• Title: The Crown Agent
  • Authors: Stephen O’Rourke
  • Publisher: Sandstone Press
  • Publication Date: 4th March 2021 (paperback edition)

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.


A ship adrift, all hands dead. A lighthouse keeper murdered in the night. The Crown needs a man to find the truth. Doctor Mungo Lyon, his reputation tarnished by the Burke & Hare scandal, and forbidden to practise as a surgeon, is the wrong man.

That’s exactly why the Crown chose him.

My Thoughts:

Originally reviewed in November 2019, but edited and amended slightly.

I can see why Stephen O’Rourke won a a short story competition in 2012 when he used the basis for this story as his submission, and I am mightily glad that he went on to write The Crown Agent in all it’s glory. This is a very enjoyable book, the plotting is superb, characterisation is brilliant and I loved the style of writing.

Every so often, there’s a book that blows you away and I admit, I have been pretty lucky recently as there have been a few books that have stopped me in my tracks and pulled me in to discover the worlds inside their covers. The Crown Agent is one of those books, while I read it I was very aware of how invested I was in the story, feeling a great intrigue about the characters and their schemes, wondering what was going to happen to our disillusioned protagonist and how would he get out of this seemingly impossible situation!

Dr Mungo Lyon becomes involved with an investigation of murder and shipwreck on behalf of the Crown after those in the medical profession find their reputations blackened after the fallout of the body snatching escapades of Burke and Hare. But he has no idea of the danger that lies ahead on his journey, nothing is as it seems and help comes in the most unlikely forms. Weaving through the Scottish countryside, readers are treated to some wonderfully atmospheric scenes, and the vivid descriptions allow crisp mental images to form of the barges used, the rugged terrain and the ports of call along the way. I found myself carried off with the descriptions, I could imagine it all so clearly and it had me keen to go off and look up images online to find out more, eventually leading me to research the era etc in more detail.

Historical tales are always fascinating when they cover aspects I’m not always overly familiar with and I have to say that I felt I’d learned something from reading this book. Although this book is a work of fiction, a lot of research has gone in to making it fit the period of the setting, and making the characters feel authentic and realistic. The plotting is clever, the writing is crisp and O’Rourke sets a pace that keeps readers turning pages as they devour the information to find out the fate of Dr Mungo Lyon. I really hope there will be more from O’Rourke soon!

I would highly recommend this to fans of historical fiction.

Check out the other blogs taking part in the blog tour this week!
  • Title: The Duke’s Runaway Bride
  • Author: Jenni Fletcher
  • Publisher: Harlequin/Mills & Boon
  • Publication Date: 18th February 2021

Copy received from publisher and blog tour organiser for review purposes.


From shopkeeper…

To Duke’s wife

When Beatrix, Duchess of Howden, writes to her estranged husband offering a divorce, she’s stunned when he arrives on her doorstep with a different proposition: a six-week marriage trial! Quinton Roxbury seems cold and inscrutable, but Beatrix gradually realises his rough exterior hides a heavy burden. As their connection deepens, dare she trust him with her own scandalous past and risk the marriage she never knew she wanted?

My Thoughts:

I was so intrigued from the outset with this book … the notion that the Duchess of Howden was writing to her estranged husband to offer divorce, and wanting to live a quiet life doing what she loves most … That had me curious and I really wanted to know more about this character and her life. As it turns out, Beatrix is a lovely character, one who has been hurt and has learned that she must shield herself, build walls to protect herself from events from the past in the hopes that she will not be exploited, hurt or cheated. All well and good until you realise she’s married to a Duke who wants to save his family and his home. Quinton Roxbury is under pressure from those around him, he is the head of the family and in the public eye, he wants to do what’s right for everyone.

A surprising proposition leads to Beatrix and Quinton giving their marriage a chance and it leads to suprising consequences for the entire Roxbury clan. Secrets are unearthed, truths learned and bonds strenghthen as Beatrix touches the lives of everyone around her.
The development of the relationship between Beatrix and Quinton is wonderful to watch unfold, seeing how they interact with each other and other characters because of the influence of the other really changes the characters. Learning about Beatrix and her life before her marriage is fascinating, her reasons for wanting to keep her past hidden make her such an endearing character, her need for self-preservation is admirable. And I loved getting to know each of the Roxbury clan, even the ever so frightening dowager …

The details woven into the narrative really bring the settings alive and make this such an enjoyable read, it felt like Jenni Fletcher had really taken a great deal of time and care to ensure that readers felt transported to the settings of her book and would experience them through the eyes of her characters.

