- John Fullerton says (November 2020): “There’s no-one with a more readable narrative flow than James.”
- “An influential and often brilliant crime novelist,” said Lit Hub Weekly, in January 2021
Here’s my latest!
It’s 2001, the start of a new millennium. Disease sweeps the nation, people are quarantined, the government fumbles. The weather is extraordinary and people grumble about illegal immigrants.
Britain’s Foot and Mouth Disease will cost billions and see the death of hundreds of thousands of animals. Farmers will lose their livelihoods and some will kill themselves. When the government is accused of incompetence the General Election will be postponed. All this before September, and that other tragedy on the other side of the world. 2001 was a lifetime ago, yet it could be today.
Relive that extraordinary year: right here.
Meanwhile . . .
Have you tasted the delights of my Croome Victorian Saga? After the more than positive response to earlier books in the Croome Saga – that’s After She Drowned and The Captain’s Ward (see below), the third in the trilogy is now out. It’s called Man’s Estate, and forms the climax to the trilogy. I think it’s best if you read The Captain’s Ward first – but what do I know? I’m only the author. Check it out here.
The Croome Victorian Trilogy runs from the 1880s to the early 1890s, telling tales from the growing town of Croome and the nearby Manor. You can read the books in any sequence, though I think you’ll enjoy the trilogy more if you read The Captain’s Ward before the third and latest, Man’s Estate.
Man’s Estate, the third in the Croome saga, takes place in 1893. Two fathers must choose between daughters and sons. The squire’s four children are headed by the tall, proud, good-looking Riordan. Does he deserve to take over the estate? Meanwhile, in Croome itself, should works foreman Nathan Brook favour his prodigal son over his stay-at-home daughter? Available as both a paperback and an ebook:
Earlier in the saga . . . Located in the same semi-rural area around Croome and Milham, The Captain’s Ward tells of the close relationship between a teenage orphan and her charismatic guardian.
But have you read After She Drowned yet? It’s about forbidden love in the Victorian church, and is available as both a paperback and an ebook. CLICK the image to take a peek! Kindle downloads of all my books can be had direct from Amazon: Russell James page Or if you’re trying to avoid Amazon, find my books in other formats by clicking My ebooks at Smashwords
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And finally . . .
As well as my own titles, I have also spent several months editing, adding notes and illustrations to a Victorian Sensation Novel – Lord Oakburn”s Daughters, by Mrs Henry Wood (best-selling author at the time; her most famous book being East Lynne). It’s now available as a splendid paperback or on Kindle from Prospero Books. And you can get it here.
This classic Victorian ‘shocker’ was first published in the popular magazine Once A Week as a serial in 1864 before going on to quickly become a three-decker hardback. It was reissued in several forms and sold well for more than half a century before disappearing in the Second World War.
So what’s the story?
It is 1848, in a Victorian small town. A beautiful young woman arrives by omnibus (horse-drawn, of course) from the railway station. She calls herself Mrs Crane and is heavily pregnant, but is she really married? Where is her husband? What is her true identity? Despite seeming to be a stranger, she seems to know the name of at least one man in the town and seems curiously insistent on which of the town’s doctors should attend her.
This small mystery soon gets bigger. We have a woman suddenly dead in dubious circumstances, a child taken away by a hard-faced woman, a doctor shamed and disgraced, and a family whose lives are about to be transformed. Add to that swirling brew an incriminating letter, a mysterious stranger on the stairs, a bevy of gossiping old women, an irascible father of three contrasting daughters (one of whom has a secret lover), along with two romances and of course the title characters, Lord Oakburn and his daughters – and we find ourselves immersed in a classic Victorian ‘shocker’. It’s reissued in an attractive paperback format, carefully edited and annotated, and decorated with a selection of contemporary illustrations. I’ve added an Introduction, and the Afterword Appreciations are by James Havers and the late Victorian writer Adeline Sergeant.
By the way . . . There’s a page on me and my other books on ABOUT ME. And I run a blog on books in general, called Booksmatter (because books do) which you can find by clicking and a site devoted to (mainly lesser-known) Victorian illustrators and writers, called VICTORIAN LINES: