Here are five books that are  Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon’s list of must-reads…. 

when the curtain falls

1. When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcheras someone who loves the theatre the idea of a novel involving the world of theatre is naturally very appealing – particularly when it has been written by an author who has already had an extensive theatre career as Carrie Hope Fletcher has.

Theatres have a certain kind of magic. When the curtain rises, we are all enraptured by the glare of the lights and the smell of the greasepaint but it’s when the curtain falls that the real drama begins . . .

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2. Why Mummy Swears by Gill Simsthis is the second novel from Gill Sims and is perhaps an ideal read for any mum’s out there over the summer holidays and looking for a bit of escapism. From reading what it is about (not even having children of my own) I’m curious to see how this one turns out!

The Boy Child Peter is connected to his iPad by an umbilical cord, The Girl Child Jane is desperate to make her fortune as an Instagram lifestyle influencer, while Daddy is constantly off on exotic business trips…
Mummy’s marriage is feeling the strain, her kids are running wild and the house is steadily developing a forest of mould. Only Judgy, the Proud and Noble Terrier, remains loyal as always.

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3. Our Friends in Berlin by Anthony Quinnit is hard to resist an intriguing thriller set during the Second World War and Anthony Quinn’s latest book certainly sounds like an ideal read – particularly when it has been inspired by true events…

London, 1941. The city is in blackout, besieged by nightly air raids from Germany. Two strangers are about to meet. Between them they may alter the course of the war.

While the Blitz has united the nation, there is an enemy hiding in plain sight. A group of British citizens is gathering secret information to aid Hitler’s war machine. Jack Hoste has become entangled in this treachery, but he also has a particular mission: to locate the most dangerous Nazi agent in the country.

Hoste soon receives a promising lead. Amy Strallen, who works in a Mayfair marriage bureau, was once close to this elusive figure. Her life is a world away from the machinations of Nazi sympathisers, yet when Hoste pays a visit to Amy’s office, everything changes in a heartbeat.

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4. The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannahnot published until next month, I can not wait to read Sophie Hannah’s latest Hercule Poirot story – having thoroughly enjoyed her previous Poirot novels.

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him – a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

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5. Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna by C.W GortnerI always find it difficult to resist a historical fiction novel – particularly when they feature real life characters as this new book from C.W. Gortner does, which as this title suggests focuses on the Romanov family… 

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years.