Dark Waters

Overview

Blake's A Dark Anatomy has been called "impressive" (Publishers Weekly) and "a solid winner" (Booklist) and Dark Waters, the second book in the Cragg & Fidelis series, will leave readers hungry for more

Preston, 1741. The drowning of drunken publican Antony Egan is no surprise—even if it comes as an unpleasant shock to coroner Titus Cragg, whose wife was the old man’s niece. But he does his duty to the letter, and the inquest’s verdict is accidental ...

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Dark Waters

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Overview

Blake's A Dark Anatomy has been called "impressive" (Publishers Weekly) and "a solid winner" (Booklist) and Dark Waters, the second book in the Cragg & Fidelis series, will leave readers hungry for more

Preston, 1741. The drowning of drunken publican Antony Egan is no surprise—even if it comes as an unpleasant shock to coroner Titus Cragg, whose wife was the old man’s niece. But he does his duty to the letter, and the inquest’s verdict is accidental death. Meanwhile the town is agog with rumour and faction, as the General Election is only a week away and the two local seats are to be contested by four rival candidates. But Cragg’s close friend, Dr. Luke Fidelis, finds evidence to cast doubt on the events leading to Egan’s demise.

 

Soon suspicions are further roused when a well-to-do farmer collapses and it appears he was in town on political business. Is there a conspiracy afoot? The Mayor and Council have their own way of imposing order, but Cragg is determined not to be swayed by their pressure. With the help of Fidelis’s scientific ingenuity the true criminals are brought to light.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A contested election in 1741 Preston, England, propels Blake’s particularly clever second historical featuring the investigative team of coroner Titus Cragg and Dr. Luke Fidelis (after 2012’s A Dark Anatomy). The drowning death of Antony Egan, an inn landlord related to Cragg by marriage, appears to be accidental, until an eel fisherman’s testimony raises questions about the wind direction on the river that day. If the fisherman is correct, then Egan’s hat, found on a bush overhanging the water, could not have been blown there. Cragg speculates that the hotly fought battle between Tories and Whigs could be behind the murder, after finding a list dropped by a shady political operative with Egan’s name crossed out. Another suspicious death, that of farmer John Allcroft, who was, like Egan, an intended Tory voter, reinforces Cragg’s theory. Even experienced mystery readers will be surprised by the logical solution—and gratified at how much effort the author put into carefully constructing the plot. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
“Titus and Luke’s second case is a fine mystery, awash in period detail.” —Booklist

“Particularly clever . . . Even experienced mystery readers will be surprised and gratified.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Praise for A Dark Anatomy:

“An impressive whodunit.” —Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Fascinating . . . Cragg and Fidelis make a terrific detecting duo . . . Blake’s knowledge of an eighteenth-century backwater just shaking off medieval superstitions is deep and engaging. A solid winner.” —Booklist (starred)

“Blake uses this setting to show the times, the people and events in a book you won’t be able to put down. Flawless . . . a fascinating mystery with psychological underpinnings. The next book will be eagerly anticipated.” —RT Book Reviews

“Blake starts his story with a bang and keeps the reader engaged to the end.”

—MysteryTribune.com

Kirkus Reviews
Politics, religion and murder in Georgian England. When Titus Cragg, lawyer and coroner, and his friend Dr. Luke Fidelis (A Dark Anatomy, 2012) are called to the scene of an apparent drowning, they little know that this is just the first in a series of dead bodies coming their way. Innkeeper Antony Egan, the uncle of Titus' wife, was a drunk, so it comes as no surprise that he apparently slipped into the river and drowned, leaving the inn to his two daughters. Meanwhile, the Lancashire town of Preston is in turmoil over a hotly contested parliamentary election. Followers of the Whigs, who currently hold power, and the Tories, who favor the deposed Stuarts, are willing to do almost anything to get their men elected. Only a small fraction of the locals, and no Catholics, are allowed to vote. So when a wealthy farmer suddenly dies at an inn and Luke proves that he was poisoned, Titus begins to wonder if someone is killing off likely voters. Rumors are spreading that the farmer died of a plaguelike disease; the election may be disrupted if people flee. A serving maid who was turned away from Egan's inn for loose behavior served the poisoned dish to the farmer, but Titus finds more likely suspects in a political agent and his mysterious aide. Several attempts on his life prove that his investigations have touched a nerve. Titus and Luke's second case is a fine mystery, awash in period detail, with enough suspects to make things interesting.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250006738
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/20/2013
  • Series: Cragg & Fidelis Mysteries Series , #2
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,074,541
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBIN BLAKE is the author of acclaimed works on the artists Van Dyck and Stubbs. He has written, produced and presented extensively for radio, is widely published as a critic, and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brunel University. He lives in London.

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