5 new Norfolk books

My Word by Peter Sargent

My Word by Peter Sargent - Credit: submitted

From fact to fiction and wolves to weavers, the local interest shelves are piled high with fascinating reads for autumn 2020

The Treasury by Mark Fitch

The Treasury by Mark Fitch - Credit: submitted

Norwich writer Richard Lambert studied the wolves of Colchester Zoo for his novel The Wolf Road. His haunting story takes the legend of the last wild wolf in England and turns it into a lyrical exploration of the violent pain of grief and of a wolf-haunted wilderness which ultimately has the power to heal. Already praised for its poetic language and page-turning plot, The Wolf Road by Richard Lambert, a young adult and adult thriller, is published by Everything With Words.

Poet Moniza Alvi said of it: “This is an insightful novel about bereavement, but also about what growing up might involve in a world that actually needs wolves. To his storytelling skill Richard Lambert brings a poet’s vision and precise, spare language.”

Through his research for The Wolf Road Richard has become fascinated by rewilding and reintroducing the wilderness into our environment, including reintroducing predator animals such as wolves to Britain.

Much of Richard’s writing has been inspired by East Anglia, including his poetry collection The Nameless Places, which was written after he won a grant to walk the 95km River Waveney and capture its natural beauty and industrial past in words.

Mark Fitch usually features in Norfolk magazine’s food section but as well as writing his regular cookery column, his parallel existence as a very popular Elvis impersonator and his day job as a lawyer he has also written a novel. The Treasury, by Mark Fitch, published by Hornet Books, has gangsters, ghosts and history. Set in 1216 and 1999 it takes the story of King John losing his treasure in the Wash, just a week before his death, and turns it into a heist novel with competing gangs of criminals, posh student vigilantes, Fenland locals and the dead who died when the treasure was originally engulfed by the tide.

If you’ve ever wondered where words such as dude, funky, palaver or referendum come from then My Word! by Peter Sargent is the book for you. Or how about Bully, curmudgeon, algebra, politics and grog? The former journalist and current historian has taken almost 100 words in regular use and investigated their origins and changing meanings.

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The true, tragic story of a mother wrongly convicted of murdering her babies inspired Michael Carter’s novel The Mathematical Murder of Innocence. He turned his outrage at the misinterpretation of mathematical evidence into a book. Michael was born and brought up in Norfolk and regularly returns to visit his 96-year-old mother, Anne Carter - herself a writer, and probation officer, teacher, social worker and one of Norfolk’s very few surviving female Second World War veterans.

The story of a family of Dutch “Strangers” who arrive in Norwich in 1566 is told in The Devil’s Dye by Jeni Neill of Tasburgh. Her first novel links the history of Norfolk’s weaving industry with the legend of hell-hound Black Shuck.