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Ten Great Books Set in THE CANARY ISLANDS

9th February 2024

Ten Great Books set in the Canary Islands. The Canary Islands, a volcanic archipelago off the coast of northwest Africa, offer a captivating blend of stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. With their year-round warm weather, diverse ecosystems, and charming towns, it’s no wonder this Spanish territory is a popular tourist destination.

Beyond the natural wonders, the Canary Islands captivate with their rich history and culture. Explore the charming colonial towns of La Laguna in Tenerife and Vegueta in Gran Canaria, or delve into the fascinating Guanche heritage, the indigenous people of the islands. Savour the local cuisine, influenced by Spanish, African, and Latin American flavours, and don’t miss the chance to experience the vibrant local festivals and traditions.

Here are ten top books covering many genres, set in this captivating part of the world.

Clarissa’s Warning by Isobel Blackthorn – FUERTEVENTURA

A lottery jackpot changes Claire Bennett’s life.

She buys an ancient stone ruin on the island of her dreams. Her mystic aunt Clarissa warns her of danger, but Claire pays no heed.

Soon after moving to the idyllic island, Claire is confronted by a mystery. As the sinister story of her home slowly uncovers, Claire enters a world of inexplicable events and ordeals. Someone or something doesn’t want her there.

But is it really a curse, or is there something else behind the events?

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Going Local in Gran Canaria by Matthew Hirtes – GRAN CANARIA

Whether you’re visiting Gran Canaria courtesy of picking up a last-minute bargain break or planning to relocate there, Going Local in Gran Canaria is the book for you. Covering everything from places to see on your holiday to property advice and career opportunities, Going Local is much more than a travel guide. New residents will be delighted by its accessible, humorous style and the inside scoop on what’s hot and what’s not, coming from British journalist and resident of eight years, Matthew Hirtes.

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A Proper Family Holiday by Chrissie Manby – LANZAROTE

Newly single magazine journalist Chelsea Benson can’t think of anything worse.
Your grubby small nephew torpedoing any chance of romance with the dishy guy you met on the plane . . .
Your eighty-five-year-old granddad chatting up ladies at the hotel bar . . .
Getting nothing but sarcastic comments from your older sister, who’s always been the family favourite . . .
And all this is before your parents drop their bombshell.
Is a week enough time for the Bensons to put their differences aside and have some fun? Or is this their last ever proper family holiday?

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Putting Right the Past by Ian Wilfred – TENERIFE

Carole Harding is in her 50s. She divorced her husband after he cheated on her with a prostitute. She hated her life – working in a Bristol supermarket – and the only exciting thing she’d done was to go on holiday (to Scotland in a caravan). Then she inherited 2 million pounds. Now she lives in an apartment in a plush complex in Tenerife, but it seems all her neighbours have problems and Carole finds herself helping to change their lives…Nadean is the actress who hit the headlines and had to go into hiding: Victoria, a model, why did her family turn against her? Hamilton spent his life traveling the world, earning so much money, but was so lonely: Riley gave up everything for love…Then there are Peter and Paul, who only seem to be happy when having a crisis and Jeremy – who has secrets from his wife and from the law. As Carole gets involved with the lives of her neighbours, she blossoms into the woman she’d always longed to be…when she meets Robson, can Carole make the biggest transformation of her life?

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A Shark in the Bath and Other Stories by John Reid Young – THE CANARY ISLANDS

What would you do if you found a shark in a hotel bath?
The hotel manager was horrified. Well, he would be, wouldn’t he? There’s a shark in a guest’s bath. How did it get there?
Hotel sharks aren’t the only surprise in this charming collection of short stories set in Spain’s Canary Islands…
• In “ A Missed Call” there’s a desperate race against time to arrest one of the Great Train Robbers when he flees to Tenerife.
• “Illegal Immigrant” finds a British revolutionary caught up in the clandestine transport of human cargo during the dark days of General Franco.
• A young American is shocked in “The Man from La Guancha” when he finds out why island villagers are convinced he’s a ghost.
• When a pirate’s chest was discovered in a cave in “Under the Waterfall”, nobody could have expected what lay within, and the reader is enticed to the end with an extraordinary twist.
In these, and other fascinating stories, you’ll encounter a host of captivating characters, some of whom have left their mark in the history of these beautiful Atlantic islands, and you’ll discover that this unique archipelago off the African coast is so much more than just a modern-day tourist destination.

