An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

An  intriguing title, a lovely cover, a promise of history and mystery gave me high hopes for ‘An Appetite for Violets’, and I am pleased to say that they were met. More than met.

The opening sets up the story beautifully.

A man arrives at a villa in Tuscany, looking for his sister, the lady of the house. But she is gone; her whole household is gone; only her little dog, the dog he knows she never would have abandoned, remains. Downstairs he finds a dining table is laid for a feast.  He climbs the stairs, fearful of what he might find.  But all he finds is a mannequin, clad in a lovely pink dress, and an envelope. He opens the envelope and a fabulous ruby falls out.

I had to find out what had happened, what led up to that extraordinary scene.

19825708A few months earlier Biddy Leigh had been an under-cook at Mawton Hall. I liked her from the moment we met: she was bright, she was curious, she was capable, she loved what she did, and her future was full of promise. She was going to marry her young man, and they were going to run a tavern together.

Biddy didn’t know it, but her life was going to change.

The widowed master of the house brought home a new, young bride. Lady Carinna was spoiled, temperamental and horribly demanding. She had her eye on Biddy for some reason, and she often called her to her side. When Lady Carinna decided to travel to her uncle’s estate in Italy she decided than Biddy would be in her retinue. It wasn’t what Biddy wanted, but her young man told her that they needed the five guineas that she would earn for their future, and it was only for a year. She knew that she had to go.

Biddy was thrilled when Mrs Garland, the cook who had guided and taught her, entrusted her with ‘The Cook’s Jewel.’ It was a journal that had been written in by generations of cooks; an extraordinary anthology of recipes and knowledge. The contents of that book were scattered through the story; recipes from the past and recipes that Biddy learned on her journey across Europe. It was a lovely, lovely touch, and oh how I wish I could have a copy of ‘The Cook’s Jewel’ to keep with my copy of ‘An Appetite for Violets.’

It was clear from the start that Lady Carinna was a schemer, but it took time for her plans for Biddy to become clear. At first I thought I was a step ahead, that I could see what she couldn’t. But she caught on, and she held her end up brilliantly. But she didn’t see all of the consequences, and neither did I.

I loved Biddy’s voice, and there were other voices too, and they opened out the story. There was Mr Pars, the butler, who had nobody who could talk to, but who could share his feelings in his letters to his bother. And there was Loveday, a black slave who had been torn away from his wife and children on a remote island. He and Biddy became friends; she was the only one who was interested in his story, who treated him with respect, who called him Mr Loveday.

Some very clever plotting explained just how that opening scene came to be, with lovely twists and turns, marvellous drama, and lots of lovely details. After that, the story moved forward to a very fine ending. It was unexpected and it was exactly right.

I loved the storytelling: the voices were distinctive, the period touches were lovely, and the story was captivating. There’s a lot more than history and mystery, but this is too good a book for me to spoil for anyone else. It’s a lovely, it’s distinctive, it’s full of interest, and it’s told with just the right amount of verve. The author’s love of her story and everything in it shone from the pages.

I can understand that: she’s written a fabulous first novel!

A Box of Books for 2014

Some people make year-end lists, but I prefer to pack a box of books as each year draws to a close.

I have loved lists – writing them, reading them, studying and analysing them – since I was a child. And yet I find it difficult to sum up a year of reading in a list or two.

So I’m going to do what I’ve done for the last few years. I’m going to assemble a virtual box of books to capture all of the things that I’ve loved about the books I’ve discovered this year.

This year there have been a lot of classics, a sprinkling of new books, and shamefully few works of non fiction.

It might sound like a list, and maybe it is, but to me feels like I’ve pulled some great books from the shelves because those are the books I want to pull from the shelves right now. It’s not quite so definitive somehow.

And here it is – in the order that I read them:

2014-12-27

The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull

“An operation she restore Adeliza’s sight – she had cataracts – allowed her to learn and discover even for. Her joy in seeing the world that she had previously only known by touch was palpable, and so very, very moving. Adeliza was still constrained by her lack of hearing, but she was freed by an upbringing that had been free of so many of the restrictions that would have been placed on other children of her age.”

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

“I loved the tone, the wit, the style, the echoes of great novelists; and I was dazzled by the depth of knowledge, by the love of the creator for her creation that shone from the pages, and by the work that she had so clearly done to allow this world so rich in detail, so real and so magical, to live and breathe.”

How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

“I met a woman and, though we didn’t have too much on common, we bonded over books. We agreed about many – though not all – of them, she made me see a few books and a few of their heroines in a different light, and I wondered if I might have done the same if I could have only spoken back to this book. Oh the dialogue we might have had!”

