cover image Fugitive from the Grave

Fugitive from the Grave

Edward Marston. Allison & Busby, $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7490-2290-7

Set in 1817, Marston’s rollicking fourth Bow Street Rivals mystery (after 2017’s Date with the Executioner) pits bounty hunter twin brothers Peter and Paul Skillen against the Bow Street Runners, London’s first official police force. Three straightforward story lines keep the action moving. One follows the mainly failed attempts of the official police to beat the brothers in their quest to apprehend wily and rather likable thief Harry Scattergood. Another involves Peter’s efforts on the behalf of Clemency van Emden, a well-to-do woman who has come to London in search of her estranged father. In the third, Paul hunts for the dastardly highwaymen who robbed the coach carrying his attractive companion, Hannah Granville, the “finest actress of her generation.” Kidnapping, grave robbing, stalking, theatrical peccadilloes, and miraculous inventions keep the reader entertained, as do visits to inns, pubs, restaurants, and brothels, not to mention some daring gallops along the road between London and Bath. Marston skillfully creates a lively sense of derring-do. (Aug.)