Headline - 2001
ISBN 074726256X - PB
Historical Mystery

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
 Buy a UK Copy

Edward Marston has enchanted his readers with his well-researched tales of the Elizabethan theater and entertained them with his Domesday series; now he turns his attention to Restoration London once again with another adventure for charming architect Christopher Redmayne and Puritan constable Jonathan Bale.  This time King Charles II’s latest mistress the singer Harriet Gow has been abducted and Redmayne finds himself summoned by His Majesty to find the culprit.  But things aren’t as straightforward as they first appear and when Harriet’s maid Mary Hibbert (a family friend of Bale’s) is found murdered the race is on to penetrate a cloud of suspects from Harriet’s turbulent love life and prevent more deaths.

After a rather mundane start to the series with The King’s Evil I was glad to find that Marston had got into his stride and from page one the reader is immersed in the decadent London of Charles II with its squalor, luxury and fast paced living.  Once again Marston demonstrates his knack of creating lively and likeable characters that appear to be less obviously designed to appeal to modern readers’ tastes (a fault of his Domesday Series) and have the ring of authenticity about them, Jonathan Bale perhaps excepted.  The plot is teasing enough and the settings three-dimensional, adding up to a thoroughly entertaining whodunit that is easy to read and exactly the right length.  I look forward to more in this series.

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