Fiona Veitch Smith - The Jazz Files (Poppy Denby Investigates)
Chosen because the author is a fellow north-eastern writer, I was delighted with this book. Set in 1920s London, the story follows young Poppy Denby from Northumberland as she visits her former suffragette Aunt Dot in London. Dot encourages Poppy to apply for her dream job at the Globe newspaper, and soon she is a cub reporter in the company of dashing photographer Daniel. But there's a long-standing mystery about to rear its head, stemming from Dot's days as a suffragette before the war. Intrepid Poppy finds herself on the hunt for the truth. There's a mysterious death, treachery and a dastardly deceiver to uncover. Filled with colourful historic detail, interesting characters and plenty of twists. Thoroughly engaging.
Victoria Connelly - The Rose Girls
Victoria Connelly's books are wonderful 'comfort reads', and this one is no exception. Celeste returns to her family home and rose business in Suffolk to help her sisters after their mother has passed away. She has a failed marriage behind her, and her sisters Gertie and Evie also find it difficult to share their complicated love lives. Although the business is doing well, it doesn't provide nearly enough money for the upkeep of the crumbling manor house which is their home. There are some troubling decisions to make, and the young women struggle to agree on the future of their home and business. A novel of romance, family relationships, history and secrets. A great book to curl up with.
Jeff Wheeler - The Thief's Daughter
Book 2 in the Kingfountain series, an alternative reality with fantasy inspired by the era of King Richard III in England. This novel has proved to be every bit as riveting as the first in the series. Owen and Evie are now seventeen years old, and their childhood companionship has developed into a deep love. But each have obligations to their King, Severn, the deformed, talented and lonely monarch of Ceredigion. Owen is talented beyond his years in warfare strategy, and is blessed by the Fountain with powerful gifts. Together they travel to the neighbouring kingdom of Atabyrion to make a treaty with its young ruler, Iago Llewellyn. But there is a hard price to pay for his loyalty that will try Owen and Evie's love to its utmost limit. Exciting, magical, mysterious, with characters that leap off the page.