Review: Fair Lady, Masked by Maggie MacKeever

Description (from cover): “An actress in her time plays many parts. This may be Delia’s last.

New York, 1890. Is no one what they seem?

Delia Ross has freed herself from society’s expectations. Luke Kelly has not. The emancipated actress and the disapproving police detective set out for Saratoga in pursuit of a fugitive jewel thief. Along the way they will encounter collusions and contrivances, diabolical double-dealings, a talented table-turner and a murderer and, maybe, a very irritated ghost.”

My Thoughts:

Delia Ross, an actress who has made a name for herself on the stage has found herself in a new role, an investigator for the New York police. When the police approach Delia about pretending to be the widow of an Italian Marchese to see if she can assist them with locating a jewel thief, she jumps at the chance to try something new while not knowing that this might be her most dangerous role to date. The investigation begins in Saratoga, New York, where the cousin of the jewel thief is a medium who the police are concerned may be in contact with the thief. Delia must keep her eyes and ears open and try to locate the thief who may be disguised as anyone. Delia enlists the help of her disabled and feminist sister in her investigation.

This book was a little chaotic at times. I really enjoyed Delia’s character, but there wass some room for improvement. I also found that it was really hard to keep up with who all the characters were. At times, I was so confused as to who was doing what and who they were. I can’t even tell you what happened at the ending as it was so confusing. Despite this, I really liked the premise of the story and the mystery and think that the series has some potential even if it needs to be a little more clearer to the reader what is happening. I felt overwhelmed reading this book, especially at the end.

While this book has a lot of room for improvement, I really did enjoy the main characters of Delia and her sister and think that that the author has a good start for some great characters. I would like to see what happens next in the series and I am hoping that this is just a case of the debut blues that sometimes affects new series. Not the best book I have read, but the series does hold some potential for the future and I would give this series another shot before not continuing further with the series.

Overall Rating: 1.5 stars

Author: Maggie MacKeever

Series: A Gay Nineties Mystery #1

Publisher: Vintage Ink Press

Publication Date: July 1, 2022

Pages: 240

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: In Place of Fear by Catriona McPherson

Description (from cover): Helen leaned close enough to fog the mirror with her breath and whispered, ‘You, my girl, are a qualified medical almoner and at eight o’clock tomorrow morning you will be on the front line of the National Health Service of Scotland.’ Her eyes looked huge and scared. So take a shake to yourself!'”

Edinburgh, 1948. Helen Crowther leaves a crowded tenement home for her very own office in a doctor’s surgery. Upstart, ungrateful, out of your depth – the words of disapproval come at her from everywhere but she’s determined to take her chance and play her part.

She’s barely begun when she stumbles over a murder and learns that, in this most respectable of cities, no one will fight for justice at the risk of scandal. As Helen resolves to find a killer, she’s propelled into a darker world than she knew existed, hardscrabble as he own can be. Disapproval is the least of her worries now.”

My Thoughts:

Helen Crowther is from the slums of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1948 and has to deal with the wrath of her family and the others of her peers when she becomes a medical almoner for a doctor’s office. Since Scotland has now joined the National Health Service the poor of Edinburgh are skeptical about how the new medial system will work. Helen is determined to do the best she can at her job and on her first day she is filled with pride. All is well until she returns to her new home at the end of the work day to find a dead body in the building behind her home. She immediately recognizes the murder victim and sets out to determine why someone would want to kill this young lady. When it appears that the local police and government officials are engaged in a cover up, Helen cannot let things be and she sets out on a course to seek justice for the victim.

I enjoyed this book and while I don’t think the author plans to make it a series, I would be thrilled if she went on to write other books about Helen. I will say that it was hard to understand some of the words being said as the author used Scottish slang in her story. Of course, due to this being an advanced reader’s copy, I noticed at the end there was a glossary of Scottish slang to help the reader understand what is being said. Which is helpful of course, just wish I would have seen it at the beginning instead of the end of the book as that would have been so helpful. I am hoping that the final print version will do this for readers as it will really go along way.

