"Set in 1796, this rollicking murder mystery reels with political corruption, dark humour and big turmoil in a small town."
Inspired by the true story of a Cornish election in 1796 when, as the author shares in her introductory note, “Britain’s electoral arrangements were a shambles”, Leonora Nattrass’ Scarlet Town is a wildly entertaining murder mystery. Set in an age when estimates reckon a mere 5% of the population could vote, this dazzler reels with cut-throat corruption, ambition and suspicion, all wrapped up in a page-turner that evokes the rivalries between the blue silks of the Duke of Leeds and the scarlet red of their political opponents in vivid style.
The third novel in a sequence, Scarlet Town is thoroughly enjoyable in its own right, though I recommend going back to Back Drop and Blue Water to enjoy Laurence Jago’s earlier exploits. This third tale sees the disgraced former Foreign Office clerk and his journalist employer William Philpott in Laurence’s Cornish hometown.
Fresh from a locked room thriller aboard a transatlantic mail ship, the men's hopes for a period of recuperation are dashed when they find themselves thrust into a rowdy election. When one of two local men entitled to vote dies in decidedly suspicious circumstances, Laurence is asked to investigate. And then comes a second death…An absolute romp from start to finish, Scarlet Town is richly written, and entertaining with it.
|Political / Legal Thrillers