Monday, November 18, 2013

Murder as a Fine Art

I gotta admit it, I am particularly attracted to mystery novels with an interesting, or even exotic, setting. David Morrell's book, Murder as a Fine Art, features Detective Shawn Ryan, one of the first detectives on the London police force.

Morrell's book takes place in the mid-19th Century, and he slips lots of historical facts about life, mores and politics in Victorian England, the evolving methodology of the relatively new police force, and the darker side of British rule in India, its pursuit of the opium trade and covert efforts to destabilize Europe.

The fascinating Thomas de Quincey, author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater, plays a considerable role in the book.  The most interesting character is his daughter Emily, a thoroughly modern woman of the time.

The mystery takes a number of dark psychological turns and is fascinating in and of itself, but the historical background is what made this book so appealing to me.  Give it a read if you want something light and entertaining.

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