Related to: 'City of Masks'

Hodder & Stoughton

The Butcher Bird

S D Sykes
Authors:
S D Sykes

Oswald de Lacey is growing up fast in his new position as Lord of Somershill Manor. The Black Death changed many things, and just as it took away his father and elder brothers, leaving Oswald to be recalled from the monastery where he expected to spend his life, so it has taken many of his villagers and servants. However, there is still the same amount of work to be done in the farms and fields, and the few people left to do it think they should be paid more - something the King himself has forbidden.Just as anger begins to spread, the story of the Butcher Bird takes flight. People claim to have witnessed a huge creature in the skies. A new-born baby is found impaled on a thorn bush. And then more children disappear.Convinced the bird is just a superstitious rumour, Oswald must discover what is really happening. He can expect no help from his snobbish mother and his scheming sister Clemence, who is determined to protect her own child, but happy to neglect her step-daughters.From the plague-ruined villages of Kent to the thief-infested streets of London and the luxurious bedchamber of a bewitching lady, Oswald's journey is full of danger, dark intrigue and shocking revelations.(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder Paperbacks

Plague Land

S D Sykes
Authors:
S D Sykes

Book 1 in the gripping Oswald de Lacy series, which can be read as a standalone, from 'the medieval CJ Sansom' (Jeffery Deaver)England, 1350: the Black Death has changed the country forever, taking master and servant alike. Young Oswald de Lacey was never meant to be Lord of Somershill Manor, but when his father and older brothers die of the Plague, he must return home from the monastery and assume responsibility for an estate ravaged by pestilence. Almost immediately Oswald is confronted with the vicious murder of a young woman, Alison Starvecrow. The village priest claims it is the work of demonic dog-headed men, a theory Oswald rejects as nonsense. But proving this - by finding the real killer - only leads Oswald deeper into a maze of political intrigue, family secrets and violent strife. And then the body of another girl is found...'Sykes has really reset the bar for medieval mysteries' Medievalists

Alys Clare

Alys Clare is a history enthusiast who has written many novels under a different name. Alys Clare lives in Kent, where the Hawkenlye mysteries are set. You can reach her on her website www.alysclare.com

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a British crime and historical novelist, winner of the Cartier Diamond Dagger (for lifelong excellence in the genre) and the triple winner of the Historical Dagger. His books include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, the international bestseller The American Boy (a Richard and Judy selection); the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); the Lydmouth Series; the William Dougal Series, The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and The Scent of Death. He lives on the borders of England and Wales. He reviews for the Spectator and The Times. For more information about Andrew Taylor and his books, see: www.andrew-taylor.co.uk or follow him on twitter: @andrewjrtaylor

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

Audrey Howard

Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. Here fourth novel, The Juniper Bush, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 1988.She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home.

Elizabeth H. Winthrop

Elizabeth H. Winthrop was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from Harvard University in 2001 with a BA in English and American Literature and Language, and in 2004 she received her Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of California at Irvine. Her stories have appeared in a variety of publications including the Missouri Review and the Indiana Review. Fireworks, her first novel, was published by Sceptre in 2006, her second, December, was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick for 2009, she pulished her third novel, The Why of Things, in 2013. The Mercy Seat is her most recent work, published by Sceptre. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, daughter and St. Bernard, and is Assistant Professor of English/Creative Writing at Endicott College.

H.B. Lyle

H.B. Lyle lives in South London with his partner and their twin daughters. After a career infeature film development, he took an MA in creative writing, followed by a PhD, at the University ofEast Anglia, an experience which led to the creation of The Irregular. He also writes screenplaysand teaches undergraduates.

Jake Arnott

Jake Arnott was born in 1961, and lives in London. He is the author of THE LONG FIRM, published by Sceptre in 1999 and subsequently made into an acclaimed BBC TV series. His second novel, HE KILLS COPPERS, was also made into a series by Channel 4. He has since published the novels TRUECRIME, JOHNNY COME HOME, THE DEVIL'S PAINTBRUSH and THE HOUSE OF RUMOUR.

James Jackson

James Jackson has written six pervious thrillers including the acclaimed BLOOD ROCK, PILGRIM, REALM and PERDITION (all available from John Murray). His non-fiction works include The Counter-Terrorist Handbook. A former political risk consultant and a postgraduate in military studies, he was called to the Bar, and is a member of the Inner Temple.

Julia Bryant

Julia Bryant was born in Portsmouth: her step-father and husband both served in the Navy. She trained as a nurse, then after her three children grew up, earned an honours B.A. in English and history. She and her husband now live in Portsmouth once more. Visit her website at www.juliabryant-online.com.

Julian Stockwin

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force. After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.julianstockwin.com.

Marianne Kavanagh

Marianne Kavanagh is a writer and journalist. She has worked on staff for Woman, Tatler, the Sunday Telegraph magazine and British Marie Claire, and has contributed features to a wide variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. She lives in London.

Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart was one of the 20th century's bestselling and best-loved novelists. She was born in Sunderland, County Durham in 1916, but lived for most of her life in Scotland, a source of much inspiration for her writing. Her first novel, Madam, Will You Talk? was published in 1955 and marked the beginning of a long and acclaimed writing career. In 1971 she was awarded the International PEN Association's Frederick Niven Prize for The Crystal Cave, and in 1974 the Scottish Arts Council Award for one of her children's books, Ludo and the Star Horse. She was married to the Scottish geologist Frederick Stewart, and died in 2014.

Meg Hutchinson

Meg Hutchinson lived for sixty years in Wednesbury, where her parents and grandparents spent all their lives. Her passion for storytelling reaped dividends, with her novels regularly appearing in bestseller lists. She was the undisputed queen of the clogs and shawls saga. Passionate about history, her meticulous research provided an authentic context to the action-packed narratives set in the Black Country. She died in February 2010.

Nigel Tranter

One of Scotland's best-loved authors, Nigel Tranter wrote over ninety novels on Scottish history. He died at the age of ninety on 9 January 2000.

Nora Kay

Nora Kay was born in Northumberland but she and her family lived for many years in Dundee. She now lives in Aberdeen.

Posie Graeme-Evans

Posie Graeme-Evans was born in England but travelled all over the world with her parents, a novelist and an Australian spitfire fighter pilot. Posie has worked in the Australian film and television industry for the last 25 years as an editor, director and producer on hundreds of prime time television programmes including the number one drama series McLeod's Daughters and the worldwide pre-school phenomenon Hi-5.Posie and Andrew Blaxland, her husband and creative partner, live in Tasmania.

Richard Blake

Richard Blake is a historian, broadcaster and university lecturer. He lives in Kent with his wife and daughter.www.richardblake.me.uk

Robyn Young

Robyn Young was born in Oxford and grew up in the Midlands and Devon. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Sussex and lives and writes in Brighton full-time. Her first novel, BRETHREN, was the bestselling hardback debut novel of 2006, with the paperback also going straight into the top ten bestseller list. Two more bestsellers followed, CRUSADE and REQUIEM, completing the Brethren trilogy, which has now sold over a million copies and been translated into nineteen languages.The inspiration for Robyn's new trilogy, which began with INSURRECTION and continues in RENEGADE, grew out of an earlier research trip to Scotland. Robyn explains: 'Day by day, out of the pages of history and the wild landscape, one figure came striding, larger, clearer than all the others - Robert the Bruce. He swept me off my feet and carried me into a story of bitter family feuds, two civil wars and the struggle for the crown. I realised there was no way this character could play a cameo role in another man's story. His tale was too powerful, too intricate and too good to be cut down and boxed to fit.'To find out more about Robyn Young and her historical novels, visit her website at www.robynyoung.com and her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RobynYoungAuthor and follow her on Twitter @RobynYoung36