It’s an absolute pleasure today to be the final stop on the blog tour for Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samover by Olga Wojtas. My thanks go to the publishers for the copy.
Fifty-something Shona is a proud former pupil of the Marcia Blaine School for Girls, but has a deep loathing for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she thinks gives her alma mater a bad name.
Impeccably educated and an accomplished martial artist, linguist and musician, Shona is thrilled when selected by Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time for a one-week mission in 19th-century Moscow: to pair up the beautiful, shy, orphaned heiress Lidia Ivanovna with Sasha, a gorgeous young man of unexplained origins.
But, despite all her accomplishments and good intentions, Shona might well have got the wrong end of the stick about her mission. As the body count rises, will she discover in time just who the real villain is?
Firstly I’d just like to mention what a gorgeous cover the book has. This would be the sort of cover that would really grab my attention if I was browsing a book shop.
I have to admit this is completely different to my normal read’s, when I read the description and there was a mention of time travel my interest was piqued and it sounded like a fun read. I wasn’t wrong.
Shona McMonagle, fifty-something librarian from Morningside, Edinburgh is very proud to be a former pupil of the Marcia Blaine’s School for Girls and takes great pride in the schools reputation and her education. When Shona is tasked by none other than Marcia Blaine herself to travel back in time she grabs the opportunity with both hands and it’s not long before she finds herself in 19th century Moscow with only one week to complete her mission, but what is Shona’s mission and will she complete it in time.
What a wonderful character Shona is, I instantly took to her and what a refreshing change to have an older protagonist in the story. Well educated, Shona brings her charm and wit to Russia and it’s not long before she has commandeered the band at a failing party and has the guests up dancing to the Gay Gordons. Shona’s very much for equal rights being a 21st Scottish woman so it’s funny to see how she interacts with life in the 19th century and manages to get her way of thinking across to some of the characters.
The story is filled with larger than life characters, described so wonderfully by the author that they almost jump right off the page. One of my favourites along with Shona would be Lidia’s knitting Nanny who constantly has a pair of knitting needles and a ball of wool in hand. Another I have to mention is loyal Old Vatrushkin who takes his job as Shona’s driver extremely seriously and over the week proves to be a great help to Shona.
Miss Blaine’s Prefect and the Golden Samover is absolutely filled to the brim, there is so much in this story that I think it will appeal to many. It’s full of humour, real laugh out loud humour where I found myself snorting at times, it has suspense, fantastic characters and the authors descriptions throughout the book had me transported back in time.
This is definitely a book I’ll be recommending, it’s really a fantastic cosy crime that you really don’t want to put down, certainly a page turner and I’m so looking forward to seeing where Shona’s takes us next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olga Wojtas was born and brought up in Edinburgh where she attended James Gillespie s High School the model for Marcia Blaine School for Girls, which appears in Muriel Sparks The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. She was encouraged to write by an inspirational English teacher there, Iona M. Cameron. Olga won a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award in 2015 and has had more than 30 short stories published in magazines and anthologies.