City of Gold and Shadows (Inspector Felse Mystery) Paperback – 18 May 1989
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About the Author
Ellis Peters was a pseudonym of Edith Pargeter, OBE. As Ellis Peters she was the bestselling author of twenty Brother Cadfael Chronicles and the illustrated short story collection A Rare Benedictine. Under her own name she wrote numerous critically acclaimed historical novels including A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury and The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet. She was the recipient of the Crime Writer's Association and Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. She died in 1995.
Top customer reviews
Inspector Felse does seem to drift in and out of the story. At times I felt that maybe the author had only included his appearance because of publisher/readership pressure. As with the previous George Felse novels the story is set in the wonderful rural county of Midshire. With the author's own home surroundings providing plenty of wonderful country-side for the reader to enjoy. The reading is easy going and to be fair the red-herrings were pretty easy to hook, and the twists not exactly hard to navigate. Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed the book and found myself still pleased when I snuggled into a comfy chair for a re-read about 8 months later.
In the meantime, a local teen schoolboy has gone missing, last seen by Gus and Charlotte at the Roman site, near a cave-in, and thus she meets Inspector George Felse, who knows the family and comes to see what, if anything, the two know about the missing lad.
Murder, mystery and ghostly Roman remains all follow, enveloping Charlotte in an archaeological world of half-professors, young pretty girl married to much older historian and a weird hunt for treasure and any clue to the whereabouts of her missing Great-Uncle from the last people to see him definitely alive.
A brilliantly plotted and written story, another good adventure for George Felse. Enjoy.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It's also nicely atmospheric, with a few notable twists, most of which, the first time, I didn't anticipate - though that was a good while ago there are always things worth coming back to in an Ellis Peters mystery. And it's well written, for such a pleasant change....
For one thing, the story drops its protagonist, Charlotte, halfway through, to concentrate on the unlucky Gus. If the author prefers Gus, why not tell us the whole story from his point of view?
Spoiler alert: The reader instantly becomes suspicious on learning that Dr. Morris's book deprecates Aurae Phiala. No scholar would write a book saying that an ENTIRE SITE was not worth visiting! Even if some of it was so-so, there must be something worth seeing! It is clear from the start that it wasn't Dr. Morris who wrote that book... leaving as a suspect the only person who could have.
The author may have felt constrained (do I detect an editor's hand?) to add a romance, as in all her other mystery books. Yet the romance between Gus and Charlotte is very coolly written, almost as an afterthought. How much more interesting the story would have been, if Gus had turned out to be Charlotte's uncle in mufti, investigating a site of suspicious goings-on that he HADN'T visited before?
In a series of very good mysteries, this book stands out as being rather so-so itself.