The Cheapside Corpse: The Tenth Thomas Chaloner Adventure (Adventures of Thomas Chaloner) Hardcover – 8 Jan 2015
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As fresh, exciting and entertaining as the wily spy's first outing . . . These stories have become cult reading for history-mystery fans and it's easy to see why. Ingenious plotlines, a remarkably atmospheric evocation of time and place, a brilliant blend of real and fictional characters and some gloriously wry humour are the trusty trademarks of an author with her finger firmly on the pulse of Restoration England (Bridlington Free Press)
Another carefully researched, imaginative and evocative foray into restoration England, this is a gritty but humorous period mystery (Good Book Guide)
Another excellent historical adventure from Susanna Gregory featuring 17th-century spy Thomas ChalonerSee all Product description
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The author tells a cracking story, full of characters who bring the London of Charles the Second vividly to life. In an age before a recognised police force, many parts of the city are under the sway of gangsters who extract Protection Tax and take brutal revenge on anyone who crosses them. One such is Baron, the King of Cheapside, whose nefarious activities attract the attention of Thomas Chaloner, an intelligencer whose initial quest for his Earl's missing curtain order (a hugely expensive novelty at the time) pulls him deeper into this underworld of money, mystery and power struggles,when Baron's predecessor as crime lord is murdered.
At the same time he is tasked with solving the mystery of a missing, presumed murdered, French spy who may have spread the plague in his wake. Crooked bankers who hold the Court and City to ransom, are very much the villains of the piece as lords and ladies spend, spend, spend with no thought as to how they might fund their debts. Thomas has his own problems in that direction as his rather silly new wife has been somewhat economical with the truth in terms of her own overspending. Debts are sold on without warning, payments are demanded with menaces and neither rank nor gender are any protection. Williamson, the King's spymaster, demands results but leaves Thomas very much to his own devices, with limited resources, as the body count grows and whole families are shut up in their homes if plague (or something with similar symptoms) is diagnosed by the unreliable "watchers". Much needs to be resolved.
London, both filthy and fabulous is brought to brilliant life and we have a hero worthy of the title. Excellent.
I have read all the stories in the Thomas Chaloner series and they just get better and better.