Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE CROWN SPIRE by @MadameGilflurt and @WinshamHistFic #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Georgia, she blogs at http://www.georgiarosebooks.com

#RBRT Review Team

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

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What an utterly joyful read The Crown Spire was! Set in 1795 Alice Ingram and her niece Beth are on the road to Edinburgh when they are set upon by bandits. Out to steal their honour rather than their jewels the situation looks desperate indeed for the hapless travellers. However just when it appears all is lost in ride two mysterious highwaymen to the rescue. Or I should say one rides in while the other drops out of a tree, what an entrance!

Taking shelter at an inn for the night Beth is soon entranced by the landlord, Edward Hogan, while her aunt is considerably less so by Dr James Dillingham summoned to look at her ankle, sprained in the skirmish.

It soon becomes apparent that it is not only the highwaymen who are hiding their identities as Alice is introduced as Grace Lambert and has come to Edinburgh to hide out at her rather forbidding sister’s house.

I shall stop there for fear I shall soon be giving the whole plot away. Suffice to say there are some delightful characterisations in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the flirty interplay between the frisky Beth and undoubtedly handsome Ed Hogan and equally the frosty exchanges the good doctor shared with Grace. Terrifically well written the dialogue throughout this story was quick, witty and thoroughly entertaining.

For those looking for fun romantic escapism, look no further, the women are strong, the heroes suitably dashing and there are horses – what more could you possibly want?

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.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT ECHOES OF TIME by @AnneAllen21 #TuesdayBookBlog #WW2 #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Judith has been reading Echoes of Time by Anne Allen

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My Review;

A quick word on the cover. I loved both the evocative image and the title

And I love books that give a sense of place; of an era.  Anne Allen’s  writing in Echoes of Time certainly does that. Her descriptions use all five senses to create a setting; there are some wonderful portrayals that instantly took me into the characters’ world.

But, sometimes, I felt that they slowed the action down and add nothing to the story.

Although well written, the plot itself is a little predictable: boy meets girl next door; Natalie and Stuart  And I would have appreciated knowing much more about Natalie’s previous relationship with her old boyfriend. His appearance and then disappearance felt a little contrived and there only to show Stuart’s ‘knight in shining armour’ side. Yet this glimpse into Natalie’s past did  parallel the historic tragedy in Stuart’s family, which I thought clever.  I liked the idea of a dark past coming back to haunt the present. And these sections  did make me stop and think about how the walls of old buildings are steeped with their history.

It is this past, this history that makes up the  secondary plot-line; that of Olive (Stuart’s grandmother), Bill and Wolfgang. And I really do love these characters, multi- layered and believable, their  story is poignant and credible. I wanted so much more of  their  story. And, for me, the way Wolfgang went out of the story was disappointing; it felt too prosaic.

Overall it was the author’s writing style that persuaded me to give Echoes of Time four stars; the way the story is told from the alternate point of view of the main characters (I always love this; it gives different aspects to a narrative), the descriptions, the pace of the sub-plot, the presentation and dialogue of the characters, all make for a good read. I’d recommend this novel..

Book Description

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years… 

1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey. 
All too soon Olive realises she’s made a mistake. 
Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer- 
but there’s a price to pay. . . 

2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own… 
Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive. 

Thrown together in a bid to find out what really happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on? 

About the author

Anne Allen

Anne Allen lives in Devon, by her beloved sea. She has three children and her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. She was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns.
By profession Anne was a psychotherapist but has long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of her mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living. Now retired from the ‘day job’, there’s more time to write and Anne has now published five books in The Guernsey Novels series (as at August 2016). A sixth will be published in 2017.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE LUCKY HAT MINE by @jvlbell #Western #HistFic #Romance

Today’s team review is from Jessie, she blogs at http://behindthewillows.com

#RBRT Review Team

Jessie has been reading The Lucky Hat Mine by J.V.L. Bell

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“Ahhhhhhh”  (That’s the sigh of a contented reader who just found a book that was exactly what she hoped it would be.)

The Lucky Hat Mine is a classic old west tale complete with miners, murder and mail order brides.

But… the mail order bride’s husband-to-be was the murder victim and all the miners are lining up to propose.

Literally.

And repeatedly.

Fortunately, our heroine is made of stern stuff and despite the fact that she spouts off rules of etiquette at every occasion and constantly reminds the men to watch their language, she gets along just fine, and even thrives, in the Colorado mining town she has landed in.

