Book Review: Six Tudor Queens – Katherine of Aragon by Alison Weir

I was ecstatic to receive a hardback copy of Katherine of Aragon The True Queen by Alison Weir in the post the other week from Bookbridgr. I am a huge fan of British history especially the Tudor era. I get my love of history from my mum. She has hundreds of history books and I’m definitely going to pass this book onto her. 
I have never heard of the author Alison Weir before I came upon this book. I am more familiar with Philippa Gregory’s series of books. I am so glad I discovered  the first book of The Six Tudor Queen series. That’s right, this book is the first of six, detailing the lives of all Henry VIII’s six wives. 
Do you remember the rhyme from school to remember how they all died? It’s one of the things I still remember from history class funnily enough. 
Katherine of Aragon – Divorced
Anne Boleyn – Beheaded
Jane Seymour – Died
Anne of Cleves – Divorced
Catherine Howard – Beheaded
Catherine Parr – Survived
Six Tudor Queens - Katherine of Aragon The True Queen by Alison Weir

Book Description

A Spanish princess. Raised to be modest, obedient and devout. Destined to be an English Queen.
Six weeks from home across treacherous seas, everything is different: the language, the food, the weather. And for her there is no comfort in any of it. At sixteen years-old, Catalina is alone among strangers.
She misses her mother. She mourns her lost brother.
She cannot trust even those assigned to her protection.
KATHERINE OF ARAGON. The first of Henry’s Queens. Her story.
Six Tudor Queens - Katherine of Aragon The True Queen by Alison Weir
My Review

Katherine of Aragon The True Queen is a very beautiful book. My first impression was wow! It’s got a stunning inside cover beautifully designed. A lovely portrait of Katherine of Aragon. As you turn the first couple of pages you come across her family tree. One side is of her Spanish ancestors and the other is of the English Tudor period of 1501. This book tells us her life story from when she first came to England in 1501 to marry Henry VII’s son Arthur who wasn’t a very well person.
She then moves on to marry Henry VIII of course and they have a daughter Mary. Katherine tries to give him a son but is unsuccessful. So Henry decides to divorce her and move on to someone who can. Anne Bolelyn.

Alison Weir is a fantastic historian writer. She makes you feel as if your are right there in the book. You must remember though its a novel not a non-fiction book. Weir puts her own spin on Katherine of Aragon and makes her the centre of the story. This is her journey not Henry VIII’s which I really love. 
I really cannot wait until the next book is out. Anne Bolelyn’s story is probably the most famous one and I have to admit my favourite.
Thanks to Bookbridgr for my advanced copy.
I have given Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon by Alison Weir 5 out of 5 stars.
Hardback Edition 597 pages
Published 5th May by Headline Review

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Book Review: Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

I have been doing my usual browsing through Bookbridgr (a resource for book-loving bloggers) again and found Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline waiting to be requested for review. 
My first impressions of the cover before I read the blurb was that it must be set in some kind of hospital setting and that it looks like a dark, tense psychological thriller. I love the little phrases placed cleverly on the front cover ‘Would you know a sociopath if you met one?’  The answer I would give would be no. From my limited knowledge sociopaths can live all around us like everyday people. This made the book even more intriguing to me and one I couldn’t wait to start reading.                         
               

Book Description:

I plan everything. I set everyone in motion, and when the moment comes, I strike.
Psychologist Dr Eric Parrish is unwittingly under threat.
Recently separated from his wife, Eric is learning to become a single parent to his seven-year-old daughter, and life is far from straightforward.
Now Eric has a new patient who could be a severe danger to others. And he must make a decision that will leave deadly consequences in its wake.
The clock is ticking, and someone is hell bent on destroying Eric’s practice, his family, his life.
But how can you defend yourself against an enemy you don’t know?
And can you ever win a game you don’t even know you are playing?

