Fatal Forgery (The Sam Plank Mysteries)

Written by Susan Grossey

Given the present-day banking scandals that regularly hit the headlines, Fatal Forgery does what all good historical fiction should do and mirrors our current time with an event in the past: in this case, a banking scandal of 1824. When Constable Samuel Plank is sent to arrest the prominent banker Henry Fauntleroy a mysterious case of forgery unfolds. The prosecution seems very clear-cut, especially as the banker is happy to plead guilty, and this is what troubles constable Plank, as he attempts to unravel why the banker has committed this crime so openly, especially as forgery carried a death penalty at the time.

It was not until after I had finished reading that I discovered this is based on a factual happening, perhaps it would be nice if the author slipped an author’s note in to this effect? The novel shows a depth of knowledge one would expect from the author as she is an anti-money laundering consultant by trade. Susan Grossey manages to weave a tale of mystery and suspense through what could be a very dry subject. With accounts of the justices system of the time and detailed courtroom drama this novel is a good piece of first-time fiction from this author.