Can’t-Wait Wednesday – 21st April, 2021 #Brainfluffbookblog #CWC #WOW


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week’s Can’t-Wait offering – The Royal Secret – Book 5 of the Marwood and Lovett series – release date 29th April, 2021.

#historical adventure #Charles II’s reign #murder mystery

BLURB: Two young girls plot a murder by witchcraft. Soon afterwards a government clerk dies painfully in mysterious circumstances. His colleague James Marwood is asked to investigate – but the task brings unexpected dangers.

Meanwhile, architect Cat Hakesby is working for a merchant who lives on Slaughter Street, where the air smells of blood and a captive Barbary lion prowls the stables. Then a prestigious new commission arrives. Cat must design a Poultry House for the woman that the King loves most in all the world.

Unbeknownst to all, at the heart of this lies a royal secret so explosive that it could not only rip apart England but change the entire face of Europe…

I have been a fan of this series since the first riveting book, charting a gripping adventure set against the backdrop of the Great Fire of London in 1666. Each subsequent book as continued to impress me with the vividness with which Taylor evokes Stuart London and the twists and turns in James and Cat’s lives. See my reviews of Ashes of London, The Fire Court, and The Last Protector. I shall be featuring the third book in the series tomorrow, The King’s Evil, as I ended up reading them slightly out of sequence.

27 responses »

    • Thank you! Do be warned – while the witchcraft aspect is an element in the story, it isn’t one of the main narrative arcs. Though that doesn’t stop this being a thumping good read that has stayed in my head since I finished it:). And yes – I cheated and read ahead, because I simply couldn’t wait!

  1. I’ve not read any fiction set during that time period. I’ve read books set during Viking times or more recent history (Victorian onwards), so I’m very intrigued by this series.

    • It’s worth checking out if you are at all interested in learning more about the history of the time. Taylor weaves his stories around actual historical events and leading figures of the time – and does a really good job of it, too. And it’s an absolutely fascinating period, with a great deal going on.

  2. It sounds like there is a lot going on on this book (lions and witches?) but wow, I’m intrigued! Looking forward to your upcoming review of book 3😁

    • Yes… to be honest, Tammy, I think the blurb has been a tad misleading. Those elements are in there – and both of them do play a part in the overall story. But neither are pivotal to the narrative arc. And yes… I’ve actually read this one as I COULDN’T wait before featuring it on Can’t-Wait Weds!

    • Thank you, M:). It was one of the main reasons why I picked up the first book – I’m used to seeing stacks of mysteries set during Tudor times, there aren’t so many using Charles II’s reign. Which is a fascinating time, given that English society is still recovering from the Civil War…

      • Don’t apologise! I did go all the way down, but I just couldn’t find the textbooks. But then I’m not exactly firing on all cylinders right now!

  3. I haven’t heard about this series, but I’m intrigued with the blurb. I’d have to start with the first book in the series though. Looks good and I hope you enjoy it.

    • Thank you, Yvonne – I’ve actually cheated a bit, because I’ve got ahead of my reading schedule slightly, I’ve already read it. And I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    • I’ve been so impressed with the quality of the series and the way that Taylor has taken the story forward. And the bonus is that I hadn’t known about a lot of the historical details he covers in the books. There is always a lovely Appendix where he explains where and how he has mixed fact with fiction…

    • It really is… I’m just a tad concerned in case the blurb leads folks to think that this is one sort of book – when it really, really isn’t. Does that make sense?

  4. I think there’s a challenge later in the year on “Gunpowder and Treason”. Maybe in November? I am going to keep this book for that time (if I don’t read it before!). Thanks for spotlighting this.

  5. I am definitely interested! I love the time period and setting. I hope you enjoy this one as much as you have the earlier books in the series. I hope you are feeling better!

    • Thank you, Wendy:)). Yes – I’m feeling much better, thank you!

      Oh yes – this whole series is so well executed and gives a ringside seat on this fascinating period, which I didn’t know all that much about.

  6. Oh this sounds good! I read a decent number of historical mysteries but for some reason I’ve never really gone back farther then mid-19th century. This is one I’d definitely like to try.

    • I hope you get a chance to get hold of the first book to see if you enjoy it, Katherine. It’s a fascinating time in English history, as it deal with one of the greatest disasters to befall London – the Great Fire of 1666. Taylor describes it in marvellous detail – and in the coming books also charts the aftermath.

    • It certainly is, Verushka. Just be aware that although it’s a significant plot thread running throughout, it isn’t the narrative engine that drives this story…

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