It’s a nerve-wracking thing, a series, warns Catherine Hokin. The author commits to a character, the reader buys in; everyone steels themselves against the nightmare moment when a shark will appear and be thoroughly jumped. Well, fear not, Oswald de Lacy fans, this is a shark-free zone: SD Sykes’s latest outing for her medieval crime-solver […]
“The wombat is a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The leader of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti, had a particular affection for wombats, and one of them turns up in a small but key role in Elizabeth Macneal’s much-acclaimed novel The Doll Factory, set in 1850s London around the world of the […]
The occupation of the British Channel Islands from June 1940 to May 1945 rarely features in the popular narrative of the Second World War nor has it, for the most part, captured the attention of writers, Mary Chamberlain tells Historia in her review of Duncan Barrett’s When the Germans Came, the paperback reprint of his 2018 account, Hitler’s British Isles.
It’s been an exciting few days for readers of Matthew Harffy’s Bernicia Chronicles, his series set in 7th-century Britain. The fourth book, Killer of Kings, came out in paperback on 2 May, 2019, the same day that its sequel, Warrior of Woden, was published. A week later, Beobrand returns in a “stunning new instalment”, Storm […]
“All lines converged on the Dragon Yard case and the Fire Court at Clifford’s Inn.” But in Andrew Taylor’s second book in the James Marwood and Cat Lovett series, set in London just after the Great Fire, those lines tangle and twist fiendishly before coming together, writes Frances Owen. It’s 1667. James Marwood, son of […]
“She thought of time as like a ribbon unspooling; the present moment was the only inch of the stuff you could grasp as it cascaded past you, framed by the diamond buckle of now.” I shall confess to two things from the start of this review: a love of Martine Bailey’s previous books and a […]
On the bicentenary of Emily Brontë’s birth, Katherine Clements reviews a new ‘biography with a twist’. Emily, the elusive Brontë sister, is often portrayed as antisocial, difficult, perhaps even slightly unhinged. Two centuries of Brontë scholarship have created an inscrutable image of this singular woman; Emily as enigma has become integral to Brontë myth making. […]
“It was the birds that woke her, their liquid voices trickling into her dreams.” An apt quote from a novel that does precisely that: trickles in and won’t let you go. Anna Mazzola’s second novel The Story Keeper is inspired by the West Ham vanishings: the unexplained disappearance of a number of children and young […]