Local author Caroline Newark introduced the third book about the women in her family tree, when she returned to Crewkerne Library. The Queen’s Spy is an historical novel set 700 years ago when Edward 11 was imprisoned in Berkeley Castle, where he met his fateful end on September 21st 1327 at the hands of another. The book features Caroline’s 18th great grandmother Margaret Wake, who was married to Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent and a half brother to the English king.

Caroline invited the audience to test their powers of deduction and don the mantle of their favourite detective, to uncover the killer’s identity. The medieval murder mystery of obsession, betrayal and revenge, bears many similarities to a modern tale of greed, fake news and the politics of sexual power. With a twist at the end, which left the audience wondering whether reports of Edward 11’s murder in Berkeley Castle were at the time true or was he saved by loyal supporters and escorted to Corfe Castle? Those who attended Caroline’s talk at Crewkerne Library found her enthusiasm for writing novels and ancestral research inspiring and are looking forward to her next visit.

Free events at Crewkerne Library continue with the launch of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge for children on Saturday July 13th. The theme for 2019 is Space Chase and youngsters are invited to sign up for the mission and help the Rockets ‘to track down books that have been nabbed by aliens.’ Children will be able to collect special stickers for their mission folder each time they read one of six books over the school summer holidays. The Space Challenge runs until September 7th, with fun activities planned and a medal and certificate for every child when they complete the mission.

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