City of Masks by S D Sykes – review

Published by Hodder and Stoughton Publication date – 13 July 2017 Source – review copy 1358. Oswald de Lacy, Lord Somershill, is in Venice, awaiting a pilgrim galley to the Holy Land. While the city is under siege from the Hungarians, Oswald lodges with an English merchant, and soon comes under the dangerous spell of…

The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier – review

Published by Virgo Press Publication date – 6 May 2004 Source – review copy ‘How long he fought with them in the darkness he could not tell, but at last the beating of the wings about him lessened and then withdrew . . . ‘ A classic of alienation and horror, ‘The Birds’ was immortalised…

Excellent Intentions by Richard Hull – review

Published by British Library Publication date – 10 May 2018 Source – review copy “From the point of view of the nation, it’s a good thing that he died.” Great Barwick’s least popular man is murdered on a train. Twelve jurors sit in court. Four suspects are identified – but which of them is on…

Where the Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon – review

Published by Bantam Press Publication date – 19 April 2018 Source – review copy ‘You know those cracks in your heart, Lorna, where things didn’t work out, but you picked yourself up and carried on? That’s where the fear gets out. And where the light gets in.’ It was Betty, defiant to the end, who…

The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman – review

Published by Trapeze Publication date – 30 November 2017 Source – review copy Following a traumatic incident in London, Jennifer Dorey has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper. After the discovery of a drowned woman on a beach, she uncovers a pattern of similar…

The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West – review

Published by Virago Publication date -3 May 2018 Source – review copy This is a masterful novel about a shell-shocked, amnesiac soldier returning from WWI to the three women who love him. Published as part of a beautifully designed series to mark the 40th anniversary of the Virago Modern Classics. The soldier returns from the…

The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin – review

Published by Orion Publication date – 22 March 2018 Source – review copy Will every treasured possession find its perfect home? Nora’s world has been turned upside-down. Escaping heart-break in London, she returns to her childhood home in Dublin where her grandmother’s beloved house is being sold. Nora has been left with an inheritance of…

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim – review

Published by Vintage Publication date  – 9 July 2015 Source – own copy Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot, cowed and neglected by their husbands, make a daring plan: they will have a holiday. Leaving a drab and rainy London one April and arriving on the shores of the Mediterranean, they discover a flower-filled paradise of…

The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – review

Published by Quercus Publication date 2 June 2016 (orginially published 2009) Source – own copy Dr Ruth Galloway is called in when a child’s bones are discovered near the site of a pre-historic henge on the north Norfolk salt marshes. Are they the remains of a local girl who disappeared ten years earlier – or…

Young Anne by Dorothy Whipple – review

Published by Persephone Books Publication date – 19 April 2018 Source – review copy Young Anne follows the life of Anne Pritchard from a young girl of five to a grown woman in her early twenties. The story shows Anne’s early years, her time at school, falling in love and her first job. There are…

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland – review

Published by Bonnier Zaffre Publication date – 19 April 2018 Source – review copy Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . . Her relationship with her mother is…