The Blackened Heart
By Alison Weir
The Blackened Heart by foremost and beloved historian Alison Weir is an e-short and companion piece that bridges the first two novels in the Six Tudor Queens series, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. Fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick will delight in this mysterious tale, drawn together from fragments of history - and a good dose of speculation. Or is it...?Margery Otwell, a self-made gentleman's young daughter, gets her first taste of courtly life when she takes up a position as chamberer to Lady Peche of Lullingstone Castle. Dances, music, feasting - and a seduction - follow, and Margery learns the rules of courtly love the hard way.Saved from disgrace by the kindly Sir John Peche, Margery finds herself at court waiting on Queen Katherine. Little does Margery know that she is already a pawn in a game of power, irrevocably bound to the fall of the lady she will come to love as her mistress, Queen and friend.Praise for Alison Weir and Katherine of Aragon: 'A tender understanding of and genuine sympathy for this proud, much-loved and honourable Queen. . . I was gripped [from] start to finish' Mavis Cheek'Well-researched and engrossing' Good Housekeeping'Shatters the many myths about Henry VIII's long-suffering first wife' Tracy Borman'Weir is excellent on the little details that bring a world to life' Guardian'Yet again, Alison Weir has managed to intertwine profound historical knowledge with huge emotional intelligence, to compose a work that throws light on an endlessly fascinating historical figure. Yet her real gift in all of this is making it feel so fresh and alive' Earl Spencer'Alison Weir clearly admires her heroine . . . meticulously researched' The Times'This exquisite book charts the rise and fall of Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine. . . A fascinating insightinto this period of our history. Weir's undeniable strength is her immaculate description, enabling the reader to be transported back to Tudor England' Sun'Weir manages to untangle the complex web of 16th-century politics, shown through Katherine's duties as ambassador, and her astute reading of the games being played. This adds greatly to the heft of the character, demonstrating what a competent woman she was becoming' Herald Scotland'Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen is a true tour de force. Finely crafted, this novel is wonderfulhistorical fiction and an outstanding introduction to the Six Tudor Queens series' Queen Anne Boleyn Blog'Known for bestselling historical biographies, Alison Weir is in command of her detail . . . her handling of Katherine's misery and dignified response to her predicament is very touching' Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
Break of Dawn
By Rita Bradshaw
Each day brings a new beginning...Her mother's death in childbirth leaves Sophy Hutton at the mercy of her cruel aunt and uncle, and her childhood is brutal. At sixteen, Sophy learns the shocking truth behind her birth and escapes to London to pursue a career as an actress, determined to put the past behind her.But life for women at the turn of the century is fraught with danger and Sophy soon discovers the darker side to London's glamorous theatres. Young and innocent, she doesn't recognise the man who really loves her when he appears; instead she is charmed into marrying handsome actor Toby Shawe, a flawed and amoral individual. Then the heartache really begins...
Behold A Pale Horse
By Peter Tremayne
The brilliant new novel by the internationally bestselling author of the Sister Fidelma mystery series.AD 664: Sister Fidelma finds herself in the seaport of Genua, en route from Rome back to her native Cashel. Her old teacher, Brother RuadÃ¡n, lies dying in the abbey of Bobium - an isolated abbey in a disturbed country where even the Christians are in bloody conflict with one another and the worship of the pagan gods often prevails. Fidelma is determined to see Brother RuadÃ¡n before he dies. But from the moment she enters the beautiful valley of the Trebbia, there is danger on every side. Her dying teacher's last words send her off on her most dangerous adventure where murder follows murder and a vicious civil war threatens before an extraordinary conspiracy is revealed. And from the start, Fidelma is on her own...
The Brotherhood of Five
By Clio Gray
A stunning new crime novel from this award-winning writerThe Island of Thanet, 1808. One man is pushed into a kiln of molten metal beneath the looming shadow of the Shot Tower, and another is dug up from the sandy bay beyond. Who they were, and why they died so strangely, is no ordinary mystery, and Missing Persons Finder Whilbert Stroop has a hard time finding answers. On arrival in this marshy, coastal corner of Kent, on the very edge of England, Stroop tries to piece together the puzzle of these deaths, and the significance of the objects each man died trying to protect. It is a conspiracy that began ten years before on the battlefields of Europe, and one that will claim more lives before it is done.
Before The Storm
By Judith Lennox
On an autumn day in 1909 wealthy young Richard Finborough catches sight of twenty-year-old Isabel Zeale at the harbour at Lynmouth in Devon. Her beauty captivates him. Aware of shameful secrets in her past, Isabel has no intention of letting anyone into her life, but Richard's persistence and ardour eventually win him her trust - and her hand in marriage. The decades pass and Isabel and Richard raise a family through the turbulent times of the First World War and the 1920s. As her children reach adulthood, Isabel is convinced her secret is safe - until an old acquaintance emerges from the shadows, turning her world upside down. To protect the happiness of those she loves most, Isabel must find the courage to confront what came before, and live with the consequences...
