Fatal Enquiry is the 6th book in the Barker/Llewellyn series of mysteries set in Victorian London. I was not familiar with the series, but the book works perfectly as a stand-alone even though the villain was introduced in a previous book.
Cyrus Barker, a respected private enquiry agent, is man with a complicated and colorful past and a deep appreciation of all things Asian. Intelligent and intuitive, Barker is also a physical person, known for his skill with both fists and weapons.
Narrated by Thomas Llewellyn, Barker's young Welsh assistant, the plot mainly follows Thomas in his attempts to save his employer after Barker is accused of murder and on the run.
Thomas' perspective is limited, and the reader discovers information along with Thomas. Barker, of course, is often better informed.
Sebastian Nightwine, the villain of the piece, has a long history with Barker and has recently been granted immunity by the government and returned to London with a dastardly plan. Taking down Cyrus Barker is only part of it.
Atmospheric Victorian London, a little "cherchez la femme," some homage to Holmes and Watson--but definitely NOT Holmes and Watson, an engaging narrator, assassins....
An interesting and entertaining mystery. I wouldn't mind reading more in this series, getting a better feel of the background of the relationship between the experienced Barker and the loyal and resourceful Thomas Llewellyn.
read in February
NetGalley/St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books
Mystery/Historic Fiction. May 13, 2014. Print version: 304 pages