Kate loves company of Gothic
Jane Eyre meets Secret Garden – and Miss Havisham – in historical crime
Kate Griffin’s exuberant debut novel, Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders, was a glorious romp through the seedy yet irresistible world of the
East End music halls of 1880s London.
More Victorian menace is on offer in Griffin’s latest novel, Fyneshade –but she has put Kitty in cold storage for this standalone novel.
With echoes of both Jane Eyre and The Secret Garden as beleaguered – but far from innocent – heroine Marta takes up a post at Fyneshade Hall as governess to the owner’s daughter — and encounters murderous family machinations.
All is not well at Fyneshade. Marta’s pupil Grace can be taught nothing and Marta takes no comfort from the silent servants who will not meet her eye.
More intriguing is that Sir William is mysteriously absent and his son and heir Vaughan is forbidden to enter the house.
Marta finds herself drawn to Vaughan, despite the warnings of the housekeeper that he is a danger to all around him.
Griffin knows the past in thorough fashion – she worked as a journalist and also for Britain’s oldest heritage charity, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
“I’m glad that people have found Marta acerbically funny, even though she is diabolical,” said Kate. “I’m a fan of the Gothic… it’s my happy place
“I studied English literature at university and it was a privilege and pleasure to spend three years in the dark and stormy company of the Brontës, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and a host of others whose tortured souls sent shivers of delight down my spine.
Those familiar with Lady Ginger in the Kitty Peck books will recognise the debt I owe to Miss Havisham, one of the most gloriously Gothic characters in literature.”
Fyneshade is out in hardback.