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Rosemary Morris "Rosemary Morris" (Hertfordshire, England)

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Away with the Fairies (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)
Away with the Fairies (Phryne Fisher Mysteries)
by Kerry Greenwood
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, 1 Mar. 2016
I am favourably impressed by Away With the Fairies, a Phynne Fisher Mystery, the first novel I have read by Kerry Greenwood.

Phynne almost leaps of the page into reality while she invesigates the death of Miss Lavender, the author of children’s fairy stories. But who, would want to murder an old lady, who lives in an apartment in which ‘every surface, horizontal or vertical, was covered in fairies. Bits which could not have fairies painted, embroidered, embossed, stencilled or depicted on carpet, were painted a peculiar shade of fuschia pink’.

Phynne’s investigation leads her to accept a job with the magazine in which Miss Lavender’s fairy stories were published. While she works for the magazine she learns ‘ the ins and outs of publishing’, which added to my enjoyment of the novel.

In order to find out who killed Miss Lavender, and how the murder was committed, Phynne questions the other occupants of the residential apartments, one of which the old lady lived in. She also gets to know the owner of, and the employees at, the magazine.

Kerry Greenwood is to be congratulated on her excellent control over a large cast of characters, who intrigued me while I wondered which one was guilty.

As well as the mystery of Miss Lavender’s sudden death, there is a second one. What has happened to Phynne’s Chinese lover? ‘Her personal life is thrown into chaos. Impatient for her lover’s imminent return from a silk-buying expedition to China, she instead receives an unusual summons from Lin Chung’s family followed by a series of mysterious assaults and warnings.’

I raced through Away With the Fairies with great enjoyment and shall read more of Kerry Greenwood’s novels about the intrepid detective.


The Silvered Heart
The Silvered Heart
by Katherine Clements
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Legendary Wicked Lady, 24 Feb. 2016
This review is from: The Silvered Heart (Paperback)
The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements.

Katherine Clements is to be congratulated on her novel about Lady Katherine Ferrers, the wicked highwaywoman of legend. Although there is no evidence that she was a highwaywoman, Ms Clements had written an intriguing novel, in which she assumes that, driven by desperate circumstances, the wicked lady stooped to highway robbery.

A wealthy orphan, Katherine was forced into a marriage of convenience in which she becomes a prisoner. She and her husband are royalists, whose lives disintegrate when Cromwell’s army is triumphant.


Incognito: Hadlow Series
Incognito: Hadlow Series
Price: £2.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Regency Romance, 24 Feb. 2016
Incognito is a sweet romance set in the popular Regency period.

The hero, Luke Fielding, a former clerk, and the heroine, Grace Thompson have secrets.
Luke is visiting his sanctimonious brother, a curate, and Grace is a governess. Grace is incognito for a good reason. Luke is not the person he seems to be.

Grace is horrified when her employer’s wife, vulgar Mrs Potter, insists on Grace’s attendance at a soiree. In Grace’s opinion, “even in a sleepy little place like Crompton Hadlow the risk was too great.”

Kind-hearted Luke, whose future career is assumed to be that of a gamekeeper, and intelligent Grace, who meet at the soiree, are immediately drawn to each other. From then on their lives become intertwined until the final denouement. Although I guessed what Grace’s true circumstances would be, it did not prevent me from finishing the novel.

Caitlyn Callery is to be congratulated on bringing every character to life. The main characters are likeable and the minor characters are interesting. Mrs Potter, wife of a rich tradesman ambitious for her daughter, is so crass that she shocks and amuses. Grace’s well-wisher, Mrs Featherstone, who followed the drum when her husband, an officer in the army, served in India, is memorable.
I enjoyed beautifully written descriptions. An example of is. “The sky was cloudless and the sun coated everything in a light gold that somehow perked the spirit and brought hope.

Unfortunately, Ms. Callery needs to avoid modern terms such as, “He is fine.” In this context, ‘fine’ jarred.

I am disappointed because the dialogue lacks sparkle, an ingredient difficult to define but instantly recognisable. It is an element which adds to the enjoyment of Regency fiction. Apart from this, I would have appreciated more historical details that would have captured the Regency era.

Nevertheless, if you enjoy sweet romances set in the past, which include few historical facts and concentrate on the hero and heroine, you will enjoy Incognito.


[ { Mademoiselle Chanel } ] BY ( Author ) Mar-2015 [ Hardcover ]
[ { Mademoiselle Chanel } ] BY ( Author ) Mar-2015 [ Hardcover ]
by Christopher W. Gortner
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Gabrielle Chanel, a legend in her lifetime., 20 Feb. 2016
Mademoiselle Chanel by C. W. Gortner

Previously a fashion executive, and now an accomplished novelist, C.W. Gortner is qualified to write a fictional biography about the extraordinary life and times of Gabrielle Chanel.