The Blood Of Flowers
By Anita Amirrezvani
'Sensuous and transporting... filled with the colours, tastes and fragrances of life in 17th century Isfahan. Amirrezvani clearly knows and loves the ways of old Iran, and brings them to life with the cadences of a skilled story-spinner' Geraldine Brooks THE BLOOD OF FLOWERS is a mesmerizing historical novel about a young Iranian woman whose destiny changes on the sudden death of her father. Forced to leave their village, the woman and her mother travel to the beautiful city of Isfahan, where they are taken in by an uncle, a wealthy carpet designer, and his unsympathetic wife. When an ill-considered action results in the heroine's fall from grace, she is forced into an extraordinary secret marriage. Spirited and rebellious, she wants to be free to live a life her own choosing, if she can find a way.'The most wonderful book... Fascinating, totally original and utterly gripping' Esther Freud'The prose... positively glows on the page, and the characterisation is similarly acute, notably of the wonderfully drawn heroine. As a journey into a society that will be alien to most readers, this is a remarkable achievement' Barry Forshaw
By Peter Tremayne
A series of horrific murders has brought terror to the Kingdom of Muman. The victims, all young girls, were slaughtered with unspeakable violence on the nights of three consecutive full moons. Suspicion falls on three dark strangers from the distant land of Aksum (Ethiopia), who are guests at the Abbey of Finbarr. A panic-stricken mob attacks the abbey, leaving the religious in fear for their lives. Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf are called in to restore order and find the killer, but it soon becomes clear that the three mysterious strangers are hiding a dark secret. And what about the ageing Laig, a hermit-like apothecary, who is known to have instructed all three victims about the magic and power of the moon; what sinister truths are hidden in his dark woodland dwelling? As Fidelma struggles to repair her faltering relationship with Eadulf, can she uncover the truth before the killer strikes again on the next night of the full moon?
By Murder's Bright Light
By Paul Doherty
It is the winter of 1379 and a sea of trouble is besetting England. French privateers attack the southern coast on a path to threaten London itself. In response an English flotilla of warships, with God's Bright Light in its number, has dropped anchor in the Thames. When the sun rises on their first morning, however, further mysteries are in store. The first mate and two of the crew of God's Bright Light have disappeared without trace.Sir John Cranston, the wine-loving Coroner of the City, and his clerk, the Dominican Monk, Brother Athelstan, are summoned to resolve the mysteries on board the ill-omened warship. In particular, they must search out the truth behind the death of Sir Henry Ospring, who had visited the ship's captain prior to his death only to be viciously stabbed to death in a tavern chamber. Could the events be connected? As Cranston and Brother Athelstan investigate, they find themselves in the thick of a bloody battle on the Thames as scandal, treason and murder rule the day.
A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury
By Edith Pargeter
From Edith Pargeter, who also wrote as Ellis Peters, A BLOODY FIELD BY SHREWSBURY is a vivid medieval tale of Henry IV's kingdom in crisis. 'Chivalry, treachery, conflict of loyalties... The clash of wills is as stirring as the clash of steel' Observer It is 1399. Henry Bolingbroke, unjustly banished and deprived of his inheritance by Richard II, returns to claim his rights and deposes the king to become Henry IV of England. He is aided by the powerful lords of Northumberland, especially by his friend, Harry Percy, nicknamed Hotspur.But the triumph of his accession quickly turns sour in the face of ever-growing crises in his new kingdom, and Wales is the most pressing and troublesome of these. For although Henry's son and heir, Prince Hal, is the nominal Prince of Wales, the Welsh have a prince of their own blood in Owen Glendower, and they are swift to rally to his rebellious call to arms.The three Henries all wish to see the House of Lancaster succeed, but their partnership contains the seeds of its own destruction. The memory of past crimes and growing doubts and divisions cause a dangerous rift. The king also has powerful enemies who are all too willing to take advantage of this and tension mounts as the three men are drawn inexplicably to a bloody collision some two miles from Shrewsbury...
Barrow in the Broadway
By Pamela Evans
From playing in the backyard to being taken in by Queenie when her own mother was killed in an air raid, Rosie Goodson has been part of the Gordillo family for as long as she can remember. She watched their business grow from a fruit and vegetable street barrow to a chain of supermarkets - and as soon as she was old enough, she went to work in the head office.But passion, bitterness and her unhappy marriage to the selfish Mickey Gordillo alienate her from them; for in her heart Rosie carries an undying love for a man she can never marry...