I recently criticised Vichi's "Death in Florence" for "investigation deficit"; this book, for me, went to the other extreme, with so much footslogging and conversations with suspects that I felt a bit exhausted. The plot is extremely complex in that there are many characters, most of them suspects and few of them sympathetic, and two plots - and I soon realised that apart from Chaloner nobody was necessarily what they seemed, or what Chalenor and the other characters thought them, and who was in what plot was equally veiled in fog. It kept me reading to the end, just as it kept him sleuthing to the end.It is the first of the Chaloner books I have read, and I was impressed by the deft weaving of historical characters into the plot, and the claustrophobic atmosphere of early Restoration London. The end had a nice twist, too. Just occasionally I was irritated by conversations that seemed less like speech between men who knew each other and were all well aware of events around them, and more like history lessons for the reader, sometimes delivered in a bland style that didn't reflect character or education. Once I found an "of course", as the reader was reminded that her central character could not have known something - just an unfortunate authorial intrusion. And I am not sure thaf the author is at her happiest describing fights, not that I advocate beating up people or fighting duels to the death merely in the interest of historical research.
Will I read another. Probably. But if someone were to bump off Mrs C, and if Chaloner could be as pro-active in organising his life as he is in investigating dangerous plots, I would be a bit happier.