“Untitled: Crimes Against the Crown” by Wendy Bayne

Beau monde of London and smugglers of the Dorset coast. Dark secrets and suddenly answered hopes. Aristocracy and working class. Unpunished crimes and long-overdue justice. All of it and more is found in “Untitled: Crimes Against the Crown” by Wendy Bayne, the first instalment of this exciting historical series.

The beginning of the story lulls you into believing you are about to read one kind of book, something like “Jane Eyre” or “Mansfield Park”. You prepare yourself to read the story of a young girl’s coming-of-age struggle in a somewhat familiar setting of a big, rich house with an uncaring and cruel father, and then, in a matter of several pages, you simply get blown away by the story moving into the direction you could have never foreseen.

The book is full of diverse characters; some of them are likeable, others – absolutely adorable, with quite a significant number of those who can fight for the number one villain status. I liked that there are also such characters who astonished me by showing their true faces. Another thing I liked about the book is that it offers some deeply satisfying turns in the characters’ lives.

Reading this book was like being transported back in time and transplanted into characters’ reality. I woke up and went to bed with them, enjoyed tasty meals in the warm circle of friends and family, and felt my insides shiver with fright that we – pardon, they! – won’t make it through yet another dangerous trouble.

In the most unique way, “Untitled: Crimes Against the Crown” combines a page-turner, which doesn’t let you stop reading, with a rich narrative that draws detailed pictures of the events and also offers a deep understanding of the characters.

“Untitled: Crimes Against the Crown” is a multi-dimensional book full of adventure, risky endeavours, heart-melting love stories, and high society intrigues. I won’t even try to guess what the next instalment of the series hides between its pages since the author has confidently proved that it would be a futile attempt.

In addition to the intriguing plot twists and compelling characters, it was a special pleasure visualising pirates and smugglers roaming the familiar coast of Dorset and Cornwall. Many years ago, walking along the winding coast paths, my imagination drew exactly such scenes amidst the dangerous cliffs and angry, frothy waves of the majestic Jurassic Coast.

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