Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Bloodie Bones by Lucienne Boyce
Series:  A Dan Foster Mystery #1
Release Date: May 2015
Publisher: Silverwood Books
Genres: Historical Fiction / Historical Mystery

“Parsons and tyrants friends take note. We have born your oppreshuns long enough. We will have our parish rights or else Bloodie Bones will drink your blood.”

When Lord Oldfield encloses Barcombe Wood, depriving the people of their ancient rights to gather food and fuel, the villagers retaliate with vandalism, arson and riot. Then Lord Oldfield’s gamekeeper, Josh Castle, is murdered during a poaching raid. Dan Foster, Bow Street Runner and amateur pugilist, is sent to investigate.

Dan’s job is to infiltrate the poaching gang and bring the killers to justice. But there’s more to Castle’s death than at first sight appears. What is the secret of the gamekeeper’s past and does it have any connection with his murder? What is Lord Oldfield concealing? And did someone beside the poachers have a reason to want Josh Castle dead?

As tensions in Barcombe build to a thrilling climax, Dan will need all his wits and his fighting skills to stay alive and get to the truth.

Bloodie Bones won the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016 and was long listed for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016; and is approved by Awesome Indies.


Dan Foster is a man of hidden depths. Once a street urchin and now a Bow Street Runner, he has been sent to investigate the death of a gamekeeper on Lord Oldfield's estate. Dan must go undercover to reveal the truth while at times reconciling how he feels about some of the decisions Lord Oldfield is making. Despite being undercover in order to try to catch those responsible for the death of the gamekeeper and do the job he was sent to do, Dan finds himself drawn to some of those he should be investigating and often finds himself waging an inner conflict between doing his job and doing what is morally right.

I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about reading this book. The era the book is set in (18th Century) made me wonder how a detective story of that time could hold my interest. Historical fiction is not my most favourite genre but one I am finding more and more enjoyable if I find the right book. And, Bloodie Bones is definitely the right book! Its a real cracker of a story and it is very obvious that Lucienne Boyce has done a heck of a lot of research to ensure historical accuracy. The language is rich and simply exquisite and reads easily. I even learned a few things along the way! I actually had no idea there was such a thing as The Riot Act and had no idea where the expression reading someone the Riot Act came from until Lord Oldfield was confronted with an angry mob outside his home. And, the story just flows along seamlessly. There are many twists and turns to trip you up and a few surprises along the way! The book is beautifully written and had me gripped from start to finish.

Dan Foster is such an interesting character, torn between two worlds. He is also a man trapped in a loveless marriage but bound by duty and at times I really felt sorry for him. There is an air of sadness about him and he has a varied past which is often at odds with the Dan Foster that he now tries to be. The story behind the gamekeepers death is cleverly plotted and Dan is an 18th Century sleuth who is both clever and forward thinking. I loved this book and really look forward to reading more Dan Foster mysteries. This series could just be my new favourite series! Bravo to Lucienne Boyce for bringing to life a wonderful character in Dan Foster.

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Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction and non fiction. After gaining an MA in English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land (SilverWood Books, 2012), an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas. Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (SilverWood Books, 2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also long listed for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes (SilverWood Books), a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about the suffragettes. She has contributed articles to various publications, and also appeared on television and radio in connection with both her fiction and non-fiction work.
Lucienne has recently joined the team of Bristol Radio BCfm’s Silver Sound show as a presenter. She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Friends of the Women’s Library, the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

Lucienne is currently working on the second of the Dan Foster Mysteries, and a biography of a married couple who were involved in the suffragette, socialist and pacifist movements. She was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol, which is the setting and inspiration for much of her work. 

Twitter:  @LucienneWrite

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/author


Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery is available in paper back and as an ebook. 

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