Two-time Edgar nominee LC Tyler is best known for his series featuring Ethelred and Elsie – a third-rate novelist and his gloriously vulgar agent, respectively. And so he should be: He’s twice won Britain’s “Last Laugh” award for the Best Humorous Mystery of the Year. But with A Cruel Necessity, the first in the John Grey series, Tyler takes a sharp turn into the shadows. There are still some chuckles to be had, but not many: This is England in the year 1657, Oliver Cromwell is in power, and joy has essentially been outlawed. A young lawyer with a taste for beer and pretty women, Grey finds pleasures enough, even in this backwater Essex town, but he’d be wise to keep his amusement to himself: A Royalist spy has been found dead in a local ditch, and Cromwell’s agents are eager – distressingly eager – to explain to Grey that this is nothing to laugh about.
Len Tyler has been shortlisted for two Edgar awards, won two of England’s “Last Laugh” awards, and racked up more great reviews than he’s had hot dinners: Why would he turn away from the stunningly funny “Elsie and Ethelred” series? Because the intrigues of Cromwell’s England were too juicy to pass up. Tangled in too many of them is John Grey, a newly minted lawyer and would-be ladies’ man with a bad habit of poking his nose into other people’s business. That’s unfortunate, because a mis-delivered letter has left Grey with more information about a murderous plot than it’s entirely safe to know. Can Grey prevent the murder? And of infinitely more importance, can he keep his mouth shut long enough to save his own skin?
or, A history of the lives, sufferings, and triumphant deaths of the primitive as well as Protestant martyrs: from the commencement of Christianity, to the latest periods of pagan and popish persecution. To which is added, an account of the Inquisition, the Bartholomew massacre, in France, the general persecution under Louis XIV, the massacre in the Irish rebellion ... 1641, and the recent persecutions of the Protestants in the south of France