My Review:

I loved the way this book started. The first chapter is told through the eyes of a sociopath. It’s dark, tense and gives you the feeling that this book is going to be a ride of twists and turns you don’t expect. The author does not let you down at all. It was so hard to put down.
The main character in the book is Dr Eric Parrish, he is the Chief of a Psychiatric Unit at a hospital, and also has his own private practice at his house. Eric just wants to help people and his patients mean a lot to him. He is currently fighting for custody of his 7 year old daughter with his ex wife, so has lots going on in his private life. This doesn’t stop him from being there 24/7 for his new patient Max, who is needing lots of help. 
Throughout the book, Eric finds himself caught up in lots of predicaments, while he is only just trying to help those around him. As the book went on I felt a bit sorry for Eric and how nothing seems to go right for him, in his personal and professional life. From a reader’s point of view he seemed slightly clueless at times of what was happening around him, and I really felt the need to scream at him!
Overall the book was well written, gave me the chills and has the best unexpected ending of a book I have read in a long time. It’s the type of novel that left me thinking and stayed with me for a while afterwards.
I have given Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 496 pages
Published 19th November 2015 by Headline

Disclaimer: All the views and opinion’s expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

Book Review: Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden

Every so often I love to browse through all the books on bookbridgr to see what new books are out and what I like the look of. Sometimes its very hard not to request to read more than I can handle! It’s always so tempting!
What caught my eye about Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden was not only the cover which contains a weird creepy house (my favourite type of horror books) but also the authors name Christopher Golden, as I have read one of his other novels Snowblind. I was so pleased when Dead Ringers arrived in the post from bookbridgr knowing that I had been approved to read and review it.
                     

Book Description

When Tess Devlin bumps into her ex-husband, she’s furious that he seems not to know her.

And then Frank Lindbergh is attacked by an intruder in his home … an intruder who wears Frank’s face.

In the heart of the city, a mansion stands on a hill and behind its wrought-iron fence an evil force is at work, leaving everyone who comes near it hysterical with fear.

But the real terror lies inside the house. Tess and Frank have no choice but to confront a mistake made years ago. A mistake that summoned an ancient evil … and means even their own reflections could kill them. 



My Review

The book starts off with a really strange prologue with someone breaking into Frank Lindbergh’s house who looks like a mirror image of him. By the end of the creepy prologue I was hooked. Chapter one introduces you to the main character of the book – Tess Devlin and her encounter on the street with a man who happens to look exactly like her ex-husband Nick. From here on Tess’s best friend Lili also sees someone who could be her twin, and Tess herself comes face to face with her doppelganger. At this point I had more questions than answers and this is what I love about a great book!
My first thoughts were, is this book about long lost identical twins being brought together by some mystical force somehow?
I was eager to carry on with the story and find out what was going on and why everyone seemed afraid of the massive house in the middle of the city. How were Tess and Frank connected to it? and how/if they were able to put everything right.
One of the scary things about this book is identity theft, and how is easy it seemed for others to actually think they were talking to ‘Frank or Tess’ and how hard it was to tell them apart from the real people. To me this rings easily with today’s world in how easily innocent people’s identity can be stolen by identity fraud.
Overall Dead Ringers is one creepy, mystical scary story and I really enjoyed the ride. My only negative about the book is that some of the characters were not necessarily needed and we didn’t get to hear all of their background stories. The book is well written and the locations described perfectly. 
I have given Dead Ringers by Christopher Golden 4 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 320 pages
Published 3rd November by Headline
MamaMummyMum


Disclaimer: All the views and opinons expressed are my own. Book supplied by Bookbridgr for purpose of this review only. Book description taken from bookbridgr for purpose of this review only.

Book Review: Gone by Rebecca Muddiman

I have been browsing through the Bookbridgr website lately looking for some great books to read that were dark with lots of mystery and suspense, and this was the book I came across – Gone by Rebecca Muddiman. I have to say that the cover caught my eye to begin with. Then I read the description. I decided there and then that this was a book that I needed to read! So I applied to review it and luckily I was approved. The wait began then for it to arrive in the post!
            