I will definitely be looking out for more books from this author!

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  https://amzn.to/2HP64em

Amazon. com https://amzn.to/35A0gPb

Kobo https://bit.ly/36CPLKp

WHSmith https://bit.ly/36BUpsc

Author Bio

Jenni Fletcher was born in Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels ranging from the Roman to late Victorian eras. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull and has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards, winning for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. She teaches Creative Writing at a university in the north of England and her favourite hobbies are baking and, of course, reading.

Social media links:

  • Title: Her Banished Knight’s Redemption
  • Author: Melissa Oliver
  • Publisher: Harlequin/Mills & Boon
  • Publication Date: 21st January 2021

Copy received from publisher and blog tour organiser for review purposes.


A lady’s need for protection 
A knight’s chance for redemption

Exiled Knight William Geraint answers only to himself. Yet, a mission to find and reunite lost heiress Lady Isabel de Clancey with her family is Will’s chance to finally atone for the torment of his past. With every rushed mile, their intense attraction becomes dangerously thrilling. He swore to protect Isabel not seduce her, but their desire for each other could threaten the redemption he’s worked so hard to achieve…

My Thoughts:

There is so much intrigue around William Geraint and his troubled past that has kept him in exile for years. So when he is tasked with a seemingly straightforward mission of tracking down a lost heiress and returning her safely to her family, I was even more intrigued to see what lay ahead. Especially after such a fascinating first few chapters …

Whilst this is a historical romance tale, there is a fantastic dash of mystery thrown in which makes this such a thrilling read. As readers get to know Isabel de Clancey and watch as she tries to piece together memories from her childhood, they share in her frustrations at not being able to fully see the bigger picture that looms just out of reach. Why was she sent away? Why did no one look for her? What danger lies ahead of William Geraint and Isabel de Clancey on their journey, and will they make it back? The details that are woven into the narrative make this such an exciting read and I loved following William and Isabel as they darted down streets and alleys, or hid in plain sight. The developing attraction between these two characters allowed for great character development, and it was nice to see the way that William opened up, shared what troubled him, not just in recent years, but from his childhood too. This allowed readers a chance to try and understand why this character acted in the way he did.

The historical elements woven into the plot made this a great read, I found that there were bits and pieces I was keeping note of to look up once I’d finished the book (I didn’t want to interrupt my reading to fall down a rabbit hole on Google to research knights and crusades), and have since been scouring for more reads like this.

Vivid descriptions really brought the scenes to life, I loved imagining the landscapes William and Isabel rode through, seeing the tapestries and decorative touches of grandeur … what a perfect escape!

  • Title: His Unlikely Duchess
  • Author: Amanda McCabe
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication Date: January 2021

Copy received from publisher and blog tour organiser for review purposes.


Money can buy her marriage
But will it lead to love?

Miss Lily Wilkins hopes her American money will compensate for her lack of etiquette, as she needs a prestigious marriage to save her sisters’ prospects. Raised to believe wealth was her greatest attribute, she’s stunned when her unconventional ways catch the eye of the notorious Duke of Lennox. He’s far from the safe, sensible match she’d planned on—but Lily might just discover he’s the one she needs!

My Thoughts:

Isn’t it nice to pick up something that transports you to another place, and indeed another time? Well that’s what Amanda McCabe does here in His Unlikely Duchess, giving her readers a glimpse into the world of balls, dinner parties and the likes. The descriptions were so detailed that I felt I was almost watching the story unfold as opposed to reading it, the fashions and gems mentioned throughout the narrative particularly standing out as they sounded so grand and fascinating.

The Duke of Lennox was an interesting character and he contrasted well with Lily Wilkins, their differing statuses in Society making them both stand out, and in turn being a point of rumour and gossip. I enjoyed the way that the reader was able to follow Lily’s thoughts and see her growing attraction towards the Duke, and how his actions caused her moments to question what was going on around her. And I have to say, the way that McCabe has written this character mean that readers may also pause and question what is happening, what his motives are and puzzle over why he behaves in such a manner – always good when an author can evoke that from a reader!

