Genre: Historical Thriller Suspense

#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “A Nest of Vipers” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.2) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry [an audiobook I began during #FraterfestRAT]

Posted Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

By hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks in particular). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library via Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I began to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Through hosting with Audiobookworm Promotions, I crossed paths with Mr Urry, as my first audiobook review was for “The Cryptic Lines” – a story I listened to at least four times, as I was simply captivated by both the story and the narrator! This was back in [2016] and in this small frame of time, Mr Urry has remained my favourite narrator of Suspense – although my short-list now includes Moira Quirk (of Anna Blanc series) and Alison Campbell (of Kay Hunter series) – as well as the other lovely narrators I mentioned in this tweet s/o of narrator appreciation!

In early 2018, Mr Urry approached me about considering his titles for review – I was able to select which titles interested me, even though I think he knew I was keen on hearing the next installment of this particular series (Ruritanian Rogues) as I enjoyed the first story and was interested in seeing what the next chapter would reveal. In regards to my second choice, I wanted to try a different kind of Suspense story which was slightly unique in concept and plot direction which is why I selected “The Tesla Gate”. This marks my first review working directly with Mr Urry – as I have three planned to be featured during #SpooktasticReads Year II with a fourth following suit in early November.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Nest of Vipers” from the narrator Jake Urry in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I loved about ‘A Looming of Vultures’:

aside from my obvious appreciation of: Storry & Urry!

It surprises me not, this story begins with a dash of prose – of poetic insinuation to set the tone of the story yet to be told. Storry has a curiously instinctive way of placing you exactly where you need to be at the beginning of his stories – of enveloping you in the ominously unknown setting you’ve not yet had a proper glimpse of but one you can feel is lurking there – slightly shadowed and held back from your direct observation; lingering a bit to give you a fuller breadth of why this story needs to be one you must hear. He builds the curiosity by slowly shifting your perspective into his world-view – combined with the gentle nudging by Urry, to guide you within these realms, whose voice is as alluring and addictive as your favourite actor whose transformation confirms the role he’s taken on – the stage is magnificently set for your immersion.

There is a metaphoric overlay about vultures – of their creature specific personalities and how they appear in the sky, as their flights are of particular choosing – where only their motivations for going where they go is not as well known to those who observe them. They seek their own way, of choosing to visit certain places for specific reasons – whether to eat what was left behind for them to consume (as they were scavengers; part of the team of the nature’s world band of undertakers) or whether their presence was needed for something else entirely. They had keen minds, nothing escaped their attention, where their olfactory senses were intensively attuned to their environment.

With reasons to avoid human encampments – it was curious to find one such creature was more daringly moving in circles of closeness to where the humans were already gathered. His patience was part of his fortitude, his mannerisms held their own truths but his eyes drank in everything moving in front of him; to be dissected for what it would yield for his own means of enjoyment.

There are a lot of layers to this story – as you peer into each of them, you start to see things differently than what you first hear the first time round. However, having said this – one of the joys is observing the thief – the gull this person has at keeping their promises to carry out their plans, but also, how passionate they are in being able to carry off whatever they deem is worthy of their time. One of my favourite scenes was actually a moment where the thief was nearly found out – because it showed the other side of thieving – of how close one can become to being caught! Mind you, this person is so blinded by their pursuit of what they want – they can’t process any other observation on their actions!

I truly loved how Storry makes this an immersive experience for the reader – you get to feel guided a bit by how he’s setting everything up to be followed in direct pursuit of his characters, but there are moments where even the characters themselves are not as certain about where they are going – as they have to move through their setting as if visiting it for the first time, to navigate themselves out of it. There is a particular moment where you felt most intrigued for how little elements are knitted into the background each step of the way, as there are remnants of the historical era of this story here and there; little touches of grounding you in a time-line which makes sense for the general awareness of ‘when’ we’ve been transported.

And, in regards to Mr Urry’s narration:

This is dearly theatrical because you get caught up in the height of how each character is presented – they are so very well attuned to their distinct personalities, you can listen to how they are dimensionally being portrayed. In this kind of performance it is easier to alight inside the narrative because you can see each of the characters in turn, their voices altering between each other and this never sounds like a novel being voiced by one narrator. The joyful bit is unravelling the plot through what your listening too – as Mr Urry gives such depth to everyone he’s portraying as it automatically thickens the plot because your feeling your way through the story the same way you do as your reading a book in print. This is why I love listening to how he narrates his stories!

-quoted from my review of A Looming of Vultures

I still lament: I’m addictive to listening to Urry’s voice and I am musefully happy to see what Mr Storry is going to write next because his stories are a brilliant match to Urry’s narration.

