Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT MURDER AT THE LIGHTHOUSE by @FrancesEvesham

Today’s team book review is from Karen, she blogs at http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

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Karen has been reading Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

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My Opinion

This book introduces Libby Forest and her cat Fuzzy. Walking a neighbour’s dog, she comes across a body near the lighthouse. Her inner sleuth tells her that there’s something fishy.

With Murder at the Lighthouse, Frances Evesham has created a nicely woven suspense story with local flair. The story comprises a broad variety of lovingly elaborated characters with sufficient depth and interesting interactions to solve the murder case. I had a great time reading Murder at the Lighthouse – it is a very enjoyable read. I was drawn into the story right away, enjoying the Exham on Sea flair. Libby, Mandy, Fuzzy and Bear are likeable characters – I am looking forward to reading more about them and the mysteries they are going to face.

This is for you if you like shorter reads, female sleuths, cosy suspense, pets and seaside towns.

A suspenseful easy read in a series to watch out for.

Recommended.

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

Our #Bookreviews featured in January editions of Fleet Life and Elvetham Heath Directory #TuesdayBookBlog

This month the review team and I have several of our book reviews featured in the following magazines,

Fleet Life is featuring the following books, for the online version go to http://www.fleetlife.org.uk, click on the online directory and load the magazine, turn to page 40 for this month’s book review page.

FL Jan

The House Of York by Terry Tyler

The Executioner by Ana Calin

Any Man Joe by Robert Leigh

The Sickness by Dylan J Morgan

Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

Elvetham Heath Directory is featuring the following books, for the online version go to http://www.ehd.org.uk, click on the online directory and load the magazine, turn to page 32 for this month’s book reviews.

EHD Jan

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

Moon Bayou by J.R Rain

Grimnirs by Ednah Walters

Owen by Tony Riches

Silver Rain by Jan Ruth

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MURDER AT THE LIGHTHOUSE by @FrancesEvesham #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Cathy has been reading and reviewing Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

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When dog walker Libby Forest takes her charge, Shipley, on the beach one cold and blustery day, she discovers a body under the lighthouse.

The police determine it’s that of a once local woman, Susie Bennet, who left Exham on Sea years ago to become a rock star in America. Exham’s Detective Inspector, the patronising Joe Ramshore labels the death a suicide but Libby isn’t so sure.

Libby and her cat, Fuzzy, moved to Exham on Sea to start a new life after the end of her terrible marriage. She works part-time at Wolf the Bread’s Bakery while developing cake recipes and writing a cookery book. After an episode caused inadvertently by Fuzzy and a huge Carpathian Sheepdog, Libby’s car lost the battle with a lamp-post and she meets the mysterious Max Ramshore, father of Joe, who knew Susie well. And when an elderly lady who Libby spoke to about Susie is found dead in suspicious circumstances, Libby finds it too much of a coincidence. She and Max decide to begin their own investigation.

{“You’d better let me know anything you find out. And Max, there’s one question we have to answer.”

“What’s that?”

“If she’s been living in the US since the 1990’s, with no contact with anyone in England, what the heck was she doing on Tuesday on the beach at Exham on Sea?”}

Reading Murder At The Lighthouse was very enjoyable, as was meeting the characters who inhabit the seaside town. Like all small communities, mostly everyone knows each other, gossip thrives and secrets are plentiful. Libby has resolved to be more self-reliant and confident after the misery of her marriage and controlling husband. Now she has the house and kitchen of her dreams, she plans to enjoy and make the most of them, and her new life.

Max was very friendly with Susie when she lived in Exham on Sea and kept in touch after she left for America. He looked after a bank account he set up for Susie, although he didn’t know why she wanted it. Libby couldn’t help wondering what Max did for a living that would allow him to make a spur of the moment trip to the US. He planned on some undercover work to see if any clues came to light with a little digging into Susie’s life and relationships.

I really like Mandy, the teenage Goth, who works with Libby at the bakery. The girl’s eyes, black with layers of kohl and mascara, were enormous in the white painted face. Two silver rings decorated one nostril, above purple lips. Mandy’s home life is disrupted by a bully of a father, prone to violence.

A short and entertaining read, with great characters who I think have lots of potential for future stories. I’m familiar with the area, and had no trouble picturing the setting.

