Blog Tour: ‘Villains in Venice’ by Katherine Woodfine

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for the third book in the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents series. ‘Villains in Venice’ is published tomorrow (Thursday 6th August) and sees two of my favourite heroines close in on their archenemy – the Fraternitas Draconum, a dark and elusive society determined to cause chaos across the world.

After the dramatic events of their mission to St Petersburg, Sophie and Lil know the truth – there’s a double-agent at work at the Secret Service Bureau. Whilst Lil pursues a dangerous line of enquiry in London, Sophie must set out on a new mission to Venice, following a twisted trail to discover long-buried secrets. But there are villains lurking amongst the city’s piazzas, canals and crumbling palaces, and in the shadows an old enemy lies in wait…

If you’re new to the series, the Taylor & Rose books follow on from the four ‘Sinclair Mysteries’, which introduced readers to Sophie Taylor and Lilian Rose, as well as a whole host of wonderful characters – both friends and foes. Whilst ‘Villains in Venice’ does a superb job of recapping events of the duo’s previous adventures, allowing it to be read as a stand alone, I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to read the previous stories.

Set in the pre-World War I era, readers are seamlessly transported to a world of political tension and espionage, where men are in charge. Who would think women, let alone two teenage girls, could save the day? And this is exactly what makes me love Sophie and Lil even more – nothing will get in their way, least of all being female!

As Secret Agents working for the Secret Service Bureau, Sophie and Lil have taken readers to Paris, St Petersburg and now Venice. They journeyed by aeroplane (some of the first in the world!), travelled with the circus and, in their most recent adventure, used traditional masked costumes of the famous Venice Carnival to try and outwit their enemies. Not once have I guessed how the story would end and I cannot wait to see where Sophie and Lil end up next!

As part of my stop on the Blog Tour, I spent ‘Five Minutes with’ Katherine Woodfine. Check out her answers below.

  1. What was the last book you read? The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  2. What was your favourite book when you were 10?  I had so many! But I think if I had to pick just one, I’d probably have chosen Little Women by Louisa M Alcott.
  3. Hardback, paperback or ebook? There are good things about all three, but my favourite is probably a paperback.
  4. Tea or coffee? Both! But I can’t start the day without a cup of black coffee.
  5. When you write, do you handwrite or type? Most of the time I type, but if I’m feeling stuck, I get out a notebook and pen — often I find that moving to writing by hand can really help.
  6. Night in or night out? A cosy night in.
  7. Are you right or left handed? Right handed
  8. What was the last series you binge-watched? The Babysitter’s Club on Netflix which I absolutely loved. Now I’m halfway through Babylon Berlin, a crime series set in 1930s Germany — it’s very gritty and couldn’t be much more different!
  9. City break or beach holiday? I like both but probably I’d choose a city break. My last one was to Venice, to research Villains in Venice.  
  10. Where’s your favourite place to read? By the fire on a rainy day.
  11. Would you rather be stuck in a lift, or stuck at the top of a rollercoaster? Aaargh – I think probably the lift, although they both sound awful!
  12. Where’s your favourite place to write? In a quiet cafe with coffee and a really delicious cake.
  13. Summer or winter? Spring and autumn are my favourites.
  14. What’s your favourite thing on toast? Honey
  15. If you did A Levels, what did you study? English Literature, History and French. 
  16. If you had to compete in the Olympics, which sport would you pick? Er… speed typing? Is that an Olympic sport? 
  17. Night-owl or early-bird? Most definitely an early bird! I’m hopeless at staying up late.
  18. What’s the furthest you’ve been from home? South America.
  19. Cats or dogs? Both!
  20. If you could only recommend one book, what would it be? I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. 
  21. What’s your most annoying habit? Sneezing loudly.
  22. How do you organise your books at home? (Alphabetical, genre, colour etc) At random. I like having odd combinations of books next to each other.
  23. What was the last thing you ate? A chocolate biscuit. 
  24. What subject did you hate in school? Chemistry.
  25. It’s not Christmas without… Bread sauce. It’s my absolute favourite Christmas food. 
  26. Where was your first job? Working in a Waterstones bookshop. 
  27. Do you re-read books? Yes! I love revisiting my favourites. I find different things in them each time I read them.
  28. What is your favourite mode of transportation? Walking. 
  29. What is your least favourite household chore? Ironing. 
  30. If you had a time machine, to which year would you travel? I think I’d find it very hard to choose… but in the end, I think I’d have to travel back to 1912 to see if I’ve got it right in the Taylor & Rose Secret Agents Books.

Many thanks to Katherine Woodfine, Egmont Books and Siobhan McDermontt for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and gifting me a review copy of the book.

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