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On Wednesday, 14 September, two successfully published authors of historical crime will be at Waterstones in Tunbridge Wells to talk about their latest books and the journey to their publication.

S D Sykes (see our post of July 7 about her Bloomsbury Press workshop : How to Write Historical Fiction and Get Published) will be discussing the latest adventure of her hero, Oswald, who was sent to a monastery at the age of seven, only to be called home at eighteen when his father and brothers succumbed to the Black Death. Finding himself the reluctant Lord of Somershill Manor – and wrestling with the aftermath of the plague, peasant unrest, and some infuriatingly troublesome female relatives – he discovers a talent for solving gruesome murders, in Plague Land and The Butcher Bird.

City of Masks is Oswald’s third adventure, which takes place when a pilgrimage to Venice finds him trapped under seige by the Hungarians. I have yet to read it, but look forward to following this endearingly diffident young man’s journey towards maturity.

The magnificent cover, I’m told, is The Relic of the True Cross by Gentile Bellini, which can be seen in Venice and is apparently HUGE.

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As a complete contrast, Antonia Hodgson’s latest book, Death at Fountains Abbey, features a rakish Georgian antihero, Thomas Hawkins, who is employed secretly by Queen Caroline to uncover the blackmailing activities of a previous Chancellor of the Exchequer. (Let’s hope George Osborne doesn’t read it and get any ideas…) Hawkins, previously featured in The Devil in the Marshalsea and The Last Confessions of Thomas Hawkins, has a host of enemies and a long-lost daughter returning from the dead to ramp up the pace and atmosphere.

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Tickets for what should be an enjoyable and informative evening are available now from Waterstones for the very reasonable sum of £3, which can be redeemed against the price of the books, if purchased.  I have mine already…

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