10 books with a Buckinghamshire connection

PUBLISHED: 16:27 25 February 2016 | UPDATED: 16:27 25 February 2016

(c) Noel Hendrickson

Sandra Smith checks the shelves for books with a Buckinghamshire connection

A Good Catch

Fern Britton

On a first day at school friendships are sealed and intentions declared in a Cornish fishing village. Loveday Carter sets her sights on Jesse, though the slim, sophisticated Greer Clovelly decides she would make a better match; with Loveday far more suited to Mickey. The four grow up the best of friends but personal ambitions take a back seat when parents insist on merging business dynasties via marriage. Destiny, it seems, does not always include a fairy tale ending. Fern Britton excels in her latest novel with punchy dialogue, descriptive narrative and plenty of twists.


Joyce Grenfell

Compiled by Janie Hampton

A witty and observational writer, Joyce Grenfell’s views and musings are reflected in this collection of poems compiled by Janie Hampton. In the early years of marriage Joyce lived with her husband, Reggie, in Parr’s Cottage on the Cliveden estate. From there she developed her writing style and delivered impromptu

monologues before capturing the nation’s imagination with numerous acting and television appearances. From wistful to lyrical, including the short, amusing, The Bumble Bee alongside the touchingly heartfelt Today which encapsulates the unfailing love she felt for her husband, these entertaining poems project Miss Grenfell’s keen observational skills.

The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding

Carole Matthews

Matthews is one of this country’s most productive romantic comedy authors. In her latest novel, The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding, entertaining plots and characters with whom the reader can readily identify, once again amuse and inspire. As the ladies of the Chocolate Lovers’ Club prepare for the wedding of the year, they are distracted by various ups and downs. Thank goodness they have each other, not to mention a determination to avoid anything getting in the way of their happy ever afters. From her Milton Keynes home, Carole has produced another vibrant and highly engaging novel.

£7.99, www.carolematthews.com

Lost and Found

Lynda Bellingham

The actress was an inspiration, not only in the way she handled, with humour and dignity, terminal cancer, but also her pursuit of a stage and screen career despite the distraction of destructive relationships. Born in Canada and raised in Buckinghamshire, the gorgeous Oxo Mum remained a nation’s favourite for decades. This autobiography is as honest as it is moving, with an underlying theme of strength and determination. Lynda eventually found love with Michael Pattemore and, though she is no longer with us, Lost and Found provides an opportunity to enjoy some hilarious anecdotes from one of our best loved actresses.


Walking in the Chilterns

Steve Davison

Our expert’s guidebook describes 35 walks, between four and 12 miles long, which explore the Chilterns’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Some take in Buckinghamshire’s spectacular vantage points such as Coombe Hill on the outskirts of Wendover (Walk 12) and Beacon Hill near Ivinghoe (Walk 5), whilst others explore the more undulating landscape of rounded hills and valleys covered in a mix of broad-leaved woodland and open farmland with fascinating churches and cosy pubs. Step by step route directions include plenty of information about all the sites along the way and are illustrated with clear OS mapping and vibrant photographs.


Delayed Reaction

Just Write

Amersham writing group, Just Write, has built on its award winning success by producing a second collaboration of 10 short stories, each taking place on the 15:08 train from King’s Cross to York. Delayed Reaction focusses on an unscheduled stop which soon culminates in an aura of restlessness. Are passengers superficially irritated by the delay, or could there be more at stake? Medical emergencies, life changing decisions, fear, intrigue and relationships - the variety of subjects ensures a wide appeal. Careful editing has resulted in a cohesive set of stories which blend together yet simultaneously retain their individuality. Just Write’s first book, Spilling the Beans, won Writing Magazine’s Best Anthology title and the writers later handed over £1,000 to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Paperback £6.99, eBook £5.99. www.delayedreaction.org.uk

Evil Unseen

Dave Sivers

“We all love a good mystery and the best crime fiction has a human story behind it,” enthuses bestselling Ivinghoe author Dave Sivers. “Female detectives have a long history. nowadays, they are strongly represented and offer an alternative to the drinking, smoking, rebellious tough guy stereotype, with maybe more intuitive insights. My character, DI Lizzie Archer, is facially disfigured and probably far more sensitive about it than a male colleague would be, which affects her approach to life and work.” In Dave’s latest novel the DI and her colleague, DS Dan Baines, have to draw on all their skills to solve a local crime.

£7.99. www.davesivers.co.uk

Looking for Enid: The Mysterious and Inventive Life of Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton’s adventures touched many young lives. For Duncan McLaren the influence was such that he embarked upon an exploration of the author’s life and work which included field trips to Bourne End and Beaconsfield. “I loved Enid Blyton’s books as a child and when I came across a noddy book as an adult I realised that Blyton had been a major influence on my development. I’d grown up with her adventure stories. Looking for Enid investigates where her extraordinary story telling ability came from and how it manifested itself.”


Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life

Roald Dahl

To read Dahl’s work is to expect the unexpected and this collection doesn’t disappoint. Set in the Buckinghamshire countryside and based on the author’s experiences with his friend and local poacher, Claud, who shared the writer’s passion for gambling on horses and greyhounds, the tales of everyday country folk are showcased here. From maggot farming to rat infested hayricks and troublesome cows, the reader is entertained by Dahl’s signature style and line drawings. Roald Dahl moved to Great Missenden in 1954 where he produced some of his best known works.


Recipe for Life

Mary Berry

“My autobiography is a memory of my life and what I’ve learned from it. I wrote it in stages, making notes when I remembered things and gathering up pictures. It gave me great pleasure going through photograph albums.” Mary Berry is a familiar face on our screens, whilst her prolific writing has resulted in her popular recipe books gracing the shelves of households throughout her adopted county. Recipe for Life takes the reader from those early years which included a bout of polio through air raids, family life and an enviably successful career.



Great British Bake Off feature interview - Martha Collison and Mary Berry - Could you withstand the scrutiny of Mary Berry? At just 17 Martha Collison took on this formidable challenge, becoming a star of the Great British Bake Off

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