MK Lit Fest: Playing with the Past – Alex Hay and Freya Berry (in conversation with Samuel Sargeant)

Posted 13th October 2023
MK Lit Fest: Playing with the Past - Alex Hay and Freya Berry (in conversation with Samuel Sargeant)


13 October 2023    
18:30 - 19:30


Waterstones Milton Keynes
Unit 72, Midsummer Place, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3GA

Event Type

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Alex Hay and Freya Berry’s dazzling new novels revel in dark secrets, audacious characters and vivid, atmospheric settings. From a daring Park Lane heist to a dangerous treasure hunt in a ruined Scottish castle, discover their worlds of historical fiction, and what drew their imaginations into the past.

Book now!

Alex Hay – The Housekeepers
When Mrs King, housekeeper to the most illustrious home in Mayfair, is suddenly dismissed after years of loyal service, she knows just who to recruit to help her take revenge. A black-market queen out to settle her scores. An actress desperate for a magnificent part. A seamstress dreaming of a better life. And Mrs King’s predecessor, who has been keeping the dark secrets of Park Lane far too long.

Mrs King has an audacious plan in mind, one that will reunite her women in the depths of the house on the night of a magnificent ball – and play out right under the noses of her former employers…

About Alex Hay
Alex Hay grew up in Cambridge and Cardiff and has been writing as long as he can remember. He studied History at the University of York, and wrote his dissertation on female power at royal courts, combing the archives for every scrap of drama and skulduggery he could find. He has worked in magazine publishing and the charity sector, and is a graduate of the Curtis Brown Write Your Novel course. The Housekeepers is his debut novel and won the Caledonia Novel Award 2022. Alex lives with his husband in South East London.

Freya Berry – The Birdcage Library
‘Dear Reader, the man I love is trying to kill me…’

It’s 1932 and adventuress and plant-hunter Emily Blackwood accepts a commission from Heinrich Vogel, a former dealer of exotic animals in Manhattan, living now with his macabre collection in a remote Scottish castle. Emily is tasked to find a long-lost treasure which Heinrich believes has been hidden within the castle walls. But instead she discovers the pages of a diary, written by Hester Vogel, who died after falling from the Brooklyn Bridge. Hester’s diary leads Emily to an old book and into a treasure hunt of another kind, one that will take her down a dangerous path for clues, and force her to confront her own darkest secret…

Discover a mystery within a mystery in The Birdcage Library, a novel that will hold you in its spell until the final page.

About Freya Berry
Freya Berry was born in 1991, studied English Literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, and worked for several years as a financial and political journalist at Reuters and then the Daily Mail. Freya splits her time between London and the Welsh coast. The Dictator’s Wife, her debut novel, was inspired by the close observation of the wives of some of the world’s most powerful leaders, and was a BBC2 Between the Covers pick. Her new novel is The Birdcage Library.