THE BIRTH OF BLUE SATAN
by Patricia Wynn
Pemberley (The Authors Studio) - 2001
ISBN: 0970272707 - Hardcover
Reviewed by Rachel
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There aren’t all that many novels set during the early years of the 18th century but this is one of them. It was a time of great unrest as the new Hanoverian George I had recently succeeded Anne while the disinherited Stuarts were waiting over the Water. People’s correspondence was intercepted and read and there was much intrigue – nobody was safe or above suspicion. At first glance Gideon Viscount St Mars, newly returned from his Grand Tour would seem to have no more on his mind than whether or not to wear his new blue satin cloak. His father does not agree to his marrying his beloved Isabella but he has money in his own right – but suddenly his world comes crashing down about his ears and he finds himself a fugitive on the run, with few friends and none of these in high places. This is the occasion for the birth of Blue Satan, the dashing highwayman in the blue satin cloak!
Court dandies and their ladies, debonair highwaymen cutting a dash and plenty of court intrigue plus a mystery to solve make this a worthy succession to authors like Jeffery Farnol and Stanley J Weyman although Ms Wynn has not produced a taut novel with adventures piled on each other. There were times during the first two thirds of the book when I hoped the pace would quicken and more would happen but there was a good sense of this elusive and rarely-portrayed period and the whole was certainly entertaining. This first novel sets the scene well and I liked the departures from the usual style of historical whodunit but in the next book I would prefer a more teasing and convoluted plot now all the preliminaries are out of the way and the stage set for murder, mystery and mayhem. All in all an interesting and compelling tale and I eagerly await the next adventure of likeable sleuths Blue Satan and Mrs Kean.
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