Historical Mystery

A-
Finding Lady Enderly

There’s a captivating sense of gothic tension filling Finding Lady Enderly, a romance that mixes suspense, a rags-to-riches Cinderella story, elements of faith and class division all in one fascinating wrapper. Raina Bretton is miserably poor working as a rag picker in London’s East End. She ...

A
The Chelsea Girls

New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel has been the scene of a lot of scandals, triumphs, joys and heartbreak over the years.  Hazel Ripley and Maxine Mead are just two of the women who’ve passed through its iconic red brick façade, and they have problems bigger than the ghosts haunting the hotel ...

B
The Poison Thread

Please note that this review was originally published in October 2018 upon the UK publication of this novel.  The book's original title is The Corset. Laura Purcell first came to my attention as the author of a couple of very fine pieces of historical fiction, and earlier this year, I awar ...

B
The Night Tiger

Multiple worlds collide head-on in The Night Tiger, an exploration of Malaysian mythology as seen through the lens of its pre-World War II workaday world. In 1931 Malaya, accident-prone eleven-year-old orphaned houseboy Ren is watching the death of his mentor, Doctor John MacFarlane.  On his dea ...

B
The Poison Bed

London, 1615.  The young, spirited Frances Howard-Carr and her husband (And James I’s long time favorite), the self-made social climber Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, stand accused of poisoning Sir Thomas Overbury, Robert’s friend and advisor, who knew a dreadfully personal secret about the ...

B
The Purloined Heart (Book Two of the Tyburn Trilogy)

A few months back I picked up Maggie MacKeever’s The Tyburn Waltz for a prompt in the TBR Challenge, and enjoyed it enough to want to read the other books in the Tyburn Trilogy.  At that point, only the second book – The Purloined Heart – was available, but I was pleased to learn the third wa ...

A-
The Silent Companions

Laura Purcell is the author of two excellent pieces of historical fiction set in Georgian England, one, Queen of Bedlam, about Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, and the other, Mistress of the Court, a fictionalised account of the life of Henrietta Howard, who became the mistress of Prince Ge ...

A-
The English Wife

The English Wife is a tale of smoke and mirrors. It is a fable of wealth and power set during the 1890s swan song of the Gilded Age. It’s a mystery, a romance, a coming of age story and easily one of the best books you’ll read this year. Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil have the kind of elegan ...

D+
The Secret of the India Orchid

Nancy Campbell Allen’s The Secret of the India Orchid appealed to me for a couple of reasons. Firstly, much as I enjoy historical romances set in Europe, I’m always happy to see ones sent in more far-flung locations; and secondly, the premise of a dashing spy forced to conceal his true nature an ...

B+
The Pearl Thief

Code Name: Verity is one of the most memorable YA novels I have ever read. A breathtaking story about a young Scottish woman taken prisoner for being a spy in Nazi Germany, it was heart wrenching, enlightening, beautiful, and lyrical. The Pearl Thief is the prequel to that tale, a look at Julia befo ...