Monday, December 31, 2012

A Slight Cure for The Downton Abbey Blues

The Walnut Tree

The Walnut Tree is a holiday tale published this year by the mother/son team known as Charles Todd.  

Their bio states that the authors "live on the east coast of the US.  Caroline Todd has a BA in English literature and Charles Todd a BA in Communication Studies.  They have a rich storytelling heritage from time spent listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce.  An uncle/great-uncle served as a flyer in WWI and aroused an early interest in the Great War.  This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time."

They pen the Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries which take place right after WWI.  The Inspector has just returned from the war and gets caught up in his work in order to save his own sanity.  The Bess Crawford mysteries follow a WWI nurse who becomes an amateur sleuth.  These are historically accurate cozy mysteries.  

The Walnut Tree is a stand alone holiday selection and lightly evokes the wartime atmosphere of Britain and France.  As one reviewer stated "Find some cures for the post-Downton Abbey blues".  The woman on the cover even looks like Lady Sybil Crawley! 

The story revolves around Lady Elspeth Douglas who gets caught up in the chaos that erupts when war breaks out.  She defies her position to become a war nurse and sees her soon to be fiance head off to war.  In his absence she falls for a handsome Captain.  This is not War and Peace but if you enjoy cozy mysteries and the books of Louise Penny and Anne Perry this author is a good one to check out.

As an aside - did you know that prolific cozy mystery author Anne Perry was convicted in 1954 at the age of 15 and served five years in prison for participating in her friend's mother's murder?  Her bio says that since being released from prison she has not committed any crimes (good to know!).

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