Book Review: The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse

The Woman in the Wood - Lesley Pearse

I’ve been wanting to read a book by Lesley Pearse for ages, she’s penned so many books and a few have caught my attention (namely, Dead to Me); when I read the synopsis for The Woman in the Wood, I knew it would finally be my first Lesley Pearse book!

Book Description:

Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960. The twins are sent to their grandmother’s country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods. With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson’s disappearance, and the police soon giving up hope, it is left to Maisy to discover the truth. And she will start with Grace Deville. A woman who lives alone in the wood, about whom rumours abound . . . Continue reading “Book Review: The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse”

Book Review: Soot by Andrew Martin

Soot - Andrew Martin

It’s time to re-enter the world of historical fiction with a murder mystery set in 1799.

Book Description:

York, 1799.

In August, an artist is found murdered in his home – stabbed with a pair of scissors. Matthew Harvey’s death is much discussed in the city. The scissors are among the tools of his trade – for Harvey is a renowned cutter and painter of shades, or silhouettes, the latest fashion in portraiture. It soon becomes clear that the murderer must be one of the artist’s last sitters, and the people depicted in the final six shades made by him become the key suspects. But who are they? And where are they to be found?

Later, in November, a clever but impoverished young gentleman called Fletcher Rigge languishes in the debtor’s prison, until a letter arrives containing a bizarre proposition from the son of the murdered man. Rigge is to be released for one month, but in that time, he must find the killer. If he fails, he will be incarcerated again, possibly for life.

And so, with everything at stake, and equipped only with copies of the distinctive silhouettes, Fletcher Rigge begins his search across the snow-covered city, and enters a world of shadows… Continue reading “Book Review: Soot by Andrew Martin”

Book Review: Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield

falling-creatures-by-katherine-stansfield

A historical crime fiction book set in Victorian Cornwall.

From the back cover:

Cornwall, 1844. On a lonely moorland farm not far from Jamaica Inn, farmhand Shilly finds love in the arms of Charlotte Dymond. But Charlotte has many secrets, possessing powers that cause both good and ill. When she’s found on the moor with her throat cut, Shilly is determined to find out who is responsible, and so is the stranger calling himself Mr Williams who asks for Shilly’s help. Mr Williams has secrets too, and Shilly is thrown into the bewildering new world of modern detection. Continue reading “Book Review: Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield”

Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

burial-rites-hannah-kent

Burial Rites was the winner of my bookish bingo twitter poll, and I thank all who voted for it! Scandinavian Historical Crime Fiction, a beautiful combination that made for a gripping read.

From the back cover:

Northern Iceland, 1829.

A woman condemned to death for murdering her lover.

A family forced to take her in.

A priest tasked with absolving her.

But all is not as it seems, and time is running out:
winter is coming, and with it the execution date.

Only she can know the truth. This is Agnes’s story. Continue reading “Book Review: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent”

Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

his-bloody-project-graeme-macrae-burnet

This book was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016. Historical Fiction with a triple murder at its core.

Book Description:

A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Will he hang for his crime?

Presented as a collection of documents discovered by the author, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers of Culdie, Ross-shire. They offer conflicting impressions of the accused; one interviewee recalls Macrae as a gentle and quiet child, while another details him as evil and wicked. Chief among the papers is Roderick Macrae’s own memoirs, where he outlines the series of events leading up to the murder in eloquent and affectless prose. There follow medical reports, psychological evaluations, a courtroom transcript from the trial, and other documents that throw both Macrae’s motive and his sanity into question. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s multilayered narrative will keep the reader guessing to the very end. Continue reading “Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet”