Clare Havens

'The streets were dark with something more than night…' Raymond Chandler


Book discovery of the year! ‘The Salt-Stained Book’ by Julia Jones

I recently joined The Arthur Ransome Society, driven by my love of Swallows and AmazonsIn one of their publications I read a book review of The Salt-Stained Book by Julia Jones which is part one of The Strong Winds series of Ransome-inspired adventures set in the modern day.

I was very excited to come across this series which promised to be a similar genre to my book The Bellamy Bird and I was not disappointed! The Salt-Stained Book is a wonderful adventure story that will thrill fans of Swallows and Amazons but which will also be very popular with children who have never sailed and who have not read any Arthur Ransome books. Of particular delight to me was the fact the the story was set exactly where I grew up, literally the same reservoir where I learned to sail an Optimist (Alton Water) and the River Stour which I could see from my bedroom window and where my siblings and I used to ‘mud-skate’ and row tiny pontoons! I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone with an adventurous heart and/or a love of the books of Arthur Ransome and other children’s books written in the 1920s and 30s. Read my five star Amazon review here.

Another reason I was so pleased to come across Julia Jones’ writing is that she is an expert on the works of crime writer Margery Allingham (one of my all-time favourite authors, along with PG Wodehouse, DL Sayers and Agatha Christie) and her family. I will be reading Julia’s Allingham booksas soon as I finish The Strong Winds series.

I am hoping to ask Julia to allow me to interview her for this site and I will certainly be doing a Salt-Stained Book giveaway in the coming months!

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