Troubador The Kettle Chronicles: The Black Dog of Bongay

Released: 28/04/2021

ISBN: 9781800461208

eISBN: 9781800469693

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Kettle Chronicles: The Black Dog of Bongay


It is Sunday morning on the 4th August 1577, in Bongay, a small town in North Suffolk. During a violent thunderstorm, the church is struck by lightning and two parishioners are killed while another is severely injured. Soon afterward, a pamphlet is published claiming that the deaths and injuries were caused by a giant ghostly black dog, which broke down the church door and ran up and down the aisle, attacking all in its path. 

The Bishop of Norwich sends Captain Richard Brightwell to investigate the mystery, accompanied by his servant Humfry Trip, his secretary John Kettle and Augustyn, his seven-foot tall mute bodyguard. They soon come to realise that nobody in town is who they appear to be, and while navigating a medieval football match and early street theatre, they become embroiled in mayhem, mystery...and murder.

The Kettle Chronicles: The Black Dog of Bongay by Stephen Morgan is a novel based on an old English folklore, Black Shuck, and Abraham Fleming’s written account with the dog in 1577. The book follows Captain Richard Brightwell, his secretary John Kettle, his servant Humfry, and his bodyguard Augustyn as they travel to Bongay to investigate the deaths of two churchgoers during a service. Morgan does an excellent job of making The Black Dog of Bongay thrilling while maintaining historical accuracy. Without giving any spoilers, there are some suspenseful parts of the book but I wouldn’t necessarily classify this as a horror book. I found the beginning of the novel to be a little slow but after reading through the first couple of chapters things began to pick up. It’s important to note that this book is written in Old English so if that’s not your cup of tea then it might be difficult to get through. Overall, I would say I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Black Dog of Bongay and if a historical ghost story sounds interesting to you then I would highly recommend reading this book.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Beware a Sudden Chill and a Growl at Your Back...That Shadow Has Teeth!

What a wonderful story! It's written in a gentle, colorful approximation of literature of the Elizabethan era, but is not too archaic and reads easily. Stephen Morgan is a fine writer!

The legend of the dog of Bongay is old and well-known, but he's filled out the story with details gleaned from history. Despite the good humor found in observations of and about the villagers of Bongay, there are still ample supernatural scares, mystery, and suspense, even when the author reveals what part of the story he's about to unveil ahead of time.

Morgan's fluent descriptions of the people, events, and scenes brought the story to life. His vivid presentation made me grow instantly fond of the central characters, particularly the heroic Captain Richard Brightwell, and I detested the villains with equal vigor. I cheered at the antics of the ball players, laughed as "Little John" fought "Robin Hood" in the play, and held my breath as the demonic black dog lurked nearby.

If you like historical mysteries with a paranormal flavor, you'll love this book. I'm honored to have received a review copy and am pleased to give my enthusiastic thumbs up!

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Borrowing a little wit from the likes of Blackadder and Monty Python, and a lot of wisdom from The Hound Of The Baskervilles, and the legendary Black Shuck, this historical yarn is deliciously feisty and flamboyant.

The writing is original and innovative with the author speaking directly to the reader in a fine sixteenth-century Suffolk dialect that highlights some of the nuances of the English tongue.
An absolute pleasure to read.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Even if it's a bit slow at the beginning it's a gripping and well written historical mystery with some horror elements.
Good world building and plot development, interesting characters. The style of writing is a sort of archaic English and I liked it.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

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