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Monday, July 20, 2015

A Chorus of Innocents by P.F. Chisolm

I discovered this fictional series about the real Sir Robert Carey thanks to NetGalley and have  read An Air of Treason and A Famine of Horses so far.  

Here is some information about the real Sir Robert Carey that I lifted from my review of A Famine of Horses:

Background on Sir Robert Carey-- The real Robert Carey was the son of Lord Hunsdon, Henry VIII's illegitimate son by Mary Boleyn.  Lord Hunsdon was also Queen Elizabeth's Lord Chamberlain (and half-brother) and patron to Shakespeare.  Obviously, Robert Carey had some interesting DNA to draw from, and he had an interesting life as a dandified courtier in Elizabeth's court.  Then, for whatever reason, he decided to switch to soldiering, and he accepted the position of Deputy Warden of the English West March.  Quite a switch, that.  From courtier to sheriff/marshall of the wildest part of the kingdom in the West March where murders, horse thieves, and outlaws abounded.

Evidently a charming and cheerful man, his memoirs are lively and entertaining, and Chisholm says that she lifted him "practically undiluted from his own writings.

A Chorus of Innocents focuses less on Carey and more on Sergeant Dodd and Lady Elizabeth Widdrington.  Another engaging adventure in the Debatable Lands that finally allows Lady Widdrington a way to exert some control over her situation.  I do wish the repeated attention to young Henry's "spots" had been edited, but I like his character.   

As usual when reading historic fiction, I'm constantly researching such terms as couvre-feu (and its evolution to curfew), the rough wooing ( attempt to force the Scots to agree to a marriage between his son Edward and the infant Mary, Queen of Scots), border reivers, wheellock, jacks (leather and other), and arquebus.  Most of these were familiar to me in general, but I liked getting more information about specifics in this time period.

A violent and fascinating era with both fictional and real characters--and P.F. Chisholm writes about it with style.  While it isn't my favorite of the three I've read so far, it is still historic fiction at its best.

Read in February.  Blog post scheduled for July 20, 2015.

NetGalley/Poisoned Pen Press

Historic Fiction/Mystery/Crime.  Aug. 4, 2015.   


  1. Sir Robert Carey sounds like an interesting historical figure! Even if he isn't the main focus of the novel, this sounds like an interesting one, particularly the time period.

    1. I have really enjoyed this series about Sir Robert Carey. It is a period that has always intrigued me, but has the additional information about the English West March. The Marches (East, Middle, and West) were created as a buffer zone along the Scottish border; trying to keep order was a tremendous challenge.