These are the Pulp Fiction bestsellers for the month January 2020. Individual months’ bestsellers may be found on the Catalogues page.
Our annual bestseller lists may not look like any other bookshop’s. With us – it’s not just new releases. When we love books – we recommend them to our customers. And we’ll keep recommending them – year after year – because we believe others will love them as much as we do. So, it’s a fairly eclectic list – but there are a lot of gems here. Take note – and enjoy!
Bestsellers, Science Fiction & Fantasy: January 2020
Down Among the Dead (Farian War 02/Hail Bristol 05)
K B Wagers
In a surprise attack that killed many of her dearest subjects, Hail Bristol, empress of Indrana, has been captured by the Shen – the most ruthless and fearsome aliens, humanity has ever encountered. As she plots her escape, the centuries-long war between her captors and the Farians, their mortal enemies and Indrana’s oldest allies, finally comes to a head. When her captors reveal a shocking vision of the future, Hail must make the unexpectedly difficult decision she’s been avoiding: whether to back the Shen or the Farians. Staying neutral is no longer an option. Will Hail fight? Or will she fall? The first – and now this second – trilogy are huge favourites with regulars – and Wagers has a new series coming – starting with A Pale Light in the Black – due early March (HC, $49.99 – it’s an import, so stocks will be limited – reserve yours now!).
Space opera | TP | $33.95
Resurgence (Foreigner 20)
C J Cherryh
The twentieth in the beloved, long-running series. Bren Cameron, diplomat in residence, usually represents the ruler of the atevi state. But Ilisidi, the dowager, has been known to borrow his services from time to time – and she has her own notions how to solve the simmering hostilities in the south of the atevi continent, playing one problem against another. This time, she is betting the hard-won northern peace – and the lives of the people – on being right. She has commandeered the Red Train, taken aboard what passengers she chooses, and headed for the snowy roof of the world, where a hard-scrabble town and its minor lord are the first pieces she intends to use… If you want to see where it all began – then start with Foreigner (PBK, $24.95).
Science fiction | HC | $52.95
Future of Another Timeline
1992: After a confrontation at a riot grrl concert, seventeen-year-old Beth finds herself in a car with her friend’s abusive boyfriend dead in the backseat, agreeing to help her friends hide the body. This murder sets Beth and her friends on a path of escalating violence and vengeance as they realise many other young women in the world need protecting too. 2022: Determined to use time travel to create a safer future, Tess has dedicated her life to visiting key moments in history and fighting for change. But rewriting the timeline isn’t as simple as editing one person or event. And just when Tess believes she’s found a way to make an edit that actually sticks, she encounters a group of dangerous travellers bent on stopping her at any cost. Tess and Beth’s lives intertwine, as war breaks out across the timeline – a war that threatens to destroy time travel and leave only a small group of elites with the power to shape the past, present, and future. Against the vast and intricate forces of history and humanity, is it possible for a single person’s actions to echo throughout the timeline? New book from the online io9 editor, her first – Autonomous (PBK, $19.99) – was a huge seller here! Recommended.
Science fiction | PBK | $22.99
Through Fiery Trials (Safehold 10)
Those on the side of progressing humanity through advanced technology have finally triumphed over their oppressors. The unholy war between the small but mighty island realm of Charis and the radical, Luddite Church of God’s Awaiting has come to an end. However, even though a provisional veil of peace has fallen over human colonies, the quiet will not last. For Safehold is a broken world, and as international alliances shift and Charis charges on with its precarious mission of global industrialisation, the shifting plates of the new world order are bound to clash. Yet, an uncertain future isn’t the only danger Safehold faces. Long-thought-buried secrets and prophetic promises come to light, proving time is a merciless warden who never forgets. Latest in the series – now in paperback!
Space opera | PBK | $24.95
Penric’s Progress (Penric & Desdemona 01–3 omnibus)
Lois McMaster Bujold
Set in Bujold’s World of Five Gods, footloose nobleman Penric journeys from young lord to sorcerer and scholar in the Bastard’s Order – and solves mysteries along the way. An omnibus edition collecting the first three Penric and Desdemona novellas – Penric’s Demon, Penric and the Shaman, and Penric’s Fox – which have, previously, only been available as eBooks, or pricey Subterranean Press editions. Recommended.
Fantasy | HC | $55.00
Salvation Lost (Salvation Sequence 02)
Peter F Hamilton
Fight together – or die alone… In the 23rd century, humanity is enjoying a comparative utopia. Yet, life on Earth is about to change, forever. Feriton Kane’s investigative team has discovered the worst threat ever to face mankind – and we’ve almost no time to fight back. The supposedly benign Olyix plan to harvest humanity, in order to carry us to their god at the end of the universe. And as their agents conclude schemes down on earth, vast warships converge above to gather this cargo. Some factions push for humanity to flee, to live in hiding amongst the stars – although only a chosen few would make it out in time. But others refuse to break before the storm. As disaster looms, animosities must be set aside to focus on just one goal: wiping this enemy from the face of creation. Even if it means preparing for a future this generation will never see. The second in the series; the first is Salvation (PBK, $19.99) – recommended!
