Spend the day in the company of some of Britain’s best-loved authors as they share their stories, experiences, inspirations and latest projects.

Spring Readers’ Day is back with Sunday Times bestselling authors, Elly Griffiths, Jo Callaghan, Bobby Palmer, Ellie Keel, Veronica Henry and Libby Page.

Readers’ Day is a regular, and extremely popular feature of Guildford Book Festival and this spring they will be bringing the very best summer reads to West Horsley Place.

The day takes the format of a mini festival in a day with six authors, including debut fiction writers and established novelists, talking about their lives, their inspirations and their latest projects. There is also an opportunity to meet the authors and have books signed.

  • Opportunity to meet the authors and have books signed
  • Optional tour of the house at reduced price of £7 (usually £12)
  • Free access to the extensive grounds during breaks
  • Free parking

Hosted by Patricia Nicol

Patricia Nicol is a regular book reviewer for The Sunday Times, and also writes a weekly audio column, reviewing radio and podcasts. She also writes the Best Books column for the Daily Mail.

She has interviewed many authors including Maggie O'Farrell, Elizabeth Strout, Zadie Smith, Curtis Sittenfeld, David Nicholls and Mick Herron.

She is the author of a topical non-fiction book, Sucking Eggs: What Your Wartime Granny Could Teach you about Diet, Thrift and Going Green.

Originally from Scotland, she now lives in south-east London with her husband and two sons, where she enjoys swimming at Charlton Lido.

Patricia is delighted to be back in Surrey, having attended St Catherine's, Bramley, and Godalming Sixth Form College.  

Jo Callaghan

Leave No Trace is the latest novel from Jo Callaghan, whose debut novel In The Blink of An Eye was one of the most talked about debuts of 2023. Both books feature a unique detective pairing – one is human, one is AI – and together they will discover the shocking truth behind a series of brutal murders.

Ellie Keel

Four scholarship students’ dreams come true when they are accepted into an exclusive boarding school, but they will soon be bound by a dark secret that could save one of them… or destroy them all… Dark academia perfect for fans of The Secret History and If We Were Villains.

Bobby Palmer

Small Hours is eagerly awaited new novel from Bobby Palmer, author of the critically acclaimed debut Isaac and the Egg. It tells the story of a father and son who have lost their way – Jack, home for the first time in years, still determined to be the opposite of his father. Gerry, who would rather talk to animals than the angry man back under his roof.

Everything that follows is because of the fox, and because Jack's mother is missing. It spans generations of big dreams and lost time, unexpected connections and things falling apart, great wide worlds and the moments that define us.

If you met them in the small hours, you'd begin to piece together their story.

Libby Page

For Kate, having a newborn baby means she is almost never alone. But that doesn't mean she isn't lonely. The move from London to Somerset with her husband Jay was supposed be the start of an exciting new chapter. But sometimes she can't help but wonder if she turned the pages too soon...

Phoebe Harrison needs a break. As a mental health nurse serving her community, the wellbeing of her patients has always come before her own. But there's only so long she can pour from an empty cup.

Looking for a lifeline, Kate and Phoebe find one in their local river swimming group. But what they didn't expect was the buoying friendship they would find in each other.

Veronic Henry

The Secret Beach is the captivating new novel by Veronica Henry, set on the glorious Cornish coast and follows the story of Nikki, who finds a long-buried secret resurfaced and it’s only a matter of time before the heart-breaking truth of her past is uncovered.

Elly Griffiths

Natalka and Edwin are running a detective agency in Shoreham, Sussex. Despite a steady stream of minor cases, Natalka is frustrated, longing for a big juicy investigation to come the agency's way.

Then a murder case turns up. Local writer, Melody Chambers, is found dead and her family are convinced it is murder. Edwin, a big fan of the obit pages, thinks there's a link to the writer of Melody's obituary who pre-deceased his subject.

The trail leads them to a slightly sinister writers' retreat. When another writer is found dead, Edwin thinks that the clue lies in the words. Seeking professional help, the amateur investigators turn to their friend, detective Harbinder Kaur, to find that they have stumbled on a plot that is stranger than fiction.

Take a Tour of the manor house in your Spring Readers’ Day lunch break

Tour costs £7 (usual price £12) and can be added to your basket at the EventBrite checkout.

Stretch your legs and absorb more wonderful historic stories with a visit to the manor house at lunch time.

Dating from 1425, Grade I listed and packed full of amazing connections to major historic figures, the most prestigious rooms will be open to wander through on a freeflow route. West Horsley Place's most famous owner is Henry VIII, in fact, he liked it so much he owned it twice!

There will be expert stewards in each room to tell you some of our remarkable stories including why Elizabeth I had a theatre built in the gardens, about Guy Fawkes' time as a footman here, how Walter Raleigh's head ended up under the stairs, and many more.