The Devil’s Tongue: Bresciano Accused

Written by Mary Chiappe Sam Benady
Review by Ann Northfield

Set in Gibraltar in the spring of 1793, this novel has a real sense, particularly, of place. There is a plan included so the reader can follow the action exactly, and the enclosed setting makes the book somewhat reminiscent of cosy murder tales such as by Agatha Christie or the murder in different places series from M.M Kaye. Giovanni Bresciano is faced with a serious problem: the body of his arch-enemy Percival Rogers is discovered on his property after a fire. Bresciano is filled with horror and harbours deep suspicions about his family members. Could his mother or his fiancée be responsible? And if so, what should he reveal and what should he keep back?

There are many things about the mystery that don’t add up, such as the corpse having wet hair, the fact it bleeds apparently after death and that someone takes the trouble to rescue the corpse from the fire. No one is particularly distraught by the death of such a nasty villain, but justice demands that the killer is identified. There are many satisfying red herrings and plot twists, which are all pulled together at the end. This is the fifth in the series, and its fans will be very content with the latest. Recommended.