The Tenants of Cinnamon Street

Written by Seamas Duffy
Review by Richard Tearle

William Day begins his legal career at Bow-street Public Office, spending the morning at a gruesome public execution and the afternoon in court…”

In 1811 a grisly murder took place; no robbery was committed. Though crime was common enough in the docklands of Wapping, this murder shocked local residents. But worse was to come, for another murder occurred just a few days later. Magistrates at Shadwell narrowed down the suspects, centring on one man, John ‘Dandy’ Williams, a seaman recently returned from the sea and looking to make his own way as a merchant.

Magistrate Aaron Graham has his doubts, and conducts his own investigation together with new apprentice, William Day, and uncovers not only holes in the prosecution’s case, but also a great conspiracy.

Seamas Duffy has written a gritty, atmospheric and graphic thriller based on an actual case; almost all of his characters, both major and minor, were real people. He has done his research meticulously and presented us with a possible and plausible outcome.

However, I feel the author has been badly let down by his proof-reader, for there are a number of errors that should have been picked up. Spelling and grammar, however, I found no fault with, so a pity, as otherwise this is an excellent read, especially for lovers of Whitechapel and East End London murder mysteries.