Death Called to the Bar
In February 1902, during a feast at the Inns of Court, a senior barrister mysteriously dies. When a second man is shot dead, Lord Francis Powerscourt is called in. As the trail leads to a boarded up country house, Powerscourt realises he is in grave danger.
The author not only recreates the atmosphere of the period but also, to some extent, the style of the late Victorian novel. Lord Francis Powerscourt overshadows the Chief Inspector nominally in charge of the investigation in the manner of the older detective novel. Lord Francis is well drawn and we are introduced to his wife and family in their opulent town house. However, I felt that his explicit conversations with his wife and his hands-on relationship with his children, whilst rounding out his character, were not quite in period. On the other hand, there is a romantic sub-plot involving two well-drawn younger characters ending in a conventionally happy engagement which is absolutely right.
I can recommend this novel to the reader who likes historical detective fiction as much as for the period feel as the actual murder mystery.