January 24, 2015

Spotlight + Giveaway: An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey

An Appetite for Violets
Author: Martine Bailey
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books


That’s how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you’re invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. A writing desk lies open and you cannot help but read a paper. Then you find something, something you should not have found.

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at the forbidding Mawton Hall, can’t wait to settle down with her sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries the young, enigmatic Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up into a world of scheming, secrets, and lies.

Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, Biddy takes with her an old household book of recipes, The Cook’s Jewel, in which she records her observations. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival – or her downfall . . .

AN APPETITE FOR VIOLETS is an utterly compelling story of food, obsession and mystery, introducing a brilliant new voice in historical fiction.


“This is a delectable dish.” – Booklist Starred Review

“Debut novelist (and award winning amateur cook) Bailey whips up a tasty confection of history, mystery, and intrigue. Fans of 18th-century writers as James Boswell, Tobias Smollett, Henry Fielding, and Samuel Richardson will savor this delicious read.” – Library Journal Starred Review 

"If you enjoyed Jo Baker's Longbourn you'll enjoy this. It's another beautifully written 18th century servant story, sad in the same sort of way and similarly rich...An impressive debut."—Daily Mail 

An Appetite for Violets is a feast of unique characters, suspense, passion and delicious storytelling. Martine Bailey has served up a beautifully rendered, haunting tale told by an unforgettable heroine. A novel to devour yet savor.” —Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Governess 

“Martine Bailey writes with such easy, compelling grace, and in a fascinating new genre – best described as culinary gothic. I was hooked and enraptured.”—Fay Weldon, author of Long Live the King 
An amateur cook, MARTINE BAILEY won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. Her recipes have appeared in many publications including Good Housekeeping, Olive Magazine and Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes. Martine lives in Cheshire, England. This is her first novel. 

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Giveaway: (1) Hardcover copy of An Appetite for Violets - Open to US only!


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