Publisher: Pegasus Books

Blog Book Tour | “A Twisted Vengeance” (Book No.2 of the Kate Clifford Mysteries) by Candace Robb

Posted Friday, 21 July, 2017 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 regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! The interesting bit to note is I am happily reading the first two Kate Clifford Mysteries for this particular blog tour; thereby this is the first post in a series of two reviews.  I received a complimentary copy of “A Twisted Vengeance” direct from the publisher Pegasus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I loved reading the Kate Clifford Mysteries:

Robb has created a thinking man’s mystery – you have to peel back the layers (as you would an onion) to sort through how she’s drafted an intellectually intriguing tale. Having learnt her prior series #OwenArcher is interlinked into the #KateCliffordMysteries I must admit, the idea of back-tracing through the prior series to re-enter into the latter is going to be wicked sweet fun! (as foresaid on Twitter; the tweet is below this review) One reason I love reading Mysteries (and Suspense or Thrillers) and watching them is because of the exercise they give your mind! I find them as challenging to undertake as a stellar crossword! The intricacies abound and it is by moving in the directions the writer wishes you to traverse you not only gather the evidence along with the sleuths on the page but you draw closer to understanding how the mind of the writer first conceived their idea which is keeping you up late and musefully happy for the experience of reading their story.

For me, Robb not only entertained me from the stand-point of a new chapter of understanding of the Middle Ages  (as she threads the everyday politico very well into the backbone of her series foundation) but she grants you licence to step with a certain bias of interest to see Ms Clifford succeed even if her methods are not entirely on the level of what you’d expect a woman of her status to choose.

(*) quoted from my review of The Service of the Dead

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Blog Book Tour | “A Twisted Vengeance” (Book No.2 of the Kate Clifford Mysteries) by Candace RobbThe Service of the Dead
by Candace Robb
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

As the fourteenth century comes to a close, York seethes on the brink of civil war―and young widow Kate Clifford, struggling to keep her businesses afloat, realizes that her mother is harboring a dangerous secret…

1399. York is preparing for civil war, teeming with knights and their armed retainers summoned for the city’s defense. Henry of Lancaster is rumored to have landed on the northeast coast of England, not so far from York, intent on reclaiming his inheritance―an inheritance which his cousin, King Richard, has declared forfeit.

With the city unsettled and rife with rumors, Eleanor Clifford’s abrupt return to York upon the mysterious death of her husband in Strasbourg is met with suspicion in the city. Her daughter Kate is determined to keep her distance, but it will not be easy―Eleanor has settled next door with the intention of establishing a house of beguines, or poor sisters. When one of the beguines is set upon in the night by an intruder, Kate knows that for the sake of her own reputation and the safety of her young wards she must investigate.

From the first, Eleanor is clearly frightened yet maintains a stubborn silence. The brutal murder of one of Eleanor’s servants leads Kate to suspect that her mother’s troubles have followed her from Strasbourg. Is she secretly involved in the political upheaval? When one of her wards is frightened by a too-curious stranger, Kate is desperate to draw her mother out of her silence before tragedy strikes her own household.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781681774527

Also by this author: The Service of the Dead, Interview (Candace Robb) via Kate Clifford Blog Tour

Also in this series: The Service of the Dead


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery


Published by Pegasus Books

on 9th May, 2017

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 297

Published By: Pegasus Books (@pegasus_books)
Available Formats: Hardback & E-Book

The Kate Clifford Mysteries:
I personally love the cover art design on this series! There is something about it which lends well to the era in which they are set but also the appeal for those of us who crave a heroine out of a wicked good Cosy Historical Mystery!

The Service of the Dead by Candace RobbA Twisted Vengeance by Candace Robb

The Service of the Dead | Book One | (see also Review)

A Twisted Vengeance | Book Two | Synopsis |

Read this lovely Guest Post about the Kate Clifford series | via Patricia Bracewell

Converse via: #Cosy + #HistoricalMystery | #HistoricalMystery | #KateCliffordMysteries | #CandaceRobb

About Candace Robb

Candace Robb

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 21 July, 2017 by jorielov in 14th Century, Amateur Detective, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Beguine, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Late Middle Ages (1300-1500), Religious Orders, Siblings, Twin Siblings

Blog Book Tour | “The Service of the Dead” (Book No.1 of the Kate Clifford Mysteries) by Candace Robb An author I was must curious to read left me hungry for more of her collective works!

