Since returning from New Zealand we're working through a list of all the things that used to make us say 'Why didn't we do that when we lived in England?' So Saturday morning we were at Wimbledon and were so impressed by the immaculate grounds and courts. We had tickets for Court No 1 - mainly doubles matches but an amazing atmosphere. TV doesn't prepare you for the intimacy of the arena and roar of the crowd. Thrilled to see Goran Ivanisovic again, many years after he won an LPG title at Didsbury. Also Novak Djokovic having a very graceful knock-about. Quote from Martine: That man Djokovic will win - and so he did.

Ever since writing a scene about Cheshire Souling in An Appetite for Violets I've wanted to see a real performance of this mumming play. And tonight thanks to Jones Ale Soul Cakers I got to see a proper, slapstick, beery performance at The Bear and Billet in Chester. Thanks to Ged at Waterstones Wrexham who played a part and all the rest - I especially loved the horse's head (very Norse) and Donald Trump as Beelzebub.

Martin Bailey added 18 new photos.

Souling night in Chester - Jones Ale Soul Cakers arriving for a performance of a traditional mumming play at the Bear and Billet tonight. Guess who's playing Beelzebub!

Thanks to Karen at Hair Past A Freckle for a giveaway of my books on today's The Mystery Tour #blog tour. I'm thrilled that my short story appears alongside such luminaries as Anne Cleeves and Ragnar Jonasson in a wonderful anthology out just in time for Christmas. Enter to win both 'An Appetite for Violets' and 'The Penny Heart' today.…/blogtour-bookre…


Huge thanks to wonderful book blogger Being Anne for this new review. Also, it's always good to get feedback from book groups. Generally not everyone likes everything, but I love to hear of new converts to historical fiction.

Today I'm sharing my review of An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey. I don't always review the books I read with my book group, but on this occasion it's a...n absolute pleasure to do so. It's not that long since I read (and really enjoyed) The Penny Heart - you'll find my review here, together with an interview with the author - but I really did want to catch up with Martine's first novel, … [ 749 more words ]

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This weekend at Georgefest had to be the best event I've ever done - wonderful Georgian food, historic setting and a warm and friendly Yorkshire welcome. I talked about the research for An Appetite for Violets, Mrs Raffald and some amusing rules of the table. Later we did a fiendish culinary quiz and amazingly a clever couple got all but one of the riddles correct. A huge thank you to the Green Howards museum, Gareth Bottomley and the team from the CBInn, Martin for the photos, Wendy from Castle Hill Books and everyone who came along and took part with so much gusto!

I'm really sorry to let you know that the Manchester event on the 25th August has been postponed. Alison Layland and I were all set to go but I heard yesterday that Waterstones want to wait until the summer is over and get a bigger crowd. It's such a shame as I was so much looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new readers
So sorry if you were hoping to come along,

Thu 6:30 PM UTC+01Waterstones DeansgateManchester, United Kingdom
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Here's an interview I did with fellow author Karin Salvalaggio about the background to The Penny Heart, the Antipodes, 18th century crime and why I love crime writing.

To celebrate paperback publication of Martine Bailey's second novel The Penny Heart, we have an author to author chat over on the Prime Writers website:…/the-prime-writers-publicatio…/

Prime Writer Martine Bailey’s second novel The Penny Heart is published today in paperback. Find out more in this interview with Karin Salvalaggio, author of crime novels Bone White Dust and …

The first review of The Penny Heart on audible, plus some terrific recommendations from Essie Fox:

Some of the books I've been reading - including Queen's Gambit, by Liz Fremantle, Falling Suns by Julie-Ann Corrigan, The Penny Heart by Martine Bailey, and The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan.

If you live anywhere near Richmond, Yorkshire, this promises to be an amazing historic evening for foodies.

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Green Howards Museum

The CB Inn Chef Gareth is cooking up a sumptuous GeorgeFest feast. Eat it in the company of author Martine Bailey in our splendid Normanby Room.

I'll be signing the brand new paperback edition of The Penny Heart at my home town of Chester's own Waterstones. Inspired by Plas Teg hall, The Penny Heart is another serving of culinary gothic, a follow-up to An Appetite for Violets, and a Sunday Times Best Summer Read.

Sat 12:00 PM UTC+01Waterstones ChesterChester, United Kingdom

I'll be signing the brand new paperback edition of The Penny Heart at my very favourite Waterstones. Inspired by Plas Teg hall, The Penny Heart is another serving of culinary gothic, a follow-up to An Appetite for Violets, and a Sunday Times Best Summer Read.

Sat 12:00 PM UTC+01Waterstones WrexhamWrexham, United Kingdom

I am delighted to be speaking at a culinary event, Exploring The Georgian Table, at The Green Howard's Museum, Richmond, Yorkshire, on 2 September 2016. Working with Executive Chef Gareth Bottomley and the staff of the Museum, we are planning a Georgian dinner featuring a 'whet' and Taffety Tart from An Appetite for Violets - and much more!
Tickets are selling fast and can be found on The Green Howards web site


Is there any Birth Certificate in the world as beautiful as this one from New Zealand? It brings back so many wonderful memories of Ohope and Whakatane as I work on articles for The Penny Heart paperback. And of course happy memories of my little grandson.

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A short break in my Hosking Houses Trust Residency to grab some inspiration at the RSC with my briefly visiting husband. Marlowe's Doctor Faustus, which I last read and marvelled at as an undergraduate, was a searing, visceral production. Sitting right by the stage we were immersed in the terror and blood and spellbinding language.

Tonight we watched a powerful version of Marlowe's Faustus at The Swan in Stratford - greed, power, and the face that launched a thousand ships .... What a night!

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, directed by Maria Aberg, in the Swan Theatre 4 February - 4 August 2016.

Some exciting news from the US that A Taste for Nightshade (aka The Penny Heart) is the pick of 3 mail order book clubs: The Literary Guild, The Mystery Guild and Doubleday Book Club. Not being familiar with these, I've learned they have panels which pick selections and it's something of a privilege to be chosen. Special editions are printed and hopefully lots of people get to hear about and have the chance to buy a low-cost edition. No less than Tess Gerritson writes that Literary and Doubleday each have more than 1 million members and it's not to be sneered at, So thank you and I love the new strapline: "A crooked cook fixes a fiendish feast."

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It was a pleasure to celebrate International Womens' Day at Huyton Library with a bunch of very keen crime readers. Thanks to all involved.

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Knowsley Library Service added 3 new photos.

'Crime Writers In Their Prime'
Huyton Library this afternoon, welcomed Martine Bailey and Alison Layland to speak about the inspiration for their writing.

It is an odd quirk that once you have written your second novel you realise the publishing world is pretty obsessed with debuts. So it is refreshing that Sarah Johnson at the excellent Reading The Past blog has created this round-up of upcoming second novels. There are quite a few I'll be looking out for, including Jessie Burton's follow-up to The Miniaturist (I note it has a new title 'The Muse', after chatting to her when it was called (I think) 'Juno and the Lion'.) As we're planning a trip to the Isle of Skye I also like the sound of 'Letters from Skye' by Jessica Brockmole. (I love reading about the places I travel to). Thanks Sarah.…/encore-encore-galler…