EDC Review: Footsteps of the Templar by Lucy Brazier

Russians digging up ‘his garden’. The Bursar’s doing. No wonder The Dean a little cranky, that is a little more than usual! Footsteps of the Templar, the fourth of the PorterGirl novels, brings once more together; strange Fellows, Porters of all levels, the Heads of much put upon Kitchen and Laundry, the Police, one mounted, one an accomplice to a Wedding, and, the French a new dimension – and did I mention cats, I think I’d better. Yes, Old College as we know it, or think we do, well does anyone, and what do the French have to do with such an English institution? The plot, well stitched, no loose ends, no holes other than, that is, The Bursar’s. Third person narration, we see inside the minds of all, beyond Deputy Head Porter’s perception good as that has always been; we now know what Head Porter is thinking, a certain Headmistress, I didn’t know he had it in him! Lucy Brazier writes with a light, engaging touch; mischievous, at times eccentric, with humour and sensitivity, all beautifully balanced. A class act this author, she’ll have you smiling, beginning to the end, and wanting to read again.

 

 

EDC Review: Echo Murder by Laura Laakso

 

Echo Murder (Wilde Investigations Book 2) by [Laakso, Laura]

Back Cover Blurb

Yannia Wilde returns to the Wild Folk conclave where she grew up, and to the deathbed of her father, the conclave’s Elderman. She is soon drawn back into the Wild Folk way of life and into a turbulent relationship with Dearon, to whom she is betrothed. Back in London, unassuming office worker Tim Wedgebury is surprised when police appear on his doorstep with a story about how he was stabbed in the West End. His body disappeared before the paramedics’ eyes. Given that Tim is alive and well, the police chalk the first death up to a Mage prank. But when Tim “dies” a second time, Detective Inspector Jamie Manning calls Yannia and, torn between returning to the life she has built in Old London and remaining loyal to the conclave and to Dearon, she strikes a compromise with the Elderman that allows her to return temporarily to the city. There she sets about solving the mystery of Tim’s many deaths with the help of her apprentice, Karrion. They come to realise that with every death, more of the echo becomes reality, and Yannia and Karrion find themselves in increasing danger as they try to save Tim. Who is the echo murderer? What sinister game are they playing? And what do they truly want?

EDC Review

Spring 2019 sees the publication of Echo Murder, the second book in the Wilde Investigations series; the first, Fallible Justice, published in autumn 2018. Each investigation is a complete stand-alone story, yet, there is so much more to these novels than the crimes; a world of paranormal races in coexistence with humans so imaginatively, so deftly explored you’ll want to read both books to experience the full magic of author, Laura Laakso’s mind.

In time frame, Echo Murder takes place over 10 days; the ‘first’ murder happening (albeit unknown then) on the day before Fallible Justice ends – a neat touch, one of many that you’ll find. As with Fallible Justice, Echo Murder is set out by days, with indicative chapter headings which further entice and intrigue as you read. The beauty of these books are the core characters and location – Private Investigator, Yannia of the Wild Folk, her apprentice, Karrrion, a Bird Shaman and Detective Inspector Jamie Manning of the Metropolitan Police – operating in Old London, an oasis of magic in a London we know.

In Echo Murder, their interplay, their dependence on each other deepens and grows; with further telling cameos from Lady Bergamon and Wishearth, scene stealers whenever they appear. Overall, a complex plot, a good story, well told; the read not quite as compelling as ‘Fallible Justice’ but that’s simply because it took a while to get back to Old London where, for me, the Wilde Investigations live and breathe.

EDC Review: The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson by Helen Kitson

This is the second book review I’ve posted this year. both are debut novels published by Louise Walters Books.  The first was by Laura Laakso.

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Book Blurb … Once upon a time Gabrielle Price wrote and published an extraordinary novel. But twenty years on her literary star has dimmed, her “work of genius” is all but forgotten, and no further novels have materialized. She now lives an unremarkable life: middle-aged, living alone in the sleepy village she grew up in, and working as a housekeeper for the local vicar. Her lonely existence is dominated by memories of her best friend Madeleine, who died young, in tragic and mysterious circumstances. Gabrielle’s quiet world is turned upside down when she meets and befriends Simon – young, attractive, a would-be writer, and enthusiastic fan of the astonishing novel that Gabrielle published all those years ago. Charmed and flattered, she recklessly invites him into her home and her heart. But Simon is mysterious and manipulative, and it’s not long before he forces Gabrielle to confront the demons in her past. Gabrielle’s obsession begins to destroy her carefully cultivated life, and she comes to feel increasingly threatened by Simon’s presence. Who is he? Why did he seek her out? And what does he really want?

EDC Review  … I received an advanced reading copy of ‘The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson’ from Louise Walters at Louise Walters Books without obligation – this review is how I read it. The back cover blurb sets the story up well; it is accurate, enticing and doesn’t spoil in any way. The front cover I found intriguing and on reading the book its relevance sank in. From the start, it was obvious the author, Helen Kitson, is an accomplished writer. Her style a balance between literary and psychological fiction; with a well judged tilt towards good story telling. Balance is the key word for me; of pace and description, of past and present, of what thought and said, of living with memory and irrational desire – and as the reader, taking in the moment and not thinking too far ahead.  I got a real sense of the author writing the book she wanted to read; and her publisher too – another balance well made. I’ve been trying to think of a book, a writing style this reminds me of, I can’t–it’s a book by Helen Kitson – enjoy.

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