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“a historical mystery book quite unlike anything i have read... It's a brilliant book.”

“the sights, sounds and smells of 16th century London wrapped around me like a not-so-cosy blanket”

“Very good, a pacy read with fascinating detail about Elizabethan London and politics”

“a most enjoyable mystery that echoes the time the book is set in wonderfully...

a genius piece of writing”

“The Author is a master of bringing to life realities of life in the Elizabethan era...

a fascinating fast paced read, full of complex characters and an entertaining puzzle.”

“true to the Elizabethan setting with fascinating details of how Intelligencers were deployed and what they did. I relished Christopher's relationships with women.”

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“Loved it! Refreshing, engaging and never faltered from the first page to the last.”

A Rambling Reviewer

“Radcliff is a wonderful character, resourceful and intelligent... This is a novel full of character and life... Incendium perfectly combines history and fiction... I loved every page. I can’t wait to meet Christopher Radcliff again.”

For The Winter Nights

“Swanston clearly knows the period well and Radcliff is an engaging hero.”

The Times

“The setting of this book is beautifully done. All the sights, sounds and smells of Elizabethan England are there, along with an intriguing range of characters... Christopher Radcliff is clearly destined to appear in future books, and I think he’s likely to gain some loyal fans”

Historical Novel Society

“It was muscle tensing, edge of your seat sitting, stay up all night amazing”

Angel Wings and Petticoats

“really rich and beautifully written... one of the best historical novels I’ve read in a long time, and if you’re a fan of Swanston’s other books, you’re going to absolutely love this!”

The Bibliophile Chronicles


“Anyone who likes mystery and suspense will enjoy this story...”

Historical Novel Review

“an excellent first novel; entertaining, informative, revealing with well-drawn characters and an ever-twisting plot”

Manda Scott, Bestselling Author & Chair, Historical Writers Association

“...a cracking lead protagonist who is fully rounded and grows within his own role as the civil situation changes around him...”

Dros Delnoch, Falcata Times

“...a wonderfully entertaining appeal both to the intellectual and pulpy instincts of its audience”

Christopher Ryland, A Blog About History

“a dramatic and engaging novel that had me on the edge of my seat”

Sarah Taylor, Today I’m Reading

“A great story backed up by an intelligent cast of characters and the star of the show is the Vigenere Cipher, even if I’m no closer to understanding it!”

Nick Britten, Reading Gives Me Wings

“an exciting depiction of the potentially nasty, short and brutish existence of those pulled into the turmoil of civil war...”

Will Howell, We Love This Book

“It had me turning the pages and left me wanting to find out more...”

Stuart Wilson, Scottish Geeks

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"...intense and hugely enjoyable... we should not forget the battles of this incredible war from two hundred years ago. Superb historical novel.."

Books Monthly

"Its flow carries the reader along. He has caught the period atmosphere well, and his characterisation is well-rounded, using simple idiom."

Historical Novels Review

"I loved this collection.  It is elegant and full of heart.."

For Winter Nights

'Richly detailed and thoroughly researched’

The Bibliophile Chronicles

‘Intriguing and occasionally eye-opening, these quietly revisionist stories are a pleasure to read.’

Daily Mail

‘My goodness, what a book! Richly detailed and so well researched...

All of these stories are so beautifully written that they pull you in and immerse you in one historical setting after another...

...a wondrous book full of characters that will not be easily shaken off.’

Rachel Read It

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“"An excellent sequel: rich, rewarding, intricate but with that strong narrative drive that marks out a true page-turner. Thomas Hill has grown in depth and breadth and is a truly sympathetic character."

Manda Scott, Bestselling Author & Chair, Historical Writers Association

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