S D Sykes - The Butcher Bird - Hodder & Stoughton

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The Butcher Bird

Oswald de Lacy Book 2

By S D Sykes

  • Paperback
  • £7.99

A gripping medieval historical crime thriller, from a brilliant new voice.

Book 2 in the gripping Oswald de Lacy series, , which can be read as a standalone, from 'the medieval CJ Sansom' (Jeffery Deaver)

The Black Death killed his father and brothers , making Oswald de Lacy Lord of Somershill Manor. It also killed many of his villagers, leaving fewer people to do more work.

So Oswald tries to use logic and patience to manage a struggling estate, a socially ambitious mother, an overbearing sister and a mutinous workforce.

Then a baby is found impaled on a thorn bush and people say they have seen a huge creature in the skies.

The Butcher Bird.

And now there is no room for common sense, no time for patience. If Oswald is to survive, he must find the truth behind a series of ever more brutal events.

From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the luxurious bedchambers of London, it is a journey full of danger, darkness and shocking revelations.

'The whodunnit aspect is neatly done, the family secrets and waspish relationships are intriguing, and humour and originality are abundant' Daily Mail

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781444785821
  • Publication date: 07 Apr 2016
  • Page count: 368
  • Imprint: Hodder Paperbacks
Comparisons to the master of historical crime, CJ Sansom, are inevitable and, in this case, justified. — The Times
The whodunnit aspect is neatly done, the family secrets and waspish relationships are intriguing, and humour and originality are abundant. — Daily Mail
Trouble, and its attendant duties, confront the reluctant young lord on nearly every page of this eventful, engrossing, informative mystery set in mid-14th-century Kent. — Wall Street Journal
Sykes establishes herself firmly as a major talent. — Publishers Weekly
Praise for PLAGUE LAND — :
There's a nice, cliché-free sharpness to Sykes' writing . . . that suggests a medieval Raymond Chandler at work, and there are no phony celebrations of the peasantry or earth-mothers thrusting herbal concoctions down grateful throats. Plenty of action and interesting characters, without intervention of the libertarian modern conscience that so often wrecks the medieval historical novel. — Independent
The medieval CJ Sansom — Jeffery Deaver
PLAGUE LAND is a fascinating historical crime novel about a world turned upside down, inhabited by a rich cast of characters. A terrific debut and a wonderful start to a brand-new series. — Antonia Hodgson, author of THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA
Sykes has really reset the bar for medieval mysteries . . . every clue brings with it unexpected twists and turns. When you think you know who the killer is, you're slapped with yet another surprise. — Medievalists
Sykes's debut provides everything a reader would want in a historical mystery: a gripping plot, vivid language, living and breathing characters, and an immersive depiction of the past. — Publisher's Weekly
Hodder & Stoughton

The Bone Fire

S D Sykes
Authors:
S D Sykes

The brand new Oswald de Lacy thriller, for fans of C.J. Sansom, Minette Walters and S.J. Parris.1361. Plague has returned to England - thirteen years after the devastation of The Black Death. As destruction advances towards his estate in Kent, Oswald de Lacy leads his family to the safety of a remote castle in the marshes - where his friend Godfrey is preparing a fortress to survive the coming disaster. The rules are clear: once the de Lacys and other guests are inside the castle the portcullis will be lowered and no-one permitted to enter or leave until the Pestilence has passed. And then a murderer strikes. Oswald is confronted with a stark choice - leave and face the ravages of the plague, or stay and place his family at the mercy of a brutal killer. With word of his skills as an investigator preceding him, it falls to Oswald to unmask the murderer in their midst. Host, guest, or servant - everyone is a suspect in this poisoned refuge of secrets, deceit and malice.

Hodder & Stoughton

City of Masks

S D Sykes
Authors:
S D Sykes

Book 3 in the gripping Oswald de Lacy series, which can be read as a standalone, from 'the medieval CJ Sansom' (Jeffery Deaver)'It is Sykes' outstanding portrayal of the Venice of 1358 which makes such a fascinating setting for a mystery...[a] clever and original story' Crime Review1358. Oswald de Lacy, Lord Somershill, is in Venice, awaiting a pilgrim galley to the Holy Land. While the city is under siege from the Hungarians, Oswald lodges with an English merchant, and soon comes under the dangerous spell of the decadent and dazzling island state that sits on the hinge of Europe, where East meets West.Oswald is trying to flee the chilling shadow of something in his past, but when he finds a dead man on the night of the carnival, he is dragged into a murder investigation that takes him deep into the intrigues of this mysterious, paranoid city.Coming up against the feared Signori di Notte, the secret police, Oswald learns that he is not the only one with something to hide. Everybody is watching somebody else, and nobody in Venice is what he or she seems. The masks are not just for the carnival.

