The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden @MichaelJBooks #histfic #publicationday #TheGatesOfAthens #NetGalley #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Gates of Athens by Conn Iggulden. This is one for historical fiction readers and is an author who I really enjoy reading. Let me show you what his latest book is about…

490 B.C.

Two great empires are about to go to war . . .

The momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems will last for twenty-seven years (431 to 404 BC).

It will end in the fall of a dynasty.

Filled with cunning political scheming and astonishing military prowess, invasions and treacheries, plagues and slaughters, passion and power, Conn Iggulden brings to life one of the most thrilling chapters of the ancient world.

Published by Penguin UK Michael Joseph Purchase Link from Amazon UK – HardbackKindleAudiobook (these links are affilaite)

Well, what a brilliantly addictive read this book was. I have read a few books by this author now and he is an author who I can rely on to give a riveting read that is also very well researched. This is an author who definitely knows his history and is also how to weave that historical fact into a story that is an incredible read.

I do like historical fiction and non-fiction books, although my knowledge is only small. What I did find with The Gates of Athens is that it felt right. This is a story that sees the historical battle between the Persians and the Greeks, it is the one that leads up to and includes the stand of the Spartan King at the pass in an attempt to stop the progress of Xerses into Athens.

The story focuses on key figures of the time in Athens, a city of democracy and that no one man can be above all others. It is a city of culture, wealth and politics. Now, wherever politics are involved there is also a certain amount of political wrangling. Of being seen to support certain figures or making a stand against them. I have to say that I really enjoyed this part of the story as I saw how subtle nudges and comments can lead to something much bigger.

There is also a good amount of other details of how people lived, the wealthy households are run from different cultures of the ancient world. Many of the details are brief but they help to show the differences between the various cultures.

If you like historical fiction that is set in Ancient Greece, that is full of battles, intrigue, politics and is simply a fabulous read then this is a book I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio from Author Page on Amazon UK

Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. Married with three children, he lives in Hertfordshire. Since publication of ‘The Gates of Rome’, Conn has written a further thirteen books including the wildly successful ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’.

Visit Conn on Amazon Author Page

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Midtown Huckster (Alex Cohen #3) by Leopold Borstinski @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #histfic #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Midtown Huckster by Leopold Borstinski. This series is just getting better and better with each book. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the Tour and for my e-copy of the book. Let me show you more about the book…

Can you keep your gelt and freedom when the cops have enough evidence to take you down?

1930s Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion–he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends.

If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?

The third book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical noir novel, which plunges you deep into the early days of narcotics trafficking and the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction delivers a fix to every reader like heroin from a needle.

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is the third book in the Alex Cohen series and I having been enjoying it so much. This book follows on from the previous books and while you could read them as a stand-alone I would advise reading in order.

Set in 1930’s New York as prohibition is coming to an end and as President Hoover forms the Federal Bureau to investigate tax evasion and bringing the profiteers to justice.

As I mentioned, this story follows on from the previous books, these include Alex’s arrival in New York and his Jewish background. This book feels more involved as there is more secrecy as the investigators are getting closer to convicting the main bosses. Another thing that I noticed was slightly less Jewish terms, this kind of makes sense as Alex would have become more Americanised but, I also do miss them.

The book once again uses various points of history to keep the story in the right period, with mentions of Thomas Dewey who was a New York City prosecutor in the 1930’s and whose aim was to beat organised crime. I like these historical mentions as it makes for great additional reading outside of the story.

The journey Alex has made up to this point has been gradual, he is trusted and has respect but there are things afoot that are making him suspicious. Times are changing and not necessarily in Alex’s favour. As he has had his fingers in many pies and looks for more ways to earn a living, the more the investigators have to go on, and what they can’t find well…

Another excellent read in the series and I am so glad there are more planned book to follow, I am certainly interested in what happens next for Alex. This is an excellent series for Historical fiction readers and I would definitely recommend reading Midtown Huckster.