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Lanzarote by J H Wallace – LANZAROTE

In the repressive religious environment of Lanzarote in the early 1700s, Milagro, young, beautiful and naïve, is the target of every man who sees her, including her wealthy stepfather. But when she lets herself be seduced by the handsome outland fisherman, Felipe, she learns how cruel life can be. Fleeing her mother’s oppressive home to bear Felipe’s child, she bravely endures a life of hardship and exile. Then this life, too, is torn apart. Volcanic eruptions ravage Lanzarote, destroying families, livestock, homes and the land itself. Driven by fear, need and her own volatile nature, desperate to protect her young son, Milagro is caught in a vortex as destructive as the scorching streams of lava that have ravaged the island. This intense story of the dark underside of human nature confronted with the devastating effect of natural disaster paints a compelling picture that is very relevant in today’s world.

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Sunrise on the Coast by Lilac Mills – TENERIFE

Struggling to come to terms with the loss of her mother, Sophie needs to get away from it all. On a much-needed break to Tenerife, she stumbles across a Help Wanted sign for local pensioner, Hugo, and on a leap of faith she accepts the job.

But life on the island isn’t all sun, sea and siestas…

Hugo’s beautiful villa is under threat and, to complicate matters, his brooding (but handsome) nephew, Alex, has shown up full of suspicion towards Sophie.

Her hands full dealing with difficult men and a clearly unreciprocated attraction towards Alex, Sophie needs to decide if her future lies in Tenerife or if her holiday is officially over.

Escape to a Spanish island with this gorgeously uplifting romance, perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Sue Moorcroft and Mandy Baggot.

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The Black Mountain by Kate Mosse – TENERIFE

It is May, 1706. Ana, a young Spanish woman, lives in a small town on the north-west coast of Tenerife with her mother and twin younger brothers. The town is in the shadow of a mighty volcano, which legend says has the devil living inside it. However, there has been no eruption for thousands of years and no one believes it is a threat.

One day, Ana notices that the air feels strange and heavy, that the birds have stopped singing. Tending the family vineyard, a sudden strange tremor in the earth frightens her. Very soon it will be a race against time for Ana to help persuade the town that they are in danger and should flee before the volcano erupts and destroys their world. Will they listen? And Ana herself faces another danger . . .

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The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl – FUERTEVENTURA

A car is found on a deserted beach on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura. On the back seat lies a cardboard box containing the body of a small boy buried in newspaper cuttings. No one knows his name, and there is no trace of a driver. The last thing an ailing tourist resort needs is a murder, and the police are desperate to close the case.

The island is rife with rumours about the reclusive Erhard. Two decades of self-imposed exile from his wife and children have left him alienated and alone, whiling away his days in a drunken haze, driving an old taxi to get by. This unlikeliest of detectives determines to solve the crime himself – and he has nothing to lose. But how can one old man, cut off from the modern world, solve a murder whose dangerous web of deceit stretches far beyond the small island? And what if the killer forces Erhard to confront his own long-buried past?

Winner of the prestigious Glass Key Award and an instant bestseller in Denmark, The Hermit is taking the international publishing world by storm. Acutely observed and psychologically penetrating, this is existential noir at its finest.

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More Ketchup than Salsa by Joe Cawley – TENERIFE

Childhood sweethearts, Joe and Joy are broke and bored. They’re also tired of smelling of fish.

When offered the chance to escape from the dreary market stalls of England to run a bar on a sub-tropical island, they recklessly jump at the opportunity – despite their spectacular lack of experience.

In Tenerife, dreams of a better life overseas are soon crushed by mini-mafias, East European prostitutes and biblical-grade cockroach infestations.

Joe and Joy’s foreign fantasy turns into a nightmare as they find themselves trapped with a failing bar in a foreign land, pandering to a bar full of oddball expats while trying to stop their relationship crashing into the rocks.

Can they save their business, their dreams, and their relationship before it’s too late…

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Enjoy your books set in The Canary Islands!

Tony for the TripFiction team

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