Hodder Paperbacks

Plague Land

S D Sykes
Authors:
S D Sykes

Alan Titchmarsh

Alan Titchmarsh is known to millions through the popular BBC TV programmes British Isles: A Natural History, How to be a Gardener, Ground Force and Gardeners' World. But he started out in far humbler beginnings, in a rural childhood on the edge of Ilkley Moor in Yorkshire.After a spell at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, as an Editor of gardening magazines, before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.He has twice been named 'Gardening Writer of the Year' and for four successive years was voted 'Television Personality of the Year' by the Garden Writers' Guild. In 2004 he received their Lifetime Achievement Award.Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter, fronting such programmes as Points of View, Pebble Mill, Songs of Praise, Titchmarsh's Travels and Ask the Family, and since 1983 has presented the BBC's annual coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show. He now has his own daytime TV show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show. Alan has written more than forty gardening books, as well as seven best-selling novels, including his 2008 success, Folly, which have all made the Sunday Times Bestsellers List. Alan has published three volumes of memoirs; Trowel and Error sold over 200,000 copies in hardback when published in 2002, and Nobbut A Lad, about his Yorkshire childhood, was published in October 2006 with similar success, and his third volume of memoir Knave of Spadeswas a Sunday Times bestseller.He was made MBE in the millennium New Year Honours list and holds the Victoria Medal of Honour, the Royal Horticultural Society's highest award. He lives with his wife and a menagerie of animals in Hampshire where he gardens organically.

Ali Knight

Ali Knight has worked as a journalist and sub-editor at the BBC, Guardian and Observer and helped to launch some of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard's most successful websites. She lives with her family in London.Visit Ali's website to find out more about her and her psychological thrillers at www.aliknight.co.uk and follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/aliknightauthor.

Aly Monroe

Aly Monroe was born and educated in England. Trained in linguistics, she has lived abroad - mostly in Spain - and speaks several languages. She is married and has three children. The first three books in the Peter Cotton series, Maze of Cadiz and Washington Shadow and Icelight (winner of the 2012 Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award) are also available from Hodder & Stoughton. You can find out more about Peter Cotton and Aly Monroe via her website, www.alymonroe.com or at www.hodder.co.uk, through her official facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Monroe.Aly, and you can follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/monroe_aly.

Anthony Riches

Anthony Riches began his lifelong interest in war and soldiers when he first heard his father's stories about World War II. This led to a degree in Military Studies at Manchester University. He began writing the story that would become Wounds of Honour after a visit to Housesteads in 1996. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and three children.www.anthonyriches.comwww.twitter.com/AnthonyRiches

Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born in 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a doctor by trade; optician more specifically. It is rumoured that during his off periods of work he would think about and write his various stories. He is well known for several science fiction works, but of course his most recognizable works are the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. He died in 1930.He tried desperately to "kill off" Holmes so that he could pursue other genres of writing as well, and not just be known for the Holmes mysteries. However, after much public outcry, Holmes returned in "The Empty House" and in many other stories following, up to the "Case Book of Sherlock Holmes" collection.

Beatrice Colin

Beatrice Colin was born in London and raised in Scotland. She has worked as a freelance journalist writing for publications including the Guardian, and a playwright, writing radio plays for the BBC. She lives in Glasgow. THE LUMINOUS LIFE OF LILLY APHRODITE was a Richard & Judy selection and has been translated into several languages.

