The Salisbury Manuscript

Written by Philip Gooden
Review by Tess Allegra

In a Victorian world of stormy nights, the Slater family of Salisbury learns of a document written by a dissipated forebear that could damage their family’s reputation. Lawyer Tom Ansell is sent from London to retrieve this manuscript from Canon Felix Slater, whose obsession with artifacts and heritage restrains him from destroying a piece of history, however damaging. Felix’s estranged and profligate brother, Percy, decides to impart family secrets of his own to his young son, Walter, whom he considers a traitor for going into the church and living his life in Felix’s shadow. The revelations have devastating consequences. When one of the brothers is found murdered, Tom Ansell must remain in Salisbury to clear his name and find a killer who could silence him for his knowledge of the Salisbury Manuscript. Tom’s fiancée, Helen, joins him, and they race alongside danger trying to trap the villain. With Tom’s legal mind and Helen’s sensible methods, they work well as a complementary sleuthing duo in this promising new Victorian series.