The Amorous Nightingale

Written by Edward Marston
Review by Sara Wilson

In this, the second outing for Christopher Redmayne and Jonathon Bale, the architect and the constable are tasked by Charles II to locate his latest amour, Harriet Gow. Mrs Gow, a noted actress and singer, has been kidnapped by persons unknown and a huge ransom demanded – a ransom which the king is either unwilling or unable to pay. Matters do not seem too serious until her missing maid is discovered beaten to death and the search takes on a deadly urgency. Suspects abound, lies are told and the redoubtable duo have several brushes with violence before the culprit is revealed.

Set against the backdrop of London post 1666, The Amorous Nightingale invokes all the licentiousness and dissipation so often associated with the period. Fops and fools jostle with Puritans and thinking men and the newly restored theatres are a hotbed of sin and frivolity. Redmayne and Bale are an unlikely pairing, but their friendship, trust and differing outlooks form the bedrock for this enjoyable Restoration romp.