C W Gortner

C.W. Gortner is half-Spanish by birth and spent his formative years in southern Spain, where his lifelong fascination with history began. He is author of THE LAST QUEEN, THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI, THE QUEEN'S VOW and, writing as Christopher Gortner, THE TUDOR SECRET. His books have garnered international acclaim and been translated into fourteen languages to date. He divides his time between Northern California and Antigua, Guatemala. He welcomes visitors at: www.cwgortner.com.www.historicalboys.blogspot.co.ukwww.twitter.com/CWGortner

Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. In 2012 DANDY GILVER AND THE PROPER TREATMENT OF BLOODSTAINS was nominated for a Historical Macavity Award. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.www.dandygilver.comwww.catrionamcpherson.comwww.twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

Charles Frazier

Charles Frazier grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. COLD MOUNTAIN, his highly acclaimed first novel, was an international bestseller, selling over one million copies and winning the National Book Award in 1997. It was the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film directed by Anthony Minghella and starring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger.A second novel, THIRTEEN MOONS, was published by Sceptre in 2007 and NIGHTWOODS, Charles' latest novel set in a lakeside town in 1960s North Carolina, was published in September 2011. To find out more, visit Charles' Facebook page www.facebook.com/CharlesFrazierAuthor or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Charles_Frazier.

Cody Mcfadyen

Cody Mcfadyen designed websites until he became a full time writer when he got a publishing deal for his first thriller, SHADOW MAN. He lives in Southern California with his two black labradors. He drinks coffee (copiously), plays guitar (badly), and reads (voraciously). He abhors adverbs in writing, except when used in short biographies like this one.Visit Cody Mcfadyen's website at www.codymcfadyen.com

Dan Fesperman

Dan Fesperman is a war correspondent for Baltimore's The Sun. In the past they have sent him to cover the Gulf War from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait; then sent him to Berlin to run the paper's Europe bureau during the years of the Yugoslav civil wars in Croatia and Bosnia; and in 2001 assigned him to cover events in Pakistan and Afghanistan in the wake of 9-11. Along the way he also reported from throughout the rest of Europe and the Middle East. Dan is currently on extended leave from The Sun in order to write his next two thrillers. So far Dan Fesperman is the author of six highly acclaimed novels of international suspense, including THE PRISONER OF GUANTANAMO which won the 2006 Hammett Prize awarded by the International Association of Crime Writers. Dan Fesperman also won the CWA John Creasey Award for best debut crime novel for LIE IN THE DARK in 1999 and his second novel, THE SMALL BOAT OF GREAT SORROWS, won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller in 2003. He lives in Baltimore with his family. Visit his website at www.danfesperman.com.

Declan Hughes

Declan Hughes was born in Dublin, where he lives with his wife and daughters. He has worked as a playwright and director and co-founded the award-winning Rough Magic Theatre Company, where he was artistic director and writer-in-residence. The first in the series of Ed Loy mysteries, The Wrong Kind of Blood, won the Shamus Award for best first novel and the third, The Dying Breed, was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe award for best novel.

Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer lives near Cape Town in South Africa. His big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author. Deon Meyer's books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fanbase. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-eight languages.THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa - the first time in the prize's 16 year history that a South African book has won. His novels have also won literary prizes in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and the film rights to seven of his novels have been optioned or sold.Deon has also written two television series, and several screenplays for movies. In 2013 he directed one of his original scripts for the feature film The Last Tango.Visit the author's website at www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.

Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth de Beauchamp Goudge was born on April 24th 1900 in Wells, Somerset, where her father was Principal of Wells Theological College. Although she had privately intended writing as a career, her parents insisted she taught handicrafts in Oxford. She began writing in her spare time and her first novel ISLAND MAGIC, set in Guernsey, was a great success here and in America. GREEN DOLPHIN COUNTRY (1944) projected her to fame, netting a Literary Guild Award and a special prize of £30,000 from Louis B. Mayer of MGM before being filmed.In her later years Elizabeth Goudge settled in Henley-on-Thames. She died on April 1st, 1984.

Fay Weldon

Fay Weldon is well-known at home and abroad as a novelist, playwright, critic and screenwriter, several of whose novels have been adapted for film and television, including THE LIFE AND LOVES OF A SHE DEVIL.For more information about Fay and her work, visit her website: http://www.fayweldon.co.uk.

Fergus McNeill

Fergus McNeill has been creating computer games since the early eighties, writing his first interactive fiction titles while still at school. Over the years he has designed, directed and illustrated games for all sorts of systems, including the BBC Micro, the Apple iPad, and almost everything in between.Now running an app development studio, Fergus lives in Hampshire with his wife and teenage son. EYE CONTACT is his first novel.You can visit Fergus's website www.fergusmcneill.co.uk, find him on Facebook www.facebook.com/fergusmcneillauthor or follow him on Twitter twitter.com/fergusmcneill.