DERYN LAKE is the pseudonym of a well-known historical novelist who joined the popular ranks of historical detective writers with her gripping John Rawlings Mysteries. Deryn Lake lives near Hastings, East Sussex.
Reviews - What do customers think about Death at the Beggar's Opera (John Rawlings Mystery)?
Wonderful historical mystery Feb 6, 2008
First Sentence: It begin an inclement day, plagued by needle-sharp rain and whipping winds, John Rawlings, after first safely locking up his shop in Shug Lane, hurried home beneath the protection of an umbrella, that useful invention from the Orient considered by many as too effeminate for a man to carry.
Apothecary, and occasional agent for Sir John Fielding of Bow Street, attends a performance of "The Beggar's Opera" with friends. The lead is played by Jasper Harcross, a handsome man and legendary lover of women. A critical scene calls for the hanging of Harcross' character. The play's the thing when the platform breaks, Harcorss is hung for real and Rawlings is, once again, asked to help find the killer.
Rawlings combines a slight naiveté of youth, being in his 20s, with intelligence of his field and a determination for justice. John's relationship with this adopted father is one I particularly enjoy.
Lake's writing is wonderfully evocative, conveying the social structure and feeling of the period and, in this book, a back-stage look at theatre of the time. There is a diverse and interesting array of secondary characters.
The story had wonderful twists and turns right up to the end that kept me thoroughly engrossed and never quite able to predict where the story was going. For those of us who enjoy traditional mysteries in an historical setting, Lake's books are a delight.
Second in the John Rawlings Series Dec 31, 2007
Deryn Lake is a pseudonym of a well know historical novelist. Among the books she has written are the popular John Rawlings Mysteries, Death on the Romney Marsh, Death in the Peerless Pool, Death at the Apothecaries' hall, Death at the Devil's Tavern and others. As all her titles are preceded by the word death, this is a pretty good indication regarding the contents of the books and very good historical murder mysteries they are. `Deryn Lake' live near Hastings, in East Sussex
This is the second book in the 18th century mystery's featuring John Rawlings, a newly qualified apothecary and part-time sleuth. The storyline also features John Fielding, London's famous, or some would say infamous blind magistrate. I suppose it would depend on which side of the bench you were sitting, so to speak. The book gives an informed and interesting insight into the workings of the theatre and the audience participation.
Deryn Lake's books are what I would call easy reading, but none the worse for that. The author's writing style and knack of creating the atmosphere of the 18th century are done so easily and with such style that it is a pleasure to read her books and the pages fly by all too quickly.