Book Review – Tombland by C.J. Sansom

1549. Edward VI, the eleven-year-old son of Henry VIII has been on the throne two years. The country is effectively run by the Lord Protector, Edward Somerset. The preceding decade has seen war with Scotland, inflation, unemployment, rising rents and declining wages. A sense of grievance is swelling among the common people against the imposition … Continue reading Book Review – Tombland by C.J. Sansom

Book Review – The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

Set in the fictional village of Oakham, Somerset, The Western Wind starts on Shrove Tuesday 1491. This is Day 4 of the story as this novel is told backwards over four days from Shrove Tuesday to the previous Saturday. It is the first person narrative of the parish priest, John Reve, a gentle and compassionate man … Continue reading Book Review – The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

Book Review – The Innocents by C A Asbrey

The Innocents is set in the American West in 1868. 'The Innocents' are Nat Quinn and Jake Conroy, a nephew and uncle team, who rob only banks and railways and are courteous to the ordinary people they may discommode during the course of a robbery. Abigail McKay, a Scottish woman, has spent weeks travelling by … Continue reading Book Review – The Innocents by C A Asbrey

Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

Call of the Curlew begins on 30 December 2015. 86-year-old Virginia Wrathmell has known for years that one New Year’s Eve she will walk onto the marsh and meet her end there. She has been waiting for a sign. The sign has now appeared on her doorstep in the form of a fragile curlew’s skull. … Continue reading Book Review – Call of the Curlew by Elizabeth Brooks

One Minute Book Review – A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

A Dangerous Crossing, set in mid-1939, begins with a well-dressed woman removed by police from a passenger ship after it has docked in Sydney. The novel then steps back to the beginning of the voyage where we are introduced to Lily Shepherd who is bidding farewell to her family on board the Orentes, a migrant … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys

One Minute Book Review – Fortune’s Wheel by Carolyn Hughes

When discussing the aftermath of the Black Death, many general history books mention that it was an historical turning point which ultimately brought about the demise of the feudal system. With possibly up to 60% of the population of Europe dead from plague, labourers were in short supply and despite laws intended to freeze wages … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Fortune’s Wheel by Carolyn Hughes

One Minute Book Review – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water opens with a disturbing scene – a young woman is bound by two or more men and drowned in icy water. There is no sense given of when this happened or who she is other than her name, Libby. So, from the very beginning there is an undercurrent of danger. The novel … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

One Minute Book Review – Sumerford’s Autumn by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

Sumerford’s Autumn begins in 1497, twelve years after Henry VII won the crown of England by defeating Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. The Earl of Sumerford, who fought on the wrong side, has been doing his best ever since to rehabilitate the family name and keep his family below notice of the king. … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Sumerford’s Autumn by Barbara Gaskell Denvil

One Minute Book Review – Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato

Near the beginning of Crimson and Bone Annie Stride, the main character of the novel,  describes a room in the house of pre-Raphaelite painter Francis Maybrick Gill as 'a jewel box of a place'. Much the same could be said of this novel with its vibrant descriptions of the physical surroundings, of the characters and … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato

One Minute Book Review – Tomaree by Debbie Robson

Tomaree begins in 1972 with Peggy Lockwood returning to Nelson Bay, a coastal town in New South Wales where she had grown up. In 1943 Peggy had married an American naval Lieutenant, Tom Lockwood, who was stationed at Nelson Bay and, as a war bride, Peggy had moved to the United States following the war. … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Tomaree by Debbie Robson