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The Almanack

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  113 ratings  ·  71 reviews
"Bailey's prose sparkles" The Times

"Puzzle solvers and historians will love this mystery" Booklist

Superstition. Murder. Vengeance.

Tabitha Hart earns a scandalous living in London, with whichever gentleman has enough coin for her company. But in the summer of 1752, her mother urgently summons her home to the village of Netherlea and, with reluctance, she returns.
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Paperback, 448 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Black Thorn
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  113 ratings  ·  71 reviews


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Fran
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In the year 1752, at a London inn, a gentleman sent a bottle of claret to the table of 19 year old Tabitha Hart. "You are seeking business tonight, lady?" "Tabitha remembered her own sorry plans to strip the fellow of his purse and abandon him at first light. If only she had woken first... The villain has taken every farthing I own and my box and clothes besides..." She is forced to forego a carriage and must walk home to Netherlea.

"Netherlea was a village of countrified clods, gossips and
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Ingrid
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately this sounded much more intriguing than it was. I liked the format with the riddles although I didn't have the patience to solve all 50 of them. There wasn't a person in the book that I really liked or could sympathise with.
Karen Kay
I received this from Netgalley.com for a review.

1752, Midsummer. Tabitha Hart departs London for her home village of Netherlea – only to discover that her mother has drowned.

Oh I don't know ... this book has its highs and lows. I liked that Tabitha was not a very likeable person, it kept things a bit off balance. But overall, the story was just so-so.

2.75
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Beadyjan
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Almanack is a luscious and vibrant journey into the past via the predictions and riddles of an almanack.

One of the first things I notice when I sink blissfully into a Martine Bailey book, is how quickly she transports me to another era and how evident it is that she has deeply researched everything to do with the era she is writing about. Which, in this case, is the mid 1700s.

The whole book is cleverly constructed around an Almanack of the very year in which the book is set and is so
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Sarah-Hope
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
The Almanack fits into my good-but-not-great category. Did I enjoy reading it? Yes. Will I want to reread it? No. Will I recommend it to friends? That depends on their tastes—but if they enjoy historical mysteries, I probably will. It provides a fun bit of reading.

The Almanack has two lines of narrative: a serial killer is haunting a small village; a woman whose mother was one of the killer's victims and a handsome, enigmatic newcomer to town fall in love with one another. I found the mystery
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eyes.2c
A slow burn and then the heat turns up!

The philosophy of time, destiny and the stars pervade this intricate historical mystery in which a young woman determines to avenge her mother’s death. 1752, Midsummer. Britain is changing from the Julian to the Georgian Calendar. Eleven days were cut from the calendar. A sense of confusion is abroad. Following a desperate summons from her mother, Tabitha Hart departs London for her home village of Netherlea – only to discover that her mother has drowned.
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K B
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Almanack, by Martine Bailey is a mystery, amateur sleuth delight that is an all around good read. (https://kbbookreviews867789450.wordpr...)

The Almanack, by Martine Bailey follows the main character, Tabitha Hart, and the secondary main character, Nat Starling. Tabitha, having left her small village to have a scandalous life in London, is called back home to Netherlea by her mother via a letter in which she appears to be worried about something. Concerned, Tabitha rushes back home, with some
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Denise
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Superstition. Murder. Vengeance."

Set in the fictional town of Netherlea in 1752, this extremely well-written historical novel will entertain and engage. The author has done meticulous research that brings the story to life with the lovely, descriptive prose and is centered around the pages of an almanack so marks each chapter with the date, the sun and moon activity and a prognostication for the day. In addition, a truly unique feature is the riddle at the beginning of each new chapter. I
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Bandit
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, sure I like puzzles, riddles and historical mysteries. This sounded intriguing enough, but there was a sort of women’s fiction aspect to it. Nevertheless, I went for it…and came out thoroughly ambivalent. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. Riddle me this, riddle me that...why doesn't The Riddler ever get his own movie and The Joker does. Is it because riddles just don't deliver the same kind of punch as a good joke? This is a novel told in riddles, which is fun enough as far as gimmicks go. ...more
Tessa Arlen
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have to admit that I have waited patiently for this book ever since I read Bailey's An Appetite for Violets and A Taste for Nightshade.

