Saturday 2 April 2022

πŸ“– Hist Fic Saturday ~ Traitor in the Ice by K J Maitland


On Hist fic Saturday

Let's go back to ....England, 1607

31 March

Daniel Pursglove #2

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book

Winter, 1607. A man is struck down in the grounds of Battle Abbey, Sussex. Before dawn breaks, he is dead.

Home to the Montagues, Battle has caught the paranoid eye of King James. The Catholic household is rumoured to shelter those loyal to the Pope, disguising them as servants within the abbey walls. And the last man sent to expose them was silenced before his report could reach London.

Daniel Pursglove is summoned to infiltrate Battle and find proof of treachery. He soon discovers that nearly everyone at the abbey has something to hide - for deeds far more dangerous than religious dissent. But one lone figure he senses only in the shadows, carefully concealed from the world. Could the notorious traitor Spero Pettingar finally be close at hand?

As more bodies are unearthed, Daniel determines to catch the culprit. But how do you unmask a killer when nobody is who they seem?

πŸ“– My Review.. 

Traitor in the Ice is the second book in this historical crime series which sees Daniel Pursglove, once again, on a dangerous mission. This time is he charged with the task of infiltrating Battle Abbey, home to the staunchly Catholic Viscountess Montague whose impressive home is a hotbed of recusant activity. The last pursuivant to undertake this task has been found dead, in suspicious circumstances, so it is with some trepidation that Purslove enters the fray only to find that there are more secrets at Battle Abbey than he could ever have imagined.

Spending time again with Daniel Pursglove is a real treat especially as his unorthodox methods of investigation invariably draw him right into the centre of recusant conspiracy with, it must be said, devastating consequences. Add into the mix the country's growing resentment towards King James I, the gossip and intrigue of the Jacobean court, the inherent danger of being a Catholic in a Protestant land, and you have all the right ingredients for a lively and engrossing mystery.

Intelligently written, with a real sense of time and place, we go back to a time which has been so faithfully recreated it feels like stepping off a time machine into the age of the great frost of 1607 when the country was halted by a cold which cut so deep that people froze where they lay, and the equally chilling atmosphere of Battle Abbey, with its secret passage ways and strange portents, is brought vividly to life. The dangerous world of Catholic intrigue is very much the focus of the novel, placing those would hear the forbidden Catholic mass right at the centre of the story. Battle Abbey with its hidden priest holes and dark and shadowy corners is the perfect eerie setting for an engrossing novel which plunges you deep into the dark secrets of the past.

🍷Best Read with.. a cup of small ale, heady with yeast, and a bowl of mutton pottage

K J Maitland is an historical novelist, lecturer and teacher of Creative Writing, with over twenty books to her name. She grew up in Malta, which inspired her passion for history, and travelled and worked all over the world before settling in the United Kingdom. She has a doctorate in psycho linguistics, and now lives on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.

Twitter #KJMaitland #TraitorInTheIce #DanielPursglove


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