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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Elementary, Ripper Street and Sherlock Holmes - meet Jean Brash, a feisty, self-made woman turned sleuth in murky Victorian Edinburgh where crime and high society meet.

After Mistress of the Just Land, the second adventure in David Ashton's Jean Brash series....

A theatre company arrives in Leith to perform King Lear. A robbery is planned, a gruesome murder committed, both of which set Inspector James McLevy on the prowl, and Jean's past returns in the shape of the avenging son of a man she has long ago been accused of poisoning.

Even more lethally, her own lost family life resurrects in the present, as a wild young actress who trails violence and death behind her, involves Jean in a dangerous complex game that gnaws at the very root of her identity.

All this grounded in Leith's gritty backdrop - the rich exotic world of the theatre meeting the harsh reality of the streets.

Past, present and future - this unholy trinity collide to overwhelm the world of Jean Brash and involve her in a tale where the abandoned child inside her demands the right to grieve as well as feel some fractured, fleeting joy.

By the end, a chapter of Jean's life may close and a new future might be signalled in other lands and other countries....

©2017 David Ashton (P)2017 John Murray Press

Critic Reviews

"Jean Brash is my favourite character, and David Ashton's writing is as delicious, elegant and compelling as she is." (Siobhan Redmond, Jean Brash in BBC Radio 4's McLevy series)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dee Murray
  • 09-29-17

Jean Brash

My husband and I greatly enjoyed this book. Siobhan Redmond's acting is a joy. From bawdy house keeper to King Leer we were hanging on her every word. An exciting tale with plenty of historical atmosphere, great characters (Plooky Galbraith is very real), murders galore and the enjoyable Hannah Semple and Constable Mulholland. Laughs, joy and pathos this book is worth your time. We only wish that Brian Cox had read it too. David Ashton is an accomplished actor. He played McLevy, Roach and Mulholland well. We weren't so keen on his delivery as the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • D. V. Cole
  • 04-10-18

Murder and mystery

A good plot and lots of satisfying action for the most part. I found the sub plot a bit tiresome but it does add to the character’s back story.

Very well voiced by the author and Siobhan Redmond, but I would have loved to have heard Brian Cox as McLevy..I’ll accept no imitation!

Well worth a listen

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  • Mr
  • 03-04-18

Excellent follow up to Book 1

Loved characters and descriptions of Edinburgh. Good entertaining story although I had to go back a couple of times to remind myself who was who. More an issue with the audio format than the story.
Hopefully a book 3.............

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  • Andrew W. Macfadyen
  • 10-15-17

Usual great stuff from David Ashton

Siobhan Redmond delights as Jean Brash, a must for McLevy fans. The mean streets are even more mean than usual.