Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE CROWN SPIRE by Catherine Curzon @MadameGilflurt #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Crown Spire by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

33083827

THE CROWN SPIRE by Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham

4 out of 5 stars

Historical romance, moi?  Not usually, but I’ve read non-fiction by both Catherine Curzon and Willow Winsham, so was sure this would be beautifully written and well-researched, and indeed it is!

Alice and her daughter Beth are fleeing from Alice’s brute of a husband in London, and travelling to Edinburgh, where they are accosted by highwaymen.  Just before all is lost, though, two dashing masked riders swoop in to save them.  The excitable and frustrated Beth is eager for adventure and falls for her gallant rescuer immediately, though Alice needs some persuading.  They stay the night at an inn, where they meet equally dashing landlord Edward Hogan, and the dour but most likeable Dr James Dillingham. Their journey comes to an end at the house of Alice’s dour but less likeable sister, Josephine; Beth is eager to break out of the staid lifestyle forced upon a girl of her class, and find romance and thrills.  Alice, too, wonders if she has leapt from frying pan to fire, and is persuaded to venture out with Dr Dillingham.  All will be revealed…..

The story flows so smoothly; it’s witty, almost tongue in cheek in style, in parts, and I am certain lovers of the Regency romance will adore it.  Edward Hogan is a fine hero (I was quite jealous of Beth!), and the characterisation is excellent all the way through.  The sex bits didn’t make me cringe, either, which is good for me, because they usually do, but it’s written in a relatively realistic way (relative for this type of romance, I mean!), and avoids the stock phrases and descriptions.

I did have slight doubts about an upper middle class girl like Beth sneaking around and going in to pubs at night on her own, but it didn’t really matter, and my disbelief remained suspended; I don’t think the story is meant to be a hundred per cent realistic.  The rest seems to be perfectly researched; I’d sum it up as charming fantasy escapism for the romantically inclined.

Book Description

Scotland, 1795

When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they’re grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life. 

As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there’s something irresistible about a rogue. 

Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed’s best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?

Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham’s paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the backroads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again? 

Set during the heady days of the Georgian era when bodysnatching and highwaymen were never too far away, The Crown Spire is a thrilling romantic adventure rich with excitement and packed with historical detail.

About the authors

Catherine Curzon

Catherine Curzon is a royal historian, best known for her non-fiction books Life in the Georgian Court and Kings of Georgian Britain.  She also writes a fascinating 18th century history blog under the nom-de-plume of Madame Gilflurt.

Her work has been featured on the official website of BBC History magazine and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals and Jane Austen’s Regency World.

She has provided additional research for An Evening with Jane Austen at the V&A, which she has also presented around the country.

Willow Winsham

Willow Winsham is the author of Accused: British Witches throughout History and she brings readers regular tales of witches and witchcraft on her blog The Witch, the Weird and the Wonderful

Combining a passion for research and history with a love of storytelling, she dedicates her time to investigating some of the most intriguing stories from the history of the British Isles.

When she isn’t digging out tantalizing historical tit bits or tracing elusive family members, she is busy home educating her two children.

Goodreads | AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

 

 

 

Rosie’s Review Team #RBRT THE CROWN SPIRE by Catherine Curzon @MadameGilflurt #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading The Crown Spire by Catherin Curzon and Willow Winsham

33083827

Do you yearn for the world of dashing highwaymen and spirited women in glamorous 18th century dresses? Then be careful what you wish for. This is also a world in which only men have power and marriage can be a trap.

In The Crown Spire we become acquainted with Alice Ingram married for 20 years to an abusive, unpleasant man and her young niece, Beth, who is completely unaware of her aunt’s unhappiness. Fleeing along the Great North Road, they are suddenly in dire danger until two masked men save them and deliver them into the safe hands of the Bishop of Edinburgh. Both women find it difficult to forget their rescuers but once in Edinburgh they become entangled with two other men. Beth is quickly captivated by charming innkeeper Edward Hogan, even though he is well below her station but Alice maintains her dignity and has constant arguments with respectable doctor, James Dillingham.

Edinburgh of 1795 is, as you might expect, a city of charm and danger, but the lack of propriety shown by Beth is astonishing. Alice is a more empathetic character and the reader enjoys becoming closer to the reticent doctor. As in all good fiction, they have secrets, but love and passion will conquer all, until the dramatic events of the last section of the book threaten everyone’s happiness.

The description of the taverns give a sound historical authenticity to events but personally I would have liked to have read more about everyday life in the streets of Edinburgh. The fast-moving story is difficult to put down and I hope that there will be other romantic adventures, in this style, to follow.

