I decided to read Soot by Andrew Martin because Helen at She Reads Novels enjoyed it so much. You can read what she thought of it here. Helen’s review is much more detailed than my usual sketchy thoughts.
The setting is York 1799 and it’s a murder mystery. Matthew Harvey a well known silhouette artist has been found dead, he has been stabbed by the special scissors that he uses to cut the ‘shades’. It’s thought that the culprit must be one of his clients on that last day and the victim’s son employs Fletcher Rigge to investigate the murder. Rigge has been living in the debtors’ prison in York Castle since his father’s death, he had left nothing but debts after losing the family estate in a gambling session. Fletcher Rigge knows that he is likely to end up back in the prison if he can’t get to the bottom of the mystery
The story is told by various characters through diaries, letters and his investigations bring Rigge into contact with the theatre and bookshops in York and it’s all very atmospheric. The only slight gripe I have with the book is that there is no map of York. Although I know the city I don’t know it well enough to be able to follow Fletcher Rigge on his travels around it in my head. This is the first book I’ve read by Andrew Martin and I’ll definitely be trying some others.