The Infernal Riddle of Thomas Peach by Jas Treadwell - Book Review


Who is Thomas Peach?

Ah, reader! - if you would have us answer THAT question - What mysteries you shall compel us to expose!

It is the year 1785, and a gentleman of modest means has left London for the countryside, to look after his ailing wife.

Among his neighbours, tongues being to wag. Why does he keep a locked chest under the stairs? Is it really full of forbidden books? And what is exactly the matter with his wife?

For the most part, though, the couple live in peace -- until a letter arrives, threatening to cut off their livelihood and expel them from

August Folly by Angela Thirkell
Book Review


It's August in the Barsetshire village of Worsted, and Richard Tebben, just down from Oxford, is contemplating the gloomy prospect of a long summer in the parental home. But the numerous and impossibly glamorous Dean family - exquisite Rachel, her capable husband and six of their nine brilliant children - have come for the holidays, and their hostess Mrs Palmer plans to rope everyone into performing in her disastrous annual play. Surrounded by the irrepressible Deans, Richard and his sister Margaret cannot help but have their minds broadened, spirits raised and hearts smitten

My Thoughts

After three novels, I'm becoming familiar with what to expect from Angela Thirkell: lots of quirky characters, multiple romances, upper

A Literary Christmas 2021 Challenge

Hosted by: In the Bookcase
Challenge period: Now to 31st December, 2021
Sign Up: Now
Aim: To read and review as many Christmas-themed titles as you can from a list you

Six Degrees of Separation: From Ethan Frome to The Age of Innocence

The first Saturday of the month is time to play Six Degrees of Separation. This meme is hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best. The aim is to link six books to each other from the starting point.

This month the starting point is Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, a sad and tragic story, and not one I will ever read again. A sledding scene in the novella takes me to my first link - a much more uplifting one than what happened in Ethan Frome

The Bobbsey Twins Annuals were a staple of my Christmases growing up, as was the fun of sledding. We had a few mishaps, but the worst thing that happened to us was that we went home cold and wet!

Another childhood delight was the Bunty and Judy girls' comics filled with stories of boarding

Death on a Winter's Day by Verity Bright
Book Review

Publication Date: November 19, 2021
Publisher: Bookouture
Series: A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery #8
Format: ebook, print and audio
Genre: Historical Fiction/Cosy Mystery


Christmas at the castle with holly, handmade gifts, snowflakes and… is that a body under the tree? Someone call Lady Swift!

Winter, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, amateur sleuth and reluctant lady of the manor, has been invited to spend Christmas in Scotland, at the beautiful castle of her dear friends Baron and Baroness Ashley. Even her favourite companion, master of mischief Gladstone the bulldog, is coming along to share a slice of turkey. As snow begins to fall outside, the rather mismatched group are cozy

The London House by Katherine Reay
Book Review

Publication Date: November 2, 2021
Publisher: Harper Muse
Length: (368) pages
Format: Trade paperback, eBook, & audiobook 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction


Uncovering a dark family secret sends one woman through the history of Britain’s World War II spy network and glamorous 1930s Paris to save her family’s reputation.

Caroline Payne thinks it’s just another day of work until she receives a call from Mat Hammond, an old college friend and historian. But pleasantries are cut short. Mat has uncovered a scandalous secret kept buried

Rebel's Knot by Cryssa Bazos
Book Review

Publication Date: 8th November 2021
Publisher: W.M. Jackson Publishing
Series: Quest for Three Kingdoms
Page Length: 350 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance


Ireland 1652: In the desperate, final days of the English invasion of Ireland . . .

A fey young woman, Áine Callaghan, is the sole survivor of an attack by English marauders. When Irish soldier Niall O'Coneill discovers his own kin slaughtered in the same massacre, he vows to hunt down the men responsible. He takes Áine under his protection and together they reach the safety of an encampment held by the Irish forces in Tipperary. 

The Wrecking Storm by Michael Ward
Book Review




The poisonous dispute pushing King Charles and Parliament towards Civil War is reaching the point of no return.

Law and order in the city are collapsing as Puritan radicals demand more concessions from the King. Bishops and lords are attacked in the streets as the Apprentice Boys run amok. Criminal gangs use the disorder to mask their activities while the people of London lock their doors and pray for deliverance.

No one is immune from the contagion. Two Jesuit priests are discovered in hiding and

Down a Dark River by Karen Odden
Book Review + Blog Tour Giveaway (US Only)

Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Series: An Inspector Corravan Mystery #1
Format: Hardcover and ebook, 363 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery


In the vein of C. S. Harris and Anne Perry, Karen Odden’s mystery introduces Inspector Michael Corravan as he investigates a string of vicious murders that has rocked Victorian London’s upper crust.

London, 1878. One April morning, a small boat bearing a young woman’s corpse floats down the murky waters of the Thames. When the victim is identified as Rose Albert, daughter of a prominent judge, the Scotland Yard director gives the case to Michael

The Demon in the House by Angela Thirkell
Book Review

This is the third book in Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire series and recounts the mischief Tony Morland gets up to during school holidays, most of them during the summer break.


This is the frighfully frustrating story of Tony Morland who first appeared in High Rising. A sweeter demon doesn't exist than this 12 year old with a gift for disconcerting remarks and getting what he wants from his mother.

Boys will be boys, and little Morland is no exception, boasting, bragging, breaking windows, messing about in boats and demanding breakfast in bed, all very much to the despair of his mother, Laura. More than anything, Tony is desperate for a bicycle and although Laura is certain he'll come home in

Wild Strawberries by Angela Thirkell
Book Review

This is the second book of Angela Thirkell's Barsetshire series, which focuses on the Leslie family of Rushwater House and their welcome and unwelcome guests.


Pretty, impecunious Mary Preston, newly arrived as a guest of her Aunt Agnes at the magnificent wooded estate of Rushwater, falls head over heels for handsome playboy David Leslie. Meanwhile, Agnes and her mother, the eccentric matriarch Lady Emily, have hopes of a different, more suitable match for Mary. At the lavish Rushwater dance party, her future happiness hangs in the balance...

My Thoughts

I think I may be one of the few people that did not fully appreciate the comedy or the romance in this novel. Having enjoyed High Rising, the first book in the series, I looked forward to this one. Although it started promisingly when Lady Emily and her family are introduced through the observations of the local vicar, I didn't take to

November is AusReading Month!

November has snuck up on me and with it this challenge hosted by Brona @ This Reading Life.

I hope to read and review as many books by Australian authors as I can and perhaps post reviews for books I read earlier this year but didn't review.

A quick sort through my TBR has revealed I have a few books by Australian authors, with a few others ordered from the library that may be available in time. Not sure if I'll be able to read them all, but at