For fans of Lindsey Davis and Iain Pears—A lawyer stands accused of murder in this historical mystery series opener set in Cromwell’s England.
Two-time Edgar nominee L. C. Tyler is best known for his series featuring Ethelred and Elsie— a third-rate novelist and his gloriously vulgar agent, respectively. And so he should be: He’s twice won Britain’s “Last Laugh” award for the Best Humorous Mystery of the Year.
But with A Cruel Necessity, the first in the John Grey series, Tyler takes a sharp turn into the shadows. There are still some chuckles to be had, but not many . . .
This is England in the year 1657, Oliver Cromwell is in power, and joy has essentially been outlawed. A young lawyer with a taste for beer and pretty women, Grey finds pleasures enough, even in this backwater Essex town, but he’d be wise to keep his amusement to himself: A Royalist spy has been found dead in a local ditch, and Cromwell’s agents are eager—distressingly eager—to explain to Grey that this is nothing to laugh about.
Praise for A Cruel Necessity
“Tyler juggles his characters, story, wit and clever one-liners with perfect balance.” —The Times (UK)
“The characterization is good, it is well-paced, and the plot fits in beautifully with the historical events of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will look out for this author again.” —Historical Novel Society