Guns in the North

Written by P. F. Chisholm
Review by Lisa Redmond

Guns in the North brings together the first three books (A Famine of HorsesA Season of Knives and A Surfeit of Guns) of P. F. Chisholm’s Sir Robert Carey mystery series, first published in the mid-1990s and now available in one volume for the first time.

The books detail Sir Robert Carey’s appointment as Deputy Warden of the English West March in 1592. These are tales full of adventure, conflict and humour. The locals of Carlisle and the surrounding districts have a variety of reasons for disliking and distrusting the London courtier sent to keep the peace, not least his fine clothes, fine manners and fine way with a sword. But the border marches of Elizabethan England are a place of constant conflict, theft, kidnap and murder, and Sir Robert Carey soon proves he has the daring, the wit and the courage to take on even the most cut-throat of villains.

Managing to stay just within the law, Sir Robert soon makes his name known as one to watch, both to the lawless bands of Scottish and English clans outside the city walls and his supposed colleagues scheming within. Along with the action, adventure and derring-do, each book presents a murder and another mystery to be solved, such as hundreds of stolen horses, stolen and dangerously faulty guns, and the kidnap of his own beloved but married Elizabeth. The books are full of romance and intrigue with a great mix of real and imagined characters. The plots unfold with all the drama of a Wild West tale and will have broad appeal to those who enjoy historical adventure and historical mystery alike. Perfect for fans of Diana Gabaldon, Dorothy Dunnett and S. J. Parris.