Untouchable Things by Tara Guha

Seth Gardner’s life is a multi­layered performance that appears to bridge the ages with many costume changes – he’s a latter day Oedipus masquerading as a bacchanalian poet while directing this modern day Greek tragedy with the scruples of a neurotic Sigmund Freud Superficially he’s an amateur inpressario who brings together a diverse artistic group, … Continue reading “Untouchable Things by Tara Guha”

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

Fiona Griffiths possesses a razor sharp intellect professionally but can only display emotional detachment in her personal life. It is these character traits which both drive and constrain her in a quest to understand where she came from and the challenges she confronts in her police career. The author’s clear and methodical narrative mirror the … Continue reading “The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham”

The Birdcage by Clive Aslet

The Birdcage evokes images of beauty constrained by bars, of colour and noise muted by an unthinking and uncaring jailer. This is life symbolically captured in first world war Salonika; its exotic blend of inhabitants protected from the bellicose Bulgars by a ring of barbed-wire. Any notion of siege mentality though is shattered by the … Continue reading “The Birdcage by Clive Aslet”

The Zaharoff Conspiracy (A Septimus Oates Mystery) by Toby Purser

Septimus Oates is a scholastic sleuth caught up in a regal conspiracy that takes the reader on a trip through European history during the 150 years leading up to the start of the Great War. The aspiring Oxford research fellow witnesses an apparent murder in a university side street where the only tangible link connecting … Continue reading “The Zaharoff Conspiracy (A Septimus Oates Mystery) by Toby Purser”

Nightwalk by Chris Yates

A nocturnal stroll through the moonlit landscape sounds like the backdrop to a horror story but Nightwalk is infact Chris Yates’s sensory journey into the natural world that surrounds him. The prospect of being enveloped by a foreboding forest leaves the reader, and occasionally the author confronting all their irrational fears of the dark. Yet … Continue reading “Nightwalk by Chris Yates”

Hundred Days – The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd

Tom Cotterill was one of the many Allied soldiers involved in the final German retreat to the mythical Hindenburg Line as the clock inexorably counted down to the cessation of hostilities on November 11 1918. This unassuming young man was the author”s great uncle and as a member of the 15 Royal Warwickshire regiment provides … Continue reading “Hundred Days – The End of the Great War by Nick Lloyd”

Kill or Cure – An Illustrated History of Medicine by Steve Parker

The apparently magical cures of sorcerers and mystics were the forerunners of modern day medicine and it was this cultural belief in the unknown and unproven, embodied by an all pervading fear of God, that gave these early doctors their power over the infirm well into the Middle Ages. The transition from prehistoric herbalism to … Continue reading “Kill or Cure – An Illustrated History of Medicine by Steve Parker”

The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft

Anthropophagy is rather a mouthful but mention cannibals to your average reader and they will more than likely conjure up images of missionaries stumbling into tribal cooking pots. This unlikely title will certainly get you sitting at the table ready for the literary starter but the fleshy main course is comprised of an unlikely fusion of a group of … Continue reading “The Reluctant Cannibals by Ian Flitcroft”

The Subtle Thief of Youth – DJ Wiseman

A storm of biblical proportions stirs the sleepy village of Whyncombe St. Giles and Germans into confronting the mysterious disappearance of a local girl whose life and apparent death had cast a dark shadow over the local population. The unprecedented deluge is used The author (DJ Wiseman) uses the weather as a metaphor for the … Continue reading “The Subtle Thief of Youth – DJ Wiseman”

The New Elizabethans – Sixty Portraits of Our Age by James Naughtie

Is it possible for an author to define the Queen’s reign through the subjective selection of significant contributions made by an eclectic mix of individuals? Possibly you may say, but by constraining the list to 60 portraits of notable figures, it’s unlikely there would ever be a general concensus. James Naughtie has attempted to lend … Continue reading “The New Elizabethans – Sixty Portraits of Our Age by James Naughtie”