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An event with Mick Herron & some other nice morsels

Dear Readers,

We are delighted to announce our second event of the autumn. Mick Herron, bestselling thriller writer, and creator of the Slough House series, will be joining us in the beautiful reading room of the Bristol Central Library, to discuss his new novel The Secret Hours.


The award-winning author will be in conversation with acclaimed writer & friend of the shop, Charlotte Philby, whose novels include Edith and Kim, The Second Woman and A Double Life.

7pm, Wednesday 6th September, at Bristol Central Library
Tickets are available here.

Published by Bristol-based imprint, Baskerville, The Secret Hours is a standalone spy thriller with a disastrous MI5 mission in Cold War Berlin at its heart.

Two years ago, the Monochrome inquiry was set up to investigate the British secret service. Monochrome’s mission was to ferret out misconduct, allowing the civil servants seconded to the inquiry, Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kyle, unfettered access to confidential information in the service archives.
But with progress blocked at every turn, Monochrome is circling the drain … Until the OTIS file appears out of nowhere.

What classified secrets does OTIS hold that see a long-redundant spy being chased through Devon’s green lanes in the dark? What happened in a newly reunified Berlin that someone is desperate to keep under wraps? And who will win the battle for the soul of the secret service – or was that decided a long time ago?
Spies and pen-pushers, politicians and PAs, high-flyers, time-servers and burn-outs . . . They all have jobs to do in the daylight. But what they do in the secret hours reveals who they really are.

This is a wonderful chance to spend time in the company of the writer Val McDermid calls “the John le Carré of our generation.”

Praise for Mick Herron:

‘I doubt I’ll read a more enjoyable novel all year. The Secret Hours has it all: thrilling action scenes, crackling dialogue, characters to infuriate and beguile, and a neatly intricate plot. And through it all cuts Herron’s acerbic wit, its effect heightened by the glimpses he allows us, from time to time, from his world to ours.’ Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train

‘Great Britain has a long, rich history of how-it-really-works espionage fiction, and Mick Herron – stealthy as a secret agent – has written himself to the very top of the list. If you haven’t already been recruited, start with The Secret Hours – all Herron’s trademark strengths are here: tension, intrigue, observation, humour, absurdity . . . and pitch-perfect prose.’ Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher novels.

The Secret Hours is wonderful. Mick Herron at his best’ Michael Connelly, author of Desert Star.

‘Mick Herron is one of the best writers of spy fiction working today’ Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park.

‘Herron is at the summit of a new golden age of spy fiction.’ Sunday Times

‘Mick Herron is an incredible writer and if you haven’t read him yet, you NEED to. I read the Jackson Lamb books one after the other and am already desperate for the next one. They are smart, darkly comic and hugely addictive.’ Mark Billingham

Mick Herron is the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the Slough House thrillers, which have won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award, two CWA Daggers, been published in 20 languages, and are the basis of a major TV series starring Gary Oldman as Jackson Lamb. He is also the author of the Zoë Boehm series, and the standalone novels Reconstruction and This is What Happened. Mick was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, and now lives in Oxford.

Charlotte Philby is the author of four novels, the latest of which, Edith and Kim, was a best book of 2022 in The Times, The Sunday Times, New Statesman, Literary Review, and elsewhere. Since leaving the Independent in 2014 she has worked as a contributing editor at Marie Claire, and written freelance for publications including New Statesman, Tatler, and the Guardian. Charlotte lives in Bristol.