Today I’m reviewing The House in the Marsh by Steven A Mckay, The House In the Marsh is a medieval Christmas mystery with a ghostly twist and is a novella in The Forest Lord series.
Here’s the blurb,
For generations, stories have been told about the ruined old house in the marsh outside Wakefield. Stories of hidden treasure, sinister night-time cries, and ghostly figures doomed to haunt the lonely estate for all eternity as punishment for some terrible crime.
This Christmas, it seems the old tales might just turn out to be true…
England, AD 1330
John Little, a bailiff living in Yorkshire, has little interest in ghost stories, having seen enough horrors among the living to bother much about the dead. The strange accounts from his fellow villagers have everyone talking though, and it’s not long before he’s asked to accompany a group of curious locals on nocturnal visits to the house in the marsh.
There are more worrying concerns in northern England however, as autumn gives way to winter and rumours of rogue bailiffs attacking, and even murdering people in their own homes, begin to circulate.
Along with his friends – ill-tempered Will Scaflock and the renowned friar, Robert Stafford – John is drawn inexorably into a dangerous adventure that will leave yet more people dead and only add to the eerie legends which will pass into English folklore for centuries to come.
Can John and his companions uncover the truth about the house in the marsh and its terrible secrets? And will they be able to forever exorcise the ghost haunting Wakefield, or will this Christmas be anything but merry?
We are back with Tuck, Will Scarlet and Little John for another gripping mystery.
The tale starts with a bailiff out to collect fines in the name of the king, the issue is this isn’t a real bailiff and his form of justice goes a step too far.
The news of the fake bailiff takes a while to circulate so before it reaches our heroes we find John, Tuck and Will intrigued with a reported haunting in an old Manor in the Marshes close to Wakefield. There’s even stories of treasure about. But is there any truth in the legend?
As the fake Bailiff edges closer to Wakefield Little John and the gang take notice. They are a little older but no less deadly. If the fake bailiff wants to dole out some harsh justice they are in for a nasty shock… to make matters worse there’s reports of this fake bailiff in numerous placed which wouldn’t be humanly possible..
Development wise I think Will stole the show, he’s still as sharp as ever but has a new family to watch over… he’s not going to let anyone harm his family.. not after last time!
The plot develops at a steady pace and both mysteries come to some surprising ends.
I love these Novellas and they are fast becoming a Christmas tradition for me to cosy up with a nice bottle of ale.
After being with these characters for so long I feel like I know them..I’m comfortable with them.. the relationships are naturally built and the flow and writing style is effortless brilliant you can’t help but get cosy and demolish this one.. it would be impossible not to. When I pick up a book by Steven A. McKay I just know I’m going to love it and once again we’ve been given a cracking read perfect for Christmas Eve night!