Publication Day #bookreview of FOLLY DITCH by Anna Sayburn Lane @BloomsburyBlue The fourth book in the Helen Oddfellow Literary Mystery Series OUT TODAY!

Many thanks to the author for allowing me to read an ARC of this book. The fourth in the series and a great new addition to this wonderful series.



A Dickensian murder mystery. A brutal modern-day gang. Can Helen Oddfellow outwit an old enemy – or will she be his next victim?
When literary researcher Helen Oddfellow finds an old newspaper clipping in an antiquarian bookshop in Rochester, she uncovers a Dickensian murder mystery. The 200-year-old report of a woman’s murder on the steps of London Bridge provides clues to the real-life inspiration for Nancy, one of Charles Dickens best-loved characters.
But her quest takes a dangerous turn. She discovers that the eerie marshes of north Kent are home to a criminal gang more brutal than anything Charles Dickens dreamed of. On the bleak shore of the Thames estuary, she comes face to face with an old enemy. Can she keep Nancy’s secret from him, without sharing her fate?


Having read and enjoyed the previous three books in this very readable, historical/present day literary mystery series, I was looking forward to see where and who the author introduced us to in this new novel.

I raced through this and thoroughly enjoyed it!

The story follows Helens as she stumbles across an old newspaper clipping, hidden between the pages of an old book whilst browsing in antiquarian bookshop in Rochester. As before, with her background in historical literature, she soon recognises it’s possible significance and starts out trying to discover more about the article. However, Helen has inadvertently walked into a dark and dangerous world of criminals and people trafficking and is about to get tangled up in their dangerous world. Has she finally taken a step too far????!

Although it is totally possible to reads these books as standalone novels, it was also great to meet back up with some old familiar faces from the previous books as Anna writes such believable and true to life characters. I love how the historical story and real life people are intertwined within another great modern day and often gritty thriller/mystery. The two stories run parallel to each other and it was very engaging to watch as they finally converge together.

It kept my interest all the way through.  Wonderfully paced, with great twists and turns, keeping me turning the pages, wanting to know what would happen next. Once again the enjoyable and informative links back to a historical literary figure with wonderfully effective description of place and setting make me really look forward to seeing who the author chooses next!


Anna Sayburn Lane is the author of page-turning mystery thriller books, featuring literary sleuth Helen Oddfellow. The books draw on Anna’s love of history, mystery and exciting stories, weaving together dark secrets from the past with contemporary thriller action.

Anna has published award-winning short stories and worked as a journalist.

She recently swapped her home in south London for a flat with a view of the English Channel in Kent.