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

WINNER and Runner-Up of the 2015 Historical Fiction Award #SundayBlogShare

Winner Historical Fiction

The 2015 Golden Rose Book Award for Historical Fiction

went to Zoe Saadia with Two Rivers

Zoe Saadia Two Rivers

Meet Zoe

Zoe Saadia is the author of several novels of pre-Columbian Americas. From the glorious pyramids of Tenochtitlan to the fierce democrats of the Great Lakes, her novels bring long-forgotten history, cultures and people to life, tracing pivotal events that brought about the greatness of Meso and North America.

Having researched various pre-contact cultures of this continent for more than a decade, she is convinced that it’s a shame that such a large part of history was completely overlooked, by historical fiction most of all. Both Americas has an extremely rich, diverse, fascinating history long before this continent came in contact with the rest of the world.
So her professional motto is set. America has not been ‘discovered’, not yet. Not in her novels.

Find Zoe on Twitter @ZoeSaadia

Book Description

Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away – impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.

However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.

Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet…

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits.

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

The Silver Award went to

Frances Evesham with Danger At Thatcham Hall

Frances Evesham and Danger at Thatcham Hall

Meet Frances

Frances Evesham writes mystery stories: the Exham on Sea contemporary crime series set in a small Somerset seaside town, and the Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England.

She collects grandsons, Victorian ancestors and historical trivia, likes to smell the roses, lavender and rosemary, and cooks with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch of chillies in the other. She loves the Arctic Circle and the equator and plans to visit the penguins in the south one day.

She’s been a speech therapist, a professional communicator and a road sweeper and worked in the criminal courts. Now, she walks in the country and breathes sea air in Somerset.

Catch up with Frances on Twitter @FrancesEvesham

Book Description Danger At Thatcham Hall published by Wild Rose Press

Ambitious lawyer Nelson Roberts, embittered by war, jilted by his fiancée, and trusting no one, aims to make his name solving the mysterious thefts and violence at Thatcham Hall, a country house in Victorian England.

Olivia Martin, headstrong and talented, will stop at nothing to overcome the conventions of the day, avoid a miserable fate as a governess and fulfill dreams of a musical future.

The pair stumble on a body. Is the farmhand’s death a simple accident, or something more sinister? Who attacked the livestock at the Hall and why are the villagers so reluctant to talk? Can Nelson and Olivia overcome their differences and join forces to unravel the web of evil that imperils the Hall?

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

Final congratulations to all our Historical Fiction nominees.

Alison Williams with THE BLACK HOURS

William Savage with AN UNLAMENTED DEATH

Tony Riches with OWEN

Vanessa Matthews with THE DOCTOR’S DAUGHTER

ANNOUNCING winners and runners-up in the 2015 Rosie Amber Golden Rose Book Awards #TuesdayBookBlog

Plain Golden Rose

Welcome to the Official Awards Ceremony of the 2015 Rosie Amber #RBRT Book Awards. We had almost one thousand votes. A Huge thank you to all the nominees and their supporters.

Here Are The Results

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Fantasy Sci Fi

Barb Taub with One Way Fare

Barb and one way Fare

 

  

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Fantasy

John Privilege with The American Policeman

John and The American

 

 

 

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Mystery and Thriller

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Mystery Thriller

Rose Edmunds with Concealment

Rose and concealment

 

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Mystery

Robert Leigh with Any Man Joe

Robert and Any man

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Contemporary

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Contemporary

Mark Barry with The Night Porter

Mark Barry Night Porter

 

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Contemporary

Terry Tyler with Last Child

Terry and Last Child

 

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Romance

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Romance

Lynne Shelby with French Kissing

Lynne Shelby and French Kissing

 

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Romance

Patricia Sands with The Promise Of Provence

Patricia and The Promise

 

Congratulations!

2015 Rosie Amber Book Award

Historical Fiction

Winner of the Golden Rose is

Winner Historical Fiction

Zoe Saadia with Two Rivers

Zoe Saadia Two Rivers

 

Runner-up and receiver of the Silver Rose is

Silver Historical

Frances Evesham with Danger At Thatcham Hall

Frances Evesham and Danger at Thatcham Hall

A round of applause please for all our finalists;

Dylan J Morgan

C.S Boyack

Rewan Tremethick

Celine Jeanjean

Geoffrey West

Noelle Granger

Rob Sinclair

Faith Mortimer

Sue Hewitt

Laura Wilkinson

Tonia Parronchi

Dena Haggerty

Helen Pollard

Heather Hill

Donna Brown

Emily Arden

Alison Williams

William Savage

Tony Riches

Vanessa Matthews

I will be posting feature posts on the Winners and Runners-Up authors over the next few days.

