Minette Walters has been a master of crime fiction for nearly two decades. Now this extraordinary writer turns her talents to a new direction: a gripping historical novel set during the time of the Black Death in Dorset.
June 1348: The Black Death enters England through the port of Melcombe in the county of Dorsetshire. Unprepared for the virulence of the disease, and the speed with which it spreads, the people of the county start to die in their thousands. A culture of terror and superstition quickly sweeps across the land as news of the Black Death travels far and wide.
In the demesne of Develish, Lady Anne takes control of her people's future -including the lives of two hundred bonded serfs. Strong, compassionate and resourceful, Lady Anne chooses a bastard slave to act as her steward. Together they decide to quarantine Develish by bringing the serfs inside the walls. With this overturning of the accepted social order, conflicts soon arise. Ignorant of what is happening in the world outside, they wrestle with themselves, with God and with the terrible uncertainty of their futures. Lady Anne's people fear starvation but they fear the pestilence more. Who amongst them has the courage to leave the safety of the demesne?
And how safe is anyone when a dereadful event threatens the uneasy status quo?
Minette Walters is one of the world's best selling crime writers. She is the author of twelve novels, including The Ice House, The Sculptress, The Scold's Bridle and Fox Evil. She is the winner of numerous awards including the CWA John Creasy Award, The Edgar Allan Poe Award, and two CWA Gold Daggers.
Minette will be in conversation with Antiques Roadshow expert and Dorchester Literary Festival Co Director Paul Atterbury.
Friday 20th October 6.00pm
Dorset County Museum
I felt truly privileged to be able to enjoy so many events in your excellent programme...quite sumptuous! Had I been able to, I would have booked every event!
I was particularly delighted by how many of the audience seemed to know and appreciate my work. As you know, authors are solitary creatures - mostly - and for me at least it's a real pleasure to have good reason to leave my work-room (a shed in the garden with a too-seductive view of the Cambrians) and meet and talk with readers and fellow writers (not forgetting that many of us are both).
Paul was an excellent interviewer, and I loved the format. Great audience, acoustics...
Kate Adie's Desert Island Books was thoroughly enjoyable! I had no idea she was (a) so glamorous and (b) so delightfully funny.
Congratulations to the whole Lit Fest team. I am glad it has been such a well-deserved success! The huge effort put into it is very clear to see, it is great when that is acknowledged and rewarded! We have been very happy to host the event -we are all very proud to be involved with the Lit Fest...
We thoroughly enjoyed all of our visits and all being well will be there again next year.