Novels by Philippa Gregory, Christy Lefteri and Mike Gayle are among the six-strong line-up for the Richard & Judy Book Club this spring.
Gregory kicks off the list with Tidelands (Simon & Schuster), set in 1648, with England in the midst of the civil war “Gregory’s immensely successful historical novels usually tell of rich, ambitious noblewomen...Tidelands is a new and fascinating insight into the opposing stories of those pampered women,” said Madeley.
The Nanny, a thriller from Gilly Macmillan (Cornerstone), also features, described as “clever, tricky, and with a terrific twist” by Madeley. “This nanny is no Mary Poppins,” he said, “but she makes for a damn good read”.
The couple have also chosen Lefteri’s “tremendous” The Beekeeper of Aleppo (Zaffre), which follows Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife Afra, an artist, fleeing Syria. Finnigan said: “Their heart-stopping journey, both literal and spiritual, will grip and inspire you”.
Second-time book club author Tim Weaver is back with his latest David Raker thriller, No One Home (Michael Joseph). “This is a cracking concept, a story that grabs you by the throat from page one and doesn’t let go,” Madeley said.
Next up is Mike Gayle’s “unputdownable” Half a World Away (Hodder), described by Madeley as “unashamedly sentimental, emotional, and wears its heart firmly on its sleeve”.
Finishing up the selection will be The Snakes by author and screenwriter Sadie Jones (Chatto & Windus). “This is an extraordinary book, beautifully written, modern but with overtones of gothic horror, wrapped around themes of race, class, wealth, cruelty and corruption,” said Finnigan.
The Spring Richard & Judy Book Club launches with another series of podcasts today (20th February). W H Smith customers can get exclusive special editions of the book club titles with bonus content.