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A Murder on London Bridge
Chalonerís Fifth Exploit in Restoration London

by Susanna Gregory

Hapless spy Thomas Chaloner is still employed by the increasingly unpopular Earl of Clarendon and is on the trail of some would-be terrorists. People keep saying that Charles Iís headless spectre has been sighted, the tides are strange and revolution is in the air. Dowager Queen Henrietta Maria is supposed to be plotting to bring back the Old Religion, but at the same time, some of the iconoclastic Puritans appear to be back in town for mischief of their own. When notorious Blue Dick Culmer is killed almost in front of Thomasí eyes, the Duke wants him to discover whodunit.

Here is another generous helping of Ms Gregoryís inimitable cocktail of murder and mayhem in Restoration London. It is interesting to sift through the eccentric characters and assorted slayings to root out some nuggets of real history, and this time there is plenty about old London Bridge. Court fops and ladies mingle with brothel keepers, spies and conspirators, and there is so much intrigue that reading it is akin to traversing a maze. This makes it a pacy read despite the awesome length, and anybody who says they guessed it all is probably lying. As usual with a series, it is always good to discover what the various characters are up to, and we get to learn more about several of them. We find out more about the various series characters and there is quite a plot to unravel—I certainly didnít guess it all, or even very much of it. This is one of the strongest entries in the series in my opinion; it could still do with some editing but there is a lot in here to enjoy nonetheless.

Reviews of other titles in this series

A Conspiracy of Violence
Blood On The Strand
The Butcher of Smithfield
The Westminster Poisoner
A Murder on London Bridge
The Body in the Thames

The Book

Sphere (Little, Brown)
17 December 2009
1847442528 / 9781847442529
Historical Crime / 1664 / London
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010