6 Must-Read Novels If You’re Traveling to England

Recommended by Carla Neggers, New York Times bestselling author of Thief’s Mark

Many of my favorite novels take place in England. I cut my reading teeth on Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Mary Stewart’s English heroines—the list goes on and on. In Thief’s Markmy latest Sharpe and Donovan novel, international art thief Oliver York takes center stage when a man dies in his arms at his farm in a small village in the picturesque English Cotswolds. FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, wrapping up their Irish honeymoon, are drawn into the investigation. Except for a bout with nettle, my own visits to the Cotswolds have been blissfully uneventful. But that’s the appeal of fiction, isn’t it? Oliver’s quiet morning in the English countryside is bound not to stay uneventful and instead turns into a search for a killer and answers to his complicated past.

Here are a few novels with English settings I recommend:

 

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

A lone German spy living in England could discover the truth about the D-day invasion. Ken Follett’s masterful, twisty thriller is as fresh and exciting today as it was when it was first published in 1978.

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Murder, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence and a daily commute on a London train make for compelling psychological suspense. Dark, well-written and gripping.

 

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George

Meet suave, aristocratic Inspector Thomas Lynley and dogged Sergeant Barbara Havers of Scotland Yard when they take on a murder case in the windswept Yorkshire moors. Many novels and changes in their lives later, this series is still going strong.

 

Lies That Bind by Stella Cameron

The author of many novels, Stella returns to her native England with this mystery series set in the picturesque Cotswold countryside. Pub owner Alex Duggins just can’t resist a murder!

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in England, this is a story that adults and children alike have been gobbling up since Harry, Ron and Hermione came onto the scene in 1997. Except for the persistent monsters and dark wizards, who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts?

 

Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter

The first book in the Inspector Morse series is as good a place as any to start trailing along with this iconic, eccentric character as he solves murders in Oxford. Sadly classics scholar, author and cryptic crosswords enthusiast Colin Dexter died earlier this year at the age of eighty-six.

 

—Carla


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Read Thief’s Mark and other suspenseful tales in the Sharpe & Donovan series today!

 

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