I enjoyed exploring the the landscapes and buildings through the characters, it was a wonderful way to escape at the moment when travel isn’t an option.

Purchase Links –

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unlikely-Duchess-Historical-Dollar-Duchesses-ebook/dp/B08Q7MS4H4/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Unlikely-Duchess-Dollar-Duchesses-Book-ebook/dp/B089YTPXSW/

Author Bio –

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)

 She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

 When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook. 

First Monday Crime for December looks to be a fantastic night with some of the most brilliant names in crime writing and I am thrilled to share a review of a book written by one of these amazing authors.

  • Title: Out For Blood
  • Author: Deborah Masson
  • Publisher: Corgi
  • Publication Date: 10th December 2020

Copy received from publisher via Netgalley for review purposes.


DI Eve Hunter is back.

A young man, the son of an influential businessman, is discovered dead in his central Aberdeen apartment.

Hours later, a teenaged girl with no identification is found hanged in a suspected suicide.

As DI Eve Hunter and her team investigate the two cases, they find themselves in a tug-of-war between privilege and poverty; between the elite and those on the fringes of society.

Then an unexpected breakthrough leads them to the shocking conclusion: that those in power have been at the top for too long – and now, someone is going to desperate lengths to bring them down…

Can they stop someone who is dead set on revenge, no matter the cost?

My Thoughts:

Out For Blood is another outstanding and thrilling read from Deborah Masson. She gives readers a chance to catch up with the the fantastic Eve Hunter, and takes her readers on a dark journey through the twisting and menacing scene of human trafficking and prostitution, with a murder investigation, corruption and betrayal thrown in for good measure.

Without saying too much about the plot, I will say that Masson has once again managed to bring to life the scenes of Aberdeen and the surrounding areas, giving her readers a good idea of the locations used. The characters are realistic and wonderfully created. They get under the skin of the reader, you feel yourself getting annoyed with the attitudes of certain ones, you want to shout at others, you begin to feel the frustrations of Hunter and her team as they come up against brick walls and try to piece the information together to solve the case.

I love the way that we get to see more of the team members as well as Eve Hunter, it was nice to “get to know” them a little more from the first book.. Atmosphere is often a key aspect to crime thrillers and I think with the way the tension is pitched in this book is spot on. The menacing dread in certain chapters makes this a gripping read, you don’t want to put the book down, but equally, you feel almost like peeking out from behind your fingers.

The themes written throughout are ones that require a certain sensitivity and I do think that they have been handled well, highlighting the topics that need to be spoken about and brought to the fore.

It was always going to be tricky when it came to the second novel, but I think it’s safe to say that Hold Your Tongue wasn’t a fluke, and Deborah Masson is a very skilled writer, deserving recognition, nominations and prizes. She has earned her place alongside the greats of the genre and could very well give Stuart MacBride and Claire MacLeary a run for their money.

So highly recommended!

  • Title: Wrecked
  • Author: Louisa Reid
  • Publisher: Guppy Books
  • Publication Date: September 2020

Copy received from publisher as part of blog tour.


Joe and Imogen seem like the perfect couple — they’ve been in a relationship for years and are the envy of their friends at school. But after accidentally becoming involved a tragic fatal accident, they become embroiled in a situation out of their control, and Joe and Imogen’s relationship becomes slowly unravelled until the truth is out there for all to see …

Structured around a dramatic and tense court case, the reader becomes both judge and jury in a stunning and page-turning novel of uncovering secrets and lies — who can be believed?

Normally here I would add my thoughts on a book; I would try to tell you what stood out most, or attempt to introduce you to the characters a little more, but first I want to share a wee author interview and introduce you to Louisa Reid.

Louisa Reid has spent most of her life reading. And when she’s not doing that she’s writing stories, or imagining writing them at least. An English teacher, her favourite part of the job is sharing her love of reading and writing with her pupils. Louisa lives with her family in the north-west of England and is proud to call a place near Manchester home. 

GLOVES OFF is her first novel in verse, and she’s fallen in love with the exhilarating and exciting challenges  and opportunities that writing in this form brings.  Reading and loving the work of writers such as Jason Reynolds, David Levithan and Sarah Crossan inspired her to rise to the challenge.

