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Tuesday 29 October 2019

☀☄ A Sickness in the Soul: Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries [6] - William Savage

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for A Sickness in the Soul, a Historical Mystery by (, Ridge & Bourne, 282 pages).

This is the sixth book in the Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries series.

Who Were Ashmole Foxe’s Bookshop Customers?
Find out in William Savage's blog post, "Georgian Readers and Their Impact".

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and the Kindle Cloud Reader Preview below, as well as full details of the series.

A Sickness in the Soul
is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Author William Savage will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


“Many people wear masks. Some to hide their feelings; some to conceal their identity; and some to hide that most hideous plague of mankind: a sickness in the soul.”

Ashmole Foxe, Norwich bookseller, man-about-town and solver of mysteries will encounter all of these in this tangled drama of hatred, obsession and redemption.

This is a story set in the England of the 1760s, a time of rigid class distinctions, where the rich idle their days away in magnificent mansions, while hungry children beg, steal and prostitute themselves on the streets. An era on the cusp of revolution in America and France; a land where outward wealth and display hide simmering political and social tensions; a country which had faced intermittent war for the past fifty years and would need to survive a series of world-wide conflicts in the fifty years ahead.

Faced with no less than three murders, occurring from the aristocracy to the seeming senseless professional assassination of a homeless vagrant, Ashmole Foxe must call on all his skill and intelligence to uncover the sickness which is appears to be infecting his city’s very soul.

Can Foxe uncover the truth which lies behind a series of baffling deaths, from an aristocrat attending a ball to a vagrant murdered where he slept in a filthy back-alley?

The Series: Ashmole Foxe Georgian Mysteries

|| [1] || [2] || [3] || [4] || [5] ||

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

The Fabric of Murder [1]

Mr Foxe must find the killer of a leading Master Weaver, before the collapse of his business empire undermines the city’s major industry.

Norwich in the 1760s is one of the most prosperous cities in England, finding its wealth in the booming trade in fine worsted cloth, richly dyed and embroidered. So when a leading cloth-manufacturer is found murdered and his business totters on the brink of collapse, everyone fears his fall will ruin hundreds of working families and cause the economy of the whole county to collapse.

In near panic, the mayor and aldermen turn to an unlikely person to solve the riddle: Mr. Ashmole Foxe, a man who claims to be a mere bookseller, yet lives in grand style, dresses like a dandy and associates as easily with the demi-monde as the gentry.

With few firm clues to go on and every sign the dead man himself had been hiding many secrets, Mr Foxe sets out to do as the City Fathers want. Who benefited from the death? Why had the murdered man been stockpiling cloth for months? Who is the stranger now trying to buy up all this surplus stock and what will he do with it?

Follow Mr Foxe through Norwich’s teeming 18th-century streets as he seeks out the answers and tracks down a killer with more than profit on his mind.

[Published 1 May 2015, 247 pages]

Dark Threads of Vengeance [2]

The dark alleys of Georgian Norwich were no place for a wealthy merchant and banker to be, dead or alive. Especially one noted for his puritanical outlook. Join Mr Foxe in another rumbustious investigation as he unravels a tale as dark and treacherous as the backstreets themselves.

Mr Ashmole Foxe, Georgian bookseller and confidential investigator, has a new case: to find the murderer of a prominent Norwich merchant and banker before his businesses collapse and the city is crippled by financial panic.

What could the puritanical and rigidly teetotal Joseph Morrow have done to provoke someone to strangle him? Why was his body, reeking of brandy, found on board a wherry, moored in a rough area haunted by sailors and prostitutes? What is the secret linking one of the the city’s grandest merchant houses to the wretches who drag out a brief existence in the slums and backstreets of the city?

As Foxe probes deeper, he finds disturbing evidence of cruelty, callousness and blackmail that will shock all those who knew the man. Aided by his rag-tag group of street children, Foxe steadily uncovers a sinister pattern of evil, whose dark threads reach out to snare the guilty parties and exact a fitting vengeance on all concerned.

[Published 1 June 2016, 265 pages]

This Parody of Death [3]

An entertaining tale of the unexplained death of a local miser, featuring a bookseller with a nose for investigation and an eye for the ladies. More twists and turns along the way than a dog has fleas, until the full story, reaching back many years, is at last made plain.

Ashmole Foxe has encountered some odd people in his time, but few as strange and forbidding as this miserly, reclusive undertaker, whose murder he has been asked to investigate. All the man cared about was the arcane art of change-ringing on church bells, so it was somehow fitting his body should be found in the tower of St. Peter Mancroft church in the centre of Norwich. Yet how he died and why his body ended up there there are anything but clear.

Nor do the oddities cease there. The dead man’s father was once a famous artist and wood-carver — until his son imprisoned him in his own house. What do the carvings he left on so many of the wooden panels there mean? Why does the housekeeper keep coming up with different tales to account for her own part in the family history? Why are nearly all the rooms in the house kept locked? And why was the house burgled on the night its master was murdered, when nothing was taken?

It’s going to take all Foxe’s cunning and persistence to sift through a mass of suspects, all displaying plain signs of guilt; discover why nothing in the undertaker’s house or his past is what it seems; and reach beyond the lies and inventions to unravel an amazing tale of selfless love and obsessive greed colliding in a parody of death itself.

[Published 20 March 2017, 214 pages]

Bad Blood Will Out [4]

Ashmole Foxe investigates two cases, both involving poisoned relationships from the past. A wealthy man dies amongst his own guests and a series of murders occupy centre stage at one of Norwich’s main theatres.

