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Reading List: So British!

reading list

May 6, 2020

The Detection Club

In 1930s England, the best mystery writers of the era come together to form the Detection Club. G. K. Chesterton, Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr and others gather to eat, drink, and challenge one another. They are in for a bigger test, however, when eccentric billionaire Roderick Ghyll invites them all to his mansion on a private island off the coast of Cornwall, promising to enchant them with his latest creation: a robot that can predict the culprit in their novels. But when someone ends up murdered, who will lead the investigation? Jean Harambat is back, following the success of “Operation Copperhead,” with a hilarious, satirical take on the classic crime novel.

Operation Copperhead

Adventure, drama, spies, secrets, and even a dash of romance. This extraordinary story tells the tale of two movie stars being pulled into the intrigue of counterintelligence and disinformation campaigns during World War II. Churchill is looking for someone to impersonate Britain’s top general, and it’s up to David Niven and Peter Ustinov to train the lucky lad. They’re in a race against the clock and a battle against all the usual vices—wine and women included—to turn a second-rate actor into General Montgomery in this uproarious and award-winning graphic novel, where the truth might be stranger than fiction.

Maggy Garrisson

Even the infamous English rain can’t dampen Maggy Garrisson’s spirits as she walks through the London streets to her first job in two years. The shabby detective agency run by a hopeless, chain-smoking alcoholic might not exactly be her cup of tea, but Maggy’s willing to make concessions. The plot thickens when her boss gets beaten unconscious, and Maggy discovers a wallet full of seemingly trivial objects. But why’s she suddenly attracting all this unwanted attention? Perhaps there’s something in that wallet that’s more than it seems…

Renée Stone

Renée Stone is a successful English mystery novelist and an independent free spirit. In this first book of the series, she finds herself in Ethiopia for the coronation of Haile Selassie I in 1930. There she meets John Malowan, a bumbling archaeologist whose grandfather unearthed the Epic of Gilgamesh. Unbeknownst to Stone and Malowan, a host of parties are conspiring to take advantage of the grandson in order to get their hands on a hidden treasure that dates back to Mesopotamian times. Renée Stone finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery full of colorful characters who could have come straight out of her novels.

Shelley

Born into an aristocratic family, Percy Bysshe Shelley has no intentions of following in his father’s political footsteps. The rebellious young poet finds himself drawn to more scandalous pursuits: supporting anti-royalist and anti-clerical causes, championing vegetarianism, and extolling the virtues of atheism, an act that ultimately leads to his expulsion from Oxford University. Book 1 of “Shelley” lets us dive into Percy’s tumultuous childhood, giving us an insight into his friendships with some of the finest progressive thinkers of the times, not to mention his blossoming relationship with his future wife and author of “Frankenstein,” Mary.

Shi

During the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, two women’s lives become irrevocably intertwined when they both fall victim to a nefarious underground fraternity of ex-soldiers from England’s upper crust who have sworn their lives to defending the British Empire—as well as their own decadent lifestyles. In this first volume, young rebel Jennifer Winterfield and the mysterious Kitamakura from Japan forge an unlikely alliance along with Jennifer’s doctor uncle and a street urchin named Pickles. Together they lay the groundwork for a criminal organization that will go on to sow terror in the hearts of the colonialists and industrialists who tried to put them down.

Mr. Noir

England, last century. A castle: Blacktales. Every seven years its proprietor, the frightening Monsieur Noir, comes over to sign the new lease with his tenant. In Blacktales, two unrelenting opposing clans fight a ferocious and cunning struggle over the possession of a pen: the lease contract can be signed only with this pen, the signature giving absolute power. Into this troubled atmosphere arrives the recently orphaned Fanny: the pen, missing for two years has been located. It is in the hands of the two creatures whose ruthless sadism terrorises all the inhabitants of the place…

Miss Endicott

After many years abroad, Prudence Endicott is back in England for her mother’s funeral. Hired as a nanny by a wealthy London family, the young woman begins to spend her nights in the more common neighborhoods… For Miss Endicott is the new Conciliator, entrusted with helping the poor and the humble to solve their problems when society ignores them. A difficult task—especially as something sinister appears to be brewing underneath London…

The Corsaires of Alcibiades

The scene is early nineteenth century England, in a secret and exclusive university under the auspices of the British Crown. Peter, Lydia, Mike, Curtis, and Maryline, five young people with nothing in common, have been brought together here to take part in the admissions process of this most unusual school. Why were they chosen? And to what end? None of them realize yet that they will soon leave behind their relatively calm lives for untold adventures that lie ahead of them.

Stevenson, the Pirate Within

This is the fascinating life story of Robert Louis Stevenson, the beloved author of classics such as “Treasure Island” and “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” from his early days as an aspiring writer to his first published works, his love affair and then marriage to Fanny Osbourne, his success as an author, his many travels across Europe and the U.S., and finally his voyage to the islands of the South Pacific, where he eventually built the house of his dreams. Stevenson never let his weak lungs (which he referred to as pirates waging a battle inside him) and delicate constitution stand in the way of his insatiable thirst for adventure, living life on his own terms until the very end.

Header: Operation Copperhed © Jean Harambat /Dargaud