Louisa writes about things that she thinks are important to young people, and all people generally, really.  Drawn to write about themes of female empowerment and personal freedom, GLOVES OFF is about bullying and body image, with some boxing thrown in too. Louisa hopes the novel will strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had to fight for self-confidence and self-belief  – things which are, for many, very hard won.

Welcome to Children’s Books North’s Autumn Highlights – celebrating new books from CBN members with a tour of Northern and Scottish book blogs.

Children’s Books North aims to connect children’s book professionals living in the North West, North East, Yorkshire and Scotland. The network seeks to promote our members’ work, new books and events. Additionally, CBN is keen to bring focus on the importance of regional diversity in children’s books and the industry.

Autumn Highlights questions:

Tell us about your new book

Wrecked is my second novel in verse, and fourth novel overall. It’s a dark love story and also a tense courtroom drama. The novel opens with Joe Goodenough –  the protagonist – on trial for causing death by dangerous driving. Over the course of the trial, the story of how he came to be standing in court facing a sentence of up to fourteen years is revealed. And it isn’t pretty. Ultimately I think Wrecked is a story about first love, risk taking, and the ensuing tragedies when lives spin out of control.

Share your favourite spread/passage from the book

This verse is one of my favourites because it encapsulates so much of the devastation and distress that the characters have caused and felt. I love verse –  conveying much with just a little, and playing with layout and language…

What/who/where inspired this book?

I’m always inspired by real life events –  in this case the death of a teenager in a town close to where I live was on my mind;  Yusef Makki was allegedly stabbed to death by his “friend”, Josh Molnar, in a drug deal gone wrong, and the court case was very high profile at the time when I was researching and writing. In the end the accused was found not guilty –  a highly controversial verdict for many. So I wanted to write about truth, and guilt, and the factors at play when it comes to teenagers committing horrible crimes.

I was also inspired by reading Sally Rooney’s Normal People –  I just loved the first half of the novel, with the intense and powerful love story of the main characters when they were teenagers, and I wanted to write my own such love story! Wrecked is also inspired by The Great Gatsby – I only realised when I’d finished the novel that Joe’s initials are the same as Jay Gatsby’s…the subconscious clearly doing its work!  As well as love, I explore class and attitudes to money and power –  the carelessness and arrogance of the wealthy is something that really fires me up –  and that’s something that both Normal People and Gatsby look at too.

Nominate one children’s book by a northern or Scottish creative to read this winter.

I love Anna Mainwaring’s novels – I’ll disclose now that Anna is a friend, but I hope I can still nominate her brilliant work. I think as Lockdown Part 2 continues, lots of teenagers and adults would love Tulip Taylor –  Anna’s second book –  featuring a fabulously feisty heroine who stands up to all kinds of challenges. What Anna does so well is that she writes about serious and important topics but with wit and humour. I love her style. And I also love the fact that Tulip is a logophile, like me…

If you could be a character or meet a character from one of your books, who would it be and why?

I’d like to meet Imogen – Joe’s girlfriend – from Wrecked; I definitely wouldn’t want to be her, but I’d like to try to help her to realise what she has, and what she stands to lose. Difficult, selfish and demanding – but charismatic nevertheless – I think I’d approach her with trepidation and curiosity. In reality, I doubt we’d be friends and I also doubt she’d be interested in a word I had to say. Rather annoying, as I am her creator, after all!

Cover Credits: Guppy Books, designer Ness Wood

Publisher Credit: Guppy Books

My Thoughts:

I have to admit that Wrecked is not a book I would have ordinarily have picked up to read, but thanks to the blog tour being run by the amazing folks at Children’s Books North I have added so many new titles to my reading list! Also a few to my shopping list for Christmas … I can’t resist when the books sound so good. Check out the other reviews and posts via the Children’s Books North twitter page or pop over to their website to find out more.

Back to Wrecked … written in verse, it took a moment or two for my brain to adjust to a new style of writing and reading, but once I had become accustomed the words flowed so naturally and I loved the way it all clicked together. Have you ever read something and it just felt “right”? That’s how I felt about the style of this book, a bit like watching the details come alive from the pages, showing me the story, showing me what Joe faced and endured … not always comfortable reading.

There is a powerful but beautiful grittiness to Louisa Reid’s writing (now there’s an oxymoron!), she draws on language to evoke emotion both from her characters and readers. The scenes throughout Wrecked challenge the reader to think about so many things; to decide what is just and acceptable, guilt and what is wrong. But equally, you could just read it as a tale of Joe Goodenough and his journey to this point in his life, and take from it whatever message you felt the author was conveying.

