The Spae-Wife

Shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Prize 2020, The Spae-Wife is a deeply atmospheric account of two strong and dynamic women during a turbulent period of history.

The story of an unlikely alliance between a witch and a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. To solve one murder, they must commit another.

In 1593 Lady Margaret Livingstone journeys to Orkney on a mission from the pregnant Queen Anne. Tradition dictates the royal baby will be taken and raised elsewhere, and desperate to prevent this, the Queen tasks Margaret with finding a notorious witch, the spae-wife, and persuading her to cast a binding spell.

Queen Anne’s husband, King James VI’s, obsession with witchcraft has already resulted in the execution of many women and the mission is fraught with risk…

Allison Balfour, the spae-wife, has recently found the body of a murdered man. Her subtle investigations into his death are complicated by the arrival of Lady Margaret and soon both women are drawn into the orbit of people who wish them harm.

Deeply atmospheric, Anna Caig evokes the beauty and intensity of life on Orkney during a fascinating period. Allison Balfour and Margaret Livingstone are in their different ways strong, dynamic and compelling characters whose journeys you will want to follow.

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