There's been some glowing reviews of Sarah Perry's new novel The Essex Serpent. It was book of the week in Saturday's Guardian and described by the Sunday Times as "One of the most memorable historical novels of the past decade". It's set in 1890 around the Blackwater estuary and is the story of widowed Cora Seagrave who moves to the wilds of Essex and hears stories of the mythical serpent terrorising folks on the river. She is soon involved in a complex relationship with the local vicar and adversary of the serpent William Ransome. Sounds like it has a lot to say about Victorian attitudes to science and religion and indeed Essex and I'll be reviewing it as soon as I've got a copy. Interestingly the Essex Serpent is also a pub in Covent Garden. Not a lot of people know that.