James Runcie website

James Runcie

Wednesday 1st June, 7.30pm

It’s the fifth instalment in the Grantchester Mysteries series, and the one we have been eagerly awaiting – Sidney is now an Archdeacon in Ely! He is beginning to find life as a full-time priest and part-time detective a little exhausting. So when a bewitching divorcee in a mink coat interrupts Sidney’s family lunch asking him to help locate […]

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Vaseem Khanscaled

Vaseem Khan

Wednesday 8th June, 7.30pm

Following his joyously different first novel, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra. Vaseem Khan returns with another adventure for the retired inspector. Chopra is swept up in a maelstrom of trouble and danger in the noisy, vibrant city of Mumbai when Queen Victoria’s crown is stolen. But what the thieves were really after is the Koh-i-Noor diamond, […]

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Jill Dawson

Thursday 9th June, 7.30pm

In 1964, the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith is hiding out in a cottage in Suffolk, to concentrate on her writing and escape her fans. She has another motive too – a secret romance with a married lover based in London. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that all her demons have come with her. Prowlers, […]

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June Reading Groups

Monday 13th June, 7.30pm

Paradise Lost by John Milton One of the greatest literary works in the English language and an inexhaustible source of inspiration to writers and artists from William Blake to Philip Pullman, Milton’s extraordinary epic poem continues to fascinate, infuriate and overwhelm with its cosmic vision, driving narrative and coruscating imagery. Sweet Caress by William Boyd  […]

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Jo Baker

Tuesday 14th June, 7.30pm

We are delighted to welcome Jo Baker to celebrate her new novel, A Country Road, A Tree. Her last novel, Longbourn, examined the lives of the servants who silently keep the world of Pride and Prejudice afloat; it was deservedly  popular for its fantastic storytelling. A Country Road, A Tree is, if possible, even better: a stunningly written fictionalised account of […]

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Spufford,Francis scaled

Francis Spufford

Thursday 16th June, 7.30pm

Francis Spufford is a great favourite here in Ely. A true polymath, his previous books have ranged from a consideration of ice in literature to Unapologetic, his witty and intelligent defence of the importance of Christianity in the twenty-first century. Now he has written his first novel, Golden Hill, which  is destined to become a […]

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Fiona Reynolds

Tuesday 21st June, 7.30pm

Fiona Reynolds’ distinguished decade at the helm of the National Trust gave her ample opportunities to see the best of British landscapes and nature- and also a real insight into the dangers it faces. In The Fight for Beauty that experience has allowed her to create a truly astonishing book, that celebrates the potential for […]

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Barney Norris

Thursday 23rd June, 7.30pm

One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – all facing their own personal disasters. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five […]

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Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage

Tuesday 28th June, 7.30pm

Simon Armitage is that rare thing, a poet both critically acclaimed and popular; he is also prolific, having produced eleven volumes of poetry, two novels, several plays, a libretto and two non-fiction best-sellers. In recent years he has enhanced his reputation with his translations of Gawain and The Death of Arthur, breathing new life into […]

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Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry

Thursday 7th July, 7.30pm

Sarah Perry’s second novel, The Essex Serpent, has captivated those of us who have read it. Set against a vividly drawn backdrop of Victorian London and Essex, it is the story of  Cora Seaborne, an educated and fiercely independent widow and William Ransome, an  enlightened vicar whose parish is a small village on the Essex coast. It  explodes with […]

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Reading Groups

Monday 11th July, 7.30pm

The Outsider by Albert Camus and The Meersault Investigation by Kamel Daoud One of the 20th Century’s great cult books, Camus’ The Outsider retains its fascination as a classic study of alienation, examining the context and consequences of solitary anti-hero, Meursault’s meaningless murder of an Arab on an Algerian beach. Seventy years on, Kamel Daoud’s […]

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Lucie Whitehouse

Monday 18th July, 7.30pm

Those who love Girl on the Train, The Good Liar and The Widow will love Keep You Close the thrilling new novel from acclaimed author Lucie Whitehouse, author of The House at Midnight, The Bed I Made and Before We Met. The brilliant young painter Marianne Glass is found dead in her snow-covered garden. They […]

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Ben Macintyre

Ben MacIntyre on The SAS

Monday 26th September, 7.30pm

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was imaginative, radical and entirely against the rules: a small, undercover unit that would wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave […]

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