Posts Tagged ‘Olga Wojtas’


** My thanks to Robbie at Saraband for my copy of this book **



Fifty-something Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name.

Impeccably educated and an accomplished martial artist, linguist and musician, Shona is thrilled when selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a one-week mission in 19th-century Moscow: to pair up the beautiful, shy, orphaned heiress Lidia Ivanovna with Sasha, a gorgeous young man of unexplained origins.

But, despite all her accomplishments and good intentions, Shona might well have got the wrong end of the stick about her mission. As the body count rises, will she discover in time just who the real villain is?

My Thoughts & Review:

First and foremost, would you take a look at that cover?!  It’s lovely isn’t it?  So eye catching and enchanting!  I am a sucker for a nice book cover, I make no apology for that, I’m merely proving the art departments right when they design a book cover to wow readers.

Anyway, moving on to the book itself, when I first heard about this one it was put to me as “sort of cosy crime, really witty and not really a crime title, although it involves some murders”, well that was enough to grab my attention and I’m really glad I did read it.

We first meet Shona in 19th Century Russia as she attempts to gain an audience with Madame Potapova, a member of the Russian high society when a tragedy occurs.  Through Shona’s narration the reader learns how she came to find herself in 19th Century Russia, a series of interspersed recollections scattered throughout give a interesting insight into this character.
Shona has been tasked with a delicate mission, one that she cannot fail and it all hinges on the fate of a shy heiress who is appearing in Society for the first time since childhood.  Taking to her mission with gusto, Shona dives straight in at the deep end and soon has Russian aristocrats jigging away to the Dashing White Sergeant in an attempt to save the failing atmosphere at the party thrown by Lidia Ivanovna.

There is cosy crime feel to this novel, it has dead bodies and mystery that require someone to puzzle the pieces together for the final “Ah-ha!” moment when the cunning reveal is made.  The way that the plot is structured means that readers can enjoy the mystery as it unfolds, will Shona succeed on her mission, what secrets are being kept by various characters, what are the events that no one must speak of, these are all things that keep the story moving along at a comfortable pace.
The richness of the descriptions used throughout mean that readers get a good feel for the settings and the scenes in this book, the way that Nanny is described did give me a chuckle, got to love a fellow knitter!  But even down to the small details of the parquet flooring, the outfits worn and the highly decorated samovars, it all evokes a great sense of atmosphere and did make me feel like I had been transported.

I did find the style of writing took a little getting used to, it is an intelligently written book that is an enjoyable read.  I especially enjoyed comedy and wit that was liberally dotted around, Shona’s sense of humour and use of Scottish phrases made her a very endearing character.

You can buy a copy of Miss Blaine’s Prefect & The Golden Samovar via:

Amazon UK
Book Depository


Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour:

MBP blog tour

Read Full Post »


Writing for Kids

The Auld (Woolly) Alliance

When a Scottish Knitwear and Toy Designer and a French Compulsive Knitter Meet...

Put it in Writing

The Blog & Website of Anne Stormont Author: Writing, Reading, Reflecting


“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” - Cicero

Not Another Book Blogger

Reading, Writing, Drinking Tea


A friendly space for all horror, mystery & thriller lovers

Broadbean's Books

Welcome to my blog where I share my thoughts on books.

Berit Talks Books

“I'm just a girl, standing in front of a book hoping I will love it.”

Yvonne - Me and My Books

Books, book reviews and bookish news.

The Beardy Book Blogger

Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB

Book lovers' booklist

Book news and reviews

Rosepoint Publishing

Blogger-Book Blogger–Book Reviews of Bestsellers & Indie Authors

Crime Thriller Fella

Crime reviews, news, mayhem, all the usual


Books, bakes and bunnies

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

Letter Twenty

it's all about the tea

On The Shelf Books

A bookblog for readers

Gem's Quiet Corner

Welcome to my little corner. Grab a cup of tea (or hot drink of preference), find your happy place and join me to talk all things bookish...