love audio books - Anglophile
This is the second book (the first being "Murder as a Fine Art") in which Thomas De Quincey, his daughter Emily, and detectives Ryan and Becker work together to solve an intriguing string of brutal murders set in 1850s London. De Quincey was a very real person whose "Confessions of an Opium Eater" was mentioned in my high school English class when discussing Coleridge. I never realized he coined the term "subconscious" decades before Freud.
The point of view goes back and forth between the third person and Emily's first person journal. This book has a depth and poignancy that surprised me.The ending was especially satisfying.
I hope Mr. Morrell writes more books with these people/characters. I bought the Kindle version so I could savor the writing and more easily search for passages that were particularly memorable. Be sure to listen to the author's Afterword to appreciate all the research and historical detail that went into the writing of this book.
I loved this book. It's like Sam Spade meets the Middle Ages. This first of the Crispin Guest series is set in London in 1384. Crispin is a disgraced knight who had had his lands, title, and money confiscated seven years earlier for participating in an attempt to crown John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, as King instead of the Duke's young and inexperienced nephew, Richard.
Lancaster is unaware of the attempted coup. The conspiracy fails, Richard is crowned King Richard II, and all of the conspirators except Crispin (thanks to the intercession of the Duke of Lancaster) are executed.
Crispin now lives in the Shambles in London - which is as poor a neighborhood as it sounds - along with a twelve year old purse cutter, Jack Tucker, whom he rescued from the streets of London. There are lots of twists and turns, and class consciousness-- by Crispin toward the dregs of society that he's now forced to live with and depend upon, and by Crispin's former friends who look down on Crispin because he's now a member of the lower class.
Parliament finally removed Richard as King and crowned Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt, as King Henry IV, but not until 1399. Richard died in 1400 - possiblly murdered.
I liked this book so much I downloaded it to my Kindle so I can see how some of the words I didn't know are spelled.
The author skillfully weaves actual historical people and events with her story. As a history major, I loved it! Michael Page does a fine job narrating.
I've now listened to all five books in the series that are currently available on audible. The sixth book comes out 13 October 2013. I'll be waiting.