I enjoyed Mademoiselle Chanel, which begins with the death of her mother, after which she and both of her sisters are placed in an orphanage, and her brothers, whom she loses contact with for many years, are placed elsewhere.

At the orphanage, run by nuns, Mademoiselle's skill with the needle is exceptional. Her talent leads to her success first as a milliner, and subsequently as a world famous designer, who freed women from their corsets, and designed 'sleek, minimalistic styles' that reflected 'the youthful ease and confidence of the 1920's modern woman.'

Mademoiselle Chanel, (nicknamed Coco after the song, she became well-known for, while she was a milliner by day and a singer by night), had many affairs, but only loved Arthur Capel.

Gortner describes Coco's designs with such skill that I wished the styles would come back into fashion. His powerful description of Coco's world-famous perfume led to my decision to buy some.

Even German soldiers, who occupied Paris during the 2nd World War, were determined to buy a bottle to send to their mothers, wives, sisters or sweethearts.

In his interpretation the author traces Mademoiselle Chanel’s real life story of rags to riches. However, she was not judged guilty of Baron Louis Vaufreland, a French traitor and German Intelligence agent’s implication that she was a collaborator. However, Hans Gunther von Dincklager had become her lover, and I am not entirely convinced by Gortner’s explanation of why she accepted him.

The first lines of Act One grabbed my imagination: "The day Maman died, I was lining up my dolls in the cemetery. They were poppets of cloth and straw I had made when I was a child, dirty and misshapen now because I was almost twelve. I gave them different names at different times. Today, they were Mesdames les Tantes, named for the black-clad-women in our garret nearby, watching my mother gasp out her final breaths.” I raced through the novel. In future I will want to re-read it more slowly.

I highly recommend this novel about a legend in her own lifetime.


The Chateau on the Lake
The Chateau on the Lake
by Charlotte Betts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars France on the brink of the reign of terror after Louis XV1 is guillotined., 16 Feb. 2016
The opening lines are: "It is often said that an educated woman is an abomination in the eyes of God. I am such a creature, my belief is that God is far too busy to worry about such things and that it is only in the hearts of men that women like myself engender such extremes of feeling."

From these two sentences we understand that Madeleine Moreau, the heroine, is unusual.

In 1792, when the French Revolution is on the verge of unleashing its worst horrors, during the reign of terror, Madeleine lives quietly in London teaching at her father's school. She has always been curious about her father's family, but no matter how many questions she puts, he refuses to answer her questions.. When her beloved parents die, Madeleine is alone in the world. Impulsively, with misconceptions about the state in France, she decides to cross the channel in the hope of finding her paternal relatives.

Only her father's ring will provide a clue to her relatives' identity, and it is Comte Etienne d'Aubery, who unravels the mystery. When Paris becomes too dangerous for Madeleine, Etienne takes her to his Chateau on The Lake.

As I read I appreciated Charlotte Betts reconstruction of times past and enjoyed the historical details.

If you enjoy historical fiction with a romance that develops slowly, this is a novel I think you will enjoy.


The Girl From Cobb Street (Daisys War 1)
The Girl From Cobb Street (Daisys War 1)
by Merryn Allingham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written suspense novel set in India, 16 Feb. 2016
The Girl from Cobb Street by Merryn Allingham

I enjoyed every page of the novel about Daisy Driscoll, who grew up in an orphanage in Cobb Stree in London’s East End.

Daisy goes to India to marry her fiancee, Gerald Mortimer a handsome cavalry subaltern in a prestigious regiment.

She arrives at the quayside, with the intention of telling Gerald something important before they marry. To her dismay, she is met by Anish Rana, an Indian cavalry officer, who escorts her to the church where she has no opportunity to speak to Gerald before the ceremony.

They marry in St John’s Afghan Church, Colaba, Bombay, where the author’s parents married in April 1937.

Perhaps Merryn Allingham’s family connection with India helped her to write convincingly about India, at a time when the struggle for Independence was taking place.

As an orphan, Daisy longs for love, but from the moment she arrives in India, where the only person she knows is Gerald, her life takes many unexpected twists and turns.

I enjoyed the novel so much that I intend to read the sequels. The Nurse’s War and Daisy’s Long Road Home.


The Legacy (Shadow of the Unicorn Book 1)
The Legacy (Shadow of the Unicorn Book 1)
Price: £2.10

5.0 out of 5 stars The Legacy Book One of The Shadow of The Unicorn by Suzanne de Montigny, 7 Feb. 2016
Suzanne de Montigny has created a magical tale of unicorns and dinosaurs, who live in two valleys, and human beings, who settle near the unicorns.

