Friday 24 March 2017


Amazon UK £4.83  £8.99
Amazon US $5.98  $12.55
Amazon CA $16.51

This title was selected as the March Book of the Month

Mystery / Crime

Sam Plank Mysteries Book #4

Portraits of Pretence is the fourth in a series of novels about Samuel Plank, a Constable in the service of Magistrate Conant. In this adventure, a French artist is found dead in his rooms clutching a miniature portrait of a young girl. As the investigation continues, Sam and his trusty junior Constable, William Wilson, find themselves embroiled in forgery and fraud, smuggling and a secret group that threatens the fabric of Regency Society.

I enjoyed this very much – the writing is good and the characters well defined. The plot moves along nicely and plausibly. I was also impressed that the crime was not solved in a matter of days, as is so often the case,  but over the course of a few months, which is a much more realistic timeline and I applaud the author for that.

Sam Plank is a recognisable character, logical and methodical, encouraging to his protégée and clearly in love with his wife, Martha. He is amiable too – and perhaps if I was to criticise anything it would be that he is perhaps too amiable.

There were a couple of loose ends although the probable outcome was clearly hinted at and the reader must assume that those hints did, indeed come to fruition – though I really would have liked to have known the fate of the former highwayman! (Although as this is a series I wonder if those loose ends will be tied in a future novel?)

A nice cover hinting at the subjects of the miniatures in general and a useful glossary at the end for some of the typical phrases in use at the time. All in all, a nice crime story that has a lot of appeal.

© Richard Tearle

<previous   next >

return to BOOKSHELF (Home Page) then scroll down for more items of interest


  1. Many thanks indeed for the review, Richard - I am thrilled.
    Best wishes from Susan

    1. My pleasure, Susan - you have a good team in Sam Plank and William Wilson!

  2. I've just seen you have been awarded book of the month, Susan. Congratulations. Yet another book for my towering TBR pile.

  3. Many thanks, Loretta - and if you're like me, that TBR pile is going to kill someone, or the cat at least, one day! I am delighted with this award, as it comes from someone who really, really knows her historical fiction, and it tells me that I am in good company (like your books!). Best wishes from Susan


We do not accept comments. If you need to contact Discovering Diamonds go to the CONTACT facility

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.