The Almanack is set in England in 1752. Tabitha Hart reluctantly returns from her failed but sophisticated life in London to the her home in Netherlea following a desperate plea from her mother for help. She is the victim of a conman on her journey north and arrives in Netherlea, penniless and in her shift, to find that her mother has drowned.

Once again the
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Carolyn McBride
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story turned out to be so much more than what I had been expecting. The author knows how to twist her words so that you easily see the surrounding countryside, or feel the stones beneath the main character's feet. She is beset by squalor and filth, and doubts, but she is determined to discover who killed her mother.
The riddles that preceded each chapter were a mind-bendy treat, that I was unable to solve on my own. The characters became better people than I had originally given them credit
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Essie Fox
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Almanack by Martine Bailey is a beguiling historical novel set in the Georgian era. With echoes of Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders - her Fortunes and Misfortunes - this entertaining mystery offers us fortunes of another kind, being the riddles and the prophecies once found in yearly almanacks. These books offered the reader guidance on the weather, advice on dates for planting crops, even giving prophecies based upon astrology.

Also incorporated in this book are riddles from the era - which the
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Alison
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mystery, murder, and authentic riddles
The Almanack of the title plays a central part in the novel and is also seamlessly woven into the narrative: each chapter is prefaced by astronomical observations, predictions and authentic riddles for modern-day readers to puzzle over just as our forebears did. These aspects subtly foretell events in the chapters they preface and so enrich the story, which is compelling with a cast of colourful, relatable characters, and combine with Martine Bailey’s rich,
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gwendalyn _books_
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Thanks to Black Thorn Books for a review copy.

The Almanack, is set in England during the 1750s. London is full vice and over indulgences. From the moment Tabitha wakes at an inn on her journey to Netherlea, finding that she has been robbed by her companion for the night, left with nothing other than the underclothes she’s wearing and a
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Jenny
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
I think the first thing to really say about this book concerns the writing style - every chapter starts with information that includes an almanac prediction of what will happen that day. There is also a riddle. Both these things set the tone for the whole book for me.... it's very atmospheric, gothic almost, where nothing is at it seems. It's set in England in the village of Netherlea in the mid 18th century and the historical setting is created well - times are hard, life is hard... so, what's ...more
Chris Hilton
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: alm
Unique Murder Mystery

After enjoying this author’s previous books, An Appetite for Violets and The Penny Heart, I rushed to read an advance copy of The Almanack. Firstly, it’s a great looking book with a few gothic illustrations, an authentic riddle at the start of each chapter and dates and extracts just like a historical almanac. We’re soon into the story of Tabitha –a good-time girl stranded in her home village who finds herself arrived just too late to help her mother, who has allegedly
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Louisa Treger
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Martine Bailey’s first two novels and was eagerly awaiting her third. The Almanack more than lived up to my expectations. It’s an utterly beguiling historical crime novel about a rural community terrorised by a faceless serial killer known only as ‘M’. Reading this novel, you fall through space and time, relocating to a Georgian England that is so alive and vividly rendered, you can smell the air and feel the seasons turning. The writing is rich and beautiful, the plotting is tight and ...more
Hannelore Cheney
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NetGalley and Black Thorn for the eARC.
An impressive read with a good story, a terrific sense of place and lots of interesting facts about life in 1752 in rural England. I was also fascinated by the fact that Almanac(k)s were so enormously popular...I didn't realize almanacs were around in those days.
Tabitha Hart, after a heartfelt request by her mother, reluctantly leaves her beloved life in London for Netherlea, the village she grew up in.
Unfortunately her mum is already dead
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Anne
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
From the moment Tabitha wakes at an inn on her journey to Netherlea, finding that she has been robbed by her companion for the night, left with nothing other than the underclothes she’s wearing and a purloined watch shaped as a silver skull, this wonderful book drew me into its vividly created world and refused to let me go until the very last page. It’s 1752, an era of social change but still largely ruled by superstition and the changing seasons – and a year rather more unsettled than many by ...more
Annarella
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this well written and well researched historical mystery, it was engaging and entertaining.
The mystery, the characters, and the setting were interesting and well developed.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Tanja
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'The Almanack' by Martine Bailey is an astrological murder mystery story set in 18th century England. It followed the mysteries surrounding an almanack whose sinister predictions came true and the scandalous village life that found itself at the mercy of this strange prophetic stellarium.

