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

One Minute Book Review – Miss Nobody by Ethel Carnie

The 19th century produced a great many female novelists from Jane Austen at the beginning of the century through the Brontes and Elizabeth Gaskell to Ellen Woods to name some of the most famous. Writing at the same time as Ethel Carnie at the start of the 20th century were, among others, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Miss Nobody by Ethel Carnie

One Minute Book Review – Endless Night by Agatha Christie

Endless Night by Agatha Christie is a standalone novel first published in 1967. The narrator is Michael Rogers, a young working class man with grand dreams and ambitions. He meets Ellie Guteman, a lonely but wealthy young woman, in Gypsy’s Acre, a scenic ruin with stunning views which appears to have a curse hanging over … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Endless Night by Agatha Christie

One Minute Book Review – The Wife’s Tale by Christine Wells

The Wife’s Tale by Christine Wells is a novel with dual intertwining timelines. The modern strand involves Australian lawyer Liz Jones who, under the pretence of writing a novel about the 18th century Lady Nash, goes to the Isle of Wight to discretely investigate her employer’s claim to descent from Delaney Nash. As she delves … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Wife’s Tale by Christine Wells

One Minute Book Review – Still She Wished for Company by Margaret Irwin

The major part of this engaging time-slip/ghost story (choose according to your own preferences) is set in the 1770s and tells of Juliana Clare, the youngest daughter of a landed English family and her initially routine life on the family estate, Chidleigh.  When Juliana's father dies and her dissolute brother Lucian inherits the title and … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Still She Wished for Company by Margaret Irwin

One Minute Book Review – Disclaimer by Renee Knight

A riveting read.  For the first time in years, I stayed up until 3am to finish this book. In this psychological thriller, documentary maker Catherine Ravenscroft discovers a book she cannot remember buying on her beside table detailing a incident in her life that she thought no one else knew about. The certainties of her … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Disclaimer by Renee Knight

One Minute Book Review – The Luminaries by Eleanor Caton

This vibrant and complex novel, set during the New Zealand Gold Rush, is Victorian in scope and language yet it reads as fluidly as spare modern prose. Thirteen men are drawn together to uncover the mystery at the heart of occurrences on a single night two weeks prior to the opening of the story: a … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Luminaries by Eleanor Caton

One Minute Book Review – Affinity by Sarah Waters

Margaret Prior is an well-to-do spinster who is recovering from her father's death and her own failed suicide attempt. Hoping to bring some purpose to her life, she volunteers as a ‘Lady Visitor’ at Millbank Prison. There she becomes entranced by Selina Dawes, a spiritual medium imprisoned for fraud and assault. The story covers a … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Affinity by Sarah Waters

One Minute Book Review – An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears

A thoroughly researched historical mystery set mainly in Oxford in 1663 against the religious and political turmoil following on from the Protectorate and the restoration of Charles II. It deals with a suspicious death and the ensuing trial from four differing viewpoints. None of the narrators is completely reliable but each retelling reveals new aspects … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears