An Evening with Elly Griffiths

An Evening with Elly Griffiths

Monday 29th October, 7.30pm at the Gluck Studio.

A fitting literary celebration for the week of All Hallow’s Eve – it’s time to dive into the dark side with Elly Griffiths!

We are delighted to welcome Elly Griffiths (aka Domenica de Rosa) back to Steyning, to introduce her bewitching, terrifying new standalone novel. ‘The Stranger Diaries’ is a contemporary Gothic thriller, described by Louise Penny as “Goose-bump spooky, smart, and haunting. At once a re-imagining of, and a homage to, the great Gothic thrillers of the past.” Elly will tell us more about the book, her inspiration, and her fascination with the great Victorian Gothic novels.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder, as a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body.

The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case. Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…


Elly Griffiths was born in London. She worked in publishing before becoming a full-time writer. Her bestselling series of Dr Ruth Galloway novels, featuring a forensic archaeologist, are set in Norfolk. The series has won the CWA Dagger in the Library, and has been shortlisted three times for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Her other popular series, the Stephens and Mephisto stories, is based in 1950s Brighton. She also writes romantic fiction under her real name of Domenica de Rosa.

Ticket price is £15 to include a copy of ‘The Stranger Diaries’ (£12 for Steyning Bookshop book group members), wine, and nibbles.

An Evening with Salley Vickers

An Evening with Salley Vickers

Thursday 28th June at 7.30pm – Rescheduled from the Steyning Festival event on June 8th. Original tickets still valid.

An amazing opportunity to meet Salley Vickers, author of the highly acclaimed Miss Garnett’s Angel, and The Cleaner of Chartres, in conversation about her wonderful new novel, The Librarian.

Salley Vickers’ writing is filled with subtle wit and lucid observations of human nature and has been compared to Penelope Fitzgerald and Barbara Pym. Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as a cleaner, a dancer, a teacher of children with special needs, a university lecturer specialising in Shakespeare, and a psychoanalyst.

Salley will be interviewed by Sara Bowers, the owner of The Steyning Bookshop.

The ticket price of £12 includes wine/soft drink, nibbles, and £5 voucher towards purchase of a book.

‘Salley Vickers sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand. She’s a presence worth cherishing’ Philip Pullman.

‘Vickers is a novelist in the great English tradition of moral seriousness. Her characters suffer, they struggle to be true to both themselves and the promptings of the human heart. If you enjoy reading the work of Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald and James Salter you should be reading Vickers.’  MICHAEL DIRDA Washington Post

An Evening with Catherine Chanter

An Evening with Catherine Chanter

On Thursday April 19th at 7.30pm, join us for an intimate evening at the bookshop with novelist Catherine Chanter, who will be discussing her second novel The Half Sister.

Catherine visited us in Steyning to talk about her first novel The Well, which received widespread critical acclaim and was much enjoyed by all at the bookshop, and by our book groups. The Well was Winner of the Lucy Cavendish Prize in 2013, was a Richard and Judy Book Club Pick for Autumn 2015, and was long listed for the CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger 2015.

So we are very pleased to welcome Catherine back to hear about The Half Sister, a compelling story of loss, grief, revenge and redemption. The novel follows estranged half sisters Diana and Valerie, who are reunited for their mother’s funeral but quarrel in bitter recrimination over past rivalries, setting off a tragic chain of events. It is a dark and finely nuanced study of moral uncertainties, and we are all looking forward to discussing it with her! Both novels are published by Canongate.

Catherine is a novelist and poet. She won a scholarship to read English Literature at Oxford and went on to work as a lobbyist, both in the UK and the USA. Somewhat disillusioned with the political process, she returned to England where she re-trained as a teacher and has since led education provision for vulnerable and excluded young people in a wide range of settings. She currently works for a charity which seeks to re-engage children with mental health problems with education.

Catherine has written for Radio 4 and had short stories and poetry published in many anthologies and publications. Her novella and short story collection Rooms of the Mind was published by Cinnamon Press in 2011. She has a Masters, with Distinction , in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University.

The event price is £8, which will include wine, nibbles, and a voucher towards purchasing the novel  (£14.99 hardback)



An Evening with Claire Fuller

An Evening with Claire Fuller

On Thursday 22nd March at 7.30pm we are very excited to welcome back award-winning novelist Claire Fuller, who’ll be discussing her new novel ‘Swimming Lessons’, in the atmospheric ambience of the Gluck Studio.

Claire’s first novel ‘Our Endless Numbered Days’ was one of our favourite reads of 2015 – a dark, disturbing story with a punchy twist in the tail, beautifully written with a very distinctive voice. It won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize and was a 2016 Richard and Judy Book Club Pick. She came to Steyning and talked to our bookshop bookgroups about that novel, so we are thrilled to have her back!

Her new novel ‘Swimming Lessons’, published by Penguin, follows husband and father Gil Coleman, and his turmoil after a sighting of his wife, Ingrid, who has been missing, presumed drowned, for twelve years. His children, Nan and Flora, return home, and together they begin to confront the mystery of their mother. Is Ingrid dead? Or did she leave?  And do the letters hidden within Gil’s books hold the answer to the truth behind his marriage, a truth hidden from everyone including his own children?

The Sunday Times described the book as ‘Thrilling, transporting, and delicately realised’.

Tickets are £12 – public / £10 – Bookshop book group members – to include the book, wine/soft drinks, nibbles, and of course, a fascinating evening of literary insights! Call 01903 812062 to book.

Half Term Fun with illustrator Guy Parker-Rees

Half Term Fun with illustrator Guy Parker-Rees

Come down to the bookshop at 11 am on Tuesday 13th February for some arty fun!

Author and illustrator Guy Parker-Rees (illustrator of Giraffes Can’t Dance, Never Ask a Dinosaur to Dinner, author/illustrator of Be Brave Little Penguin, Dylan the Teacher and more) will entertain children with stories and live drawing (with audience participation!) and then we’ll get the pencils out and kids can get busy creating our own colourful characters!

Advance booking advised as places limited to 20 children.

£2 per child, ticket entitles bearer to £2 off one of Guy’s wonderful picture books, which he’ll be happy to sign. Age guide 4-8 ish.