Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Scarborough Fair Series by Margarita Morris **Review of series**

Historical Mystery/Thriller
Date Published: 20 March 2016
Publisher:  Landmark Media


Scarborough Fair
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

1899: Alice isn’t mad. So why has she been put away in a Victorian lunatic asylum without any hope of escape?

2016: Rose is excited when Dan asks her to go to the fair with him. But an encounter with some dangerous men leads them to an abandoned lunatic asylum with dark secrets of its own.

Visiting Scarborough over a century apart, Alice and Rose’s stories are nevertheless connected in mysterious ways.

Scarborough Fair is the first in a thrilling historical trilogy. Are you going to Scarborough Fair?


19th August, 1899

I am not insane. I was brought here under false pretences. Henry told Dr Collins that I am delusional, that I had tried to harm myself. He showed Dr Collins the wound on my arm, saying that it was self-inflicted and that I would have done worse if he, Henry, had not been there to prevent it. He always likes to portray himself as the hero, a knight in shining armour, when in truth he is nothing but a deadly serpent, full of lies and rotten to the core. I tried to protest but was too shocked, and weak from the loss of blood and I fear I may have come across as confused and incoherent which did not help my case.
“You have done the right thing in bringing her to us,” said Dr Collins to Henry in what seemed
 to me a conspiratorial manner. The doctor, a balding man with a pointed nose and penetrating eyes, regarded me with curiosity as if I were a specimen in a museum. “We will see that she receives
 the very best medical care. However, the mind is a delicate organ and I should warn you that 
her treatment may take some time.”
“Take as long as you need,” said Henry. “My only wish is that she should be returned to me in full health and in possession of her wits.”
Doctor Collins started explaining to Henry the latest techniques that he would use in my treatment. I understood little of what he said. It was the words “returned to me” that struck a note of dread in my heart. I was Henry’s possession and he would have me back once I had been brought to 
heel. My own wishes were of no consequence.
Doctor Collins picked up a little brass bell from his desk and rang it vigorously. Moments later two stout-looking women in nurses’ uniforms entered the room. Fishwives, the pair of them, they both had strong arms, rough hands and unsmiling faces.
“Nurse Barrett, Nurse Cooper,” said Dr Collins, addressing each of them in turn. “Please admit Miss Hawthorne to the women’s ward.”
As the nurses approached, I roused myself from my stupor. “You can’t do this to me!” I shouted at Henry, but my voice came out more like a whimper.
“It’s for your own good, Alice,” he said, turning his back on me and staring out of the window.
The nurses took hold of my upper arms, one on each side of me. The wound on my left arm throbbed painfully at Nurse Cooper’s tight grip. They pulled me to my feet. I tried to resist but they 
were too strong for me.
“I hate you,” I hissed at Henry as the nurses dragged me away. Henry refused to turn around or even acknowledge that he had heard me.
The nurses led me down the corridor and up a flight of stairs to the bathroom, a cold, tiled room with a row of sinks along one wall and three bath tubs lined up on the opposite side. I had never before seen a bathroom more lacking in privacy.
“Ge’ yer togs off,” said Nurse Barrett. She spoke in an abrupt Yorkshire dialect and when I looked at her questioningly she pulled at my clothes so that I understood she expected me to undress. Shocked by this request, I hesitated. She clucked her tongue in impatience and went to unfasten the buttons on the back of my dress.

I've always enjoyed good YA reads. They touch on real-life matters and are clean
reads. I have, for the most part, stuck to the Nancy Drew series when it comes to
YA reads but am always interested in going out of that box for a good YA read. I
enjoy historical fiction so this series piqued my interest and I was excited to read
I was not disappointed! This is a really cool historical fiction that's about the unique connection of Alice and Roe's Connection...even though they never met because Alice was alive in 1899 and Roe..2016...This was a great start to a series. Intriguing, keeps the reader guessing, great writing...It may be a YA read but I believe readers beyond YA will completely enjoy this; especially if you're into historical fiction with a time travel type element (from the past to the present, but not time traveling). This isn't a slow read either, the author keeps you pulled in and sets the scene excellently. I think the only disappointment I had was that the romances seemed to move too fast; there didn't seem to really be any build up. But I enjoyed the book nonetheless.


Historical Mystery/Thriller
Date Published:  16 December 2016
Publisher: Landmark Media


Scarborough Ball
A party should be fun. Not a matter of life and death.

1923: A New Year's Eve Ball at Scarborough's Grand Hotel promises fun and excitement. But for Lilian it soon turns into a matter of life and death.

2016: At the start of term, Rose is keen to make new friends. Instead she makes an enemy. Someone is out for revenge. And Rose is the target.

Scarborough Ball is the second in the Scarborough Fair series, a thrilling historical trilogy.


