A Conspiracy of Violence, Paperback
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


The dour days of Cromwell are over. Charles II is well established at White Hall Palace, his mistress at hand in rooms over the Holbein bridge, the heads of some of the regicides on public display. London seethes with new energy, freed from the strictures of the Protectorate, but many of its inhabitants have lost their livelihoods. One is Thomas Chaloner, a reluctant spy for the feared Secretary of State, John Thurloe, and now returned from Holland in desperate need of employment. His erstwhile boss, knowing he has many enemies at court, recommends Thomas to Lord Clarendon, but in return demands that Thomas keep him informed of any plot against him. But what Thomas discovers is that Thurloe had sent another ex-employee to White Hall and he is dead, supposedly murdered by footpads near the Thames. Chaloner volunteers to investigate his killing: instead he is despatched to the Tower to unearth the gold buried by the last Governor. He discovers not treasure, but evidence that greed and self-interest are uppermost in men's minds whoever is in power, and that his life has no value to either side.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages, Integrated: 1, b/w map in prelims
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical mysteries
  • ISBN: 9780751537581



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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Fun tale of a former operative in Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate attempting to adjust (and get a job in the spy biz) under the new Royal regime of King Charles II. Nothing too heavy, but well-written and engaging from the start. Features real people from history--George Downing was Samuel Pepys' boss, etc.

Review by

This book was an enjoyable read however the characters were a bit too stereotypical for my tastes. I would read other books by this author. There is one character who has a love for animals but it became comical by the end. While this may have been intentional the comical aspect did not seem to fit well with the flow of the plot. I would put this as a decent book but if you are into mystery I prefer Rollins or Reichs.

Review by

Genre:  Historical Mystery

Rating: Very Good

A complexly woven mystery set in the aftermath of the Restoration. Tomas Chaloner was a spy for Therloe, the spymaster for the now dead and not missed Cromwell. Charles II is firmly in place but there is still much thoughts of revenge and suspicion regarding those who were seen as helping Cromwell and killing the King when he took power.

Chaloner is newly returned from Holland where he’d been spying on the Dutch, and is now penniless and masterless.  He becomes sucked into conspiracies, or at least perceived conspiracies and finds himself unable to trust anyone but his Dutch lover.

Then things get even more complicated.

Colorful and detailed settings, well developed characters and a mystery that keeps one guessing throughout most of the book.

Review by

 A new character in a competely different period and setting from her other detective series. An interesting character to choose - a bit of an outsider. A bit convoluted and it started quite slowly. But certainly interesting enough that I'm looking out for the second book in the series.

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