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Top Books for June – your Summer reading starts here

Handsome strangers, Highland holidays, Aztec legends, mouthwatering food, woodland walks, Greek islands, amazing dogs and accidentally spending all your husband's money...oops!

Grab that snazzy beach towel or sprawl on the lawn and escape with these early summer page-turners specially chosen for Muddy readers by the fabulous Holt Bookshop.

The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley

From the Sunday Times number one bestselling author Lucinda Riley, The Missing Sister is the seventh instalment in the multimillion-copy epic series The Seven Sisters. They’ll search the world to find her. The six D’Apliese sisters have each been on their own incredible journey to discover their heritage, but they still have one question left unanswered: who and where is the seventh sister? They only have one clue – an image of a star-shaped emerald ring. Out now in hardback – £20.00

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith

Private Detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he is approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough – who went missing in mysterious circumstances in 1974. Strike has never tackled a cold case before, let alone one forty years old. But despite the slim chance of success, he is intrigued and takes it on; adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency, Robin Ellacott, are currently working on.  A breathtaking, labyrinthine epic, Troubled Blood is the fifth Strike and Robin novel and the most gripping and satisfying yet. Out in paperback on 24 June 2021 – £9.99

The Queen of the Cicadas by V. Castro

2018 – Belinda Alvarez has returned to Texas for the wedding of her best friend Veronica. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras – The Queen of The Cicadas.  In 1950s south Texas a farmworker- Milagros from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacihuatl. The goddess hears the dying cries of Milagros and creates a plan for both to be physically reborn by feeding on vengeance and worship.  Belinda and the new owner of the farmhouse – Hector, find themselves immersed in the legend and realize it is part of their fate as well. Out in paperback on 22 June 2021 – £9.95

Would I Lie to You by Aliya Ali Afzal

From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life – and are about to lose it. Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own.  She’s learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm.  Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost – and the money Tom put aside has gone.  When Tom’s redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she’s spent it all. Unless she doesn’t… It only takes a second to lie to Tom.  Now Faiza has six weeks to find £75,000 before her lie spirals out of control.  A tense, funny and page-turning debut from a fresh new voice in fiction. Out in hardback 8 July 2021 – £18.99

Mr Wilder and Me by Jonathan Coe

In the heady summer of 1977, a naive young woman called Calista sets out from Athens to venture into the wider world. On a Greek island that has been turned into a film set, she finds herself working for the famed Hollywood director Billy Wilder, about whom she knows almost nothing. But the time she spends in this glamorous, unfamiliar new life will change her for good. In a novel that is at once a tender coming-of-age story and an intimate portrait of one of cinema’s most intriguing figures, Jonathan Coe turns his gaze on the nature of time and fame, of family and the treacherous lure of nostalgia.  When the world is catapulting towards change, do you hold on for dear life or decide it’s time to let go? Out in paperback on 1 July 2021 – £8.99

The Readers’ Room by Antoine Laurain

When the manuscript of a debut crime novel arrives at a Parisian publishing house, everyone in the readers’ room is convinced it’s something special. And the committee for France’s highest literary honour, the Prix Goncourt, agrees. But when the shortlist is announced, there’s a problem for editor Violaine Lepage: she has no idea of the author’s identity. As the police begin to investigate a series of murders strangely reminiscent of those recounted in the book, Violaine is not the only one looking for answers. And, suffering memory blanks following an aeroplane accident, she’s beginning to wonder what role she might play in the story… Out in paperback on 17 June 2021 – £8.99

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

A joyful, hilarious and heart-warming tale of the challenges we face when we sign up to be part of someone else’s life.  Ava is sick of online dating and she wants a break from it all. So when she signs up to a semi-silent, anonymous writing retreat in glorious Italy, love is the last thing on her mind. Until she meets a handsome stranger…. Out in paperback on 24 June 2021 – £8.99

Summerwater by Sarah Moss

Twelve people on holiday with their families look on as the skies remain resolutely grey. A woman goes running up the Ben as if fleeing; a teenage boy chances the dark waters of the loch in his kayak; a retired couple head out despite the downpour, driving too fast on the familiar bends.  But there are newcomers too, and one particular family, a mother and daughter with the wrong clothes and the wrong manners, start to draw the attention of the others. Who are they? Where are they from? Should they be here at all? As darkness finally falls, something is unravelling . .Summer water is a devastating story told over twenty-four hours in the Scottish highlands, and a searing exploration of our capacity for both kinship and cruelty in these divided times. Out in paperback on 24 June 2021 – £8.99

How Stella Learned to Talk : The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog by Christina Hunger

An incredible, revolutionary true story and surprisingly simple guide to teaching your dog to ‘talk’ from speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, who has taught her dog, Stella, to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words. When speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger first came home with her puppy, Stella, it didn’t take long for her to start drawing connections between her job and her new pet. During the day, she worked with toddlers with significant delays in language development and used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices to help them communicate. At night, she wondered: if dogs can understand words we say to them, shouldn’t they be able to say words to us? Can dogs use AAC to communicate with humans? Christina decided to put her theory to the test with Stella and started using a paw-sized button programmed with her voice to say the word ‘outside’ when clicked, whenever she took Stella out of the house. A few years later, Stella now has a bank of more than thirty word buttons, and uses them daily either individually or together to create near-complete sentences. How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. Out in hardback on 24 June 2021 – £16.99

Sicilia : A love letter to the food of Sicily by Ben Tish 

Sicily is both a frugal peasant land with a simple robust cuisine, and also full of ornate glamour and extravagance. A most beautiful and complex contradiction in terms, Ben Tish unlocks the secrets of Sicily’s culture and food within these pages, diving into its diverse tapestry of cultural influences. You’ll find the most delicious, fresh seafood on the coast and mouth-watering meat in land; but the two rarely mix. Packed full of vibrant flavours, this beautiful collection brings the food of Sicily to your table, with recipes ranging from delicious morsels and fritters to big couscous, rice and pasta dishes and an abundance of granitas, ice creams and desserts, all stunningly photographed. Out in hardback on 10 June 2021 – £26.00

The Heartbeat of Trees : Embracing Our Ancient Bond with Forests and Nature by Peter Wohlleben

In The Heartbeat of Trees, renowned forester Peter Wohlleben draws on new scientific discoveries to show how humans are deeply connected to the natural world. In an era of cell phone addiction, climate change, and urban life, many of us fear we’ve lost our connection to nature-but Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact. Drawing on science and cutting-edge research, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring: the language of the forest the consciousness of plants and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna. A perfect book to take with you into the woods, The Heartbeat of Trees shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste the forest. Out in hardback on 3 June 2021 -£18.99


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