Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Mystery | Children of Fire | Paul CW Beatty

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We’re delighted to be on tour today sharing Laura’s thoughts on Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatty.

Children of Fire is set in 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West England. The story is told through the eyes of Josiah Ainscough, who returns from travels on the continent, and he surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father’s footsteps into the Methodist Ministry. While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident, or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it? As a policeman Josiah must uncover the truths behind the Children of Fire, and Josiah is forced to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale, before more people die. Josiah is torn between his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland. With more crimes unfolding rapidly, Josiah struggles to prevent a large illicit shipment of military grade gunpowder from getting to Ireland for use in terrorist attacks, and it becomes clear that he is out of his depth.

Book cover for Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatty

Children of Fire by Paul CW Beatty is published by Book Guild Publishing and is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.


Children of Fire is an historical fiction novel set in 1841 at the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign and the Industrial Revolution.

 Josiah Ainscough returns from abroad to join the police force rather than follow his father’s role as a minister of the Methodist church. Whilst he was abroad five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill and on his return Josiah is sent to investigate the community of the Children of Fire.

 Their leader, Elijah is brutally murdered and the community turn against Josiah as they believe he is guilty. Josiah torn between two love interests, Rachael and Aideen discovers how they are connected with the murder and victim.

 An interesting novel, however at times I struggled with the storyline and didn’t enjoy reading some parts of this story. Fans of historical fiction and especially this time period will enjoy the descriptions of the time and setting.

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Twitter @cw_beatty

Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd. 

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.