Book Review: The Fool’s Folly by Keith Moray

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in return for an honest review of it. 

I don’t often read mystery, but when I do, I enjoy the thrill of it.

Mystery novels can have an unsatisfying end, which ruins the entirety of the book, and mystery novels can have characters jump to some wild conclusions for the sake of wrapping up all the loose ends. 

It is a tough line to walk, making the character learn enough to solve all the clues, but when done well it makes the story much better.

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Trust no one…

1485, Yorkshire, England

King Richard III has held the English throne for two years. But the country is rife with rumours about the fate of his nephews, the two princes imprisoned in the Tower of London, and there is a continual threat of rebellion by Henry Tudor.

King Richard’s heir, John de la Pole, presides over the stronghold of Sandal Castle. When a suspicious death occurs in his household, he instructs Sir Giles Beeston, the newly appointed judge, to the Manor Court to investigate.

But before Sir Giles can get to the bottom of the murder, more grisly deaths occur.

Are the deaths connected? Is there a plot against the King?

And can Sir Giles unmask the killer before he too falls victim to the killer…?

Title: The Fool’s Folly 
Author: Keith Moray
Rating: ★★★★☆
Genre: 
Historical Fiction, Mystery
Page Count:
 233


A Story Not of Our Time

Stories set in our world and time are often of little interest to me. I can enjoy them, if the story is interesting enough, but I much prefer travelling to a time or place where I couldn’t possibly have lived.  

The medieval period is probably my favourite time period, with the Victorian Era a close second. 

A medieval mystery is an interesting combination, because often we associate mysteries with evidence, DNA samples, camera footage, etc. That isn’t possible when your greatest scientific advancement is a siege engine. 

When all those things are missing, logic and good old detective work takes hold.

The Fool’s Folly captures those two features well. Moray creates great characters that show their intelligence from the beginning, and the book explores it along the way. Their conclusions aren’t drawn out of nowhere, they make sense and you can follow them.


Politics at Play

A major issue that can easily arise when a book is set in medieval England is the politics. People could spend their whole life studying medieval England. The lord and ladies, the wars, the political game of chess.

It can be exhausting, and easily become hard to follow. 

The Fool’s Folly does suffer from this at times. It never becomes impossible to follow, but there are moments it becomes tough to understand everyone’s relationship to the story. 

Other than those few moments, the politics of the book aren’t a major plot line. The characters that are introduced are very few, and their positions in the world are easy to understand.


Left Unsatisfied

I wasn’t a fan of the way this story ended, but to be honest I can’t explain why. 

I enjoyed the characters well enough, the logic to come to the realization of who the killer was, was sound and made sense. The final scenes of the book weren’t out of place.

Thinking on it, I think I was left unsatisfied with who the killer ended up being. I enjoyed their justification, I just didn’t like how they left the people’s lives they were involved with. 


Final Thoughts

The Fool’s Folly is a short read, and if you enjoy mysteries, then you should pick it up. 

A short book like this won’t take much time to get through, but you’ll enjoy trying to solve the murder for yourself. 

The politics at play won’t disrupt the story for too long, but be aware that they can have an effect on your understanding. 

Book Tour: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Hello dear readers, before I begin I want to just let you know that I received this book as part of a book tour with The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away. 

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

Title: Harrow Lake
Author: Kat Ellis
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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The Horror Genre

So I am still new to the horror genre. It’s not a genre I have read a lot of books from, so maybe I have set the bar too high, I’m not really sure.

When I thought about horror books, I had assumed that I would be losing sleep, seeing things in the dark, and being generally scared by what I was reading.

When I was reading Harrow Lake, I never really had those moments. I never felt like this Mister Jitters was going to keep me up at night. I never felt the fear.


On the shorter side

I am still on the fence on how I feel about the length of Harrow Lake. Coming in at 368 pages, that is plenty of time to scare someone, but it’s not too long that the horror turned into annoyance.

Harrow Lake didn’t seem to find a good balance in my opinion. There were times where I was annoyed, but then moments later I felt like I had hope that there was going to be something scary just around the corner.


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Felt empty

The overall story itself felt kind of empty and full of holes. The whole premise of the story makes no sense. I don’t think the protagonist would be sent off to her grandmother’s house when her father got hurt.

If he was going to get better in just a few days, she could have stayed at home and someone could have watched her.

Even if that was the case, and she was shipped off to her grandmother’s, there are too many moments in the story that happen just for the sake of happening. There isn’t much rhyme or reason to it all, and the most description we get is “this place turns people bad”.


Scares seemed vague

The most “scared” I ever got when reading Harrow Lake was one of the first scares. The evil monster was still new, and we didn’t understand it yet.

After that, the scares seemed excessive, like they could be avoided with a bit of reason from the protagonist.

When a “scary” moment did happen, it felt like the writing just wasn’t developed enough. Like we were only getting the very surface of what was going on, and that didn’t go deep enough for me.


I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like this book. I always feel bad when I get a book from an author and didn’t like it.

If you enjoyed Harrow Lake, let me know why! I want to hear your thoughts about it.
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