Holmes, Victoria

About the author

Victoria Holmes was educated at Oxford, where she studied English. After working with horses for a year, and a brief stint teaching English, she worked as an editor for a school-based bookclub, and then went on to Working Partners, for whom she works as a commissioning editor. For HarperCollins she researched and wrote three historical horse books; according to an interview she gave to Writer Unboxed in 2006, a fourth book was commissioned, but this does not seem to have appeared. Critical opinion, according to the Wikipedia article cited below, was less positive with each book that appeared which perhaps explains the non-appearance of book four.

Her three historical novels cover different periods: 18th century smuggling, early 20th century identity confusion and Elizabethan Ireland in the aftermath of the Armada. Rider in the Dark I found more readable than Heart of Fire, but the author didn’t really persuade me to inhabit the books with her.

Finding the books
None of her titles were published in the UK, but are all readily available here.

Links and sources
I review two of the books here.
Victoria Holmes on Wikipedia
2006 Interview with Victoria Holmes: Writer Unboxed


Rider in the Dark

HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2004, 305 pp. Jacket art David Bowers

Read my review here.

Helena is the daughter of a magistrate. She lives in 18th century England, and everything in her world is lovely, until she discovers that her best friend Jamie is a smuggler, and so, come to that, are much of the village.

The Horse From the Sea

HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2005, 309 pp.  

Set in Ireland at the time of the Armada: Nora prefers the company of ponies to people, but
when the Armada is wrecked off the coast of Ireland, she rescues a shipwrecked Spaniard.

Heart of Fire

HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2006, 340 pp. Jacket art Robert Hunt

Read my review here.

Set in the 1920s, orphan Maddie lives with her grandparents. Then her brother Theo comes back from Zanzibar, bringing back with him a magnificent horse. Maddie loves the horse, but is not quite so sure about her brother. One dark night another young man turns up at the estate: his name, he says, is Theo. So who is the right brother?