Would I recommend it? There is a goat in this book! A fainting goat. So, clearly, yes. Also there is a great strong female lead, humor, a smidgen of romance, a murder mystery all wrapped up in a western. What’s not to love!?!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I discovered this book because I’m a proud member of Rosie’s Book Review Team!

Book Description

A recipe for true love or murder? Ingredients: one Southern belle, one Colorado gold miner, a wife wanted classified, and a fainting goat. Let simmer.

What’s a Southern belle to do in 1863? Wife-wanted ads are always risky business, but Millie Virginia never imagined she’d survive the perilous trip across the Great Plains to find her intended husband in a pine box. Was he killed in an accident? Or murdered for his gold mine? Stuck in the mining town of Idaho Springs, Colorado territory, without friends or means, Millie is beleaguered by undesirable suitors and threatened by an unknown assailant. Her troubles escalate when the brother of her dead fiancE, Dominic Drouillard, unexpectedly turns up.

Dom is an ill-mannered mountain man who invades Millie’s log cabin, insists that his brother was murdered, and refuses to leave until he finds the killer. Compelled to join forces with her erstwhile brother-in-law, Millie discovers the search for Colorado gold is perilous, especially with a murderer on their trail.

The Lucky Hat Mine interlaces the tale of a feisty heroine with frontier legend and lore making for an arousing historical murder mystery.

About the author

J.V.L. Bell

Author J.v.L. Bell is a Colorado native who grew up climbing 14,000 ft. mountains, exploring old ghost towns, and backpacking through the back country. She and her family love to hike, raft, and cross-country ski together.

She loves reading and researching frontier history and incorporating these facts into her novels. Her historic mysteries are interwoven with amusing historical stories and lore, interesting characters, and historic events.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT LAND OF THE HIDDEN FIRES by @KirkKjeldsen #WW2 #HistFic

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

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Land Of The Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen

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LAND OF HIDDEN FIRES by Kirk Kjeldsen

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

3.5 stars

I love to read about adventures in icy northern wastes, so I was pleased to see this on the review team list.  The book starts off in occupied Norway in 1943, when 15 year old Kari, who lives on an impoverished farm with widowed father Erling, sees an American plane go down several miles away.  Despite wearing insufficient warm clothing and having only eaten dry bread, she walks miles through the snowy wastes to investigate, then pretends to pilot Lance Mahurin that she is a member of the Swedish resistance.  She then leads him back to the farm, steals her father’s horse, cart and money, and the two of them set off on a long journey to get him to safety.  No, I wasn’t very convinced, either, but, generally speaking, the book started off on a positive note, as Kari’s living circumstances are well-painted, and I like the backdrop of the Norwegian countryside, and the detail about how life has changed in their town since German occupation.

The book moves on with the story of Erling’s search for his daughter when he discovers she is missing, and the efforts of Nazi Oberleutenant Conrad Moltke to look for the pilot, too.  Moltke, the disillusioned officer entrenched in bitterness because he is not allowed to play a starring role in the war and live up to his father and grandfather, is by far the most interesting character; I found myself looking forward to the parts from his point of view.

The strength of this is the description of the scenery.  In depth research has clearly been undertaken, too, which is, for the most part, woven in unobtrusively, and it’s technically well written, but I’m afraid that the telling of the story itself lacked the spark, drama, character depth and suspense that keeps me interested in a book, dying to get back to it and unable to put it down.  Some of the characters seemed like stereotypes chosen to fit the plot (Kari and her jaunty American, in particular, who, despite being a pilot who’s just crashed down in enemy territory, ‘sometimes forgets there’s a war on’), and there were several incidents I thought unlikely.  Too many of the sentences were flat, doing nothing more than delivering information.

It’s not a bad book by any means, it’s well presented and there were sections I liked, but on the whole it’s a ‘just okay’, for me.

Book Description

Occupied Norway, 1943. After seeing an allied plane go down over the mountains, headstrong fifteen year-old Kari Dahlstrøm sets out to locate the wreck. She soon finds the cocky American pilot Lance Mahurin and offers to take him to Sweden, pretending she’s a member of the resistance. While her widower father Erling and the disillusioned Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hunt them down, Kari begins to fall for Lance, dreaming of a life with him in America. Over the course of the harrowing journey, though, Kari learns hard truths about those around her as well as discovering unforeseen depths within herself.

