Newly appointed as land agent to the youthful Lord Croft, Matthew Rowsley finds plenty to keep him busy as he attends to his lordship's neglected country estate. But he's distracted from his tasks by the disappearance of a young housemaid. Has Maggie really eloped with a young man, as her mother attests - or is the truth rather more sinister? What's been going on behind the scenes at the grand country estate and where has his lordship disappeared to?
A head teacher's work is never done, especially if, like Jane Cowan, you're a victim of your own success. Her responsibilities are compounded by an influx of children, most of whom do not speak English, following their families supplying cheap labour. Jane can't turn a blind eye to the conditions in which many of these families are living, even more so when some children simply disappear. When everything points to the shadowy dealings of people smugglers in the area, she has her work cut out.
Jane Cowan's abusive ex-husband has always tracked her down whichever town she lives in, whichever job she takes, whichever name she uses. However, now he is in prison for a long stretch, she feels brave enough to accept a promotion: she is to be head teacher of the Wrayford Primary School in Gloucestershire. While facing everyday battles from a lack of resources to teachers who are set in their ways, Jane encounters a persistent intruder on the school grounds.
A fork of lightning and a crash of thunder herald the completion of a heinous crime. In woodland belonging to the eccentric Lord Wychbold, a body has been crucified on a tree. On Easter Day, the Reverend Tobias Campion returns from morning service at St Luke's and discovers the corpse, already beginning to putrefy. A crown of thorns frames his face, bludgeoned beyond recognition, and a loincloth preserves what is left of his modesty.
It's a busy weekend for Lina: she wins a dance competition, annoys a valuable client and has to play gooseberry when Griff, her business partner, meets an old flame. Killing time, she drives across Dartmoor only to find two men robbing a medieval church. Outraged, she manages to stop them - only to discover that it's not just in Devon that they are working. Safely back in Kent, she makes some new friends.
Newly retired, ex-chief superintendent Fran Harman and her partner, Mark, have volunteered to assist West Mercia police in reinvestigating an unsolved crime. Twenty years ago a car was found abandoned on an isolated forest road running, its hazard lights still flashing, the passenger door open. In the back were two child seats. One was empty; in the other lay a desperately ill baby. Neither the baby's mother nor the elder child were ever seen again.
When a local lad that vicar's wife Jodie Welsh employed to help in her garden disappears, along with Jodie's expensive camera, nearly everyone assumes the worst. But Burble's disappearance marks the start of a series of increasingly disturbing incidents - until the body shows up, and Jodie must use all her skills to unmask a ruthless killer.
When Josie Welford settles in the idyllic West Country village of Kings Duncombe, she honestly believes she can bury her past. The widow of one of Britain’s most wanted criminals, she knows what it’s like to be an outsider and fervently wishes for a fresh start in life. But she soon finds herself on the wrong side of the locals and she begins to wonder just how far their threats will go... A feisty and highly likeable character, Josie leads the listener through a tantalizingly twisted murder mystery to a deliciously rich ending.
Morning service in the quiet village church. Josie Welford, licensee of the White Hart, is daydreaming during Father Tim Martin’s sermon. The peace is shattered when a filthy Chinese youth flings himself into the church demanding sanctuary. The Church must decide whether to accede to a request that no long has legal standing or to hand Tang over to the authorities. Josie’s friend and long-term lodger, Nick Thomas, fears for the boy’s life.
Chief Superintendent Frances Harman has been assigned to investigate the case of a woman beaten into a coma. Elise has been in a coma for two years, and if the hospital switches off her life support now, her attacker will be guilty of murder. Fran faces overload as she takes on more responsibilities – her elderly parents, Elise, a child abduction, the disappearance of her only witness, and the growing affection that she and her long-time colleague Mark Turner seem to share for one another.