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media: TwitterFacebookWebsiteInstagram

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All We Left Behind by Danielle. R. Graham #hisfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for All We Left Behind by Danielle R. Graham. Let me show you what this book is all about…

A powerful and incredibly moving historical novel inspired by an untold story of the Second World War.


Vancouver 1941
As the war rages around the world, Hitler’s fury is yet to be felt on the peaceful shores of Mayne Island. Sweethearts Hayden and Chidori are in love.


But everything changes after Pearl Harbor.
Now seen as the enemy, Chidori and her family are forced into an internment camp. Powerless to help them, Hayden joins the Royal Canadian Air Force to bring about an end to this devastating war – the thought of Chidori is all that keeps him alive.


Can they both survive long enough to be reunited?  Or will the war be the only thing to separate their love?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is a historical romance and fiction story that is set during WWII. It is set out as a time slip and it flows effortlessly between the lives of two people before the war, during and what happens to them after.

Chidori is a Japanese-Canadian and Hayden is Canadian, their story is told in journal entries and also from log book entries. The two have been friends for years and gradually they realise that they have formed a relationship that goes beyond friendship.

When WWII starts there are rumours about what may happen, but it is when Japan attacks Pearl Harbour that real changes happen. Those living in Canada that are of Japanese origin are being moved to internment centres, it doesn’t matter if they were born in Canada or not. So Hayden and Chidori have to deal with being exasperated.

This is a story that I really enjoyed, it has a setting that I have not about before in this era of history. The author knows this area well and I though it cam across well as she described various aspects of the town. The characters of Chidori and Hayden were really good, Hayden being a bit of a hot head, and even though he has a temper it is only shown when there is a mistjustice. Chidori is more calm and serene, she is able to keep Hayden calm and together they balance each other very well.

The story is told mainly from Hayden’s perspective and Chidori’s part is told in the journal entries and I really liked the mis of the two styles. It fills in the gaps and gives more information.

This is a lovely story and one that I really enjoyed as, I think, will other readers of historical fiction and romance set in WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Brave Daughters by Mary Wood @Authormary #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a favourite author of mine. The Brave Daughters by Mary Wood is part of The Girls Who Went to War series.

Let me show you what it is all about…

A moving and emotional family drama set between France and Britain from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

They would fight for their country, at all costs . . .

When Sibbie and Marjie arrive at RAF Digby, they are about to take on roles of national importance. It’s a cause of great excitement for everyone around them. Perhaps they will become code-breakers, spies even? Soon the pair embark on a rigorous training regime, but nothing can prepare them for what they’re about to face . . .

Amid the vineyards of rural France, Flora and Ella can’t bear the thought of another war. But as the thunderclouds grow darker, hanging over Europe, a sense of deep foreboding sets in, not just for their safety but for the fate of their families . . . With danger looming, as the threat of war becomes real, Flora and Ella are forced to leave their idyllic home and flee. Can they make it to safety, or will the war have further horrors in store for them?

The Brave Daughters is the fourth book in the Girls Who Went to War series by Mary Wood.

Buy your copy HERE

(This site uses Amazon affiliated links at no cost to you)

I am a big fan of this author and I have adored reading this series, The Girls Who Went to War. This is sadly the final book in this wonderful series. The first books introduced me to Flora Mags and Ella, I watched as these three girls grew up and overcame various things in their lives. This book is about the women and of their children.

The setting is in Britain and Europe at the start of WWII, having lived through and served during WWI, the women ha devive experienced the horrors. Now they watch as their own children step up to do their duty and serve their countries.

This is a book that I knew would have me reaching for the tissues, to be honest, I do with pretty much all of this authors books. I could feel the nervousness and fear of the parents as well as the fear and the want of doing their part from the children. I call them children, they are adults and are old enough to serve., but to a parent, your child is always a child no matter how grown up they are.

As is the case with conflicts there are going to be casualties. The author does not shy away from death and injury and in doing so she keeps the story feeling realistic. As much as I wanted all the characters to survive unharmed I knew deep down that this would not have been the case.

