Friday 4 November 2016

BLOG TOUR: Bloodie Bones - Lucienne Boyce

I hopped onto this Brook Cottage Books blog tour at short notice and I'm so glad I did as Bloodie Bones is an outstanding book, full of suspense and mystery.  I am releasing my review as part of the blog tour and there's a fabulous giveaway to win a paperback copy towards the end of my post.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Release Date: May 2016
Publisher: Silver Wood Books

 “Parsons and tyrants friends take note. We have born your oppreshuns long enough. We will have our parish rights or else Bloodie Bones will drink your blood.”

When Lord Oldfield encloses Barcombe Wood, depriving the people of their ancient rights to gather food and fuel, the villagers retaliate with vandalism, arson and riot. Then Lord Oldfield’s gamekeeper, Josh Castle, is murdered during a poaching raid. Dan Foster, Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist, is sent to investigate.

Dan’s job is to infiltrate the poaching gang and bring the killers to justice. But there’s more to Castle’s death than at first sight appears. What is the secret of the gamekeeper’s past and does it have any connection with his murder? What is Lord Oldfield concealing? And did someone beside the poachers have a reason to want Josh Castle dead?

As tensions in Barcombe build to a thrilling climax, Dan will need all his wits and his fighting skills to stay alive and get to the truth.

Bloodie Bones was the winner in the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016 was long listed for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016; and is approved by Awesome Indies. 

What did I think?

Bloodie Bones is set in 1796 and introduces us to Dan Foster, a Bow Street Runner.  Bow Street Runners are known as London's first professional police force and Dan is called upon when Lord Oldfield's gamekeeper is murdered during a confrontation with local poachers.  Dan adopts the pseudonym 'Dan Fielding' and goes undercover in Barcombe where he is quickly welcomed into the local poaching gang after showing his fighting skills when a boxing challenge comes to town.

As Dan starts to follow clues and hunt for evidence, it becomes clear that the killer could be anyone.  So many people could have a motive for wanting Josh Castle out of the way and I certainly had my suspicions about one or two of them.  Even local bogeyman, Bloodie Bones, becomes a suspect when threatening notes are left at further scenes of unrest.

I loved the character of Dan; he is far from perfect with his shady past and roving eye.  He has had, and still has, quite a hard life but he shows his softer side when he takes young Walter under his wing and tries to keep him on the straight and narrow, with the added benefit of enabling him to get close to Walter's mother, Anna.  There are some excellent buried secrets in Barcombe for Dan to unearth which ensured the pages kept on turning repeatedly for 'just one more chapter'.

Full of cleverly placed historical detail, Bloodie Bones is a riveting murder mystery with a keen sense of period.  I can close my eyes now and easily visualise the huge mansion, vast woodland and creepy graveyard.  The historical facts were cunningly placed in the text like hidden treasure, just awaiting the reader to stumble upon these little golden nuggets.  I was amazed when Lord Oldfield actually read The Riot Act to the villagers when they converged on Oldfield Hall.  After looking up the Bow Street Runners, I was surprised to see that it was founded by Henry Fielding in 1749, so I loved how Lucienne Boyce used Fielding as Dan's pseudonym.  

I thoroughly enjoyed Bloodie Bones; it really is an outstanding book filled with suspense and mystery.  I will definitely be looking out for book number 2 to see what adventures are next for Dan Foster.  

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest opinion.

My rating:


Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery is available in paper back and as an ebook.

Now for the Giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction and non fiction. After gaining an MA in English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land (SilverWood Books, 2012), an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas. Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books, 2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also long listed for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about the suffragettes. She has contributed articles to various publications, and also appeared on television and radio in connection with both her fiction and non-fiction work.
Lucienne has recently joined the team of Bristol Radio BCfm’s Silver Sound show as a presenter. She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Friends of the Women’s Library, the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Lucienne is currently working on the second of the Dan Foster Mysteries, and a biography of a married couple who were involved in the suffragette, socialist and pacifist movements. She was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol, which is the setting and inspiration for much of her work.  

Twitter: @LucienneWrite

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