PF Chisholm, A Famine of Horses (London: Head of Zeus, 2016)
This was a promising start to a series by Chisholm, who also writes as Patricia Finney. Although our hero is a historical figure, and some of his exploits are based on actual events, there was something refreshing and interesting about setting the novel so far from the usual world of court intrigue and plots to kill Elizabeth. Neither is our hero conventionally heroic, or handsome, or some kind of Elizabethan übermensch, as we see too often in historical fiction.
The setting might be more ‘mundane’, but it was immersive and the action was entertaining. The novel is well-researched, quite deft in its exposition, and the plot was pacy and satisfying.
They might be the ‘Sir Robert Carey’ mysteries, but his sidekick, Dodd, was also a well-drawn and engaging character – one of several multi-faceted characters. Dodd’s interaction with Carey made the book a double-hander, and I’m interested in seeing how the relationship develops.
Definitely worth a read.
(originally read March 2019)