Friday, October 31, 2014

Island of the Swans- Ciji Ware ~ wonderful re-issue!

"Re-issued in its original full length, this acclaimed and bestselling romantic historical novel by award-winning author Ciji Ware tells the true story of passionate and flamboyant Jane Maxwell, the 4th Duchess of Gordon (1749-1812)." 

A large but amazingly absorbing book which I have been eagerly reading since I downloaded it. Excellent historical facts and incredibly empathetic and engaging character development make this one of the best I have read in a long time.

My husband's family, interestingly enough came from the town of Huntley so the Gordons of Scotland were doubly intriguing to me.
Jane Maxwell did not have a boring life, although she endured some early childhood problems which encouraged some risky behaviors. 

Her father was a minor Baronet and her parents had an acrimonious relationship. Jane fell in love with a highlander who went to America and was reported to have been killed. Jane was so beautiful she was called "Bonnie Jennie of Monreith, the Flower of Galloway" in song, which surely gave some feeling of entitlement. She and her husband raised seven children during the years they lived together.

Her life was incredibly exciting, as were the times, and it is a must read for historical novel lovers.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Condemned to Death - A Sixteenth Century Burren Mystery ~ A favorite series~

 A Netgalley review not yet released for publication although the preorder link has posted. I adore the Burren mysteries and have read every single one but this one was surprising in its ending.

Mara, Brehon of the Burren is remorseful at the conclusion and I was startled and not a little bit sad. This: "When Mara, Brehon of the Burren, is summoned to the sandy beach of Fanore, on the western fringe of the kingdom of the Burren, she sees a sight that she has never witnessed before during her thirty years as law-enforcer and investigating magistrate..and gradually suspicion dawns that someone near and dear to her is involved in the murder". Hmmm, my Irish premonition or as my greats called it "the Sight" makes me think that the series will have changes.

Going to Cora Harrison's author page I find I was correct but I will keep it to myself. Suffice to say that this wonderful and truly historically correct in every way series will be continuing. I checked all these places out recently in Ireland. Spent part of a day at Bunratty Castle Verdict of the Court was set and chattered on about Turlough.

It is imperative that you start this series if you like Irish, Medieval or Historical Mysteries, or just a great read.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Circle of Fortune - Elizabeth Ashworth ~ Fine and well written

A very fine and well written book and sequel to Favored Beyond Fortune. Elizabeth Ashworth is an excellent writer and her research and detail of period is top shelf.

The demise of Edward II is treated somewhat differently than some novels I have read but it is well within historical possibility. The two books together were exciting and engrossing as was the love story of Alicia de Lacy and Eble le Strange.

I recommend them to those who enjoy this time period, which was immensely complicated and dangerously political, as well as a welcome change from the Tudors.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Favoured Beyond Fortune - Elizabeth Ashworth ~ A Terrific Read!

 I really enjoyed this book and have started on the sequel already, which says a lot. Elizabeth Ashworth has accurate historical and period details which always matter.

As I finished it I was wondering why there are so many Tudor historical books when this period is absolutely both fascinating and terrible. Alicia de Lacey's life and her times really should be explored and I am looking forward to doing just that. 

A terrific read, recommend it very much.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

An Honorable Estate - Elizabeth Ashworth ~ looking for more.~

 I really liked this one, enough to give it 4.5 stars and go look for others by Elizabeth Ashworth. I think it was a very good representation of what actually transpired in Mab's life and what a hard time it actually was. 

Was the kingdom that divided into fragments so that King Edward did not commit things in writing and share with his advisors? Probably that was the case so that all that time had elapsed. I knew nothing of the " year and a day" concept or that women got remarried and still had living husbands.

I definitely recommend this to history fans. A great read and one that had me up late to finish. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Murder in Murray Hill - Victoria Thompson ~ 16th Gaslight Mystery

When facing injustice, the residents of nineteenth-century New York City’s tenements turn to midwife Sarah Brandt and Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to protect their rights. Now, as the Edgar® and Agatha Award–nominated series continues, the two must track down a cruel criminal preying on the hopes and dreams of innocent women…

One of the best so far, but then I always say that about these Gaslight Mysteries, having read every one! We are getting into a different mode for the next one I suspect, Frank will be a private investigator and Sarah will help him, possibly with Maeve as assistant.

We should look for a wedding in the next mystery, with a newly combined family. It is just like visiting old friends, with a mystery thrown in. The period detail is always excellent, with believable characters and a fast moving story.

Get your copy now..4.5 Stars!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blood of the South- Alys Clare ~ Preorder this Aelf Fen mystery now!

How very exciting this new Aelf Fen books was! The Preorder link is posted so order your copy right now. Thanks Netgalley and Severn for letting me preview this one at this time for a review. I give it 5 stars.

When you read this: "When Lassair encounters a veiled noblewoman on the quay at Cambridge one morning.. she assumes involvement with her will be brief. She has no idea that the woman, alone but for her infant child, brings both mystery and peril. Then a devastating flood hits the fens..Lassair, in the company of a sheriff's officer, wonders..What?"

 How could you know how connected Lassair would be in all of this? If you read "Land of the Silver Dragon", you might just begin to suspect that Lassair's family of origin is expending. What ever happened to her Uncle who fled England after  the Battle of Hastings? What does South refer to and what is this we have learned about Iceland?

How do a baby boy, and Icelandic sea captain and a Norman sheriff's officer begin to bring astonishing changes to Aelf Fen? You really must find out, so glad that I did and cannot wait for the next book because all of my questions were not answered.