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#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “A Nest of Vipers” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.2) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry [an audiobook I began during #FraterfestRAT]A Nest of Vipers
Subtitle: Ruritanian Rogues, Volume Two
by Richard Storry
Source: Direct from narrator
Narrator: Jake Urry

A string of unexplained, gruesome deaths brings fear and uncertainty to the streets of Ruritania’s capital.

And it could not have happened at a worse time. The planned visit by the Vice Chancellor of Jermania to commence peace talks is thrown into jeopardy. Will all the preparation for the negotiations come to nothing? Will the brutal war between the two nations escalate once again?

Meanwhile, the spate of thefts from wealthy homes continues. Who is responsible? And how can they be stopped?

And who is the mysterious figure who continually gains illegal access to the city apothecary?

With many conflicting and intertwining agendas, this proud and noble city faces the very real danger of becoming a nest of vipers.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B078WXYG4G

Also by this author: The Cryptic Lines, A Looming of Vultures

Also in this series: A Looming of Vultures


Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Suspense


Published by Self Published Author

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours 5 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Cryptic Publications

Ruritanian Rogues series:

A Looming of Vultures by Richard Storry (audiobook)A Nest of Vipers by Richard Storry (audiobook version)A Shroud of Darkness by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry (audiobook)

A Looming of Vultures | Book One
(see also Review)

A Nest of Vipers | Book Two

A Shroud of Darkness | Book Three

A Betrayal Of Trust | Book Four

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Indie Author, Self-Published Author

#SpooktasticReads | Year II of our spooktastically lovely mini-#WyrdAndWonder event for Autumn! This year, #JorieReads with a main concentration on #WitchyReads + Ghost Stories!

Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.
#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.

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Welcome, Welcome to #SpooktasticReads Year II

 

Happily visit my lovely co-hosts:

Lisa @ Dear Geek Place

+ Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More

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In Autumn [2017], you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in [2017], though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

Last year [2018], I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in [2017] take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life!

Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!

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A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.

This year [2019] as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads – I am going to be focusing on two equally dynamic concentrations: #WitchyReads & Ghost Stories! I noticed I have quite a gathering of both – they both parlay into the heart of #SpooktasticReads but also, the fact that when it comes to #SpookyReads in general – these are the two concentrations I have the tendency of seeking out the most! I have the added benefit and joy of being able to focus on narrators I love listening too whilst knocking off a few of my backlogue reviews!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!

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Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

#SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review [during #FraterfestRAT] | “An Abiding Fire” (Book One: Thomazine and Major Russell #Thrillers) by M.J. Logue [#SatBookChat feat. guest, 12 October!]

Posted Saturday, 12 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Borrowed Book By: I borrowed a print copy of “An Abiding Fire” via my local library. Full disclosure: this was a purchase request of mine after I hosted the author for a delightful interview in conjuction with a blog promotional tour her publisher Sapere Books assembled. I am choosing to share my reflections and takeaways on behalf of this novel without obligation to post my ruminative thoughts about the story. The Press Materials shown on this post were provided by either the publisher Sapere Books and/or the author M.J. Logue and are used with permission; as I had left the door open to review this novel if my library purchased the copy I had requested post-interview. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What drew me into wanting to read “An Abiding Fire”:

For starters, it was the curious premise behind the novel itself – secondly, it was shortly after I received the responses back from the interview I hosted with Ms Logue where I realised between her wicked sense of humour & her love for the setting in which this series is set – it felt like quite a wicked good fit! I will admit, it also felt a bit more daunting to read – as we had such an insta-connection as writer to reader (as you can clearly oversee in the convo we shared) – I was hoping I could become attached into this world & pull out the vision she had for it as it is the first of a series.

The Restoration period of London isn’t one I usually read about either – I tend to dance round specific eras and historical ‘markers’ in History; I think I know more about Revolutionary War France & America than I do about the Restorative generation of England! Laughs. Even then, I am still in need of stories – as who can ever have their fill once they find a period of time they enjoy time travelling through an author’s story? Not, I, surely. Thus the timescape in of itself was quite the allure as I do like uncovering new chapters of the historical past within the stories I am reading moreso at times than even a new hidden niche of a genre I already know to love by the stories I’ve previously read.

When you get to travel back into a timescape you’ve either only heard about loosely, never heard of previously or only have a farthering of an idea of what it could involve; you get quite a bit giddy over the prospects of how your experience within this new ‘era’ will overtake you. I think more than anything that fuelled my curiosity but as said, on the interview itself – I was also smitten by the concept of the series, the characters & the overall sense of how this series stands out from others within the sphere of Historical Mysteries & Suspense if not outright Historical Thrillers.

