As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Hodder & Stoughton, 22 October 2015. ISBN: 978 1 444 78581 4
Oswald de Lacy was never
expected to be the Lord of Somershill; as the third son, he had been intended
to make his career in a monastic setting. The Black Death killed Oswald's
father and two elder brothers and left him as lord of the manor, but there is a
secret about Oswald's birth that haunts him and which now only a few people
know. Oswald struggles to prove his worthiness to himself and to his mother and
ruthless sister, Clemence.
Black Death has left few people fit to work on the land and, because of this,
the remaining workers feel that they should be paid more for the extra work,
especially as many of them are struggling to grow enough crops to feed
themselves. However, the King has decreed that no worker should be paid more
than they were paid before the workforce was decimated. Oswald finds himself in
an impossible position, aware that he is losing his workers and that those who
do not leave his manor are the weak who will be to frail to work and, in time,
starve to death, but also unable to break the King's Law and give his people
the money that they need. Then a large and ugly bird is sighted in the skies,
killing young lambs, and a new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush.
Rumours abound about a Butcher Bird that is preying on the weak and defenceless
and the villagers turn on one of their number, a man driven insane by the loss
of his family to the Black Death. Oswald has already been sickened by an
earlier act of superstition-fuelled murder committed by the villagers and he is
determined to discover the truth, protect the innocent, including his own
new-born nephew, and to prove his worthiness to be Lord of Somershill. His quest
takes him from rural Kent to medieval London and places him in mortaldanger before he discovers the truth.
Butcher Bird is the second novel featuring Oswald de Lacy and follows very
directly from the first book, Plague Land. Indeed it reveals so much of the
action of Plague Land that readers would be well advised to read the books in
the correct order. It paints a dark picture of the cruel realities of medieval
life and describes a time when, even for the wealthy, life was harsh. An
interesting book, recommended for those who enjoy stronger and darker
D Sykeshas lived in Somerset, London,
Manchester and now in the Weald of Kent. She says that she has always been a
storyteller, even as a child - writing her first book at the age of six and
insisting it be typed up and bound. After a career writing copy for brochures,
direct mail, and company newsletters, she started Plague Land after attending the course in novel writing at literary
agents Curtis Brown. Her influences are gothic literature, nature, history and
my large and mildly eccentric family.
Carol Westronis a successful short story writer and a Creative
Writing teacher.She is the moderator
for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.Her crime novels are set both in contemporary
and Victorian times.The Terminal
Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published
July 2013. Her second book About the
Children was published in May 2014.