Posted Thursday, 6 July, 2017 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 regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! The interesting bit to note is I am happily reading the first two Kate Clifford Mysteries for this particular blog tour; thereby this is the first post in a series of two reviews.  I received a complimentary copy of “The Service of the Dead” direct from the publisher Pegasus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I cannot turn my eye away from a Cosy Historical Mystery, especially one I previously earmarked to read:

There is something quite wonderful about the artful approach writers take to curate the world inside of a Cosy Historical Mystery. I have personally become quite addicted by these worlds – wherein it is a ready hobby of mine to seek out #newtomeauthors who are writing this extraordinary niche inside my beloved Historical Fiction! The truly interesting thing is how I had previously discovered Ms Robb’s Kate Clifford series!

You see, I have a particular interest in these lovelies – one of my most beloved being the Lady Darby mysteries but there are others, dear hearts – such as the Lucy Campion series and several others, such as the Hiro Hattori novels by Susan Spann! I honestly love the chance to curl inside these eloquently written mysteries, as I am either about to delve into a rather sinister plot which is not easily solved until the ending chapters and/or I am enticed through a new portal of the historical past I simply cannot wish to extract myself anytime soon! This is perhaps why the Cosy Historical Mysteries appeal to me as much as they do – they combine certain strongholds of bookish joy (ie. the historical past, wicked good murderous suspense, a champion of a strong lead by which to rally behind and a tucked away setting not yet known) whilst giving me a good read which might give me goosebumps before the story concludes!

It was due to my fascination with early Forensics and seeking stories of a similar vein of the Lady Darby series – I quite readily spied the Kate Clifford series! I was on a library’s website (not my own; one of the lovelies I found whilst seeking where to travel) who had this charmingly brilliant way of finding ‘if you love this story, you ought to read this one next’ which not only honed in on your sensibilities as a reader but it was quite bang-on the mark for understanding your own bookish tendencies without so much as going on much past book titles, author names and the quirky collection of sub-genres or themes of interest you devour regularly. I was quite smitten with the in-catalogue app – though it would pain me to admit, which library had this modern marvel eludes my memory! Remembering this series – much more important!

Imagine then, my earnest joy in finding this lovely series was being offered on a blog tour!? It felt rather kismet! I do love seeing the patterns of how books arrive in our lives and which books cycle through our conscience whilst reappearing lateron in a way we hadn’t foreseen? As I had readily felt I would be ILL’ing (inter-library loaning) these lovelies ahead of purchasing them for my own shelves… as having a humble budget, I seek out a heap of books to read per annum from my local library. The fact the publisher surprised me with *hardback editions!* is wicked sweet of them!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “The Service of the Dead” (Book No.1 of the Kate Clifford Mysteries) by Candace Robb An author I was must curious to read left me hungry for more of her collective works!The Service of the Dead
by Candace Robb
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Expertly recreating the social and political upheavals of late medieval Europe, Candace Robb introduces a new series starring Kate Clifford, a woman forged on the warring northern marches of fourteenth century England.

Political unrest permeates York at the cusp of the fifteenth century, as warring factions take sides on who should be the rightful king–Richard II or his estranged, powerful cousin in exile, Henry Bolingbroke. Independent minded twenty-year-old Kate Clifford is struggling to dig out from beneath the debt left by her late husband. Determined to find a way to be secure in her own wealth and establish her independence in a male dominated society, Kate turns one of her properties near the minster into a guest house and sets up a business. In a dance of power, she also quietly rents the discreet bedchambers to the wealthy, powerful merchants of York for nights with their mistresses.

But the brutal murder of a mysterious guest and the disappearance of his companion for the evening threatens all that Kate has built. Before others in town hear word of a looming scandal, she must call upon all of her hard-won survival skills to save herself from ruin.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781681771274

Also by this author: Interview (Candace Robb) via Kate Clifford Blog Tour, The Service of the Dead

Also in this series: The Service of the Dead


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery


Published by Pegasus Books

on 3rd May, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 236

Published By: Pegasus Books (@pegasus_books)
Available Formats: Hardback & E-Book

The Kate Clifford Mysteries:
I personally love the cover art design on this series! There is something about it which lends well to the era in which they are set but also the appeal for those of us who crave a heroine out of a wicked good Cosy Historical Mystery!

