(UK title)
(USA title)

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  • Number 1 bestseller on Kindle

  • Number 1 bestseller in audiobooks

  • Richard and Judy Book Club

  • BBC Radio 2 Book Club

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Veronica McCreedy is about to have the journey of a lifetime ...

Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick.

Although these days Veronica is rarely seen by anyone because, at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone.

She can be found either collecting litter from the beach (‘people who litter the countryside should be shot’), trying to locate her glasses (‘someone must have moved them’) or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen (‘Eileen, door!’).

Veronica doesn’t have family or friends nearby. Not that she knows about, anyway . . . And she has no idea where she’s going to leave her considerable wealth when she dies.

But today . . . today Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.

'"I love this gorgeous book. Unflinching, stubborn, funny and moving, Veronica is an unlikely heroine who will sneak in and capture your heart'"

~ Trisha Ashley, Sunday Times bestselling author

"A glorious, life-affirming story. I read it in a day. I’m going to buy it for so many people this year!"

~ Clare Mackintosh, Sunday Times bestselling author

“A warm and witty journey of self-discovery.”

~ Wendy Wax, USA Today bestselling author

"A touching, uplifting tale"

~ Jo Whiley, Radio 2 Book Club

"This year's Eleanor Oliphant . . . Funny, bittersweet and wholly original."

~ Daily Express

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"Call of the Penguins is just what the doctor ordered – for any ailment ever! Funny, wise, touching... I loved it."

~ Tracy Rees

'This gorgeous book has everything! Mysteries, misunderstandings, arguments, reconciliations, kindness, love and lots of PENGUINS!'

~ Clare Pooley

Meet the heroine everyone's talking about . . .

Fiercely resilient and impeccably dressed, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea.
But Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife.

More specifically, a love for penguins!

And so when she's invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance.
Even though it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.

Perhaps it's never too late to shine?

"Beautifully written by a born storyteller"

~ Lorraine Kelly

"A wonderful story, full of twists and turns... I absolutely loved it. Outstanding."

~Samantha Tonge

"Call of the Penguins is the perfect fireside read, and Veronica McCreedy will capture your heart."

~ Trisha Ashley


"Sparkles with wit, courage and kindness." 

~ Celia Anderson


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MEET ELLIE. She’s perfectly happy with her home and her husband and her quiet life. Happy enough, anyway. Which is why she’s so surprised to find herself drawn to an extraordinary stranger who gives her a gift – and a fresh perspective.

MEET DAN. He thinks that all he needs is the time and space to carry on making harps in his isolated barn on the moor. But the last thing he expects is for Ellie to whirl into his life, bringing a string of surprises to his ordered existence.

Sometimes it takes a chance encounter to discover what your life can be . . .

This heart-warming, funny and quirky love story features . . .

86 plums

69 sandwiches

27 birch trees

a 17-step staircase

a pair of cherry-coloured socks

and a pheasant named Phineas

“Prior’s lyricism feels like a warm song.”

~ The Washington Post


“How I loved this book! An uncommonly lovely story told with elegance, insight, and so much heart. Hazel Prior's brilliant debut will delight."

~ Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author.


"Wow, what a love story. Ellie and The Harp Maker is uplifting and full of heart, and I couldn't put it down!"

~ Jo Thomas, bestselling author.


"Hazel Prior’s writing is a lyrical delight.” 

~ Phaedra Patrick, international bestselling author.

"Delightfully heartwarming…guaranteed to tug at readers’ heartstrings.”

~ Booklist

"A melodious and heartwarming debut about love, friendship, and a secret that could change everything. This one is special.”

~ Emily Liebert, USA Today bestselling author.


Book Club kits are available for Hazel's books.

Take a look here for ELLIE AND THE HARP MAKER