This Week's Library Borrowings

This week's borrowings are again from diverse historical settings: 19th, 20th and 16th centuries. Two are from authors I've not read before and one from C.C. Humphreys who is becoming a favourite.

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

I love a good regency novel. Like many, I was first introduced to this period in history by Georgette Heyer and am always on the look out for novels in this genre. Hopefully, this book will live up to my expectations. Anway, the blurb and cover had me hooked.

Miss Mariah Aubrey, banished after a scandal, hides herself away in a long-abandoned gatehouse on the far edge of a distant relative's estate. There, she supports herself and her loyal servant the only way she knows how--by writing novels in secret.

Captain Matthew Bryant, returning to England successful and wealthy after the Napoleonic wars, leases an impressive estate from a cash-poor nobleman, determined to show the society beauty who once rejected him what a colossal mistake she made.

When he discovers an old gatehouse on the property, he is immediately intrigued by its striking young inhabitant and sets out to uncover her identity, and her past. But the more he learns about her, the more he realizes he must distance himself. Falling in love with an outcast would ruin his well-laid plans.

The old gatehouse holds secrets of its own. Can Mariah and Captain Bryant uncover them before the cunning heir to the estate buries them forever?

Salt by Jeremy Page

Grabbed this one as I was heading out the door. The single word title and once again the cover drew my attention to this novel. However, it was the Norfolk setting and the World War II angle that added it to my check outs.

Every story heads towards tragedy, given the time.

A man is found buried up to his neck in the mud of the Norfolk saltmarshes. Nine months later, at the end of the Second World War, he vanishes, leaving a newborn daughter, Lil.

Lil's life is singled out from the start as being strange. Taught by her mother to read the clouds, she lives a curious existence. But when, as a teenager, she becomes the object of two brothers' desire, her life begins to spiral out of control.

Forty years later it is Lil's son, Pip, who attempts to makes sense of his family's intriguing history. Will the past repeat itself and is Pip, like his forebears, beginning to lose his own way between the creeks and the samphire?
Blood Ties by C.C. Humphreys

This is the second of The French Executioner series. The first, The French Executioner  is already in my reading pile.

Years have gone by since the events surrounding the death of Anne Boleyn. But her missing hand and all that it represents to the dark world of 16th century Europe still draws the powerful to seek it out.

Jean Rombaud - the French executioner of the first novel - has grown old, both in age and spirit. Wearied by the betrayal of a son and the scorn of a wife, he fights in the seemingly never-ending siege of Siena.

Meanwhile, Gianni Rombaud has forsaken everything his ageing father stands for and now kills heathen for the Inquisition in Rome. Then he is summoned by Cardinal Carafa himself.
His masters no longer merely want his dagger in the hearts of Jews, they want the hand of the dead queen.

But only three people know where it is buried, and one of them is Gianni's father...

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