Without Fear or Favour (Constable Thomas Lincraft #2), by David Field

Eight stars

With the release of the second novella in this new series by David Field, I was able to transport myself back to Elizabethan England and enjoy a short mystery full of intrigue and political scandal. Senior Constable for Nottinghamshire, Tom Lincraft, is out to investigate the discovery of a body. Edward Franklin is the town miller and was hanging by a rope at his place of work by his son. Under the presumption of foul play, there is a question as to who might have wanted to harm Franklin. Lincraft and his colleague, Giles Bradbury, begin exploring the possible motives, which leads to a few seedy pubs, where the victim had quite the reputation. It is then that Lincraft learns that his young protégé is well-known in his own right. Following leads and whispers, Lincraft discovers that there may have been some secrets the victim knew. In a country still hesitantly accepting the reign of Queen Elizabeth, plotters abound at every turn. Lincraft will have to work his magic, not only to find the killer, but also to discover what is being hatched in secret. Field does well to being history and mystery together into a wonderful mix of literary flavours. Recommended for those who enjoy short mysteries, as well as fans of David Field and his work.

A new series by David Field is always worth celebrating and the first two books have proven that he has quite the magical touch. I am again impressed with the strong start to this series—rumoured to only be a trilogy—and how easily the reader can attach themselves to Thomas Lincraft. While the opening novel offered more of an isolated side to the man, in this piece, Field offers a little more of his family and the compassionate side to the man who serves as a Senior Constable. Lincraft is still dedicated to his work and is strongly religious, at a time when love of country depends on which side of the ecclesiastical aisle you find yourself. He seeks answers and an overall resolution, but is less stuffy than he came across in the opening novella. Others provide an interesting supporting role, mainly new faces and names wedged into this short piece. There is little time to develop characters, yet Field makes time for it in his concise narrative. I enjoy the Tudor period and while this is more of an Elizabethan story, there are still hints of the clashes that came about during the time. The story develops well in this time period and gives the reader something on which to feast as they progress through the back alleys and into the taverns, as well as with some of the more official and royal individuals who grace the pages of this piece. Field offers short chapters to push the story along, whetting the appetite of the reader throughout, while forcing them to ponder the possibilities before the truth comes to the surface. There is much to learn by the end of this piece, which surely paves the way for an intriguing final novella, yet to be released to the reading public!

Kudos, Mr. Field, for another wonderful novella in this short trilogy. I am eager to get my hands on the final chapter, though you have enough being published to keep me occupied.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons

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