Reviews

Mini Reviews – In The Presence of Evil, Claire’s Last Secret

Title: In The Presence of Evil

Author: Tania Bayard

Publisher: Severn House Publishers

Number of Pages: 240

Release Date: 1 August 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

37881215Goodreads synopsis

Introducing scribe sleuth Christine de Pizan in the first of an intriguing new historical mystery series set in 14th Century France

Paris, 1393. Recent widow Christine de Pizan became a scribe to support her family, but when she is called to the palace to work, she dreads going. There, everyone fears the king’s attacks of unreason and they believe the charlatans who claim they can cure him with vile potions. But when a mysterious book of magic leaves a trail of real murdered bodies in its wake, Christine has more than black magic to worry about.

Then one of the king’s favourites, Hugues de Precy, is found murdered and his wife Alix de Clairy is blamed. Can Christine prove Alix’s innocence and save her from being burned at the stake?

*I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*

This book is set in 1393 Paris and follows the story of Christine who is working as a scribe in order to support her family and is currently working for the Queen of France. However, a string of murders have been taking place and when another woman of the court’s husband is found dead she is accused of the murder Christine sets out to prove her innocence. While this book sounds interesting it just wasn’t for me and I DNFed it at 25%. I couldn’t seem to get invested in the story and the characters felt quite bland and I couldn’t connect to them.

 

Title: Claire’s Last Secret

Author: Marty Ambrose

Publisher: Severn House Publishers

Number of Pages: 192

Release Date: 1 September 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Goodreads Synopsis

A tragic death leads Claire Clairmont to be haunted by her past and the ‘summer of 1816’ she shared with Byron and Shelley in this first in an intriguing new historical trilogy.

1873, Florence. Claire Clairmont, the last survivor of the ‘haunted summer of 1816’ Byron/Shelley circle, is living out her final years in genteel poverty, but the appearance of British tourist, William Michael Rossetti, brings hope that she may be able to sell some of her memorabilia to earn enough cash to support her and her niece/companion, Paula.

But Rossetti’s presence in Florence heralds a cycle of events that links the summer of 1816 – when Claire conceived an ill-fated child with George Gordon, Lord Byron, when Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, and when four tempestuous lives came together – to a tragic death. As Claire begins to unravel the truth, she must go back to that summer of passion to discover the identity of her old enemy.

*I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*

This is an historical fiction based on the life of Claire Clairmont and follows two different timelines, the first being 1873 Florence where Claire is struggling with whether she should sell her memorabilia in order to support her and her niece. The second is the Summer of 1816 that Claire spent in Geneva with Lord Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley. This was a really interesting story and as a massive fan of Frankenstein I loved learning more about Byron/Shelly circle and the summer that led to Mary writing the novel. I enjoyed the way that both timelines were woven together and I gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

3 thoughts on “Mini Reviews – In The Presence of Evil, Claire’s Last Secret

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