What the author has done is to provide the story of the next generation, giving them a real-life event to work through. It is emotional and full of danger, and the risk to life is every present, but the author balances this with positives such as love and the hope that there will be a future for them to return to.

Once again, Mary Wood has created a story that has compassion and is full of emotion, there are a couple of surprising twists and she has given a very poignant ending to the series that felt right.

If you love historical fiction that focuses on the strength of women during hard times, that has a wonderful feeling of unity, family and romance then this is a book that you may enjoy. All four books in this series could be read as stand-alone but to be honest you get far more out of them by reading them in order. The Brave Daughters is a wonderful read and one I would definitely recommend.

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family were poor, but rich in love. Over time, she developed a natural empathy with the less fortunate and is fascinated by social history. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989, and is now a full-time novelist.

Visit Mary on – Website – Twitter – Facebook

Many thanks for reading my post a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Rainy Days for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke @AnneHerries @rararesources #rachelsrandomresources @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #historicalfiction #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Rainy Days for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clark. I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

I have a feeling that this is a very popular series for fans of historical fiction, I have the first two books in the series still to be read. I jumped in at book 3, so let me show you what it is about…

Hard times ahead for the Harpers girls…


It is two years since Harpers opened in Oxford Street and Ben is planning to expand the premises.

Life is good for Sally and Ben as they look forward to their first child and hope for a prosperous future. Beth is settling into married life with Jack, gradually recovering from her aunt’s tragic death, though still unable to conceive a child.

New girls have joined Harpers and Marion, Janice and Becky all become a part of the daily life at the busy store. Rachel is undecided whether to marry a man she isn’t sure she can trust, while Minnie meets an old love.

The sun is shining in English streets but on the horizon dark clouds gather over Europe and war looms threatening bringing rainy days for the Harpers girls…

Purchase LinkHere

This is the 3rd book in the “Welcome To Harpers Emporium” series, I have not read the previous two books even though I do have them on my kindle! It did take me a couple of chapters to get to grips with the characters that are obviously already established, but once I started to get to know them I was well away and absolutely enthralled and captivated by this book.

The story is about the owners and the workers at Harpers Emporium, even though the main cast have backstories I found that very quickly I was given enough detail to get me up to speed. But, I do so wish I had read the previous two books so I knew the full stories of each of them.

Set just before the first World War, there is a tension of things in Europe, and also of the Suffragette movement. These things are great for keeping the reader in the time and setting of the book. The Harpers Girls are a mix of backgrounds and upbringings, but one thing I loved was that each of the employees was looked upon with respect and valued as a member of staff. It gave the book such a lovely feeling of togetherness and also loyalty.

For some times are tough with large families to support, others are lonely and unmarried, but the sense of support was very evident within the story. AS the war eventually does come there is a feeling of doing the right thing as some of enlist, this again adds another emotion to the story, one of worry and also bravado.

I absolutely loved this book and if you are a fan of historical fiction that has a strong friendship and family feel to it then I really would suggest picking up this series, and I would also start from the beginning! I would definitely recommend this book.

Author Bio – Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series.  She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner.  She lives in Cambridgeshire.

Social Media Links –
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Follow Rosie on – WebsiteTwitterBookbub

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Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys @MsTamarCohen @annecater #randomthingstours #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Island of Secrets by Rachel Rhys. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Say, wouldn’t it be a gas if all of us here are pretending to be something we’re not?’


1957: Iris Bailey is bored to death of working in the typing pool and living
with her parents in Hemel Hampstead. A gifted portraitist with a talent for
sketching guests at parties, she dreams of becoming an artist. So she can’t
believe her luck when wealthy socialite Nell Hardman invites her to
Havana to draw at the glittering wedding of her Hollywood director father.


Iris is thrilled to escape to a faraway city by the sea. But she soon realizes
that the cocktails, tropical scents and azure skies mask a darker reality. As
Cuba teeters on the edge of revolution and Iris’s heart melts for troubled
photographer Joe, she discovers that someone in the charismatic Hardman
family is hiding a terrible secret. Can she uncover the ugly truth behind the
glamour and the dazzle before all their lives are torn apart?