The opening paragraphs drew me into the novel when Suzanne introduces father and son, Polaris, The Great Stallion, and Azaria. I admired the unicorns, Polaris and Azaria, wanted to know more about them and enter their spell-binding world,

The Legacy begins when a dinosaur spooked the mares and Saul, a dinosaur, sent an urgent message for the three herds of unicorns to leave their valley.

Suzanne’s descriptions throughout The Legacy are memorable. Azaria loved this part of the valley where they lived. The grass was tender here with sweet purple flowers that grew between grass blades. Close by a small brook meandered to the river. And, near the creek, stood the large banyan tree where they all met and cooled themselves on hot days, and then gathered to sleep at night.”

Polaris takes Azaria, and Azaria’s friend, Gaelan, to meet Saul, a herbivore, in the valley in which several species of dinosaurs live. Saul introduces the three unicorns to Marrissa and her son, a seer, “who tells strange tales and prophesies that the world will change….There will be a cloud over everything, a lot of animals will die but there’ll be new animals to, replace them, creatures that walk on two legs like carnivorous Rexus dinosaurs.” He also warns them about Ishmael.

It is important for the herds to stick together so that if any of them are wounded they can heal each other with the power of their magical horns.

After a fireball lands in the valley the sun disappears and the change predicted by the seer begins. As I read on my fascination with the world Suzanne de Montigny created grew.

Azaria is frightened by the change to his world but always remembers his mother’s words. “The bad times must end.”

Which traumatic events, I wondered, would take place when the worlds of Ishmael and the unicorns met each other?

Suzanne de Montigny has written a magical novel. I look forward to reading Shadow of the Unicorn, Book Two, The Deception.


The Lost Girl (Choc Lit) (The Heart of the West Book 3)
The Lost Girl (Choc Lit) (The Heart of the West Book 3)
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Lost Girl by Liz Harris, 2 Feb. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
From the first page to the last I was intrigued by The Lost Girl. On the outskirts of an American gold-mining town, Jo, a young boy, finds the dead mother of Chinese baby girl. He takes the baby home and begs his family to keep her. Finally, they agree, but grudginly.
Brought up by a miner’s family, the orphan, named Charity, thinks of herself as as an American girl. However, she is neither accepted by Americans nor by the Chinese.

Tension grows.. One of the characters expresses his views:-

"It's not only the mines - it's the Chinese too. They keep themselves to themselves to themselves and don't try to fit in. They wear traditional clothes, have traditional hairstyles, eat only Chinese food, and very few of them try to learn the language. I'm sure they wouldn't be disliked so much if they tried to learn the language."

The tension is as strong at home. Jo’s older brother wants his parents to throw Charity out of the house because of her race. But where would she go? The Chinese dislike the Americans as much as the Americans dislike them. Prejudice, is so great that by law it is illegal for an American to marry a Chinese man or woman.

So what, I asked myself as I read, did Charity’s future hold?

Apart from writing an unforgettable story, Liz Harris creates word pictures. Instead of writing: Heavy rain fell, she wrote: “Rain fell from the sky in sheets of silken grey, gathering in the moonlight-pitted pools that formed sunken patches of ground, overflowing into rivulets of glistening grey-black water that raced down Main Street.” Although I wanted to finish the story I often lingered to savour her skill.

Liz Harris's novels never disappoint me. I look forward to reading Liz Harris’s next novel.


Before Fallen Timbers: A Tale of the Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of the Captive Flynn Children of Old Kentucke in the Bloody Years Following the ... Independence (The Wilderness Road Book 1)
Before Fallen Timbers: A Tale of the Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of the Captive Flynn Children of Old Kentucke in the Bloody Years Following the ... Independence (The Wilderness Road Book 1)
Price: £2.65

5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Old Kentucke, 29 Nov. 2015
The War of American Independence has ended. By October 1786, The Kentucky Cornfield Laws demanded settlers improve their acreage – “clear timber, put in crops, put up cabins and put up fences. With improvements the government would add 400 acres, and John Flynne is determined to add those acres to his own.

Nancy Tyrell captures Kentuckians in the years after the war. John Flynne and his family, Elizabeth his wife, Nancy, Polly, Chloe and John, the Native American Indians and the white children they adopted and integrated into their tribes, soldiers and mercenaries, the Dutch settlers, voyageurs and many others. With immense skill she weaves her characters into a colourful tapestry.

Before Fallen Timbers begins when the close-knit, happy Flynne family ride through the woods to their farm where supper is soon cooking.
“Nancy’s stomach grumbled at the smells from the smoky hearth – corncakes along with stew. The hot meal would be ready soon.

A shot rang out.

Red men filled the room.

At that moment life changed forever for the Flynne family.

