Jun. 17, 2017

Lord Oswald de Lacy goes to Venice…

City of Masks by SD Sykes

My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my advance reading copy of this book. You ladies rock!

I really need to silence critics with a SPOILER WARNING even if I don’t think I create many spoilers…

Following the death of de Lacy’s wife in childbirth, he flees from Somershill Manor. Unable to cope with his loss and blaming his son Hugh, Oswald goes on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. However; the war between Venice and Hungary has trapped the little band of pilgrims in Venice.

Oswald, his mother, and two pilgrims who are brother and sister are staying with a wealthy Englishman named John Bearpark. Maybe “staying” is the wrong word since Bearpark is charging them for their rooms!

Oswald has become friends with Bearpark’s grandson Enrico and some of his cronies, in particular; a man named Vittore. They take Oswald out to the bars, the gambling dens, and to an island of prostitutes. Oswald draws the line at visiting the bordello, but falls prey to the gambling, running up a huge forty ducat debt!

Then Enrico is discovered murdered, and John Bearpark hires Oswald to solve the murder. Oswald doesn’t want involvement with the investigation as he hasn’t exactly endeared himself to the powers that be in Venice. But John Bearpark will pay and he needs the money. If he doesn’t pay his gambling debt, he will be the next victim found dead in Venice!

Sykes’ prose is as beautiful as ever! The knack of combining a murder mystery with romance and historical places shines in this latest novel. The final reveal is hinted at, and I guessed part of it, but still managed to surprise me! I love it!

I look forward to more books in this exciting series! I give the book five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…

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