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

“There were so many scenes, so many moments, that took my breath away. It broke my heart that whatever The Count of Monte Christo did, there was no vengeance that could bring back those long years that had been lost in prison, or bring back happy future that had once been before the young Edmond Dantès. He knew that. He was a fascinating character,and I could never let go of his story.”

The Castle on the Hill by Elizabeth Goudge

“This is a story of the darkest days of World War II, when only England stood against the Nazi forces advancing across Europe, and when the fear of invasion was very, very real. Elizabeth Goudge lived on the south coast of England then, close to the eye of the storm, it was during the war that she wrote this book, and it was clear as I read that she knew and she that understood.”

* * * * * * *

2ndAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

“This is a book full of utterly believable characters and relationships. the depth and the detail of the characterisation.
That’s what I’ll take away with me. That and a head full of images …. Anna encountering Vronsky at the station …. Levin seeing Kitty on the ice ….. Karenin ill at ease as he visits a lawyer …. Kitty at her brother-in law’s death-bed ….  and most of all the final scenes of Anna’s story, which was one of the most compelling and moving pieces of writing that I have ever read”

An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

“I loved the storytelling: the voices were distinctive, the period touches were lovely, and the story was captivating. There’s a lot more than history and mystery, but this is too good a book for me to spoil for anyone else. It’s a lovely, it’s distinctive, it’s full of interest, and it’s told with just the right amount of verve. The author’s love of her story and everything in it shone from the pages.”

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

“The story was perfectly judged; mystery, suspense, romance, and just a dash of the gothic, woven together by a craftswoman at the height of her powers. And there was a nice balance of elements that were recognisably ‘Mary Stewart’ and elements that made this story distinctive. It was full of wonderful details; and I particularly liked the way that the small debt to Jane Eyre was acknowledged.”

The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric

“There’s wit, there’s colour and there’s love threaded through what might otherwise have been a very dark story. And at the centre of it all are those fascinating, infuriating sisters; they quarrel bitterly, they feud, they take sides against each other, but they also cling together and keep each others secrets. Such a wonderful portrayal of sisterhood! I loved watching them all interact, and their conversations were a joy.”

Sugar Hall by Tiffany Murray

“‘Sugar Hall’ illuminates the time when the war was over but the consequences were still being felt, and the post-war world hadn’t quite begun. It explores the consequences of old sins and the reverberations they send into the future. It considers the importance of the home, the consequences of leaving, the importance of having a place in the world.  And it does that with the lightest of touches, so that the stories of lives and the story of the ghost can live and breathe.”

* * * * * * *

3rdCan you Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

“I am so pleased to say that I have finally discovered why so many readers love Anthony Trollope. In fact, if it isn’t wrong to say so after reading just the one book, I am now one of them. I’d picked up one or two books over the years and they hadn’t quite worked. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them but I didn’t love them, they weren’t the right books; I had to find the right place to start, the right book at the right time at the right time, and this book was that book.”

Tryst by Elswyth Thane

“There were some lovely moments, some amusing, some heart-warming, some sad, as Hilary made his way home and as Sabrina curled up in an armchair to read from his bookshelves. And though the arc of the story had a feeling of inevitability it never felt predictable, and I was always held in the moment. I was involved. I cared.  The characters are simply drawn, the logic probably wouldn’t stand up to close inspection, and I can’t deny that the story is sentimental. But it works beautifully, if you take it for what it is: a simple, ghostly, old-fashioned romance.”

Four Gardens by Margery Sharp

“I have to believe that Margery Sharp loved people; that sometimes they saddened her, sometimes they amused her; that maybe, like me, that there were so many people in the world and that they all had their own life stories that might be told. She clearly loved Caroline; she blessed her with a lovely inner voice and she gave her story exactly the right tone. There’s gentle wit, wry humour and acute observation in this story of a life well lived.”

Valentine by George Sand

“George Sand constructed and managed her plot beautifully, attending to every single detail; she brought the countryside to life with wonderfully rich descriptions; and she made her characters’ feelings palpable. She gave me a wonderful story, full of wonderful drama, and so many real emotions. And it was a story with much to say, about the separation of social classes, about the lack of education and opportunity for women of any class.”

The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes

“This story is clearly underpinned by detailed research. The practical arrangements in the high-security hospital seemed credible; the different approaches of the staff to their work, the ways they lived and the ways that they coped rang true. That was fascinating. And I loved learning about The Foundlings Hospital. Kate Rhodes teaches me something new about London with every book, and it is clear that she loves that city that she brings to life on the page.”

