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Death of a Pilgrim
Lord Francis Powerscourt Mystery, No 8

by David Dickinson

Tycoon Michael Delaney has brought competitors to their knees and amassed a vast fortune, but even he cannot save the life of his son, James.† But just when everybody thinks James is going to die, a miracle happens, and, instead, he starts to get better again.† Michael decides that he is going on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to give his thanks and hires a man to gather all the Delaney relations he can find.† Then the party sets off for Europe, but it isnít long before the first death occurs.† Lord Francis is called upon to assist and avoid an international incident, but this is not going to be the only dead pilgrim, just the first one.

I have to confess that I have not been impressed by this authorís last two books, but this one impressed me a good deal.† It is the best thing, in my opinion, that he has written since Death of an Old Master, and it seems to press all the same buttons.† First, there is the intriguing premise of modern (well, fairly modern) pilgrims and the unusual setting for their deaths.† Then there is the plot itself, and perhaps to an even greater extent the lush and tactile descriptions of the places the pilgrims visit.† From the hushed and tense atmosphere of a New York terminal ward to the peaks of Puy-en-Velay or the frenzied atmosphere of Pamplona, Dickinson has the power to bring it all to life.† Sometimes this is almost at the expense of the story, for despite the initial setup with all the characters seeming suspicious, there are not enough red herrings despite the varied detective work.† This is also a book with a large cast of pilgrims, many called "Delaney," which doesnít help. A dramatis personae at the front would have been a great help.† But all this aside, I can promise a real page turner and a book to get lost in.

Reviews of other titles 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]
Death of an Elgin Marble No 13

The Book

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
29 January 2009
1845297296 / 9781845297299
Historical Mystery [1907 New York, France and Spain]
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2009
© 2009