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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A puzzling Tudor mystery.

A brilliant depiction of life and death in Henry's London
Ferris Stannum has discovered the elixir of life. A secret many would kill for. And perhaps this is happening because alchemists are dying.  A mysterious illness is affecting others and at the heart is Bianca Goddard who is searching for a way to distill her herbals using alchemists methods, in order to make her concoctions stronger and possibly more effective.
In Bianca's search she is privy to suspect happenings in the death of several denizens of places near low lying areas around the dank and dampness of the Thames River. 
But all is conjecture until the murderer is exposed.
The atmosphere is heightened by the dark look at the underside of areas of London during the medieval period, of the squalor and fetidness of certain parts, of the danger of the sweating disease.
I love the introduction to where Ferris lives, 'in the bowels of a hovel off Ivy Lane.' Gritty!
Lawrence has presented an exacting and exciting murder mystery that reveals how far some may be prepared to go for their loved ones.

A NetGalley ARC

*****

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