The Painted Lady
Another heady Restoration mystery with the much loved character of Christopher Redmayne. Marston’s period romps teem with authentic detail and have made him one of A&B’s most popular writers.
A beautiful woman. An unrequited love. An excuse for murder.
Araminta Jewell is one of the beauties of her day; a witty, resourceful, dazzling young lady who manages to resist all the blandishments that come her way. Even her marriage to the staid and ugly Sir Martin Culthorpe has not discouraged the rakes of London; for them she has assumed an almost iconic status. Before she wed, a special club had been set up – the Society for the Capture of Araminta’s Maidenhood – with the first man to bed her standing to win a sizeable wager. Though she is now a wife, she is still pursued with unflagging zeal.
It is during her first sitting for a portrait painted by the fashionable French artist Jean-Paul Villemot that the architect Christopher Redmayne meets the lovely Lady Culthorpe, although he has heard much about her through his dissipated brother Henry, one of her most ardent pursuers. Before the portrait can be finished and revealed, however, Sir Martin is murdered. Joining forces with Henry and his good friend the puritan Constable Jonathan Bale, Christopher embarks on a quest to discover the killer’s identity. But with each new day bringing a fresh batch of suspects, and the matter of whether Sir Martin was killed because of his shady business dealings or for the exquisite prize of his wife still unclear, Christopher knows this will be far from an easy case to crack.
What The Critics Said
‘Behind its façade of respectability, seventeenth-century London seethes with intrigue’
‘An entertaining romp through a colourful time in London’s history’
‘[Marston is] an author whose period romps have die-hard fans by the dozen’
‘A lively tale’
‘A brilliant, engrossing page-turner. Once started you just have to finish it. Plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. Definitely worth reading. For lovers of historical mysteries this is an absolute must’”
Crime and Detective Stories
‘Restoration London is vividly evoked. “A thoroughly entertaining romp…just the book for an evening’s read by a snug fire when it’s pouring down outside…[An] escapist read’
Historical Novels Review
‘Edward Marston’s skilful plotting and impressive grasp of his period will keep the reader gripped throughout this absorbing Restoration mystery’
Good Book Guide