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An Appetite for Violets Paperback – 8 Jan 2015

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (8 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444768735
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444768732
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 747,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Part social history, part exploration of 18th century cuisine and part action-packed, dark-edged mystery, this is probably the most delicious - and inventive - story you will read this year. (Lancashire Evening Post)

If you enjoyed Jo Baker's Longbourn you'll enjoy this. It's another beautifully written 18th century servant story, sad in the same sort of way and similarly rich . . . An impressive debut. (Daily Mail)

Martine Bailey writes with such easy, compelling grace, and in a fascinating new genre - best described as culinary gothic. I was hooked and enraptured. (Fay Weldon)

I adored this novel: a delicious addictive mix of confectionery, skulduggery and crime, sprinkled with dark secrets and sauced with piquant comedy. (Maria McCann, bestselling author of AS MEAT LOVES SALT and THE WILDING)

An absolutely delicious novel; I savoured every page. (Imogen Robertson, author of Instruments of Darkness)

Biddy's irrepressible nature is apparent from the very start . . . she is one of the most likeable protagonists I have encountered in a long time . . . It's rare to encounter descriptive skills as good as this. At every point I felt I could see, hear, smell and taste what was going on . . . This novel takes in historical, Gothic and crime ficiton in a clean, easy sweep and manages to pack in cultural and culinary observations without once disrupting flow or timing . . . There's a great sense of the book being a complicated and daring recipe; both the timing and the proportions of each ingredient needed to be exactly right to produce the best result. Bailey's recipe has worked perfectly. I was cheering for the heroes, booing for the villains and feeling disappointed as the end of the book crept up on me. AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS is a terrific novel . . . a must-read for anyone who enjoys a full, flavoursome and hearty story. (The Bookbag)

A tour de force . . . This novel is about rulers and the ruled, cookery and the emergence of restaurants, sugar-craft, slavery, all kinds of love and companionship and also a great mystery story. The writing itself is beautifully fluent and quirky in its use of eighteenth-century parlance, yet this latter element was used charmingly and never overdone. It's full of twists and turns with marvellous moments of drama and some super revelations I never saw coming! I'd recommend this novel to anyone wanting an insight into the period and a jolly good read with satisfying and very real depths. (Rebecca Mascull, author of THE VISITORS)

It's not often that I read a book as voraciously as this. The last was THE GOLDFINCH by DonnaTartt, so Martine is in excellent company. I just had to know how this story of deception, intrigue and passion ended. (S D Sykes, author of PLAGUE LAND)

A hugely evocative novel that transported me right back to 18th Century Europe. AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS is filled with sensuous food writing and Biddy has such a distinctive voice. (Sarah Vaughan, author of THE ART OF BAKING BLIND)

I really, really loved AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS and you caught Biddy's voice so beautifully I could hear her in my head. I read the proof while I was stuck on a few train journeys and I was racing through it while never wanting it to stop. The recipes, the voices, the places, the atmosphere and tension - it was all so high-coloured and vivid I felt it was playing out in front of my eyes. At points I even forgot I was on a FGW train . . . It's so accomplished and confident for a debut novel. (Lucy Dillon, author of A HUNDRED PIECES OF ME)

Book Description

A compelling tale of obsession and mystery, introducing a brilliant new voice in historical fiction.

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61 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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