Book Description

Scotland, 1795

When the coach carrying Alice Ingram and her niece, Beth, to Edinburgh is attacked, they’re grateful for the intervention of two mysterious highwaymen who ride to their rescue. Beth is thrilled by the romance of it all, but Alice, fleeing her brutish husband, has had more than enough drama in her life. 

As the women find sanctuary in a tavern on the Great North Road, Beth is thrilled to meet Edward Hogan, the roguish publican. Despite the difference in ages and backgrounds, the couple have instant chemistry and when Ed invited Beth to visit his Edinburgh tavern, she resolves to get to know him even better. Yet Beth is also taken with the highwayman who rescued her; after all, there’s something irresistible about a rogue. 

Shaken from the attack, Alice grudgingly allows herself to be seen by Doctor James Dillingham, Ed’s best friend. Though Dillingham sees the telltale signs of physical abuse on Alice, she refuses to speak of it. Dillingham is dour and Alice frosty, and the two take an instant dislike to each other, so why does their shared coach journey to Edinburgh the following day seem to sizzle?

Once in Edinburgh, Beth starts secretly spending time with Ed, who she begins to think might know more about those highwaymen than he is letting on. By day, Alice sorts Dillingham’s paperwork at the charity hospital he runs yet by night she sneaks off to meet her own highwayman, travelling the backroads of the city with the masked figure. Slowly, Alice is coming back to life. But will the husband she is fleeing find her out? And will her highwayman come to her rescue again? 

Set during the heady days of the Georgian era when bodysnatching and highwaymen were never too far away, The Crown Spire is a thrilling romantic adventure rich with excitement and packed with historical detail.

About the authors

Catherine Curzon

Catherine Curzon is a royal historian, best known for her non-fiction books Life in the Georgian Court and Kings of Georgian Britain.  She also writes a fascinating 18th century history blog under the nom-de-plume of Madame Gilflurt.

Her work has been featured on the official website of BBC History magazine and in publications such as Explore History, All About History, History of Royals and Jane Austen’s Regency World.

She has provided additional research for An Evening with Jane Austen at the V&A, which she has also presented around the country.

Willow Winsham

Willow Winsham is the author of Accused: British Witches throughout History and she brings readers regular tales of witches and witchcraft on her blog The Witch, the Weird and the Wonderful

Combining a passion for research and history with a love of storytelling, she dedicates her time to investigating some of the most intriguing stories from the history of the British Isles.

When she isn’t digging out tantalizing historical tit bits or tracing elusive family members, she is busy home educating her two children.

Goodreads | AmazonUk | AmazonUS | Twitter

Bones and Whispers by Catherine G Gault #Murder #Mystery #Bookreview

Bones and WhispersBones and Whispers by Catherine G. Gault

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bones and Whispers is a murder mystery set in Edinburgh, Scotland. It opens with a prologue of a skeleton being discovered by kids. Kate McKinnery is a social worker. She juggles past and current work cases with a recent relationship break-up and her feelings of responsibility towards her Aunt who has just moved into sheltered housing.

Kate’s relationship with her Aunt Jean is tense because Jean recently revealed that Kate’s Mum committed suicide rather than the tale Kate had grown up with. The rift in their relationship caused by Kate’s anger at Jean’s news has stopped Jean confiding in Kate about dizzy spells she’s having. Jean moved to the sheltered housing to feel safer but when she discovers one of the other residents is Maggie Keenan, Jean is very worried.

Maggie is a bully, blackmailer and tormentor with a reputation that goes before her. She has fellow residents on her side and others who oppose her. Jean has known Maggie from her past and really doesn’t want to re-live that part of her life.

When Jean helps one of the carers into a locked room, they discover the body of fellow resident Harriet Post, but before the case is solved a second body is discovered and the police find themselves working with Kate and uncovering several stories. A third body has the news headlines claiming a “Serial Killer Stalking Elderly”.

Meanwhile Kate is also working through her own questions about her past and trying to piece together the jigsaw of her life.

There are quite a few characters in the book and many are introduced near the start, I struggled to get them all clear in my head. I needed stronger images created from deeper character profiles of the main characters. I therefore missed connecting with either Kate or Jean, the two main characters. Much of the storyline is dialogue led with too many he/she said/asked phrases, I would have enjoyed less inconsequential dialogue and more time spent showing the reader the situation through clever language. In other areas, the storyline lost me when meetings ended abruptly, chapters finished and lines of Kate’s thoughts stopped, leaving me expecting more explanations. I think there is room for expansion of the main drama within the book through emotions and a thinning of points which slow the storyline.

This review is based on a free copy of the book give to me by the Author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads