Posts tagged with "England"

Posted by Ultra Violet on 04/21/11
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A light mystery set in 14th Century England. The sleuth is a surgeon at Oxford and bailiff of Bampton Castle. A great read for history buffs and anglophiles.

Posted by mingh on 03/15/12
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January, 1737. Snow blankets Newcastle Upon Tyne. With plans afoot to build new Assembly Rooms for concerts, musician sleuth Charles Patterson is more concerned with the murder of an entire family. It looks an open-and-shut case--the murderer was the fashionable Alice Gregson, who'd upset several neighbours with her snobbish London airs and graces. But where is she now? And why is her sister convinced of her innocence? Patterson must solve the case before the snow clears, allowing the murder to escape the town

Posted by Ultra Violet on 06/17/13
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Attention fans of BBC America's Supernatural Saturday! Coming in 2014 is a new series based on the historical fantasy novel, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.
 
If you haven't read it, now's your chance. It's 782 pages, so you may want to start now. Two magicians are bringing magic back to England with their skills and knowledge of long forgotten lore. As the Napoleonic Wars rage on, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell find themselves pitted against a deliciously crafty fairy.
 
Fans of dark fairy tales and historical fantasy will enjoy this beautifully crafted story.

Posted by cclapper on 02/17/11
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A. D. 1000 - The Northern Reaches of Europe: Raef flees from Constantinople with Leif, Icelandic warrior, and the girl Laissa.  Suddenly bereft of Raef's patroness and washed up upon the shores of Normandy, Raef is ordered back to Jorvik, his father's hall in England...
 
And that's just the start.  A continuation of Cecilia Holland's The Soul Thief, this looks to be a raging good adventure; one that might capture most guys' attention.  Looks great to me!
 
Cecilia Holland ("...one of the most respected historical novelists in the world.") has garnered great adjectives: 'rousing' and 'vivid', with 'continual action'.  Worth a look-definitely!

Posted by cclapper on 07/05/11
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Everyday Modern England  --  with magic? Suppose you were a probationary constable hoping to become something interesting...like a murder detective for example.  Too bad it looks like you're headed to the Case Progression Unit (which means: Paperwork Central).  Fortunately you've got a fierce sense of humor.  And you'll need that humor 'cause the girl you're really hot for is probationary, too- and actually headed to the murder detective squad.  Then the two of you wind up minding a murder scene late one bitter night, and while she runs for hot coffee you stumble across a significant witness to the crime.  A knowledgeable eyewitness.  Who happens to be a ghost.
 
Great.  Who's going to believe you?
 
Or worse: what if someone does believe you?
 
Attitude, wit and a whole new take on the supernatural- this the first in a new series by Ben Aaronovitch, and the second is already on the way: Moon Over Soho (coming soon to a Library near you!)  This narrator has got real character.
 
Nancy Pearl says it's "something special".
 
"Fresh, original, and a wonderful read.  I loved it."  writes Charlaine Harris.
 
And Diana Gabaldon thinks it's "...a hilarious, keenly imagined caper."
 
Names to conjure with!

Posted by cclapper on 04/25/11
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Cornford, Buckinghamshire, England -- 1940: Norman Huntley (you know, son of the master and proprietor of Huntley's Bookshop) and his friend Henry Beddow have fertile imaginations.  Fertile and productive.  In fact, quite too fertile and productive. 
 
Spinning one of their frequent fabrications from the whole cloth, they devise Miss Hargreaves: poet, cockatoo-owner and octogenarian, niece to the Duke of Grosvenor and on and on... she seems so jolly Norman fires off a letter to her and chortles up his sleeve.
 
As Norman's father has warned him, "Always be careful, my boy, what you make up."  
 
Far too fertile and productive, as I've said.  For the incredible Mss Hargreaves appears at their door.  Exactly as they have projected her.  And life slips sideways.
 
This is Historical Fiction because it is set in 1940's England.  In fact, Frank Baker published it in 1940, and it has now been re-published as part of The Bloomsbury Group, "a new library of books from the early twentieth century chosen by readers for readers."
 
If you've run out of Wodehouse and completely exhausted Sedaris, give this a try. 

Posted by cclapper on 09/06/11
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Sherwood, England -- 1189: Robin Hood... in a new light.  Alan Dale, running from the law, flees into the realm of the master outlaw, Robin Hood.  Robin takes him as apprentice, and begins to introduce him to a world more violent and dangerous than we imagined.  Alan's training is a risk.  And who know how many of the band will survive.  The Normans want them dead, and are completely ruthless.  Some of the band may not be who they seem.  Arrows- with blood.  Not the light-hearted romps of the old television shows.
 
Angus Donald is building a new series, beginning with this book.  The next is Holy Warrior, and a third is in the works.  Nelson DeMille calls Outlaw "Superb!".  That counts.

Posted by mingh on 04/02/12
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London, summer of 1584: Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy Giordano Bruno suspects he is being followed by an old enemy. He is shocked to discover that his pursuer is in fact Sophia Underhill, a young woman with whom he was once in love. When Bruno learns that Sophia has been accused of murdering her husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury, he agrees to do anything he can to help clear her name.

In the city that was once England's greatest center of pilgrimage, Bruno begins to uncover unsuspected secrets that point to the dead man being part of a larger and more dangerous plot in the making. He must turn his detective's eye on history,on Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and on the legend surrounding the disappearance of his body, in order to solve the crime.

As Bruno's feelings for Sophia grow more intense, so does his fear that another murder is about to take place; perhaps his own. But more than Bruno's life is at stake in this vividly rendered, impeccably researched, and addictively page-turning whodunit;the stability of the kingdom hangs in the balance as Bruno hunts down a brutal murderer in the shadows of England's most ancient cathedral.


Posted by cclapper on 06/02/11
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'Jerusalem College', Cambridge -- 1786: Humbled publisher/bookseller, now destitute, selling books from a barrow, is approached by the mysterious factotum of a wealthy patron.  The reclusive widow has a proposition- evaluate her late husband's valuable and extensive library then examine the college library to see if it is worthy of receiving select tomes from the dead man's archive.  But other designs are veiled beneath this subterfuge, touching on mysterious deaths and secret happenings.  Hints and allegations... and the Holy Ghost.
 
Andrew Taylor has been awarded the Cartier Diamond Dagger award, the Crime Writers' of America recognition for lifetime achievement.
 
The blog you are reading is an 'early warning' radar for new, promising historical novels blazing up over the horizon.  Summaries I read, and the Cartier award, induced me to pick this one up immediately and read through.  Interesting characters and events- though I wish it gave me a bit more of the "feel of the times".   (Yes... no plumbing... and?)  Taylor's Cartier makes me suspect his other works may be even better.  Still- an interesting time to touch down !    

Posted by Ultra Violet on 12/06/11
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A delicate collection of short stories with a slight tinge of the sinister. Great wintertime reading with a pot of tea. Clarke creates a sensuous world of mystical beings and rich settings.