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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Published by Severn House, 31 January
2019. ISBN 978-0-7278-8863-1 (HB)
From the beginning this book has unusual
features. Authentic Eighteenth-century riddles preface each chapter and
provide interesting puzzles (all the answers are provided at the end!).
The title The Almanack also holds great significance as the story
reveals. Almanacks were highly popular books like Old Moore’s almanac;
they contained predictions for actual dates couched in ambiguous terms rather
like Star sign predictions in our own day. Riddles and other items
varied according to the particular almanac you bought and would be related to
your part of the country.
setting here is a Cheshire village in 1752 when Tabitha Hart returns from an
exciting life in London to find that her mother has died. Tabitha is
returning at her mother’s request but doesn’t know why her mother was
agitated. Nor does Tabitha believe in the villagers’ view that her
mother’s mind was disordered and that she died by drowning. A visitor to
the village, Nat Starling, joins with Tabitha to investigate what happened to
her mother. Both of them have their own secrets. More macabre
events occur and the attitudes of society at that time are shown in all their
horrors for those without privilege - from the vicar receiving tithes from the
poor to the lord of the manor trying to exert droit de seigneur. The
year 1752 holds significance as the year when the calendar was amended to bring
it into line with the rest of Europe and 11 days were omitted in September.
has a mastery of her material and the whole panoply of Eighteenth society seen
from a northern village is revealed. The mysteries at the heart of the
tale are gradually elucidated successfully.
Jennifer S. Palmer
Bailey has written two previous historical crime novels - An Appetite for Violets and The
Martine Bailey entered cookery
contest with no idea it would lead to a life-changing obsession with French
cuisine. As an amateur cook, Martine won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge
and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. Inspired
by eighteenth-century household books of recipes, An Appetite for Violets
invites readers to feast on the past as a sharp-witted young cook is taken on a
mysterious trip to Italy. In pursuit of authenticity Martine studied with food
historian Ivan Day and experienced Georgian food and fashion at firsthand with
an historic re-enactment society. Martine lives in Cheshire, England and
Auckland, New Zealand. She is married with one son. The almanack is her latest
book. Published in January 2019.
Jennifer PalmerThroughout my reading life crime fiction has been
a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far
East, the Netherlands &
but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.