Wednesday 1 June 2022

πŸ“– Featured Book of the Month ~ Notes of Change by Susan Grossey

In the autumn of 1829, the body of a wealthy young man is found dumped in a dust-pit behind one of London's most exciting new venues. Constable Sam Plank's enquiries lead him from horse auctions to houses of correction, and from the rarefied atmosphere of the Bank of England to the German-speaking streets of Whitechapel. And when he comes face to face with an old foe, he finds himself considering shocking compromises...

The new and highly organised Metropolitan Police are taking to the streets, calling into question the future of the magistrates' constables. Sam's junior constable, William Wilson, is keen, but what is an old campaigner like Sam to do when faced with the new force and its little black book of instructions?

πŸ“– My Review...

Few reviews have given me as much pleasure to write than those of the Constable Sam Plank series of historical crime novels. I first started my journey in 2013 when a new author approached Jaffareadstoo to read and review, Fatal Forgery, the first book in a proposed seven book series. 

Always happy to give new authors a chance, I very quickly realised that this series was historical gold and have lost count at how many times I have recommended the books, delighting in each adventure and engrossed as soon as I opened the page at Chapter One. Getting to know Sam, his wife, Martha, and his assistant, William has been a joy, and as each subsequent story took me deeper into the mean and moody streets of Regency London, so I became engrossed in Sam's valiant quest for justice for the community which he serves so stoically.

So it was with an element of bitter-sweetness that I approached Sam's last adventure on the streets of London, a place which he has made pretty much his own. Notes of Change starts when Constable Plank and his assistant, William are called to investigate the mysterious death of a young man who has been found close to one of London's newest establishments. That there is something suspicious about this death is obvious and Sam's investigation will take him into the dangerous world of gambling and the heinous crime of counterfeiting. 

As with any last book in a long running series there is a sense of the tying up of loose ends, I was especially pleased to see the brief return of an old character, and with the formation of the newly formed Metropolitan Police Force there is definitely a change in the air for both Sam and William as each ponders their future.

Finishing the book with an air of sadness but also the satisfaction which comes from a story well told, I took the time to acknowledge the skill of this wonderfully talented author who has fed my imagination with bright and bold stories, rich in Georgian history, and ferociously alive with intrigue. Jaffareadstoo is especially honoured to have been quoted both on the inside of the books and also to be featured on a couple of the book covers.

Meticulously researched, and beautifully written as ever, I have no hesitation in making Notes of Change my Featured Book of the Month in June.

πŸ“– Best Read with... tankard of dark ale and a generous slice Mrs Plank's rabbit pie.

Discover more about Susan's writing and the world of Sam Plank

Twitter @ConstablePlank

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