This is labelled more Thriller than Mystery/Suspense – per the conversation I had with Ms Logue I could understand why that distinction was made – as it parlays into the kind of decriptive narrative you are about to experience inasmuch as certain inclusionary elements which take it outside the Mysteries & Suspense threads straight into the Thriller section(s).

Even before I began reading this novel, I knew I wanted to have Ms Logue as a guest during @SatBookChat as I had a feeling – the two of us together would make a wicked good team at discussing not just her series but whichever topic which organically elects to knit itself into our conversation! Mostly though – as I was looking through the Sapere Books catalogue and also reading through their emails – not just for blog tours to host but their bookish newsletters as well for pending & current releases, this is one series I felt I could go the distance to enjoy reading.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish Book Review [during #FraterfestRAT] | “An Abiding Fire” (Book One: Thomazine and Major Russell #Thrillers) by M.J. Logue [#SatBookChat feat. guest, 12 October!]An Abiding Fire
Subtitle: Murder and Mystery in Restoration London
by M.J. Logue
Source: Purchase REQ | local library

How do you solve a murder when you are one of the suspects?

1664, London

Life should be good for Major Thankful Russell and his new bride, Thomazine. Russell, middle-aged and battle-scarred, isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect husband for an eligible young woman but the moment Thomazine set eyes on her childhood hero, she knew they were destined for one another.

But Russell, a former Roundhead, now working for the King’s intelligence service, was never going to have a simple life in Restoration London.

Unable to shake suspicions of his Parliamentarian past, someone seems hell-bent on ruining his reputation — and his life.

Whispers about his sister’s violent murder follow him and accusations of treason abound.

When more deaths occur Russell finds himself under suspicion.

He is ready to escape from the capital, but Thomazine is determined to find the truth and clear the name of the man she loves.

But who is the real killer and why are they so keen to frame Russell?
More importantly, will they succeed?
And has Thomazine’s quest put them all in mortal danger?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1912786817

Also by this author: An Abiding Fire (Interview)

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Sapere Books

on 2nd January, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 285

Published by: Sapere Books (@SapereBooks)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThe Thomazine and Major Russell Thrillers series:

An Abiding Fire by M.J. Logue

An Abiding Fire (book one)

A Deceitful Subtlety (book two)

1666, London Thomazine and Major Thankful Russell should be enjoying married life. With one teething baby and another on the way, life at the newly-rebuilt house at Four Ashes in the Chilterns is never dull, and they’re hoping to put the debauchery of Restoration London behind them. But then the indomitable poetess Mistress Aphra Behn arrives at their door… Aphra claims to have promised to marry respectable merchant William Scot, who she met on a previous spying mission in Belgium. But he never turned up for the wedding. She’s determined to discover his fate – and she wants Thankful to help her search Bruges. Which may be how married couples behave in sophisticated London society, but there’s no way Thomazine is letting her husband loose on his own with the lovely, flirtatious Mistress Behn. It looks like the couple will once again have to put domestic bliss aside to unravel this intriguing mystery…

→ A third novel is currently the author’s WIP!

Formats available: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #HistFic or #HistNov + #Thriller

+ #AnAbidingFire & #MJLogue as well as #ThomazineAndMajorRussell

About M.J. Logue

M.J. Logue

M. J. Logue (as in cataLOGUE and epiLOGUE and not, ever, loge, which is apparently a kind of private box in a theatre) wrote her first short novel on a manual typewriter aged seven. It wasn’t very good, being about talking horses, but she made her parents sit through endless readings of it anyway.

Thirty-something years later she is still writing, although horses only come into it occasionally these days. Born and brought up in Lancashire, she moved to Cornwall at the turn of the century (and has always wanted to write that) and now lives in a granite cottage with her husband, and son, five cats, and various itinerant wildlife.

After periods of employment as a tarot reader, complaints call handler, executive PA, copywriter and civil servant, she decided to start writing historical fiction about the period of British history that fascinates her – the 17th century.

Her first series, covering the less than stellar career of a disreputable troop of Parliamentarian cavalry during the civil wars, was acclaimed by reviewers as “historical fiction written with elegance, wit and black humour” – but so many readers wanted to know whether fierce young lieutenant Thankful Russell ever did get his Happy Ever After, that the upcoming series of romantic thrillers for Sapere Books began.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 12 October, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Crime Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Sapere Books

Book Review | “Queen’s Gambit” (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle series, Book Two) by Bradley Harper In this sequel to “A Knife in the Fog” Doyle is not the centre of focus, Margaret Harkness takes the lead!

