Eleven Lines to Somewhere

Title: Eleven Lines to Somewhere Writer: Alyson Rudd Publishing House: HQ Date of Publication: July 23rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A woman alone could not be alone, it would appear. They all think they can own you, help you, pester you, intimidate you. Only when the trains were moving was she safely in a bubble…

The Port of London Murders

Title: The Port of London Murders Writer: Josephine Bell Publishing House: British Library Date of Publication: October 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was quite dark now, but lights twinkled everywhere, making bright oath across the black water. And far away on all sides, a red and orange glow covered the sky, shining steadily on…

The Lost Storyteller

Title: The Lost Storyteller Writer: Amanda Block Publishing House: Hodder & Stoughton Date of Publication: July 8th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Then there had been his stories, which felt like memories because at the time she’d believed they were true. She’d tiptoed past a knobbly boulder on the moor because he’d whispered it was a…

Errantry: Strange Stories

Title: Errantry: Strange Stories Writer: Elizabeth Hand Publishing House: Small Beer Press Date of Publication: November 13th 2012 Rating: 3 stars ‘’For as far as he could, there was only night. Ghostly light seeped from a room downstairs onto the silver of lawn. Starlight touched on the endless sweep of moor, like another sea unrolling…

Circus of Wonders

Title: Circus of Wonders Writer: Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House: Pan Macmillan Date of Publication: May 13th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Have a long look, why don’t you?’’ Nell is unique, graced with a special kind of beauty. But the others cannot understand, they think she is an abomination, a cursed creature, lower than the low….

Open Water

Title: Open Water Writer: Caleb Azumah Nelson Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: April 13th 2021 (first published February 4th 2021) Rating: 5 stars ‘’You came here to speak of shame and its relation to desire. There should be no shame in openly saying, I want this. There should be no shame in not knowing…

Girl, Woman, Other

Title: Girl, Woman, Other Writer: Bernardine Evaristo Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Amma is walking along the promenade if the waterway that bisects her city, a few early morning barges cruise slowly by, to her left is the nautical-themes footbridge with its deck-like walkway and sailing mast…

Thames Mudlarking

Title: Thames Mudlarking Writer: Jason Sandy, Nick Stevens Publishing House: Osprey Publishing Date of Publication:  April 20th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Without the River Thames, London would not exist.’’ Mudlarking and London’s past and present. There is an unbreakable bond between the great metropolis and the mudlarkers who bring the treasures of bygone eras to…

The Hatmakers

Title: The Hatmakers Writer: Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar Publishing House: Norton Young Readers Date of Publication: January 7th 2021 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It was a wild and lightning-struck night. The kind of night that changes everything. Jagged forks of light ripped across the sky and thunder rolled in tidal waves over the rooftops…

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Title: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Writer: Imogen Hermes Gowar Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published January 25th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Somewhere a tide is turning. In that place where no land can be seen, where horizon to horizon is spanned by shifting twinkling faithless water, a wave humps…

The Dante Chamber

Title: The Dante Chamber Writer: Matthew Pearl Publishing House: Penguin Press Date of Publication:May 29th 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’A poet never sees ghosts.’’ London, 1869. The metropolis is buzzing in its heyday. The glamorous Victorian court, the elegant literary circles, the world that changes. And right there, visible to all, yet unacknowledged by the…

At Bertram’s Hotel

Title: At Bertram’s Hotel Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: Harper Date of Publication: 2002 (first published 1965)\ Rating: 5 stars ‘’The children of Lucifer are often beautiful.’’ Hotels are fascinating places. Well, they can be quite a nightmare if you’re careless while booking or if the residents are a bunch of barbarians (which is often…

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…

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…

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…

Transcription

Title: Transcription Writer: Kate Atkinson Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 (first published September 6th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Winston Churchill 1950. Juliet is a BBC producer, responsible for the children’s zone. Intelligent, energetic and a talented writer,…

Things In Jars

Title: Things in Jars Writer: Jess Kidd Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Below her, streets and lanes, factories and workhouses, parks and prisons, ground houses and tenements, roofs, chimneys and tree tops. And the winding, sometimes shining, Thames- the sky’s own dirty mirror. The raven leaves the river behind and charts a…

Occult London

Title: Occult London Writer: Merlin Coverley Publishing House: Oldcastle Books Date of Publication: May 1st 2018 (first published June 1st 2007) Rating: 4 stars ‘’London is a city whose origins remain obscure and whose identity remains bound up with the mythical and the legendary, the hidden and the occult.’’ One of my most beloved semi-urban myths/ modern fables/ occult instances/…