It was December 1923, about a week or so before the anniversary of Father’s death. He was blown to pieces in 1914 on his way to the lighthouse when the Germans bombarded Scarborough from their ships in the North Sea, but I’ll come to that later.
Ruby and I spent the evening watching A Woman of Paris: A Drama of Fate at the Futurist cinema where I worked in the box office. I loved the movie. The director was Charlie Chaplin and it starred the fabulous Edna Purviance as the feisty heroine, Marie St Clair. It was a story of love and loss, extravagant parties and tragic death, and finally hope for the future, and it had me smiling, weeping, laughing and sobbing by turns. I felt as if I had been on an emotional merry-go-round. And it awakened in me a desire to go to Paris, a city of fashion and excitement and glamour, unlike wet and windy Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast. At the age of nineteen I hadn’t been further afield than York or Whitby. As the credits rolled and the orchestra played, I wanted to sit there and savour the memory of the characters on the screen, but the lights in the auditorium were coming up and the people in our row were standing and putting on their coats and shuffling along, politely indicating to Ruby and me that it was time to get up and leave. We always sat in the back row of the stalls, right next to the aisle. Because it was my job to sell the tickets, we could only take our seats after everyone else had arrived, so we used to slip in at the last minute, whilst the four-minute newsreel was showing before the main feature.
Oblivious to the people waiting to leave, Ruby snapped open a powder compact and dabbed her face with quick, deft strokes. Like me, she must have shed a tear or two, but Ruby was going to emerge from the cinema looking like a film star herself. That was just the way she was. Ruby slipped the powder compact back into her handbag and stood to put on her coat, a black wool one with a fur trim around the collar and the cuffs. Then she pulled her cloche hat down low over her brow. It was a new hat, dark burgundy in colour and decorated with a wide satin ribbon in black. It suited Ruby’s dark hair which she wore fashionably bobbed so that the ends curled around her cheeks.
“I just have to tidy the ticket office ready for tomorrow,” I said as we stepped out into the foyer. I’d left the place in a bit of a mess because I’d been selling tickets right up until just before the film started.
“I’ll wait for you outside,” said Ruby, reaching into her handbag for her cigarette case. “Don’t be long.” She turned up the fur collar on her coat and headed towards the double doors that opened onto the sea-front.
I let myself into the box office, a little glass-fronted booth in the foyer. In 1923 the Futurist was Scarborough’s new movie theatre, only three years old, a huge art-deco building prominently positioned on Foreshore Road, overlooking the South Bay. It seated over two thousand in the stalls and circle, and I was proud to work there. Its name alone expressed exactly what it represented: the future and all that was modern and forward-thinking. It was just what we all needed after the tragedy and gloom of the war and people flocked to see the latest films from America. Of course, they were black and white and silent in those days, but everyone loved them. There was something magical about the way the beam of light from the projection room shone through the darkened auditorium, bringing to life the characters on the screen. Mr Thompson, the cinema manager, was happy for me to slip into the auditorium and watch the films after I had served the last customer. Tragedies, comedies, romances, I saw them all. I knew all the famous actors and actresses from Hollywood, well not personally obviously.

Much like the first book, the second book in this series did not disappoint. This time, it's 1923 vs...or and 2016. Rose and Dan (2016) are off to college but things aren't going so well for Rose. On the flip side, we "meet" her great grandmother, Lillian with the time-travel/historical fiction aspect and get a look at the glitz and glamour of the 1920's at the Ball..the "setting" for this book. I don't want to give any spoilers but, the author does not disappoint with excitement, mystery, fascinating intrigue. I am loving the time lapse with the connection, the historical fiction and accuracy. It seems the author did some research while keeping it light, fun, yet serious, and fictitious. Excited for the last installment in this trilogy!


Historical Mystery/Thriller
Date Published:  13 January 2018
Publisher:  Landmark Media


Scarborough Rock
The thrilling conclusion to the Scarborough Fair series.

1957: In post-war Britain, Rock ‘n Roll is sweeping the nation, but some forms of love are against the law and pre-marital sex is a taboo subject. Sandra and David find themselves in entirely different, yet comparable, circumstances. Is love ever enough?

2017: All Rose has to do is give evidence in court and her nemesis will be put behind bars for a very long time. But Max isn’t going to let a group of teenagers stand between him and freedom. He will fight till the end. No matter who gets hurt.

The events of the past come back to haunt the present. Nothing is without consequences.

Scarborough Rock is the final book in the Scarborough Fair series, a thrilling historical trilogy.



