Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dark Chamber by Jeri Westerson

First Sentence:  It is a sore thing to be an apprentice in King Richard’s London to a former traitor, but it is also the proudest thing I have ever done.
      
Apprentice Jack Tucker tells the story of a lost carcanet (necklace), a dead merchant’s wife, and a locked room.
      
Now and then, one wants a wee bit of a story; a literary amuse-bouche, to fill that space before going to sleep.  But one also wants it to be well-written and leave one with a sense of time well spent.  Look no further.
      
Jack Tucker, former street urchin and pickpocket, is now the apprentice to Crispen Guest, a disgraced knight.  Guest has earned a reputation as the “Tracker,” a finder of lost things.  The relationship between the two grows over time, yet this is still fairly early in the series.

The story is delightful that, in that Jack is the first-person narrator.  In addition to Crispin teaching Jack about investigation, he is also helping him better himself by correcting his grammar--"I didn't like messing about near poisons.  I found m'self drawing my arms in so as to not to touch anything.  'But sir, she didn't drink naught."  "She didn't drink 'anything'," he corrected."-- and giving him an increased perspective on life in general.  Both are wonderful characters.  The interaction between them is extremely well done.  
      
Dark Chamber” is a very clever, very good locked-room mystery with all the right elements.  It is also part of an extremely well-done series.  Enjoy.

DARK CHAMBER (Hist Mys/SS-Crispen Guest-England-Medieval/1388) – VG
Old London Press, 2016

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