‘Rachel Rhys should be on everyone’s summer reading lists’
CLARE MACKINTOSH

Puchase link – Amazon UK

Oh my goodness I absolutely adored this book. The title suggests that there are secrets, but trying to work out what they are and who they are about is something else. The setting of Cuba in the mid 1950’s is wonderful for this story and it has a glamorous feel to it as I followed Iris, an artist from England, as she is hired to draw people who will be attending the wedding of Hugo and Lana.

I liked Iris a lot and I think she is the only character who I felt was honest, the others all seemed to have something to hide. For me, Iris was a naive woman but also one who was curious. She is a character who yes appears honest but she has something that she is holding back on, by this I mean that she is not being completely honest with herself. This trip will either make or break her as she works out what she wants with her life.

As the setting is Cuba and it is the 50’s, there are the obvious mentions of Castro and Guevara, there are political tensions and it is not exactly the idyllic island paradise. While the house that all the guests are staying at is perfectly safe, there are mentions of politics, and of rebels in the mountains. I liked how these were mentioned but not dwelt on too much.

Now as for the secrets, well there are so many and as I said trying to work out who was completely honest was something else. But not once did I feel confused, the author has set the story out perfectly and it made for effortless reading. The reveals as and when they came were good and they caught me out several times.

The story is about a family and an extended family, they are privileged, have property and status. But beneath the beautiful and shiny exterior there is something not so pretty.

I loved this story and I was completely captivated by it. I think it is a wonderful historical fiction and I would definitely recommend it.

Rachel Rhys is the pen-name of a much-loved psychological suspense author. She is the author of the Richard and Judy bookclub pick, Dangerous Crossing and the bestselling A Fatal Inheritance. Rachel Rhys lives in North London with her family.

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The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal @esmacneal #histfic #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, I have had this book on my TBR since it came out last year and I read it last month. Let me show you what is is all about…

The Doll Factory, the debut novel by Elizabeth Macneal, is an intoxicating story of art, obsession and possession.

London. 1850. The Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and among the crowd watching the spectacle two people meet. For Iris, an aspiring artist, it is the encounter of a moment – forgotten seconds later, but for Silas, a collector entranced by the strange and beautiful, that meeting marks a new beginning. 

When Iris is asked to model for pre-Raphaelite artist Louis Frost, she agrees on the condition that he will also teach her to paint. Suddenly her world begins to expand, to become a place of art and love.

But Silas has only thought of one thing since their meeting, and his obsession is darkening . . . 

I have had this book on my tbr since it first came out last year. I have wanted to read it but kept putting it off until now. I have to say I wasn’t sure what I was expecting and I didn’t read the synopsis until after I had finished the book! To be fair though, even if I had read the synopsis prior to reading I think I would still have been surprised by how dark this book turned.

Let me backtrack, and start with the cover and say that now I have read the book how amazing and so appropriate this cover is, that glass dome encompasses the story perfectly and has a lot of things in it relevent to the story of Iris.

Iris and her sister Rose have been working in a rather depressing and soul destroying business making dolls. When there is a chance for Iris to leave and have the nerve to join an artist as his model, she takes it. Rose isn’t impressed and neither is Silas.

Silas is besotted with Iris, but she doesn’t see him as he thinks she does. He watches her, hoping that she will take him up the various offers her proposes. She however has no time for him, she has her own life and a chance to be something.

Now I did mention this book takes a dark turn, and well to be honest I am not going to tell you why or how even though I am bursting to. The author takes a route that leads its way to this dark thread that is part of the story. It has been done so well, it starts off quite subtly and then worsens over the course of the story. It seems to fit well with the setting.

Now the setting is London, wealth is evident as The Great Exhibition opens so showcase the industry and culture, a place where the who’s who would have been seen. But balanced against that are the slums, side-streets and squalid alleyways where the poor live. This contrast between living conditions, social class and opinions seem to share the ideals behind the various characters. Some wanting to move up, others reluctantly making the most of their lot in life and others just wanting to be accepted.

