The Shell House

At the height of a stifling summer, Jessica Leigh, a smart, tough, Westminster lobbyist, arranges a holiday at Fallings, the beautiful country home of the late Sir Lewis Appleby, a pioneering geneticist. Her lover, Stephen, is hosting a conference there and to her displeasure they are joined by his journalist brother Alex.

Jessica discovers with Alex an exquisite, ruined shell house in the grounds, which Sir Lewis had been building for his wife, Katherine. But Katherine vanished before it was completed and Jessica resolves to discover why.

For the shocking answer to Katherine’s disappearance, Jane Thynne’s enthralling narrative returns to the 1930s, the subterfuge of wartime and the story of a woman torn between two brothers.


One of those novels you just want to curl up with on a cold afternoon…this is an intelligent woman’s love story.
Kate Figes, Woman’s Journal
A compelling read, this book highlights the author’s great talent for historical novelisation.
A dark, delicious novel. Totally mesmeric. A wonderful read.
Kathy Lette
A quest novel, with a mystery to be solved and a fascinating cast of characters who play a part in its unravelling.
Sunday Times
A novel with the tough, sinewy grasp of social context. The Shell House is both thoughtful and in the best sense, charming."
Elizabeth Buchan, Mail On Sunday