The Changeling Murders
Thief taker Charlie Tuesday returns to 1667 London in the fourth Thief Taker series by C. S. Quinn. This time, Tuesday must find the whereabouts of his beloved friend Maria, abducted on her way to her wedding to the sensible city attorney Percy Berry. The price for Maria’s release is the solution to the riddle of the green-and-gold dress, and the Lord and Lady that disappeared from the Tower of London during Cromwell’s time. All so that self-proclaimed fairy changeling Tom Black can switch places with the boy he was forced to replace decades earlier.
Quinn’s previous Thief Taker novels have gained praise for their descriptions of London after the Great Fire. The Changeling Murders is no exception. Travel author Quinn builds on her expertise to take readers into Cheapside, Drury Lane theaters, Finsbury Gaol, New Bedlam, and Shambles streets still scorched and scarred. The plot is fast-paced as Tuesday and a friend piece together clues that lead them to the Lord and Lady, and Maria comes to understand the shame that stalks Black.
The pace of the story feels rushed at times, moving a bit too far ahead, at least for this reader. The conflict plaguing Black, who is labeled the embodiment of all the dark things that stalk the night, could be more deeply explored. Nonetheless, I was genuinely surprised by the identities of the Lord and Lady, and I enjoyed Tuesday’s adventures, even if they did a bit of a zig and zag along the backstreets of 17th-century London.