Another Review at MyShelf.Com

A Rustle of Silk
Gabriel Taverner – Book I
Alys Clare

Severn House
30 September 2016/ ISBN 9780727886569
Mystery / Historical

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


It is 1603 and James I has just ascended the throne. In rural Devon, Gabriel Taverner has left his former position as a ship’s surgeon and is setting up in practice as a doctor. Somebody is not happy about this, and sinister messages keep being left for him on his doorstep, but he is pleased to bump into an old acquaintance who is now the local coroner. Theophilus Davey has a job for him when a corpse is discovered, but finding out who it is puts not only him but his family in danger.

I have read a number of this author’s other historical mysteries, so was pleased to find that she has another new series. Those familiar with her work know that they invariably involve supernatural and New Age elements as well as a good plot. This new series has the latter but not the former. Personally this means that I enjoyed it more, as I prefer my mysteries “straight.” But rest assured, if you are more of a woo-woo fan than me, there is plenty left to enjoy. Ms Clare is adept at sketching in her characters and allowing them to develop as events occur, and Gabriel makes for an interesting narrator. There is also a feeling of being firmly not only in the early 17th century, but also in Devon. Although the research does not intrude, it provides an authentic backdrop to the story. I certainly didn’t guess it all, and there is plenty going on at all times as Gabriel not only has to solve the case, but also find his feet in his new position. I will certainly be looking out for the next in what I think will be (for me at least) this author’s best series to date. If you enjoy historical mysteries, this presses all the right buttons.

Reviewed 2017