14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An original, audacious, brilliantly clever murder mystery., 16 Nov. 2000
Unnatural Fire by Fidelis Morgan
Fan me ye winds! If you're lusting after a great story told by a master (mistress?), buy this book. Anastasia Ashby dela Zouche, Baroness Penge, Countess of Clapham is a new star in the murder mystery firmament. Down on her luck, to all intents and purposes past her prime, the Countess is forced to show her mettle and proves to be shrewd, resourceful and not above a little wheeling and dealing but always with a strong sense of honour and noblesse oblige. Perfect. The most exciting and original detective since Falco, I loved the Countess and her wily side-kick, Alpiew. In our genre-obsessed culture Unnatural Fire will no doubt be straitjacketed as an historical thriller but it's much more than that - not only a brilliant(often gory)murder mystery, a subtle reflection on the nature of love, loyalty and friendship, a cracking, beautifully written yarn which effortlessly brings to life the seething social and intellectual backdrop of Restoration London (Morgan ingeniously uses the different stages of the alchemical process to structure her book) but it's also VERY FUNNY. I hated coming to the end of Unnatural Fire - always a good sign and I'm praying that there'll be a series.