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT MURDER AT THE LIGHTHOUSE by @FrancesEvesham #wwwblogs

Today’s book review comes from Olga, she blogs at http://olganm.wordpress.com

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Olga has been reading Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

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Murder at the Lighthouse: An Exham on Sea Short Cozy Mystery (Exham on Sea Short Cozy Mysteries Book 1) by Frances Evesham. Murders, Secrets, Pets, Cakes and a Survivor Who Won’t Take No for an Answer.

I am reviewing this book as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. Thanks to Rosie and to the author for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book I’ve read by the author although I had come across a number of excellent reviews of some of her other books and I was intrigued by this novella that promised an easy and entertaining read. And it does deliver it.

The description recommends the book to those who love Agatha Christie’s novels or Midsomer Murders and it is right, although the characters, especially Libby, are less formulaic that some of the standard fare in the genre, whilst living up to the expectations of those used to reading cozy mysteries.

There is a ‘gentle’ small town teeming with secrets, a female protagonist who is a new arrival, with a traumatic past and many plans (that include baking, cookery books and chocolates), a troubled teenager, a cat, a couple of dogs, an attractive and mysterious man, and of course, a murder, well, two. The protagonist, who has defied friends’ opinions to move and start a new life, is determined not to let anybody else take her for granted, and that seems to be one of her reasons for not letting go of the case, despite the police’s lack of interest in the two bodies she finds (that initially are thought to have suffered accidents).

For me one of the strengths of the book are the main characters, that are drawn in good detail but always allowing for further discoveries to be made, although I thought that some of the secondary ones (both some of the ladies in the historical society and others who are involved in the case) were quickly dispatched with, and the reader needs to be careful not to get them confused or miss them completely.

I also enjoyed the depiction of the town, as seen from an outsider’s perspective, which allows the reader to discover the ins and outs of everybody’s personal lives and relationships at the same time as Libby (although sometimes she keeps things up her sleeve, as is to be expected in the genre).

Although short, the novella’s plot is interesting and will keep you guessing from the beginning, the characters might seem immediately recognisable but appearances might be deceptive, and the book has a great sense of place and community. Being a cozy mystery, it’s not heavy on the procedural or forensic side of things, and as the person solving the mystery is an amateur, the reader has to try and follow her reasoning and the clues. I must confess I didn’t manage to solve the case. It was perhaps my quick reading, but I wasn’t sure all the clues were evident enough to allow other readers to solve the case, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment.

Murder at the Lighthouse is a light and entertaining read (but don’t be fooled, you need to keep your wits about you!) that opens a series introducing characters that I wanted to get to know better, in a charming setting that hides many secrets. Beware if you’re hungry, as the comments about the main character’s experiments in baking might make you reach for something sweet!

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

 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Murder at the Lighthouse by @FrancesEvesham #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review comes from Chris, she blogs at http://cphilippou123.wordpress.com

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Chris chose to read and review Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

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This cozy murder mystery novella, with sprinklings of contemporary life lessons and romance, is set in an idyllic village on the UK coast.
Libby Forest, culinary genius and newcomer to the coastal area, finds a body on the beach. The police are convinced it’s an accident, she’s convinced it’s murder. And so, with the help of the mysterious Max Ramshore and a host of meddling or hindering characters, she sets out to uncover the murderer.
The plot packed a lot into a novella (in a good way), the characters were well drawn and the setting inviting. The ending was a little too lacking in signposting for my taste, but otherwise I found this an enjoyable little read.

*I received a free copy from the author, via Rosie’s Book Review Team, in exchange for my honest review.

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

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT Murder At The Lighthouse by @FrancesEvesham #SundayBlogShare

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle chose to read and review Murder At The Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

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Book Review: Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

Murder at the Lighthouse is a frothy confection of a short, cozy mystery. This is one of a series of short tales of murder, and I’m looking forward to reading more of them.

Libby Forest was trapped for years in an abusive marriage, and after her husband dies, she takes some of the money from the sale of their house and buys a cottage in Exham on Sea, a small inbred coastal town. She is determined to become part of the local community and hopes eventually to open a patisserie and chocolate shop. In the meantime, she is writing a cookbook, on the verge of being overdue at her editors, and is working part time in local bakery.

