Dawn to Deadly Nightshade, the sequel to Brandy Row, is the second in a collection of West Country historical novels by Somerset author Shelagh Mazey.
Set in the Yeovil area in the mid-nineteenth century, it follows the life of Joshua, the handsome young son of Violet and Richard Dryer as he takes on the ownership and title of Lord of the Manor of Alvington. Joshua arrives in Somerset to find the folk on his estate are just as superstitious as those he left behind him on Portland. He is soon to learn that people’s fears are justified when he discovers the existence of a coven in the neighbouring parish and he comes into conflict with their warlock.
Joshua’s main adversary is Nathan Meakins, the arrogant son from a neighbouring estate. They first clash over Meakins’ cruel treatment of Joshua’s sister Rebecca, but this discord and tension is to escalate throughout the story, exposing long held secrets from within his own family.
Dawn to Deadly Nightshade draws readers into the celebrations, customs, heartbreaks and fears of the region and era.