Description (from cover):
‘The year is 1742, and the people of Preston are looking forward to their ancient once-every-twenty-years festival of merriment and excess, the Preston Guild. But the prospect darkens as the town plunges into a financial crisis caused by the death of pawnbroker and would-be banker Phillip Pimbo, shot behind the locked door of his office. Is it suicide? Coroner Titus Cragg suspects so, but Dr. Luke Fidelis disagrees. To untangle the truth Cragg must dig out the secrets of Pimbo’s personal life, learn the grim facts of the African slave trade, search for a missing Civil War treasure and deal with the machinations of his old enemy Ephraim Grimshaw, now the town’s mayor. Cragg relies once again on the help and advice of his analytical friend Fidelis, his astute wife Elizabeth and the contents of a well-stocked library.
As in his previous Cragg and Fidelis stories, Robin Blake brings a vivid cast of characters to the page in this third historical mystery about the dramas that breeds below the surface of life in a provincial Georgian town.’
The third book in the Cragg and Fidelis mystery is just as good as the other two in the series before it. I love Robin Blake’s writing style and his characters. His main character Titus Cragg and his friend Dr. Luke Fidelis are a treat to read about. They are educated and smart and determined to figure out the murder mystery in front of them. When pawnbroker Phillip Pimbo is found dead in his office, Titus is happy to write it off as a suicide, but Fidelis is determined to see the bigger picture and declares that it was a murder instead. Based on his friend’s strong convictions, Cragg joins in the murder investigation as well as his duties as coroner.
The pair uncover a lot of clues involving the slave trade, financial irregularities and an old treasure during the course of the investigation. All of these instances seem to be separate from the main investigation of the murder, but the pieces slowly fall into place. It seems there was a lot more to Phillip Pimbo than what met the eyes of the townspeople. The way that Blake weaves his story left me wanting more and hard-pressed to put this book down.
I thought that this book was a great read and I am currently reading the fourth and latest installment in this series, Skin and Bone, as I am not quite ready to let this series go. I always look forward to reading about Cragg and Fidelis’ adventures and simply cannot get enough. The author does a fantastic job of creating a historical element in his books that make this historical mystery lover swoon.
Overall Rating: 5
Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.