The Daughter Of Time

Author – Josephine Tey

Josephine Tey is a pen name used by Elizabeth Mackintosh (1896-1952).  She also wrote under the name Gordon Daviot.  The Daughter of Time is the fifth book of her Inspector Grant series. In 1990 this was voted by the British Crime Writers Association as the number one mystery novel of all time.  Her second book, A Shilling for Candles was used as a basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Young and Innocent.

All royalties from her books go to The National Trust.

Publisher – Arrow Books 2009

Pages – 222

The Blurb – Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history.  Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains – a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brothers children to make his crown secure?  Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England’s throne?

This book was recommended to me by Sara Read, an author and university lecturer.  Find her on Twitter @saralread

‘Truth is the daughter of time’

My thoughts – History and mystery, I loved this book.  It took me hardly anytime to read, I was so engrossed in it.  I’ve never read anything by Josephine Tey before, but will definitely be adding the rest of her titles to my tbr pile.

The book starts with the Inspector being laid up in hospital following a broken leg.  His boredom leads to his friend bringing him some mysteries to solve.  Amongst these is a picture of Richard III. Alan Grant can not associate the picture with the image that history has portrayed of him.  With help from the nurses and Brent Carradine, an American student, he embarks on an historical journey in which he deduces that Richard has been unfairly demonised for all these years.

This book is written as fiction but leaves you with lots of questions.  There is a lot of detailed research in the book and references to other books and literature.  I am presuming that the author actually did all this herself and this lead to her character’s conclusions.  One of the books mentioned is The Rose Of Raby by Evelyn Payne-Ellis, after finishing the book I did a little of my own research and there is a book called this but not by the author mentioned.

I really can not recommend this highly enough and I am so glad that Sarah mentioned it. It certainly gives history a different slant.  It leaves you wondering whether everything you have been taught is actually true.

There is obviously a renewed interest in Richard III since his remains were found buried in a car park.  he was laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral on 26th March 2015.

You can purchase it here



Tamworth Literary Festival

Unfortunately due to the dreadful weather conditions we have all been experiencing, tonight’s event with Martin Carver has had to be cancelled.  Hopefully this will be rescheduled for later in the year.

Also the event for tomorrow at the Town Hall has had to be cancelled due to some of the participants being unable to travel to Tamworth.

All events from Monday are going ahead as normal, and hopefully the weather will be kinder.

Monday 5th March Free Poetry Evening – Bolehall Manor Club 7.30 start

Tuesday 6th March Free Storytelling Night – Market Vaults 7.30 start

Wednesday 7th March Romance/Womens Fiction – St George’s Chapel 7.30 start

Thursday 8th March Crime & Thriller Panel – The Globe Inn 7.30 start

Friday 9th March Comedy Night – Wilnecote Parish Hall 7.30 start

Saturday 10th March A Celebration of Literature – Tamworth Library 10.30 – 3pm

We look forward to seeing you at these events.

Tamworth Literary Festival

This month sees the start of Tamworth Literary Festival.  From the 2nd through to the 10th, the town will be hosting several events to celebrate literature in all its forms.

Tomorrow sees Martin Carver give a talk in St Editha’s Church, Church Street, Tamworth.  Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start.


2018 is the 1100 anniversary of the death of Aethelflaed in Tamworth.

Tickets are available on the door but you can also buy them HERE

The other events this week are:

Saturday 3rd March Free Open Day Event – Tamworth Town Hall 10.30 – 3.30pm

Monday 5th March Free Poetry Evening – Bolehall Manor Club 7.30 start

Tuesday 6th March Free Storytelling Night – Market Vaults 7.30 start

Wednesday 7th March Romance/Womens Fiction – St George’s Chapel 7.30 start

Thursday 8th March Crime & Thriller Panel – The Globe Inn 7.30 start

Friday 9th March Comedy Night – Wilnecote Parish Hall 7.30 start

Saturday 10th March A Celebration of Literature – Tamworth Library 10.30 – 3pm

There is something for everyones taste.

Look forward to seeing you there.

British Book Challenge

I discovered this challenge on Twitter by accident the other day.  After getting the details I have decided this is something I would like to participate in and promote this year.

So this is my sign up post and this is to document the British authors and books I would like to read this year.

I have a massive to be read pile, who doesn’t? So I have gone through my list and hopefully by the end of the year, I will have read and reviewed the majority of these titles.

The Miniaturist and The Muse by Jessie Burton.

The Lucky Ones, The Devil’s Work and Follow You Home by Mark Edwards.

Jack The Ripper Case Closed by Gyles Brandreth.

The Mistletoe Bride by Kate Mosse.

The House Of Birds by Morgan McCarthy

I am also interested in reading books by Christie Barlow, Sara Read and Erin Green.

If you are interested in signing up for yourself and promoting British authors, please click here



The Red House

Author – Mark Haddon

Mark is an author of youth and adult fiction.  He has also published poetry.  In 2003 he won The Whitbread Book of the Year award for his book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.  He also achieved the Commonwealth Writers Prize for this title.

Mark is on Twitter as mark_haddon.  His website is

Publisher – Random House 2012

Pages 264

The Blurb – After his mother’s death, Richard, a newly married hospital consultant, decides to build bridges with his estranged sister, inviting Angela and her family for a week in a rented house on the Welsh border.  Four adults and four children, a single family and all of them strangers.

