The Bestselling Author
A Richard and Judy Book Club must-read
Emylia Hall is the author of four women’s fiction novels and a new cozy crime series, The Shell House Detectives, set to launch in summer 2023.
Her writing career began in 2012 with The Book of Summers, a coming-of-age story inspired by childhood holidays. Published by Headline, it was one of the bestselling debuts of the year, a Richard and Judy Book Club selection, and went on to be voted the favourite read of the summer by readers. A Heart Bent Out of Shape was published in 2013 and won the Novelicious Book of the Year Award. The Sea Between Us followed in 2015 and The Thousand Lights Hotel in 2017. Her work has been translated into 10 languages and broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music.
In July 2023 The Shell House Detectives, the first in her new crime series set on the Cornish coast, will be published by Thomas & Mercer. The Harbour Lights Mystery will follow later the same year, continuing to follow the exploits of sleuthing duo Ally and Jayden and the people in and around the fictional village of Porthpella. With books set in rural Hungary, the Swiss Riviera, the Tuscan isle of Elba and Cornwall’s wild and wonderful west, Emylia’s work – whether women’s fiction or crime – is strongly influenced by place and matters of the heart.
Emylia has taught creative writing workshops in Kigali, Zurich, at the University of Lausanne, and as a regular tutor for Arvon. In 2018–20 she was a Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund, based at the University of the West of England. She believes passionately in writing as a way of enriching life experience. If you’re writing reading group, literary fiction or cozy crime you’ll find Emylia an encouraging and caring tutor.
Exploring what it feels like to be somebody else, to live in different places, to make different choices; that’s why I write, and why I read too. I guess I’m greedy – hungry for more lives than one – and insatiably curious.
The Book of Summers
Beth Lowe has been sent a parcel. Inside is a letter informing her that her mother has died, and a scrapbook. Entitled The Book of Summers, it’s stuffed with photographs and mementoes compiled by her mother to record the seven glorious childhood summers Beth spent in rural Hungary. It was a time when she trod the tightrope between separated parents and two very different countries; her bewitching, imperfect Hungarian mother and her gentle, reticent English father; the dazzling house of a Hungarian artist and an empty-feeling cottage in deepest Devon. And it was a time that came to the most brutal of ends the year she turned sixteen. The arrival of The Book of Summers brings the past tumbling back; as vivid, painful and vital as ever.
A Heart Bent Out of Shape (🇺🇸 The Swiss Affair)
For Hadley Dunn, life so far has been uneventful. But that’s before she decides to spend a year studying in the Swiss city of Lausanne. Here Hadley meets Kristina, a beautiful but elusive Danish girl, and the two quickly form a bond. Yet one November night, as the first snows of winter arrive, tragedy strikes. Hadley, left reeling and guilt-stricken, begins to lean on the only other person to whom she feels close, her American Literature professor Joel Wilson. But as the pair try to uncover the truth of what happened that night, their tentative friendship heads into forbidden territory. And before long a line is irrevocably crossed, everything changes, and two already complicated lives take an even more dangerous course.
The Sea Between Us
In a remote Cornish cove, on one of the last days of summer, Robyn Swinton is drowning. She is saved – just – by local boy Jago Winters, and it is a moment that will change both of them forever. Over the next seven years, Robyn and Jago’s paths lead them in different directions, to city streets and foreign shores. Will the bond forged that day Jago dragged Robyn in from the sea be strong enough to bring them back to one another, or has life already pulled them too far apart?
The Thousand Lights Hotel
When Kit loses her mother in tragic circumstances, she feels drawn to connect with the father she has never met. That search brings her to the Thousand Lights Hotel, the perfect holiday escape perched upon a cliff on the island of Elba. Within this idyllic setting a devastating truth is brought to light: shaking the foundations upon which the hotel is built, and shattering the lives of the people within. A heartbreaking story of betrayal, and redemption, told with the warmth of an Italian summer.
The Shell House Detectives
Welcome to the coastal paradise of Porthpella, where murder lurks among the dunes…
Late one night, a distraught young man knocks on the door of Ally Bright’s remote home on the Cornish coast. But before she can make sense of his confused words, he’s gone―not to be seen again until he’s found the next morning at the foot of the nearby cliffs.
In an instant, the peace of Ally’s beachcombing life is shattered. Feeling responsible for the young man’s fate, she wants to help find answers―as does ex-cop Jayden Weston, whom Ally meets at the scene. He shares her certainty that there’s more to the story than attempted suicide. When it emerges that the man is newly released ex-offender Lewis Pascoe, and that Helena, the wealthy new owner of his grandmother’s home, has subsequently disappeared, the tight-knit community of Porthpella is thrown into turmoil.
Driven by their need to know more, the duo decide to investigate the mystery together. Is there a connection between the Pascoe family’s tragic history and Helena’s disappearance? And if there is a killer stalking Porthpella, do Ally and Jayden have what it takes to catch them?
Publication date: 1st July 2023
Free resources and tips for writers. Get on the list!
Get the world’s #1 writing blog to your inbox every Sunday. Fabulous and free.
We never share your data. Unsubscribe any time.