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Spy Fever: how spy lies led to the creation of the Secret Service

Posted on: 17/05/2017 with tags: author blog, conspiracy theories, crime fiction, English History, historical crime, historical fiction, 20th Century

For a historical novelist, the usual way of things is to delve into history, to look at what’s interesting or important, a setting, an event, a time period – we write into this, try to recreate, re-imagine, re-use as we see fit. But what happens when this gets turned on its head, when fiction starts turning into fact? In writing my first historical novel – The Irregular, set in 1909 – I discovered a startling example of invention becoming real, of fiction (spy fiction no less) having a very prof…

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Author David Morrell on escaping to Victorian London

Posted on: 17/11/2016 with tags: author blog, crime fiction, David Morrell, historical fiction, Victorian

For the past seven years, I’ve been a time traveller, writing a Victorian mystery trilogy about 1850’s London.  The three novels (Murder As a Fine Art, Inspector of the Dead, and Ruler of the Night) feature a controversial literary figure from the era, Thomas De Quincey, who was notorious for having written the first book about drug addiction, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821), and who praised mass murderers in his famous essay, ‘On Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts’. Seven ye…

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Anna Mazzola and Jane Housham talk THE UNSEEING and THE APPRENTICE OF SPLIT CROW LANE

Posted on: 07/11/2016 with tags: Anna Mazzola, author content, author interview, crime fiction, Jane Housham, The Apprentice of Split Crow Lane, The Unseeing, Victorian

Anna Mazzola: So we’ve both ended up writing about awful crimes from the nineteenth century. What’s your excuse? Jane Housham: I was researching my dad’s side of the family, who come from the North East, when I came across reports of an awful murder in Newcastle and Gateshead newspapers. At first I was just curious to know whether we might have a murderer in the family, but the more I looked into it, the more compelling it seemed to become, and aspects of the crime seemed to shake up things I th…

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Jeska Lyons reviews The Unseeing by Anna Mozzola

Posted on: 09/09/2016 with tags: crime fiction, debut novel, historical crime, historical fiction, history, Reviews, Victorian, Victorian England

What struck me the most when reading this book was the incredible sense of time and place Mazzola creates, and how vividly she paints a picture of grim 1830s London. We meet Sarah Gale, the epitome of a fallen woman, as she is sentenced to hang for assisting her lover James Greenacre in the murder of the seemingly innocent Hannah Brown. From the first page you are transported into poor Sarah Gales’ bleak world, and you don’t escape from her reality until you close the book completely. The atmosp…

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