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Wednesday 30 March 2016

‘A Masterpiece of Corruption’ by L C Tyler

Published by Constable,
14 January 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-4721-1496-9

It is the winter of 1657. Lawyer John Grey receives a rather mysterious letter at his lodgings in Lincoln’s inn. He is perplexed because the letter is not addressed to him but signed by Mr S K and begs his presence at Gray’s Inn, in the spirit of friendship.  John Grey suspects who Mr S K maybe, and that the letter is the result of his meddling mother. He decides to visit Mr S K and nip any relationship in the bud.

And so John Gray ventures out into the cold snowy December night, but all does not go as planned, as the letter was intended for someone else entirely, and John Gray finds himself in the middle of a plot to assassinate the Lord Protector.  That John Grey is not a royalist is something he needs to keep to himself, and so unwittingly he finds
himself in the role of double agent. Discretion is therefore of the essence, and if he can keep his head, prevent a murder and keep both camps happy, he may actually keep his head.

However the arrival of Aminta Clifford posing as his cousin does nothing to allay his fears. She announces that she will be staying for some weeks and has placed herself under his protection.  She is not known for her discretion.

Meanwhile, with both the Sealed Knot and Cromwell's Secretary of State, John Thurloe, believing he is on their side, he is treading a fine line, and becomes very inventive when challenged as to his progress with the assassination. 

Assuming many aliases’s and trying to keep himself alive, Gray finds himself in many unsought locations, and not all to his liking.  Several persons come to his aid but all have a little job he can do for them, and every little job  lands him deeper in the do do.

A masterpiece of penmanship. Entertaining,  enjoyable and quite brilliant. Be you a Royalist or a Cromwellian , you will find this a riveting read. Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

L. C. Tyler  L C Tyler was born in Southend, Essex, and educated at Southend High School for Boys, Jesus College Oxford and City University London. After university he joined the Civil Service and worked at the Department of the Environment in London and Hong Kong. He then moved to the British Council, where his postings included Malaysia, Thailand, Sudan and Denmark.

Since returning to the UK he has lived in Sussex and London, and was Chief Executive of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for eleven years. He is now a full time writer. His first novel, The Herring Seller's Apprentice, was published by Macmillan in 2007, followed by A Very Persistent Illusion, Ten Little Herrings, The Herring in the Library and Herring on the Nile. The first book in a new historical series, A Cruel Necessity, was published by Constable and Robinson in November 2014. The follow up is A Masterpiece of Corruption and was published in January 2016.

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