Friday, April 15, 2016

The Virgin in the Ice - ( Cadfael # 6) - Ellis Peters ~ The best one!

 This was surely the best Brother Cadfael for several reasons, the most important is that after skipping around in the series I did not know how his son was revealed to him. If you do not know what that means, you need to start reading this series!

The winter of 1139 was a bad one for the area when Worchester was sacked during the Civil War between Matilda and Stephen. Adding to that was a very severe beginning to the winter with daily snows and bitter frosts which sent Worchester's inhabitants fleeing north to Shrewsbury. Missing at that time were orphan siblings from a noble family and their companion.

Adding to all these misfortunes were outlaws who abounded and preyed upon innocent people including those Hugh the Sheriff and Cadfael were seeking. A truly complicated and amazing mystery. I loved it! the only bad part is there are now only 4 books left in the series for me..

I shall have to start rereading them. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Trick of Fate- Novella by Kristin Gleeson and Moonyeen Blakey - Get yours!

   London, 1437
 "Alys longs to paint like the artists who created the beautiful paintings at St Michael’s but it isn’t      until a trick of fate sends her sprawling under a noblewoman’s horse that her life takes a different  turn. "

A delightful prequel to the Renaissance Sojourner series! I must refresh my memory of Eleanor the Duchess and start the rest of the series. So many exciting elements are packed into this novella.. Dukes, imperiled duchesses and maybe or maybe not a very fortunate Alys. Witches and scrying glass and young people with strange supernatural gifts abound. 

Let's read this series and find out what happens to Alys and her friends.. 

The Hostage of Glenorchy- The Highland Ballad Series - Kristin Gleeson ~ Preorder this great tale now!

 "With spice, wit and action "..yes all of those.. In 1551 when Mary, Queen of the Scots, was fourteen their was a poison plot against her. One Robert Stuart was executed in France but perhaps was innocent. 
Kristin Gleeson has said that she tries to inject a sense of time and place into her stories, and further that time and place are just the setting for her novels, and not the reverse. I really can see that happening here in this great tale of Scotland.

The heroine is Gabrielle "Abby" Gordon, daughter of a musician who is in France as a court musician and a French mother who is absent from her life. The Gordons are familiar to me as my husband's Ingram family lived for 500 years in Huntly Aberdeenshire, townland of the Earl of Huntly, a Gordon. They became a bit more familiar as players in this dangerous political intrigue I just read about.

As the story ends I am wondering if Abby goes on to Glenstrae and meet up with Iain MacGregor or travel back to France to her father. So excited there is a sequel. Order your copy of this book now. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Ides of June - Rosemary Rowe - Another great one~ Preorder today!

4.5 Stars. A great new one by Rosemary Rowe who is a master of tales of Roman Britain and the creator of Libertus.

I really like it and it is my favorite so far of the Libertus books. Why? I so appreciate books about Roman Britian and I learned a great deal reading this about  Celtic roundhouses, language customs and everyday life at that time. The different populations that were coexisting at this time period in Rome makes it a compelling read for me.

 The very favorite part for me was the journey to hide Julia and the children; the language and cultural differences that separated the two families was a unique look at this period. Next, I think was that this period in time, between Emperors was so fraught  with dangers for Romans and Natives alike. 

Also I felt that the routines of daily life for Libertus, and his now extended family, were thoroughly enjoyable to read and think about. Equally entertaining were Julia and Marcus and their children's roles that were explored.

The Tanner and his family were another delightful excursion from the ordinary and I am so glad they were able to move up a bit in society and had their son bought back from slavery. Glimpses of the countryside as it may have been at that time were really entrancing to explore.

Recommended for those who love mysteries set in other countries and eras.

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Night Wanderer - An Aelf Fen Mystery by Alys Clare

Alys Clare has a unique style of writing and her mysteries are always complex. This one had so many twists and turns I had to back and up and reread but it was quite enjoyable. The eleventh century was still a time of great superstition and fear of  the supernatural. 

Enter Lassair, who is already a bit mysterious, a "healer" with some supernatural powers of her own. She travels on foot back and forth from Aelf Fen with a  magical shining stone that protects and warns her, a heirloom from her Icelandic grandfather.

Jack, the local lawman who works for the sheriff, and Lassair are determined to solve the grisly murders that need to investigate because of their careers. At one and the same time they are getting to be more than close friends which  could complicate their lives.

Is the Night Wanderer a deranged killer or something more? Lassair's instructor, a magician and his counterparts and she herself are in danger.

 A very fine read with accurate period detail with a big dose of mystery thrown in. Pre-Order this one now!