From the WireTrashy Bitches

Non-Fiction, Historical Mysteries, & More

Are you a fan of non-fiction, historical mysteries, and more? If so, then you’re in for a treat with the books featured in this article. First up is “The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley, a thrilling urban fantasy set in London with a badass cast of characters. Next, we have “Raw Dog” by Jamie Loftus, a captivating exploration of the cultural and culinary significance of hot dogs in America. Then, there’s “A Morbid Taste for Bones” by Ellis Peters, the first book in “The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael” series, filled with intrigue and murder. Lastly, we have “Murder at Mallowan Hall” by Colleen Cambridge, a historical house party mystery set in the home of Agatha Christie. Get ready for a riveting reading experience with these captivating books!

Non-Fiction, Historical Mysteries,  More

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The Rook

Summary

“The Rook” by Daniel O’Malley is a thrilling urban fantasy novel set in London. The story follows Myfanwy Thomas, a woman who wakes up in a London park surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves. With no memory of who she is, Myfanwy discovers a letter left by her former self that guides her on a journey to uncover her identity and track down the agents who want to destroy her. As she delves deeper into her past, Myfanwy discovers that she is a high-ranking member of a secret organization called the Chequy, which battles supernatural forces in Britain. Along the way, she grapples with her own rare and potentially deadly supernatural ability and uncovers a vast conspiracy within the Chequy. Filled with fascinating and fantastical characters, “The Rook” is a suspenseful and inventive debut novel.

Genre

“The Rook” falls under the genre of urban fantasy. It combines elements of fantasy, mystery, and thriller to create a unique and captivating story set in a contemporary urban setting.

Characters

The novel features a cast of intriguing and diverse characters. The protagonist, Myfanwy Thomas, is a strong and resilient woman who must navigate a world filled with supernatural forces and dangerous secrets. Other key characters include members of the Chequy, such as an individual with four bodies and an aristocratic woman with the ability to enter dreams. These characters add depth and complexity to the story, making it a rich and immersive reading experience.

Setting

“The Rook” primarily takes place in London, providing a vibrant and dynamic backdrop for the story. The urban setting adds a sense of realism and relatability to the fantastical elements of the novel. O’Malley’s vivid descriptions of the city bring it to life, allowing readers to easily envision the streets and landmarks as they follow Myfanwy’s journey.

Plot

The plot of “The Rook” revolves around Myfanwy Thomas as she uncovers her identity and investigates a conspiracy within the Chequy. The story begins with Myfanwy waking up in a park surrounded by bodies wearing latex gloves. Through the letter left by her former self, she learns that she is a Rook, a high-ranking member of a secret organization that protects Britain from supernatural threats. As Myfanwy follows the instructions in the letter, she encounters various challenges, including a person with four bodies and an aristocratic woman infiltrating her dreams. Along the way, she must confront betrayal and deception within the Chequy and unravel the truth behind her own supernatural abilities. The plot is filled with twists and turns, keeping readers engaged and guessing until the very end.

Themes

“The Rook” explores several themes, including identity, power, and the nature of good and evil. Myfanwy’s journey to discover her true self highlights the importance of self-discovery and embracing one’s true identity. The novel also delves into the corrupting influence of power and the moral dilemmas that arise when individuals possess supernatural abilities. Additionally, the story touches on the blurred lines between good and evil, as characters within the Chequy are faced with difficult choices and must navigate the gray areas of morality.

Writing Style

Daniel O’Malley’s writing style is richly inventive and suspenseful, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. The novel showcases O’Malley’s ability to balance intricate world-building with fast-paced action, creating a thrilling and immersive reading experience. His writing is often wry and humorous, adding a touch of lightness to the dark and mysterious atmosphere of the story.

Reception

“The Rook” has received positive reviews from readers and critics alike. Many praise O’Malley’s innovative storytelling and compelling characters. The novel has been described as a page-turner and a refreshing take on the urban fantasy genre. Critics have commended O’Malley’s world-building and his ability to create suspenseful and unpredictable plot twists.

Author Bio

Daniel O’Malley is a promising young writer known for his urban fantasy novels. He has captivated readers with his debut novel, “The Rook,” and continues to explore the genre with subsequent works. O’Malley’s unique storytelling ability and imaginative concepts have established him as a notable author in the urban fantasy genre.

Related Books

If you enjoyed “The Rook,” you may be interested in exploring other urban fantasy novels or works by Daniel O’Malley. Some related books in the genre include “The City We Became” by N.K. Jemisin, “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman, and “Storm Front” by Jim Butcher. Additionally, O’Malley has released a sequel to “The Rook” called “Stiletto,” which continues the story of the Chequy and their battle against supernatural forces.


Non-Fiction, Historical Mysteries,  More

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Raw Dog

Summary

“Raw Dog” by Jamie Loftus is a captivating and humorous exploration of hot dogs and their cultural significance in America. The book takes readers on a cross-country road trip in the summer of 2021, examining the creation, culture, and class influences surrounding this iconic food. Through engaging storytelling and insightful analysis, Loftus sheds light on the history and societal implications of hot dogs in America.

Genre

“Raw Dog” falls under the genre of non-fiction. It combines elements of culinary history, travelogue, and social commentary to provide readers with a comprehensive examination of hot dogs and their place in American culture.

Author

Jamie Loftus is a comedian and writer known for her unique and humorous perspective. In “Raw Dog,” Loftus utilizes her comedic talents to explore the complex and often unexpected facets of hot dog culture and its intersections with diverse aspects of American society.

Themes

“Raw Dog” delves into several themes surrounding hot dogs, including class, culture, and the American identity. Loftus explores the origins of hot dogs as a food created by the working class and delves into the ways in which hot dogs have evolved to become a symbol of both low and high culture. Additionally, she examines how hot dogs have been shaped by various regional cultures and how they have become ingrained in American summertime traditions.

Writing Style

Jamie Loftus’s writing style in “Raw Dog” is witty, irreverent, and deeply honest. She combines humorous anecdotes with research and analysis, creating an accessible and engaging narrative for readers. Loftus’s writing is incisive and thought-provoking, challenging readers to question their assumptions about hot dogs and the broader cultural forces at play.

Reception

“Raw Dog” has been well-received by readers and critics for its entertaining and informative approach to hot dog culture. Many praise Loftus’s comedic style and her ability to tackle complex topics with wit and charm. The book has been described as a wild and insightful ride, providing readers with a fresh perspective on America’s favorite street food.

Related Books

If you enjoyed “Raw Dog” and are interested in exploring similar themes and topics, you may want to consider reading other books within the genre of culinary history and food culture. Some related books include “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” by Samin Nosrat, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, and “Consider the Fork” by Bee Wilson. Additionally, Jamie Loftus has written other comedic works, including “Lolita Podcast” and “My Year in Mensa,” which offer unique perspectives on various aspects of contemporary culture.


Non-Fiction, Historical Mysteries,  More

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A Morbid Taste for Bones

Summary

“A Morbid Taste for Bones” by Ellis Peters is the first book in “The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael” series. This historical mystery novel is set in 12th century England and follows Brother Cadfael, a Benedictine monk and former soldier. When the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey plans to acquire the remains of Saint Winifred for his Benedictine order, Brother Cadfael becomes involved in a murder investigation after a leading opponent to moving the grave is shot dead with a mysterious arrow. The story takes readers on a journey through medieval England as Brother Cadfael unravels the truth behind the murder and uncovers hidden secrets within the community.

Genre

“A Morbid Taste for Bones” is a historical mystery novel. It combines elements of historical fiction, crime, and suspense to create a captivating and immersive story set in medieval England.

Author

Ellis Peters is the pen name of Edith Pargeter, a British author known for her mystery novels set in different historical periods. The “Chronicles of Brother Cadfael” series, which includes “A Morbid Taste for Bones,” is one of her most acclaimed works. Pargeter’s meticulous attention to historical detail and her skill in crafting compelling mysteries have made her a beloved figure in the genre.

Characters

The novel features a cast of intriguing characters, including Brother Cadfael, the protagonist who serves as a blend of detective and herbalist. Other key characters include the ambitious head of Shrewsbury Abbey, the villagers divided over the Benedictines’ quest for Saint Winifred’s remains, and various members of the monastic community. Peters brings these characters to life with depth and nuance, allowing readers to connect with their struggles and motivations.

Setting

“A Morbid Taste for Bones” is set in 12th century England, specifically in the town of Shrewsbury and its surrounding countryside. Peters meticulously recreates the historical period, immersing readers in the sights, sounds, and social dynamics of medieval England. The detailed setting adds authenticity to the story and enhances the overall reading experience.

Plot

The plot revolves around the murder investigation led by Brother Cadfael. As the head of Shrewsbury Abbey plans to acquire the remains of Saint Winifred, tensions rise among the villagers who oppose the Benedictines’ quest. When a leading opponent is killed with a mysterious arrow, some believe it to be the work of Winifred herself. Brother Cadfael, however, is convinced that a human hand is behind the murder. As he delves deeper into the investigation, he uncovers a web of deceit, love, and justice. The plot is filled with suspense and unexpected twists, making it a compelling and immersive read.

Themes

“A Morbid Taste for Bones” explores themes such as faith, justice, and the clash between tradition and progress. Brother Cadfael’s role as a monk and herbalist allows for a nuanced exploration of the intersection between spirituality and earthly matters. The novel also examines the concept of justice in a medieval context and raises questions about the nature of truth and the difficulties of navigating moral complexities. Additionally, the clash between traditional beliefs and the changing societal landscape provides a backdrop for the story, highlighting the tensions and conflicts inherent in a rapidly evolving world.

Writing Style

Ellis Peters’s writing style is characterized by her attention to historical detail and her ability to transport readers to a different time and place. Her prose is vivid and immersive, bringing medieval England to life on the page. Peters’s writing is both atmospheric and intelligent, allowing readers to fully engage with the story and its historical context. Her skillful storytelling and plot development keep readers hooked from beginning to end.

