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

One Minute Book Review – Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore begins and ends with short chapters set in the present. The story proper commences in 1789 with a man burying a woman’s body in an isolated glade in the fading darkness before sunrise. Three years on Lizzie Fawkes begins her story - she is newly married to widower, John Diner … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

One Minute Book Review – The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

The Swan Thieves is an intriguing story of art and obsession. Its starting point is the attack on a 19th century painting hanging in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The attacker, Robert Oliver, is a brilliant painter suffering from a psychosis. He is hospitalized under the care of psychiatrist Andrew Marlow who is … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

One Minute Book Review – The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux is definitely one for the genealogists. It opens with the discovery of a marriage certificate in an antiques centre by Peter Sefton, an amateur genealogist. Thinking that there is something vaguely inappropriate for such a personal memento to be on display, he buys it in the hope of perhaps … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux