The Curious Affair of the Witch of Wayside Cross, Lisa Tuttle
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers,Sci Fi & Fantasy
This caught my eye as its set in Norfolk, my home county. I love a dip into a historical novel sometimes so asked for this.
It proved to be a fun read, fascinating mystery involving local legends.
What surprised me further was the main action takes place in a little village just outside Cromer, called Aylmerton.
Why the surprise? Well, I live in that village and so much of it is exactly as it is now, the shrieking pit legends, the Lions Mouth, the local church. It’s clearly an area the author is familiar with and that reality made it really fun to read.
There are lots of local legends here, the village is set on an area when the Romans used to stay – called of course – Roman Camp, and the whole Holt – Cromer ridge was formed during the ice age, so fascinating fossils and artifacts frequently turn up in fields and on the beaches. The West Runton mammoth was found here a few years back, its the largest almost complete skeleton found.
I’ve often wondered about the Shrieking pits, I’ve a few old books about Norfolk and they’re mentioned. I love Lisa’s explanation.
I love too the Jesperson and Lane duo, a great pair who complement each other well. I do think that maybe Miss Lane might have found life a tad more restrictive though….and I so wish the trains run as well now as they did then. Post too. I’ve a few old family letters and postcards, one always fascinated me, its from a great aunt telling my gran she’ll visit that afternoon. Can you imagine doing that now 🙂
On the whole though the historical setting worked really well, made me feel as though I was with them back in time. The little details really make a difference to the feeling of history found in novels.
I enjoyed the way what seem like disparate plots end up being linked, tied up neatly in an ending I didn’t foresee. I love being surprised like that! Its a gentle read, but very cleverly done, very accurate historically and well researched. The plants and poisons section was very interesting, I’m very interested in plants and natural remedies, and again this showed that Lisa had done her homework.
I think that’s what give novels an edge, when its clear that the details have been checked, not simply invented or left to chance as to accuracy.
It’s a story I really enjoyed, not a heart stopping suspense but a more gentle meander through history with a fascinating couple.
Stars: four, an interesting and fun read, with a special connection for me with where I live.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers