today I wanted to post a review of The Sweet Smell of Decay (June 2009, 448 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-1905636426], by Paul Lawrence
"It's London,1664, and Harry has a big problem. He's just discovered he has a young cousin, Anne Giles, and he’s had the pleasure of meeting her for the first time – mutilated and laid out on the slab for an autopsy. His father has tasked him with job of tracking down Anne’s murderer. Harry has some robust assistance from one David Dowling, a resourceful and impressively well-built, but equally hygiene-deficient, butcher. Together they follow a trail of blood, conspiracy and corruption that takes them to the dark and murky corners of Restoration London, featuring a great cast of ne'er-do-wells, cheeky wenches, harmless witches, likeable villains, and not a few unsavoury fellows keen on sending Lytle and his companion to an early grave"As you see there is no review. I finished the book this morning and to be honest the time was to short to write a proper review within today. I hope you will understand.
But I can tell you so far that the first novel in the The Chronicles of Harry Lytle series has been a great, great read. Please expect my review on April 27th 2010.
I have been so impressed by The Sweet Smell of Decay that today I ordered the second book in the series in advance.
A Plague of Sinners (May 2010, 448 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-1905636914], by Paul Lawrence
"July 1665. The great plague rages rampant outside London’s city walls. Harry Lytle makes a welcome return after his trials and tribulations in The Sweet Smell of Decay to investigate the murder of the Earl of St Albans. A grisly dinner-table death starts Harry off on the trail, and it’s not long before his familiar accomplice, Dowling the butcher, joins him on the case. Their master, Lord Arlington, head of the King’s intelligence service, tasks them with uncovering the name and motive of the Earl’s murderer. But there will be plenty more deaths and scrapes for Harry before the name is revealed."
Fortunately the blurb does not contain spoilers. I hope you believe me that I can't wait to read it. Paul Lawrence's writing is so alluring......
Let me finish this post with a tasty morsel quoted from The Sweet Smell of Decay:
"There are lessons to be learned in the art of being imprisoned. These include:
1) Eat all the food they give you, no matter how foul it is. Else the rats will come and eat it.
2) Choose one corner in which you sit. Take care that it is not the lower part of the floor. Use the farthest corner to piss and shit.
3) Regard your body and your mind as two different entities. If you cannot dissociate your brain from the rats and the roaches and all the bugs that walk about your body, the you will go mad." [p. 357+358]