Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Merchant Murderers (A Bloody Mary Mystery) by Michael Jecks

First Published: 4 October 2022
Available as: Hardcover and Kindle

Amazon Blurb: August, 1556. Jack Blackjack is on a simple mission: make it back home to his beloved London. It should be simple, right? Wrong. He’s made it as far as Exeter, but before he can secure a fresh steed in that hellish city, he’s faced with a dead priest, ruthless thieves, and a devious Dean who’s determined to see the back of Jack. That suits Jack just fine - he wants to leave!

So when wealthy merchant Wolfe, offers passage to London via sea, Jack jumps at the chance . . . and unwittingly into further danger! With thieves, pirates and potential murderers at every turn who can Jack trust? Will he uncover the truth behind the dead priest and missing merchant ships? But more importantly, will he ever make it home to London with his purse strings and limbs intact?

Set during the brief but exceedingly troubled reign of Queen Mary I, elder half-sister to the future Elizabeth I, (1553-1558) the Bloody Mary series features the amoral former cutpurse turned paid assassin, Jack Blackjack, as its cowardly, lecherous, yet strangely likeable amateur sleuth protagonist. The joke is always on Jack as he lurches from one crisis to the next, never quite sure what’s going on, yet always - just about - managing to keep one step ahead of his many enemies and those who, for whatever reason, are trying to kill him.

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The Godmother’s Secret by Elizabeth St.John

First Published: 4 October 2022
Available as: Paperback and Kindle

Amazon Blurb: If you knew the fate of the Princes in the Tower would you tell? Or forever keep the secret?

May 1483: The Tower of London. When King Edward IV dies and Lady Elysabeth Scrope delivers her young godson, Edward V, into the Tower of London to prepare for his coronation, she is engulfed in political turmoil. Within months, the prince and his brother have disappeared, Richard III is declared king, and Elysabeth’s sister Margaret Beaufort conspires with her son Henry Tudor to invade England and claim the throne.

Desperate to protect her godson, Elysabeth battles the intrigue, betrayal and power of the last medieval court, defying her Yorkist husband and her Lancastrian sister under her godmother’s sacred oath to keep Prince Edward safe. Bound by blood and rent by honour, Elysabeth is torn between the crown and her family, knowing that if her loyalty is questioned, she is in peril of losing everything—including her life.

Were the princes murdered by their uncle, Richard III? Did Margaret Beaufort mastermind their disappearance to usher in the Tudor dynasty? Or did the young boys vanish for their own safety? Of anyone at the royal court, Elysabeth has the most to lose–and the most to gain–by keeping secret the fate of the Princes in the Tower.

Inspired by England’s most enduring historical mystery, Elizabeth St.John blends her family history with known facts and centuries of speculation to create an intriguing story about what happened to the Princes in the Tower.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Early Modern England by Enthralling History

First Published: 27 September 2022
Available as: Paperback, Hardcover and Kindle

Amazon Blurb: Early modern England was a time of great transformation that ushered England out of the Middle Ages and into the modern era, but there’s likely a lot you don’t know about this period.

For instance, did you know that Henry VIII never actually got a divorce? Did you know that pirates, Shakespeare, and the witch trials all existed at the same time? Did you know that Ireland was technically the first English colony and that England beheaded its own king?

The early modern era in English history was a turbulent time. Over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries, England had to find its footing as it underwent a religious transformation, changes in government, and the start of a colonial empire. This book will outline the major events, key people, and interesting tidbits about this time in English history, including:

How the Tudors came to power
Why Henry VIII had so many wives
Social structure in early modern England
How Queen Mary earned the nickname “Bloody Mary”
What made the Glorious Revolution glorious
The reasons for colonization
Why an English king was executed for treason
Why Ireland and England don’t get along
What crimes were the most prominent
Who England was fighting with and why
And much, much more!

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Welsh Dragon: A novel of Henry Tudor by K.M. Butler

First Published: 21 September 2022
Available as: Paperback and Kindle

Amazon Blurb: 1471 A.D. The Wars of the Roses ravage England. After six months of turmoil, Yorkist King Edward IV has shattered his enemies and reclaimed his throne. As one of the last surviving Lancastrians, young Henry Tudor flees with his uncle Jasper to keep his head from adorning London Bridge beside his grandfather’s. He won’t return for fourteen long years.

Blown by storms to Brittany, Henry is trapped between the king who hunts him and a duke who views him as leverage. Though his mother labors in England to restore his lands and titles, Henry is conflicted at the prospect of his restoration. Though a penniless exile, Henry enjoys contentment in the arms of a Breton widow and the satisfaction of a simple life.

Henry only has a drop of bastard royal blood, but it’s enough to make the Yorkists plot his death. His survival may depend on embracing the very birthright that drove him into exile, even if it costs him his chance for happiness with his beloved. The path ahead is littered with tangled conspiracy, desperate escapes, and a Welsh dragon banner fluttering over a field named Bosworth.

Purchase on amazon (click here)

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Cuckold’s Bride (A Doctor William Gilbert Mystery) by Leonard Tourney

First Published: 29 September 2022
Available as: Paperback and Kindle

Amazon Blurb: As Elizabethan England reels from the clash of religious and renaissance ideas, a young pregnant woman dies. Did jealousy kill her - or science?

