The Ninth Child

Title:The Ninth Child Writer:Sally Magnusson Publishing House:John Murray Press Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ”’Tis thin, this place of water and stone and tree. Here meet north and south, Highland and Lowland, Gael and Scot. Here are mountains made too thin for awe; burns that idle over-prettily, the maist o’them, for the making…

The Doll Factory

Title:The Doll Factory Writer:Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House:Picador Date of Publication:May 2nd 2019 Rating:5 stars ”When the streets are at the darkest and quitest, a girl settles at a small desk in the cellar of a dollmaker’s shop. A bald china head sits in front of her and watches her with a vacant stare. She squeezes…

The Book Collector

Title: The Book Collector Writer: Alice Thompson Publishing House: Salt Publishing Date of Publication:November 5th 2015 Rating:5 stars ”Once I have owned a book I am longing for the next one. Collecting is a creative act. One of perpetual longing and desire. One is never fully fulfilled. Collections live in dread of satisfaction. There is that brief,…

Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present

Title: Magical Folk: British and Irish Fairies – 500 AD to the Present Writer: Simon Young, Ceri Houlbrook Publishing House: Gibson Square Date of Publication: November 22nd 2017 Rating: 5 stars ”Why is it that so many fairy sightings occur while we are in bed? Why do so many children see fairies? Is it significant that several of…

Midwinter Mysteries:A Christmas Crime Anthology

Title: Midwinter Mysteries: A Christmas Crime Anthology Writer:Various Publishing House:Sapere Books Date of Publication:October 30th 2019 Rating:4 stars ”I think you can let the baby Jesus go”, Slonsky said. ”He’s innocent, just like the real one.” Behind the shiny ornaments, the bright lights, the laughter, the flowing wine, and the presents, dark intentions may find a…

Pine

Title:Pine Writer:Francine Toon Publishing House: Doubleday Date of Publication: January 23rd 2020 Rating:5 stars ”With all the lights on, there is still a darkness in the house.” In a small community in the haunting Scottish Highlands, the strange disappearance of a mother has cast a shadow over the lives of the residents. Lauren, a 10-year-old girl, lives…

A Treasury Of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes and Mistletoe

Title: A Treasury of British Folklore: Maypoles, Mandrakes & Mistletoe Writer: Dee Dee Chainey Publishing House: National Trust Date of Publication:April 5th 2018 Ratings:5 stars ”As we get older, we still sense the wonder of those takes we know from childhood. They whisper to us with every fleeting glimpse of what might just be a fairy in…

A Christmas Cornucopia

Title: A Christmas Cornucopia Writer: Mark Forsyth Publishing House: Viking Date of Publication:November 3rd 2016 Rating:5 stars ”There’s a lovely story about a Tokyo department store, back in the days when Christmas was unknown in Japan. The head of this store had heard rumours of a Western tradition that involved a massive shopping spree and he wanted to…

The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories

Title: The Christmas Card Crime and Other Stories Writer: Various edited by Martin Edwards Publishing House: British Library Crime Classics Date of Publication: May 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Although one snowflake had already sifted past the lights, the great doors of the house stood open. It seemed less a snowflake than a shadow; for a bitter wind…

Wrecker

Title: Wrecker Writer: Noel O’Reilly Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Time had stopped and God had turned His back on the world.” Cornwall, 20 years after the Napoleonic Wars. Life in the isolated village of Porthmorvoren is hard. Living in extreme poverty, battling with the formidable weather conditions and the sea, the villagers…

Star over Bethlehem: Poems and Holiday Stories

Title:Star over Bethlehem: Poems and Holiday Stories Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: William Morrow Date of Publication: October 25th 2011  (first published 1965) Rating: 5 stars ”She thought of the pictures that had been shown her – of the agony in the garden of the shameful death, of a man who, at the hour of death, was forsaken…

Christmas At Thompson Hall & Other Christmas Stories

Title:Christmas at Thompson Hall and Other Christmas Stories Writer: Anthony Trollope Publishing House:Penguin Classics Date of Publication:November 6th 2014 (first published 1882) Rating: 5 stars ”Yes, I want you to love me, and to be my wife. I don’t know how to tell you; but I love you better than anything and everything in the world-…

A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

Title: A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings Writer: Charles Dickens Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication:November 25th 2010 (first published December 19th 1843) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He told me, coming home, that he hopes the people saw him in the church, because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember upon…

After Me Comes The Flood

Title: After Me Comes The Flood Writer: Sarah Perry Publishing House: Custom House Date of Publication:March 17th 2020 (first published June 26th 2014) Rating: 5 stars ”What surprises me isn’t that we sin, but that we manage a single good action in all of our lives.” A strange array of people has gathered in a cottage in the marshlands….

Highland Folk Tales

Title: Highland Folk Tales (Folk Tales from the British Isles series) Writer: Bob Pegg Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: June 1st 2012 (first published November 30th 2011) Rating: 5 stars ”And these are tales not just written down in books, but known by communities and passed down through families: stories of fairies, ghosts, giants, waterhorses,…

Rain: Four Walks In English Weather

Title: Rain: Four Walks In English Weather Writer: Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication:March 3rd 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The village is far behind me now, its squat church tower lost in trees. The lane I walk is flanked by hawthorn hedges, and on the regress glossy hart’s tongue fens funnel the rain so…

Bone China

Title: Bone China Writer: Laura Purcell Publishing Books: Raven Books Date of Publication:September 19th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”This is the bitterest winter I can recall. Too cold, even for snow. A world washed innocent and white might bring me some comfort, but no – this is the season of sleet and gunmetal skies. Everything is grey and cold….

Witches Sail In Eggshells

Title: Witches Sail In Eggshells Writer: Chloe Turner Publishing House: Reflex Press Date of Publication: June 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’They should never have come. This wasn’t a place well-suited to winter. Even under the frost, the minigolf course had been thick with leaves when they’d crossed it yesterday, and they’d found the boating lake frozen solid, a…

The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort

Title:The Hundred and Ninety Nine Steps & The Courage Consort Writer: Michel Faber Publishing House:Canongate Books Ltd Date of Publication:April 1st 2010 Rating: 5 stars ”Within minutes, of course (or was it hours?), her head was disjoined from her neck, and the seagulls were screaming.” Siân is a student of archeology and has recently joined an…

A Spell of Winter

Title: A Spell of Winter Writer: Helen Dunmore Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 (first published January 1st 1995) Rating: 5 stars ‘’They were bringing my uncle Joseph down the stairs. Narrow, twisty stairs they put in houses where they’d given no thought to the living or the dead. You couldn’t get a coffin up them.’’ Helen…