Secrets In The Stones

Written by Tessa Harris

Review written by John Parker

John Parker is a Graduate-qualified English/Spanish Teacher, owner and director of CHAT ENGLISH, an English Language Centre in Avilés on the north coast of Spain . A voracious reader, he has particularly loved horror fiction for many years.


Secrets In The Stones
Constable
RRP: £8.99
Released: August 4 2016
PBK

This is the sixth Dr Thomas Silkstone mystery.  It all starts with the theft of a diamond in Hyderabad, India in 1775.

Immediately after the opening, we are transported to Oxfordshire, England nine years later where Silkstone is wounded in a duel. Fortunately, he survives and is just about able to investigate the murder of Sir Montagu Malthus the custodian of Lady Lydia Farrell’s estate and guardian of Lydia’s son and heir, Richard.  Matters are complicated as Lydia and Silkstone hope to marry while Malthus had detested the very ground that Silkstone walks on. Nevertheless, Silkstone begins to look into the mysterious death of Malthus. It is a path which leads to great danger as more and more killings take place in London. At the centre of the mystery appears to be the theft of the diamond nine years previously. Or is it to do with something more than a simple robbery?

This historical novel is quite entertaining though surprisingly gruesome in parts with some nicely-drawn characters that give it that feeling of historical authenticity. Harris’s writing is very atmospheric and clearly well-researched. The authoress also provides a handy glossary at the back of the book to accompany most chapters. It is somewhat old- fashioned in the way some characters are presented. The unfortunate Lady Lydia spends rather too much time as a damsel-in distress, screaming and nearly fainting at every turn, though  to be fair, she does discover the savage murder of Malthus (and is initially the prime suspect in his murder) as well as the disinterred arm of her ex-husband while visiting his grave. It is a nice murder mystery with plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing.

For those who have not read the previous books in the series, there is no need to worry. The book works very well as a stand-alone novel. 

 



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