Everyone will know by now that I’ve become a bit of a fan of Kirsty Ferry’s writing. I thought Watch for Me by Moonlight, the first in the Hartsford Mysteries series, was just excellent – you’ll find my review here – and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a second. Today sees the e-book publication of Watch for Me by Candlelight – available for kindle via Amazon and on all major e-book platforms – and I was really thrilled when those lovely people at Choc Lit allowed me to read an advance copy.
“The stars are aligning and it’s time again …”
Working at the Folk Museum in Hartsford village means that Kate Howard is surrounded by all sorts of unusual vintage items. Of course she has her favourites; particularly the Victorian ice skates with a name – ‘CAT’ – mysteriously painted on the sides.
But what Kate doesn’t realise is how much she has in common with Catriona Aphrodite Tredegar, the original owner of the skates, or how their lives will become strangely entwined. All Kate knows is that as soon as she bumps into farrier Theo Kent, things start getting weird: there’s the vivid, disconcerting visions and then of course the overwhelming sense that she’s met Theo before…
When I read Some Veil Did Fall way back in 2014 I do remember mentioning that if the author had asked me for a list of everything I wanted in a book she couldn’t have done any better – but I do know I was a little bit sniffy about the way the historical and present day scenes were balanced and handled (sorry Kirsty!). But this book has to be one of the best examples ever of how practice makes absolutely perfect. There’s a real art to writing good timeslip – those smooth and believable transitions, the triggers of locations or artefacts, the links and echoes between, creating and maintaining the characters, and the real challenge of keeping two equally strong stories running side-by-side. As if that’s not enough, this book has very much the same set of characters across the two timelines too, such clever parallel story-telling with a very aware heroine in Kate/Cat slipping between the stories.
The author handles the whole thing with absolute ease and considerable flair – strong and credible love stories in both timelines, real drama and sadness, nice touches of humour and the supernatural elements introduced totally naturally. Both stories are really excellent. I loved the festival in the modern story – the folk museum itself, the ice-cream bicycle, the bosom-thrusting assistant, the back stories of both main characters, the tug of romance – and the historical thread was just wonderful, a romantic and dramatic tale with an uncertain conclusion that has your heart beating faster for all the right reasons. The dogs with their cold wet noses were a lovely little touch – you’ll enjoy them too. And the climax of the historical story had my heart in my mouth and a tear in my eye – you can’t ask for much more than that, can you? This was a thoroughly lovely, beautifully written read – timeslip romance at its very best.
About the author
Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale Enchantment. Her timeslip novel, Some Veil Did Fall, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, The Girl in the Painting in February 2016 and The Girl in the Photograph in March 2017. The experience of signing Some Veil Did Fall in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!
Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.