I got to read this book through my libraries reading group.

My thoughts – I found it very hard going to start off with as its not written like other novels.  Mark Haddon writes in streams of consciousness, alternating through each of the characters. The story follows Angela, her husband, Dominic, their children, Alex, Daisy and Benjy when they are invited by Angela’s brother Richard to share a rented house for a week.  Their mother has just died and he feels the need to connect.  He has a wife Louisa and a step daughter Melissa.

The book covers a week as the two families coexist in a small space, The Red House.  Angela and Richard trying to rekindle their relationship.  The book concentrates on each family member’s inner thoughts and their own demons as they try to navigate their life, and their relationship to each other.  I found it interesting listening to the thoughts of the characters and how what they thought didn’t always translate into their spoken words or actions.  I am very guilty of the same thing, I may say one thing but my mind is thinking another. The range of feelings felt by the different age ranges are all very relatable.  Guilt, failure, weakness, happiness, hope, convention and duty are just some of them.

I am very pleased I persevered with this, as I found it a different way of writing, a person’s perspective.  I would recommend it, the story is good and the underlying thoughts of the characters intriguing. It is beautifully written.

To purchase The Red House


Blood Runs Cold

Author – Alex Barclay

Blood Runs Cold is the third of Alex Barclays books. The first with FBI Special Agent Ren Bryce.  The book won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book awards.

Darkhouse 2005

The Killer 2007

Time of Death 2010

The Curse Of Kings 2013

Blood Loss 2014

Harm’s Reach 2014

Killing Ways 2015

The Drowning Child 2016

Her website is

Publisher – HarperCollins 2008

Pages 487

The Blurb – The only way to reach the end is to turn back..

When the body of FBI agent Jean Transom is found on the frozen slopes of Quandary Peak, the nearby town of Breckenridge, Colorado, becomes the focus of a major investigation.

A quiet, dedicated agent on the surface, it soon becomes clear that there was another side to Jean Transom.  And who better to uncover it than Special Agent Ren Bryce, an expert in violent crimes and a woman with secrets of her own; secrets that could compromise the entire investigation and put an end to her distinguished career.

Her boss, her informant, her colleagues, her ex – Ren needs to know who she can trust… because the last person she can trust is herself.

I was given this book by a friend

My thoughts – This is the first Alex Barclay book I have read.  The story starts as Ren is having an argument with her live in boyfriend.  It is here you get the first idea of the her character and certain demons she may have.  I have come to the conclusion that any member of the police force in fiction, has to have a vice.  I suppose it makes for more of a hook for the reader.

Ren is is tasked with solving the murder of Jean Transom, a fellow agent whose body is found on Quandary Peak.  By delving into Jean’s past, she uncovers a multitude of secrets.  One that someone is willing to kill to protect.

I found the banter between the agents is written very well.  There is an authenticity to the dialogue that she uses.  The story moves along well and is easy to follow.  I enjoy a story with twists and turns and I wasn’t disappointed with this one.

There is a lot of Ren’s back story added at the end of the book, which I found didn’t add anything.  However there are more books with Ren as the protagonist, so it is probably useful for further storylines.  It does lend an incite to her perceived character flaws, so although I feel it wasn’t necessary after the main story, for the character as a whole I can see why this was added by the author.

I enjoyed the book and would read further books by the author.  The plot was good, and I read the book in three sittings, so it held my attention.  I would recommend.

Blood Runs Cold



A Little, Aloud Review

Author – The Reader Organisation, Various. Edited by Angela Macmillan.

Publisher – Chatto and Windsor 2010.  All proceeds from this book go directly to The Reader Organisation.

The Reader Organisation started because they wanted to start a ‘reading revolution’.  They established reading groups around the country to promote literature to every section of society.  People are encouraged to read stories and poems that they would not usually access.  The groups then discuss what they have heard.  This promotes literature but in turn is found to promote well.being and in particular

The Blurb – An anthology of prose and poetry for reading aloud to someone you care for.

The book is divided into themes, which contain a short story and a poem highlighting it.  Each short story has an estimated reading time.  Perfect if you have a limited time for reading, say in hospital visiting time.  At the end of each theme there is a discussion, where different cross sections of society give their views.

I picked this book up at The Works in the sale for £1.00.

My thoughts – I loved this book, I like anthologies so that was my initial reason for picking it.  After reading it, I enjoyed the concept.  Reading loud is something I do very rarely, but reading to someone else, I don’t think I have ever done (apart from my children). The discussions at the end of every theme are very interesting, and give you view points you may not have considered.

The book contains some excellent writers and their work:

Charles Dickens, Anna Sewell, Robert Burns, Seamus Heaney, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy just to name a few.  I found because you just get a small excerpt a piece, it makes you want to read the entire thing.  Hence more and more books being added to my ever growing tbr pile!

There is a beautiful sentence in David Swan – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“In a few hours they had forgotten the whole affair, nor once imagined that the recording angel had written down the crime of murder against their souls, in letters as durable as eternity.”

My favourite poem in the anthology is Rebecca, Who slammed doors for fun and perished miserably by Hilaire Belloc.

A beautiful book whether you are sharing or not.

To purchase A Little, Aloud

There are two other books in the series:

A Little, Aloud, for Children

A Little, Aloud with Love