One night, dog-walking walking along the beach near the lighthouse, Libby discovers the body of a woman, whom the police believe to be a suicide. The woman, Susie Bennett, has deep ties to Exham by Sea, and Libby has a suspicion it wasn’t a suicide. When an older woman, who knew Susie and her secrets, is found dead at the bottom of her stairs, Libby becomes convinced this was also a murder, and the game’s afoot. During her investigation, Libby, as an outsider, has the predictable run-ins with the locals and finds her husband left her one last nasty gift.

Exham by Sea is populated with wonderful characters, among them: Mandy, the teenage Goth who works at the bakery; Bert Parson, her abusive father; Detective Sergeant Joe Ramshore, pompous and opinionated; his father, the secretive Joe Ramshore, who could become the love in Libby’s life; Samantha Watson, the town’s snobby intellectual and a fashionably dressed solicitor; Bear, an enormous Carpathian sheepdog; and Libby’s own Fuzzy, a marmalade cat who takes an unusual liking to Bear. There are more, but I will leave you to discover them.

Along with her cakes and chocolates, Libby discovers for the first time her talent for solving mysteries, and the killer was not guessed by me until the very end (and I pride myself on guessing whodunits).

The only drawback to this truly cozy read was the fact that the story jumped in time and place without either fleurons or introductory phrases to indicate the jump. This left me rather confused at first, until I was on the lookout for them. Overall, a minor flaw.

Short, engaging and challenging…I highly recommend Murder at the Lighthouse.

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

The #MysteryNovember Book Tour Day 4 – Frances Evesham @FrancesEvesham #wwwblogs

It’s Day 4 of the #MysteryNovember book tour.

Mystery Book Tour Bus copyright

Today our guest is Frances Evesham and her book Murder At The Lighthouse

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Book blurb

Love cosy crime? Feed your little grey cells on Murder at the Lighthouse, a short culinary mystery set in a small seaside town in Somerset.

Everyone knows the dead woman under the lighthouse, but no one seems to know why she died. What brought the folk-rock star back to Exham on Sea after so many years? Who wanted her dead? Did the key to her murder lie in the town, or far away across the Atlantic?

Libby Forest arrives on the coast after years in a disastrous marriage, determined to build a new life making cakes and chocolates in Exham on Sea. She finds the body and discovers her own talent for solving mysteries, helped by Bear, an enormous Carpathian Sheepdog, and Fuzzy, an aloof marmalade cat. Libby joins forces with secretive Max Ramshore and risks the wrath of the townspeople as she puts together the pieces of the jigsaw to solve the mystery of Susie Bennett’s death.

Pit your wits against Exham’s female sleuth and solve the mystery.

The first short read in the series, set in the coastal resort of Exham on Sea, Murder at the Lighthouse introduces a cast of local characters, including Mandy the teenage Goth, Frank Wolf the baker at Wolf’s the Bread and Detective Sergeant Joe Ramshore, Max’s estranged son. The green fields, rolling hills and sandy beaches of the West Country provide the perfect setting for crime, intrigue and mystery, for lovers of Agatha Christie novels, Midsomer Murders, lovable animals and cake.

Frances cropped

Where is your home town? 

I live in Burnham on Sea, in Somerset, although I’ve only been here for 20 years, so I’m still a newcomer in Somerset terms. Burnham is the inspiration for Exham on Sea. As the series features a collection of sometimes eccentric characters, I’ve set the stories in a mythical place, to avoid giving offence to friends and neighbours.

What do you like about writing in the mystery genre? 

Sir John Gielgud put his long life down to solving crossword puzzles: he lived to be 97. Just like crosswords, mysteries exercise your little grey cells, challenge and tease, then leave you with a deep sense of satisfaction when the pieces fit together and you find the answer. It’s even more fun to write them.

What sub-genre of mystery does your book fit?

Murder at the Lighthouse is a short cosy mystery, one of a series of quick reads, where the focus is on discovering ‘who (or why) dunnit’ rather than on gory murder scenes. To go even further my sub-genre, it’s a British cosy animal, culinary, small town seaside mystery. Who knew there could be so many sub-genres?

Where is your book set?