David knew, as soon as the two youths walked into the Harbour Bar, that there was going to be trouble.
As a birthday surprise, his sister, Janice, was treating him to an extravagant ice-cream sundae with all the toppings at Scarborough’s most popular ice-cream parlour, just as their mother had done when they were little kids. Her best friend, Sandra, had come along too, but thankfully not Sandra’s rocker boyfriend Spike.
“Ooh, these look delicious,” said Sandra excitedly when the waitress brought their desserts to the table.
“Goodness me,” said Janice, her eyes popping out of her head at the sight of the enormous banana split she had ordered. It came with three different flavours of ice-cream, each topped off with a glacé cherry. “I won’t want to eat for a week after this.”
Sandra picked up a long-handled spoon and delved into her strawberry knickerbocker glory, her face a picture of sensuous pleasure.
David took a moment to admire the work of art that was his chocolate sundae. It was topped with architectural swirls of whipped cream, running with rivulets of chocolate sauce, and sprinkled with delicate almond flakes, like petals. Then he too picked up his spoon and tucked in. When it came to desserts, there was nothing to beat a good Italian ice-cream. One day he would travel to Italy and taste every flavour on offer.
For a few moments none of them spoke, so absorbed were they by the culinary delights in front of them. In the background, the jukebox played a selection of popular songs and the café hummed with the chatter of holidaymakers sheltering from the sticky August heat outside. The burly Italian owner of the Harbour Bar greeted his customers with an expansive smile and polished the curved, yellow counter so that it gleamed bright like the sun.
When she’d eaten about half of her strawberry sundae, Sandra put down her spoon and nudged David with her elbow. “So, how does it feel to be seventeen then?”
“It feels great,” said David. He hadn’t really noticed any difference to being sixteen to be honest.
“What did you get for your birthday?”
“This.” He reached down to the leather satchel on the floor at his feet and took out his birthday present. “Smile ladies!” Before either Janice or Sandra had a chance to protest he snapped them on his new Kodak camera, a joint present from his mother and grandmother.
“Oh, you rotter,” said Sandra, hitting him playfully on the arm. “I wasn’t ready. Did I have ice-cream on my mouth?”
“You look fine,” said Janice, dabbing at her own mouth with a paper napkin. She too had only managed half of her banana split so far.
“I’ll take another one,” said David. “Tell me when you’re ready.”
“Hang on a sec.” Sandra reached into her bag and pulled out her powder compact and lipstick. When she was satisfied with her appearance she said, “Okay, you can take a picture now.” Janice and Sandra smiled for the camera and David took a couple more shots, but he suspected the first one would be the best, the one where he’d caught them unawares. He put the camera away and picked up his spoon.
A girl in a blue dress at the next table stood up and sauntered over to the jukebox. She selected Hound Dog by Elvis, then returned to sit with her boyfriend. They clasped hands and smiled at each other over their ice-cream sundaes.
“I love this song,” said Sandra, jiggling her shoulders to the beat of the music. “It makes me want to get up and boogie.” She turned to David. “You should come with us to the dance on Friday night, shouldn’t he Janice? You might get yourself a girlfriend,” she added with a wink.
“Yes, why not?” said Janice, taking up the theme. “It’s terrific fun. Donald and I love it.” Donald was Janice’s long-term boyfriend. David had lost count of Sandra’s string of boyfriends, the latest being Spike.
“Oh, I don’t know,” said David. “I’m sure I’ve got two left feet.”
“Nonsense,” said Sandra. “Dancing is easy now. It’s not like the old days with all those complicated waltzes and foxtrots. Besides, the girls will be falling over themselves wanting to dance with a good-looking boy like you.”
David felt himself reddening.
“She’s right, you know,” said Janice. “You might meet someone nice.”
“There’s a redhead at the bar who keeps looking over here,” whispered Sandra. “I think she likes you. If you asked her to the dance, I bet she’d say yes.”
David glanced towards the bar where three teenage girls were chatting and giggling over their ice-creams. He caught the eye of the redhead who smiled at him. He turned away quickly, embarrassed at having been caught staring. Sandra had to be out of her mind. He’d rather swim in the North Sea in the middle of winter than walk over there and ask that girl to go to the dance with him. It wasn’t so much the fear of ridicule or rejection, but how could he explain to Sandra?

 Now, we jump not only to 1957 but also to 2017.This one touches on some more fun and serious topics. If we know our history at all, we know what was happening in our country during this time period which actually, doesn't seem so long ago..anyway...
Rose seems to have an "easy" job of just collecting evidence to give to the court to get rid of her nemesis...per usual, the past comes back to haunt certain people..But Max won't stop without a fight. Is going back in time an option to fix things so bad things won't happen? This book gets a little heavier but isn't so serious that it isn't enjoyable. I enjoyed this climatic read as well as the first two. I am disappointed there isn't a next book to read. 

All in all, I completely enjoyed this trilogy and recommend it to all my friends. I received complimentary copies of these books in exchange for honest reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


About the Author

Margarita Morris was born in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. She studied Modern Languages at Jesus College, Oxford and worked in computing for eleven years. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two sons.

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