For all its superbly evoked period atmosphere, the appeal of Taylor's absorbing novel lies in Lydia and Rory's compulsion to discover the truth about Miss Penhow. Living in uncertain times, they are strongly attracted to a mystery that has a definitive, palpable solution. Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill's life.
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More from the web. More from The Telegraph. This suspenseful, well-written mystery has numerous twists and turns, with one startling surprise after another, and the biggest surprise of all at the very end. This is the first book by Taylor I've read, and I'm looking forward to reading more of them. Feb 14, Emily rated it did not like it. Set in London in the 's, "Bleeding Heart Square" tells the story of Lydia Langstone, a wealthy woman who leaves her abusive husband and goes to live with her father in a less-than-ideal part of London. While settling into her new life and trying to establish her identity, Lydia finds herself mixed up in an investigation of a missing woman who has ties to a number of people around her in her new home, Bleeding Heart Square.
She and a fellow tenant, Rory Wentworth, work together to determine w Set in London in the 's, "Bleeding Heart Square" tells the story of Lydia Langstone, a wealthy woman who leaves her abusive husband and goes to live with her father in a less-than-ideal part of London. She and a fellow tenant, Rory Wentworth, work together to determine what has happened to this missing woman, but in the process they realize that they may be putting themselves in danger too. The dialogue was particularly painful, with sentences like the following that seemed to be ripped from a current-day soap opera: Yes, this comment was directed toward a particular man, but it evokes a very different era, completely unrelated to the story.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. The story itself, regardless of accuracy, was far too drawn-out and uninteresting. Do not read this book unless you wish to get a laugh out of the complete lack of historical accuracy and believability. Aug 28, Ant Koplowitz rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of the best books I've ever read. I can't even recognise the critique offered by a number of other reviewers, let alone agree with them. The setting, place, time and characterisation were all spot-on, and I couldn't stop reading. Typical of Taylor's style, he writes with an almost detached air, slightly disconnected which seems to increase the narrative drive.
I really didn't want this book to end. If you haven't done so already, then start reading this today.
I don't really know what to think of this book. It wasn't as interesting as I had hoped it would be, but at times I couldn't put it down. May 23, Nicola Mansfield rated it it was amazing. The book sounded perfect for me: I have found myself a new favourite author! After reading this book, I want to get my hands on anything else by this man. This is a clever book, very intelligently crafted and written with a literary flair. His combination of mystery and history is absolutely superb. There is so much story here and a mystery that morphs itself in so many direc Reason for Reading: There is so much story here and a mystery that morphs itself in so many directions it's nearly impossible to give a summery.
The publisher's don't even bother to try with their brief blurb on the back of my trade pb edition. What can I tell you? Lydia Langstone is an upperclass woman who walks out on her husband because he hits her. She ends up a 7 Bleeding Heart Square, a boarding house, where her Father, a drunk, but jovial sort of fellow when he's upright, lives.
She has never met him before but decides to stay with him and gets herself a job in a lawyer's office.
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Lydia then finds herself in a mystery that has already started; the owner of the boarding house, a Miss Penham, vanished a few years back without a trace, except for a letter arriving from America saying she'd runaway with an old flame. Some accept the letter as true, others believe it to be a forgery. It is within this atmosphere that Lydia gets caught up in the suspense and secrecy which seems to involve all boarders in the house, including her father.
Which then spreads further afield and Lydia is on the trail of her own family's secrets and mysteries which lead home to her mother and husband. The story takes so many twists and turns it makes for fascinating reading.
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What starts out as a missing person case morphs into several different crimes: With WWII only a few years in the future Britain's political scene and the founding of the British Fascist party only adds to the heavy atmosphere that seeps from the pages of this book. With a combination of crimes, characters, secrets, atmosphere and even politics Bleeding Heart Square has just the right amount of "it" to make me love this story.
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Once you've been shaken up and down along with the plot and everything settles down for the finale, a final screeching reveal hits you which you've actually been wondering about since page one. You see every now and then someone comes along and narrates in the second person, taking to you,the reader, about some diary entries. One wonders who this person is at times, then at others gets used to the voice and forgets to remember to wonder which character is doing this.
The amazing conclusion wraps everything up with a satisfying bang and I'll say I was riveted from start to finish. I'll be looking at his other books now, hopefully he has another set in my favourite era of Et je ne peux pas dire mieux. Dec 06, Lourdes Venard rated it it was amazing. Lydia Langstone is an upper-class woman used to the finer things. But when her husband strikes her, she leaves her comfortable life to share a gritty apartment with her estranged father in the somewhat seedy Bleeding Heart Square. Rory Wentwood, a journalist who has spent years in India and is now unemployed, also finds himself renting an apartment there.
The legend of the square has it that the devil, disguised during a party, danced away with a lady, leaving her body on the square, her bleedin Lydia Langstone is an upper-class woman used to the finer things. The legend of the square has it that the devil, disguised during a party, danced away with a lady, leaving her body on the square, her bleeding heart on the cobblestones. Now, someone is sending apartment owner Serridge hearts and skulls. Could it have something to do with Miss Penhow, the middle-aged spinster who owned the apartments before she fell in love with Serridge?
Miss Penhow mysteriously disappeared a few years ago, and now Rory, acting on behalf of his one-time fiancee Fenella, is trying to find out what happened. Lydia soon becomes involved in the mystery, as well.
BLEEDING HEART SQUARE by Andrew Taylor | Kirkus Reviews
While Bleeding Heart Square is most assuredly a mystery, Taylor's books are so much more, this one being a Dicksensian tour of the have's and have not's, of a politically-torn England pre-World War II and of the options open to women at that time. Taylor is a master of the atmospheric, and he paints bleakness beautifully. I've read some criticism that the book moves too slowly, but that is what I like about Taylor -- he writes psychological suspense like no one else. He pulls you into the characters' stories so completely and then -- surprise -- wraps up the mystery you almost forgot about.