Book Description

250,000 people go missing in the UK every year. 91% of those reported to police are found within 48 hours. 99% of cases are solved within a year. And 1% stay gone. 11 years ago, troubled teenager Emma Thorley went missing. The police assumed she was a runaway. But now a body has been found in woods near Blyth. DI Michael Gardner knows he didn’t take Emma’s disappearance seriously enough back then, and is determined to make up for it now. But when he and DS Nicola Freeman start to re investigate, they discover that nothing is as simple as it seems. 
My Review

The book starts off with a prologue set in December 2010 and tells us that a body has been found in Blyth. It introduces us to DI Gardner and his doubts about how he ran the case back in 1999, a girl called Louise who has just seen on the TV that a body has been found in a place she used to call home and Lucas Yates who shared a history with Emma. 
I love the way that the book then flips to a couple days later in 2010 and introduces us to DS Freeman who now has a body on her hands, but needs to confirm the exact identity and make sure it is Emma. She has to go back and speak to DI Gardner who is very reluctant at first to help her out. 
The chapters flip between 1999 and 2010 throughout the book giving us an insight into Emma’s life before she disappeared and the circumstances around her death. I found some of these parts quite disturbing. Emma was a lovely daddy’s girl who got caught up with the wrong crowd after her mother’s death and everything seems to be getting worse and worse for her. I felt that she was very lonely and felt quite upset with the situation she ends up in. 
It’s one of those brilliantly written books where you feel as if you have become the character as you are reading along. I can highly recommend this book if you are looking for lots of thrills, mysteries and suspense. I can’t wait to read more of Rebecca Muddiman’s novels if this is only her second novel. 
I am so glad to have found this amazing new British crime writer!
I have given Gone by Rebecca Muddiman 5 out of 5 stars.
Paperback Edition 359 pages
Published 10th September 2015 by Mulholland Books
Disclaimer All views and opinions expressed are my own. Book received from Bookbridgr and Mulholland books free of charge for an honest review. Book description taken from Goodreads for the purpose of this review only.


MamaMummyMum

Book Review: The Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson

My first thoughts on this book was that it looked like a really interesting read. I haven’t read that many historical crime fiction, but was totally absorbed and intrigued by the cover of this one. 
Book Description

Spring, 1728. A young, well-dressed man is dragged through the streets of London to the gallows at Tyburn. The crowds jeer and curse as he passes, calling him a murderer. He tries to remain calm. His name is Tom Hawkins and he is innocent. Somehow he has to prove it, before the rope squeezes the life out of him.



It is, of course, all his own fault. He was happy with Kitty Sparks. Life was good. He should never have told the most dangerous criminal in London that he was ‘bored and looking for adventure’. He should never have offered to help Henrietta Howard, the king’s mistress, in her desperate struggles with a brutal husband. And most of all, he should never have trusted the witty, calculating Queen Caroline. She has promised him a royal pardon if he holds his tongue but then again, there is nothing more silent than a hanged man.

Based loosely on actual events, Antonia Hodgson’s new novel is both a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea and a standalone historical mystery. From the gilded cage of the Court to the wicked freedoms of the slums, it reveals a world both seductive and deadly. And it continues the rake’s progress of Tom Hawkins – assuming he can find a way to survive the noose…
           

When I decided I wanted to read this novel, I didn’t realise that it was a sequel to The Devil in the Marshalsea, but anyway I decided to give it a go. I am really glad I did, and felt that it didn’t matter that I hadn’t read the previous novel. 
The setting of the novel is in the deep grotty slums of London in the 1700’s. The way the book is written gives you a great picture of this time with the corruption and violence that seems to be all around you. The main character Thomas is such a likable character, and I was rooting for him all the time as we try to discover who actually dunnit?
The one thing I enjoyed about the book was that it is actually loosely based on real events, this to me gives it a sense of reality and truth behind the story.
My overall thoughts is that you will be taken on a fabulous ride with this thriller through grimy London and be guessing all the way! I have enjoyed it very much and look forward to going back and reading The Devil in the Marshalsea.
I have given The Confession of Thomas Hawkins by Antonia Hodgson 4 out of 5 stars.
Hardback Edition
Published 4th June 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
Rachel xx
Disclaimer I was given this hardback edition to read and review free of charge from Bookbridgr. All opinions and views expressed are my own.