cover image The Angel’s Mark

The Angel’s Mark

S.W. Perry. Corvus (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-1-78649-494-8

Set in 1590, this excellent series launch from Perry (the Jackdaw mysteries) introduces London physician Nicholas Shelby, a Suffolk yeoman’s son who attended Cambridge University. During the autopsy of an infant found in the Thames, Nicholas becomes convinced that the child was murdered, but his fellow medical men disagree. After Nicholas suffers a personal tragedy, he questions the worth of going on with his own life, but he’s not so far gone that he isn’t distressed about the discovery of another child’s body in the Thames. The mystery of who is murdering the unfortunates of London unfolds through subtle clues, as Nicholas encounters various suspects on the streets and in taverns and palaces. Bianca Merton, a half-Italian tavern keeper with her own healing arts, provides assistance. Real-life figures such as statesman Robert Cecil and aristocrat John Lumley invigorate the narrative, but idealistic Shelby, who agonizes over how little he understands the workings of the human body, forms the strong center. Historical fans will want to dive into this series. Agent: Jane Judd, Jane C. Judd Literary (U.K.). (Sept.)