I read this book pretty quickly as it was hard to put down. There was a shocking twist at the end, and I am curious to see how that would play out if the author continued the series. This book has a lot of potential to be a historical mystery series that readers will come to love. A fantastic read for lovers of historical mysteries that is a little different from the norm as it features Scotland in the late 1940’s after World War II and how Scotland was trying to differentiate itself from England and make its own way in the new world. Loved this book and have my fingers crossed for more in the future.

Overall Rating: 4 stars

Author: Catriona McPherson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication Date: April 14, 2022

Pages: 337

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: The Blue Diamond by Leonard Goldberg

Description (from cover): “During a critical stage in World War One, the Governor-General of South Africa journeys to London for a meeting of The Imperial War Conference. Days prior to the conference, the Governor-General is scheduled to have an audience at Buckingham Palace at which time a most precious blue diamond will be presented to King Edward as a symbolic gesture of the colonies’ resolute and never-ending allegiance to England.

The flawless blue diamond, with its magnificent luster, weighs nearly 3000 carats which renders it one of the world’s largest and most valuable gems. On the Governor-General’s arrival, he is ensconced at the fashionable Windsor Hotel under the tightest security, with his entire entourage and formidable security team occupying the entire penthouse floor. All entrances and exits are locked down and closely guarded, and no one is allowed entrance after 6 PM.

Despite the extreme precautions, the famous diamond is stolen from the Governor-General’s suite in the middle of the night, with no clues left behind. With Scotland Yard baffled, Joanna and the Watsons are called in to investigate the theft and it becomes clear that the crime is not simply the work of a master thief, but one that could greatly aid the Germans and turn the tide of war in their favor. Time is of the essence and the blue diamond must be recovered before it begins its travels which could cause irreparable damage to the allied war plans.”

My Thoughts:

This book is the sixth installment of the Daughter of Sherlock Holmes series. It features Joanna Watson, who didn’t know her famous detective father, Sherlock Holmes, but the similarities between the two are uncanny. They are pretty much one and the same. They both have a knack for noticing the finer details that everyone else misses and solving mysteries that seem impossible to resolve. In this book, Joanna has been called in to assist Scotland Yard when a priceless diamond is stolen from a hotel room. The diamond was to be a gift from the Governor-General of South Africa to the King to strengthen their allegiance to one another during World War I. Scotland Yard is once again baffled and Joanna enlists the help of her husband and his father, the famous Doctor John Watson.

I found that this book was enjoyable to read, but it didn’t keep my attention as much as the previous installments of this series. I felt that this book dragged with the storyline in some areas and could have been a little shorter, but nonetheless it was a good read. I really have come to like this series and the author has done a fabulous job of keeping the Sherlock Holmes story alive but creating his own characters with their own narratives. I think that this is one of the better continuations of the Sherlock Holmes stories that I have read. There are a lot of spinoffs out there and I have read a lot of them because I have long since loved the famous fictional detective.

While this was not the best book in the series, I do highly recommend this series to anyone who loves Sherlock Holmes. It appears that the seventh book in this series is going to be published next year. I am hoping that one is better than this one, but I cannot wait to see what the author has in store for Joanna moving forward in the series.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: Leonard Golberg

Series: Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery #6

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: June 14, 2022

Pages: 330

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Die Around Sundown by Mark Pryor

Description (from cover): “Summer 1940: In German-occupied Paris, Inspector Henri Lefort has been given just five days to solve the murder of a German major that took place in the Louvre Museum. Blocked from the crime scene but given a list of suspects, Henri encounters a group of artists, including Pablo Picasso, who know more than they’re willing to share.

With the clock ticking, Henri must uncover a web of lies while overcoming impossible odds to save his own life and prove his loyalty to his country. Will he rise to the task or become another tragic story of a tragic time?

Five days. One murder. A masterpiece of a mystery.”

My Thoughts:

This book was an interesting take on WWII. I have never read a book that focuses on what life was like in occupied France during WWII. In this book we meet Henri Lefort, who is a police officer in Paris in 1940. The Germans have taken over the government and have installed their own officers in the police force. When a German officer, who worked at the Louvre Museum going through priceless artwork and artifacts to send back to Motherland, is found murdered, Henri is given a deadline of five days to solve the murder or risk his own life. Using the list of potential suspects provided to him by the German major heading the investigation, Henri reluctantly sets out to solve the murder of one of his enemies.