* * * * * * *

4thThe Good Companion by Una L Silberrad

“Julia was the star of the show. She was bright, she was capable, and she had such empathy and understanding. She could accept that others had weaknesses, had different values, wanted different things in life. Julia was prepared to work hard, and to learn from her mistakes, as she tried to live set her life on the right course. She was confident that she would, that she could, do that, because she loved people and she loved the world she lived in.”

The Wild Swan by Margaret Kennedy

“Back in the 1920s Margaret Kennedy’s second novel, ‘The Constant Nymph’, was a huge, huge success. It was one of the bestselling novels of the decade, it became a successful stage play and then Margaret Kennedy was called upon to write a screenplay. That led her to more work in Britain’s film industry, and that experience underpins this very fine novel.”

Privileged Children by Frances Vernon

“Frances Vernon would have sat very well in the Virago Modern Classics list, and I suspect that she might have read a few of those green books when she was very young and they were very new. She was born just three months before me, we would have been in the same school year, and I am quite sure that we would have read and many of the same books.”

Cometh Up as a Flower by Rhoda Broughton

“The story is simple, but it is made special by the way it is told. Nell’s voice was underpinned by excellent writing, and Rhoda Broughton’s understanding of character and her command of the story stopped this from becoming a sensation novel. It’s a very human story of love, passion, betrayal, loss … In its day it was deemed shocking – because Nell spoke of meeting her lover covertly, of enjoying his attention, of her reluctance to be intimate with the man she might have to marry – but there’s nothing at all that would shock a reader now.”

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

“It is said sometimes that Dickens’ characters can be flat. I can understand that because I know that there were sides to these people that I didn’t see, but in ‘Bleak House’ that didn’t matter. I was shown the aspects of their characters and their behaviour that I needed to be shown as the stories unfolded, and I found it easy to believe in these people and their lives.”

* * * * * *

 I’m pleased with what I’ve read, but next year I’d like to read a few more contemporary novels and much more non fiction.

Now tell me, what would you put in your box for 2014?

And what do you plan to read in 2015?

Now We Are Six …..

….. my blog and I. It was six years ago today that I pressed ‘post’ for the first time.

I feel that I should say something profound, but I’m just going to say THANK YOU!

To everyone who has come by and to everyone whose paths I’ve crossed and whose words I’ve read.

It’s been lovely to meet you!

(And if you’ve been quietly lurking I’d be so pleased if you decided that today was the day to say ‘hello’.)

There have been ups and downs along the way, but I’m still so glad that I took that first step.

I thought I should do something, and it occurred to me that I could adapt Jo’s game of sixes.

Six books for each of my six years. Not necessary my favourite six, but six very good books to track my reading journey.

* * * * * * *

2008/2009

1The Great Western Beach by Emma Smith

Doreen by Barbara Noble

South Riding by Winifred Holtby

Miss Cayley’s Adventures by Grant Allen

The Solitude of Thomas Cave by Georgina Harding

London War Notes 1939 to 1945 by Mollie Panter-Downes

A pitch perfect memoir of a Cornish childhood; a sensitive account of the torn loyalties of a wartime evacuee; I can think of no word but masterpeice; a lovely heroine’s adventure at the end of the 19th century; maybe the best opening of a novel ever; life in wartime London caught perfectly.

* * * * * * *

2009/2010

2Love in the Sun by Leo Walmsley

Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico

Florence and Giles by John Harding

Joanna Godden by Sheila Kaye Smith

Diamond Star Halo by Tiffany Murphy

Beside the Sea by Veronica Olmi

It’s wonderful what you find on the Cornish shelves in the library; bitter-sweet and pitch-perfect; a gothic tale in a wonderful, unique voice; if only all rural novels were; a new story with lovely roots in books gone by; a tale to leave you lost for words.

* * * * * * *

2010/2011

3Sacrifice by S J Bolton

Miss Ranskill Comes Home by Barbara Euphan Todd

Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown

Never No More by Maura Laverty

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Thunder on the Right by Mary Stewart

This was the year of my Crime Fiction Alphabet; I was inspired to write a letter to a wonderful heroine; in which it is proved that border terrier people can really write; oh, Delia;  I was captivated; one of my mother’s favourite became one of mine.

