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22 books recommended by booksellers that are set in the UK and Ireland

Pack your book token this summer! We asked booksellers up and down the UK and Ireland to recommend their favourite books set locally, so you can travel the length of the country even if you're staying close to home.

Tanya from Limestone Books in Settle, North Yorkshire: Date with Deceit by Julia Chapman

"#6 in the Dales Detective series, Date with Deceit, is set in the fictional town of Bruncliffe, which everyone knows is Settle! It's a rollicking read, with well-loved and despised characters deceiving each other at every turn. Ending on a total cliffhanger, it's the most exciting book of the series so far."

Date with Deceit by Julia Chapman

Asher from Darling Reads in Horbury, West Yorkshire: Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

"Started Early, Took My Dog is set in nearby Leeds with references to famous buildings and landmarks of the city. As with everything Kate Atkinson writes, it's exciting, captivating and peppered with dark humour – a fantastic book!"

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson

Paul from Chapter One Loftus in Loftus, North Yorkshire: The Deception of Harriet Fleet by Helen Scarlett

"The Deception of Harriet Fleet is set in Teesbank Hall in 1871, but is based on Preston Hall in Egglescliffe. The author’s husband is a teacher in a local school here and the book is an amazing read. It’s described as an atmospheric Victorian chiller, dark and brimming with suspense. It kept me guessing and wanting more and more; I described it to Helen Scarlett as 'Downton Abbey comes to Stockton'. It’s lovely to read about local familiar places, and I truly never guessed the ending!"

The Deception of Harriet Fleet by Helen Scarlett

Olivia from Maldon Books in Maldon, Essex: Essex Girls: For Profane and Opinionated Women Everywhere by Sarah Perry

"For profane and opinionated women everywhere, Sarah Perry's feminist defence of the Essex girl is a book we'll revisit time and again. From Rose Allin to Kim Kardashian, Perry shows us how the Essex Girl is not bound to her roots, that she stands for so much more than what one might think. A bestseller at our bookshop, and an informative celebration of a multitude of women, in all their outspoken and marvellous ways."

Essex Girls: For Profane and Opinionated Women Everywhere by Sarah Perry

Sara from The Steyning Bookshop in Steyning, West Sussex: The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

"By the wonderful and witty award-winning thriller writer Elly Griffiths, this atmospheric mystery is partly set on the outskirts of a Sussex village near a looming derelict cement works where odd flashing lights at night unnerve teacher Clare Cassidy and her daughter who live in a cottage nearby. Add two murders at Clare's spooky old school where she has received creepy notes in her journal from a long dead academic and you have a thoroughly gripping read which as a bonus gives our bookshop a mention! And the lovely gay female Hindu cop who also starred has now appeared in a great follow-on, The Postscript Murders, set down the road in Shoreham-by-Sea."

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

Sasha from Lindum Books in Lincoln, Lincolnshire: The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

"This is a medieval thriller set in a Lincoln of 1380. A mysterious widow arrives in the city with her children, shortly followed by a series of unnatural deaths and the talk soon turns to witchcraft. The sinister events take place against the recognisable backdrop of the city and readers can follow closely the setting of the story as they explore Lincoln's historical – and ghostly past. A great page-turning read!"

The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland

Diane from ebb & flo bookshop in Chorley, Lancashire: The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth

"This is a novel about family dynamics and the Lancastrian Mormon community – Chorley has an imposing and the second biggest LDS temple in the country. The author grew up in a Mormon household but abandoned the faith as a teenager. Black comedy and tragedy, missionaries, a memorable scene in Booths supermarket and brilliant writing."

The Friday Gospels by Jenn Ashworth

Jo from Red Lion Books in Colchester, Essex: The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore

"Set in Manningtree, Essex in 1643, The Manningtree Witches is an imagined and unsettling telling of the fear and menace faced by women during the English witch trials. Blakemore honours their doomed wisdom and wit with bold, beautiful and poetic prose. She is an award-winning poet, which shows in the rich language she chooses to tell her story."

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore

Jo from Devizes Books in Devizes, Wiltshire: Acts of Kindness by Heather Barnett

"Acts of Kindness is set in a sleepy Wiltshire village, no doubt based on the village where Heather grew up near Devizes! The plot involves a secret institution called OAK, which stands for Organised Acts of Kindness and it really did make me think about whether Random Acts of Kindness were, in fact, being carried out by OAK! The book is fun and a good summer read. I chose it as it has local interest and Heather was a customer in her schooldays, so I hope part of her wanting to be a writer may have come from my bookshop."

Acts of Kindness by Heather Barnett

Twitter Guy from Waterstones in Swansea, Wales: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

"Former CID officer Claire Mackintosh's brilliant crime fiction debut is a taut, intense tour de force. Set largely in a fictional (but recognisable) area of the real Gower, it's a perfectly paced psychological thriller, with perhaps the most audacious and breath-taking plot twist that you're ever likely to read.”

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Helen from The Barrister in Wonderland in Retford, Nottinghamshire: The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

"The Strangeworlds Travel Agency is set in Nottinghamshire and local readers with keen eyes will spot the Notts references! It’s an exciting and unique portal fantasy for middle graders, with all the magic and mystery that comes with visiting strange new worlds. Just don't forget your suitcase."

The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

Matthew from Blackwell's in Edinburgh, Scotland: The Lost Storyteller by Amanda Block

"This is the very sort of beautifully crafted debut novel that I'd urge you to read by candlelight, preferably when a storm is forecast to rage against your bedroom window, which is exactly how I'll be reading it on my second time around *checks weather*.

