Babs Horton

Books by Babs Horton

Recipes For Cherubs

Recipes for CherubsIn the summer of 1960, 13-year-old Catrin Grieve is despatched by her feckless mother to stay with her great aunt Ella at Shrimp's Hotel in the sleepy village of Kilvenny on the Welsh coast.

On arrival, Catrin is dismayed to find that her reclusive, eccentric aunt is not expecting her and, long closed to visitors, the hotel is nothing like the grand place her mother remembers. Behind the boarded up windows, Ella Grieve still lays the cobwebbed tables for dinner and puts warming pans in the beds of invisible guests.

Although a finicky eater, Catrin finds herself fascinated by a 200-year-old, beautifully-illustrated Italian recipe book, Le Ricette per i Cherubini (Recipes for Cherubs), she discovers on the premises. As she discovers more about the history of the book and grows closer to her frail, lonely aunt, Catrin realises that people from the past can sometimes interlace with the present and point a way forward into the future.

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A Jarful Of Angels

A Jarful Angels by Babs HortonFour imaginative children. One magical summer. One terrible secret.

'Stoop down and run your fingers through the damp soil and there in the black coal earth you will find the splintered remnants of tiny bones and the fragments of a hundred broken jars, jars that once held so terrible and so marvellous a secret.'

The remote town in the Welsh valleys was a wonderful, magical - but sometimes dangerous - place in which to grow up. It was there that Iffy, Bessie, Fatty and Billy experienced a plague of frogs one summer, stumbled upon a garden full of dancing statues, found a skull with its front teeth missing - and discovered just what it was that mad Carty Annie was collecting so secretly in those jars of hers.

But at the end of that long, hot summer of 1963, one of the four children disappeared.

Over thirty years later, retired detective Will Sloane, never able to forget the unsolved case, returns to Wales to resume his search for the truth. His investigation will draw him into a number of interlocking mysteries, each one more puzzling than the last.

Written in a rich, sensuous and lyrical prose style full of the sights and sounds of childhood, A Jarful of Angels is a mesmerising, evocative - and wholly unforgettable - novel of psychological suspense.

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Dandelion Soup

Dandelion Soup by Babs Horton'Dandelion soup. Favoured dish of saints and martyrs. Provider of sustenance to weary pilgrims. Succour to the dispossessed , nectar of the vagabond and the outcast.'

In the remote Irish village of Ballygurry, middle-aged Solly Benjamin is roused at midnight to find a child on his doorstep, a length of cord tied loosely around her neck. The attached tag bears his own name and address.

Who is she? And why would a complete stranger send her to him? As Solly attempts to find the answers, other Ballygurry inhabitants are drawn into the mystery: the mischievous orphan Padraig becomes involved, as does the kindly schoolmaster Mr Leary, repressed spinster Nancy Carmichael, well-meaning priest Father Daley - and the overbearing, frightening Sister Veronica.

Their enquiries lead to the secluded monastery of Santa Eulalia on the medieval trail to Santiago de Compostela. As the Ballygurry pilgrims begin to thaw in the Spanish sunshine, a number of interwoven mysteries from the past gradually unfurl to rekindle old hatreds - and restore old passions.

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Wildcat Moon

Wildcat Moon by Babs Horton'A wildcat moon always means change, Archie, whether we want it or not.'

The Skallies, a row of tumbledown houses built on the windlashed coast, was a wild and curious place. A place for people down on their luck. A place where people came to hide. 

Ten-year-old Archie Grimble, with his crippled leg and one good eye, lived a miserable existence there until a chance encounter with an unhappy little girl and the discovery of a locked diary set him on a mission to unravel the mystery of a boy who drowned off Skilly Point in August, 1900. 

But Archie's investigation was to have unexpected consequences. A shocking murder and an unexplained abduction were to shatter his exciting new world forever.

Only many years later, on his return to the ruined Skallies, does Archie stumble on the final pieces of a puzzle that has haunted him since childhood - and the extraordinary truth about the fate of Thomas Greswode is at last revealed.

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Wildcat Moon (Audio Book)

Wildcat Moon (Audio Book) by Babs HortonWildcat Moon is available as an audio book through ISIS Publishing. It can be ordered via their website at:


"A Recipe for Storytelling" - read about Babs in this article from Plymouth's Herald newspaper - 14th May 2008

"I loved this book. The story is earthy, harsh, grievous even - and yet so funny, so cunningly and powerfully told, so lit up by the sense of what it was like to be a child then, full of terror and delight, caught in the snares of adult mysteries. Above all, Babs Horton captures the physical intensity of being a child-the smells, the tastes the ghoulishness and sudden ecstasies."
- Helen Dunmore.

"Convincingly fuses a nostalgic glance back to the long, hot summers of childhood with a detective story and a dollop of old fashioned romance....Small town secrets provide plenty of darkness to dapple this atmospheric tale."
- Daily Mail.

"The ever-surprising developments of the story are written with original and lyrical prose."
- Good Book Guide.

"A mystery shot through with elements of the magic of folk tales...unusual and cumulatively moving."
- The Big Issue

"Mystery, fairy tales and wonderfully observed characters are all wrapped up in this magical novel."
- SHE Magazine

"The story casts a net of magic over the reader's imagination...Horton is a voice with a fresh take on the world."
- Weekend Australian


Copyright © 2007. Babs Horton. All rights reserved.