The Waxwork Corpse by Simon Michael – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

A deadly crime has been dragged to the surface…

London, 1965

Charles Holborne, maverick barrister, will never fit in at the Bar; he is too working-class, too Jewish and too dangerous.

But that makes him the perfect outsider to prosecute a shocking murder case which has already made its way to the press.

By chance, a body was found, dumped in a lake. It had clearly been there for some time, but the conditions in the water have meant that it was nearly perfectly preserved.

The police have managed to match this ‘waxwork corpse’ to a missing woman and if her husband — a senior judge — was the one who killed her, the scandal threatens to rock the British justice to its foundations.

The waxwork corpse is not the only thing to be raised from the past. The investigation also dredges up a violent mistake made by Charles in his youth which, if revealed, could put his own life at stake…

THE WAXWORK CORPSE, based on a real Old Bailey case, is the fifth crime novel in an exciting historical series, the Charles Holborne Legal Thrillers — gritty, hard-boiled mysteries set in 1960s London.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. This is book five in the Charles Holbourne series but the first that I have read. I had no issues with following the storyline, it works perfectly as a stand-alone. And it left me wanting to know more about the lead character and his family. 

According to the synopsis there are two situations in this novel that Charles has to deal with. The trial concerning the death of the woman found in Wastwater and a personal threat to him concerning events in his past. These events form the opening chapter for the book and showed how much life had changed for Charles since then.

But for me there was a third thread and that concerned his family life and how his reluctance to accept their faith caused a rift. Strangely for a legal drama it was this part of the novel that was my favourite, even though I did enjoy the other storylines. His relationship with his parents, especially his mother, was one that had me rolling my eyes but also smiling. And I always enjoy reading about different cultures and religions. The way his faith also affected his relationship with his colleagues was also one I found fascinating, and unfortunately believable.

The court proceedings were interesting, they made me think how a case such as this would be handled if somebody so powerful was stood in the dock. A favourite part was when the suspect was giving his explanation of events, I wasn’t sure whether to feel sympathetic or revulsion. Surprisingly I did guess correctly about what the end result would be, it’s cleverly done. 

I will definitely be following this series, I want to know more about the gangland association, his family life and what cases he faces in the future.

The Catherine Howard Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

What secrets were covered up at the court of Henry VIII …?

Whitehall Palace, England, 1539

When Catherine Howard arrives at the court of King Henry VIII to be a maid of honour in the household of the new queen, Anne of Cleves, she has no idea of the fate that awaits her. 

Catching the king’s fancy, she finds herself caught up in her uncle’s ambition to get a Howard heir to the throne. 

Terrified by the ageing king after the fate that befell her cousin, Anne Boleyn, Catherine begins to fear for her life… 

Pembrokeshire, Wales, 2018

Dr Perdita Rivers receives news of the death of her estranged grandmother, renowned Tudor historian Mary Fitzroy. Mary inexplicably cut all contact with Perdita and her twin sister, Piper, but she has left them Marquess House, her vast estate in Pembrokeshire.

Perdita sets out to unravel their grandmother’s motives for abandoning them, and is drawn into the mystery of an ancient document in the archives of Marquess House, a collection of letters and diaries claiming the records of Catherine Howard’s execution were falsified…

What truths are hiding in Marquess House? What really happened to Catherine Howard?

And how was Perdita’s grandmother connected to it all?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoy reading historical fiction and the Tudor period, especially when it concerns Henry VIII, is a favourite. Because I have read so much of it I am familiar with some of the characters. However, I was on the internet quite a lot whilst reading this book because many are portrayed differently and there were a few who I had never heard of before. These were mainly the family of Catherine Howard. 

It is an alternative look at the events surrounding two of Henry’s wives. I have read before, how he would set his eyes on a future wife and even though this novel is approached differently I could imagine some of it happening. His moods, control and violence combined with what he perceived as romance and loving behaviour. I could see, clearly, how much of a maniac he was. 

In modern day, Perdita is sifting through her grandmother’s works trying to find out more about her past. She isn’t safe, according to some, the answers she does find should stay hidden. It is here where more of the alternative Tudor court is revealed. 

I did have an inkling very early about how Perdita and Kit were connected to the past but it’s not revealed in this book. It wasn’t by what I read, more by my knowledge of the surnames of both. I will have to wait to see if I’m proved right. 

Like many dual frame time novels I read I had a favourite, in this book it was Catherine’s story that  I found more fascinating. I enjoyed getting to know more about Catherine, her sisters , her court and her terrifying relationship with the King. I had to remember that this was an alternative historical account.