Tis Summer and you know you love a good murder!

More Crime novels are borrowed than any other fiction genre. Why? According to bestselling author Sophie Hannah this is because Thrillers “prioritise pleasure and entertainment; guarantee a gripping plot. Evil is punished, and the good guys mostly win, after solving the puzzle. And all is right with the world. At least fictionally.”

Sussex is blessed with a bonanza of Thriller writers, and to celebrate we have a Season of Crime in Sussex Libraries – this September we are visited by Sheila Bugler, Merryn Allingham, William Shaw, Chris Curran, Elly Griffith, Michelle Frances , Dionne Lister and Lesley Thomson.

Our big summer event is our Summer Reading Challenge, where we challenge children to read six books over the holidays. We’ve got it all in our Libraries this summer! The Summer Reading Challenge may be about reading, but there are lots of events taking place too! Tri golf, archery, fencing, circus skills, dance workshops and storytellers, we’ve got it all in Libraries this summer!

Sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge and book an event on our website, or call 0345 60 80 196.


Top Fiction – ‘The Playground’ by Michelle FrancesThe Playground by Michelle Francis.

Looking to escape her old life, Nancy and her ten-year-old daughter Lara move to Ripton. A quiet, picturesque village in the rolling Derbyshire countryside, it seems like the perfect place to settle down. But when Nancy reaches the school gates, she learns that beneath the quaint village atmosphere is a minefield.

Basically mean girls grow up, have kids and get worse! Policy, political correctness and the power of social media combine to create a very powerful read. Pacy, punchy psychological thriller.

Michelle is visiting East Sussex Libraries this September.

Reserve the Pbook of ‘The Playground’.


Top Non-Fiction – ‘The Journalist and the Murderer’ by Janet MalcolmJournalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm.

This is one of the seminal works of True Crime – it exposes the whole industry and is an excellent example of the form.

Janey says “Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

It is the true story of Joe McGinniss who wrote a book about accused murderer Jeffrey MacDonald. MacDonald had been charged with the murders of his two daughters. The journalist pretended to befriend the murderer to get the story. When the book came out the murderer was horrified at how he was presented – and tried to sue the journalist.

Janet Malcolm writes this story – and in turn she was later sued by the journalist and the murderer!

Reserve the pBook of ‘Journalist and the Murderer’.



Top Audio – ‘A Book of Scars’ by William Shaw read by Cameron Stewart A Book of Scars by William Shaw.

This police procedural is set in the late 1960s is the third of Shaw’s Breen and Tozer mysteries – but works just as well as a stand-alone. Shaw captures the mood of London in the 1960s, using his working class detectives to convey the bewildering pace of social change. His intricate plots are full of surprises, reflecting the brutal legacy of colonialism. This is a proper conspiracy thriller, with shameful secrets hidden behind government regulation. It involves real history, real people, real crimes with real consequences.

William Shaw is visiting Hastings Library in September.

Listen to the eAudio of ‘A Book of Scars’.

Reserve the pBook of ‘A Book of Scars’.


Top comic (chosen by Elizabeth) – ‘Murder Book’ by Ed BrissonMurder Book by Ed Brisson.

The graphic novel anthology Murder Book collects gritty and unrelenting crime comics by Ed Brisson that chronicle the demise of the immoral and the innocent alike.

Short stories involving crime, death, murder, violence, lots of brutal and dark and twisted stories throughout and well worth it if this is a genre you enjoy. An essential for crime and noir fans.

Read the eComic of ‘Murder Book’.


Top children’s fiction – ‘Naomie Mensa vs. the Future’ by Priscilla Mante

Naomie Mensa vs. the Future by Priscilla Mante.

Another warm and funny Dream Team story, which explores mental health and girls in STEM. High achieving Naomie ‘Mensa’

Osei has always been the smart one in Bramrock Stars FC She loves all things Maths and Science, and dreams of being an astrophysicist when she’s older. With her track record of excellence and hard work, everyone believes Naomie can do it all. But with a string of challenges in Year 6, including an entrance exam, a concert performance, she’s juggling more than ever. Naomie doesn’t want to let anyone down but her cool exterior is beginning to unravel, and it seems that the harder she tries, the more the pressure is getting to her. It’s all making her very worried about the future – what’s next for her . . . and the Dream Team? Can she really achieve all her goals before Leavers Day?

Priscilla is visiting libraries this summer

Reserve the pBook of ‘Naomie Mensa vs. the future’.


Top children’s non-fiction – ‘The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean’ by Kim Dwinell The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean by Kim Dwinell.

The ocean is packed with plants, animals, water… and science!

Ride the waves of knowledge with Sam and Jade as they explain all about the amazing wonders of the sea, and have a blast doing it.

Have you ever wondered why the ocean has waves? Why the tide goes in and out? And how can coral be alive when it looks like a rock?

This sporty science book is a perfect fit for our Summer Reading Challenge theme; Ready, Set, Read!

Read the eComic of ‘The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean’.