Foxe is approached by the mayor of Norwich and the manager of one of its oldest theatres, both wanting him to investigate sudden, baffling deaths. Foxe loathes the theatre manager, so he does all he can to avoid being drawn into the man's tale of ghostly apparitions and the murder of a has-been actor. Instead, he turns to the mayor’s request — to solve the killing of a rich merchant. In the end, of course, his curiosity is going to drag him into investigating both mysteries.

How did someone stab the merchant as he was hosting a grand masquerade ball surrounded by his guests — without anyone seeing what happened? What has an actress dead for twenty years to do with the murder of someone who shouldn’t even have been in the current cast?

Urged on by cryptic messages from a local Cunning Woman and supported by his extended household and the street-children of the city, Foxe is soon entangled in webs of secrecy and deceit going back into the past and outwards as far as London itself.

“Bad Blood Will Out” is Book 4 of the Ashmole Foxe mystery series. Like the rest, it’s set in the fascinating world of 1760s England. The story shows how betrayal, greed, ambition and grief lead to a toxic mix of thwarted passions, grim obsession and slow-burning hatred. Before the end, it’s going to bring Foxe face-to-face with the most callous, cold-hearted and remorseless killer he has ever known.

[Published 26 February 2018, 236 pages]

Black As She’s Painted [5]

Samuel Melanus, a rich goldsmith turned banker goes missing, and his promiscuous wife is found naked and strangled on her own bed. It’s yet another case for Georgian Norwich’s most cunning and unconventional crime-solver, the bookseller Mr Ashmole Foxe.

Foxe is approached by representatives of the city’s mercantile elite to find the missing banker before his disappearance causes a financial panic. Then, right at the start, news comes that the man’s wife has been found murdered. Thus begins a tale of intrigue, deceit and hatred, involving one of Foxe’s most loathed enemies.

Aided by a motley cast of street children, a beautiful teenage burglar, and several incompetent constables, Foxe must resort to breaking the law himself to bring the murderer to justice — and work out how thousands of pounds have been stolen from one of Norwich’s leading banks, without them noticing anything was missing.

With the return of Captain Brock from his Grand Tour, Foxe’s growing acceptance by the city’s elite, and wise advice from Mistress Tabby, the Cunning Woman, our hero’s life might be set fair for once — if only he wasn’t quite so willing to become involved with the low life of Norwich in his search for the truth about the missing banker and his wife, Eleanor Melanus. Was she really as black as she was painted? Or was it simply her ill fortune to be both desirable and not too bright — a woman alternately used and betrayed by the men around her? Either way, Foxe must face down a pitiless criminal enterprise to discover what really went on in the Melanus household … and in the bank next door.

[Published 24 September 2018, 290 pages]

About the Author

I started to write fiction as a way of keeping my mind active in retirement. Throughout my life, I have read and enjoyed hundreds of detective stories and mystery novels. One of my other loves is history, so it seemed natural to put the two together. Thus began two series of murder mystery books set in Norfolk, England.

All my books are set between 1760 and around 1800, a period of turmoil in Britain, with constant wars, revolutions in America and France and finally the titanic, 22-year struggle with Napoleon.

The Ashmole Foxe series takes place at the start of this time and is located in Norwich. Mr Foxe is a dandy, a bookseller and, unknown to most around him, the mayor’s immediate choice to deal with anything likely to upset the peace or economic security of the city.

The series featuring Dr Adam Bascom, a young gentleman physician caught up in the beginning of the Napoleonic wars, takes place in a variety of locations near the North Norfolk coast. Adam builds a successful medical practice, but his insatiable curiosity and knack for unravelling intrigue constantly involve him in mysteries large and small.

I have spent a good deal of my life travelling in Britain and overseas. Now I am more than content to write stories and run a blog devoted to the world of Georgian England, which you can find at

Follow William Savage:

Visit the author's website Visit The Ashmole Foxe Mysteries on Facebook: Visit The Dr Adam Bascom Mysteries on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads

Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway
Remember to comment to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow A Sickness in the Soul's tour at:

Oct 1: Sharing Links and Wisdom
Oct 3: Fabulous and Brunette
Oct 8: Welcome to My World of Dreams
Oct 10: The Avid Reader
Oct 15: So Many Books
Oct 17: Viviana MacKade
Oct 22: T's Stuff
Oct 24: Andi's Book Reviews
Oct 29: BooksChatter
Oct 31: Author C.A.Milson
Nov 5: All the Ups and Downs
Nov 5: Rogue's Angels
Nov 7: Locks, Hooks and Books
Nov 12: Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
Nov 14: Musings From An Addicted Reader
Nov 19: Iron Canuck Reviews and More
Nov 21: It's Raining Books
Nov 26: Harlie's Books
Dec 3: Our Town Book Reviews
Dec 5: J. Lynn Rowan - Author of Romance and Historical Fiction
Dec 10: Our Families Adventure
Dec 12: Jazzy Book Reviews
Dec 17: Let Me tell You a Story
Dec 19: Dawn's Reading Nook
Dec 31: Independent Authors
Jan 2: Sapphyria's Books
Jan 7: Sea's Nod
Jan 9: Readeropolis
Jan 14: Wendi Zwaduk
Jan 16: Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin'
Jan 21: Long and Short Reviews


William Savage said...

Thanks for hosting my tour.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great trailer, thanks for sharing it!

William Savage said...

Glad you liked it, Victoria.

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

William Savage said...

Please try it, Rita. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Glenda said...

I enjoyed the trailer!

William Savage said...

I think you’d enjoy the book too, Glenda.

Dianna said...

This is a new author for me. I like historical fiction, so may need to check these out!