Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
One of the best books I have ever read!
on 17 August 2000
I picked up this book in the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle a few months ago and am I glad I did! The story concerns the aristocratic, short-tempered and vain, yet entirely lovable Sir Robert Carey, who comes up from his cousin Queen Elizabeth's Court to Carlisle to be the new Deputy Warden of the English West March. Having been brought up in the frontier town of Berwick, Carey is not quite a fish out of water and surprises all around him with his determination to reinstate justice in the area (Not easy in a place where tradition has been to bribe the warden to ignore certain, ahem, activities!) The tale concerns a dead reiver and Carey's attempts to find out the identity of the real murderer. Chisholm creates brilliant atmosphere and characters, many of them, including Carey, are based on real life figures. What I enjoyed the most though was her realistic characterisations of the interminable, murderous, horse-thieving reivers on the Border. Her female characters are particularly strong, both the "ladies" and the reivers womenfolk. The inner workings of Carey's mind (and the minds of his motely crew of soldiers, especially Sergeant Dodd) had me laughing out loud! Read it and see what you think.