Sophie Rivers has left behind the stresses of teaching at an inner-city college in Birmingham for a while and has just started seeing the delectable Mike Lowden, one of the country’s most exciting cricketers. When he suddenly becomes the prime suspect in the particularly nasty murder of a rival cricketer, Sophie’s got too much to lose to remain merely a spectator. The more deeply she becomes involved, the more sinister the circumstances appear. Does she have to nail a bent policeman as well as find the real murderer?
For lecturer Sophie Rivers a writing course on the outskirts of Birmingham is a bit of a busman’s holiday. Still, creative inspiration might strike. But then, knowing Sophie’s luck, so might a murderer… She can hardly believe it when a fellow student is found dead in her room. And when a course tutor goes missing, it’s clear that one of the students might be interested in death as a reality rather than a literary concept. But who is responsible? Sophie can’t control her investigative instincts.
Sophie Rivers is rightly proud of her cousin Andy, a famous rock’n’roll star. Andy has just renounced the excesses of the music business for a life of campaigning for good causes. So why would anyone want him dead? It all starts harmlessly enough: vandalism, graffiti…But when one of Andy’s roadies plunges to his death after swigging the singer’s drink, Sophie begins to fear for her cousin’s life. And then the killer, tired of being thwarted, turns his attentions to Sophie.
Sophie Rivers has left the turmoil of her inner-city college to take an MEd course at the University of the West Midlands. But she's getting nowhere with the group of South-East Asian students she's supposed to be helping. She confides in the excellent lecturer Carla Pentowski, but there's something strange about Carla's past - or lack of it. When some of her students start behaving oddly, Sophie talks to her old friend, Superintendent Chris Groom.
Sophie Rivers thinks she’s fallen on her feet when a temporary research post takes her to George Muntz College, just yards from her Birmingham home. Her new employer offers pleasant, even lavish, facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. Perhaps, though, all is not as comfortable as it seems, as Melina, a computer technician, may have been about to explain. For once Sophie doesn’t have time to listen. But when Melina is found dead, it’s soon clear that other people are keen to hear what Sophie herself has to say .
Sophie Rivers can't wait to settle into married life now that Mike is back from touring Pakistan and Sri Lanka with the England cricket team. So when she's offered a temporary job at his home ground, archiving a collection of memorabilia that has been left to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, she jumps at the chance, envisaging companionable journeys into work and cosy lunches in the Tom Dollery bar. But the reality is a far cry from her romantic dream.
For Sophie Rivers, tackling newly imposed profit margins and a disruptive Fundamentalist movement means that teaching comes low on the agenda. And when a young teacher dies, victim of a series of arson attacks at William Murdock College of Further Education, another teacher is attacked, and a women's safe hostel is razed to the ground, Sophie has more than school politics on her mind. Could these events be connected to the group of muggers she witnessed in action?
With her husband away on an England cricket tour of Pakistan, and the deadline for her MEd dissertation looming, Sophie Rivers is in no mood for distractions. Unfortunately, as a member of the university choir, she is finding it impossible to avoid them. It soon becomes apparent that the music faculty has more than its fair share of nutty professors and insecure students - and for some reason Sophie seems to have been appointed their unofficial guidance counselor.
When a child goes missing at the local tennis club on the same day that several skeletons are unearthed on a building site, Fran Harman’s caseload is heavier than ever. Enjoying a game of tennis when the girl disappeared, Fran's partner Mark blames himself for not keeping an eye on her. Sucked into the kind of desperate police search he thought he'd left behind on retirement, Mark enlists the help of his fellow Golden Oldies to find young Livvie before it's too late. Meanwhile, a further shocking discovery suggests that a serial killer may be lurking.
When a middle-aged woman enters Lina Townend's antiques shop wanting to sell a white Beswick china horse which she claims is a cherished heirloom, Lina's instincts tell her to avoid the sale. Suddenly, wherever she goes, Lina sees the supposedly rare white horses. Something strange is afoot. As she looks further into the matter, it turns out the horses are merely the tip of the iceberg. But Lina's investigations are attracting unwelcome attention.