About The Author

Kirk Kjeldsen

Kirk Kjeldsen received an MFA from the University of Southern California and is currently an assistant professor in the cinema program at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. His first novel, Tomorrow City, was named one of the ten best books of 2013 by The New Jersey Star-Ledger. He also wrote and produced the feature film Gavagai, which was directed by Rob Tregenza. He lives in Essen, Germany with his wife and two children.

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FOXDEN ACRES by Madalyn Morgan #WW2 #HistFic #FamilySaga #Bookreview @actscribblerdj

Foxden Acres (Dudley Sisters Saga #1)Foxden Acres by Madalyn Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Foxden Acres is book one of the Dudley Sisters Saga, WW2 Historical fiction with a romantic theme.

The book opens with a prologue, a family group wait at the station for the arrival of the train bearing soldiers coming home from the war.

Chapter one turns back the clock; pre-war, New Years Eve 1939. Bess is a trainee teacher in London, her father works on the Foxden estate, she has grown up riding the horses on the estate. Allowed to borrow books from the estate library, Bess is caught tip-toeing out by James.

Keen to get to know the grown up Bess more, James suggests they meet in London, but this isn’t their destiny, war breaks out and Bess is offered the job turning Foxden into a productive farm supplying home grown food for the nation. She finds herself busy with land girls and a makeshift hospital for war veterans.

Whenever James visits their friendship blossoms, despite social barriers, but will he ever be free to love Bess in the way she wants? And will Bess ever feel good enough for James?

This is a cosy read for those who like light war time family sagas.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book Description

On the eve of 1939 twenty-year-old Bess Dudley, trainee teacher and daughter of a groom, bumps into James, heir to the Foxden Estate. Bess and James played together as equals when they were children, but now James is engaged to the more socially acceptable Annabel Hadleigh.

Bess takes up a teaching post in London but when war breaks out and London schoolchildren are evacuated she returns to Foxden to organise a troop of Land Girls. 

Traditional barriers come crashing down when Flying Officer James Foxden falls in love with Bess. But by this time Bess has come to know and respect Annabel. Can she be with James if it means breaking her best friend’s heart?

And besides, Bess has a shameful secret that she has vowed to keep from James at any cost…

About the author

Madalyn Morgan

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.

Madalyn was brought up in a busy working class pub in the market town of Lutterworth in Leicestershire. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live. There were so many wonderful characters to study and accents learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.

In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn learned to touch type, completed a two-year course with The Writer’s Bureau, and began writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.

Madalyn is currently writing her third novel, China Blue, the third of four books about the lives of four very different sisters during the Second World War. First and second novels, Foxden Acres and Applause, are now available.

Visit Madalyn Morgan online:

The Foxden Acres Website: https://sites.google.com/site/foxdena…

Non-Fiction Blog: http://madalynmorgan.blogspot.co.uk/

Fiction Blog: http://madalynmorgansfiction.blogspot…

Actress website: http://www.madalynmorgan.com/

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A SHORTCUT TO MURDER by William Savage @penandpension #HistFic

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

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading A Shortcut To Murder by William Savage

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This was my third foray into the world of young Doctor Adam Bascom and I feel quite at home now in rural, Georgian Norfolk. Although suitable to read as a stand-alone novel, loyal followers of his earlier adventures will understand the distress he is causing to his erstwhile admirer, Sophia LaSalle, by constantly visiting the charming widow, Lady Alice.

Once again Adam must solve a challenging murder mystery, but on this occasion, he precipitates action in order to flush out the culprit. He is maturing in skill and confidence. If only he could understand women and his own feelings, his life might be less complicated!

We meet some new characters in this book, the highlight being newly qualified lawyer, Charles Scudamore, who could easily be given his own novel. Exuberant but sometimes lacking direction, he and his twin sister, Ruth, are severely reprimanded by their aunt, Lady Alice, even though she is only a few years older than they are.

The victim is thoroughly unpleasant landowner, Sir Jackman Wennard, who may have died by accident after falling from his horse, but Adam’s brother Giles, the local Magistrate, suspects foul play. Adam’s investigations are hindered by lack of cooperation from Sir Jackman’s son, Robert and the case is further complicated by the arrival of Sir Jackman’s first wife, Sarah.

