The Repentant Rake
In a London still recovering from the Great Fire, Christopher Redmayne is busy pursuing his architect’s career when his rakehell brother Henry seeks his help to deal with blackmail and a death threat. Before he knows it, Christopher finds himself working along with his reluctant friend, constable Jonathon Bale, on a murder case linked to Henry’s plight. And just what ties the whole tangle to Christopher’s latest clients, the choleric Sir Julius Cheever – late of Cromwell’s Army – and his charming daughter? Marston tells a lively whodunit, brimming with damsels in distress, Puritans, Cavaliers, dissolute men about town, midnight ambushes, card games, danger, romance, and quite a few twists and turns. I had a few quibbles with the portrayal of Restoration social niceties (would an unmarried young lady go unchaperoned to an unrelated bachelor’s lodgings? Would all these rakes be so unacquainted with the very notion of blackmail?), but if you are not after copious historical detail, this third offering in the Restoration Series provides an entertaining, well-paced, and engaging read.