Posted Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. However, their imprints Seventh Street Books & Pyr were merged into Start Publishing in [2019] – wherein I had the pleasure of being approached by their new publicity team via Kaye Publicity in Spring 2019 wherein I was first introduced to the Spice Shop Mysteries as I was told about a forthcoming release [for June] was “Chai Another Day”. From there, I started to work with Kaye Publicity to continue reviewing Seventh Street Book titles and author releases I am both familiar with and/or are considered “new authors” to my readerly life.

As an aside, despite the fact Seventh Street Books has been bought out by Smart Publishing – all links to their website and social accounts have remained active and use the same urls. The new publisher has maintained all their sites and thereby, the transition was seamless for readers who wanted to keep in touch with the authors and the series they come to love by Seventh Street Books & Pyr!

I received a complimentary copy of “Queen’s Gambit” direct from the publisher Seventh Street Books (an imprint of Start Science Fiction) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On what I enjoyed in the pages of “A Knife in the Fog”:

This novel begins the series introducing us to all the key characters – from Professor Bell, to Arthur Conan Doyle and Margaret Harkness. As the series progresses forward – the characters shift in focus & share the lead.

A reflectively pensive voice gives us the impression the following account of an investigation into the Ripper murders of East London was in effect not only of profound impact on the narrator of this story (of whom I presumed immediately was Conan Doyle) but was in reality, an important marker of time for this person. It envelopes itself into a pertinent relationship of mind and arms; of a person who not only of equal mirth of enquiry and investigative instincts but of common interests and conveyances which were equally dynamic in their own rights. It is here – within the fragmented touchstones of what is yet to come where you start to distinguish the ‘voice’ of the novel A Knife in the Fog to being very decisively Holmesian.

Doyle, similar to Holmes does not suffer fools gently nor does he wish his personal or professional time to be waylaid but people who are less than honest with him on first meeting. It is here where you can infer how much Harper was researching his protagonist not just as the subject study to influence his own series but how Doyle himself could embody a lot of the characteristics we’ve all come to love in our beloved Holmes; than thus even more readily, it would be Harper who gives us a fuller advantage of seeing the inspiration behind Watson. The interesting bit here is of whom was the inspiring force behind both characters as your own mind might have readily adapted itself to thinking it was Doyle to Holmes and Dr Bell to Watson when the reality of the truth is a bit more intriguing to say the least! For my own capacity of interest – I did vacillate at first to make the distinction myself – as there are aspects of both men within both characters, however, there are firm clues towards whom is whom so to speak throughout the narrative Harper has delivered leading to the truer truth behind the designation of which current characters elude to the infamous ones!

Finding little details of historical influence and relevancy like this uncomfortable reaction in Doyle made it a joy to read A Knife in the Fog – as there are other small touches of where the past feels ever-present and where the narrative has a lovely tone and style of being decidedly British and Historical in scope. I believe it is this kind of detailed fine tuning in the story which help alight you into the era we’re being presented – it is lovely when you can find writers who are going the extra mile to give us a presentation of an era which we can find plausible and believable like what Mr Harper has done within his series. Although some of his words and phrasing is wickedly British, he does revert back to writing this in an American voice – I would have preferred it to be more British in the choices of words but blessedly it felt British by how he conveyed the backdrop of the setting and how he approached our immersion into Doyle’s life.

I, on the other hand, took an immediate liking to Margaret – she was her own person, owning her truths and her way of life with the confidence you’d expect from a woman of her nature. She did not apologise for her choices in life (nor should she) and she had an upper edge against Doyle as his presumptive assumptions about her were loudly present even if they were left unsaid aloud. Harkness is the kind of no-nonsense woman who was game for anything and had this zest for believing she could accomplish whatever she needed to simply due to the courage she had to believe in herself. Ironically, her dedication and her fortitude seemed lost on Doyle – at least at this first crossing of their paths.

You truly appreciate how Harper has sharpened our impression of Harkness, as my favourite passage which involves her and Doyle at this junction of the story is when she saves him from a would-be robber. The event itself isn’t a spoiler for the story but it is a clear representation of how foiled Doyle was in thinking he would have held an upper hand in this situation. I love how Harkness not only re-proves the point about how women can be independently secure in their beings but also be resourceful enough to intervene whenever danger arises. It was a classy look at how misconceptions in gender and how unnecessary misunderstandings within the classes of gender can put undo judgement against people. I personally felt it was a rather fitting sequence as it set a tone for how Doyle would view Harkness and how Harkness would become endeared to the reader.

