Whether you are flying off to warmer climes or having a staycation, relax and chill out during the holiday season with a good book. Rosy Moorhead has found some excellent novels for adults and children written by local authors

On Guard by Karl Vadaszffy

The sins of his father have not been forgotten – revenge, jealousy and wanton murders return to haunt him.

Ageing fencing master József Varga escapes from Budapest during the 1956 revolution.

Years later, female members of his fencing club are found dead, stabbed through with snapped fencing blades. Someone from his past is trying to destroy his present.

His son, Detective Sergeant Michael Varga, himself a fencer, tries to unravel the mystery, while keeping hidden the jealousy he has for his distant father.

The mystery leads Michael to Budapest, where he must learn about his father’s past, from the days of the revolution and the years that followed, in order to make sense of the killer’s identity and motivation.

On Guard is the third novel by Karl Vadaszffy, freelance journalist and head of English at St Michael’s Catholic School in Garston, and is inspired by his father’s own escape from Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution against the Hungarian People’s Republic and its Soviet policies which, though unsuccessful, was hugely influential and undoubtedly played a part in the downfall of the Soviet Union from the late 1980s to 1991.

After arriving in the UK, his father Zsolt Vadaszffy had a successful film acting career – appearing opposite Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Alec Guinness and Anthony Hopkins among others.

Zsolt also had fencing competition success. He coached the British Olympic foil fencing team and was personal fencing coach to Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson and film star Ralph Fiennes.

  • Details: karlvad.com

A Dark Stranger's Guide to the Isle of Man by Kerron Cross

If you’re looking for something to read on your hols, try this humorous travel book written by Croxley Green writer Kerron Cross.

It focuses on his experience of more than 30 years of visiting the island in the Irish Sea where his mother was born.

The book talks about everything that is good about the Ellan Vannin, as the Manx people call their home, in a style that is, according to Kerron, “similar to Bill Bryson, but much better. And much less ginger”. Find out about Snaefell, lifeboats, glens, TT motorbikes and much, much more.

This is the second book from the Watford FC fan and former South Oxhey councillor and vice chairman of Croxley Green Parish Council who now works for a national children’s charity tackling poverty and debt in the UK.

“It was a lot of fun to write and will hopefully be even more fun to read. I love the Isle of Man and I hope that in some small way this book will help people who have never visited the island get an insight into what an incredible place it is.”

  • A Dark Stranger’s Guide to the Isle of Man is available now from Amazon

Rosie and Wizzy by Annie Forrest

Meet Wizzy, the loveable, cuddly, fluffy creature from a land beyond the clouds.

Join him on his adventure as he accidentally arrives in the garden of Rosie Jones, who is nervous about starting school.

The two form a never-to-be-forgotten friendship full of laughs, cuddles, tea parties and candy floss.

First-time author Annie Forrest, who lives in Northwood and is originally from Mauritius, created the character of Wizzy while playing with her daughter Reese.

At the heart of the story are the underlying themes of friendship, separation and new beginnings.

This charming e-book is perfect for children who may be nervous about starting primary school. There is also interactive fun for the little ones, which makes it a real page-turner.

  • Details: annieforrest.com

Flip to the Rescue by Sheila Marlin

Sheila Marlin, the head teacher of High Elms Manor School in Garston, was inspired to write Flip to the Rescue after holidaying in Norfolk and visiting Blakeney village on the north coast.

She was enchanted with the area and the sight of all the seals on the sandbanks there.

The book highlights the plight of the seals and the wonderful work done at the seal rescue centres in Norfolk.

She introduced the character of the swan as a spiritual intervention to enhance the morals of the story – courage, hope and love.

She has illustrated the book herself, as she is a keen painter.

Sheila was born in Washington DC and came to the UK to train as a teacher. She has opened 13 Montessori pre-schools before starting High Elms Manor School, a Montessori preparatory school.

She co-authored the book A Grandparent’s Survival Guide to Childcare – she has seven grandchildren – with her sister Dr Lis Paice, which was published by Bloomsbury last year and the second edition of which is due out soon.

  • Flip to the Rescue is available now from Amazon