Thursday 23 August 2018

Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile by Jennifer Wilson

Shortlisted for Book of the Month

Ghost Story
Present Day

We tend to think of Mary, Queen of Scots as an irresponsible, scheming woman who probably got her just desserts. But here in Kindred Spirits: Royal Mile, she is quite a fun loving, conscientious and caring person. Or, rather, her ghost is.

Mary and her entourage descend upon Edinburgh's Royal Mile just in time for the annual Tattoo and ensuing Fringe performances, staying through the glorious times of Hallowe'en, Christmas, Hogmanay and even Burns' night, enjoying the celebrations and even taking part in them. But it is not all fun and frolics for Mary; there is her concern for her almost reclusive father, King James V, the lost ghost Boy, hiding in the tunnels beneath the city streets, some troublesome Covenanters, and a burgeoning romance between her lady-in-waiting, Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis with loyal Sir William Kircaldy. And Darnley. The bane of her living life continues to plague her in their afterlife.

This book is absolute fun and, although part of a series, completely stand alone. There are cameo appearances from the likes of John Knox and William McGonagall and even Greyfriars Bobby and his owner, John Gray. The modern language and phrases they use do not grate as they might in a 'proper' historical novel – and I just loved the idea of Mary deliberately 'photobombing' tourists taking selfies! Great atmospheric descriptions of one of the best known streets in the world as well as some histories of the people and places.

Recommended as light-hearted relief and a darn good read to boot!

© Richard Tearle


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