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.
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
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.