Book Review: ‘The Winter Guest’ by W.C. Ryan

I was engrossed by this historical novel set in Ireland in 1921 among The Troubles that exploded in 1919 in the Irish War of Independence after the First World War. The Winter Guest by W.C. Ryan brings our investigator and first person narrator Tom Harkin to the atmospheric, crumbling and haunted ancestral mansion of theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘The Winter Guest’ by W.C. Ryan”

The Lure of a Country House Library

I was inspired by an Instagram post I read recently from a fellow-author. She said she was warming up with a cup of coffee at the Dorchester Curiosity Centre in Dorset, while waiting for her MOT to be done, and ‘contemplating how cover design has developed over the decades’. She was looking at an entireContinue reading “The Lure of a Country House Library”

Book Review ‘The Shadowing’ by Rhiannon Ward

Today, I’m pleased to share with you my review of another of my Christmas book gifts: a gothic novel published in 2021 by Orion Books. The Shadowing by Rhiannon Ward is both a captivating read and a learning experience. I read this book in one evening and it gripped me throughout. Variously described on AmazonContinue reading “Book Review ‘The Shadowing’ by Rhiannon Ward”

Book Review: ‘Madam’ by Phoebe Wynne

This gothic novel Madam by Phoebe Wynne held me captive throughout, despite some reservations about the plot and development of ideas. The author builds a strong feeling of creepy, sinister, weird claustrophobia in an exclusive independent girls’ school on the Scottish coast. The main protagonist, Rose, has just been appointed to the highly paid postContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Madam’ by Phoebe Wynne”

Book Review: ‘Down Under: Travels from a Sunburned Country’ by Bill Bryson

Today I’m pleased to share with you my review of one of my Christmas present books. Having visited several of the Australian locations in this book – Sydney, Canberra, Alice Springs, Uluru, Darwin, and the Great Barrier Reef, among several others – I loved reading about Bill Bryson’s experiences there in his brilliant piece ofContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Down Under: Travels from a Sunburned Country’ by Bill Bryson”

The Love of British Folk Tradition: Coventry and Kenilworth Morris at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning

I love Morris dancers, and at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning, all those who had braved the icy winds and crisp chill of the atmosphere were treated to several dances by the Coventry Morris and the Chinewrde Morris Dancers of Kenilworth. Male and female dancers entertained us while we were fortified with hot chocolateContinue reading “The Love of British Folk Tradition: Coventry and Kenilworth Morris at Kenilworth Castle on Boxing Day morning”

Book Reviews: The Poppy Denby Murder Mystery Series by Fiona Veitch Smith

Today, I’m delighted to bring you my reviews of a six book series I highly recommend, having just thoroughly enjoyed reading book six. The Poppy Denby series is widely available online and through bookshops. I’ve enjpyed meeting and chatting to the author Fiona Veitch Smith at writing events, and have followed her writing and publishingContinue reading “Book Reviews: The Poppy Denby Murder Mystery Series by Fiona Veitch Smith”

Book Review: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty

Today I’m pleased to share with you my review of a book I greatly enjoyed. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty is set in the idyllic landscape of New South Wales, Australia. The TV adaptation appeared on our screens in 2021 as a TV mini series starring Nicole Kidman and shifted the action to theContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ by Liane Moriarty”

Book Review: ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’ by Fran Hill

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my review of an ARC of this debut novel by my friend and very funny fellow-author Fran Hill, ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’, to be published by Legend Press on 26 April 2023. BLURB It’s the heatwave summer of 1976 and 14-year-old would-be poet Jackie Chadwick is newly fostered byContinue reading “Book Review: ‘Cuckoo in the Nest’ by Fran Hill”

Book Reviews: ‘1066: What Fates Impose’ and ‘In the Shadows of Castles’ by GK Holloway

Today I am pleased to share with you my reviews and thoughts on two works of historical fiction by GK Holloway which open up for us the years leading to the Norman Conquest of England, and the aftermath. They are ‘1066: What Fates Impose‘ and ‘In the Shadows of Castles.’ Historical fiction gives us aContinue reading “Book Reviews: ‘1066: What Fates Impose’ and ‘In the Shadows of Castles’ by GK Holloway”