Posted By Claire on October 17, 2013
This is the second novel by Robin Blake set in the 18th century. Located in Preston 1741, the year of the General Election, Cragg & Fidelis are hurled into solving many mysterious deaths. At first I thought it was Midsummer Murders, not Preston but I soon became embroiled in the plot. I enjoyed the intrigue interwoven with the political aspect of the times and was fascinated over the conduct of the Parliamentary Candidates. Our Parliamentary parties now have nothing on the machinations of 1741.
Blake’s descriptions of the murder scenes and the various meetings brought the whole thing to life, I could imagine myself there as a bystander. I did not figure this plot out unlike his first book and the scientific work by Dr Fidelis is quite surprising and ingenious for the time. I had no idea the medicine of the day was so advanced.
I look forward to the next novel set around these two characters as in my view, Robin Blake, as a novelist, gets better and he obviously completes much research into the period.
The drowning of drunken publican Antony Egan is no surprise – even if it comes as an unpleasant shock to coroner Titus Cragg, whose wife was the old man’s niece. But he does his duty to the letter, and the inquest’s verdict is accidental death. Meanwhile the town is agog with rumour and faction, as the General Election is only a week away and the two local seats are to be contested by four rival candidates.
But Cragg’s close friend, Dr Luke Fidelis, finds evidence to cast doubt on the events leading to Egan’s demise. Soon suspicions are further roused when a well-to-do farmer collapses and it appears he was in town on political business. Is there a conspiracy afoot? The Mayor and Council have their own way of imposing order, but Cragg is determined not to be swayed by their pressure. With the help of Fidelis’ scientific ingenuity the true criminals are brought to light…
Series: Cragg & Fidelis Mysteries (Book 2)
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (August 20, 2013)
Available as a Kindle version and hardcover from Amazon.com and as a Kindle version, hardcover and paperback from Amazon UK.