Joan Aiken - Group

Joan Aiken



Joan Aiken, English-born daughter of American poet Conrad Aiken, began her writing career in the 1950s. Working for Argosy magazine as a copy editor but also as the anonymous author of articles and stories to fill up their pages, she was adept at inventing a wealth of characters and fantastic situations, and went on to produce hundreds of stories for Good Housekeeping, Vogue, Vanity Fair and many other magazines. Some of those early stories became novels, such as The Silence of Herondale, first published fifty years ago in 1964. Although her first agent famously told her to stick to short stories, saying she would never be able to sustain a full-length novel, Joan Aiken went on to win the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for The Whispering Mountain, and the Edgar Alan Poe award for her adult novel Night Fall. Her best known children's novel, The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, was acclaimed by Time magazine as 'a genuine small masterpiece'. In 1999 she was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature, and although best known as a children's writer, Joan Aiken wrote many adult novels, both modern and historical, with her trademark wit and verve. Many have a similar gothic flavour to her children's writing, and were much admired by readers and critics alike. As she said 'The only difference I can see is that children's books have happier endings than those for adults.' You have been warned . . .
Virago

The Gift Giving: Favourite Stories

Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey
Contributors:
Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey
Virago

The Kingdom and the Cave

Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey
Contributors:
Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey

'The Under People. They live in a huge Cave. They are thought to be boring upwards. Giant worms and flying ants. Underground magic.'Mickle, the palace cat, knows the kingdom is in danger. He can feel it in his whiskers and he has found a mysterious note in the royal library... (Yes, of course he can read, and speak - if he chooses to!) Mickle can't trust the King and Queen with his mission, so he and Prince Michael, with the help of their animal friends (and quite a bit of magic!), set out on a perilous quest to find the sinister Under People, discover their secret power and save the Kingdom of Astalon.In her first novel, written when she was only a teenager, Joan Aiken showcases the imagination, wit and storytelling zest that would lead to classics like Arabel's Raven and The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.

Virago

The Serial Garden

Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey
Contributors:
Joan Aiken, Peter Bailey

'I wish we'll have two children called Mark and Harriet. And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them. It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother, for instance. And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or that would get a bit dull'As a result of their mother's honeymoon wish, Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother, a pet unicorn, and are prepared for anything life can throw at them (especially, but not always, on a Monday): hatching griffins in the airing cupboard, Latin lessons with a ghost, furious Furies on the doorstep, and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet. Life with the Armitages can be magical, funny, terrifying - but never, ever dull.

The Murder Room

Died on a Rainy Sunday

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

Married to an ambitious but feckless architect and living in the pretentious show home they can ill afford, Jane is forced to return to work, leaving her children in the care of a less than reassuring childminder. As the weeks pass, her disintegrating marriage and the discovery of her husband's secrets lead Jane into a battle to save both herself and her children from an explosive summer of hatred, jealousy - and murder.This claustrophobic thriller, based on events from the author's own life and her struggles as a young widow, marries the desperate ring of truth with all the added horror of Joan Aiken's gothic imagination.

The Murder Room

The Ribs of Death

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken
The Murder Room

Hate Begins at Home

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

'Waiting for her, he was on edge with expectation. He had never planned a murder before ... Only sheer necessity was making him do it now ...'Coincidence couldn't explain the three accidental deaths. It had to be something more - something sinister? One old lady had fallen and broken her neck; the others had died in hit-and-run accidents. And now beautiful young Caroline Conroy, who has returned to her poisonous family after a mysterious tragedy abroad, must face the enemy: a smiling stranger who is calmly and ruthlessly planning her destruction.'Terrifyingly enclosed spine-chiller' Sunday Telegraph

The Murder Room

Trouble With Product X

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

Martha works for an advertising agency, filming a TV commercial on location in Cornwall. Her boss's new client is the eccentric owner of a chemicals company that has invented a new, almost irresistible perfume, and Martha is in charge of shooting the romantic ads - unfortunately starring his difficult daughter-in-law.In a witty parody of the classic gothic, Martha soon becomes embroiled in a conspiracy over the missing perfume formula as the increasingly incredible plot strands - which include an amorous sheikh, a series of exploding soup cans and a kidnapped baby - mount to a hair raising climax around her.'Witty and acute ... a nice romantic thriller' Punch

The Murder Room

The Fortune Hunters

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

Annette, an increasingly amnesiac magazine editor who has inherited an unexpected fortune, leaves London for a new life in a cottage in the country, but falls prey to a series of strange characters who threaten to deprive her of not just her money, but her sanity too.Set in the picturesque Sussex town where the author was born and spent her early years in a haunted house, this gothic thriller builds to a terrifying climax as the heroine pits her wits against the sinister forces that surround her.

The Murder Room

The Silence of Herondale

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

Snow-covered fields and moors stretch away on all sides of Herondale House. Despite rumours of an escaped killer on the run, Deborah Lindsay knows that she must control her terror - she has a young charge, 13-year-old prodigy Caroline, to care for.But the isolated Yorkshire farmhouse already holds the terrible secret of one death - and an increasing number of sinister 'accidents' lead Deborah to wonder how long it would be before evil strikes again ...'A splendidly romantic first thriller' Times Literary Supplement

Hodder Children's Books

Midnight is a Place

Joan Aiken
Authors:
Joan Aiken

Lucas is lonely. Orphaned and sent to live with his formidable guardian in a vast mansion, he longs for a friend. Then Anna-Marie arrives. She's spoilt and wilful - and practically half his age. Lucas feels more alone than ever. But one night something terrible happens. Lucas and Anna-Marie face a terrifying and treacherous ordeal, alone in the hostile city streets. Together, they must fight to survive ...The 40th anniversary edition of a compelling tale of villainy and suspense - from the best-selling author of THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE.

Wayland

The Shoemaker's Boy

Joan Aiken, Alan Marks
Contributors:
Joan Aiken, Alan Marks