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Now that those long summer days are behind us it’s time to curl up on the couch with a good book. We’ve found 5 of the best new autumn reads, from a murder mystery to Peter Carey’s emotional love story. What are you reading now?

The Hidden Summit, by Robyn Carr. Published by Mira, RRP $29.99.

When Connor Danson unwittingly witnesses a violent crime, he is forced to leave Sacremento and keep a low profile until the trial is over. He arrives in the tiny mountain town of Virgin River with a chip on his shoulder and an ache in his heart.?Leslie Petruso didn’t want to leave her hometown either. But she couldn’t stand another minute of listening to her ex-husband tell everyone that his new wife and impending fatherhood are the best things that ever happened to him. Virgin River may not be home, but it’s a place where she can be anonymous. Neither Connor nor Leslie are remotely interested in starting a relationship…until they meet one another. Even they can’t deny they have a lot in common – broken hearts notwithstanding. And in Virgin River, no one can stay hidden away from life and love for very long…

The Festival By The Sea, by June Loves. Published by Penguin Books Australia, RRP $27.95.

Gina Laurel is ready to move on from her quiet life at Shelly Beach – and she’s got the brilliant job offer to prove it. But when her erstwhile lover – and director of the inaugural Shelly Beach Writers’ Festival – takes a job in the city, Gina finds herself the last-minute fill-in as director of the chaotic seaside festival.

Before she can rejoin the rat race, she must negotiate her way through celebrity-author hissy fits, champagne galas, rogue pirates and giant mice . . . not to mention a love/hate relationship with the former festival director. As the festival looms ever closer, Gina has some big decisions to make. Is she really ready to swap her ocean view for an office desk and the bright lights of the city?

From the author of The Shelly Beach Writers’ Group comes the second hilarious instalment of Gina’s adventures at Shelly Beach, full of wit, warmth and whimsy.

Catch Me, by Lisa Gardner. Published by Headline Fiction, RRP $32.99.

The latest brilliant novel in the D.D. Warren series from Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner.
Detective D.D. Warren thought she’d seen it all. Until a lone woman outside D.D.’s latest crime scene shocks her with a remarkable proposition: twenty-seven-year-old Charlene Grant believes she will be murdered in four days. And she’d like Boston’s top detective to handle the investigation. Every year, at 8 p.m. on 21 January, a woman has died. Different states, different police jurisdictions, always the same MO, and all with one link in common: childhood best friends from a small town in New Hampshire. Now only one friend remains, Charlie Grant.

But this friend doesn’t plan on going down without a fight. As D.D. races against the clock to find a lone gunman killing pedophiles in Boston, she must also delve into the murders of Charlie’s friends, seeking the common thread to help unravel what kind of person would track down childhood playmates, only to murder them one by one.

The Long Road Home, by Mary Alice Munroe Published By Mira RRP $29.99.

Her husband’s suicide left Nora MacKenzie alone, and his shady Wall Street dealings left the Manhattan socialite penniless. By a miracle she’s held on to their mountainside farm – and she’ll keep holding on, no matter what. The property is Nora’s one chance to wring some dignity out of the sham she’s been living. The Vermont locals think she’s a city girl on a nature kick, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Nora’s serious about learning the farming business… if she can figure out where to begin. Against the locals’ skepticism, she has only one ally: Charles ‘C.W.’ Walker.??C.W. is hardworking, gentle with animals and a patient teacher of the hundreds of chores Nora needs to learn. Slowly she starts to believe she’ll survive in her new life, even flourish. She might even be willing to open her heart again. But she won’t return to a life of lies…and the truth about C.W. may be more than Nora’s fragile heart can bear.

The Chemistry of Tears, by Peter Carey. Published by Penguin Books Australia, RRP $39.95.

An automaton, a secret love story, a man and a woman who can never meet, and the fate of the warming world are all brought to incandescent life in this haunting new novel from one of the most admired writers of our time.? ?When Catherine Gehrig, a museum conservator and clock expert, finds out that her very married lover of thirteen years has dropped dead, she has keep her grief a secret. But with no outlet other than vodka, her sorrow is close to driving the hyper-rational Catherine mad. The only person who knew of their affair–her boss–tries to distract and rescue her by giving her a project that demands all of her attention: the reconstruction of an elaborate nineteenth-century automaton.

In the crates containing its bits and pieces, Catherine discovers a series of notebooks written by Henry Brandling, who, in 1854, commissioned the extraordinary, eerie mechanical creature in an attempt to bring joy to his consumptive little son. Henry’s is a personal account of his adventures in the wilds of Germany, a diary that brings Catherine unexpected comfort, fellow feeling and wonder. But it is the automaton itself, in its beautiful, uncanny imitation of life, that links Henry’s life to Catherine’s, as both are confronted with the miracle and catastrophe of human invention, and the body’s astonishing chemistry of love and feeling.

What are you reading right now?