Book Notification

Elizabeth Speller Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Laurence Bartram Books

The Return of Captain John Emmett (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

At Break of Day/ The First of July (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hedge of Thorns (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The First of July (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

Elizabeth Speller
Elizabeth Speller was born in Oxford, spent some time living in Italy before she settled down in Cirencester. Elizabeth was educated in London as well as at Cambridge University, where took a post-graduate degree in Ancient History and read the classics.

She has contributed to various publications such as Big Issue, Erotic Review, Vogue, the Observer, and the Financial Times. Elizabeth is also a ghost blogger, a more profitable venture.

She won prizes in both the Bridport and Ledbury poetry competitions in the year 2008. “The Return of Captain John Emmett” was an Orange New Writers pick as well as a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club selection.

Elizabeth writes historical mystery and mystery novels, as well as some non-fiction and poetry. The first of her novels was released in the year 2010 and was called “The Return of Captain John Emmett”.

England right after World War I is a time and place that she loves and wrote about before penning her Laurence Betram books. She knew big historical landmarks, but the tinier points took much longer to research, but was still a lot of fun for her to do.

“The Return of Captain John Emmett” is the first novel in the “Laurence Bartram” series and was released in the year 2010. The year is 1920. The Great War ended two years ago, and it left a very different world from the Edwardian certainties of 1914. After his wife and baby’s deaths as well as the experiences he had on the Western Front, Laurence Bartram has become a bit of a recluse.

Yet both the aftermath of the conflict and death continue casting a pall over peacetime England. There is a young woman that he used to know who persuades him into looking into the events that led John Emmett, her brother, to kill himself. It makes Laurence have to revisit some of the darkest parts of the war.

While Laurence unravels connections between a group of war poets, a hidden love affair, Captain Emmett’s suicide, and a bitter regimental feud, even more disquieting deaths become exposed. Laurence begins living again, and it dawns on him that absolutely nothing is as it appears. Those closest to him have got their secrets, too.

Elizabeth Speller pens a beautifully written story and shows that she is a great storyteller. The mystery at the center of the novel is well structured and clever. These stories and emotions that each one of the characters have speak not just for the characters themselves, rather for an entire generation.

“The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton” is the second novel in the “Laurence Bartram” series and was released in the year 2011. Laurence Bartram, former infantry officer, gets called to the tiny village of Easton Deadall, he gets struck by how gorgeous the whole place is. A centuries-old church, a crumbling state home, and a recently planted maze. As well as the memorial to the guys of the village, most of whom died during one heroic battle in the year 1916.

It quickly is clear to Laurence that as the rest of the country is alight with hope for the very first time since the War ended, while the first Labour government takes power, the entire Wiltshire village is haunted by its own tragic past. In the year 1911 Kitty Easton, five years old, disappeared from her bed and has not been seen ever since, just her fragile mom believes that she is still alive.

A family trip to the Great Empire Exhibition in London ends disastrously and things start getting more and more sinister, Laurence has a tough time figure out what happened. As it appears the fate of the house, the men, and even Kitty herself could be part of a much darker and longer story of betrayal, love, and violence.

Readers found themselves so invested in the novel that they couldn’t start another, having been entangled with this novel’s plot and characters so strongly. It made it tough for them to actually leave that world. Readers enjoyed getting to know these characters, and they are portrayed in a cerebral way. The novel is an intriguing mystery and readers hope to check out more from Speller in the future.

“The Hedge of Thorns” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. The city melts in the summer heat when Lucy Masterson arrives in order to begin a new life with the husband that she has only known for a short amount of time. Through her marriage, she becomes one of the uneasy members of the expatriate community that occupy the powers in the old capital of Germany.

The year is 1968, the wider world is restive yet Berlin is still a wounded city. A place where a new world has been rebuilt over postwar chaos and ruins. A place where spirit and mortar and bricks have been damaged, one where even allies don’t trust one another, rumors are potentially lethal, and boredom can be dangerous.

Russia, the fourth power in the occupying force, controls East Germany, having built the Berlin Wall just a few years before. The balance of power is fragile, the peace is fraught, and shakes with each international confrontation. Caught between these four ex-allies are the German civilians, who are still bruised by defeat but with some poignant memories. Inside the walled city the tensions have become replicated in the lives of those that live there. Hostilities, secrets, divided loyalties, strange alliances, and a sense of entrapment underpin a life of privilege and pleasure that is enjoyed by the foreigners posted to West Berlin.

However, it is at Devil’s Mountain that Lucy starts to understand just why she has been drawn to this city. Clearly not nearly as innocent as she appears to be, she is aware of her own role in a story that began a long time ago. Could her marriage be one of convenience or of love? An escape or a trap? Vitally, will she be able to tell an enemy from a friend?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Elizabeth Speller

Leave a Reply