Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Seventeenth Century London
First Sentence: :A plague on it!" cried Henry Redmayne, smacking the arm of the sofa with a petulant hand.
Arminta Jewell was the most beautiful and coveted maiden in all of London society. Countless rakes and libertines of the upper crust had set their sights on her. Her marriage to Sir Martin Calthorpe did nothing to quell their ardor. On the contrary, for a few base rogues, her marriage intensified their quest.
Arminta's husband sought to preserve her beauty by having her portrait painted by Jean-Paul Villemont, the most popular artist of the day. Monsieur Villemont was so struck by Arminta's beauty that he trespassed into her garden in hopes of catching a glimpse of her. He is observed leaving the garden on the very same evening that Sir Martin is found murdered there.
Our main character, Christopher Redmayne, has been retained to plan and build a grand new residence for Monsieur Villemont. When Villemont is accused of murder, Redmayne stands to loose a substantial amount of money. Redmayne decides to discover who really did kill Sir Martin. Through Redmayne's investigations, we meet some of London's naughtier aristocrats. For them, pleasure is all, and morality a quaint old-fashioned concept.
Can Redmayne find the true killer and save Monsieur Villemont from the gallows?
Edward Marston is one of my favorite authors. His novels are written in a very readable style. And his dialogue is some of the best I've ever read. This novel did not disappoint.
A well-crafted plot written in an enjoyable style with interesting characters made for a very entertaining read!
The Painted Lady
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