At times, Adam’s deliberations are rather long-winded but it is a complex plot which requires explanation. There is certainly plenty of action and emotional outbursts and the late autumn context allows for portentous description such as, “The air had been full of the smell of decay and the decline of another year.”
Another enjoyable read about a very likeable hero.

Book Description

After helping solve two murders, 18th-century Norfolk physician Dr Adam Bascom just wants to get back to his medical work. Fate, however, seems determined to keep him off-balance. His brother, Giles, is called upon as magistrate to investigate the death of Sir Jackman Wennard, rake, racehorse breeder and baronet. 

The man’s son insists his father died by falling from his horse in a hunting accident. The coroner’s medical examiner has other ideas. He says the baronet died from a single blow to the neck hard enough to snap his spine in two—a blow that came from the front. To Giles, Adam is the perfect choice to give a second opinion and resolve the disagreement. 

Adam is soon convinced it was murder, so agrees to help his brother find the killer. This is going to be no easy task. For a start, the crime appears impossible. How could the blow be delivered with such force when the man was on the back of a large horse? How could the killer have known where and when to lie in wait? No one could have foreseen Sir Jackman’s movements on the morning of his death—not even the man himself. If some kind of trap was used, how did it kill so cleanly, then disappear within moments? 

The unresolved questions keep piling up. Why did Sir Jackman Wennard abruptly ride off on his own in the opposite direction to everyone else? Why was he returning from yet another direction? Where had he been? Did the gunshots some say they heard have anything to do with what happened? Did they even exist? 

Faced with an impossible crime, conflicting evidence and the hostility of the dead man’s son, who refuses even to discuss his father’s death, Adam turns once more to his friends and contacts. Along the way, he faces growing emotional conflicts as well as factual ones. His mother is determined to find him a wife; he doesn’t want to marry; and he hasn’t yet come close to understanding his real feelings. 

In the midst of these uncertainties, drama turns into crisis. Everything known about Sir Jackman Wennard and his family is thrown into confusion by an event from the man’s past. The Wennard family fragments, his son is reported kidnapped and the whole neighbourhood is suddenly plagued by a rash of highway robberies. As events plunge out-of-control towards the inevitable confrontation between past and present, can Adam pull his ideas together and move fast enough to prevent more lives being put at risk? 

About the author

william-s

William started to write fiction as a way of keeping his mind active in retirement. He had always lectured and written extensively on business topics, including three books, many articles and a successful leadership blog which garnered more than 5000 regular followers. He has no intention of letting his mind stagnate or his creativity wither. This means finding new sources of interest and inspiration.

Throughout his life, William has read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of his other loves is history, especially the local history of the many places where he has lived. It seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk. Four books have appeared so far and he is currently at work on a fifth.

William’s books are set between 1760 and around 1800. This was a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, the revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon. The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city. The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman-physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations nearer to the North Norfolk coast. Adam tries to build a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and a knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

William has spent a good deal of his life travelling in Britain and overseas. After obtaining his degree at Cambridge, he set out on a business career, during which he lived in most parts of the UK, as well as spending eleven years in the USA. He has been a senior executive, an academic and a consultant to many multinational companies. Now he is more than content to write stories and he has a superb blog, devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at http://www.penandpension.com.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT REGICIDE by @DavidBoyle1958 #HistFic #Mystery

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

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Regicide by David Boyle

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Book Review – Regicide: Peter Abelard and the Great Jewel

Regicide begins with a description of a historical event: King William of England, known as William Rufus (1087-1100) died after being struck by an arrow while he was hunting in Normandy, shot by a person unknown. His younger brother Henry succeeded him with such great haste that murder was suspected, but never proven.

The real story commences in 1119, when Hilary (a person who did exist), a traveling teacher, sometime poet and clerk in Holy Orders, is let go from his position as a tutor to the daughter of the Lord of Beaugency, after she dies of St. Anthony’s fire (ergot poisoning, common in France and Germany at the time). Taken by cart with his books and papers to the Loire River, from where he could go by boat to Orleans in search of a new position, he spends the night at a riverside inn. There he meets John of Muchelney who buys the impoverished young man his dinner and afterwards plays dice with him. When Hilary loses, his debt is discharged by his obligation to take a bulky pouch to Count Fulk of Anjou. The next morning, Hilary finds John horribly murdered and fearing himself in danger, eschews the boat and quickly begins the many days’ walk to Orleans and then Chartres. Still feeling himself followed, he goes on to Paris to consult with his old tutor and Master, Peter Abelard, in the hopes of some direction as to what to do.