As I read through the book, I felt compelled … I was invested in Joe and Imogen. I needed to find out about them, I needed to know what had happened to this point, and try to untangle the lies around them.

I’d highly recommend this book to YA readers, and others. There is so much woven into the story, and being written in verse means that each word is placed with precision and purpose, themes are explored with thought and give the reader something to ponder in return. I can’t quite put into words how much Louisa Reid’s writing impressed me, I just know that I might have missed out on one of the most moving reads I’ve ever had the privilege if it had not been for this blog tour, so thank you Guppy Books and Children’s Books North!

  • Title: Holly’s Christmas Countdown
  • Author: Suzie Tullett
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books
  • Publication Date: 23rd November 2020

Copy received from author for review purposes.


Holly has been planning Christmas in the Caribbean with her boyfriend Jeremy for the last few months and welcomes the chance to do something different for the festive season. But when Holly catches Jeremy in bed with another woman her hopes are shattered.

Faced with no other option, it appears Holly is going to have to spend Christmas with her eccentric parents. Something she was keen to avoid. 

After a night out, drowning her sorrows with her friend, she has a chance encounter with a handsome stranger, Fin, who provides her with an opportunity to have a Christmas staycation away from her parents. 

But when it turns out that there is more to Fin than meets the eye, and the attraction between him and Holly grows, it looks like she is on the cusp of happiness again.

Will Holly get the Christmas she craved and the man of her dreams?

Holly’s Christmas Countdown is a feel-good romantic comedy, perfect to curl up with on those cold winter nights.

My Thoughts:

I love Suzie Tullett’s books, there’s something so comforting and enjoyable about them, like chatting with a friend and sharing a great story full of laughter.

Christmas is a time to look forward to, that is unless you’re Holly. Her love life has taken a nosedive, she’s keen to avoid her eccentric parents and have a quiet Christmas. Her quiet plans are thrown somewhat when she agrees to something on a night out … alcohol induced amnesia leads to an unexpected visitor that changes everything.

Holly is a fantastic character, she’s bright and bubbly. Readers cannot help but love her, her happiness is infectious, and you almost wish that she were one of your friends.
And then we come to Fin … oh what do I say about Fin?! I wonder how many readers will fall for his charm? I know I certainly did!

If the brilliant characters aren’t enough to keep readers entertained, the plot certainly will. I laughed so much at Holly being shoved into the cupboard, the descriptions of a certain house festooned with Christmas decorations, and the images that Tullett conjured with her words. Especially the wonky sounding Christmas tree! I don’t think I’ve chuckled so much reading a book in ages. But be warned though, some of the food mentioned in the book will have you feeling a little peckish.

Make no mistake, this is the perfect read for the Christmas period, so grab a hot chocolate (or other cozy beverage), get comfy in your favourite reading position and enjoy!

Now, who do we ask about getting this made onto Netflix as a Christmas special?! It would be the perfect wee Christmas film, and I’d love to see who they’d cast as Fin!

  • Title: Ring of Spies
  • Author: Alex Gerlis
  • Publisher: Canelo
  • Publication Date: 15th October 2020

Copy received from publisher & blog tour organiser for review purposes.


As the war approaches its end, Prince once more has to risk everything.

Berlin, 1939: A German intelligence officer learns a top agent is quickly moving up the British Army ranks. He bides his time.

Arnhem, 1944: British paratroopers have been slaughtered in one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War. A shell shocked officer is convinced: the Germans knew they were coming.

But who betrayed them?

Back in London, Richard Prince, detective and spy, is approached by MI5 about a counterintelligence operation. Information is leaking and British troops are dying. Prince has to stop it, and crack the suspected spy ring at all costs. But in the world of espionage nothing is as it seems…

The latest WWII espionage thriller from Alex Gerlis is perfect for readers of Robert Harris, John le Carré and Alan Furst.

My Thoughts:

I have loved WWII espionage thrillers for some time, and Alex Gerlis is one of my go-to authors for books in this genre, along with John le Carré and Phillip Kerr.

