England -- fiction

04/18/2017 - 2:15am
River of Darkness by Rennie Airth

It takes a serious case to bring Scotland Yard detectives to the countryside, but, without doubt, that is what the local Bobbies have on their hands. Detective John Madden, a hollow-eyed veteran of the Great War, has a knack for discovering the truth behind baffling crimes, even if his manner leaves some of the more politically savvy officers cold. In the case of the violent murder of a fine, upstanding family, the horrors presented are disconcertingly familiar to him, even if they do not match their otherwise bucolic village setting.

The mystery behind Rennie Airth’s River of Darkness unfolds in a time when class distinctions were still very real, but the 1920s was also a period of greater freedom, when some women, such as the village’s lovely Dr. Helen Blackwell, might discover other outlets for their interests and passions. All the while, men who had survived the war might not survive the battles that raged in their minds. Psychiatry was still in its infancy, and fingerprints, as well as casts of footprints and tire tracks, were the common limits of scientific investigation. The rest was up to logic, hard experience, curiosity, and intuition.

06/21/2016 - 2:54am
The Woman in Blue by Elly Griffiths

Dr. Ruth Galloway, heroine of Elly Griffiths’ popular set of mysteries, has been called to the rural parish of Little Walsingham to investigate a mysterious murder. Galloway, a devout atheist, has managed to avoid Walsingham for the last 17 years since she’s been in Norfolk. The town is crawling with religious fanatics and devoted Christians.

06/06/2016 - 1:27am
The Night Gardener: A Scary Story by Jonathan Auxier

Orphans Molly and her younger brother Kip are looking for work away from their home in famine-stricken Ireland. They find it at the Windsor estate, an isolated, sprawling house in England that is a lot more than it seems.

As they work and live with the Windsors, Molly and Kip begin to discover that the atmosphere of the old, crumbling mansion is slowly taking the life force of the once-cheerful family of four.

05/24/2016 - 1:18am
Plague Land by S.D. Sykes

Two years after the infamous and hideous Black Plague swept the continent of Europe, 18-year-old Oswald de Lacy finds himself the Lord of Somershill.

Although he does not wish to claim the title, he has no other choice since the Sickness took his father and two older brothers, leaving him to deal with a crumbling estate; an overbearing, paranoid mother; an unmarried, spoiled sister; and extremely fearful peasants.

05/12/2016 - 2:32pm
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

What teenage girl has not sighed over the plight of Jane Eyre and the love story in Wuthering Heights? The novels contain “the collective imagination” poured into them by millions of teenage girls. In The Madwoman Upstairs, narrator Samantha Whipple is the last Brontë heir. She is related to three of the most famous women writers, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë, but she has a contentious relationship with them. Gothic and imaginative, The Madwoman Upstairs is a tribute to the Brontës.

04/06/2016 - 3:45am
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice: or, On the Segregation of the Queen by Laurie R. King

A chance encounter with the legendary Sherlock Holmes alters the life trajectory of fifteen-year-old Mary Russell. In The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, by Laurie R. King, Mary literally bumps into Holmes while roaming the hills near her cottage. After the initial awkward run-in, the two are immediately drawn to each other’s insatiable curiosity and superior intellect. As both of Mary’s parents died in a horrific accident, her friendship with Holmes is a welcome respite from her days with a cold, disapproving aunt.

12/15/2015 - 2:51am
Blotto, Twinks, and the Ex-King’s Daughter by Simon Brett

He: likes foxhunting on his fine stallion Mephistopheles, whiskey & soda, but above all else, cricket. His form is handsome and athletic. His mind uncluttered with much in the way of philosophy or common sense.

She: enjoys fashion, researching/knowing everything, and breaking men’s hearts. Well, she doesn’t really like it. Simply an occupational hazard when one is such a beautiful breath-sapper. But what this to-the-manor-born brother and sister like most is solving murders. To catch the “coffinators” is their aim.

12/14/2015 - 2:50am
The Badger Knight by Kathryn Erskine

Twelve-year-old Adrian is too small and sickly to be a warrior. What's more, he is an albino. Due to his pale skin and white hair, some villagers think that he is a demon. The other kids call him Badger when he puts dirt under his eyes to fight the intense glare of the sun. If everything goes according to Adrian's new plan, though, people will soon be calling him The Badger Knight.

11/30/2015 - 9:27am
Sorcery and Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer

“Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country”

If you care for your Austen/Regency romances with a difference—but not necessarily zombies, Sorcery and Cecelia might be your cup of tea.

09/01/2015 - 10:46am
Longbourn by Jo Baker

What would Jane Austen’s delicate world look like from the point of view of the young woman who launders the family’s linen? Life at Longbourn can be as raw as Sarah the housemaid’s hands as she lugs buckets of water across an icy courtyard. It’s not that the Bennet family isn’t well-liked by their servants. It’s simply that there’s a world of difference between what goes on above and below stairs, as Jo Baker deftly shows in her award-winning novel.

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