Martine's historical crime debut An Appetite for Violets is the tale of sharp-witted cook, Biddy Leigh, taken on a mysterious journey to Italy. Unwittingly swept up into a world of scheming, secrets, and lies she documents her adventures in an old household book of recipes. When she finds herself embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, Biddy realises that the secrets she holds could be the key to her survival – or her downfall . . .
Inspired by historic recipes and set at the time of the invention of the first restaurants, An Appetite for Violets is a literary feast for lovers of historical fiction.
'Martine Bailey writes with such easy, compelling grace, and in a fascinating new genre – best described as Culinary Gothic. I was hooked and enraptured.'
The Penny Heart continues Martine's exploration of culinary crime, in a dark tale of two very different women entangled by love and revenge. Sentenced to death for a simple confidence trick, Mary Jebb escapes the gallows...but her reprieve is harsh: transportation to 'the ends of the earth'. Yet Mary is determined not to be forgotten, sending two pennies engraved with a sinister promise, to the two men who sealed her fate. But when timid new wife Grace Moore takes on a new cook, the penny heart love tokens reveal she is tied to a world she didn't know existed...A world of deceit, double-crossing, and murder.
A historical novel of suspense, seasoned with recipes and remedies, The Penny Heart draws on age-old themes of cooking, trickery and revenge.