The Peacock Room by Anna Sayburn Lane #Review #Giveaway
I am delighted to feature a literary mystery on the blog today. The Peacock Room was published on 17th September and is the second in Anna Sayburn Lane's series featuring Helen Oddfellow. I also have the opportunity for you to win a paperback copy. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.
A literary obsession.
An angry young man with a gun.
And one woman trying to foil his deadly plan.
When Helen Oddfellow starts work as a lecturer in English literature, she’s hoping for a quiet life. But trouble knows where to find her.
There’s something wrong with her new students. Their unhappiness seems to be linked to their flamboyant former tutor, Professor Petrarch Greenwood, who holds decadent parties in his beautiful Bloomsbury apartment.
When Helen is asked to take over his course on the Romantic poet William Blake, life and art start to show uncomfortable parallels. Disturbing poison pen letters lead down dark paths, until Helen is the only person standing between a lone gunman and a massacre.
THE PEACOCK ROOM is the intriguing follow-up to the acclaimed thriller UNLAWFUL THINGS, which introduced the literary sleuth Helen Oddfellow.
I do love a literary mystery and one which involves William Blake and Christina Rossetti adds the icing to the cake as far as I am concerned. The Peacock Room seems to tick all my boxes, with the added interest of female academics and University politics thrown in. This is a novel with several layers. Helen has her own insecurities in her work at the University but has a feeling of responsibility towards her students. The students seem naive and vulnerable, such a contrast to the flamboyant Professor Greenwood. Helen has to decipher a complicated mystery and as we watch her, it is difficult not to be engrossed with the background details about Blake, as well as other writers. Lurking in the dark web, you see malign interpretations of his work and a huge degree of misogyny.
London is very much part of the story and a great background to the suspense which mounts as the story develops. It feels like a race against time at the end and certainly the ending does not disappoint with several twists and turns to surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and look forward to, hopefully, meeting Helen Oddfellow again.
In short: a tense mystery with a range of characters.
About the Author
Anna Sayburn Lane is a novelist, short story writer and storyteller, inspired by the history and contemporary life of London. Unlawful Things is her first novel.
She has published award-winning short stories in a number of magazines, including Mslexia, Scribble and One Eye Grey.
Her Mslexia award-winning story Conservation was described by judge and Booker-longlisted author Alison MacLeod as “a powerful and profound contemporary piece in which one man’s story stands for an entire nation’s… it’s a punch to the heart, a story that will haunt and touch its readers deeply”.
She has told stories at London club The Story Party and One Eye Grey’s Halloween event, Moon Over the Lido.
Book link: Amazon UK
Giveaway (UK only)