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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The King's Evil by Edward Marston

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: London, 1666, after the Great Fire of London.

First Sentence: The month of September had scarcely begun when a new disaster struck an already beleaguered city.

This novel is the first in Marston's Christopher Redmayne mystery series.

In my opinion, in the first novel of a series an author has two important tasks.  Primarily, the author must introduce interesting characters that the reader will like, and like following.  And then, the author must engage us with an interesting plot.  In this novel the author succeeds with both tasks.

The characters:

Christopher Redmayne is a young architect, and a perfect English gentleman.

Henry Redmayne, his brother is a rake more interested in pleasure than work.

Jonathan Bale is a London constable.  He is a Puritan, and he is unhappy with the restoration of the British monarchy.

Penelope Northcott is the daughter of the murder victim.  She promises to be Christopher's love interest in future installments of the series.

The plot:

Sir Ambrose Northcott has engaged Christopher to design and build a house in London.  When his lifeless form is found in the cellar of the unfinished house, Christopher feels responsible.  Christopher decides to discover the identity of the culprit.  His investigation uncovers a tangled plot which may even threaten the King himself.

Edward Marston is the pseudonym of Keith Miles.  Early in his career Miles was a script writer for television and radio.  I believe this experience is what makes Marston's novels such fun to read.  And what I enjoy the most is the fantastic dialogue between the characters.

This was a great read, a page turner, and over too quickly.  Another Marston novel is already on my to read list.


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