I really enjoyed how the author portrayed how the French people really resented the Germans during their occupation of France. The French people were bitterly resolved to their occupation, but they did not like the Germans and fought back in any way that they could. Henri loathes the Germans, but knows that going against them would lead to his arrest or death. Henri conducts his investigation as only he knows how, by seeking the truth at no matter what cost. With the help of his sister, friends and even Pablo Picasso, Henri is resolved to see this investigation through all the way to the end.

There were so many twists and turns in this book and not everything is as it appears to be. I literally gasped aloud at certain times in this book because of the surprises I did not see coming. I really enjoyed this book and the way it portrayed a different side of WWII in occupied France. I highly recommend this book for lovers of historical mystery set in WWII with a different take on things and can’t wait to see if there is more in store for this series in the future.

Overall Rating: 4 stars

Author: Mark Pryor

Series: N/A

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

Pages: 321

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Murder on Madison Square by Victoria Thompson

Description (from cover): “Former policeman Frank Malloy is frustrated when a woman requests his private detective services to implicate her wealthy husband in adultery, the only legal grounds for divorce in New York state. Although Mrs. Bing seems genuinely distressed about her marriage and desperate to end it, she refuses to tell Frank the reason she absolutely must divorce her husband and admits she has no legal grounds. Frank explains he won’t manufacture evidence for her and sends her on her way.

The following week, Frank and Sarah happen to be attending the first ever auto show in Madison Square Garden when they meet the woman’s husband, Alfred Bing, who has invested in a company that produces one of the electric motorcars on display. A few days later, the newspapers report that millionaire Alvin Bing has been found dead, pinned beneath one of the wheels of his very own motorcar. But who was driving it? The obvious suspect is Mrs. Bing, but Frank and Sarah find that nothing is as it seems in their puzzling, dangerous search for truth.”

My Thoughts:

Just by taking a look at my blog, you can tell that I have long enjoyed reading this series. I remember when I first started reading historical mysteries and that this series was highly recommended to me. I have followed this series and the characters for many years now, so when a new installment is released, it is like catching up with old friends. This book was no different. We see the world changing in this book with automobiles becoming more popular and replacing the horse drawn carriage and more and more people buying them for their convenience. Frank Malloy has long owned a gas-powered automobile, but he is always curious about how the technology is changing and how advancements are being made. When a woman comes to see him at the detective agency about providing evidence of adultery so she can divorce her husband, Frank sticks to his principles and turns the case down. She leaves upset that Frank won’t help her and he thinks that is the end of the matter. Little does he know that he is soon to be embroiled in a murder mystery involving the same woman and her husband that she wanted to divorce.

Frank and Sarah attend the first auto show in Madison Square Garden and end up meeting the woman’s husband, Mr. Bing. He is an investor in the electric powered automobile and is very eager to show off his investments to customers at the fair. Later that evening, he is ran over by his own automobile and killed at the auto show. Mrs. Bing approaches Frank again and now asks him to help her solve the mystery of her husband’s murder. Frank and Sarah eagerly accept the case and start their investigation. Mr. Bing’s past comes back to haunt him and stirs up more trouble for Frank and Sarah. Apparently, Mr. Bing had a lot of secrets and a lot of people wanted him dead. It is up to Frank and Sarah, along with the help of Gino and Maeve, to find the murderer before someone else ends up hurt or worse, murdered.

This was another smashing read by Victoria Thompson. I simply cannot get enough of Frank and Sarah and love their stories and mysteries. Thompson has a way with making a well-established series seem fresh and never boring. I can never put her books down and always recommend this series for historical mystery lovers as a must-read series. I feel that I am never disappointed with her books and highly anticipate the next release in the series. Another well researched book by a historical mystery master. You will not be disappointed with this book or any of the others in this series.

