This is the first novel from the author of 100 Must-Read Historical Novels, and Rennison has clearly used his wide reading wisely to craft an excellent adventure novel set in 1870. Traveller and gentleman Adam Carver and his not-so-dutiful and somewhat grumpy sidekick, Quint, become embroiled in a mystery connected to a lost manuscript which may lead to a wonderful treasure. Murder and political secrets are combined as Carver and Quint follow the trail from down-at-heel London to a strange monastery in rural Greece with elements of an Indiana Jones-type or Sherlock Holmes-type chase.
The book has an elegant, precise and amusing style, which is very readable. It really is a page turner which all historical fiction fans will relish. It is fast-paced and well plotted, yet oozing with period detail and imagination. This is labelled as book one, and I for one am already looking forward to the next in the series. Is there room for a number 101? Very possibly, and certainly this is very highly recommended. I enjoyed it immensely; it is the best historical novel I have read for some time.