Skulduggery by Paul Rushworth-Brown is a historical crime story and also a story of love. It is set in the early 1600s in England during a time of unrest and violence.
Queen Bess, Elizabeth I, had died and King James now reigns. A Catholic plot against him, The Gun Powder Plot, has put the country in turmoil.
Catholics were hunted, tortured and imprisoned. The poor were poorer, food was scarce. It was a difficult and dangerous time.
On the moors of Yorkshire Thomas Rushworth is reminiscing the past, from the death of his father to the present time. There have been good times and bad, happy times and sad.
His life as a peasant is to tend in the fields for the Lord from sunrise to sunset, pruning, weeding, harvesting and ploughing.
One night Thomas and Margery, his mother, come across a drunkard who had been bashed and robbed. John Hargreaves had won money at the King’s Arms, been followed and his winnings stolen. They help John to their cottage and assist him.
This chance meeting with John Hargreaves changes the lives of both families.
Margery has noticed John’s daughter, Agnes, and has plans for her to marry Thomas.
The Hargreaves and the Rushworth families attempt to get to the bottom of the thieving and attacks, putting themselves in danger.
The historical aspect of the story keeps you interested as you learn how the rich and the poor lived at the time. All the fines, the dues, the death and wedding fees all paid to the Lord of the manor.
The relationships between the characters keep you engaged.
The dictionary definition of Skulduggery is “underhand, unscrupulous, dishonest behaviour or activities”. There is definitely plenty of this in the story.
This is a book for fans of historical fiction. It is well written using the language of the time to describe the events.
Red Winter Journey is the follow up book. This book is set in 1642 and follows the Rushworth family now caught up in the ravages of the English Civil War.
It is interesting to mention that Paul Rushworth-Brown embarked on a project to write a family history for his children. Through his research it has led him to a passion for writing historical novels.
Thank you to the Shawline Publishing Group and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read this interesting book.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Skulduggery by Paul Rushworth-Brown. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, any book on any topic. I now love ebooks as they are easier to store, I was running out of bookshelves! My other interests are family, gardening and our beautiful King Charles spaniel dog who is my reading companion.