Doctor William Gilbert is the epitome of the renaissance scientist. Interested in philosophy and true science, he is broad minded when it comes to religion and sceptical of the revered ancients. To Dr Gilbert, rationality is all.

However, Dr Gilbert is also ambitious, and when his friend offers him a job tending a rich man’s pregnant wife, William seizes the chance with his eyes on a prosperous future. But when the beautiful young bride is found dead, he has cause to reconsider his actions - and his ideas about the world. And when William himself is accused of the woman’s murder, he must use all of his intelligence and rationality to save his own skin.

The Cuckold’s Bride is an immersive and fast-paced novel of murder, science, and the best and worst of human nature, which takes the reader into the heart of Elizabethan England. It will delight Leonard Tourney’s many fans, and please all who enjoy high-quality murder-mysteries and historical fiction.

Leonard Tourney is a popular American writer of historical murder-mysteries and fiction, as well as academic papers on British literature. His books include the Joan and Matthew Stock mystery series, and the Shakespeare-themed mysteries Time’s Fool and Catesby’s Ghost.

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The Virginia Venture: American Colonization and English Society 1580-1660 by Misha Ewen

First Published: 27 September 2022 UK (16 August 2022 USA)
Available as: Hardcover and Kindle

Amazon Blurb: The Virginia Venture is an innovative exploration of how a wider public of women, children, and men across English society contributed to the foundation of the first permanent English colony in America: Jamestown, Virginia. Drawing on sources from dozens of archives in the United States and England, it provides a fresh perspective on how capital and labor were mobilized to help build the colony―not from the perspective of elite investors alone, but from the point of view of ordinary people across the country. Women and the laboring poor have been overlooked in these efforts: The Virginia Venture brings them center stage.

As well as exploring how society at home supported colonization, the book examines the impact that colonization had on English society, including changes in attitudes and behaviors―from the provision of poor relief to domestic tobacco cultivation. The book shows that as English society became more tightly invested in colonization in America, this sparked contestations over the prioritization of “English” and “American” interests. English social history in the seventeenth century cannot be understood without this imperial perspective.

The Virginia Venture is essential reading for scholars of English social and imperial history and early American history. It draws on the methods of transatlantic history, showing the intimate connections between England and America, but it is deeply rooted in the social history archive of England. It demonstrates how English archives can be used, to their fullest extent, to illuminate this crucial period of American history.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

On This Day in Tudor History II by Claire Ridgway

First Published: 7 September 2022
Available as: Paperback and Kindle

This is a sequel to Claire Ridgway’s popular book On This Day in Tudor History:

Amazon Blurb: On This Day in Tudor History II gives you a second helping of Tudor events, including births, deaths, coronations, marriages, battles, arrests, executions and rebellions.This must-have book for Tudor buffs is perfect for: Dipping into daily for your Tudor fix; Teachers who want to give their class some Tudor history trivia; Quiz night questions; Finding out what happened on your birthday or special day; Showing people how much you know about history; Researching the Tudor period. Written by best-selling author and historian Claire Ridgway. On This Day in Tudor History II contains a wealth of fascinating information about your favourite Tudor monarchs, their subjects, their reigns and the times they lived in.

Purchase on amazon (click here)

Other books by Claire Ridgway

Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots: The Men Who Kept the Stuart Queen by Mickey Mayhew

First Published: 30 August 2022
Available as: Kindle and Hardcover

Amazon Blurb: Imprisoning Mary Queen of Scots covers the lives and careers of the men and women who ‘kept’ Mary Queen of Scots whilst she was a political prisoner in England, circa 1568 -1587. Mary’s troubled claim to the English throne – much to the consternation of her ‘dear cousin’ Elizabeth I – made her a mortal enemy of the aforementioned Virgin Queen and set them on a collision course from which only one would survive. Mary’s calamitous personal life, encompassing assassinations, kidnaps and abdications, sent her careering into England and right into the lap of Henry VIII’s shrewd but insecure daughter. Having no choice but to keep Mary under lock and key, Elizabeth trusted this onerous task to some of the most capable – not to mention the richest – men and women in England; Sir Francis Knollys, Rafe Sadler (of Wolf Hall fame), the Earl of Shrewsbury and his wife, Bess of Hardwick, and finally, the puritanical nit-picker Sir Amyas Paulet. Until now, these nobles have been mere bit-players in Mary’s story; now, their own lives, loves and fortunes are laid bare for all to see. From Carlisle Castle to Fotheringhay, these loyal subjects all but bankrupted themselves in keeping the deposed Scots queen in the style to which she was accustomed, whilst fending off countless escape plots of which Mary herself was often the author. With the sort of twist that history excels at, it was actually a honeytrap escape plot set up by Elizabeth’s ministers that finally saw Mary brought to the executioner’s block, but what of the lives of the gaolers who acted as her guardian? This book explains how Shrewsbury and Bess saw their marriage wrecked by Mary’s legendary charms, and how Paulet ended up making a guest appearance on ‘Most Haunted’, some several hundred years after his death. In that theme, the book also covers the appearances of these men and women on film and TV, in novels and also the various other Mary-related media that keeps the legend of this most misunderstood of monarchs so perfectly simmering.

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Other books by Mickey Mayhew