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Showing posts from December, 2019

Charlemagne – a political Christmas

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Today, it's my turn in the Historical Writers’ Forum Christmas Blog Hop, and I'll be chatting a bit about a figure who has intrigued me since my childhood: Charles, King of the Franks and – from 25th December 800 – Emperor of the Roman Empire.


As my new dual-timeline novel, Love Lost in Time, is set during the late 8th century, and features Charlemagne bestowing the title of earl to Bellon of Carcassonne, my choice of a Christmas theme for the blog hop was an easy one.

Later known as Charles the Great, or Charlemagne, he had by then conquered a vast area, covering modern-day France, Belgium, the Netherlands, northern Spain, western and southern Germany and Austria, Slovenia, Bohemia, Lombardy and southern parts of Italy. He brought with him new laws, structured administration – and Christianity.


For that reason, he is now regarded as the Father of Europe, the first to unite such a vast area since the
Roman Empire 800 years earlier. His ancestors rising from humble beginnings …

Review: A Portrait of Death by Rhen Garland

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I hope you're all wrapped up warm (at least in the northern hemisphere) as the nights grow colder. It's the best time of year for reading – and Victorian murder mysteries should be on your list!

I'm delighted to share my views on another fabulous read, A Portrait of Death by Rhen Garland, organised through Rachel's Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the opportunity.


A Portrait of Death is a Victorian murder mystery with a paranormal twist. The beginning takes you through a couple of gruesome murders, but the details aren't graphic, so readers of cosy crime can enjoy this tale.

The main plot takes you to the sleepy English countryside, to the manor of the Marmis family. A weekend house party quickly turns into a trap when two men are found dead early on. And slowly, the real reasons behind the façade of the event are becoming apparent, but not without further discoveries. 

When Detective Inspector Elliott Caine begins to investigate, he uncovers an unexpected twi…

Review: Death Makes No Distinction by Lucienne Boyce

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I'm thrilled to share my thoughts on Lucienne Boyce's gripping novel, Death Makes No Distinction, today. It's a fast-paced mystery that has you reading into the wee small hours. My thanks also to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources (and my apologies to the author for the late posting of this review).


Death Makes No Distinction is the third instalment in Lucienne Boyce's Dan Foster Mystery series. And although I'm unfamiliar with the first two novels (something I'll have to rectify!), I caught up quickly with Bow Street Runner, Dan Foster, and his turbulent personal and professional life. Ms Boyce provided just enough backstory detail to give us a brief summary, which worked really well. 

Dan is very much a no-nonsense character, but he knows his place and he's not there to play the games of those in high society – unless he is compromised to do so. At first, I found it hard to warm to him, but his character grew on me. I found his approach to the two murd…