As mystery fans will have spotted, I gave that away in my first answer! Somerset is perfect for mystery, with sea, hills and the famous flooding levels all within easy reach. In autumn, when the confusingly named Spring tides are high, the sea is a treacherous place. That’s why the body shows up under the lighthouse in the first Exham on Sea story. Then, the weather calms and Glastonbury Tor rises like a ghost out of the November mists, promising more mystery, murder and mayhem.

Can you introduce us to the main characters?

Libby Forest, widowed after a long, unhappy marriage, comes to Exham to build a new life, with her true love, cooking. Along with the aloof cat Fuzzy, and Bear, the enormous Carpathian Sheepdog, she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mysterious death at the lighthouse. Then, there’s elegant, puzzling Max, Mandy the teenage goth, and a few gossipy members of the local history society, who somehow never get around to talking about history – there’s far too much happening right now in Exham.

 

Where can readers find out more about you and your writing?

I tweet (a lot) at www.twitter.com/francesevesham

and an author page at Author.to/francesevesham

I have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/frances.evesham.writer

My website is at www.francesevesham.com

Where can readers find your book?

Murder at the Lighthouse is available from Amazon, currently on sale. Snap it up quickly, because it goes back to its usual price tomorrow!http://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Lighthouse-Exham-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B015RR2C4C

Here’s a universal link that should take readers to the Amazon page in their own country myBook.to/murderatthelighthouse

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Lighthouse-Exham-Mystery-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B015RR2C4C

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Danger at Thatcham Hall by @FrancesEvesham #Histfic #Bookreview

Today’s review is from Noelle, she blogs at http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

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Noelle, chose to read and review Danger at Thatcham Hall by Frances Evesham

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Book Review: Danger at Thatcham Hall by Frances Evesham

This is the second of Frances Evesham’s Thatcham Hall Mysteries, 19th Century historical mystery romances set in Victorian England. It continues the story begun in An Independent Woman, in which Philomena, a woman from a lower class escaped London dressed as a boy, meets, falls in love with and later marries Hugh, Lord Thatcham. In this second novel, Olivia Martin, a thoroughly headstrong but impoverished young woman, is looking forward with dread to life as a governess and music teacher to support herself. While out for a walk, she is rescued from a cow, which she thinks is a bull, by Nelson Roberts, an up-and-coming lawyer from London. Together they discovered the body of a local farmhand. Roberts has been retained by Lord Thatcham to investigate attacks on his livestock and thefts of personal items from Thatcham Hall, a country house in Victorian England . The lawyer has been embittered by his role as an officer in the war in Afghanistan and has been jilted by his fiancée, so he approaches this task in a dark state of mind. Now he has the now added responsibility of discovering the truth of what happened to the farm hand.

As in the first book, there is more or less instant attraction between the two protagonists, although they are reluctant to acknowledge it, except to themselves. Olivia, upon being brought home by Roberts, hies herself off to Thatcham Hall for a previously arranged and convenient visit, hoping to see him again. There she is to spend time with the aforementioned Philomena and Hugh, as well as Miss Selena Dainty, Lord Thatcham’s only sister. She is a beauty with blond ringlets and blue eyes of whom Olivia cannot help but be jealous, especially of Selena’s prospects for the future.

Mr. Roberts begins his investigation, but circumstances keep throwing Olivia into his path, and eventually they combine forces to solve the various mysterious threads of the story. Various well-drawn and interesting characters begin to accumulate on the list of suspects: old witchy old woman, who knows and uses herbs as drugs, and her semi-wild grandson living in a hovel in the woods near Thatcham Hall; the baker’s daughter, who is pregnant and claims to have been seduced by a servant at Thatcham Hall; Major Lovell, an army officer with whom Roberts is well acquainted and to whom Miss Dainty is attracted. The reader quickly senses his evil nature. I can’t say more without giving away important details.

Roberts and Olivia alternate between confrontation and attraction for most of the book. Some of this seems a bit contrived, as is their sudden attraction, and I found this the most tedious aspect of the book. However, Olivia’s independence and spunkiness was refreshing against the backdrop of societal propriety.

The author has done a wonderful job in her descriptions of the customs, mores and dress of the times; I was fully drawn into the world of Thatcham Hall. She has also done a good job of creating and tying together her main plot and subplots, leaving good surprises both along the way and at the end. This book was overall a good read, and I can recommend it to lovers of this genre.

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