Mystery Book Reviews

Book Review: Death and the Cornish Fiddler by Deryn Lake

By Angela Youngman Jul 11, 2006, 0:06 GMT

Book Review: Death and the Cornish Fiddler by Deryn Lake

The spring of 1765 brings a welcome sense of recovery to the recently widowed Apothecary John Rawlings, but his tentative peace of mind does not last for long: a young child disappears in strange circumstances at the Hellstone Floral Dance and a seemingly omnipresent blind musician is never far away. Whilst this mysterious figure intrigues Rawlings, the case of the missing child alarms him: he feels he must do all ...more

What has the disappearance of a child got to do with the murder of a London courtesan in the sleepy West Country town of Helston? Apothecary John Rawlings curiosity is quickly awakened when a visit to see the Helstone Floral Dance is mixed with death. Set in 1765, the story is full of atmosphere and you can really feel the worries and apprehenisions of a small town when things start going wrong.

Reluctant at first to get involved, the Parish Constable finds it hard going and needs John Rawlings help - especially when it becomes clear that there is a coven of Satanists in the area with connections to noble families. And what is the connection with the strangely well educated, travelling blind gypsy violinist? Is he really what he appears to be? The mystery gets ever more convoluted.

A very good story with a believable hero. Life in a small country area during the late eighteenth century is brought vividly to life, complete with the complex relationships between townsmen, nobles and travellers. Well worth reading.

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