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Cool stones in a hot land

OYSTER by Janette Turner Hospital Virago pounds 14.99

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An expedition to a remote peak in the Andes has unearthed the child victim of an Inca human sacrifice and a record number of artefacts. The expedition, led by the archaeologist Johan Reinhard, was obtaining footage for a BBC Horizon programme.

He'll be wearing white pyjamas

Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital Virago Press, pounds 14.99; Philippa Gregory enjoys an exciting tale of sexy cultists and opulent jewels

Squids in with the pipe-smoking oysters

North Country Fair: Travels Among Racing Pigs and Giant Marrows by Harry Pearson Little, Brown, pounds 14.99; Pete Davies finds himself in stitches over the eccentricities of rural England

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Boxing

Six of the best places to eat oysters

Beside the market square in the charming village of Orford, the Butley Oysterage, Market Hill, Orford, Woodbridge, Suffolk (01394 450277) serves sweet, plump specimens, home-grown on the river Butley. The restaurant is also justly famous for its smoked fish (especially cod's roe) produced in the smokehouse behind the premises.

A pearl amongst the oysters

It is said that to experience your first oyster au naturel is like taking your first ever dip in the ocean. In Whitstable, on the north Kent coast, the experience was something of a shock as I threw a freshly prised and very much alive mollusc down my throat. Yes, there was a definite dip in the ocean feel to it, but it was like being caught unawares by a wave and swallowing a mouthful of the briny.

Shopping: Over here: the best of British, with a European flavour

Why drink Calvados when you can buy apple brandy? By Hamish Scott

Wire `zip' becomes the oyster's undoing

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