* * * * * * *

2011/2012

4Ten Days of Christmas by G B Stern

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy

Diving Belles by Lucy Wood

The One I Knew the Best of All by Frances Hodgson-Burnett

White Ladies by Frances Brett Young

Catherine Carter by Pamela Hansford Johnson

A wonderful discovery in the basement of a used bookshop; a timeless wintery tale; the essence of Cornwall; the author as a child who loved books and gardens; I wondered and when I saw the reviews of a Librarything friend I knew that I would love FBY; I passed by her books when I was younger, but this one caught my eye years later, and I loved it.

* * * * * * *

2012/2013

5The Love-Charm of Bombs by Laura Fiegel

The Pinecone by Jenny Uglow

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker

Lucy Carmichael by Margaret Kennedy

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Five authors and their work in wartime illuminated; and extraordinary lady, who left such a legacy; my favourite Pym; A story of magical creatures that says much about humanity; of course there has to be a Margaret Kennedy novel; a lovely little book, full of wintery words and images.

* * * * * * *

2013/2014

6The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

Tryst by Elswyth Thwaite

Four Gardens by Margery Sharp

Valentine by George Sand

Now I understand my so many so love this book; this was a wonderful way to vist the past; I fell in love with Trollope this year; a lost gem – romantic suspense at its very best;  no list of this kind would be complete without Margery; I saved this book because I thought it would be special and I was right.

* * * * * * *

 I wonder what happens next.

I don’t know how much longer this will go on, but for now at least I have no plans to go anywhere.

I have one or two things planned for next year, and I need to simplify things a little bit. I’ll explain more another day.

Today is for saying THANK YOU!

Sixes

It was Jo’s idea a couple of years ago, and now it’s become an annual event – celebrate the first six months of the reading year by putting six books into each of six categories.

Not quite as easy as it looks. I’ve tweaked the categories to suit my reading style, and because I wanted to push disappointments to one site and simply celebrate some of the books I’ve read and the books I’ve discovered.

Here are my six sixes:

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Six books illuminated by wonderful voices from the twentieth century

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield
The English Air by D E Stevenson
The Castle on the Hill by Elizabeth Goodge
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

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Six books from the present that took me to the past

The Visitors by Rebecca Maskell
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey
Turning the Stones by Debra Daley
The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric
Sugar Hall by Tiffany Murray

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Six books from the past that pulled me back there

Wired Love by Ella Cheever Thayer
Esther Waters by George Moore
Griffith Gaunt by Charles Reade
Nine Pounds of Luggage by Maud Parrish
The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

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Six books that introduced me to interesting new authors

Wake by Anna Hope
Still She Wished for Company by Margaret Irwin
The Lie of You: I Will Have What is Mine by Jane Lythell
Mr Perrin and Mr Traill by Hugh Walpole
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff
None-Go-By by Mrs Alfred Sidgwick

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Six successful second meeting with authors

The Auction Sale by C H B Kitchin
The Twelfth Hour by Ada Leverson
A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon
Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
Mrs Westerby Changes Course by Elizabeth Cadell
Her by Harriet Lane

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Six used books added to my shelves

The Heroes of Clone by Margaret Kennedy
The Serial Garden by Joan Aiken
Portrait of a Village by Francis Brett Young
The West End Front by Matthew Sweet
The Stag at Bay by Rachel Ferguson
Elizabeth’s Women by Tracy Boorman

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Do think about putting your own sixes – it’s a great way of perusing your reading, and I’d love to read more lists.

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books of the Year

I never seen to manage to catch themes and pull together lists for ‘Top Ten Tuesday’s at The Broke and the Bookish) at the right time, but this week I’ve finally done it!

Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year

I had to eliminate re-reads to have a hope of getting down to just ten books, and even after that I had to make some hard decisions, but I think I’ve done it

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The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull

A lovely and unusual coming of age story, set in Victorian England.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

I was captivated by the wonderfully wrought story, of an England that had been rebuilt with have the history and presence of magic quite beautifully woven in.

The Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield

I was nervous about meeting the Provincial Lady, but when I did I found her such wonderful company that I quite forgot my shyness.

The English Air by D E Stevenson

This story of English and German cousins, set as World War II begins, shows D E Stevenson’s strengths and has almost none of her weaknesses.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Storytelling so rich, so profound, that it held me from start to finish of a ridiculously long book.

The Castle on the Hill by Elizabeth Goudge

A slow and thoughtful story of lives reshaped by war, and of the importance of having a place in the world, told with love and understanding.

Griffith Gaunt by Charles Reade

A Victorian novel that really should be better known: it grows from a melodrama, into a psychological novel, into a courtroom drama ….