Science fiction | TP | $32.99
Last Wish (Witcher TV tie-in edition)
Geralt de Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin. And a cold-blooded killer. His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world. But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth. A short story collection that’s been flying off the shelves, thanks to the TV series – as have all the other Sapkowski Witcher books. These days we usually find people binge and the book-of-the-TV-show trend dies pretty quickly – but these are still selling briskly!
Fantasy | PBK | $19.99
Tiamat’s Wrath (Expanse 08)
James S A Corey
Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper… The eighth book in the fabulous Expanse sequence – now, in paperback. It all begins with Leviathan Wakes (PBK, $22.99).
Space opera | PBK | $22.99
Archangel Rising (Archangel One 02)
At the helm of a commandeered freighter, Captain Steph Michaels has infiltrated the Free Star systems. Leading a captive crew, and posing as a privateer, he’s on a mission to seize a precious resource from an enemy outpost. Backed by his Archangel Squadron, it’s a smash-and-grab operation he can pull off in his sleep. Until it isn’t. Before he and his ‘pirates’ can strike, they’re met with an unexpected obstacle and with a ruthless enemy commander facing them down, Steph will find himself in conflict with not just the Free Stars but potentially with the Empire itself. The odds of victory? Impossible to foretell. Space opera. We do love – and sell! – so much space opera! Mwah! Oh – the first in this series is Archangel One (PBK, $24.99).
Space opera | PBK | $24.99
Throne of Five Winds (Hostage of Empire 01)
S C Emmett
Two queens, two concubines, six princes. Innumerable secret agendas. A single hidden blade… The imperial palace – full of ambitious royals, sly gossip, and unforeseen perils – is perhaps the most dangerous place in the Empire of Zhaon. Komor Yala, lady-in-waiting to the princess of the vanquished kingdom of Khir, has only her wits and her hidden blade to protect herself and her charge, who was sacrificed in marriage to the enemy as a hostage for her conquered people’s good behaviour, to secure a tenuous peace. But the Emperor is aging, and the Khir princess and her lady-in-waiting soon find themselves pawns in the six princes’ deadly schemes for the throne – and a single spark could ignite fresh rebellion in Khir. Then, the Emperor falls ill – and a far bloodier game begins… Intricate and ruthless epic fantasy series – getting good feedback from regulars – and selling lots Oh! And S C Emmett is Lilith Saintcrow in disguise.
Fantasy | PBK | $22.99
Fell Murder (British Library Crime Classics)
E C R Lorac
A classic Golden Age mystery from acclaimed author E C R Lorac. ‘… this crime is conditioned by the place. To understand the one you’ve got to study the other.’ The Garths had farmed their fertile acres for generations, and fine land it was with the towering hills of the Lake Country on the far horizon. Here hot-tempered Robert Garth, still hale and hearty at eighty-two, ruled Garthmere Hall with a rod of iron. Until, that is, old Garth was found dead – ‘dead as mutton’ – in the trampled mud of the ancient outhouse. Glowering clouds gather over the dramatic dales and fells as seasoned investigator Chief Inspector Macdonald arrives in the north country. Awaiting him are the reticent Garths and their guarded neighbours of the Lune Valley; and a battle of wits to unearth their murderous secrets. First published in 1944, Fell Murder is a tightly-paced mystery with authentic depictions of its breathtaking locales and Second World War setting. This edition also includes the rare E C R Lorac short story ‘The Live Wire’.
Classic mystery | TP | $29.95
Murder at Christmas: Ten classic crime stories for the festive season (anthology)
Cecily Gayford (editor)
Christmas is a season of overindulgence. For most of us, that means an extra mince pie, a second helping of turkey, or perhaps a third glass of mulled wine. But for some among us, the festive season is a time to settle old scores, dispatch new enemies and indulge… in murder. Here, ten masters of the genre serve up mystery and mayhem aplenty. From a dowager’s missing diamonds to a Christmas party gone horribly wrong, these classic crime stories will delight, puzzle and satisfy long after the last slice of pudding has been consumed. Another Christmas book that turned up late – and sold in January…
Classic mystery | PBK | $19.99
Six Cats A Slayin’ (Cat in the Stacks mysteries 10)
‘Let us now praise the cosy mystery, so comforting on dark days, so warming on chilly nights – the literary equivalent of a cat.’ – The New York Times Book Review. Fun, cosy mystery series… Purrrfect! LOL!
Mystery | PBK | $18.99
The Decent Inn of Death (John Madden 06)
On a trip into Winchester, former chief inspector Angus Sinclair learns of a tragedy that has taken place in the village he is staying in. Beloved church organist Greta Hartmann has slipped and fallen to her death in a shallow creek, and while investigations conclude it to be an accident, her friend and housemate, Vera, remains unconvinced. After learning that Greta was the widow of a prominent anti-Nazi German preacher, Sinclair meets with the distraught Vera, and he resolves to dig deeper into the story. His investigations lead him to the stately manor of Julia Lesage, where she lives with her devoted staff that includes her secretary, cook, and driver. Though confined to a wheelchair, Julia is an electrifying spirit with a sharp wit, and those who know her adore her. Among those who do, a gentleman with dubious business dealings is also staying at the house – and Julia appears to be in love with him. A blizzard hits, keeping Sinclair, and later Madden, on the grounds with little to do but analyse the case of Greta’s death, until a murder takes place, and everyone becomes a suspect. Love Airth and the Madden series – start with River of Darkness (TP, $33.95).
