Publication Date: Out now!!!
Price: Hb £20.00
Publisher: Melville House Publishing
I would like to say a huge thank you to Nikki Griffiths and Melville House for allowing me take part on this fascinating and gripping book’s tour. I would also like to say a huge thank you to Melville for gifting me a physical proof copy of this wondrous book. I would also like to say a huge thank you to the creative genius, Robert J Lloyd for creating such an atmospheric, gripping and historically fascinating story, set in a time of great scientific experiments and surrounded by political upheaval and intrigues. Intrigued yourself? Let’s head to the blurb and find out a bit more.
1679. A year has passed since the sensational attempt to murder King Charles II. Harry Hunt – estranged from his mentor Robert Hooke and no longer employed by the Royal Society – meets Sir Jonas Moore, the King s Surveyor-General of the Board of Ordnance, in the remote and windswept marshes of Norfolk. There, workers draining the fenland have uncovered a skeleton. Accompanied by his friend Colonel Fields, an old soldier for Parliament, and Hooke’s niece, Grace, Harry confirms Sir Jonas’s suspicion: the body is that of a dwarf, Captain Jeffrey Hudson, once famously given to Queen Henrietta Maria in a pie.
During the Civil Wars, Hudson accompanied the Queen to France to sell the Royal Jewels to fund her husband s army. He was sent home in disgrace after shooting a man in a duel. But nobody knew Hudson was dead. Another man, working as a spy, has lived as him since his murder. Now, this imposter has disappeared, taking vital information with him. Sir Jonas orders Harry to find him. Harry’s search takes him to Paris, another city bedevilled by conspiracies and intrigues. He navigates its salons and libraries, and learns of a terrible plot against the current Queen of England, Catherine of Bragança, and her gathering of Catholics in London. Assassins plan to poison them all…
After reading the first book in this series, I was looking forward to diving back in and being swept away characters who have become like good ol friends. I was not disappointed, in fact I was enthralled by the latest adventure of Hunter’s this time instead of being under his master? Friend? Colleague? Tutor’s? guidance he’s off on his own with a few companions… an old soldier recently feeling young again due to a romantic tangle with Hunter’s landlady, and a dashing young “man” who isn’t what they appear to be. There is as always a death or a discovery of one, and this one seems to be laden with hidden intrigued and political conniving with a treasonous plot thrown in for good measure.
I loved it, and you are instantly captivated and swept away to the marshes of Norfolk, to the grand vistas and darkly devious streets of Paris to the chaotic noise and rumble of London. This also travels back to a time of war, heroics and legends of what happened to such characters as the small man who was held in high esteem with Queen Henrietta during the Civil War and how all these stories and deceptions have come back to lay havoc to the governing body and the royal family. You find yourself drawn into the story and just as the characters themselves you are not sure who to trust and who is lying to deceive. There are so many twists and turns which lead you down paths and then divert you on to another. This is an exceptional novel and it just keeps getting better and better.
If you haven’t read the first book I would urge you to buy both and read them asap!!
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰
Robert J Lloyd, the son of parents who worked in the British Foreign Office, grew up in South London, Innsbruck, and Kinshasa. He studied for a Fine Art degree, starting as a landscape painter, but it was while studying for his MA degree in The History of Ideas that he first read Robert Hooke’s diary, detailing the life and experiments of this extraordinary man. After a 20-year career as a secondary school teacher, he has now returned to painting and writing. He is the author of The Bloodless Boy, which was selected by Publishers Weekly as a Mystery Book of the Year and The New York Times as a Best New Historical Novel of 2021.
I hope you have enjoyed this wonderful, atmospheric and thrilling historical mystery, if you are wanting a copy for yourself you can find this in Waterstones, any independent store and of course on Amazon. I will leave you now to say Happy Reading and see you all soon!!!