Overall Rating: 5 stars

Author: Victoria Thompson

Series: Gaslight Mystery #25

Publisher: Berkley

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Pages: 348

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Three Debts Paid by Anne Perry

Description (from cover): “A serial killer is roaming the streets of London, and Daniel Pitt’s university chum Ian, now a member of the police, is leading the search. The murders happen on rainy nights, but Ian knows the victims must have something in common beyond the weather. He turns to Miriam fford Croft, Daniel’s good friend and now officially one of the first female pathologists in London, to tap her scientific know-how to find details he and Daniel have missed.

With Miriam involved in the murder investigation, Ian passes Daniel the case of Nicholas Wolford, their former university professor. Charged with assault after reacting violently to an accusation of plagiarism, Wolford, a proud, boastful man, is loath to admit he was in the wrong. But Daniel must defend him — whether he likes him or not.

As the murders continue with no clue as to who is committing them, Miriam, Daniel, and Ian find themselves questioning everything. Is the “Rainy-Day Slasher,” as the newspapers have dubbed the killer, really just one person? Or have the investigators stumbled into a more complicated web of deceit? The answer may lie closer than anyone could have expected.”

My Thoughts:

Anne Perry has long been a favorite of mine. You can just tell by viewing all of the books and series I have reviewed on this blog to get an idea of how much I really enjoy her books. This book is the fifth installment in Perry’s Daniel Pitt series. In this book, Daniel has been engaged to defend his former professor in a case where he has committed assault against another writer for the allegation of plagiarism. Wolford is a loose cannon and Daniel struggles to rein him in throughout the case. Simultaneously with this case, the Rainy-Day Slasher has been killing innocent people on the streets of London during rainy weather as the name suggests. All of the victims seem to be unconnected, but why has the killer targeted them and who is behind the crimes?

Miriam fford Croft, a friend of Daniel’s, has now returned home from training to become a pathologist. This murder spree is her first official case and she struggles with her own self-doubts as to whether she is doing her job correctly and whether she can catch the murderer before he harms someone else. In this book, we do not have as much courtroom drama as the previous installments of this book as the author focuses on the murder cases and Miriam’s new career as a pathologist. While I enjoyed reading this book, I felt that it lacked the previous excitement of the previous installments in this series and felt that it was really a book focused on character development for the series overall.

The ending was a little incomprehensible and seemed a little bit of a stretch and rushed. While this wasn’t a favorite read of mine in this series, I found it refreshing to be back with the characters and to see how their stories have evolved since the beginning of this series. I am hoping the next installment will bring back the courtroom drama that really drew me into this series in the first place. Not a terrible read, just not one of the better ones of this series. I am curious to see where the author plans to take these loveable characters next.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: Anne Perry

Series: Daniel Pitt Mystery #5

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: April 12, 2022

Pages: 296

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: The Key to Deceit by Ashley Weaver

Description (from cover): “London, 1940. After years of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor–well, to themselves, anyway–Ellie McDonnell and her family have turned over a new lead as they help the government’s war effort. It’s true that the straight-laced Major Ramsey didn’t give them much choice, but still, Ellie must admit she doesn’t miss breaking and entering as much as she might have thought. What she does miss is the challenge of unlocking an impossible code and the adrenaline rush that comes from being somewhere she shouldn’t.

So when Major Ramsey turns up unannounced with another job, she can’t say no. A woman’s body has been found floating in the Thames, with a bracelet locked onto her wrist, and a cameo locket attached to it. It’s clear this woman was involved in espionage, but whose side was she on? Who was she reporting to? And who wanted her dead?”

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Electra McDonnell mystery series by Ashley Weaver. While I haven’t reviewed this series yet on this blog, I have reviewed other books by this author. I really like this author’s way of writing as she leaves mystery surrounding her main characters. With Ellie’s character, we learn more with each book about her parents and how Ellie’s mother was imprisoned and charged with her father’s murder. Not much is known about her father’s murder and the facts and circumstances surrounding it, but the author feeds little nuggets throughout this series to keep the reader engaged and curious. I would love to find out more about this storyline and hope that the author provides some more information along the way.

