London, 1670. The completion of his new project could not run more smoothly for Christopher Redmayne. Commissioned to design a new house for the merchant Francis Polegate, Redmayne is pleased that everything has gone without a hitch. To celebrate the success of the venture, Polegate throws a party and invites him as an honored guest. Also invited are Susan Cheever, Redmane’s sweetheart, her father, Sir Julius Cheever MP, and Bernard Everett, Polegate’s brother-in-law. But the party comes to an abrupt end when one of the guests is murdered upon leaving the house . . .
"A gripping saga set in the confusing world that followed Charles II's return to the throne of England. Set in London 1670, architect Christopher Redmayne is celebrating the success of his latest design: a house for merchant Francis Polegate. The only problem is that when Polegate's brother in law, Bernard Everett MP leaves the house he is shot dead. The party comes to an abrupt end. Christopher Redmayne finds himself inevitably drawn into the task of finding the identity of Everett's murderer. The list of those who wanted him dead are quite numerous - he was somewhat outspoken and had radical views. To make matters worse, Everett's close friend Sir Julius Cheever (and the father of Redmayne's sweetheart) comes under attack. There are attempts on his life as well as attempts to destroy his character. What is the connection? A convoluted plot leads to an unexpected twist in the very last sentences. You think all the answers have been found and then comes the surprise. The momentum is brilliantly kept up throughout the story. You can really smell and feel the tension amid a confusing political situation where very different political views are beginning to learn to live with each other. A book to relax with yet guaranteed to keep you reading until the very last page. Characterization is believable; the people seem to leap off the page. Well worth reading for its glimpses into Stuart London and the boisterous court of King Charles as well as for its very engrossing storyline."
Monsters and Critics
"This is the fifth outing after a three-year break for the mismatched sleuths, and as usual Marston has written a sparkling tale seasoned with humour and period knowledge."
Historical Novels Review"I love the suggestion that the architect Redmayne is helping to build a new society from the ruins of the old, and Marston's interruption of that idealism with the splash of blood across the doorstep of his "creation". Marston doesn't lament the Restoration, like Cheever, nor does he entirely celebrate it. Like his hero, he finds twisting paths, and follows them. I look forward to the next Redmayne mystery."
Reviewing the Evidence