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A Gentleman's Murder
July 23, 2018
A Gentleman's Murder Christopher Huang FRONTLIST | July 31, 2018 Trade Paperback | 300 pages Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical $14.99 USD, $19.99 CAD Inkshares
I was immensely impressed by A Gentleman’s Murder. Rarely have I come across a historical mystery that truly captures English life in the aftermath of WWI, particularly for those who came back after fighting in the trenches. Those men returned to a world where they no longer belonged, and Eric, the half-Chinese protagonist knows better than most what it means to struggle to belong. The Britannia Club is an oasis for former soldiers, a bastion of stability and propriety, until a new member is murdered. While the others want to sweep the death under the carpet, Eric becomes determined to both find justice for Benson and right the wrong that Benson was so eager to undo.
Christopher Huang’s masterful prose kept me glued to the page, eager to make discoveries alongside Eric. The characters are richly developed, completely and believably human. Each is damaged and copes in his own way. Emotionally tense and compelling, A Gentleman’s Murder is a fascinating book with a puzzle at its heart. In addition to being a masterfully plotted mystery, the novel is also a potent reminder of the lasting effects of war and the fact that not all wounds are visible.
5 / 5
I received a copy of A Gentleman’s Murder from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Featuring a half-Chinese detective protagonist, A GENTLEMAN'S MURDER is a must for those who love mysteries and reads like a Christie-esque whodunit with a modern eye toward the historical treatment of Chinese veterans and post-war racism.
The year is 1924. The cobblestoned streets of St. James ring with jazz as Britain races forward into an age of peace and prosperity. London's back alleys, however, are filled with broken soldiers and still enshadowed by the lingering horrors of the Great War.
Only a few years removed from the trenches of Flanders himself, Lieutenant Eric Peterkin has just been granted membership in the most prestigious soldiers-only club in London: The Britannia. But when a gentleman's wager ends with a member stabbed to death, the victim's last words echo in the Lieutenant’s head: that he would "soon right a great wrong from the past."
Eric is certain that one of his fellow members is the murderer: but who? Captain Mortimer Wolf, the soldier’s soldier thrice escaped from German custody? Second Lieutenant Oliver Saxon, the brilliant codebreaker? Or Captain Edward Aldershott, the steely club president whose Savile Row suits hide a frightening collision of mustard gas scars?
Eric's investigation will draw him far from the marbled halls of the Brittania, to the shadowy remains of a dilapidated war hospital and the heroin dens of Limehouse. And as the facade of gentlemenhood cracks, Eric faces a Matryoshka doll of murder, vice, and secrets pointing not only to the officers of his own club but the very investigator assigned by Scotland Yard.