Secret Mischief

Robin Blake. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9070-2
Set in 1746 Lancashire, Blake’s gripping seventh mystery featuring coroner Titus Cragg and physician Luke Fidelis (after 2020’s Death and the Chevalier) finds Cragg answering farmer Richard Giggleswick’s plea for an inquest into “the death of a member of the family.” But the deceased turns out to be a pig, and Cragg leaves the farm feeling both irritated and amused. Three days later, someone fatally shoots Giggleswick near his piggery. When Cragg investigates, he discovers a document that links the farmer to a group of people who made a wager with dangerous consequences more than 20 years before. Aided by the impulsive, passionate Fidelis, Cragg shows intelligence, fairness, and an ability to strategize as he tries to determine whether subsequent deaths are natural or otherwise. The well-paced unfolding of the group’s hidden secrets more than compensates for the relatively weak resolution, which involves the fates of an arrogant lawyer and a former prostitute. Historical fans will be well satisfied. Agent: Cara Jones, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.). (May)
Reviewed on : 03/10/2021
Release date: 05/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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