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The Devil’s Company – History, mystery, thrills and chills in 1722 London.

I can’t imagine why it’s taken me so long to climb on the David Liss bandwagon, but whatever the reason, I’m glad I did. For those of you who love to hunker down with a well-written historical novel that dishes up mystery, thrills and chills, don’t pass up The Devil’s Company, number six of Liss’s novels.

Protagonist David Weaver is the 1722 London version of a private eye who’s been blackmailed into taking a job that puts not only his life, but the lives of family and friends in great peril. Under Liss’s capable hands we see, smell, and taste the opulence and squalor of an almost off-putting and boisterous London. The “Company” in question is the famed British East India Company, which is spreading its tentacles across world markets, not unlike our own present-day Walmart and Amazon. And if espionage isn’t your primary interest, Liss introduces us to what was worn almost three hundred years ago. The fabric of this thriller is cotton and there’s enough fashion throughout the tale to satisfy the most clothes-conscious reader.

The social, economic, labor, and political history is riveting, with just the right amount of espionage and romance to keep us content and asking for more. The Devil’s Company is tightly written, fast-paced, and the perfect book for these long winter nights that apparently have no idea that it’s already spring. Should the weather change or you put it off until summer, not to worry — I’m sure it will also make a great beach read. But don’t forget your sunscreen because once you start, The Devil’s Company is hard to put down. –  Sunny Solomon

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