Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Constable & Robinson
Release Date: January 2003
ISBN: 1841195847
Format Reviewed: Hardback
Buy it at Amazon US || UK
Genre: Historical Crime [1897 London, Oxfordshire and Co Wicklow]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde

Death & The Jubilee
Lord Francis Powerscourt Mystery No 2
By David Dickinson  

    This is the second case for Lord Francis Powerscourt, now married to Lady Lucy, and the father of two young children. It is the year of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, and as fifty thousand troops from across the empire gather to join in the parade as well as over a million Britons, it is feared that somebody will try to assassinate the Queen. When a body found in the Thames is discovered to be the elderly head of the prestigious Harrison’s Bank, a German banking family who now all live and work in Britain Lord Francis is called in to investigate. This will bring him to Harrison’s strange house in Oxfordshire, as well as to the Wicklow Mountains to look for possible clues, and things get a lot more dangerous as the Jubilee gets nearer and time runs out to find the assassin and how it all links with the Harrison case.

     I found the first book in the series Goodnight, Sweet Prince (also reviewed on this site) to be promising, although overlong and lacking in suspense. I anticipated more of the same: atmospheric scenes and a tortuous plot marred by wordiness, and was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the Dickinson fills this book wonderfully, dishing up a humdinger of a plot spiced with humor, atmosphere and detail. Powerscourt still needs a bit of fleshing out and is perhaps the least interesting character, but this is a very plot-driven novel, as most good whodunits are , so this does not spoil the excellent story, which certainly kept me guessing. Another point in its favour is Dickinson’s ability to create a whole novel set around the notoriously dull subject (to most people) of banking and finance and make it an asset to the story. It certainly made a change from the more popular plot themes of Victorian crime novels involving Jack The Ripper, brothels, hospitals or feminism (or all four…) and the last few chapters are thrilling indeed. If Dickinson is going to keep up such a high standard, I look forward to the next installment. Highly recommended.

Other reviews in this series

Death & The Jubilee, No 2
Death of an Old Master
, No 3
Death of a Chancellor, No 4
Death Called To The Bar, No 5
Death on the Nevskii Prospekt, No 6
Death on the Holy Mountain, No 7
Death of a Pilgrim,
No 8
Death of a Wine Merchant
, No 9
Death in a Scarlet Coat, No 10 [review 1] [review 2]
Death at the Jesus Hospital, No 11 [review 1] [review 2]

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