A Study in Revenge by Kieran Shields is the second in the historical mystery series set in 19th century New England and featuring police detective Archie Lean and his partner Perceval Grey (available January 8, 2013).
In the summer of 1893, a thief named Cosgrove is shot while delivering a stolen artifact in Portland, Maine. Days after the thief’s burial, police detective Archie Lean investigates when the man’s body turns up again, badly scorched, in an abandoned house. The scene has been staged to give the appearance that Cosgrove somehow rose from the dead, entered the house on his own, all while on fire. Occult symbols and messages appear near the crime.
Perplexed as to why anyone would stage such an elaborate hoax, Lean summons his erstwhile partner, Perceval Grey, a brilliant former Pinkerton detective who happens to be half Native American. What comes next is a breathless chase, from the dark streets of Portland to the provincial drawing rooms of Boston, for the thunderstone, a mysterious, centuries-old relic that wields cryptic yet potentially incredible power.
A Study in Revenge is the first novel I’ve read by Kieran Shields; it’s the second in a series set in 1890s Portland, Maine, and featuring straightforward Deputy Marshal Archie Lean and brilliant, eccentric private detective Perceval Grey. Shields thoughtfully provides backstory for the first book in the series early on, so you won’t miss anything by starting with this one.
I love mysteries with historical settings, and this one does a great job of establishing how it might feel to live in New England and watch the 20th century rapidly approaching.
[We’re on board for this...]