I am currently reading The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evens as a change from all things dark and dastardly.
Alix Gower may be poor but she’s also ambitious, and she’d do anything to secure her dream job in one of Paris’s premier fashion houses. But Alix also has a secret: she supports her family by stealing from the very houses she so adores.
But can Alix risk her reputation and her relationships forever? And is the handsome English reporter she keeps bumping into really to be trusted? Amazon
I have just finished reading Poison Panic: Arsenic deaths in 1840s Essex by Helen Barrell as I thought it was perfect timing, now that we are thinking about the big Christmas dinner, to brush up on poisoners…
For a few years in the 1840s, Essex was notorious in the minds of Victorians as a place where women stalked the winding country lanes looking for their next victim to poison with arsenic. It’s a terrible image – and also one that doesn’t seem to have much basis in truth – but this was a time of great anxiety.
The 1840s were also known as the ‘hungry ’40s’, when crop failures pushed up food prices and there was popular unrest across Europe. The decade culminated in a cholera epidemic in which tens of thousands of people in the British Isles died. It is perhaps no surprise that people living through that troubled decade were captivated by the stories of the ‘poisoners’: that death was down to ‘white powder’ and the evil intentions of the human heart.
Sarah Chesham, Mary May and Hannah Southgate are the protagonists of this tale of how rural Essex, in a country saturated with arsenic, was touched by the tumultuous 1840s. Amazon
Next I intend to read Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath which was published to great acclaim earlier this year.
Imagine your doorbell rings in the middle of the night.
You open the door to the police.
With them is your husband’s eleven-year-old love child. A daughter you never knew he had.
Her mother has been found dead in their south London flat.
She has nowhere else to go.
WOULD YOU TAKE HER IN? Amazon
What do you think? Any of these take your fancy? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.