Having spent more time at home in the last year, here are some of our favourite reads from 2020….
The Devil’s Due by Bonnie MacBird: Sherlock Holmes finds himself involved in a brand new case in this gripping new story that sees a number of leading philanthropists are being killed in alphabetical order and all of whom are part of a mysterious club called the Luminarians. MacBird writes with immense detail,provides plenty of twists and turns along the way that keeps the reader guessing right until the very end. Ideal read if you like your mysteries with plenty of puzzles and danger to overcome.
Blood & Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson: another period set murder mystery, Blood & Sugar is a grim but excellently written read that blends the murder mystery around other issues such as slavery to make for compelling reading. Vividly disturbing in places, it is certainly thrilling from start to finish.
The Final Warning by Peter Isdell-Carpenter: given the turmoil of politics in general, this debut novel couldn’t have been better timed in its release. Based sometime in the future, the story follow new President Adam Sukova, who finds himself entangled in a sinister plot that threatens to bring down not only his government – but America itself. Intelligently written, it keeps the reader engaged from start to finish with its sharp perceptive and insight into how corrupt the world of politics can get.
Moonlight Over Mayfair by Anton Du Beke: continuing on from where One Enchanted Evening left off, Anton Du Beke has written another elegant and stylish book, filled with characters that are easy to like and of course plenty of dancing as well. Perfect reading for someone who enjoys period drama.
The Tuscan Contessa by Dinah Jeffries: taking a slightly different direction from her previous novels, Dinah Jeffries latest is filled with danger and romance as two women find themselves right in the centre of the fight against German occupation in Italy during World War II. Filled with strong female characters and a plot that takes numerous turns it is one of her best novels to date.
Miss Austen by Gill Hornby: while initially I found this a struggle to get into, it was worth sticking with as it examines the relationship between the Austen sisters, bringing Cassandra Austen out of the shadows of her famous sister. Rich in detail, emotion and insight it is perfect for anyone who loves Jane Austen and her work.
The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah: this is probably one of the best Poirot books that this author has written so far. Two mysteries relating to the same case have to be solved to get to the truth in this intriguing story that really allows the reader to get into the mind of the famous Belgian detective….
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Hallie Rubenhold: there have been countless books written about the crimes of Jack the Ripper – but what about the women whose lives that he took? This is something that Rubenhold vividly rectifies in this detailed book bringing these women back to life and how they ended up being the victims of the serial killer – but not focusing too much on the crime itself.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell: this new and beautifully written novel has a wonderful poetic style to it that makes it mesmerising to read from start to finish even if it is initially difficult to get into. Shining a light on William Shakespeare’s family, the story follows Agnes from childhood to becoming a wife and mother. I adored the vivid picture of Elizabethan life and the attention to detail that was present throughout.
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes: an extraordinary retelling of the Trojan war from the perspectives of the women in the story makes for intense, heartbreaking but powerful read that I highly recommend.