The Hidden Man
In 1742, a pawnbroker is found shot to death behind his locked office door. Lawyer/Coroner Titus Cragg believes it to be a suicide after the pawnbroker is suspected of losing the town’s money—money stored with him for safekeeping—by investing in the risky Guinea Trade. As Cragg investigates, along with his friend, Dr. Fidelis, cruel slave traders, insurance scams and the myth of a lost treasure from the Civil War are revealed. After the insurance broker, who insured the slave ship, is found mutilated and murdered out on the moor, Cragg and Fidelis rush to fit all the clues together.
Blake’s prose is powerful, and the mystery had me hooked. Both Cragg and Fidelis are strong and honorable characters, yet have their flaws to make them human. The mayor of the town, a blustery, angry man, is the perfect and amusing foil for the protagonists. The mystery is solved in a believable way, though one storyline is left dangling. I didn’t want the novel to end and highly recommend this engrossing read set in a not often explored time in history.