shortlisted for Book Of The Month
"From Sam himself, through his adorable wife, Martha, to William Wilson and his new young bride, Alice - and even the baby, young George - each character brings the life of London in the 1800s superbly to life."
(The Sam Plank Mysteries Book 6)
"A young man returns to London from the family plantation in the Caribbean after an absence of six years to be at his father’s deathbed – and to inherit his estate. But is the new arrival who he says he is, or an impostor? Anyone who doubts his identity seems to meet an untimely end, but his sister swears that he is her beloved brother.With their investigations leading them into the complicated world of inheritance law and due process after death, Constable Sam Plank and his loyal lieutenant William Wilson come face to face with the death trade and those who profit from it – legally or otherwise. Among them is an old enemy who has used his cunning and ruthlessness to rise through the ranks of London’s criminal world. And, in this sixth novel in the series, it’s now 1829: as plans progress for a new police force for the metropolis, Sam and his wife Martha look to the future."
I so enjoyed this novel! Apart from the attention to detail, the mystery of 'is he the heir or isn't he?' and outguessing the author throughout with 'who done it?' (I was wrong), Ms Grossey's characters are so utterly delightful. From Sam himself, through his adorable wife, Martha, to William Wilson and his new young bride, Alice - and even the baby, young George - each character brings the life of London in the 1800s superbly to life. I felt as if I was actually walking with Sam and William along Oxford Street, or entering a coffee house or tavern with them. And as for Martha Plank's apple pie... sadly the one I made the day after reading this novel was nowhere as good as hers. (It comes to something when reading that you can actually smell and taste the food described because the atmosphere of each scene is so brilliantly written!)
It was good, also, to meet with old friends - and enemies. Not to mention the well-thought-out plot! What I especially enjoy about this entire series is the ordinariness of the 'behind the scenes' scenes. The story progresses in 'real time' not as often seems on TV cop shows where the murder happens and the cop/s solve the crime within, apparently, a few days (after several red herrings and while dealing with the trauma of a difficult personal life.) Constable Plank, however, treads a more realistic policeman's beat, doggedly pursuing clues and crimes as they arise (fortified by Martha's cooking), through a period of weeks and months. These are not action mysteries, but they are absorbing, thoroughly engrossing and a huge pleasure to read. I have said before, and am happy to say again - Sam, Martha and Constable Wilson are ideal material for a darn good TV cop show with a difference!
Very highly recommended.
© Helen Hollick