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Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2 February 2004
ISBN: 000713424X
Format Reviewed: Hardback
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Genre: Historical Crime [1699, London]
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:  

Fortune’s Slave
By Fidelis Morgan

     A genuinely funny book is always a joy, whatever the genre and subject, and this fourth outing for Ashby & Alpiew is certainly a joyous affair. A day out at an execution might not seem like a good place to find out about the new craze for stocks and shares, but it is the starting point for this whole adventure. All the Countess Ashby de la Zouche and her companion Alpiew want is to secure a place to invest the money they earned in France, but instead they find themselves and the money missing in the thick of another series of escapades. Soon after their day out at Tyburn Tree, their house appears to be the center of attention as various villains (and others) all assume that a great treasure is concealed there…

     Take one burglarious dwarf in brightly-colored attire, two prisons, Daniel DeFoe, coffee houses, a hypochondriac Dutchman and a gang of dust-covered urchins, and you have Fidelis Morgan’s latest tale. This is not a period often portrayed in books, so it all has the added dimension of being original, even if this is the fourth in the series. As usual, the characters are dynamic and well depicted, the situations larger-than-life, and there is plenty of humor of a frequently risqué—but never crude—style. London of 1699 is brought to life in all its muck and glory, complete with a note at the back in case readers think that certain things are made up. This series seems assured to appeal to more people than just those who usually enjoy historical crime; the humor alone seems to ensure this. Do we really have to wait a whole year for book five?