2015 Books of the Year: Historical Mystery Runner-up

Runner-up, Historical Mystery. Inspector of the Dead by David Morrell. Quality historical mysteries should have interesting characters including a good villain and also capture the atmosphere of the setting. Morrell’s second book featuring 19th century author Thomas de Quincey and his daughter, Emily de Quincey, assisting Scotland Yard in mid-century London has all of these elements and more. Prior to returning to their home city of Edinburgh, father and daughter agree to attend one last service at St. James’s Church with their friends, Detectives Ryan and Becker. But when a dead body appears in a curtained pew, they are drawn in to a complex mystery involving an assassin killing and threatening members of the nobility all the way up to the Queen herself. Morrell creates a fine, psychological thriller in this sequel to “Murder as a Fine Art.” The only flaw is that he fails to fully reintroduce the main characters, so readers should consider finishing the good, though less worthy, debut novel to get a better understanding of de Quincey and others.

For all my previous “books of the year” lists, see my dedicated page for these titles.

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