I thought this book was a breath of fresh air. As an Astrologer myself, I loved how an almanack was the main character, which is an obscure part of history that hasn’t found its way into many fictional stories.
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Connie
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I am a big fan of historical fiction, and I also love a good mystery, so this historical mystery recently caught my eye. I really enjoyed the intricate plotting and the way the suspense built. I had a hunch about who the killer was, but I was not certain until close to the big reveal. I liked how our protagonist, Tabitha Hart, was multi-dimensional and not innately likable. She is working as a prostitute when we first meet her, and she steals a valuable item from a "client." However, as we learn ...more
Helen Howerton
The Almanack is set in 1752. It wasn’t a happy time, apparently. You could be accused of terrible things, and it wasn’t easy to be considered innocent.

The book starts with a riddle. I’m not a fan of riddles. Luckily the solutions are at the end of the book. Each chapter begins with a horoscope for the day, the almanack of the title. There are clues here, for those who like to follow along.

Tabitha Hart is “no better than she should be.” Actually, she’s worse. Robbed of her money from a “
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Sandra Danby
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1751, eleven days were lost as Britain aligned with the Gregorian calendar and this is the year in which Martine Bailey sets her third novel, ‘The Almanack’. An original mixture of historical mystery, detective novel and romance, it has time as its theme throughout. The passing of time and the fixedness of the past, the slippery unpredictability of the future, and the way our choices made today can impact on the time to come.
Tabitha Hart is travelling north from London, home to a village near
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Jonathan
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Black Thorn Books for a review copy.
Set in 1752 ‘The Almanack’ tells the story of Tabitha, a country girl from the (fictional) village of Netherlea in Cheshire who is summoned home from her somewhat immoral but enjoyable life in London by her mother. She arrives too late and finds her mother dead but after stumbling across her mother’s treasured almanac she becomes suspicious that her death was not accidental and that Netherlea is not the peaceful and safe home that she remembers.
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S. Naomi Scott
DISCLAIMER: I received an advanced reader copy of this title from the publishers and NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review. Many thanks to Black Thorn Books for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

In the year 1752 Tabitha Hart earns a living at the pleasure of whichever London gentlemen have the coin to pay for her time, but when her ailing mother calls her home to the village of Netherlea she has no choice but to reluctantly do as she is bid. Unfortunately, by the
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Sarah Zama
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the whole, I really like this book. It’s the first time that I read a novel set in the 1700s. It isn’t a time which is much frequented by modern storytellers, especially of murder mysteries. One might also think the 1700s countryside is no place for convincing murders, but this story proves this is not the case.

The setting is actually very intriguing. Tabitha, the main character, was born in Netherlea, but she lived for a long spell in London and aches to go back. Life in the countryside
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Loves
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jo Barton
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tabitha Hart has been earning a riotous living in London, taking her pleasure with which ever gentleman had enough coinage to pay for her body, and to keep her in gin, but in the summer of 1752, she is summoned home to the village of Netherlea only to make a chilling discovery. Her mother has been found dead in disturbing circumstances, and with only her wits to guide her, Tabitha sets out to discover the truth about her mother's death. Naturally superstitious, the villagers are at first wary of ...more
Lynda
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The year is 1752 and Tabitha, a young woman who left her home in the small village of Netherlea in disgrace, is trying to create a better life for herself in London. She receives a message from her mother that she is needed at home but upon her delayed arrival Tabitha finds that her mother has drowned. While preparing her mother for burial she finds a wound on the back of her head that suggests her mother was murdered. Tabitha is determined find out what happened to her mother and begins to ...more
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Martine is a keen reader who enjoys crime, mysteries and the gothic. Her debut, 'An Appetite for Violets' takes sharp-witted cook Biddy Leigh on a murderous trip to Italy. Its mix of crime, gastronomy and social history was described by Fay Weldon as creating a new genre, ‘culinary gothic’. ‘An Appetite for Violets’ was picked by the American Library Association’s Booklist as one of the year’s top ...more
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