The Service of the Dead by Candace RobbA Twisted Vengeance by Candace Robb

The Service of the Dead | Book One

A Twisted Vengeance | Book Two | Synopsis | *forthcoming review

Read this lovely Guest Post about the Kate Clifford series | via Patricia Bracewell

Converse via: #Cosy + #HistoricalMystery | #HistoricalMystery | #KateCliffordMysteries | #CandaceRobb

About Candace Robb

Candace Robb

Candace Robb did her graduate work in medieval literature and history, and has continued to study the period while working first as an editor of scientific publications and now for some years as a freelance writer. Candace has published 13 crime novels set in 14th century England, Wales, and Scotland. The Owen Archer series is based in York and currently extends over 10 novels beginning with THE APOTHECARY ROSE; the most recent is A VIGIL OF SPIES. The Margaret Kerr trilogy explores the early days of Scotland’s struggle again England’s King Edward I, and includes A TRUST BETRAYED, THE FIRE IN THE FLINT, and A CRUEL COURTSHIP.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published historical novels about two fascinating women she encountered while researching the Owen Archer mysteries, Alice Perrers (THE KING’S MISTRESS) and Joan of Kent (A TRIPLE KNOT).

Candace was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she and her husband love for its combination of natural beauty and culture. Candace enjoys walking, hiking, and gardening, and practices yoga and vipassana meditation. She travels frequently to Great Britain.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Divider

Posted Thursday, 6 July, 2017 by jorielov in 14th Century, Amateur Detective, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Films, British Literature, Brothers and Sisters, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Excerpt of Novel Read Aloud, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Inspiring Video Related to Content, Lady Detective Fiction, Late Middle Ages (1300-1500), Siblings, Twin Siblings

+Blog Book Tour+ The Tenor by Peter Danish

Posted Friday, 4 April, 2014 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

The Tenor by Peter Danish

Published By: Pegasus Books () 28 February 2014
Official Author WebsitesSite | Facebook | Twitter | Danish Media Group
Converse via: #TheTenorVirtualTour & #MariaCallas
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, and E-Book
Page Count: 350

Acquired By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Tenor” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy the book direct from the author Peter Danish, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

I was always keen to read & watch Captain Corelli’s Mandolin as it spoke to me at the time the film was being released. I never did get the proper chance to explore its story, but as I read about this book being hinged to history as it was lived I decided to take the chance now to read a powerful & evoking story of courage! I’m an appreciator of opera as well, and I find it rather keen that a singer was saved by one man’s selfless act to protect her!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Synopsis:

The Tenor is a sweeping tale of historical fiction in the style of Ann Patchett’s “Bel Canto” and De Burniere’s “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” It swiftly moves from Pino Vaggi’s youth in pre-war Italy, to his coming of age as a soldier in war-torn Greece, before ending in a shattering surprise finale at Maria Callas’ historic final performance ever on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1965. It is based loosely on the stories and anecdotes that I learned from several of Maria Callas’ personal friends and from nearly a dozen trips to Italy and Greece to research the subject.

Pino Vaggi is not like the other children in Italy in 1930. While they play soccer, he listens to opera. By age ten, he is already a child prodigy, an opera singing sensation on the fast track to a major international career. On the eve of his debut, WWII breaks out. The theater is closed. The season is cancelled. Pino is drafted. He is stationed in war-torn Athens, where he hears and ultimately falls in love with another child prodigy, the young Maria Callas. There is one major problem: she is the enemy.

However, as famine devastates Athens, (a famine created by the diversion of humanitarian aid meant for the Greeks to the Russian front to feed the German Army) the artist in Pino can’t fathom the thought of the greatest singer the world will ever know perishing, especially if he is in a position to prevent it. With a firing squad in the balance, he repeatedly risks his own life to protect and feed the young girl and her family. In the process, his love for her deepens, until something tragic happens – something with devastating consequences that blows the young lovers apart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Author Biography:

Peter Danish

Peter Danish is the Classical Music Editor in Chief for BWWClassical.com, the classic music site for BroadwayWorld.com,, covering and reviewing the classical music performance in and around New York City and the greater New York Area. A proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America, he is the playwright of the play: “Gods, Guns and Greed,” as well as the new musical: “The Flying Dutchman.” His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Ad Age, Ad Week and Media Week Magazines.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Artistically Determined:

One thing I have always known about artists, is that they are artistically determined to make it on their own terms. Pino Vaggi in the story of The Tenor, is clearly one of those self-confident musical artists whose bold grit in succeeding in singing opera is what thrust him forward whilst his family was a bit less than certain of his choice. Coming from a family who supported my choices, whether I was pursuing art, science, or writing it’s hard to understand why other parents wouldn’t help their children reach for their own dreams. To pursue the gifts they were bestowed and to give them the courage to find their own voice and path. The hardest road an artist has is finding the ability to believe in the impossible because the mark of any artist is how willing they are to stay on their path whilst their road becomes muddled and difficult.

