Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Allison & Busby 
Release Date:  July 2003
ISBN: 0749006412 
Format Reviewed: Hardback 
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Genre: Historical Crime [1761 London]  
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde 
Reviewer Notes:  

Death in the Valley of Shadows
By Deryn Lake 

     John Rawlings and his loveable friends are back for a ninth outing in the latest of Deryn Lake's excellent mysteries. John is nervously expecting his wife to give birth and is giving his apothecary business a bit of much-needed attention when a man bursts in, begging him to hide him from a pursuer. This turns out to be his ex-mistress, but prosperous wine merchant Aiden Fenchurch is terrified of her and is convinced that she is out to kill him. When he is found battered to death soon after, it certainly looks like foul play and Sir John once again enlists John's help.

     Once again, Deryn Lake has put an action- and detail-packed plot into a book of modest length. With the new developments in John's life, a host of interesting characters and a few tantalizing clues about the future, this long series shows no sign of losing its appeal. As ever, this is a fine mixture of the cozy and the blood-soaked, although this one more closely resembles a Jacobean tragedy than a gritty tale of London's mean streets. It's the sort of story an eighteenth century person might have enjoyed and found familiar. This only adds to the period feel. If you like historical crime, you will certainly enjoy this treat.