The White Queen – By Philippa Gregory
Having got a bit of a taste for historical fiction, thanks to Reading books like The Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, Dissolution. Revelation & Dark Fire, I decided to get Phillipa Gregory’s novel The White Queen. Set in the fifteenth century this book tells the story of Lady Elizabeth Grey, whose husband was killed at the Battle of St. Albans and who desperately wants his lands back for her two little boys. So she stands out in the road as the new king, Edward IV, rides by, holding their hands and hoping he’ll see her.
He does see her and takes note not only of her problems, but of her beauty, and before she knows it, Elizabeth becomes his wife and is crowned queen of England and gets in almost over her head with politics and intrigue, including the mystery surrounding the deaths of her two two sons, the Princes John & Edward, who were locked up in the Tower of London and who died under strange circumstances…
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun
The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun retells the ancient Norse legend of the Ring Cycle in two closely connected poems, and is the latest of JRR Tolkien’s many posthumous works to be published. Having read, and thoroughly enjoyed The Silmarillian, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and Children of Hurin, I bought it on impulse (I just couldn’t help myself)
The first part “The Lay of the Voslings” tells the story of Sigurd (Siegfried), who slayed the great Dragon Fafnir, who was guarding stolen treasure, which was supposed to be paid for the building of Valhalla, but which had been “liberated” by a rather angry dwarf.
The poem also tells of how he awoke the Valkyrie Brunhilde, who had been put to sleep, surrounded by a wall of fire, as punishment for disobeying Odin, and how Siegfried entered into a blood Brotherhood with powerful princes called The Niebelungs, and his dealings with an evil enchantress, who was skilled in the arts of magic, shape-shifting & potions.
The second poem “The Lay of Gudrun” tells the story of Gudrun” the Niebelung, after the death of Siegfried, of her marriage against her will to the Mighty Atilla the Hun, his subsequent murder of all her brothers, the Niebelung, and her hideous revenge
Instrument of Darkness by Imogen Roberts
Imogen Robertson’s impressive debut novel “Instruments of Darkness” is available for half-price with the Times Newspaper – it looks like a cracking read too. It sounds like a similar historical murder mystery to Revelation by C.J Samsome, which i really enjoyed, so I would like to get this
It is a crime thriller set mainly at Thornleigh Hall, the seat of the Earl of Sussex,during 1780. whose heir suddenly goes missing, and the once vigorous family is then reduced to a dying man, his whore and his alcoholic second son.
Then when the grim discovery of the body of an unknown man bearing the Thornleigh Arms, is made on the borders of two country estates, the event brings two main characters into focus. Gabriel Crowther, a reclusive anatomist and unwilling investigator, and Harriet Westerman, the wife of the owner of Claveley Park, the estate next door, who both set out to discover just why the man was found with his throat cut.
Then on that same day, a chap named Alexander Adams is also found dead in a London music shop, leaving his young children orphaned. Could there be a chance that the two deaths are linked, and why?
Red Lotus by Pai Kit Fai
This Captivating tale features a beautiful & quick witted woman named Li-~Xia, who refuses to become a concubine, wanting more out of life than to become a painted slave. So she goes to the silk-weaving factory of Ten Willows, to better herself.
Whilst there she finds a loving family. However her happiness is short lived and she is forced to flee, but is rescued by a mysterious stranger called Ben Devereaux, and together they take the first step on a dangerous new journey…
If the Dead Rise Not by Phillip Kerr
I’ve recently re-read Philip Kerr’s edgy atmospheric and gripping detective novel . It takes place in Berlin, during the city’s preparations for the 1936 Olympics, when the Nazis have been in power for just eighteen months but have already introduced some frightening changes to Germany. Jews are being expelled from all German organisations. One such person is a chap named Bernie who is forced to resign as a homicide detective with Berlin’s Criminal Police and is now working as a house detective at the famous Adlon Hotel.
When Two dead bodies are found at the hotel – one a businessman and the other a Jewish boxer. Bernie has to dig to unearth the truth, and discovers a vast labour and construction racket designed to take advantage of the huge sums the Nazis are spending to showcase the new Germany to the world, and he uncovers a sinister plot. This novel has a similar theme to Fatherland by Robert Harris
The Last Child by John Hart
Whilst in hospital I also re-read this Gripping, Suspenseful crime novel Featuring a thirteen year-old lad named Johnny Merrimon who had the perfect life: happy parents and a twin sister that meant the world to him. Until she goes missing, stolen off the side of a lonely street with only one witness to the crime.
His family are shattered by the event and his sister is presumed dead. So Johnny risks everything to find out the truth, which leads him to the dark side of his hometown in a last, desperate search for her. And he finds a city with an underbelly far blacker than anyone could’ve imagined
So he seeks the help of a Detective named Clyde Hunt, who has devoted an entire year to Alyssa’s case, and it shows: he is haunted and sleepless, he’s lost his wife and put his shield at risk. But he can’t put the case behind him – he won’t – and when another girl goes missing, the failures of the past year harden into iron determination. Refusing to lose another child, Hunt knows he has to break the rules to find out the truth & solve the case; and maybe, the missing girl will also lead him to Alyssa…