When he and Abelard read the contents of the pouch entrusted to Hilary, they realize that it is part of a conspiracy to overthrow King Henry, a message about who benefitted from the death of William Rufus, and about the Great Jewel of Alfred the Great, which had been missing since 1066. Despite the fact the contents puts Hilary in the crosshairs of both sides of the debate, he nevertheless feels his vow to deliver its contents is unbreakable and Abelard decides to help Hilary fulfill his promise.

The author weaves many historical characters in and out of this story – Heloise, Fulk of Anjou, Walter Tirel, Hugues de Payen – as our pair travels as far as Jerusalem in search of Fulk, then returns with the rejected pouch contents to present to King Henry as a sign of goodwill. Death follows them, and the reader is treated to the Tower of London, along with a mass of other historical details.

The story reminded me no small amount of the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Peter Abelard is the philosopher, deep thinker, orator and teacher, while Hilary, his student, is the grounding and querying sidekick.

I loved the history around which this novel is woven – that of the Anglo-Saxons – and I found the detail captivating. However, because of this detail, the book must be read slowly to absorb everything and I found myself doing some online searching of the history. It also varies from slow and ponderous exposition to scenes filled with action and tension. Luckily there was enough of the latter to keep me going!

If you like historical fiction and an alternative and intriguing story of an ages-old mystery, and you don’t mind the occasional slow pace, then Regicide is a book for you.

This review is offered as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team. I purchased this book for review.

Book Description

England, 1100. King William Rufus is killed with an arrow on a hunt. Rumours start immediately that he was murdered. Nineteen years later in France, Hilary the Englishman is dismissed from his position as tutor when his student, Alys, a young girl with whom he has fallen in love, dies of fever.
Turned out in the street Hilary meets a strange man offers to buy Hilary a meal if he does him a favour. He gives Hilary a pouch of silver, and a message to be delivered to Count Fulk in Anjou. But by morning the man is dead, and the crows feasting on his body. Fearing he will be accused of murder, Hilary flees. But he owes a debt of honour to deliver the message. Hilary knows only one man can help him. His former teacher, the brilliant Peter Abelard.
Much has happened to Abelard in the years since Hilary knew him. Although he may not be the man he was, he comes to the aid of his former student, deciphering the message….A message about the death of King William Rufus all those years before. A message about who benefited from that death and about the Great Jewel of Alfred the Great… a jewel which rested in the crown used at the coronation of kings, but has been missing since 1066. Hilary and Abelard’s journey will take them through France, England, and Jerusalem as they race against time to save their own lives, and the fate of the monarchy. For there is a mysterious Saxon claimant to the throne.

About the author

David Boyle

David Courtney Boyle, 1958-, is a British author and journalist who writes mainly about history and new ideas in economics, money, business and culture. He lives in the South Downs. His most recent public role was conducting an independent review for the Treasury and the Cabinet Office on Barriers to Public Service Choice, which reported early in 2013.

His book Authenticity put the phenomenon on the business and political agenda. His previous books The Tyranny of Numbers and The Sum of Our Discontent predicted and fermented the backlash against target culture. Funny Money helped launched the time banks movement in the UK.

More recently, he has been writing about why organisations and public services are so ineffective, working with the New Economics Foundation and NESTA on a series of publications about coproduction, and publishing his own solutions as The Human Element. This argues that organisations have abandoned human skills in favour of numerical targets or IT systems, which frustrate the business of building relationships and making things happen.

His history books usually have a business or economic dimension, including Blondel’s Song (UK) and The Troubadour’s Song (USA) about the imprisonment and ransom of Richard the Lionheart. His 2008 book Toward the Setting Sun tells the intertwined story of Christopher Columbus, John Cabot and Amerigo Vespucci and their race for America in the 1490s. His 2010 book, Eminent Corporations with (Andrew Simms) has introduced a new genre, the mini-corporate biography, launching the idea of corporate history as tragedy. His recent book Broke has launched a public debate about the plight of the middle classes.

He has been the editor of several journals including New Economics and Town & Country Planning. He is a fellow of the New Economics Foundation and has been at the heart of the effort to develop co-production and introduce time banks to Britain as a critical element of public service reform. He has been closely involved in their Clone Town Britain campaign and writes about the future of volunteering, cities and business. He edited the Foundation’s publications New Economics, News from the New Economy, and then Radical Economics from 1987-2010.

David helped found the London Time Bank, and was co-founder of Time Banking UK. He has been a candidate for Parliament of the United Kingdom. He was editor of the weekly Liberal Democrat News from 1992-1998.

His bestselling books for Kindle have mainly been about history, including Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma, Peace on Earth and Unheard, Unseen.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE LADY ANNE by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Tudor #HistFic

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

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading The Lady Anne , book #2 in the Above all others series by Gemma Lawrence

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As with the first book, this one also opens with Anne in the Tower of London awaiting her fate, lost in reminiscences. She recalls arriving in England after her years in France, unhappy and homesick to leave the country and people she loves. And all because her father wants to marry her off to acquire the estates and titles he thinks should rightly belong to his family.

Anne is not at all happy with the situation. She feels more French than English, is afraid she won’t fit in and will be friendless in this country which now seems alien to her. The terrible English weather doesn’t help, adding to her misery. But her childhood friend and neighbour, Thomas Wyatt, soon becomes her ally and champion. Joining the court as a maid of honour to Henry VIII’s Queen, Katherine, Anne becomes very popular and a leader in fashion with her own individual dress sense.

It’s fascinating to read an account of what could have been Anne’s thoughts, feelings and daily life, getting an insight into her character and motivations, to see Henry VIII through her eyes, and also through the eyes of her brother, George, and sister, Mary, both of whom were close to Henry. In some ways Anne is a contradiction, intelligent and sophisticated yet with the romantic ideals of a girl, as shown by her involvement with Henry Percy.

Anne had felt an attraction to Henry for years but only after she re-enters the Court after her banishment by Cardinal Wolsey for her ‘presumptuous and arrogant’ plans to marry Percy, does the attraction flourish as she and Henry were often in the same circles. Although she’s always been envious of her sister’s relationship with Henry, Anne is determined she will be no man’s mistress, not even a King’s.

Anne’s portrayal is realistic and believable and I enjoyed the interactions between Anne and Henry. It’s extremely interesting to read about court life, the intrigues behind the scenes and how false it seems most of the time.

As with the first book, the attention to detail and obvious research is wonderful, clothes, food, manners and court politics, all bringing the past to life vividly.

Book Description

1522, England. 
Anne Boleyn has lived an adventurous youth in the glittering courts of Europe, now, promised in marriage to a man she knows nothing of, Anne has been called home by her ambitious father. She will enter the English Court, to find many admirers courting her. Anne finds potential for love in three men, but there is one… more unexpected than all the others, who claims her heart. 
The beginning of a love which would change the course of English history, and shake the foundations of the Church… 
The courtier’s daughter who captured the heart of a King; Anne Boleyn. 
The Lady Anne is book two of Above All Others: The Lady Anne by G.Lawrence.
 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS | Goodreads | Twitter

About the author

G. LawrenceI am an independently published author, and proud to be so. Living in a little cottage in Cornwall in the UK, I love where I live as much as I love to write.

The age of the Tudors has been an obsession for me since I was a child, and many of my upcoming books will center on that time, but I also pen the odd dystopian fiction or historical fiction from other time periods. I will be releasing all my titles on amazon, for kindle and then hopefully for print later. 

I studied Literature (with a capital L) at University and usually have twenty or more books I’m currently reading. Reading and writing are about mood for me, and I haven’t found a genre I didn’t enjoy something about so far… 

You can often find me on Wattpad or Twitter when I’m not writing…

THE LADY ANNE (Above all others Book #2) by G Lawrence @TudorTweep #Tudor #HistFic #AnneBoleyn

The Lady Anne (Above all Others; The Lady Anne Book 2)The Lady Anne by G. Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Four Point Five Stars.

The Lady Anne is book #2 in this series of historical fiction based on the life of Anne Boleyn. In book #1 La Petite Boulain, we read about the early years of Anne’s life spent abroad growing up in the Royal courts of Burgundy and France.

Book #2 begins with Anne returning home to England, saddened to leave her beloved friends and the French courts she is unhappy about the return especially when she hears of a potential marriage partner for herself, until she is reconciled with childhood friend Tom Wyatt, her older sister Mary and her brother George. These three make Anne’s life more bearable and soon she is placed as a maid-of-honour and servant of the Royal Wardrobe to queen Katherine.

