The Hangman's Daughter hooked me and I listened, engaged, to the end. It has everything I like in historical mystery - compelling characters, fascinating time period, fast-paced plot. The thing to know, though, is it also has torture. The author has not shied away from graphic depictions of the Hangman's trade and atrocities committed by mercenaries and soldiers of the time. For example, an infant is ripped from its mother and swung by its foot... I'll leave the rest out, suffice to say, it doesn't end well for the baby. But the book doesn't celebrate or in anyway glorify violence. It's just part of the world of 1658. So, it's up to each reader to decide. For myself, I'll be downloading the next book in the series.
I was reminded of this classic in my audio library when I read about the news that the remains of Richard III had been found. This is one of the books that made me a fan of historical fiction. It's a great plot device to have all the evidence examined from a modern perspective by a police detective who is confined to hospital bed and working on the "cold case of Richard III" to stop himself from dying of boredom as he recuperates. I was convinced by the conclusion he reached and this is the version of the princes in the tower that has stayed with me. Also, this is also the book that sent me looking for more works by Josephine Tay. It was worth the credit. I recommend it.
I don't know how I missed Ruth Downie and the Russo series, but since the first book was published in 2007, it must be true which is a bummer for me. But, on the good side, there are now four more novels in the series ready to download without any waiting. Discovering a new series is one of the best things that I spend my credits on!
I realize that people who are very particular about historical accuracy might find Medicus trying, but I have no such standards. I thought it was great! There is a strain of sentimentality in the work that is more common is "cozy" mysteries, but that charmed me right away.
I hope the next book holds to the same tone and builds the momentum so well done in Medicus. I'm going to download book two now. Fingers crossed.