In this book, Ellie is approached by Major Ramsey for another espionage job. A woman’s body has been found in the Thames and he needs her help unlocked a locked bracelet that is found on the body. It appears that the lady was murdered because she was an undercover spy for the Germans and helping them with their war efforts against Britain. The story was engaging and while it lacked the suspense that the first novel had, it was still an enjoyable read. We follow Ellie, her family and friends, along with the ever exhausting Major Ramsey, throughout the investigation where they don’t always use above board methods to accomplish their tasks.

I have really come to enjoy Ellie’s character and past storyline. I think that this will be a series that I will follow for some time. I enjoy the author’s way of making the main character not so perfect and it really makes her very likeable. There is a lot of promise with this series and as I stated, I will be eager to read every installment in this series. A great historical mystery set during WWII in London which really shows how the Blitz destroyed the city’s buildings, but not the spirit of its people. Another fantastic read by Ashley Weaver.

Overall Rating: 4.5 stars

Author: Ashley Weaver

Series: Electra McDonnell Mystery #2

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: June 21, 2022

Pages: 269

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Traitor in the Ice by K. J. Maitland

Description (from cover): “Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead.

Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is rumoured to shelter those loyal to the Pope, disguising them as servants within the abbey walls. And the last man sent to expose them was silenced before his report could reach London.

Daniel Pursglove is summoned to infiltrate Battle and find proof of treachery. He soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide–for deeds far more dangerous than religious dissent. But one lone figure he senses only in the shadows, carefully concealed from the world. Could the notorious traitor Spero Pettingar finally be close at hand?

As more bodies are unearthed, Daniel determines to catch the culprit. But how do you unmask a killer when nobody is who they seem?

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Daniel Pursglove mystery series by K. J. Maitland. I reviewed the first book, The Drowned City, on this blog previously. The problems I had with that book are prevalent in this book as well. The books in this series tend to be long, very descriptive and a little chaotic at times with the switching back and forth between storylines. I will say that I did enjoy this book more than the first book as it was easier to read for me this go around. Nonetheless, the ending left me scratching my head a little bit trying to figure out all of the storylines and what exactly happened. I still am not quite sure.

In this book, we see the return of Daniel Pursglove who has been sent to Battle Abbey to act as a spy. He is told to make himself a part of the household and find out if there are priests being hidden there and whether the residents are attending Mass instead of the required Protestant services. Pursglove quickly avails himself to the household and soon finds himself an integral part of the household. In the small town surrounding the Abbey, there is a creature that has been wreaking havoc on the town at night. Animals are missing or killed, strange noises and fear has been walking the streets at night and the villagers are up in arms.

In the middle of the drama at the Abbey and the hysteria of the small town, Pursglove soon finds himself embroiled in more mysteries than he can handle and he is not sure which one is more dangerous. He has to constantly be on his toes as everyone is not who they seem and there is a murderer lurking in the shadows. This book was a better read than the first one, however I struggled to understand what was happening at times and I felt the ending didn’t really conclude the mysteries.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: K. J. Maitland

Series: Daniel Pursglove Mystery #2

Publisher: Headline Review

Publication Date: March 31, 2022

Pages: 461

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives by Rick Bleiweiss

Description (from cover): “The year is 1910, and in the small and seemingly sleepy English municipality of Haxford, there’s a new chief police inspector. At first, the dapper and unflappable Pignon Scorbion strikes something of an odd figure among the locals, who don’t see a need for such an exacting investigator. But it isn’t long before Haxford finds itself very much in need of a detective.

Luckily, Scorbion and the local barber are old acquaintances, and the barbershop employs a cast of memorable characters who–together with an aspiring young ace reporter for the local Morning News–are nothing less than enthralled by the enigmatic new chief police inspector.

Investigating a trio of crimes whose origins span three continents and half a century, Pignon Scorbion and his “tonsorial sleuths” interview a parade of interested parties, but with every apparent clue, new surprises come to light. And just as it seems nothing can derail Scorbion’s cool head and almost unerring nose for deduction, in walks Thelma Smith–dazzling, whip-smart, and newly single.

