Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Review:- Deryn LAKE - Death at St James's Palace

Year Published: - 2002
Where the book was from:- Pensby Library
ISBN: - 0-7531-7245-3
Pages: - 354pp (Large Print)
Genre: - Historical crime
Location:- London, 1761
How I came across it: - Serendipity
Rating: - ***** ****
One sentence summary:-  Lots of secrets among the nobility of London in 1761 come out as the apothecary John Rawlings investigates a fall down the stairs at St James’s Palace. 

Describe the plot without giving anything away:-
Famous magistrate John Fielding – known as the Blind Beak to the mob - is to be honoured with a knighthood. Founder of the Runners, London's metropolitan police force, John Fielding is one of several important members of the community who gather at St James's Palace for the investiture. As the invited audience eagerly crane for a first glimpse of George III’s new queen - widely rumoured to be the ugliest the country has ever seen - a terrible accident occurs when one of the crowd, a nobleman George Goward, tumbles down the great staircase to his death. Of all the assembled gathering, not one person saw him begin to fall. But the Blind Beak is suspicious and sets his friend, the apothecary John Rawlings, to investigate.

General comments:- 
Based on a number of real historical figures the portrayal of this period (one I know little about) is fascinating and, from what I can tell, well researched.  I suspect that if one were a Londoner and knew all the places mentioned in the story it would be even more interesting but a knowledge of London is not essential by any means..
This is the eighth book in the John Rawlings series which includes:-

1. Death in the Dark Walk (1994)
2. Death At the Beggar's Opera (1995)
3. Death At the Devil's Tavern (1996)
4. Death on the Romney Marsh (1998)
5. Death in the Peerless Pool (1999)
6. Death at Apothecaries' Hall (2000)
7. Death in the West Wind (2001)
8. Death at St. James's Palace (2002)
9. Death in the Valley of Shadows (2003)
10. Death in the Setting Sun (2005)
11. Death and the Cornish Fiddler (2006)
12. Death in Hellfire (2007)
13. Death and the Black Pyramid (2009)

AUTHOR Notes:- Deryn Lake is the pseudonym of a well-known historical novelist, Dinah Lampitt, who joined the popular ranks of historical detective writers with her gripping John Rawlings Mysteries, Death in the Dark Walk, Death at the Devil's Tavern, Death on the Romney Marsh, Death in the Peerless Pool and Death at Apothecaries' Hall. Deryn Lake lives near Hastings, East Sussex

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great read - especially good for holiday or train reading i would have thought!

    Thanks for sharing -



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