June 26, 2017

The Father of Locks by Andrew Killeen

The Father of LocksI thoroughly enjoyed reading The Father of Locks. It’s a fascinating book written rather like ‘The Thousand and One Nights’, so we have the central tale, but frequently each character breaks off to tell a tale.

It’s set in the early days of Baghdad – the “Golden Age”, and we follow 2 poets/ spies as they try to unravel the mystery of the missing children whilst avoiding getting on the wrong side of the rulers.

Our narrator is a white-skinned boy adopted by the arabs – Ismail al-Raurya, the Teller of Tales – he gets caught trying to steal a manuscript and ends up apprenticed to the most famous poet in the realm (and also the best spy).

Great characters and a great twisting story. A very enjoyable read.

The Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh

The Harper's Quine - a Gil Cunningham MysteryThis is one of a series of murder mysteries all investigated by Gilbert Cunningham.

Set in medieval Glasgow when Gil is on the verge of becoming a priest. He discovers the body of a murdered lady who turns out to be linked to the harper.

He investigates (and solves) the murder, and falls in love along the way (so that puts an end to becoming a priest!).

It’s an interesting tale, with lots of use of historically very accurate terms and words. But I found it rather hard to get into and not at all gripping. You’d be much better advised to read the Cadfael series by Peter Ellis.