Mrs. Whistler by Matthew Pamplin (ebook, courtesy of The Borough Press and NetGalley)
‘Maud could tell the whole story, but she will not.‘
1876. On the wet cobbled streets of Chelsea, London harassed artist Jimmy Whistler argues with his client. The argument: that Mr Whistler’s two peacocks that now adorn Mr Leyland’s dining room, are to one man a disgrace and to the other, a masterpiece. Stuck in the middle is the one person who knows the artist, his creative vision and his soul more than any other, his model, his lover, Miss Maud Franklin.
We follow Maud, a young artist herself who must play the part of wife in the life of a painter crippled by rumours and debts. But it’s only a part, no muse ever had the rights of a wife…
A beautiful and compelling blend of naivety and strength, Maud is an irresistible character spinning through a world of beauty and sacrifice, art and ambition.
A Devil Comes To Town by Paolo Maurensig (paperback, advance review copy courtesy of World Editions)
A small village full of aspiring writers + The devil in the form of a hot-shot publisher = A refined and engaging literary fable on narcissism, vainglory and human weakness
Wild rabies runs rampant through the woods. The foxes are gaining ground, boldly making their way into the village. In Dichtersruhe, an insular yet charming haven stifled by the Swiss mountains, these omens go unnoticed by all but the new parish priest. The residents have other things on their mind: Literature. Everyone’s a writer – the nights are alive with reworked manuscripts. So when the devil turns up in a black car claiming to be a hot-shot publisher, unsatisfied authorial desires are unleashed and the village’s former harmony is shattered.
Taut with foreboding and Gothic suspense, Paolo Maurensig gives us a refined and engaging literary parable on narcissism, vainglory, and our inextinguishable thirst for stories.
The Lost Shrine (Hills & Barbrook #2) by Nicola Ford (hardcover, advance review copy courtesy of Allison & Busby)
Clare Hills, archaeologist and sometime sleuth, is struggling to finance her recently established university research institute along with her long-time friend, Dr David Barbrook. When Professor Margaret Bockford finds the Hart Unit commercial work with a housing developer on a site in the Cotswolds, the pair are hardly in a position to refuse. There is just one slight catch: the previous site director, Beth Kinsella, was found hanged in a copse on-site, surrounded by mutilated wildlife.
Despite initial misgivings, Clare leads a team to continue work on the dig, but with rumours about Beth’s mental state and her claims that the site was historically significant refusing to be laid to rest, and lingering disquiet between local residents and the developers, progress is impeded at every turn. When one of the workers finds something unsettling, Clare suspects there may be more to Beth’s claims than first thought. But can she uncover the truth before it is hidden for ever?
On What Cathy Read Next last week
Tuesday – I published my review of The Storyteller by Pierre Jarawan as part of the blog tour.
Wednesday – WWW Wednesday is the opportunity to share what I’ve just read, what I’m currently reading and what I plan to read next…and have a good nose around to see what other bloggers are reading. I also hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Spitfire Girl in the Skies by Fenella J Miller.
Friday – I shared my review of historical mystery The Golden Hour by Malia Zaidi, the fourth book in the author’s ‘The Lady Evelyn Mysteries’ series.
Saturday – I published my review of The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins alongside a giveaway (UK & ROI only).
As always, thanks to everyone who has liked, commented on or shared my blog posts on social media this week.
On What Cathy Read Next this week
- Event Review: Ursula Buchan at Oxford Literary Festival
- Blog Tour/Book Review: Pilgrim by Louise Hall
- Buchan of the Month: Introducing…Midwinter by John Buchan
- Waiting on Wednesday
- Blog Tour/Book Review: The New Achilles by Christian Cameron
- Book Review: Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps by Ursula Buchan