Fiction Book Reviews

Thriller | The Catherine Howard Conspiracy | Alexandra Walsh

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I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on tour today for The Catherine Howard Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh.

This is the first story in the Marquess House trilogy and I can’t wait to read the next!


The Catherine Howard Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh (book cover).

What secrets were covered up at the court of Henry VIII …?

Whitehall Palace, England, 1539

When Catherine Howard arrives at the court of King Henry VIII to be a maid of honour in the household of the new queen, Anne of Cleves, she has no idea of the fate that awaits her.

Catching the king’s fancy, she finds herself caught up in her uncle’s ambition to get a Howard heir to the throne. 

Terrified by the ageing king after the fate that befell her cousin, Anne Boleyn, Catherine begins to fear for her life…

Pembrokeshire, Wales, 2018

Dr Perdita Rivers receives news of the death of her estranged grandmother, renowned Tudor historian Mary Fitzroy. Mary inexplicably cut all contact with Perdita and her twin sister, Piper, but she has left them Marquess House, her vast estate in Pembrokeshire.

Perdita sets out to unravel their grandmother’s motives for abandoning them, and is drawn into the mystery of an ancient document in the archives of Marquess House, a collection of letters and diaries claiming the records of Catherine Howard’s execution were falsified…

What truths are hiding in Marquess House? What really happened to Catherine Howard?

And how was Perdita’s grandmother connected to it all?


The Catherine Howard Conspiracy by Alexandra Walsh is published by Sapere Books (March 2019) and is available in digital and paperback formats.

Review

I do enjoy stories that weave history and fiction together and in The Catherine Howard Conspiracy, Alexandra Walsh has created an intriguing premise that certainly made me stop and think.  What do we really know about history, other than what we are told?  The pace of truths being revealed was perfect.

Both timelines hooked me in from the beginning and had me asking plenty of questions.  I enjoyed the similarities between each, the echoes, and although in present day the ultimate answer is not clear, I’m thinking I know (I’m looking forward to finding out if I’m right!). 

I didn’t warm to Perdita even though I understood her emotional barriers and mistrust but I did love Kit.  I have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure about him and have changed my mind a couple of times so maybe I’ll be wrong as the trilogy progresses.  Talking about characters, I’m hoping we get to see more of Piper in the next story.  It will be interesting to see how different Perdita and Piper are from each other.

The settings whether at the Tudor court, on progress, or at Marquess House in 2018 felt very real.   And the characters …  some scenes with King Henry VIII had my stomach rolling.  Very visceral.  Alexandra Walsh doesn’t hold back.  There are a few tense moments of suspense and fear in 2018 that had my heart beating faster too.

LOVE the metaphors and symbols. 🙂  Another thing I loved was the research.  I thought the discoveries were exciting.

The Catherine Howard Conspiracy was a page turner for me.    Highly recommended as a thought provoking and exciting read.

Alexandra Walsh author photo

From tales spun for her teddies when she was a child (usually about mermaids) to film scripts, plays and novels, Alexandra Walsh has always been a storyteller. Words are her world. For over 25 years, she has been a journalist writing for a wide range of publications including national newspapers and glossy magazines. She spent some years working in the British film industry, as well as in television and radio: researching, advising, occasionally presenting and always writing.

Books dominate Alexandra’s life. She reads endlessly and tends to become a bit panicky if her next three books are not lined up and waiting. Characters, places, imagery all stay with her and even now she finds it difficult to pass an old wardrobe without checking it for a door to Narnia. As for her magical letter when she was 11, she can only assume her cat caught the owl!

Alexandra’s other passion is history, particularly the untold tales of women. Whether they were queens or paupers, their voices resonate with their stories, not only about their own lives but about ours, too. The women of the Tudor court have inspired her novels. Researching and writing The Marquess House Trilogy (Book One: The Catherine Howard Conspiracy) has brought together her love of history, mysteries and story telling.

Connect with Alexandra Walsh

Website

Twitter @purplemermaid25


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.

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