I am giving away ten copies of Death of a Dyer, my second Will Rees mystery on Goodreads.
In this book, Rees returns to his hometown and tries to settle down. Lydia accompanies him as his housekeeper -both are not sure where their feelings might take them. David also returns home although he and his father are still at odds.
Rees has been home for only a short time when he is asked to look into the murder of a childhood friend.
Last call for the giveaway of my second book, “Death of a Dyer
The giveaway ends Sunday night. In “Death of a Dyer”, Rees goes home to Dugard. He is trying to mend fences with David, his son. Lydia has accompanied him as well, as a housekeeper. Both have baggage from previous relationships and are hesitant to begin again.
Rees is home for only a short while when he is asked to look into the death of Nate Bowditch, Rees’s boyhood friend. A weaver like Rees, Nate has become a dyer. This is a time before the coal tar dyes. Besides indigo and cochineal, most of the dyes used in Dugard would have been natural dyes: some madder, black walnut, butternut and so on. And both indigo and cochineal were very expensive.
I had a lot of fun with this book since I got to include tons of stuff about dyeing and weaving.
Just a few things I found interesting. I have already commented on how cold it was. The tour guides in every country mentioned a late and cool spring. That probably explains why we saw flocks and flocks and flocks of sheep. And why everyone was wearing a thick sweater.
Other notes about fashion.
Stripes are definitely in. I saw stripes on everything so I guess, without noticing it myself, stripes became the new orange.
The other thing is nail polish. When I saw a woman with polished nails she was almost always American. This does not seem to be a fashion in the Scandinavian countries. I didn’t really see nail salons or colored nails until I reached London. Not that important maybe, but interesting.
We also did not hit hot weather until London. The last time I was in the British Isles, it was cool and rainy even in London. Not this time. Not only was it hot, but the grass was brown and dry. We took a walk in Green Park and it was not that green. Everyone’s climates is undergoing some kind of change.
I also like to try the food of the region. Not a fan of herring. (At least guinea pigs were not on the menus – as they are in Peru) But I had the best cheese ever in Denmark and Norway and some really tasty bread.
One last thing. My Goodreads Giveaway for Death of a Dyer (learned a lot about the dye trade in Peru) lasts until August 23. So far 350+. Be sure and add yourself to the giveaway before it ends.
One of my favorite parts of this trips was seeing an Iron Age farm. Man, times were hard. The people lived in longhouses with sod roofs.
Peopel lived in the south, animals in the north, so the heat from the animals came down, Also the smells and other less nice things. I’ve read about the custom of keeping the animals in the house. Diseases that began in animals then jumped to humans.
But I digress.
I was very interested in the loom. The weaving was done top to bottom. The warp threads at the bottom were hung with weights. Weaving, which for me is a fairly quiet operation, must have been noisy.
One of the things I found interesting was the green tape and the interpreter’s green shirt. I knew from my research for “Death of a Dyer” that there was no green dye in Europe. In Peru they used some plant but that had not been discovered in Europe. But they did have yellow, blue (indigo) and red (madder).
So, where did they get green? Here is a better shot of the green tape.
I asked the interpreter and he referred me to the Archaelogy Department. Answer: they over dyed, beginning with yellow and then blue.
For pictures of the dress and shoes I refer you to the blog by ArchaeoFox.