter one than Mario Vargas Llosa’s? The Nobel Laureate wrote: "I have just spent a few weeks with all of my experienced reader’s critical defences swept away by the cyclonic force of a story… Welcome to the immortality of fiction, Lisbeth Salander!" CHRISTOPHER MACLEHOSE, Publisher I was completely riveted by the sheer audacity of Larsson’s creation in Lisbeth Salander when I first read a proof copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It must have been in the Autumn of 2007, a few months before she was revealed to English readers. A rare and memorable night of no sleep - I was in awe and in tatters. The attraction of a complex character who is so persistently underestimated, her projected appearance so deceptive – she’s tiny and a girl, she’s a punk, she’s damaged and in the care system. But this complexity transfers to strengths: she’s learned to rely on no-one, her tremendous skills are self-taught and she knows she has nothing to lose. She goes into Terminator Mode. There is something about the pace and poise of Larsson’s delivery that kept this reader entirely hooked. A line is played out and rapidly pulled in; Lisbeth disappears for long stretches of the narrative (for much of The Girl Who Played with Fire), from the investigative eye, from the reader’s page, but it is Lisbeth that we most want to read about. And Larsson delivers her to us at exactly the right moment – absence and reappearance. Silent cheers and goosebumps. A character of contrasts who reveals herself in a series of acts, the violence of which can appall. And yet she doesn’t lose us for a moment. In many crime novels the main protagonist/hero is sketched out at the beginning; a paragraph of past trauma, current addictions, complicated personal relationships. With Lisbeth, her persona shifts, her preferences are entirely unpredictable. I have never read a crime novel in which unpredictability becomes a strength. And yet, simultaneously, she possesses such extraordinary righteous integrity. Stieg Larsson makes all but the very finest of his competitors seem plodding and derivative, and with the creative brilliance of David Lagercrantz this most exceptional of heroines is brought back to life. More cheering and goosebumps. KATHARINA BIELENBERG, Associate Publisher, MacLehose Press