Spalding bookshop recommends a good mystery

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Bookmark in Spalding recommends The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler as its book of the week.

A sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who discovers that his family labours under a terrible curse.

For generations, the women in his family have died on the same date in July.

Simon must set out to unravel the mystery of this curse, before his beloved sister suffers the same fate.

Simon Watson lives alone on the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. On a day in late June, Simon receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller; it has been sent to him because it is inscribed with the name of Simon’s grandmother. The book tells the story of two doomed lovers who were part of a travelling circus more than 200 years ago.

He is fascinated, yet as he reads Simon becomes increasingly unnerved. Why do so many women in his family drown on July 24? And could his beloved sister, who has suddenly turned up at home for the first time in years, risk the same terrible fate?

As July 24 draws ever closer, Simon must unlock the mysteries of the book, and decode his family history, before it’s too late.

The book retails for £8.99 but there is a 20 per cent discount voucher in the Spalding Guardian of July 14.