This is a book that I am so glad I have finally got around to reading, it is a beautifully written book about life in 1850’s London, about life, love, betrayal, art and yes as the synopsis states “obsession and possession”. A fabulous read and one I would definitely recommend.

Elizabeth Macneal was born in Edinburgh and now lives in East London. She is a writer and potter and works from a small studio at the bottom of her garden. She read English Literature at Oxford University, before working in the City for several years. In 2017, she completed the Creative Writing MA at UEA in 2017 where she was awarded the Malcolm Bradbury scholarship. 

The Doll Factory, Elizabeth’s debut novel, won the Caledonia Noel Award 2018. It will be published in twenty-eight languages and TV rights have sold to Buccaneer Media. 

Follow the author on Twitter

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The Wheelwrights Daughter by Eleanor Porter @elporterauthor @rararesources #histfic #bookreview

I am so delighted to share my review for The Wheelwrights Daughter by Eleanor Porter. My huge thanks to Rachel for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it’s about…

Can she save herself from a witch’s fate?

Martha is a feisty and articulate young woman, the daughter of a wheelwright, living in a Herefordshire village in Elizabethan England. With no mother Martha’s life is spent running her father’s meagre household and helping out at the local school whilst longing to escape the confines and small-mindedness of a community driven by religious bigotry and poverty.

As she is able to read and is well-versed in herbal remedies she is suspected of being a witch. When a landslip occurs – opening up a huge chasm in the centre of the village – she is blamed for it and pursued remorselessly by the villagers.

But can her own wits and the love of local stablehand Jacob save her from a witch’s persecution and death…

A brilliant and accomplished novel that perfectly captures the febrile atmosphere of Elizabethan village life in an age when suspicion and superstition were rife. Perfect for fans of Tracy Chevalier.

This is a wonderful historical fiction story that is set in latter half of the 1500’s during Queen Elizabeth’s reign. This is an era of history that is rife with witchcraft accusations and the deaths of people who are seen to be practising the devil’s work.

The author has created a tale around Martha, the daughter of a village wheelwright in Herefordshire. Her mother is dead and there are rumours around surrounding her and also of her death. Martha is a young woman who is a Christian and she also makes up poultices and uses plants for their natural healing properties. While things are good then she is of use, but when things start happening suddenly the tables turn and fingers point leaving Martha to become the villagers scapegoat.

The finger of blame is supported by a hellfire and brimstone vicar, he is supposedly a man of faith but he really is an odious character. While he preaches the word of God he is also using faith as a game of politics to curry favour with those higher up the ladder than himself.

This is a wonderfully written story and I loved the way the author worked it. The contrasts of opinions and how they are formed without being based on facts are good, essentially if a person takes offence at a comment or a look then accusations can be made.

This has some good research behind it and it has all the right feels to it. The only problem… there is a bit of a cliffhanger…arrgghhhh I want need to know what happens next, so I will be keeping my beady eye out for the next book.

This is a good read and it has a slower pace that fits the time, there is a good amount of drama and I love the dynamics between the characters and the over-riding fear that comes out in their blaming and suspicions. A book I would recommend to readers who like historical fiction novels.

Ellie grew up in Herefordshire and now lives near the Malvern Hills. She’s taught in Hong Kong, London and Birmingham and published poetry and short fiction. Her forthcoming novel THE WHEELWRIGHT’S DAUGHTER grew out of walks on Marcle Ridge where a 1571 landslip is still visible and marked on the map as The Wonder. The book tells the story of a world torn by division, where new beliefs jostle with tradition, where to be different can cost you your life. It introduces Martha Dynely, who refuses to be crushed, even when the horizon crumbles and buries her.

Follow Eleanor on Twitter or visit her Amazon Author Page

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Season of Darkness by Cora Harrison #histfic #historicalmystery #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Season of Darkness by Cora Harrison, this is the first book in The Gaslight Series, as it has taken me a while to get to and read this book the second has also been published.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Introducing Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as an unusual detective duo in the first of a brand-new Victorian mystery series.