Has Pignon Scorbion finally met his match?

For fans of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, author Rick Bleiweiss’s quirky new detective and ensemble cast of characters set against the backdrop of small-town England in the 1910s will feel both comfortingly familiar and thrillingly new.”

My Thoughts:

I was offered the chance to review this book by the publisher through NetGalley and I jumped at the chance to read it. This is a new series set in 1910 in England in a small town where it seems crime never happens. When a new police inspector, Pignon Scorbion, arrives in town, everyone is surprised by his demeanor and his attention to looking fashionable at all times and his strange name. He is not like their last police inspector and they are suspicious of him and whether he can bring any value to the village. Quickly, however, Pignon Scorbion, shows the small town what he is capable of in regards to solving mysteries and uses his friends at the local barbershop to help him investigate three crimes that have recently occurred in Haxford.

The concept of this book is very good. I am not quite sure why the author decided to have Scorbion conduct all of his investigations in the local barbershop and not the police station, but it is what it is. That really didn’t make a lot of sense to me and while it did bring some added value to the book, it left me a little confused as to why this would have been done. I guess you just have to roll with it. I did like the characters in the book and liked how there were three separate mysteries to solve in this book.

While I was not overly impressed with this book, I did still have a good time reading it. I liked the characters and would read the next book in the series to see if there is some character development. There was a teaser for the second book at the end of this one, but I never read them so I am assuming the next book will be forthcoming in the next year or so. If you like to read mysteries that are short, to the point and are quite whimsical, this might be a book you might want to look into.

Overall Rating: 3 stars

Author: Rick Bleiweiss

Series: Pignon Scorbion Mystery #1

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Publication Date: February 8, 2022

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Review: The Drowned City by K. J. Maitland

Description (from cover): “Gunpowder and treason changed England forever. But the tides are turning and revenge runs deep in this masterful historical thriller for fans of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor’s Ashes of London, Kate Mosse and Blood and Sugar.

1606. England stands divided in the wake of the failed Gunpowder Plot. As a devastating tidal wave sweeps the Bristol Channel, rumours of new treachery reach the King.

In Newgate prison, Daniel Pursglove receives an unexpected–and dangerous–offer. Charles FitzAlan, close confidant of King James, will grant his freedom–if Daniel can infiltrate the underground Catholic network in Bristol and unmask the one conspirator still at large.

Where better to hide a traitor than in the chaos of a drowned city? Daniel goes to Bristol to investigate, but soon finds himself at the heart of a dark Jesuit conspiracy–and in pursuit of a killer.”

My Thoughts:

This book is set in the 1600’s in Bristol in an England that is deeply divided between the Protestants and Catholics. King James I is on the throne and this story takes place a year after the Gunpowder Plot was foiled. James is terrified of assassination and sees death in everything and is very superstitious. He is paranoid and determined to prevent any Catholic uprisings in his Protestant England. Daniel Pursglove is in prison and is offered the chance of a pardon if he seeks out a missing conspirator from the Gunpowder Plot.

Rumor has it that the missing man is in Bristol, which has just been devastated by a tidal wave that killed hundreds and destroyed many homes and businesses. Daniel travels from London to Bristol to seek out the missing man and bring him to justice at the cost of his own freedom. If he is successful he won’t have to return to prison and will be a free man; if not, he faces torture and death. Daniel makes connections when he arrives in Bristol and no one is to be trusted.

This book was a long read at 495 pages. At times, I felt the writer used too many descriptive details and could have condensed the story somewhat. Overall this was a good read and a fantastic debut to this new historical mystery series. I loved the setting as it has been quite some time since I have read anything in this time period. The superstitions and the unrest during this time really shows throughout this book and the author did a wonderful job of researching the time period. The book did seem tedious in some areas, but overall, I found this to be a quite engaging read and I am excited to read the next book in this series.

Overall Rating: 3.5 stars

Author: K. J. Maitland

Series: Daniel Pursglove Mystery #1

Publisher: Headline Review

Publication Date: April 1, 2021

Pages: 495

Genre: Historical Mystery

Get It: Amazon

Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.