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Reading Group Fiction
Literary Fiction
Contemporary & Women’s Fiction
Mystery
Cozy Crime

Emylia Hall

Writing Coach

Emylia Hall is the award-winning author of four women’s fiction novels and a six-book cozy crime series. She is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.

Emylia Hall. Author and The Novelry Team Member

Emylia Hall is the author of four women’s fiction novels, and a six-book cozy crime series, The Shell House Detectives Mysteries.

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. Three more novels followed: A Heart Bent Out of Shape (2013), The Sea Between Us (2015) and The Thousand Lights Hotel (2017), this last being a recent selection for Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Book Club. Emylia’s 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 popular crime series set on the Cornish coast, was published by Thomas & Mercer. It was a Kindle Top 10 bestseller and has been optioned for television by Playground Entertainment, the makers of Wolf Hall and All Creatures Great and Small. The Harbour Lights Mystery and The Rockpool Murder followed, with three more Shell House Detectives mysteries planned for 2024 and beyond. The series follows 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 and mystery, 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.

Emylia Hall
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A Richard and Judy Book Club must-read
The Rockpool Murder
The Harbour Lights Mystery
The Shell House Detectives
The Book of Summers
The Sea Between Us
The Swiss Affair (UK: A Heart Bent Out of Shape)
The Thousand Lights Hotel

Novels by

Emylia Hall

The Rockpool Murder

The Rockpool Murder

Music legend Baz Carson is ready to welcome his closest friends and family to celebrate his seventieth birthday at Rockpool House, his stunning mansion set high on the cliffs on the Cornish coast. But the festivities come to an abrupt end when Baz is found dead, floating fully clothed in his infinity pool.

Tallulah, a boho-chic Californian and Baz’s first love, is convinced that his death wasn’t an accident. He’s just published his tell-all memoir, and the list of those who might wish him harm is long. But with just eight guests at Baz’s luxury, gated home, who could have killed him—and why?

Tallulah hires Ally Bright and ex-cop Jayden Weston to uncover the truth. It’s a case that becomes a race against time, and one that will push Ally and Jayden to their limits as they draw ever closer to a killer. A killer who’s hiding in plain sight and feels they have nothing to lose…

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The Harbour Lights Mystery

The Harbour Lights Mystery

It’s December in Cornwall, and Mousehole harbour is illuminated with its famous Christmas lights. Ally Bright is among the crowd listening to the carol singers—and then to the piercing screams that rip through the darkness. A body has been found, brutally murdered and dumped in a fisherman’s boat.

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The Shell House Detectives

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?

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The Book of Summers

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.

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The Sea Between Us

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?

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The Swiss Affair (UK: A Heart Bent Out of Shape)

The Swiss Affair (UK: A Heart Bent Out of Shape)

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.

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The Thousand Lights Hotel

The Thousand Lights Hotel

When Kit loses her mother in tragic circumstances, she feels drawn to finally 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 it. A heartbreaking story of loss, betrayal, and redemption, told with all the warmth and beauty of an Italian summer.

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