Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Historical Mystery category.

Archive for the ‘Historical Mystery’ Category

Jack of Spies by David Downing

Jack of SpiesReviewed by Jud Hanson

The year is 1913. Tensions are rising in Europe and Jack McColl, auto salesman and part-time spy for the British Empire, must flee China when an attempt is made on his life. Things get dicey when he is tapped to track a German national across the globe and meets Caitlin, feminist journalist and sibling of one of the leaders of the Irish Independence Movement. When his handlers learn who her family is, Jack is forced to choose between the woman he loves and his loyalty to the British Crown, a choice that will have far-reaching consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

La Salle’s Ghost by Miles Arceneaux

La Salle's GhostReviewed by Caryn St. Clair

In this the second Charlie Sweetwater mystery, readers find Charlie out on the water for the anniversary of his brother’s death. Set fifteen years after the first book, readers find out what Charlie has been up to during that time as this story slowly unfolds. Charlie is sitting on the deck of his boat in total darkness when he imagines he hears someone swimming towards the boat. What he thinks he’s imagining turns out to indeed be a man swimming straight for the boat. He ends up diving in to save the man and brings him on board. The man, Julien Dufay, turns out to be a Frenchman from an oil rig some thirty miles from the boat. But the reasons for him to be in the Gulf at all are not about the oil rig, but about a family secret dating back over three hundred years. As Charlie was soon to learn, while Julien’s dream may be all about the past, Julien’s brother has another goal in his sight-one rooted very much in the present. There may be a mother lode of French history buried here, but there are also fossil fuels. Read the rest of this entry »

The Demon’s Parchment: A Medieval Noir (Crispin Guest Novels) by Jeri Westerson

The Demon's Parchment Reviewed by Teri Davis

Oh, reading a well-written, well-researched, well-organized novel where the crime is horrendous, but the writing is so outstanding that you feel as if you are the investigator is a privilege and luxury. That is reading THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT.

THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT is one of a series in an unusual medieval series which is considered a noir by its darkness and style. This particular novel in Westerson’s Crispin Guest series is the third, following VEIL OF LIES, and SERPENT OF THE THORNS. Previously, I have reviewed the fourth book, Troubled Bones, and enjoyed it so much that I was asked to look at the previous ones. These books can be read as standalone novels, but are definitely better when you know the characters and some of their history.

Crispin Guest is a former knight who lost everything when he was accused of treason and lost his favor with the king. Essentially living minimally in a bare existence now, with his young apprentice, Jack, he works as a Tracker, one who logically tracks from the victim back to the criminals.

Crispin has agreed to find the lost parchments stolen from a Jewish physician residing at the King’s court. This is definitely unconventional since Jews are not allowed to be living in England at this time and were previously expelled. It was generally believed that those of this religion practiced human sacrifice.

Also, Crispin has agreed to help the new sheriff in stopping who is killing young boys in a distinctive gruesome manner. These unfortunate victims though have not been reported as missing. Why would someone give their son to another?

THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT is enthralling. The characters are believable and likable with the murderer always being in disguise. With shared responsibilities, the relationship between Crispin and Jack is strong while neither is without fault. The supporting characters are outstanding with vivid descriptions and definitely showing the “shady” side of London while still demonstrating how nobility was frequently above the law. With actual historical events being intertwined into this story, the reader truly feels like this mystery transports them to another time and place. THE DEMON’S PARCHMENT is not for the feint-of-heart. The descriptions are graphic and gory. However, this novel excels in all categories and proves that Jeri Westerson is a true story teller.