Can’t-Wait Wednesday: The Royal Secret by Andrew Taylor

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.

I love Andrew Taylor’s James Marwood and Cat Lovett series, historical fiction set during the reign of Charles II. So I was delighted when I was invited to read the latest instalment, The Royal Secret, due to be published on 29 April.

Description

From the No.1 bestselling author of The Last Protector and The Ashes of London comes the next book in the phenomenally successful series following James Marwood and Cat Lovett during the time of King Charles II.

Two young girls plot a murder by witchcraft. Soon afterwards a government clerk dies painfully in mysterious circumstances. His colleague James Marwood is asked to investigate – but the task brings unexpected dangers.
 
Meanwhile, architect Cat Hakesby is working for a merchant who lives on Slaughter Street, where the air smells of blood and a captive Barbary lion prowls the stables. Then a prestigious new commission arrives. Cat must design a Poultry House for the woman that the King loves most in all the world.
 
Unbeknownst to all, at the heart of this lies a royal secret so explosive that it could not only rip apart England but change the entire face of Europe…

~~~

The earlier books are – The Ashes of London (set in 1666, six years after Charles II was reinstated as King) and The Fire Court (set in 1667, eight months after the Great Fire of London), The King’s Evil (set seven months later), and The Last Protector (set in 1668 as the exiled Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver, heavily in debt, has returned in disguise to England.)

It is not necessary to read the earlier books as I think they all work well as standalones, but I think it really helps if you do.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Circus of Wonders

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. This is my first Can’t-Wait Wednesday post!

In 2019 one of the best books I read was The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal, so I am really looking forward to read her next book, Circus of Wonders, which isn’t published until 13 May! Luckily for me I have an ARC via NetGalley.

Description

The spellbinding new novel from the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Doll Factory.

1866. In a coastal village in southern England, Nell picks violets for a living. Set apart by her community because of the birthmarks that speckle her skin, Nell’s world is her beloved brother and devotion to the sea.

But when Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives in the village, Nell is kidnapped. Her father has sold her, promising Jasper Jupiter his very own leopard girl. It is the greatest betrayal of Nell’s life, but as her fame grows, and she finds friendship with the other performers and Jasper’s gentle brother Toby, she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

In London, newspapers describe Nell as the eighth wonder of the world. Figurines are cast in her image, and crowds rush to watch her soar through the air. But who gets to tell Nell’s story? What happens when her fame threatens to eclipse that of the showman who bought her? And as she falls in love with Toby, can he detach himself from his past and the terrible secret that binds him to his brother?

Moving from the pleasure gardens of Victorian London to the battle-scarred plains of the Crimea, Circus of Wonders is an astonishing story about power and ownership, fame and the threat of invisibility.