I had a feeling I knew where A Knife in the Fog was directing me in regards to whom would become unmasked as the Ripper. Harper did something quite classic in how he developed the story-line, the characters and the persons of whom they encountered along the route of the story as it shifted forward – he kept you close to the dialogue, the discoveries and the case as it evolved through the investigation. All of which is brilliantly within the guise of the genre this story is set but he also did a hat trick from a magician’s bag of tricks – he re-directed your attention away from something you might have clued in on more readily if you weren’t equally distracted from addressing what it was you thought you had picked up on earlier in the story! Laughs. I actually was quite impressed how long the suspense lasted as it takes you straight (almost!) to the concluding chapters to where Harper knits together the conclusion (some) readers might not expect to be the solution to the mysterious identity of the Ripper. I, for one, felt it was a right proper choice – it staid within the scope of the journey we took walking beside Conan Doyle, Harkness and Bell whilst it also eluded to a reality you could find believable about this infamous case of crime.

It is in the final chapter wherein I felt reconnected to Conan Doyle – as for me, he held within his character (within the scope of the series) a bit more Holmesian attributes than I think Harper even realised he had etched into his nature. He might have meant for us to view Doyle differently but in the final chapter, there was a brilliant moment of recognition and also quiet acceptance of how this characterisation of Conan Doyle was a classic representation of why I have loved Sherlock Holmes. It is fitting truly, Harper has found his voice in fiction to be fulfilling a missing gap in stories which I believe the real Conan Doyle would have appreciated had he lived to see their publication.

-quoted from my review of A Knife in the Fog

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Book Review | “Queen’s Gambit” (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle series, Book Two) by Bradley Harper In this sequel to “A Knife in the Fog” Doyle is not the centre of focus, Margaret Harkness takes the lead!Queen's Gambit
Subtitle: A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness
by Bradley Harper
Source: Direct from Publisher

Spring, 1897. London. Margaret Harkness, now in her early forties, must leave England for her health but lacks the funds. A letter arrives from her old friend Professor Bell, her old comrade in the hunt for Jack the Ripper and the real-life inspiration for Sherlock Holmes.

Bell invites her to join him in Germany on a mysterious mission for the German government involving the loss of state secrets to Anarchists. The resolution of this commission leads to her being stalked through the streets of London by a vengeful man armed with a powerful and nearly silent air rifle who has both Margaret and Queen Victoria in his sights. Margaret finds allies in Inspector James Ethington of Scotland Yard and his fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, who aspires to follow in Margaret's cross-dressing footsteps.

The hunt is on, but who is the hunter, and who the hunted as the day approaches for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee when the aged empress will sit in her open carriage at the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral? The entire British Empire holds its breath as the assassin, Margaret, and the Queen herself play for the highest of stakes with the Queen’s Gambit.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781645060017

Also by this author: A Knife in the Fog, A Knife in the Fog (Interview)

Also in this series: A Knife in the Fog, A Knife in the Fog (Interview)


Genres: Amateur Detective, Classic Detective, Crime Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 17th September, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 288

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The Margaret Harkness & Arthur Conan Doyle Mysteries:

per each installment either both are featured or only Harkness takes the lead

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley HarperQueen's Gambit by Bradley Harper

A Knife in the Fog (book one) – (see also review)

Queen’s Gambit (book two)

  • more installments are forthcoming!

This Summer I also featured an Interview with Mr Harper

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)
an imprint of Start Science Fiction, part of Start Publishing

Converse via: #QueensGambit, #HistNov and #HistFic OR #HistoricalThriller
Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

About Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper is a retired US Army Pathologist with over thirty-seven years of worldwide military/medical experience, ultimately serving as a Colonel/Physician in the Pentagon. During his Army career, Harper performed some two hundred autopsies, twenty of which were forensic.

Upon retiring from the Army, Harper earned an Associate's Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. He has been published in The Strand Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and a short story he wrote involving Professor Moriarty in the Holmes tale of The Red Headed League (entitled The Red Herring League) won Honorable Mention in an international short fiction contest. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Authors Guild, and Sisters in Crime, Harper is a regular contributor to the Sisters in Crime bi-monthly newsletter.

Harper’s first novel, A Knife in the Fog, involves a young Arthur Conan Doyle joining in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and has been nominated for an 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel by an American Author.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 18 September, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, After the Canon, Amateur Detective, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Margaret Harkness, Paste Creative, Realistic Fiction, the Victorian era