"In the dark heart of 18th. century England: a mistress, a maid, a mystery ..."
Martine Bailey's An Appetite for Violets will be published later this month and it sounds like one to look out for:
"Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the foreboding Mawton Hall, wants only to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets and lies.
Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, Biddy takes with her an old household book of recipes, The Cook's Jewel, in which she records her observations. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival - or her downfall ..."
The novel is billed as "an utterly compelling story of food, obsession and mystery, introducing a brilliant new voice in historical fiction, " and Maria McCann, author of As Meat Loves Salt and The Wilding (on which there's a post here) says of it, "I adored this novel: a delicious addictive mix of confectionery, skulduggery and crime, sprinkled with dark secrets and sauced with piquant comedy."