Death in St James's Park Hardback
Part of the Adventures of Thomas Chaloner series
Five years after Charles II's triumphant return to London there is growing mistrust of his extravagant court and of corruption among his officials - and when a cart laden with gunpowder explodes outside the General Letter Office, it is immediately clear that such an act is more than an expression of outrage at the inefficiency of the postal service.
As intelligencer to the Lord Chamberlain, Thomas Chaloner cannot understand why a man of known incompetence is put in charge of investigating the attack while he is diverted to make enquiries about the poisoning of birds in the King's aviary in St James's Park.
He becomes even more suspicious of his employer's motives when he discovers that the witnesses he needs to interview have close links to the business conducted in the General Letter Office, activities more firmly centred on intercepting people's mail than delivering it. Then human rather than avian victims are poisoned, and Chaloner knows he has to ignore his master's instructions and use his own considerable wits to defeat an enemy whose deadly tentacles reach into the very heart of the government: an enemy who has the power and expertise to destroy anyone who stands in the way ...
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 464 pages, map (black and white)
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 17/01/2013
- Category: Historical mysteries
- ISBN: 9781847444349
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Review by Romonko
The Thomas Chaloner series is an excellent one. For those who love high intensity espionage with likeable and believable characters set in a historical setting that is no wonderfully depicted, and one with actual historical figures taking part in the action, this is the series for you. In this book Thomas is tasked by his Earl to find out who is poisoning King Charles II birds who are housed in St. Jame's Park. What starts out as a seemingly simple investigation turns into wild tear across London while Thomas's leads more and more deadly and threatening occurrences. Soon it is apparent that the birds are only a small part of a much more sinister plot and bodies appear to be piling up all over the place. Thomas puts his life at risk more than once while he tries to stop the plotting and killing. The action in this book takes place over a very hectic two weeks right in the midst of a January cold snap. The year is 1665 and Londoners are disgruntled and unhappy with the state of their city. Ms. Gregory sets a very tense pace and there is a lot of action within this two week period. Poor Thomas is at his wits end trying to find out what is really going on, and he finds himself utterly alone as he doesn't know who to trust, and his best ally ,who is old boss under the parliamentary regime, seems to be cutting himself off from him. This is an excellent series for history buffs and for lovers of espionage tales.