Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Three Kings of Cologne by Kate Sedley

There are truly very few mystery series where the author is able to delver a solid, well crafted, and absorbing read with every single installment; Kate Sedley is one of those authors. Whenever I settle down with the latest Roger the Chapman installment, I know that I'm about to enjoy a compelling and riveting read, and this was definitely true of The Three Kings of Cologne.

Alderman John Foster (soon to be Mayor of Bristol) has purchased a piece of land from the Magdalen Nunnery with plans to build a new almshouse and chapel dedicated to the Three Kings of Cologne. However the alderman's charitable plans take a setback when a body is unearthed on that very piece of land. It turns out that the remains are those of Isabella Linkinhorne, a beautiful if somewhat wild young lady who mysteriously disappeared about 20 years ago. At the time of her disappearance, everyone, her parents included, believed that Isabella had runaway with one of her suitors. But now it is beginning to look as if she may have been murdered by one of her suitors. Determined that his gift not be tarnished, the alderman hires Roger the Chapman (who is well known for his abilities to solve mysteries and ferret out the truth), to discover who murdered Isabella and to bring the murderer to justice. Always willing to embark on an investigation, Roger takes to his latest task with alacrity. But will he be able to solve a murder so old? All Roger has to go on are rumours and the faded memories of those who knew Isabella. But Roger is determined to do his utmost to solve the murder nevertheless...

The Three Kings of Cologne was a well crafted and engagingly written mystery novel that was intelligent and full of wonderful period colour and details. On top of it all, The Three Kings of Cologne was a real puzzler as well -- the suspense and the mystery were so capably layered on that I had to stay up till the early morning hours in order to finish the book. It was that riveting. Suspenseful and full of intriguing plot twists and turns, The Three Kings of Cologne is one mystery novel that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looming for a good, absorbing read.

No comments: