So, what is it about Deborah Moggach and hotels? Her ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ was a bestseller and now she’s produced this five-star gem – ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, set not on the Indian sub-continent, but the Welsh borders. And it’s another wonderful, hilarious portrait of the human zoo – immensely readable, crisply-written, and rewarding.
‘Snow White Must Die’ – what a title! Nele Neuhaus’s chiller could be one of the new Scanda-chillers but actually it is set in Germany. Neuhaus is a massively successful novelist in Germany and if you read this you’ll discover why – it’s an absolute cracker of a crime story and I loved every single page. For me, a real discovery.
I’ve read another of our autumn choices twice now; it’s so absorbing and different. It’s from Tracy Chevalier, who wrote ‘Girl With A Pearl Earring’. ‘The Last Runaway’ is the story of Honor Bright, a Quaker girl who flees England in the mid 19th century after being humiliatingly jilted, and emigrates to America with her sister, who dies almost as soon as they arrive in the New World. Honor is left to forge a harsh life in the frontier state of Ohio… and quickly becomes involved in the underground movement that helped runaway slaves reach freedom in Canada. A totally gripping and moving novel from the first to the last page.
We have eight titles in our new selection, which (as always!) we think is our strongest yet. We’re SO pleased at the response in the last few months to our new WHSmith Book Club website, and we’ll continue to blog and comment on the books and your own comments this autumn. And we are also genuinely excited about our new venture – to find the most talented debut author out there; our search for the next bestseller. If there’s one thing we’ve realised since launching the book club, it is the wealth of genuine writing talent out there.
So stand by for details of our search for the next UK – and who knows, world – best seller. We’ll be offering a £50,000 publishing deal with massive promotion and PR backing for the best submission. Watch this space for full details of how to enter. The winning novel can be of any genre. It just has to be a damn good read. Good luck!