I appreciated the honesty of Pino’s character being painted as a young artist whose misguided brassy personality oft lended him to rows with his family but is his grace of voice gave him purpose from the darkness. Growing up in the age of looming war, the fact that Pino could keep a grip on his artistic soul is impressive.

My Review of The Tenor:

Danish has the ability to ease you into the story-line of The Tenor, by giving you a reason to hone in on Pino! First through recollections of his aromatic memories inter-related to chestnuts, and then, gradually as we start to see the underpinnings of his passion for opera emerge into place! I appreciated the intimate portrait of how a young Pino fell in love with the beauty of opera whilst caught up in a French rendition of Romeo & Juliet! His unexpected emotional connection to the voices and music was a pure joy to read. Music is evoking on such deep levels, each time we individually listen to opera or another form of music, a part of us is transformed; altered for the performance in which we took in. I remember vividly how I felt whilst listening to orchestrations and symphonies as a child, how the music washed over me and inside me at the same time. You become a part of where the musicians are leading you as music is one art form which transcends outside of itself to a greater purpose.

The setting in which Danish places his novel comes alive with the full breath of Italian countryside living lit inside the sturdiness of the people who lived there. He envelopes the story around the everyday interchanges of Pino’s townespeople, whilst giving a greater scope to the impending war between Italy & Ethiopia. Politically charged, we get inside the mind-set of Pino’s father’s beliefs as much as the harrying realities of Italy in the early decades of the 20th Century. The tug-of-war between Pino’s teacher and himself gave a clear view of how you have to develop strength whilst your young to be brave in hours you feel the least able to stand up for yourself. His teacher pushed him past where he felt he could take his voice because his belief in his abilities was paramount to where he viewed Pino could strive in the future to succeed as a tenor.

War is such a heavy hand to be dealt when your young, and seeing the beguiling ignorance and diffidence towards those who are different weighted on Pino’s shoulders and heart. I can imagine that whilst he struggled to find a grasp on the changing world outside, so too were those who were dealing with countries being invaded and worlds being turnt upside down by World War II. Innocence evaporates when the world arrives at one’s feet. The war is very much a part of the story, but only as a backdrop to the whole. In this, I am grateful to Danish, whose sole focus in on Pino.

A tightrope of a dance between Maria (Callas) and Pino grew out of their affection for opera and the innate gift bestowed to both of them which gave them a tie to each other. They were each on the opposite side of the war, Pino was serving in the army and Maria was in Greece employed as a singer. Their lives were ill-fated to intersect at a point in their lives where tragedy and solace would find them. They carved out happiness within the shadows of a dictator’s reign and what they shared amongst them was fit with humour and the joy of singing. They understood each other in ways they both were transfixed by as it isn’t often you can meet someone who understands every inch of you without needing definition. As they each went their separate ways after the war, it show their fates ended up crossing once more that truly was remarkable.

Here is where truth and the shadows of history differ as the story is based on an unknown soldier who could not have survived the war. I think its a more befitting story for Pino to have survived the war and survived in the way he had, as it hardened his character a bit with worldly experience. To think there was a Pino who lived long enough to effectively save Maria Callas is the most incredible part of the story! Where one life is given in order to ensure the freedom of another. And, for Pino his life took an alternative course which would have endeared him to his teacher who gave him the best insight into how to live a life full of worth.

The beauty of opera is revealed:

Peter Danish gives a wonderful introduction into opera, which will satisfy the novice appreciator as much as the devouted follower. The vulgarity used in the story is relegated to the blights of war and thus, are not something I would flinch over as war is war, and the most shocking of realities for all men is being caught up in the face of war. What exits one’s lips whilst a chest is heavy with confliction over the impending approach of a World War arriving at your door is not a mark against language or story; but a notation of how those who lived might have reacted themselves. His writings inside the novel read as part travelogue and part historical remanent of a past most of us might not have recovered without this story.

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This book review  is courtesy of:

The Tenor Tour via HFVBTcheck out my upcoming bookish events and mark your calendars!

Previously, I interviewed Mr. Danish on behalf of “The Tenor”!

The Tenor by Peter Danish Book Trailer by Peter Danish

{SOURCES:  “The Tenor” Book Cover, synopsis, and tour badge were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. The book trailer by Peter Danish had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Friday, 4 April, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, Aftermath of World War II, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Debut Novel, Geographically Specific, Greece, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Italy, Magical Realism, Maria Callas, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction, New York City, Opera History, Opera Singers, Passionate Researcher, The World Wars, Vulgarity in Literature