Anne’s French style of clothing and her manner soon attracts many admirers and would-be suitors, yet it is the King who truly makes her heart flutter. Anne’s older sister Mary is currently Henry’s mistress and Anne looks instead towards a possible new marriage arrangement with Henry Percy. However she soon finds that this is disapproved of by both Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry.

As the storyline progresses Henry becomes obsessed with Anne, pleading with her to become his mistress. But Anne vows that she will save herself for her husband and she bravely fends off the King. Her refusal to take him to her bed only fuels his determination to find a way to be with Anne. The book ends with a common known historical point where Henry seeks to divorce Katherine and Anne’s tale will continue on book #3.

Once again the author fills the pages with rich description of Tudor life, immersing the reader into the daily life of Anne and her companions. Her internal struggle to hold out on Henry is a dangerous route but one you can understand and admire her for. These books are a joy to read and to learn a little more about lesser publicised part of Anne Boleyn’s life.

Book Description

1522, England. 
Anne Boleyn has lived an adventurous youth in the glittering courts of Europe, now, promised in marriage to a man she knows nothing of, Anne has been called home by her ambitious father. She will enter the English Court, to find many admirers courting her. Anne finds potential for love in three men, but there is one… more unexpected than all the others, who claims her heart. 
The beginning of a love which would change the course of English history, and shake the foundations of the Church… 
The courtier’s daughter who captured the heart of a King; Anne Boleyn. 
The Lady Anne is book two of Above All Others: The Lady Anne by G.Lawrence.
 

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

Twitter @TudorTweep

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT A SHORTCUT TO MURDER by William Savage @penandpension #HistFic

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

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading A Shortcut To Murder by William Savage

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#Book Review: A Shortcut to Murder by William Savage @penandpension #RBRT #historical mystery

This review is for Rosie’s #Bookreview team. The book was purchased by the reviewer.

A Shortcut To Murder is the third in The Dr. Adam Bascom Mysteries set in Georgian England. I’ve read the first two and was intrigued by the historical setting and, since I’m married to a physician and taught medical students for years, was drawn to the sleuth.

The main character, Dr. Adam Bascom, practices medicine in Aylsham, a small town in Norwich. His closest friend, and the person off of whom he bounces ideas, is Peter Lassimer, a pharmacist and a confirmed ladies’ man. Indeed, Dr. Bascom’s unmarried status is the subject of many of their interchanges and a thread running through this book, as in the first two, but with more intensity.

After solving the previous two murders, the good doctor is anxious to get back to treating patients, and his first is the nephew of Lady Alice, young widow of one of Bascom’s former patients. Bascom becomes progressively drawn into this family and drawn to Lady Alice as the story evolves. However, he is interrupted in his practice yet again, this time called by his brother, Giles, a magistrate, to confirm the findings of a local coroner in the death of Sir Jackman Wennard, a local landowner, debauching scoundrel, racehorse breeder and baronet. His son, now Sir Robert, is an equally repugnant character and refuses to accept that his father’s death was anything more than an accident.

Sir Jackman was killed by a blow to his body, which caused him to fall off his horse and break his neck. Bascom quickly confirms the injury he sustained could not have resulted from a simple fall, but rather from running into a rope, which flung him back and all but severed his head from his body. There are many unresolved questions and as some are answered, others emerge. How could the blow be delivered with such force? How could the killer have known where and when to lie in wait? – especially since no one could have foreseen Sir Jackman’s movements on the morning of his death.

Who is the woman who caused Sir Jackman to take the path he did that morning, and why is his son so determined to prevent the lawyers from assessing Jackman’s belongings in order to probate his will? Piling on to Bascom’s confusion is the kidnapping of Sir Robert. Is it related to the rash of highway robberies plaguing local roads?

This is the densest of the author’s mysteries yet, with many threads that as they are pulled, reveal others. It also adds more depth to the main character, his determination to find the answers, his insight, and also his confusion about himself – does he want to remain a country doctor and how does he truly feel about women? Add to that a wealth of detailed information about life in Georgian Norwich, all of which gives the reader a rich slice of life at that time.

There are some drawbacks to this novel: there are long dialogue dumps and there is repetition galore as Bascom goes over and over what he knows with various friends and family. As I result, I did skim some pages.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this book as much as the previous one and would recommend it to anyone who likes historical mysteries.

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