When she was young Rebecca's father vanished without a trace, and apart from her own existence being an undeniable fact, all she has left of his memory is a book of seemingly inconsequential fairy tales. It is not until Rebecca decides to instigate a search for her lost father does she realise how much truth is to be found woven into each of the seven fantastical tales."

The Lost Storyteller by Amanda Block

Chantal from The Little Bookshop in Cookham, Berkshire: The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

"From the creator of BBC's Death in Paradise comes a new series. Seventy-seven year old whisky drinking, cross-word setting eccentric, Judith Potts, hears a gun-shot whilst out swimming naked in the Thames one evening. The local police believe it’s a case of suicide but Judith has other ideas and begins investigating with her trusty side-kicks, Suzie the dog Walker and Becks the Vicar’s wife. Together they make The Marlow Murder Club. The cosy crime novel is made all the better by being set in close by Marlow which Robert Thorogood brings to life."

The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood

Gabbie from Dubray Books in Dublin, Ireland: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

"Set in south Dublin (partly our vey own borough of Dun Laoghaire!), Adiba Jaigirdar's The Henna Wars is one of those books that never leaves my mind. This coming-of-age novel explores some of my favourite themes: identity, community, culture, growing up and first love. Jaigirdar looks at the way multiculturalism in practice fails to serve those who it is bound to celebrate; she uses cultural appropriation and toxic friendships as starting points for broader conversations, complimenting the more light-hearted plot points with this additional depth. Equally thought-provoking and fun, this is one of my favourite reads by a local author."

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Trish from Halfway Up the Stairs in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland: Safe Harbour by Marita Conlon-McKenna

"Safe Harbour by Marita Conlon-McKenna is a classic, telling the story of two children evacuated from London during the Blitz to the seaside town of Greystones in Ireland, where they stay with their estranged grandfather. The seafront of Greystones is totally recognisable even 60 years after the book is set!"

Safe Harbour by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Jo at Red Lion Books, Colchester: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (fiction, adult)

"The Essex Serpent is set during the Victorian period in our hometown of Colchester (and the surrounding villages). The characters travel between Essex and London, frequenting The George and The Red Lion Hotel, both still situated on Colchester High Street – the perfect settings to curl up with Sarah Perry's atmospheric novel."

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Amy at Book-ish, Wales: The Blue Tent by Richard Gwyn (fiction, adult)

"For a book set in the Black Mountains of South Wales, I'd recommend The Blue Tent by Richard Gwyn. Our protagonist inherits his aunt's house, including some mysterious ancient texts. Then a blue tent appears at the end of the garden – but who are the occupants? Ethereal and dream-like, and just a bit weird – and with beautiful surroundings, of course."

The Blue Tent by Richard Gwyn

Rebekah at The Gutter Bookshop, County Dublin: The Dalkey Archive by Flann O'Brien (fiction, adult)

"For us in The Gutter Bookshop, Dalkey, it has to be The Dalkey Archive. A mad scientist and theologian plot to remove the oxygen from the air, and must be stopped – with a little help from the not-dead but now barman James Joyce. It is as brilliantly written as it is absurd, with razor sharp wit and humour."

The Dalkey Archive by Flann O'Brien

Niki at Gwisgo Bookworm, Wales: None So Blind: The Teifi Valley Coroner by Alis Hawkins (fiction, adult)

"Set in 1850 in Cardiganshire (now known by it's Welsh name Ceredigion, a few miles south of Aberaeron where our bookshop is) this is a mix of historical fiction and crime thriller with the Rebecca Riots as its background. Once you start reading you won't want to put it down; it is well written, moves with pace and yet gives you a real sense of place and historical detail.

Harry Probert-Lloyd is a young barrister who has returned home from London because he is going blind. Along with his clerk John Davies who acts as his eyes, they are faced with finding out what happened to a young woman who disappeared seven years earlier and whose buried remains are found at the start of the story. For those that enjoy a series there is a sequel, In Two Minds and a third book, Those Who Know."

None So Blind: The Teifi Valley Coroner by Alis Hawkins

Melanie at DRAKE – The Bookshop, County Durham: Ironopolis by Glen James Brown (fiction, adult)

"This is a fantastic book which is set in Teesside. Set across three generations of working class families living in a soon to be demolished sink estate – each family comes to terms with secrets and memories as they face being relocated to their new lives. If it were set in London it would be a best-seller!"

Ironopolis by Glen James Brown

Sarah at The Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh: Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron (fiction, YA)

"Last Bus to Everland is admittedly not set in Portobello, but it is set in Leith, the part of Edinburgh where I live. As with her previous book Out of the Blue, Sophie Cameron roots the story so specifically in contemporary Edinburgh that it adds extra weight to the more fantastical elements – if I believe in the 22 bus, why wouldn't I believe it might take me to a magical parallel world? This is UK YA at its offbeat, diverse, moving and completely charming best."

Last Bus to Everland by Sophie Cameron

Sarah at The Book Shop, Hampshire: The Road To Apple Dumpling Bridge by K. L. Knowles (fiction, 11+)

"A magical read – think Watership Down (dare I say it), only better! Let your imagination run wild as you are gripped by the storyline and get attached to the wonderful woodland creatures and their battle against evil (a clever nod to World War 2). Set in real places you can actually go and visit – on the website you can follow the trail. We are quite fortunate that we have quite a few books set in our local area... but this is undoubtedly our favourite!"

The Road To Apple Dumpling Bridge by K. L. Knowles

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