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Q: Who drew all the pies? A: Mark did. The Edinburgh Sketcher


On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges that would make a seagull think twice and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings. It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas.

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It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable fortnight. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to . . . 

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The Lanark Moor is a bleak spot, even for Scotland, and at the tail end of a hard winter, a sojourn there is no one's idea of fun. But since the break-out from an insane asylum on Christmas Eve and the fire at the nearby convent while the inmates were at large, trouble has haunted the moor - not to mention the cloisters - and something needs to be done.  

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