Mystery | TP | $33.95
The Woman in Red (Mr Crook Murder mysteries)
They took her identity – they wanted her life – but they couldn’t take her spirit. Classic crime from one of the greats of the Detection Club… When Julia Ross, a jobless and penniless young woman, is sent to meet a prospective employer, she is oblivious to the trap that awaits her. As she rings the bell to 30 Henriques Square, the door opens on a London household ruled by a woman dressed in red with murderous intentions. For Julia is exactly what she needs – someone with no family, no connections, who will not be missed… Two days later, Julia awakes in a different house in different clothes and with a new identity. And no one will believe anything she says. But the woman in red hadn’t reckoned on a secret admirer, even Julia didn’t know she had – and the indefatigable sleuth Arthur Crook. One of the first offerings from Hachette’s new Murder Room series.
Classic mystery | PBK | $22.99
The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols (adapted from the journals of John H Watson, MD)
With the international bestseller The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer brought to light a previously unpublished case of Sherlock Holmes, as recorded by Dr John H Watson. Now, Meyer returns with a shocking discovery – an unknown case drawn from a recently unearthed Watson journal.
January 1905: Holmes and Watson are summoned by Holmes’ brother Mycroft to undertake a clandestine investigation. An agent of the British Secret Service has been found floating in the Thames, carrying a manuscript smuggled into England at the cost of her life. The pages purport to be the minutes of a meeting of a secret group intent on nothing less than taking over the world. Based on real events, the adventure takes the famed duo – in the company of a bewitching woman – aboard the Orient Express from Paris into the heart of Tsarist Russia, where Holmes and Watson attempt to trace the origins of this explosive document. On their heels are desperate men of unknown allegiance, determined to prevent them from achieving their task. And what they uncover is a conspiracy so vast as to challenge Sherlock Holmes, as never before. Sherlockiana! Never gets old!
Sherlockiana | HC | $41.99
Owl Be Home for Christmas (Meg Langslow 26)
While trapped by a snowstorm at a conference, a visiting ornithologist is murdered. Now, nobody may make it home in time for Christmas… unless Meg comes to the rescue… Latest in the long running cosy series – she’s funny! (Christmassy themed books were obviously still selling into the New Year!)
Mystery | HC | $39.99
Murder Ink (Victoria Square mysteries 06)
Lorraine Bartlett & Gayle Leeson
The charm of Victoria Square may prove to be only skin deep when murder follows the arrival of a tattoo parlour in town in this latest instalment of the bestselling series. A tattoo parlour on Victoria Square? Some of the merchants get hot under the collar at the proposal, but could they be driven to kill to stop it? That’s what the sheriff’s office and Katie Bonner want to know when the building’s owner is electrocuted with his own saw. Meanwhile, tensions rise when a hot chef takes over the square’s tea shop. Will Katie have three men vying for her affections, or will her rival take the tea cake? Cosy hijinks abound!
Mystery | PBK | $22.95
Murder at the Fitzwilliam (Museum mysteries 01)
1894. After rising to prominence for his role investigating the case of Jack the Ripper alongside the formidable Inspector Abberline, Daniel Wilson has retired from the force and, now, works as a private enquiry agent. Having built a reputation for intelligence and integrity, Wilson is the natural choice for the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, which finds itself in need of urgent assistance. The remains of an ancient princess and her entourage are to be unveiled as the centrepiece of the museum’s new Egyptian collection, but strange occurrences have followed their arrival in Britain: a dead body is discovered in a previously empty sarcophagus, one of the mummified bodyguards seemingly goes ‘walkabout’ and another man is found strangled to death with three-thousand-year-old bandages. Aided by the talented resident archaeologist Abigail Fenton but hindered by the dismissive local police force, can Wilson unravel the mystery and preserve the reputation of the museum ahead of its public launch? The first two are out and the third is due shortly – and regulars are loving them! Recommended!
Historical mystery | PBK | $19.99
Nemesis (Tom Wilde 03)
In a great English house, a young woman offers herself to one of the most powerful and influential figures in the land – but this is no ordinary seduction. She plans to ensure his death… On holiday in France, Professor Tom Wilde discovers his brilliant student Marcus Marfield, who disappeared two years earlier to join the International Brigades in Spain, in the Le Vernet concentration camp in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Wilde secures his release just as German tanks roll into Poland. Meanwhile, a U-boat sinks the liner Athenia in the Atlantic with many casualties, including Americans, on board. Goebbels claims Churchill put a bomb in the ship to blame Germany and to lure America into the war. As the various strands of an international conspiracy begin to unwind, Tom Wilde will find himself in great personal danger. For just who is Marcus Marfield? And where does his loyalty lie? A brilliantly intelligent, gripping WW2 spy thriller from the bestselling author of Corpus and Nucleus (each $19.99) Recommended!
Suspense | PBK | $19.99