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The Amorous Nightingale (Christopher Redmayne Mysteries) Paperback – January 15, 2011
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Set against the backdrop of London post 1666, The Amorous Nightingale invokes all the licentiousness and dissipation so often associated with the period. Fops and fools jostle with Puritans and thinking men and the newly restored theatres are a hotbed of sin and frivolity. Redmayne and Bale are an unlikely pairing, but their friendship, trust and differing outlooks form the bedrock for this enjoyable Restoration romp. (Historical Novels Review)
About the Author
Edward Marston was born and brought up in South Wales. A full-time writer for over thirty years, he has worked in radio, film, television and the theatre, and is a former chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association. He is the author of sixty crime novels set in seven distinct periods of history, and a master of historical fiction. He is the author of the hugely successful Railway Detective series.
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The lead characters, architect Christopher Redmayne and constable Jonathan Bale, are a very unlikely duo, yet very likable men. Harriett Gow, the King's 'Nightingale' mistress has been kidnapped, and he has requested Christopher and Jonathan to help locate her. He knows they will be discrete, thorough, and successful. Pleased with how the men handled their last case, he's decoded to use them for particularly delicate issues. Cases he doesn't want known to everyone in court.
While the story was a good one, and the mystery solid, I felt that some parts of the story were very slow going. I also like to try and guess who the perpetrator is while reading, but it's impossible to do that when his name isn't mentioned till your over halfway through with the book. I don't know, something about that just doesn't seem fair to me. I like to be shocked/surprised when I find out who the villain is. Not find out that it's someone I'm barely familiar with.
Overall it wasn't a terrible book, but between the two, I definitely liked the first one better. I'm not ready to throw in the towel on this series just yet though. I'm gonna give myself a little break to read some other books, then come back to this series in a month or two. Hopefully book number three doesn't disappoint.
After reading one of the author's books, I avidly sought out all the other books by Edward Marston and not a single one has ever disappointed me. They are about a period of history that I love. His Elizabethan theatre series of books were wonderful and he has continued them through from 1988 to 2006. The Domesday series is also a great series and this series of books featuring Christopher Redmayne is equally as good.
Harriet Gow is an accomplished and well loved singer and a beauty of some renown. But more than that she has the eye of King Charles II and is his favourite mistress. After seeing her perform, the architect, Christopher Redmayne is also captivated, along with most of the men of Restoration London. Imagine Redmayne's surprise when he summoned to the palace by the king. Harriet has been kidnapped and Christopher with the help of his friend, Jonathan Bale, a Puritan constable is asked to do his best to solve this delicate mystery. Christopher soon finds that Harriet's life is entwined in avarice and jealousy. The two men begin to question whether Harriet Gow is the victim, or maybe the guilty party and then a brutal murder provides the answer . . .
Christopher Redmayne is a young architect. He is struggling to make a name for himself in London. While he is occupied building a home for a wealthy admirer of Mrs. Gow, he receives a summons to visit the King. Christopher must also bring Constable Bale with him. Due to the success of past services, the King feels that he can count on Redmayne and Bale for help with sensitive matters.
It seems that Mrs. Gow has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. The King wishes his relationship with Mrs. Gow to be kept secret for two reasons: first, the fact that Mrs. Gow is married would cause a scandal, and secondly he doesn't have enough ready cash to pay the ransom.
So, Christopher and constable Bale must investigate without revealing the King's interest in the case.
Will Christopher and Bale find Mrs. Gow before the kidnappers act on their threat to kill her if the ransom isn't paid?
Edward Marston is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy his easy-to-read style of writing. In this novel I was baffled until the reveal.
For me, this was an enjoyable novel that was fun to read.
Acclaimed beauty and singer Harriet Gow has earned a position envied by every woman of the Restoration period: she is the King's favorite mistress. After seeing her perform, Christopher Redmayne is also capitvated and, with the impression Harriet made still lingering in his mind, he is summoned urgently by Charles II. Harriet has been kidnapped, and Redmayne, with the help of his friend Jonathan Bale -- a Puritan constable -- is engaged to resolve this delicate affair.
The facade of elegance and gentility soon begins to crumble in the face of their investigations. Harriet is, indeed, an amorous nightingale; the fabric of her life entangled in jealousy, avarice and lust. Just as Redmayne and Bale start to question whether she is really the victim or the guilty party a brutal murder provides the answer...