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

She Died Unshriven (Constable Thomas Lincraft #1), by David Field

Eight stars

A fan of David Field and his writing, I was pleased to stumble upon this novella set in Elizabethan times. When the body of a young woman is discovered, the coroner feels it important to call an inquest. Believed to be Amy Brinkley, a domestic servant with a penchant for promiscuity, the initial blame seems to be with her master. During the inquest, evidence begins piling up, though Constable Thomas Lincraft is not so sure. The testimony by witnesses seems weak or quite outlandish, including an apparent clue to the victim’s identity by an apparition. Risking his position, Lincraft vows to get to the bottom of the murder to see if Amy Brinkley is even the victim and who might have wanted her dead. Fuelled by wanting to find the truth, Lincraft will unearth truths that others may not want to see the light of day, in a story that mixes greed, lust, and determination. Time is of the essence in this short piece, as a man’s life hangs in the balance while the townsfolk watch in awe. Field shows that he has a great handle on mystery writing with a legal flavour. Recommended for those who enjoy legal thrillers, particularly set in times past, as well as fans of David Field and his other series.

The first in the series, I am again impressed with the start to another David Field collection. The story develops an interesting legal thriller with a story set centuries ago, which forces the reader to accept both pieces to enjoy the story. There is the usual connection to the protagonist that Field has made a trademark of his writing, as well as the historic backdrop to educate the reader. Thomas Lincraft is unlike many men of his time, questioning all that is put before him. Not happy to accept his role in the larger legal machine, Lincraft seeks answers, even when he is warned away from doing so. His attention to detail and seeking for the truth will surely make many enemies for him, though he seems more concerned with ensuring the right person faces the consequences at the Coroner’s Inquest. Others in this piece offer interesting support for a narrative that has little time to lag. I can see myself curious to see those who make return visits to the series, as it will surely complement Lincraft’s role in the stories. I love history and David Field does a wonderful job at bringing it to life. Using Elizabethan England as the backdrop, the story grows from there and uses the knowledge of the time to flavour the narrative. With a curious mystery and the need for resolution, the reader is left to ponder the possibilities before the truth comes to the surface. However, the jury waits for no one, so it will have to come together as fast as Lincraft can find the central thread to the entire mystery.

Kudos, Mr. Field, for another wonderful novella. I love that I can tackle them in a day or two and feel as though I have accomplished something monumental.

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