Set against the fog-shrouded backdrop of turn-of-the-century London, Gregory Harris's new historical mystery series introduces tenacious sleuth Colin Pendragon, and a case that illuminates the darkness lurking in the heart of one of England's most noble families.
When a carriage bearing the Arnifour family crest--a vulture devouring a slaughtered lamb--arrives at the Kensington home of Colin Pendragon, it is an ominous beginning to a perplexing new case. Lady Arnifour's husband has been beaten to death and her niece, Elsbeth, left in a coma. Is the motive passion, revenge, or something even more sinister? Police suspicions have fallen on the groundskeeper and his son, yet the Earl's widow is convinced of their innocence.
Even as Colin and his partner Ethan Pruitt delve into the muddy history of the Arnifour family, a young street urchin begs their help in finding his missing sister. Ethan, regrettably familiar with London's underbelly, urges caution, yet Colin's interest is piqued. And in a search that wends from the squalid opium dens of the East End to the salons of Embassy Row, the truth about these seemingly disparate cases will prove disquieting, dangerous, and profoundly unexpected. . .
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(Saturday, February 8, 2014)
Reviewer: Kathy Jund
The Arnifour Affair is the first installment in what appears will be a terrific mystery series from debut author Gregory Harris!
Colin Pendragon considers himself a self-taught detective and has actually gained quite a reputation in the solving of cases of crime. One would think he does it just to spite and raise the ire of the members of the “Yard” and one Inspector in particular. As the son of Queen Victoria’s emissary to India, Colin Pendragon lives a quiet life, spending time restoring his collection of antique weapons, while also keeping his body toned with the ever present dumbbells he keeps close at hand. Colin’s dry sense of humor and acerbic wit certainly mask that he is quite dangerous in his own right. As is often the case his reputation which boats his expertise in deduction often brings the clients who seek out his services right to his front door; much to the chagrin of his crotchety housekeeper Mrs. Behemoth. This wise cracking housekeeper minces no words and speaks her mind regardless who is present and that includes one Ethan Pruitt Colin’s partner of twelve years. The continuous dialogue between the three throughout the story is quite amusing. One such visit by the recently widowed Lady Arnifour after the brutal murder of her husband along with the subsequent life threatening attack on her niece; who unhappy with the progress of Scotland Yard is determined to hire Pendragon to solve the case of murder at the Arnifour Estate! But will all be happy with the truth Colin has unearthed for it appears this long standing estate is the holder of many an untold secret is anyone’s guess!