An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

A lovely mix of history, mystery, food and travel

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

I love Mary Stewart and I love governess stories, so this was heaven.

The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric

My book of the year to date. It took my breath away ….

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Which books would you pick out as your favourites this year?

Books read in 2014

JANUARY

The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (re-read)
Wake by Anna Hope
Told in Winter by Jon Godden
The Winter Babies by Charles Kingsley
The Lie by Helen Dunmore
Ruth Hall by Fanny Fern
The Auction Sale by C H B Kitchin
A Killing of Angels by Kate Rhodes
Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson
Still She Wished for Company by Margaret Irwin
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

FEBRUARY

Wired Love by Ella Cheever Thayer
The Girl with a Clock for a Heart by Peter Swanson
A World of Girls by L T Meade
How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis
Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
The Lie of You; I Will Have What is Mine by Jane Lythell
Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
The Twelfth Hour by Ada Leverson
Mrs. Sinclair’s Suitcase by Louise Walters

MARCH

Diary of a Provincial Lady by E M Delafield
The Silversmith’s Wife by Sophia Tobin
Menfreya in the Morning by Victoria Holt
Reasons She Goes to the Woods by Deborah Kaye Davies
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (re-read)
Three Fevers by Leo Walmsley
The Book of You by Claire Kendall
The Crimson Ribbon by Katherine Clements
The English Air by D E Stevenson
Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden

APRIL

Dark Aemelia by Sally O’Reilly
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas
A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon
The Castle on the Hill by Elizabeth Goudge
The Blue Sapphire by D E Stevenson
Wilfred and Eileen by Jonathan Smith (re-read)
Turning the Stones by Debra Daley
The People in the Photo by Hélène Gestern
Mr Perrin and Mr Traill by Hugh Walpole

MAY

The Telling Error by Sophie Hannah
The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart
Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
None-Go-By by Mrs Alfred Sidgwick
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Griffith Gaunt by Charles Reade
An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey
Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
The Mother’s Recompense by Edith Wharton
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

JUNE

Nine Pounds of Luggage by Maud Parrish
The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters by Michelle Lovric
The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter (re-read)
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
Mrs Westerby Changes Course by Elizabeth Cadell
Sugar Hall by Tiffany Murray
The House on the Cliff by D E Steveson
Can you Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope
Her by Harriet Lane
A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe
Letters from Constance by Mary Hocking

JULY

Tryst by Elswyth Thane
The Stormy Petrel by Mary Stewart
Not in the Calendar by Margaret Kennedy
The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
Devotion by Nell Leyshon
Red Sky at Morning by Margaret Kennedy
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp

AUGUST

Strangled Prose by Joan Hess
The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson
Mona and True Love’s Reward by Mrs Georgie Sheldon
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume
Valentine by George Sand
The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman
The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes
A Wreath for the Enemy by Pamela Frankau
The Stranger You Know by Jane Casey

SEPTEMBER

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
Mirror of Danger (Come Back Lucy) by Pamela Sykes
Sara Dane by Catherine Gaskin (re-read)
Thornyhold by Mary Stewart
Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (re-read)
Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud
The Caterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
The Kill by Jane Casey
Phineas Finn by Anthony Trollope
The Good Companion by Una L Silberrad
Anderby Wold by Winifred Holtby

OCTOBER

The Wild Swan by Margaret Kennedy
A Night in Cold Harbour by Margaret Kennedy
The Provincial Lady Goes Further by E M Delafield
The Adventurous Lady by J C Snaith
Privileged Children by Frances Vernon
The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
The Girl Who Couldn’t Read by John Harding
The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson-Burnett

NOVEMBER

The Girl Behind the Keys by Tom Gallon
To The Edge of Shadows by Joanne Graham
Cometh Up as a Flower by Rhoda Broughton
The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable: A True Tale of Passion, Poison and Pursuit by Carol Baxter
Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope
Haxby’s Circus by Katharine Susannah Pritchard
Nemesis at Raynham Parva by J J Connington
Mystery in White by J Jefferson Farjeon

December

The Man Who Lost Himself by Henry de Vere Stacpoole
The Soldier and the Gentlewoman by Hilda Vaughan
Crooked Herring by L C Tyler
Alexander’s Bridge by Willa Cather (re-read)
The Vanishing Witch by Karen Maitland
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
I Saw Three Ships  by Elizabeth Goudge
A Different Class of Murder: the Story of Lord Lucan by Laura Thompson
Death and the Maiden by Sheila Radley
The Girl in the Photograph by Kate Riordan
I Pose by Stella Benson