Once again Jecks comes up with a winner. This first in a new series has it all--intrigue, deadly court politics, a roguish, likeable anti hero, and murder-- all centered in the firm historical detail of the Elizabethan period during the rebellion of 1554 lead by Jane Grey supporters against Queen Mary.
This engaging mystery tale is told by a bumbling young scapegoat, Jack Blackjack who has the perfectly respectable occupation as a cut purse, living off his wits, along with his fellow gang members, all lead by the nasty piece of work, Bill Tanner. Not your band of merry men, rather a group of people living in squalor thriving and more to make a living. Jack is besotted by the lovely Moll, Bill's girlfriend. Jack and Moll live in the same space. Theirs is a curious relationship never quite realized but Jack always adoringly hopeful. Bill Tanner always threateningly jealous.
Jack becomes unknowingly caught up in the rebellion. One minute he's stealing a purse, the next he finds himself coming to consciousness with a dagger in his hand, a dead body beside him and lump on his head.
Taking off ahead of the hue and cry, Jack's road to discovering who framed him in is littered with dead bodies, traitors, and important personages, including Queen Mary herself.
Masterly! I look forward to hearing more of Jack!
A NetGalley ARC