Where Honesty Never Ends.
Murder by Misrule by Anna Castle
Amazon Author Page
Note: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Historical Mystery Fiction
Francis Bacon is charged with investigating the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray’s Inn. He recruits his unwanted protégé Thomas Clarady to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a privateer, Clarady will do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. Bacon’s powerful uncle Lord Burghley suspects Catholic conspirators of the crime, but other motives quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the murdered man’s legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets. Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and padded sleeve. Even the brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss — and in danger — until he sees through the disguises of the season of Misrule.
Greetings and welcome to The Review Board. Today on TRB we will bring the musings of our very own Harmony Kent. Harmony will elaborate on Murder by Misrule by Anna Castle. Harmony, take it away.
This novel is set in 1500s England and is based upon fictional lives of real historical figures. A prominent barrister is found dead by a disgraced Bencher, who is then charged with investigating the murder. Francis Bacon enlists the help of his young protégés to help him do the legwork. Political and social intrigues abound in this historical mystery.
This kind of book is usually right up my street, and I looked forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I found the pacing incredibly slow, especially in the first half of the book, so much so that I wanted to give up. It did pick up later on but remained interspersed with tedious bits.
Also, this is set in England in the 1500s, and so I would not expect to see American-English spelling throughout. I’m sorry, but this just spoiled the whole effect for me. While the author did a good job in researching Olde English words, the American spelling conventions wrecked that effort. Were I to base a book in America, I would research American spelling and terminology to ensure authenticity.
This is a book that left me with mixed feelings, as some of it amused greatly while a lot of it left me flat and unmoved. With so many characters and POVs at the beginning, I found it difficult to connect with any one of them.
Add to all of that the passive writing, the abundance of filter words and overuse of exclamation marks!!!! and it all felt like a let-down. And then one line, in particular, stood out when the writer used Choleric incorrectly:
‘He was a man of choleric humour: made for sunshine, laughter, and good fellowship.’
Choleric means the opposite of those positives and rather indicates ill-tempered, irascible, and crabby, etc.
So, all in all, an okay read but one that just didn’t grab my attention or interest. It gets 6 out of 10 TRB stars, which equates to 3 out of 5 stars on other rating scales, and is one above give it a chance if you dare.
Well, once again, there you have it folks. 6 out of 10 TRB Stars. Thanks, as always, for stopping by. Don’t forget to Like, Share and Subscribe. Have a wonderful day!