1899 and Marie Montrecourt arrives in Harrogate from France, an eighteen-year-old, penniless orphan, facing an uncertain future and knowing little of her past. Meanwhile in London, Evelyn Harringdon is dealing with the death of his father, one of the most influential men in Parliament and a hero of the first Boer War. It would seem that these two events have little in common but they are linked by a scandal, one that is deeply buried in the past. As Marie struggles to find a place for herself in her new life she is drawn into the fight for women’s rights, while Evelyn discovers that political corruption threatens to ruin his family’s good name.
It is his obsession with discovering the truth that brings him into contact with Marie – a meeting that will prove dangerous for them both. They are prisoners of the past, and Evelyn’s attempt at atonement sets Marie on a path which will lead her into making a terrible choice. It’s one which will transform her from an innocent young woman into the central player in a notorious murder trial…
The Trial of Marie Montrecourt is a gripping tale of love, loss and betrayal that will appeal to those with an interest in women’s rights in the early 20th Century, as well as fans of crime fiction.
“This is a terrifically good read. The author has set the story brilliantly in an historical context without overloading the reader with loads of information about dates etc. The fascinating narrative is well told with rounded characters that you can really get involved with and has some lovely plot twists. A real page-turner!” – Amazon Review
“A brilliant book. Easy to read but with an an amazing plot which will hold the reader right to the end. The sort of book you can’t put down.” – Amazon Review
“Kay Patrick captures the period at the turn of the 20th century to absolute perfection. A brilliant novel.” – Books Monthly
“I loved it! It usually takes me a while to finish a book, but I read the whole thing in 24 hours – I couldn’t put it down! I found it really interesting and was really invested in the characters.” – Katy McIntosh”
“Probably the best trial sequence I have ever read is towards the end of this wonderful book.” – Amazon Review
“The Trial of Marie Montrecourt is a historical fiction novel set in England during the turn of the 20th century. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.
An 18 year old French orphan is taken in by a respected family in England and gets caught up in scandal, eventually finding herself on trial for murder. It’s a historical novel, it’s a crime story, it’s a mystery, and maybe some people might classify it as a romance (I wouldn’t).
I’m kind of mad at this book. I couldn’t put it down and ended up staying up all night to finish it. I was completely useless yesterday, all thanks to this novel. This story keeps you anxious and on the edge of your seat. I wouldn’t really categorize it as a thriller, it’s a bit more subtle than that. You just end up really caring about the characters. As I drew closer to the end of the novel, I was so nervous for Marie Montrecourt and what might happen to her. The character development is astounding, we see Marie go from a naive, young girl to a weary, jaded woman.
I like to be balanced in my reviews and talk about the good and the bad, but there really is nothing bad to talk about. If I had to pick something to complain about, it would be the cover. The book cover isn’t very attractive and I would probably pass it by in a bookstore. That obviously doesn’t affect the story at all, so does it even count?
For genealogists, The Trial of Marie Montrecourt has a deep family story line. The book also really gives you a good feel for what it was like in the very early 1900s. If you like to read fiction, read this. You can thank me later.”
The Historical Novel Society Review:
“Right from the start the reader is gripped in this tale of political corruption, women’s rights and mysterious benefactors.
Marie Montrecourt is a young and innocent girl straight out of the convent in France, where she was born eighteen years before. Somebody, however, cares enough to leave – in the hands of an English solicitor – enough money for her to live away from the convent. The solicitor arranges for her to stay with a family in Harrogate, and this is where she meets Daphne, a women’s rights campaigner. Marie also has some skill with natural remedies, often helping to cure minor ailments.
The solicitor arranges a marriage for her to a successful local businessman, and Marie, reluctantly at first, accepts. But her new husband’s family despises her, and Marie is unaware that the marriage was arranged so that her husband could inherit a sizeable amount of money to improve his business.
Alongside all of this, Sir Evelyn, playboy and potential politician, is looking into some disturbing reports that his late father was perhaps not the great Boer War hero that he was made out to be.
Ms Patrick has written an absorbing first novel, and the trial scenes are convincing and captivating. If I were being picky, then I would look at the coincidences and good fortune which haunts more than just this novel in the genre. I dislike phrases such as ‘I just happened to be passing by’ and the finding of individuals long thought to be dead who are still able to provide vital information. However, I have no hesitation in recommending this novel.”
I am grateful to my writing mentor Carolyn Sally Jones for her help in the final draft of the book.