Book Review – Beware the Lizard Lurking by Vivienne Brereton

Beware the Lizard Lurking is the second book in Vivienne Brereton’s House of the Red Duke series which follows the fortunes of the House of Howard and the 2nd Duke of Norfolk, the elderly Thomas Howard. While Phoenix Rising, the first book, ranged over the years between 1497 and 1520, Beware the Lizard Lurking follows … Continue reading Book Review – Beware the Lizard Lurking by Vivienne Brereton

Book Review – A Woman’s Lot by Carolyn Hughes

A Womans Lot is the second book in Carolyn Hughes’s The Meonbridge Chronicles which are set in the fictional village of Meonbridge in the Meon Valley, Hampshire. It begins in the Spring of 1352, two years after the end of Fortune’s Wheel, a wonderful novel which put a human face to the struggles of ordinary … Continue reading Book Review – A Woman’s Lot by Carolyn Hughes

Book Review – Taking the Waters by Lesley Sainty

Following the death of her brother, Alice Elliot finds herself independently wealthy. At the suggestion of family friend and solicitor, Edmund Walter, she decides to come to Cheltenham to consider how she will spend her life from now on. She arrives at the height of the spa season when the fashionable and wealthy come to … Continue reading Book Review – Taking the Waters by Lesley Sainty

Book Review – Weave a Web of Witchcraft by Jean M Roberts

Firmly based on fact, Weave a Web of Witchcraft tells the story of Hugh Parsons, a man accused of witchcraft by his wife Mary and tried in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1652. The novel begins in England with fifteen-year-old Hugh reluctantly beginning an apprenticeship as a brickmaker. This has been arranged by his father because although … Continue reading Book Review – Weave a Web of Witchcraft by Jean M Roberts

Book Review – A Plague on Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift

Elizabeth Bagwell figures in the diary of Samuel Pepys, the seventeenth century Naval administrator, as one of his most enduring mistresses. The diary provides us with no hint of how Elizabeth, a married woman, achieved this position, especially as Pepys initially described her as ‘a virtuous modest woman’ who he had ‘a kindness’(!) for. In … Continue reading Book Review – A Plague on Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift

Book Review – A Murder by Any Name by Suzanne M Wolfe

A Murder by Any Name is set in 1585, a time when England was providing arms and support to the Dutch in their fight against Spain, the King of Spain had already begun building his great armada and the English government was ever alert to plots against the life of Queen Elizabeth I. The story … Continue reading Book Review – A Murder by Any Name by Suzanne M Wolfe

Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams

This is Happiness begins with the sky clearing and the rain stopping just after 3 o’clock on the Wednesday afternoon of Holy Week in 1958 while the people of Faha in county Clare are at Church. This is a rare occurrence in Faha as rain 'was a condition of living'. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe, known as … Continue reading Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams

Book Review – A Slanting of the Sun by Donal Ryan

A Slanting of the Sun is Donal Ryan's first collection of short stories. It is written in the same beautifully crafted poetic and uniquely Irish prose as his novels. All but one of the twenty stories are told in the first person, each with a distinctive voice. The characters cover a range of ages, sex … Continue reading Book Review – A Slanting of the Sun by Donal Ryan

Book Review – Crimen Exceptum: The English Witch Prosecution in Context by Gregory J Durston

Despite years of cool-headed scholarship over several decades, the idea still persists in the popular imagination that during the period known as the 'witch craze' millions of women were rounded up and burned at the stake often for nothing more than their skill with herbal remedies. While thousands of women, and men, believed to be … Continue reading Book Review – Crimen Exceptum: The English Witch Prosecution in Context by Gregory J Durston

Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory

It is 1920 and the Great War ended two years ago. Seventeen-year-old Lily Pears had done her best to ignore it. She is a chorus girl with a beautiful voice, who performs under the stage name Lily Valance. Her widowed mother has poured all her dreams into her daughter. Helen Pears runs a shop on … Continue reading Book Review – Fallen Skies by Philippa Gregory