The Chains of Diamonds

Rated 5.00/5 based on 3 reviews
This debut novel by M J Tyler is based on a true story, and mixes crime and family history to provide a page-turning read.

Recommended by reviewers to 'readers who like an intelligent book with pace and colour.'

The author's next book, 'Liquid Jade', will be published in October 2012. More

Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt

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Words: 84,720
Language: English
ISBN: 9781476472041
About MJ Tyler

From the time I had daughters of my own, I wanted to find out more about my natural mother, but back then it was tortuous and difficult process. In 2000, I’d got together some basic research, and left a message on a ‘surname forum’ to see if anyone had more information. Eight years later, and when the big websites had made research so much easier, I could trace my family back to the early 1100s: they’d been crooks, pirates, married for money many times, fought bravely in the Civil War, received honours and rewards, and maintained a grand family ‘seat’.

The basic story of Marianne Fraser and the ‘crim.con.’ trial is a true one: Marianne was my five-times great aunt, and I discovered her story while searching the net in the early hours of the morning. The scandalous trial featured as a front-page story of The Times for all four days of the case – when I read it, I knew I’d found a story I wanted to develop.

Going through a 'crim.con' was the only way to get a divorce until the second half of the 19th century, and it was only the husband who could allege 'trespass' on his property, i.e. his wife's body! Many scandals were heard by the Court of Common Pleas. There was the famous case of Mrs Caroline Norton, for example, who was cited by her husband for an alleged affair with Lord Melbourne, the Prime Minister. When she turned to writing as a way to earn a living, her husband successfully claimed possession of her earnings.

Of course, this is a work of fiction that simply draws on reality. The Victorian characters are based on how I imagine the real players in this drama might have behaved; there is no connection that I know of to a Canadian hotelier, and Ivan, Ellie and Great Aunt Beth are entirely fictional.

But Marianne and her sisters were left a great deal of money by their father, and wonderful jewellery by their mother...

And my present-day family? I discovered with delight that I have two half-sisters, who found me through complete serendipity and that surname forum. But that’s another story…

Reviews

Review by: Amanda Davies on Sep. 19, 2012 :
Intrigue, history, complicated family situations; this book has so many aspects and is a real page turner. I read it on holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it (almost not wanting to arrive at my destination since I was at a particularly gripping moment - argh!).
Try it, you'll enjoy. Highly recommended.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Pamela Hall on July 26, 2012 : (no rating)
Great Book - I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the author combines a modern day crime with the family's past history and found it both intriguing and compelling reading. Much research has been sought to give you an insight into the strict way of life in the 1800s. Well done on first book. I look forward with much anticipation to a second book by this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Pamela Hall on July 26, 2012 : (no rating)
Great Book - I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the author combines a modern day crime with the family's past history and found it both intriguing and compelling reading. Much research has been sought to give you an insight into the strict way of life in the 1800s. Well done on first book. I look forward with much anticipation to a second book by this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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