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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Little Theatre by the Sea by Rosanna Ley

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Reading a new book by Rosanna Ley is like revisting old friends, because within minutes you feel warm, comfortable and completely relaxed. I'm not normally a fan of contemporary fiction but I make an exception for Rosanna Ley and to be fair she often includes references to the past in her books. In her latest novel The Little Theatre in question is a faded and dilapidated building full of charm and secrets. Faye having completed a degree in interior design but lost a boyfriend is wondering what to do with herself when she is contacted by old friend Charlotte. Charlotte and Faye had travelled through Italy and Sardinia in their twenties and Charlotte had settled in Sardinia and married Fabio a local hotelier. Charlotte invites Faye to come and house sit and to give some advise to her friends Marisa and Alessandro who have inherited the theatre and wish to restore it.  Faye is rather taken with the idea, though she is quick to point out her lack of experience. Arriving in Sardinia,…

Madwoman in the Attic #5 Marguerite Power, Countess of Blessington

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Marguerite Power was born at Knockbrit, Clonmel, Co Tipperary in 1789. She was the daughter of Ellen Sheehy and Edmund Power who owned a small amount of land. According to her first biographer her father known as 'Buck' Power was a gambler and drinker and Maguerite had an unhappy childhood as the family were constantly in debt. Her father traded Marguerite in payment for gambling debts to Captain Maurice St Leger Farmer, so at 15 Marguerite went from unhappy child to unhappy bride. Her husband starved, beat and imprisoned his wife. The law at the time would offer her no protection and Marguerite's only option was to separate from her husband. When he was posted to India by the army she refused to go with him and instead  moved to London. She was immediately a cause for scandal as she was a 'separated woman' but still a teenager. However her good looks and sparking wit made her extremely popular as a society hostess. Marguerite began an affair with Charles John Gar…

My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

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Lucy Worsley’s second book for young readers is the story of Miss V. Conroy who is brought to KensingtonPalace to act as a companion to the young Princess Victoria. Her father John Conroy is the architect of the Kensington system of which Miss V. is expected to become a part, because Miss V. is very good at keeping secrets. Her father calls her his mouse because she is so calm and quiet in contrast to the wild and wilful Princess. The system is meant to protect the Princess from those who would do her harm and to keep her away from the bad influences including her mother the Duchess of Kent. Miss V. is very soon torn between loyalty to her father and her growing friendship with Victoria as she begins to see how the system keeps Victoria locked away from the world and might even be damaging to her health.
This book is an absolute delight and will appeal of course to fans of Lucy’s television work and her previous novel for young adults Eliza Rose but I believe My Name is Victoria will …

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths Blog Tour

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I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths the latest in the Ruth Galloway series of mysteries. I actually cannot believe that this is the ninth book in the series. It seems like no time since I started reading about Ruth and Nelson and Cathbad and all the other wonderful characters that people these novels. I can confirm that you can read any of the series as a stand alone since I choose Elly's last book The Woman in Blue for my book club a few months ago and I sneakily didn't tell them that it was part of a series. However it did lead to a number of new Elly Griffiths fans. In the latest instalment of the series a mysterious sinkhole appears on one of the main roads out of Norwich and Ruth has discovered human bones in one of the many underground tunnels beneath the city. The bones however turn out to be not part of a medieval burial but much more recent so DI Nelson is soon involved. Judy is investigating the disappearances of local home…

In the Name of the Family by Sarah Dunant

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I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Sarah Dunant's latest novel. With In the Name of the Family Sarah Dunant continues the saga of the notorious Borgia family begun in Blood and Beauty. The new novel however can easily be read as a stand alone. The book presents the voices of Lucrezia, Cesare, Rodrigo; the Borgia pope and Niccolo Machiavelli.  The year is 1502. Rodrigo Borgia is Pope Alexander VI. He is inordinately wealthy, calculating and powerful. His son Cesare is a military strategist intent on becoming the most powerful man in Italy and Lucrezia is once again betrothed; this time to Alfonso heir to the Dukedom of Ferrara . Following the family through the eyes of Florentine diplomat Machiavelli and through their own accounts In the Name of the Family recounts the last year and a half of the rule of the Borgia Pope and the daring attacks carried out by Cesare in his attempts to conquer Italy while Lucrezia contends with an indifferent husband, a penny pinching…