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The Vavasour Macbeth

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Member Reviews

This was an incredibly enjoyable read. I could not put this book down. I would recommend this to anyone!
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At first I really didn't want to like this because the double spaced format was driving me nuts on my eReader, made me think a lot about the essays I've written over the years... Once I got over this though, I really really enjoyed this. 

I thought for the most part everything was well done. Margaret's voice could have used more work, she wasn't an airhead or anything of the sort, which some male authors often present... I just felt like she could have taken more time to deal with some of the hard situations she is dealt with, and that she made some life changing moves without taking time to think things through. 

Also everything just wrapped up too well for the protagonists. Instant family just add water!!

I feel like setting the story in 1992 served no purpose other than allowing the author to use the Bosnian/Yugoslavian situation as a plot device. 

Also - Macbeth doesn't make an appearance till I think it was 70% of the way through, so I feel the title could have been reworked. 

The research was great, loved reading about Oxford, London and Buckinghamshire. Super neat to read the story of a lady in Queen Elizabeth's court whose never gotten the novel treatment (to my knowledge). I love me a good dual narrative, fan's of Lauren Willig and other author's who've mastered that art will probably enjoy this too.
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The Vavasour Macbeth by Bart Casey. Post Hill Press, 2019.

This book tells two compelling stories.  One is a well written twentieth century romance/murder mystery involving Margaret and Stephen and her father and a treasure in old documents found in his flooded church crypt.  Characters are well described; even the villains have engaging backstories. The other is an equally fascinating sixteenth century partly-fictionalized account of Margaret’s ancestor, Anne Vavasour, told mainly in the form of research notes. 

I would have loved this book as a parallel narrative.  Anne’s story is begging to be written in the same appealing fashion as that of Margaret and Stephen.  I found myself unable to stop comparing this book to Susanna Kearsley’s Winter Sea (Sophia’s Secret in the UK), a favourite book by a favourite author; it felt unfinished and my lower three-star rating reflects only this. Five stars for the writing style, characters and plot in Margaret and Stephen’s story alone would be fair. 

Disclosure: I received a review copy of The Vavasour Macbeth via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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In “ The Vavasour Macbeth” we find a novel of mixed genres. Part mystery/light thriller, a dash of romance, intertwined with historical figures and facts. This combination makes for a well-balanced and entertaining read. 

While I am still interested in mysteries, my favorite part of this Kindle addition read was the historical fiction aspect with real-life figures Anne Vavasour and Sir Henry Lee. I always enjoy learning anything new about 16th-17th century English history.  That for me, sold the book. 

Overall, a very enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone. 

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.
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This is an action packed historical thriller.  Casey does a great job.  The book had me on the edge of my seat.
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4 stars

I read the Kindle edition.

I would categorize this book as a mixed genre. It is part romantic, part mystery and has a great deal about Shakespeare and document scholarship. 

A vicar's subterranean vault is flooded. As part of the cleanup, the vicar notices some documents that are in very good shape; they have weathered the storm. He contacts a  friend named Stephen who specializes in old documents. Together, they discover that the papers are very valuable indeed. They are letters and other papers that have to do with Anne Vavasour and her relationship with Sir Henry Lee in the late 16th and early 7th Century. The Vicar's daughter Margaret gets involved in the adventure. She and Stephen used to have a relationship that was very serious. 

The document review and further search becomes deadly when the Vicar is murdered inside his home. While the reader becomes aware of the identity of the killer and his rather sick motive for the crime, Margaret, Stephen and the police are unaware. 

Some of the documents turn out to be a rare find of extraordinary importance. They are a transcript of Shakespeare's original writing of his play “Macbeth.” 

Anne Vavasour and Sir Henry Lee were real people. He was quite a bit older than she was and she lived to a very old age, especially for the era in which they lived. 

This is a good book in some ways. It has a tendency to wander and makes switches of focus that I had difficulty following at times. Margaret and Stephen seemed a little naive about the value of the play, especially Stephen who I assumed is supposed to know about such things. Their relationship made me tired and I more or less skipped over those parts of the book. It is, however, an interesting premise for a novel and I was intrigued by that part. I enjoyed the history that was discussed in the book and found the discussion about scholarly papers interesting.  

I want to thank NetGalley and Post Hill Press for forwarding to me a copy of this book for me to read, enjoy and review.
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