The author of Before Fallen Timbers is to be congratulated on her research and understanding of the politics and military history, about which I knew little

This novel is very well-written with many word pictures. “Above the river there was a chain of tall oak trees towering over it in the south and west. Hazel brush bloomed along the banks in bright October colours. There were a few cabins with pelts and bundles of other goods stacked alongside. Wings of smoke rose from outdoor cook fires and some cabin chimney.”

The Flynne family’s fate tore at my heart. I agonised for Molly when, already traumatised by her father’s death she woke up in the morning in
a Native American Indian Settlement and searched for her mother, younger sister and brother.

“Mam, Johnny, Chloe were gone as were the Indians, who had travelled with them this far. She was truly alone with no one left to her, the thought made her sick and wild.”

Polly’s hope that her sister Nancy escaped and reached the fort comes true and in due course of time, Nancy meets a Dutch family,
Again the author’s descriptions excel.

“Nancy was surrounded by warmth in the comforting room, large but still cosy with its decorated hatches, its ornate Frakturs and the colourful cabinets and Haussegen.

The women led her around and explained.

“House what?” Polly paused before some fancy script painted over the doorway.

“Haussegen. That means house blessing.” Elisabetta read to her. “Der Segen Gottes Kron dies Haus. That means the blessing of God crown this house.”

This is a novel in its own way as important at the much acclaimed memoirs of Laura Ingalls-Wilder, the first of which is the Little House on the Prairie, and with its depiction of a by gone age as interesting as Gone With The Wind. The reader’s five senses will be engaged as she reads this tale of the godly and ungodly, love and hate, honour and dishonour, happiness and distress besides much more.

“Nancy’s stomach grumbled at the smells from the smoky hearth – corncakes along with stew. The hot meal would be ready soon.
A shot rang out.
Red men filled the room.
I that moment life changed forever for the Flynne family.
The author of Before Fallen Timbers is to be congratulated on her research and understanding of the politics and military history, about which I knew little
This novel is very well-written with many word pictures. “Above the river there was a chain of tall oak trees towering over it in the south and west. Hazel brush bloomed along the banks in bright October colours. There were a few cabins with pelts and bundles of other goods stacked alongside. Wings of smoke rose from outdoor cook fires and some cabin chimney.”
The Flynne family’s fate tore at my heart. I agonised for Molly when, already traumatised by her father’s death she woke up in the morning in a Native American Indian Settlement and searched for her mother, younger sister and brother.
“Mam, Johnny, Chloe were gone as were the Indians, who had travelled with them this far. She was truly alone with no one left to her, the thought made her sick and wild.”
Polly’s hope that her sister Nancy escaped and reached the fort comes true and in due course of time, Nancy meets a Dutch family,
Again the author’s descriptions excel.
“Nancy was surrounded by warmth in the comforting room, large but still cosy with its decorated hatches, its ornate Frakturs and the colourful cabinets and Haussegen.
The women led her around and explained.
“House what?” Polly paused before some fancy script painted over the doorway.
“Haussegen. That means house blessing.” Elisabetta read to her. “Der Segen Gottes Kron dies Haus. That means the blessing of God crown this house.”
This is a novel in its own way as important at the much acclaimed memoirs of Laura Ingalls-Wilder, the first of which is the Little House on the Prairie, and with its depiction of a by gone age as interesting as Gone With The Wind. The reader’s five senses will be engaged as she reads this tale of the godly and ungodly, love and hate, honour and dishonour, happiness and distress besides much more.


Lord Bartholomew's Christmas Bride: A Regency Christmas Short Story
Lord Bartholomew's Christmas Bride: A Regency Christmas Short Story
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Regency Christmas Story, 28 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Lord Bartholemew’s Christmas Bride: A Regency Christmas Short Story.

Maggi Andersen’s many fans will greet this short story with delight and will not be disappointed. If you have not previously read Maggi Andersen’s fiction, and enjoy Regency Romances with excellent dialogue, a handsome, kind-hearted, but passionate hero, capable of devotion to the wife of his choice, and a lively heroine who is not a ‘bread and butter’ miss, you will enjoy this romantic tale.
Nearly Christmas, 1814, it is time for Lord Barthlolemew Wimbourne, younger brother of Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, to find a suitable wife before he is ordained and takes up a position as a vicar in India.
When Miss Emily Isherwood, who rarely has a good word to say about any gentleman, meets him after he rescues her mother’s cat, she decides his lordship will be a very unusual vicar.
Lord Bartholemew considers proposing marriage to a serious young woman who ‘has a steady head on her shoulders, who must be prepared to travel to a foreign clime where life will be different to England.’
His sister, Sibella, listens to his requirements for a suitable wife and tells him that he also needs fun in his life, which the serious lady he has selected will not provide.


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