For readers perhaps not familiar with the Richard Prince series, it’s not mandatory to have read the previous books (Prince of Spies and Sea of Spies), there is enough detail woven into the narrative to clue you into events that have led to this point, but if you want to really experience the mastery of Gerlis’s writing and get the full picture of Richard Prince then I would highly recommend reading them! I’d also recommend delving into the Spy Masters series by this author, those books are fantastic too!

As always, readers are spoiled with detail, intricate plottings, and fantastic characterisation. One of the things you can always rely on in one of Gerlis’s books is high level of detail, the research that must be done for his books must be immense, but it’s got to be worth it when the reader is faced with such a brilliant book. Bringing the settings alive, readers can almost watch the scenes play out in their minds, watch the characters become embroiled in dangerous situations and hold your breath as they try to break themselves free.

I found that I was racing through the book, eagerly devouring chapter after chapter, and couldn’t wait to see if Prince would crack the spy ring. I loved the way that tension was built throughout and kept me hooked. There is a feeling of authenticity in this that really brings the story to life and reminds me of the other great writers of this genre, and I would highly recommend Ring of Spies (and all the other books by Alex Gerlis).

  • Title: Hill Country Secret
  • Author: Kit Hawthorne
  • Publisher: Harlequin Heartwarming
  • Publication Date: 1st September 2020

Copy received from blog tour organiser for review purposes.


Just a detour…

Or the home she needs?

Lauren Longwood’s freewheeling existence has hit a bump—in more ways than one. Pregnant by her ex, she retreats to Texas and meets charismatic Alex Reyes, as tied to the land as Lauren is to the road. Once, all he wanted was to save his ancestral ranch. Now he wants to offer Lauren the steadfast love that’s eluded her, if she’ll trust him enough to stay.

My Thoughts:

Hill Country Secret is a lovely tale that brings together some really likeable characters, a great setting and some fantastic descriptive writing. You wouldn’t expect it, well I certainly didn’t, but I learned quite a lot about Texan historical reenactments through this book. So much so in fact that I ended up researching various aspects of costumes, crafts, as well as the general history that was mentioned in the plot. I love a book that can spark the curiosity in me.

But back to the story of Lauren and Alex …
In these characters we find people who have been hurt by trauma, we see through their eyes and are given a chance to understand some of their actions. By doing this, Kit Hawthorne makes her characters come alive for readers, she makes you want to know what will happen to them and how they will get past this moment in time that is a barrier to happiness.
The Texan backdrop is vivid and dare I say it, charming. I loved reading about the ranch, Lauren’s friends and the restoration of the bunkhouse. With such rich details about fixtures and fittings I could almost envision the various aspects that Hawthorne wrote about, granted some things I did Google, but I loved the detail and time that was taken to craft such a great narrative.

If you are looking for a heart-warming and enjoyable romance tale, then this is definitely recommended. There are highs, lows, good guys and bad buys. There is a gentle warmth that comes with this tale, and it makes it the perfect book to curl up with.

  • Title: The Slaughter of Leith Hall
  • Author: Lexie Conyngham
  • Publisher: The Kellas Cat Press
  • Publication Date: 17th February 2020

Copy received from blog tour organiser for review purposes.


‘See, Charlie, it might be near twenty year since Culloden, but there’s plenty hard feelings still amongst the Jacobites, and no so far under the skin, ken?’

Charlie Rob has never thought of politics, nor strayed far from his Aberdeenshire birthplace. But when John Leith of Leith Hall takes him under his wing, his life changes completely. Soon he is far from home, dealing with conspiracy and murder, and lost in a desperate hunt for justice.

My Thoughts:

This is the first of Lexie Conyngham’s books that I’ve read and it won’t be the last.
Rich in historic detail, Conyngham weaves a tale that captures the reader’s imagination and you cannot help but become invested in the lives of the characters. Taking time to create a solid foundation for the story, readers are gently eased into the tale and details are built up to give a clear picture of the characters and the background before turning into a page turner that has the reader gripped by the twists and turns, wanting to find out what happens next, the whys and the hows.

The character list at the beginning of the book is great, it helps readers keep track of who everyone is and can act as a quick memory aid if you get lost momentarily.
What really stood out for me was the level of detail that the author has included in her work, she takes great care to evoke vivid images of the settings and period, which I found made me want to research various things and find out more.

If you’re looking for a new historical fiction author, I would highly recommend checking out the other books by Lexie Conyngham, I certainly will be!


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