The Foundling

Title: The Foundling Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: Manilla Press Date of Publication:  February 18th 2020 (paperback edition published April 7th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ”People tossed all sorts into the river, including themselves.” London, 1754. Bess is one of the unfortunate mothers who have to leave their children in the Foundling Hospital, with the desperate hope that…

Dear Mrs Bird

Title: Dear Mrs Bird Writer: A.J.Pearce Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ”Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they’ve only themselves to blame.” London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the…

At Freddie’s

Title: At Freddie’s Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: Fourth Estate Date of Publication: March 7th 2013 (first published 1982) Rating: 5 stars ”Although Freddie usually began by saying something gracious, the caller’s first instinct was that of self-preservation, or even to make sure that the door, now to the rear, could be reached in a hurry. Yet in fact, no…

Lancelot

Title: Lancelot Writer: Giles Kristian Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: May 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I smell the rising fog of the crowd’s breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud….

Devil’s Day

Title:Devil’s Day Writer: Andrew Michael Hurley Publishing House: John Murray Date of Publication: October 19th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ”Oh, the day is done, the honest’s won- The apples and the hay, The leaves will wither on the bough, And all will fall by Devil’s Day.” Decades ago, the Endlands were attacked by the Blizzard. Livestock and residents fell…

Sisters

Title: Sisters Writer: Daisy Johnson Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: July 2nd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”My sister is a black hole. My sister is a tornado. My sister is the end of the line my sister is the locked door my sister is a shot in the dark. My sister is waiting for me. My…

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,…

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…

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…

A Classic Christmas: A Collection of Timeless Stories and Poems

Title: A Classic Christmas: A Collection of Timeless Stories and Poems Writer:Various Publishing House:Thomas Nelson Date of Publication:October 1st 2019 Rating:5 stars ”Some say that ever ‘gainst that reason comes Wherein our Saviour’s birth is celebrate,  The bird of dawning singeth all night long. And then, they say, no evil spirit walks; The nights are wholesome;…

Christmas Ghost Stories

Title: Christmas Ghost Stories Writer: Various Publishing House:The Folio Society Date of Publication: 2005 ”This ae nighte, this ae nighte, Every nighte and alle, Fire and fleet and candle-lighte, And Christe receive thy saule.” Lyke Wake Drige Lament Christmas is arguably the jolliest time of the year. Lights everywhere, bright ornaments, laughing children singing beautiful carols. Ages-old traditions…

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….

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….