Pickpockets, pimps, and prostitutes: All in a day’s work for the city constable – until work moves too close to home…. When Richard Nottingham, Constable of Leeds, discovers his former housemaid murdered in a particularly sickening manner, his professional and personal lives move perilously close. Circumstances seem to conspire against him, and more murders follow. Soon the city fathers cast doubt on his capability, and he is forced to seek help from an unsavoury source. Not only does the murder investigation keep running into brick walls, and family problems offer an unwelcome distraction; he can’t even track down a thief who has been a thorn in his side for months. When answers start to emerge, Nottingham gets more than he bargains for….
©2010 Chris Nickson (P)2012 Creative Content Ltd
Mr. Nickson does a superb job of creating a devastating picture of the poverty of the community and giving personal life to the characters. There are good twists in the mystery and the suspense is built up well, especially when Richard has to seek the help of an enemy to locate Emily. She is found wearing the token missing from the first murder victim but refuses to name the source of the gift which could lead to the identity of the killer. The revealed history of the token is an added element of interest.
None come to mind.
I thoroughly enjoyed the strong, accented narration. The voice fit well with the dark period and the mystery plot. Mr. Pacey’s inflection helped me to visualize the scenes and the despair of the characters.
A fitting description for the city:
...[A] place were most people existed rather than lived.
Some might find the times and setting bleak but I liked the details that were softened a bit by the caring emotions of Richard and his family. I recommend this particularly to mystery lovers who enjoy historical detail.
I like mysteries (particularly British ones, historical fiction and nonfiction, science fiction and fantasy.
A man and a woman are found murdered in Leeds. The man is a non-conformist preacher brought in by a local merchant. The woman is a local prostitute who was once a main in the house of Richard Nottingham, the city Constable. Which was the intended victim?
This is the beginning of an unexpectedly interesting story about life in Leeds England at a time when there was one law for the rich and one for the poor. Richard Nottingham who has had experience of both living rich and extremely poor stands between them, a servant to the masters of the city-- the wealthy merchants and aristocrats-- and both a threat and a protector to the counterfeiters, cutpurses and prostitutes that make up the lowest rank of those trying to get by.
The historical detail feels authentic and by keeping his eye on the street life rather than the high life, the author conveys a sense of the life for most people in the early 18th century without romanticizing it.
I figured the murderer out early in the book but found myself reading more for the story of the Constable and his Deputy than the mystery.
I also enjoyed the narrator. His voice enhanced the story without descending into heavy local accents.
"18th Century Who dunnit"
This novel is my first by this author and is set in the wrong end of Leeds in 1731. I enjoyed reading about the Constable of Leeds Richard Nottingham and his family and enjoyed the story and also feeling part of the time and place. It was a hard life to lead and plenty of hardships evident in the story.
I would compare it to other good mystery novels but the setting and time makes it interesting.
I enjoyed the narrator and felt he aided the telling of the story. I have not read any other books from this narrator or author but would consider others.
I did feel some emotional connection to the characters and it was interesting to see them develop.
I did enjoy the book and would recommend it if you like historical mystery novels.
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