Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Saltergate Psalter - Chris Nickson ~ Never ever disappoints~

Riveting and sometimes even scary mystery set in Chesterfield in 1361, a time when mysteries and myths abound. The position of Coroner was established by King Richard before 1200 and had its origins even earlier perhaps in Saxon times. This period in Chesterfield illustrates a great deal of power in the office, as demonstrated by de Harville, which John the Carpenter had to work to overcome.

Some of his reluctance to not pursue an outcome had to do also with his own moral sense and curiosity about the events that were transpiring. Too many murders were happening without resolution and both John and the Coroner had their own family issues to attend to.

When Walter, John's brother in law goes missing and is found gravely injured, enough is enough.
An unexpected twist in the story is a nail-biter, or it was for me.

Chris Nickson is a fine historian and an even finer writer. His period detail is so accurate and descriptive that when his characters assume their own life, we are not surprised.

This is the third series I have read by this author, who never ever disappoints. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Daughter of Sand and Stone- Libbie Hawker- Fine historical

Definitely 4.5 stars,thanks to NetGalley for the ARC which was quite enjoyable.I adored much, or even most, of the book but thought the end was a bit rushed. It could have even been two books, possibly?

I knew nothing about Zenobia but very much enjoy Libbie Hawker's books.and this one was no exception. The young adulthood of Zenobia-bat-Zabbai was quite fascinating and exciting, her downfall a bit less so. Did she redeem herself at the end by sparing her people a revolt? I sort of think that she did. 

A complex and complicated time to be living for sure and good to read about at this time in our history. Palmyra, after all is part of modern day Syria, and was old in the period in this novel. There was a Neolithic settlement, as well as written evidence of a historic trading tribal settlement in the Bronze age. 

The author has  a fine author's note referencing this period known as the "Crisis of Third Century" referencing the Roman period. Although Rome had annexed many areas touching Palmyra in the pre Christian era, Palmyra was only dominated for 200+ years by Rome. Apparently that was enough for Odenathus who rebelled and was killed leaving Zenobia a widow.

I recommend the extremely fine period descriptions and scenic word pictures. This was and surely still is an amazing place with breathtaking historical import.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Death Riddle-Maureen Ash- An Anglo-Norman mystery- Fine period detail and mystery - 5 Stars!

A very fine and enjoyable book by Maureen Ash which I hope will be the first of a series?

"It is 1088 and England has been under Norman domination since the successful invasion of William of Normandy twenty-two years before. But William’s recent death has once again plunged the island kingdom into war. The town of Rochester is at the centre of the conflict."

Godric, a young Englishman, is blamed for a crime and claims sanctuary. Estrid, his widowed mother,daughter of an English thegn killed at the Battle of Hastings is determined to exonerate him.

All of this is played out against Odo Earl of Kent's occupation of the town after his troops fell in battle against King William Rufus.

A fine thriller and even better period novel of the first few decades of Norman occupation.

I loved it! Just released and free on KindleUnlimited