Monday, April 15, 2013

Bristol House by Beverly Swerling

Dr. Annie Kendall has come to London on a research project she hopes will reestablish her academic career.  That career had been promising until alcoholism wrecked it and her personal life.  Now sober for four years, Annie is given a chance to make a contribution to history.  A Jewish billionaire named Weinraub has offered to support Annie's research into the Tudor era in England and establish the historical reality of a silversmith known as the Jew Of Holbern.

Annie rents a flat near the Holbern section of London and starts her research.  She is disturbed when she senses a ghostly presence in the flat's back bedroom; a monk from the same Tudor period.  Annie meets a reporter, Geoff Harris, who becomes involved in her quest.  Geoff is not a fan of Weinraub, and suspects him of using his wealth and Annie's research to support an agenda that could destabilize the entire Middle East.  Can Annie and Geoff uncover the mysteries associated with the Jew Of Holbern or will it be co opted by forces determined to use the knowledge for their own ends.

Beverly Swerling has written a historical mystery that will appeal to readers.  As with her wonderful series about New York, there are a wealth of characters, all richly imagined.  The research behind the many topics covered in the book is evident, and the mystery compelling enough to keep the reader turning pages.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction, those interested in Jewish history, and those interested in groups such as the Templars.

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