If you know me, you know I enjoy historical mysteries. It’s rare for me to find really engaging and readable ones from before the 1700’s, so I was thrilled when Mike Ward asked me to read his novel Rags of Time, the first in a series. It was well-written and plotted, but what I love about historical mysteries is all the tiny details used to create the era and to give the story realistic depth. Mr. Ward has certainly done his research!
Here’s the overview:
‘A satisfying, brooding mystery set in Stuart England anticipating the coming Civil War.’ Paul Walker, author of State of Treason
Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.
A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.
But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.
Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.
Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.
In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.
Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?
And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?
Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century. Recommended for fans of Andrew Taylor, CJ Sansom and SJ Parris.
Praise for Michael Ward:
‘I loved it; a wickedly dark murder mystery set in Stuart London.’ Jemahl Evans, author of The Last Roundhead
Michael Ward is a former journalist and academic. He now runs his own consultancy providing content services and training to a wide range of British companies and public sector organisations.
While Mr. Ward sent me a PDF, I never was able to get it converted properly, so I purchased my kindle copy. Today (1/16/22) I see there is a limited time sale of 99 cents for the kindle version on Amazon. It’s a steal!
Thank you, Mike, for reaching out to me!