Booklist Starred Review " Introducing physician-sleuth Dr Gabriel Taverner in the first of an intriguing series of mysteries set in early 17th century Devon. Read more...
Booklist Starred Review " Introducing physician-sleuth Dr Gabriel Taverner in the first of an intriguing series of mysteries set in early 17th century Devon.
1603. Former ship's surgeon Gabriel Taverner is attempting to re-establish himself as a country physician in rural Devon. But it's not easy to gain the locals' trust, and a series of disturbing incidents, increasing in menace and intensity, convinces him that at least one person does not welcome his presence. Called out to examine a partially decomposed body found beside the river, Gabriel discovers that he has a personal connection to the dead man. Teaming up with Coroner Theophilus Davey to find out how the man died, Gabriel uncovers some darker aspects of the lucrative silk trade which operates from nearby Plymouth. The more he finds out, the more frighteningly apparent it becomes that the people closest to him have been keeping dangerous secrets.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-31
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in 1603, Clares gripping series launch introduces Gabriel Taverner, a former ships surgeon whos having difficulties building a medical practice in his home county of Devon. The local coroner, Theophilus Davey, asks Gabriel to examine a decomposing body discovered at an abandoned hovel by the Tavy River. Theres no doubt about the cause of death. The corpse was run through the gut with a blade, and since the hands are gripping the weapons shaft, Gabriel believes that the death is a suicide. Hes later shaken to learn that the dead man was Jeromy Palfrey, an agent for wealthy silk merchant Nicolaus Quinlie and the husband of Gabriels beloved sister, Celia. When further investigation proves that Jeromy was murdered, Gabriel must prove Celia innocent of the deed. Clare (The Night Wanderer and six other Aelf Fen medieval mysteries) vividly evokes 17th-century Devon. Characters who are complex individuals complement the well-paced and pleasantly twisty plot. (Jan.)