Showing posts from November, 2017

The Witch at Wayside Cross

This is the second book in the Jesperson and Lane series, following the brilliant Somnambulist & The Psychic Thief of last year. The duo have just solved their first case when they are immediately plunged into their second. A man hammers at their door in the early hours and once inside he drops dead at at their feet; a look of terror on his face; the last word from his mouth was "Witch" shouted at Miss Lane. Could he really have died from fright? Was he cursed? Engaged to investigate the mysterious death by the dead man's brother, the pair must travel to rural Norfolk to investigate. There they find a mysterious school of Wisdom run by a charismatic man, rumours of witchcraft and strange tales of the shrieking pits. This is a fantastic follow up to the first volume. The characterisation is pitch perfect; while Miss Lane is always portrayed as a modern and forthright woman she is none the less a modern woman of her own era and not ours. Mr Jesperson is similarly fort…

News, Reviews and Recommendations from the Ancient World

It seems a long time since Madeline Miller won the Women's Prize for fiction (it was the Orange Prize then) in 2012 for The Song of Achilles but the wait for a second novel from this talented writer is almost over. It is a retelling of the story of Circe; the first Witch in Western literature and a fascinating character to me and I'm sure many others. Circe is released next April. Here is a short video of Madeline Miller introducing the book.

If you have yet to discover Miller's writing and want to know more about her first book here is an interview she did back in 2012 about writing The Song of Achilles.

and here is a link to the author's own website

If you are interested in Classical Literature then you need to follow Jean's Bookish Thoughts on YouTube. She recommends all so…

Ever This Day by Helen Moorhouse

Having started the previous post talking about the perfect book to curl up with on a gloomy Autumn evening. This is certainly a book that fits that bill. Helen Moorhouse is a favourite of mine. Follow this link Helen Moorhouse to see previous reviews, events and interviews.  Helen was also kind enough to judge a short story competition for me a few years ago. Helen's books are utterly compelling. She is one of the few authors I've read that will make you gasp out loud or shout no, no, no at the characters. Helen's latest novel is about Ria who is haunted by her past at an Irish boarding school; Maria Goretti and the strange and frightening events that occurred there. Gripping and terrifying in equal measure  this is a perfect Autumn read. If you have yet to discover Helen's books, then get thee to a bookshop, library, website etc and gobble them down right now.  Ever this Day is Helen's fourth book following The Dead Summer, The Dark Water and Sing Me to Sleep. If …

Wychwood by George Mann

I don't know about you but when the evenings are dark and the air has grown cold I long for a real fire, a comfy chair, a nice hot drink and a book that sends a tingle up your spine. Mysteries, ghost stories, thrillers, dark tales; however you want to categorise them and with George Mann's latest book Wychwood you get all that and more. Wychwood is a bit of a departure for Mann who is famous for the Newbury & Hobbes Series and the The Ghost series which are steampunk adventures and many readers will also know that George Mann is a prolific writer and editor of Sherlock Holmes inspired fiction. So what's different about this book you ask? Well to begin with this book is contemporary and it's set in rural Oxfordshire with the main characters being a journalist and a police officer so there are no airships or secret spy networks but don't worry there is a chilling serial killer mystery and plenty of dark and supernatural scares. I asked the author about Wychwood …

Minette Walters The Last Hours marks a triumphant return.

After a gap of ten years Minette Walter's new novel is a game changer for the author once dubbed the “queen of British crime” The Last Hours is an historical novel set in 1348 in rural Dosetshire as The Black Death sweeps across England. I had the chance to put a few questions to the bestselling writer and asked her what drew her to the subject matter. As a story teller, I'm intrigued by everything and the Black Death is a powerfully interesting subject. Six centuries on, it's hard to grasp how devastating it was or how far-reaching its consequences.” While it might seem an unusual step for a writer to move out of the thriller genre towards historical fiction; the author sees it as a natural progression.The idea for The Last Hours kept knocking at my mind and never to have written it for the sake of remaining in 'genre' would have been frustrating. In any case, I wonder if it is such a big change! The Black Death was the worst killer man has ever known. Which cri…

Guns in the North by P.F. Chisholm

Guns in the North brings together the first three books of P.F.Chisholm's Sir Robert Carey mystery series first published in the mid 1990s and now available in one volume for the first time. The books detail Sir Robert Carey's appointment as Deputy Warden of the English West March in 1592. These are tales full of adventure, conflict and humour. The locals of Carlisle and the surrounding districts have a variety of reasons for disliking and distrusting the London courtier sent to kep the peace; not least his fine clothes, fine manners and fine way with a sword but the border marches of Elizabethan England are a place of constant conflict, theft, kidnap and murder and Sir Robert Carey soon proves he has the daring the wit and the courage to take on even the most cut throat of villains. Managing to stay just within the law Sir Robert soon makes his name known as one to watch, both to the lawless bands of Scottish and English clans outside the city walls and his supposed colleagu…