Three more arrivals to highlight today:
Persephone Books are publishing Elizabeth Jenkins's novel Harriet on 19th. April, and as many of us have read her marvellous The Tortoise And The Hare (the CBG enjoyed and admired it greatly), I think there will be a lot of interest in this 1934 work. Harriet D. is writing about it today, so for the full story do read her post, but briefly it's about an actual murder committed in 1877, the victim, the eponymous Harriet, being the possessor of a fortune, and someone who sounds - in today's terms - as though she is on the autistic spectrum. This vulnerable young woman was eventually killed in horrible fashion by her husband and others, all of them after her money. The resulting case was a sensation and was instrumental in the establishment of the Court of Appeal; Elizabeth Jenkins's treatment of it here in fictional terms won her the Prix Femina Vie Heureuse.
I've had Shirley McKay's Hue and Cry sitting here ever since Santa brought it for me the Christmas before last, and every time I go to St. Andrews (where it is set) I make a mental note to read it soon, but something else always gets in the way. It attracted me initially because it's not only a gripping mystery, a historical thriller featuring a young lawyer, Hew Cullan, but also because it presents a terrific portrait of the town in the sixteenth century, and parts of that remain today. The book is still a treat in store, and there's more than that to look forward to as while I've been 'getting around' to reading it, Shirley has written volumes 2 and 3! Fate & Fortune carries on the story and now Time & Tide, out in early May, takes it further with Hew at the thick of things when a violent storm wrecks a ship close to the Fife town and the only man aboard dies without revealing how he came to be there alone or where the ship was headed; and then there's the question of the ship's unusual cargo...
Going further afield but rather closer to our own day and age is Distant Thunder by T.D. Griggs which begins in Bangalore in 1893 when young Frank Gray's mother is killed by a British cavalry officer. Years later, the events of that night are still a puzzle for Frank but he vows to get his revenge, and when he meets Grace Dearborn, a woman of position, fortune and a mind of her own, the two discover they share more than a hatred of injustice. "As their personal demons drive them from bohemian Vienna to the savagery of the North-West Frontier. from the slums of London to the wild deserts of the Sudan, they find that escaping the past may be the hardest battle of all."