Apr 03, Fiona rated it liked it Shelves: This is a book which is essentially a bit of fluff with a mystery in it, or four, in which every single character seems to be related. From the cover, you will discover that Lydia Langstone has left her husband! And Miss Penhow has disappeared!
The former of these is a fait accomplis from about two chapters in, and the latter is sort of background noise to what is basically a dysfunctional 44 Scotland Street full of drunkards and socially inept people, which is to say, exactly the sort of people This is a book which is essentially a bit of fluff with a mystery in it, or four, in which every single character seems to be related. The former of these is a fait accomplis from about two chapters in, and the latter is sort of background noise to what is basically a dysfunctional 44 Scotland Street full of drunkards and socially inept people, which is to say, exactly the sort of people it's quite good fun to read about.
Beyond that, there's a good old bit of Oswald-Moseley-bashing, many Sordid Sexual Liaisons TM and more liver and onions than you can shake a stick at. Nothing too taxing on the brain, but rather good fun while you're getting there. I'm not quite sure what I make of parts of this, having finished it this morning. Andrew Taylor might not be such a hot shot with endings, but he's very good at writing stories you enjoy being in the middle of, and this is no exception.
It's a dark, little, dirty, black, ill-looking yard, With queer people about. It's about trust and betrayal between mother and daughter, daughter and father and husband and wife. It is also a brilliant extension of the Ingoldsby Legends, taking them from the mids to the time between the wars in England. If you have not heard of the Ingoldsby Legends, it would be a good thing to learn a little about them "don't go of a night into Bleeding Heart Square.
If you have not heard of the Ingoldsby Legends, it would be a good thing to learn a little about them and about Bleeding Heart Yard in particular. I think this would enhance this updated and retold story. A main character, Joseph Serridge, is a man out of his time, which you will understand when you read this. It would be a good choice for Halloween and you'll get to follow those who solve the riddle of the missing Philippa Penhow. Jan 17, Pat Gerber-Relf rated it really liked it.
I loved this book.
It takes part in Holborn, London, an area which I though I knew perfectly, but there are some things that I did not discover. After finishing the book I checked on Bleeding Heart Square and discovered that it really exists, complete with its secret entrance. The plot in the book was well constructed, the time when the fascists had begun to show their ungly heads, The people living in house No. The ending o I loved this book. The ending of the book was unexpected in a way, and I am still not sure whether I agree, otherwise the book would have got five stars. Dec 07, Kirsty Darbyshire rated it liked it Shelves: I liked the main female character Libby and the insights into s living, divorce and the rise of I've looked back through my notes on every book of Andrew Taylor's that I've read over the last five years and I've pretty much liked them all and really loved several of them.
Not an author that I'm likely to give up on any time soon though! I finished this several days ago, and although I quite liked it, I now find myself struggling to think of anything to say about it.
Murder amongst the Mosleyites
The plot was entertaining enough; I found Miss Penhow's diary entries more interesting than the rest of the story, and they kept me reading more than anything. The characters were uniformly likeable but not memorable, which is a description I would also apply to the book. Sep 12, Sharon4 rated it really liked it. One or two of the characters are a little flat and two-dimensional, but Andrew Taylor has a flair for atmosphere and setting a scene. He also knows how to create suspense; the interweaving of the present, with the past through the diaries of a love-struck, increasingly terrified woman keeps the reader turning the pages to find out how it all ends.
Jun 18, Barb added it Shelves: Unfortunately one hundred pages into this one and I still didn't find a character to care about or a mystery that held my attention. That being said I'm looking forward to reading his most recent novel, 'The Scent of Death'. Jul 09, Cathy rated it it was amazing. I like Andrew Taylor's uncluttered prose and the way he subtly builds an underlying sense of menace, which he does so well in this novel.
It's a period piece, steeped in vivid detail and a sense of s decay. You can almost smell the damp and imagine the faded wallpaper and dark, draughty hallways. I found the central mystery and the final twist disturbing and compelling. Apr 08, Kay rated it really liked it Shelves: I enjoyed this mystery so much! I'm not sure where I first saw it, but I found a note to myself about it and gave it a try.
What a spooky, atmospheric and compelling read. Fascists, Communists, class conflict, a mysterious disappearance -- and a twisty plot too! I'll be looking for more by this author. Jan 19, Heather rated it liked it. Slow to get into. Rather liked Lydia and Rory. Ending was very convoluted and somewhat ridiculous. Political passages were unnecessary and mind numbingly boring. Nicely done period piece with an interesting twist at the end. Jan 03, Jane Grandt rated it really liked it. Liked reading about the period--early 20th-century England--and the drama.
Apr 12, Eva rated it really liked it. Great for long, dark, cold rainy winter nights by the fire Jan 14, Diane Dickson rated it really liked it. It was intricate, involved and entertaining.
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The construction was different and worked really well to ratchet up the mystery and there were a couple of really clever little twists which were hinted at just enough so that when they were revealed you kicked yourself for not seeing what was coming.
The scene setting was pretty good, and it makes you realize how lucky many of us are now compared to a great number of people in the UK in the times between the wars. The charac Thoroughly enjoyable book. The main character is strong and admirable, and you wish only the best for her, and her situation demonstrates just how far women have come in the days since then — there may be a long way to go yet but in terms of equality and fairness this book does show how we as a gender have had to fight.
My only problem with it was that there seemed to me to be some confusion with the stated date of the book s and some of the language and references, e.