Wednesday 24 January 2024

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ The Secrets of Crestwell Hall by Alexandra Walsh


Boldwood Books
24 January 2024

My thanks to the publisher and Rachel's Random Resources for my copy of the book
and the invitation to the blog tour

A king adorns the throne… He has no subtlety, no grace but he does not deserve to die in the way that has been planned and this is why we shall stop them, our men, our kin and save us all.’


Bess Throckmorton is well used to cunning plots and intrigues. With her husband Sir Walter Raleigh imprisoned in the Tower of London, and she and her family in a constant battle to outwit Robert Cecil, the most powerful man in the country who is determined to ruin her, Bess decides to retreat to her beloved home, Crestwell Hall. But there she is shocked to hear talk of a new plot to murder the king. So, unbeknownst to their menfolk, the wives of the plotters begin to work together to try to stop the impending disaster.

Present Day

Isabella Lacey and her daughter, Emily, are excited to be starting a new life at her aunt’s home, Crestwell Hall in Wiltshire. During renovations, Isabella discovers an ancient bible that once belonged to Bess Throckmorton, and to her astonishment finds that it doubled as a diary. As Isabella reads Bess’s story, a new version of the Gunpowder Plot begins to emerge - told by the women.

When Emily’s life is suddenly in terrible danger, Isabella understands the relentless fear felt by Bess, hundreds of years ago. And as the fateful date of 5th November draws ever closer, Bess and the plotters’ wives beg their husbands to stop before a chain of events is set into action that can only end one way…

πŸ“– My Review..

The shadows of the past are inextricably linked with the future and by cleverly combining two dual timeframes we learn The Secrets of Crestwell Hall and the part it played in the 1605 Gunpowder Plot.

Isabella Lacey and her daughter Emily arrive at Crestwell Hall in order to make a new start. A failed marriage has left Isabella wary and suspicious but she is determined that with Crestwell’s owner, her aunt Thalia, she will help to bring the house and its history alive once more. However, finding Crestwell’s secrets is no easy task and whilst the echoes of the past intrude so we start to build up a picture of the previous owner of Crestwell Hall. Elizabeth Throckmorton was the wife of Sir Walter Raleigh but with Raleigh languishing in the Tower of London and with plots and counter plots swirling around her Elizabeth must look to protect herself and those under her care from being implicated in the plot to rid England of its unpopular King.

The history of the time is well explored and this retelling of the Gunpowder Plots adds an altogether different dimension, it was particularly interesting to read of the family, and friendship, connections between those who were plotting and those who wished to see it fail. The dual time aspect is done really well and I found that as one time frame finished we were whisked away either into the past with Bess and her troubles or forward into the future as Isabella and her aunt set about bring Crestwell Hall back to life.

An easy page turner, with much to enjoy, this dual time story has everything I wanted, well researched history, a lively plot and enough intrigue in both time frames to make for a satisfying read.

About the Author

Alexandra Walsh is the bestselling author of dual timeline historical mysteries, previously published by Sapere. Her books range from the fifteenth century to the Victorian era and are inspired by the hidden voices of women that have been lost over the centuries. Formerly a journalist, writing for national newspapers, magazines and TV.

Twitter /X @purplemermaid25 #TheSecretsofCrestwellHall

@BoldwoodBooks #BoldwoodBloggers


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