Reception

“A Morbid Taste for Bones” has received positive reviews from readers and critics alike. The novel has been praised for its rich historical detail, compelling characters, and intricate mystery plot. Peters’s ability to seamlessly blend history and fiction has been particularly commended, along with her talent for creating a vivid and immersive setting. The novel’s success has led to the enduring popularity of “The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael” series.

Related Books

If you enjoyed “A Morbid Taste for Bones” and are interested in exploring similar historical mysteries, you may want to consider reading other works in the “Chronicles of Brother Cadfael” series. Additionally, Ellis Peters has written numerous other mystery novels set in different historical periods. Some related books in the genre include “Dissolution” by C.J. Sansom, “An Instance of the Fingerpost” by Iain Pears, and “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco. These novels offer captivating mysteries set against rich historical backdrops.


Non-Fiction, Historical Mysteries,  More

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Murder at Mallowan Hall

Summary

“Murder at Mallowan Hall” by Colleen Cambridge is a historical house party mystery novel set in the home of Agatha Christie. The story revolves around Phyllida Bright, the head of household and housekeeper for Agatha Christie and her husband Max Mallowan. When a dead body is discovered during a house party at Mallowan Hall, Phyllida takes it upon herself to investigate the murder. Set in the 1930s, the novel takes readers on a journey filled with intrigue, secrets, and unexpected twists as Phyllida navigates the complexities of a murder investigation while managing the demands of a houseful of guests.

Genre

“Murder at Mallowan Hall” is a historical mystery novel that combines elements of the classic whodunit genre with a unique historical setting. The novel offers readers a glimpse into the world of Agatha Christie and her famous characters, while also presenting an engaging and suspenseful murder mystery.

Author

Colleen Cambridge is the author of “Murder at Mallowan Hall” and other historical mystery novels. Her work has gained popularity for its ability to pay homage to classic mystery writers like Agatha Christie while incorporating original characters and plot twists. Cambridge’s attention to detail and her ability to create an immersive historical setting make her novels a captivating read for fans of the genre.

Characters

The novel features a range of colorful and memorable characters, including Phyllida Bright, the head of household and amateur detective; Agatha Christie, the renowned crime novelist, and her husband Max Mallowan; various guests attending the house party, each with their own secrets and motives; and the dedicated staff members who assist Phyllida in her investigation. These characters bring depth and intrigue to the story, making it an engaging and enjoyable read.

Setting

“Murder at Mallowan Hall” is set in the 1930s in the grand country house of Max Mallowan and Agatha Christie. The setting provides a rich backdrop for the murder investigation, showcasing the opulence and glamour of the time while also depicting the social dynamics and hierarchies of a country house. Cambridge’s meticulous attention to detail allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the world of Mallowan Hall and its inhabitants.

Plot

The plot follows Phyllida Bright as she investigates the murder that occurs during a house party at Mallowan Hall. As a former army nurse and a fan of detective fiction, Phyllida is uniquely suited to solving the crime. With the support of the village physician, Dr. Bhatt, and the assistance of other dedicated staff members, Phyllida follows the clues and interrogates the guests to uncover the truth. As the investigation unfolds, Phyllida realizes that the murder is not an isolated incident and that the killer may still be among them. The plot is filled with suspenseful twists and turns, keeping readers guessing until the final reveal.

Themes

“Murder at Mallowan Hall” explores themes such as trust, deception, and the complexities of human nature. The novel examines the challenges of determining who can be trusted, as well as the lengths individuals will go to protect their secrets. The exploration of these themes adds depth and complexity to the story, allowing readers to engage with the moral and ethical dilemmas faced by the characters.

Writing Style

Colleen Cambridge’s writing style is engaging and suspenseful, drawing readers into the world of Mallowan Hall and the murder investigation. Her prose is descriptive and atmospheric, capturing the essence of the 1930s country house setting. Cambridge’s skillful plotting and attention to detail make for a compelling and immersive reading experience.

Reception

“Murder at Mallowan Hall” has received positive reviews for its captivating plot, well-developed characters, and evocative setting. Readers have praised Cambridge’s ability to recreate the ambiance of a classic whodunit while adding her own unique twist. The novel has been commended for its engaging storytelling and its homage to the legacy of Agatha Christie.

Related Books

If you enjoyed “Murder at Mallowan Hall” and are interested in exploring similar historical house party mysteries, you may want to consider reading other works in the genre. Some related books include Agatha Christie’s classic whodunits, such as “And Then There Were None” and “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.” Additionally, Colleen Cambridge has written other historical mystery novels, including “Death at the Daisy Chain” and “Secrets in St. James’s Square,” which offer captivating mysteries set in different historical periods.

Non-Fiction, Historical Mysteries,  More

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Source: https://smartbitchestrashybooks.com/2023/09/non-fiction-historical-mysteries-more/