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The Piccadilly Plot
A Thomas Chaloner Adventure - Book VII
Susanna Gregory

Sphere (Little, Brown)
19 January 2012 / ISBN: 9781847444325
Historical Mystery / 1664 / London
Amazon US - UK

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

Recently married Thomas Chaloner has not spent much time with his new wife since their eventful marriage. He has been on one of his spying missions, based in Tangier but now he is back in London and discovering what married life is like - not to his taste. Did their manservant truly serve as a pirate, and has his captain returned to seek him out? Chaloner's latest task is to find out who is stealing building materials from the site of Clarendon's palatial new Piccadilly home but it looks as though this is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to plots.

I know I am always saying it, but novels set during the Restoration (or the 17th century in general) are not common. This is a nice fat one, although as can be expected with a book this tubby there is a need for some editing. In its favor there is plenty of description of court life and what it was like living in London at the time, particularly for those rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous but not of their number. There is a complex plot to puzzle over involving Tangier, pirates, treason and building materials and, as ever, a larger than life look at everything. As usual with any long running series, it is good to catch up with the doings of the various series characters and see how everybody is doing and if their circumstances have changed. I don't know enough about the period to say whether it is a truthful portrait of life in the 1660s but at the very least it will provide any histmyst fan with a good story and plenty of it.

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

Reviewed 2012
© 2012