When Inspector Field shows his friend Charles Dickens the body of a young woman dragged from the River Thames, he cannot have foreseen that the famous author would immediately recognize the victim as Isabella Gordon, a housemaid he had tried to help through his charity. Nor that Dickens and his fellow writer Wilkie Collins would determine to find out who killed her. 

Who was Isabella blackmailing, and why? Led on by fragments of a journal discovered by Isabella’s friend Sesina, the two men track the murdered girl’s journeys from Greenwich to Snow Hill, from Smithfield Market to St Bartholomews, and put their wits to work on uncovering her past.

I liked how the author used two Classic authors as for this story. The combination of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins as sleuths for this murder mystery worked well for me. There was a good atmospheric air to the story that gave a good vibe as I read.

Using these figures as sleuths gave me a feeling of a Holmes and Watson style mystery read. Dickens came across as aloof and reminded very much of Holmes, while Collins was more approachable and tries to work things on his own at times and is similar to Watson.

The murder of a maid has links to a Girls School that Dickens is heavily involved in as she was one of his pupils. Collins is a friend of Dickens and together they try to piece together the various clues that they find. They also have the assistance of another maid and together the three of them work their way through the mystery as to why the girl was killed and by whom.

This is a good story that I found quite addictive, it has some good twists and yes I did work some of them out but it didn’t take away from the enjoyment of reading. It is a book I think readers of the whodunit style of mysteries would like and it is one I would recommend. This is the first book in The Gaslight Series and I am looking forward to reading the next one.

The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare #HistoricalMystery #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for the first book in A World’s End Bureau Victorian Mystery Series, this first book is The Woman Who Spoke To Spirits by Alys Clare. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I was delighted to see that there is a whole host of books by Alys for me to buy and read.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Introducing private investigators Lily Raynor and Felix Wilbraham in the first of the brand-new World’s End Bureau Victorian mystery series.

London, 1880. “I’m dreadfully afraid someone is threatening to kill my wife …” When accounts clerk Ernest Stibbins approaches the World’s End investigation bureau with wild claims that his wife Albertina has been warned by her spirit guides that someone is out to harm her, the bureau’s owner Lily Raynor and her new employee Felix Wilbraham are initially sceptical. How are the two private enquiry agents supposed to investigate threats from beyond the grave?

But after she attends a séance at the Stibbins family home, Lily comes to realize that Albertina is in terrible danger. And very soon so too is Lily herself …

This is the first book in A World’s End Bureau – Victorian Mystery series. The World’s End Bureau is owned and run by Lily Raynor in London in the 1880s. She has had some success with her business and is now finding it difficult to keep up with the admin side. She employs Felix Wilbraham to help on the clerical aspects, but soon he proves his worth and helps Lily in a series of investigations.

One such investigation comes by way of Ernest Stibbins who is concerned as to his wife’s safety. She is a medium and it soon becomes apparent to Lily that Albertina is indeed in danger. Along with this investigation, there is another that concerns a young man and an actress. While the cases are very different they both lead Lily and Felix on a route that takes them and the reader into various areas of Victorian London.

Being as this is the first in the series, it was good to get to know the two main characters as they got to know each other. I liked how there is mutual respect between them, especially as Felix is working for a female and this is an unusual thing at this time and for this profession.

The author has done a good job of creating an atmospheric read and delves into some unsavoury sides of the era. The murkiness and the ominous feelings at times provide an eeriness to the story. this is particularly good for the investigation into the Stibbins’s.

I did find the pacing of the story fluctuated, at the time it felt a little slow, but on the whole, it worked well. There was a good deal of intrigue and I was so very curious as to how the author would conclude the mysteries.

This was an enjoyable read and one that kept me intrigued throughout. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series to see how the author proceeds with not only Lily and Felix but also to see if she incorporates a couple of other characters that I think would make good additions to future investigations.

A good start to a series for mystery readers and a good atmospheric read and one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx