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A Pig of Cold Poison
Gil Cunningham - Book VII

by Pat McIntosh


Gil Cunningham and his wife Alys are attending a Halloween party at the house of Gilís married sister Kate.† While they watch a mumming play, one of the players suddenly drops dead after being handed a flask by another player.† The dead man, Danny Gibson, was a rival in love to Nanty Bothwell, apothecary, and the man who handed him the poison.† Gil and his wife must discover who really did the deed and why to save Nanty from the gallows.

This is one of my favorite historical mystery series.† The author manages to bring late 15th century Glasgow to vibrant life, helped by the addition of enough dialect for verisimilitude, but not so much as to be unintelligible.† Gil and his family make for amiable protagonists and make a perfect foil to the warring Renfrew clan. They provide a calm center for the tale, around which the story rages like a storm.† As with all good series, we get to meet up with old characters from other stories and see what they have been up to, as well as meeting new faces, which makes it all seem more realistic and adds depth.† The plot is lively and tortuous, although not too difficult to guess; the real interest is in why the crimes were committed, and what led up to them.† The end result is a well-rounded story that is thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking for all the right reasons.† If you enjoy historical mysteries and you havenít yet read this series, it comes highly recommended.

The Book

Constable (Constable and Robinson)
May 2010
1849010122 / 9781849010122
Historical Mystery / 1492 Glasgow, Scotland
More at US || UK
NOTE: US edition is different (Soho Constable)
Halloween read

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2010
© 2010